You need to plan the way a fire department plans: It cannot anticipate where the next fire will be, so it has to shape an energetic and efficient team that is capable of responding to the unanticipated as well as to any ordinary event.
I don’t recall where I found this link, but this is a great video.
This memory of Alex King contains some very inspiring words, where he describes how he ran things at Crowd Favorite before he sold the company.
His words come from the type of person most of us dream about working for, and one that we would want to be when in a leadership position.
Early on, when it was just a few people, it was very much a team, a collaborative atmosphere. I tried to keep that as we grew. I told them that they had autonomy. I told them that I wanted to hear from them if they thought that things could be improved. I hammered that.
In every meeting, every monthly meeting, I would ask for feedback. I would ask for suggestions of things we could do better. Very rarely did I’d actually get any. The process of asking for it consistently, I think, was important. It let people know that their voice is valued.
When people did come to me, I tried to make sure that even if we weren’t going to do what they asked, that they saw some sort of visible change based on what they’d asked for. Even if it was just me following up in another week or two weeks after that to talk to them about some aspect of it, just to let them know that their voice was heard and what they’d risen wasn’t forgotten.
Another aspect of this manifests itself in the Intranet as a note on process. It says, “If you ever find yourself doing something you don’t understand or think it’s stupid, it is your job to stop and ask somebody why.”
Two things come from this. One, sometimes processes get out-of-date and we end up just doing things because we’ve always done it that way. That’s no reason to do things.
The second, more likely, is that there is a good reason and that this person may not know it. When they ask, somebody can tell them and they could understand the value of what they’re doing.
All of these things come together to create an environment where people feel empowered, people feel like the work they’re doing is interesting and important. Of course, that’s dependent somewhat on client projects as well. The way that we go about doing things is efficient, it’s not a waste of time, and they have input into the process and that their input has value.
Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.
The talk surrounding the new mountain bike company, Advocate Cycles, has a theme that Tim’s goal is to build a honest company from the very start, with a focus on quality and not quantity. His business model will certainly be a challenge, but it seems like he has the background to give it an honest attempt.
What was a bit surprising was the business model that the aptly named Advocate Cycles would use. Taking advantage of a specific set of rules valid in his home state of Minnesota, Tim and his wife and business partner Odia started a Special Benefits Corporation. The goal? To donate 100% of their after-tax profits to bicycling related advocacy non-profit organizations.
This article is one of the most detailed conversations with Tim I have read yet. I have wanted to get my hands on their Hayduke hardtail mountain bike since I first read about it over at Dirt Rag, but now I want one even more.
Make sure to check out their Indiegogo campaign. There are still some Advocate Haydukes left for early bidders at $1999 — considerably less than the expected list price of $2650!
There are some great quotes in here that really shed light on his mindset.
(via The Loop)
If you are dissatisfied with the decisions being made within the company you work for, you are doing a disservice to yourself and the company by not articulating to your team leader why you believe a decision is not being made in the company’s best interest. In fact, articulating issues within a company is your *duty* as an employee of a company.
Decisions are made by team leaders based on the context of how and with what they have been informed. If you can add new context to their perspective, they may be able to make a better decision that improves the company, and makes you more satisfied as an employee.
A great (albeit old) article from Tim O’Reilly.
You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change
— Tim Cook
What I love about Elon Musk is that he doesn’t dance around what Tesla is working on. He’s a straight-shooter that eliminates the kind of speculation that surrounds Apple rumors.
“I view it as a solved problem. We know exactly what to do and we will be there in a few years,” Mr. Musk said at the Nvidia Corp. graphical processor conference in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday.
(via The Loop)