Inconvenient values

A good test of your values is asking when they last cost you something else that you wanted. For each of your values ask: Do you donate to the cause, or otherwise pay to make it happen? Do you give up opportunities? Do you pay a financial penalty for avoiding something? Do you work to change things by writing or…

Knowing better (3): the best values

My values are the best that I know; I assume you feel the same. Changing them is hard – it takes some combination of (delete as appropriate)… experience / evidence / awareness / engagement with an argument / a strong feeling… …of / with / about … the flaws in our existing values / the way that something we think…

Podcast recommendation: Seth Godin on The Hedonic Treadmill

This episode of Akimbo is a thoughtful look out our tendency to seek more of what we like – whether loud music or extreme sports or money or beauty. In a nutshell:It’s almost inevitable that we’ll experience diminishing satisfaction from a given amount of whatever brings you pleasure, so we’re always seeking to turn the dial to eleven (out of…

Quick decisions

All things being equal,* a quick decision is better than a slow one. You can feel confident in making a quick decision if the decision… Is easily reversible at low cost; Has only trivial or short-term consequences (i.e. you will rarely notice the difference or will only have to live with a poor choice for a short time); Is between…

The tortoise and the hare

I’ve been reminded that even for those of us who get off lightly, our current situation – lockdown in response to Covid-19 – is going to be a slog. A marathon is different in kind from a sprint, and an involuntary slog of indeterminate length is different in kind again. Sprints – single events, urgent work, tight deadlines, sudden crises…

Responsive (2): Your voice

Being “responsive” is more than a question of timing. Your voice and “default” tone matter. Your voice What do you sound like as you respond to others? What would you like to sound like? It might help to make a list: Friendly, open and available – even when saying “no”; Positive / “can do” / constructive / helpful; Interested /…

Mission statement example: Airbnb mission statement and values

Here’s great mission statement from Airbnb. Our Mission: Create a world where anyone can belong anywhere It’s an audacious, incredibly rewarding mission that our increasingly diverse team is dedicated to achieving. Airbnb is built around the idea that everyone should be able to take the perfect trip, including where they stay, what they do, and who they meet. To that…

Tom Peters: the bottom line for hiring

Be explicit. Use these words – damn it! – and not some HR gobbledy-gook equivalents: – Listening– Caring– Smiling– Saying “Thank You”– Being warm– Nice– Empathy– Better people– Character– No jerks– No shitheads I cannot think of any position in any company of any size where these twelve characteristics would not pay off. Can you? I repeat: BE EXPLICIT.USE THESE…

Peter Drucker on metrics as misdirection

Business, like any other institution, has important results that are incapable of being measured. Any experienced executive will know companies or industries that are bound for extinction because they cannot attract or hold able people. This, every experienced executive also knows, is a more important fact about a company or an industry than last year’s profit statement. Yet the statement…