More on Leadership
4 months ago
Lessons on Leadership from the Dancing Guy
This is arguably the best three-minute demonstration I've ever seen of anything. Derek Sivers turns a shaky video of a lone dancing guy at a music festival into a leadership lesson.
A leader must have the courage to stand alone and appear silly. But what he's doing is so straightforward that it's almost instructive. This is critical. You must be simple to follow!
Now comes the first follower, who plays an important role: he publicly demonstrates how to follow. The leader embraces him as an equal, so it's no longer about the leader — it's about them, plural. He's inviting his friends to join him. It takes courage to be the first follower! You stand out and dare to be mocked. Being a first follower is a style of leadership that is underappreciated. The first follower elevates a lone nut to the position of leader. If the first follower is the spark that starts the fire, the leader is the flint.
This link was sent to me by @ottmark, who noted its resemblance to Kurt Vonnegut's three categories of specialists required for revolution.
The rarest of these specialists, he claims, is an actual genius – a person capable generating seemingly wonderful ideas that are not widely known. "A genius working alone is generally dismissed as a crazy," he claims.
The second type of specialist is much easier to find: a highly intellectual person in good standing in his or her community who understands and admires the genius's new ideas and can attest that the genius is not insane. "A person like him working alone can only crave loudly for changes, but fail to say what their shapes should be," Slazinger argues.
Jeff Veen reduced the three personalities to "the inventor, the investor, and the evangelist" on Twitter.
1 month ago
Peter Thiels's Multi-Billion Dollar Net Worth's Unknown Philosopher
Peter Thiel studied philosophy as an undergraduate.
Peter Thiel has $7.36 billion.
Peter is a world-ranked chess player, has a legal degree, and has written profitable novels.
In 1999, he co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin, which merged with X.com.
Peter Thiel made $55 million after selling the company to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.
You may be wondering…
How did Peter turn $55 million into his now multi-billion dollar net worth?
One amazing investment?
Thiel was Facebook's first external investor. He bought 10% of the company for $500,000 in 2004.
This investment returned 159% annually, 200x in 8 years.
By 2012, Thiel sold almost all his Facebook shares, becoming a billionaire.
What was the investment thesis of Peter?
This investment appeared ridiculous. Facebook was an innovative startup.
Thiel's $500,000 contribution transformed Facebook.
Harvard students have access to Facebook's 8 features and 1 photo per profile.
How did Peter determine that this would be a wise investment, then?
Facebook is a mimetic desire machine.
Social media's popularity is odd. Why peek at strangers' images on a computer?
Peter Thiel studied under French thinker Rene Girard at Stanford.
Mimetic Desire explains social media's success.
Mimetic Desire is the idea that humans desire things simply because other people do.
If nobody wanted it, would you?
Would you desire a family, a luxury car, or expensive clothes if no one else did? Girard says no.
People we admire affect our aspirations because we're social animals. Every person has a role model.
Our nonreligious culture implies role models are increasingly other humans, not God.
The idea explains why social media influencers are so powerful.
Why would Andrew Tate or Kim Kardashian matter if people weren't mimetic?
Humanity is fundamentally motivated by social comparison.
Facebook takes advantage of this need for social comparison, and puts it on a global scale.
It aggregates photographs and updates from millions of individuals.
Facebook mobile allows 24/7 social comparison.
Thiel studied mimetic desire with Girard and realized Facebook exploits the urge for social comparison to gain money.
Social media is more significant and influential than ever, despite Facebook's decline.
Thiel and Girard show that applied philosophy (particularly in business) can be immensely profitable.
4 months ago
How Jeff Bezos wins meetings over
We've all been there: You propose a suggestion to your team at a meeting, and most people appear on board, but a handful or small minority aren't. How can we achieve collective buy-in when we need to go forward but don't know how to deal with some team members' perceived intransigence?
Investigate the divergent opinions: Begin by sincerely attempting to comprehend the viewpoint of your disagreeing coworkers. Maybe it makes sense to switch horses in the middle of the race. Have you completely overlooked a blind spot, such as a political concern that could arise as an unexpected result of proceeding? This is crucial to ensure that the person or people feel heard as well as to advance the goals of the team. Sometimes all individuals need is a little affirmation before they fully accept your point of view.
It says a lot about you as a leader to be someone who always lets the perceived greatest idea win, regardless of the originating channel, if after studying and evaluating you see the necessity to align with the divergent position.
If, after investigation and assessment, you determine that you must adhere to the original strategy, we go to Step 2.
2. Disagree and Commit: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has had this experience, and Julie Zhuo describes how he handles it in her book The Making of a Manager.
It's OK to disagree when the team is moving in the right direction, but it's not OK to accidentally or purposefully damage the team's efforts because you disagree. Let the team know your opinion, but then help them achieve company goals even if they disagree. Unknown. You could be wrong in today's ever-changing environment.
So next time you have a team member who seems to be dissenting and you've tried the previous tactics, you may ask the individual in the meeting I understand you but I don't want us to leave without you on board I need your permission to commit to this approach would you give us your commitment?
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2 months ago
The renowned and highest-paid Google software engineer
His story will inspire you.
