Obviously

If they knew what you knew, felt how you felt, had the right perspective, it would be obvious to them too. But they don’t. This means that – assuming that it’s necessary and helpful to point out the obvious in this case – the way you do it matters a lot: What are you going to do to help you…

Questions from today

Which jobs absolutely must get done today? Which jobs can we (must we) push back – and to when? Who is waiting for my input? What’s the minimum I can give them so that they can do the maximum without me? How can I make the process and decisions explicit so that in time they might do it without me?…

Competent

Maybe you think of yourself as competent, or maybe you don’t. Self-talk I tend to say things to myself like: I can do this. I could do that. I could do that, too, if I spent some time learning how. I understand how this works, even if I’m sketchy on the details. I’m not doing this very well in this…

Hand-washing, face masks and cultural hygiene

The best reason for washing your hands at regular intervals isn’t protecting yourself. You might only rarely wash your hands and still never get sick. This might be because you’re a clean sort of person, or it could be because you have a strong immune system. In this case, the best reason for washing your hands regularly is to protect…

Encouragement

The last week has reminded me not to underestimate the importance of encouragement. “You’re on the right track.” “Yes, it was a bad outcome – but you made the right decision with what you knew at the time.” “This was fun.” “You’re building something important.” “This is fantastic – keep doing it.” “It’s worth it.” “I like working with you.”…

Bark less, wag more

Rule 12. Be Kind – everyone is in a battle We go through life judging others. I’ve often wondered if one of the reasons we sometimes judge ourselves harshly is to give ourselves an excuse for judging those around us harshly as well. Judging has many virtues. It helps us decide who to spend time with, who to work with,…

The competition

However well things are going, from time to time you might get worried about the competition – people who do what you do, who look like they might be doing it better or cheaper. It’s important to know what’s going on, to think about what you can learn and why. And it’s even more important to think about what it…

Just one chapter

If you could write a book – any kind of book – with a group of other people, who would they be? What would the book be about? And if you had to contribute a chapter – just one – what subject would you choose, and what do you have to say about it? Go and write your chapter.* Then…

Atul Gawande on urgency, planning and deliberation

I brought to surgery my particular persona, which is to want to have more planning and more deliberation inserted into situations where there doesn’t seem to be time. One of the really striking things is, we get this complaint for example that using a checklist in surgery, well, that’s fine, but in emergencies we don’t have time for that kind…

Gotong royong (on finding co-owners)

Gotong Royong [Indonesian: to carry together] Friends and champions are indespensible for your project; just as vital are co-owners – people who will actually carry it together with you. Without co-owners, your project will die when you do. With co-owners, it’s much more likely to keep going, and you’ll live longer too: a trouble shared is a trouble halved.