How to become awesome quickly

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Here’s the shortcut to success. There isn’t one. Quick is a cheat. The trick to being a better manager is to identify ways to steadily improve, get feedback, and make incremental changes. The trick to getting super-productive is to understand how best to use your time, steadily improve, get coaching, and make incremental changes. The … Continued

We have trouble trusting machines. Ask a Tesla owner.

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Is a Tesla safer with autopilot? That’s a challenging question to answer, because it’s not just about statistics — it’s about human psychology. According to Tesla’s statistics for Q1 of 2021, for every mile driven with a Tesla on Autopilot, you’re half as likely to have an accident as without the autopilot feature. Here’s the … Continued

The value of Bill Birchard’s eight S’s for strong business writing

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In the Harvard Business Review, writing coach Bill Birchard describes how the brain responds to business writing and recommends ways to write better. His analysis generates some fascinating insights, but one key point is missing: business writing works only if if causes the reader to act. It’s worth your time to read Bill Birchard’s “The … Continued

The epiphany: why people end things

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Things tend to go on as they always have — until somebody has an epiphany. A decade ago, I was the lead on hiring a new social media analyst at Forrester Research. A woman with a strong and positive social media presence interviewed with us, and got to the final stages, which included doing a … Continued

Conspiracy theory

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This whiteboard was at an April event for Trump backers in Oklahoma. Trump is at the center of course, but it includes every imaginable association. And Jesus is King at the top, of course. Why does it matter? Because confessed and pardoned felon Gen. Michael Flynn, who was Trump’s first national security advisor, posed in … Continued

How I got (moderately) rich by investing in myself and my family

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Fair warning: this post is all about decisions I made and why I made them. If you don’t want to hear about that, skip it. I just agreed to purchase the home of my wife’s and my dreams in Portland, Maine. And pretty soon we will move there and own it, free and clear. This … Continued

Why you should write a strategy document — even if it’s just for yourself

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Writing a strategy document is the best way to make sure you, your business, or your organization move forward in a thoughtful way. It’s a discipline you should follow. What is a strategy document? “What is strategy?” is a tricky question, addressed by everyone from Michael Porter to every boss on the planet. But there’s … Continued

Apple’s employee letter is less effective because it’s a rambling mess

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In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Apple employees that starting in the fall, they’d need to return to the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Many employees signed a rambling and disjointed 1300-word letter of protest. I’ll show how it could be better. The employee plea isn’t effective Consider a ROAM analysis of the … Continued