“Google search went down for a few hours in 2002; Jeff Dean handled all the queries by hand and checked quality doubled.”- Jeff Dean Facts.
One of many Jeff Dean jokes, but you get the idea.
Google's top six engineers met in a war room in mid-2000. Google's crawling system, which indexed the Web, stopped working. Users could still enter queries, but results were five months old.
Google just signed a deal with Yahoo to power a ten-times-larger search engine. Tension rose. It was crucial. If they failed, the Yahoo agreement would likely fall through, risking bankruptcy for the firm. Their efforts could be lost.
A rangy, tall, energetic thirty-one-year-old man named Jeff dean was among those six brilliant engineers in the makeshift room. He had just left D. E. C. a couple of months ago and started his career in a relatively new firm Google, which was about to change the world. He rolled his chair over his colleague Sanjay and sat right next to him, cajoling his code like a movie director. The history started from there.
When you think of people who shaped the World Wide Web, you probably picture founders and CEOs like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Marc Andreesen, Tim Berners-Lee, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. They’re undoubtedly the brightest people on earth.
Under these giants, legions of anonymous coders work at keyboards to create the systems and products we use. These computer workers are irreplaceable.
Let's get to know him better.
It's possible you've never heard of Jeff Dean. He's American. Dean created many behind-the-scenes Google products. Jeff, co-founder and head of Google's deep learning research engineering team, is a popular technology, innovation, and AI keynote speaker.
While earning an MS and Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Washington, he was a teaching assistant, instructor, and research assistant. Dean joined the Compaq Computer Corporation Western Research Laboratory research team after graduating.
Jeff co-created ProfileMe and the Continuous Profiling Infrastructure for Digital at Compaq. He co-designed and implemented Swift, one of the fastest Java implementations. He was a senior technical staff member at mySimon Inc., retrieving and caching electronic commerce content.
Dean, a top young computer scientist, joined Google in mid-1999. He was always trying to maximize a computer's potential as a child.
His high school program for processing massive epidemiological data was 26 times faster than professionals'. Epi Info, in 13 languages, is used by the CDC. He worked on compilers as a computer science Ph.D. These apps make source code computer-readable.
Dean never wanted to work on compilers forever. He left Academia for Google, which had less than 20 employees. Dean helped found Google News and AdSense, which transformed the internet economy. He then addressed Google's biggest issue, scaling.
Growing Google faced a huge computing challenge. They developed PageRank in the late 1990s to return the most relevant search results. Google's popularity slowed machine deployment.
Dean solved problems, his specialty. He and fellow great programmer Sanjay Ghemawat created the Google File System, which distributed large data over thousands of cheap machines.
These two also created MapReduce, which let programmers handle massive data quantities on parallel machines. They could also add calculations to the search algorithm. A 2004 research article explained MapReduce, which became an industry sensation.
Several revolutionary inventions
Dean's other initiatives were also game-changers. BigTable, a petabyte-capable distributed data storage system, was based on Google File. The first global database, Spanner, stores data on millions of servers in dozens of data centers worldwide.
It underpins Gmail and AdWords. Google Translate co-founder Jeff Dean is surprising. He contributes heavily to Google News. Dean is Senior Fellow of Google Research and Health and leads Google AI.
The National Academy of Engineering elected Dean in 2009. He received the 2009 Association for Computing Machinery fellowship and the 2016 American Academy of Arts and Science fellowship. He received the 2007 ACM-SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award and the 2012 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award. Lists could continue.
A sneaky question may arrive in your mind: How much does this big brain earn? Well, most believe he is one of the highest-paid employees at Google. According to a survey, he is paid $3 million a year.
He makes espresso and chats with a small group of Googlers most mornings. Dean steams milk, another grinds, and another brews espresso. They discuss families and technology while making coffee. He thinks this little collaboration and idea-sharing keeps Google going.
“Some of us have been working together for more than 15 years,” Dean said. “We estimate that we’ve collectively made more than 20,000 cappuccinos together.”
We all know great developers and software engineers. It may inspire many.
2 months ago
Negative Effects of Working for a FAANG Company
Consider yourself lucky if your last FAANG interview was rejected.
FAANG—Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google
(I know its manga now, but watch me not care)
These big companies offer many benefits.
large salaries and benefits
high expectations for both you and your coworkers.
However, these jobs may have major drawbacks that only become apparent when you're thrown to the wolves, so it's up to you whether you see them as drawbacks or opportunities.
I know most college graduates start working at big tech companies because of their perceived coolness.
I've worked in these companies for years and can tell you what to expect if you get a job here.
Little fish in a vast ocean
The most obvious. Most billion/trillion-dollar companies employ thousands.
You may work on a small, unnoticed product part.
Directors and higher will sometimes make you redo projects they didn't communicate well without respecting your time, talent, or will to work on trivial stuff that doesn't move company needles.
Peers will only say, "Someone has to take out the trash," even though you know company resources are being wasted.
The power imbalance is frustrating.
What you can do about it
Know your WHY. Consider long-term priorities. Though riskier, I stayed in customer-facing teams because I loved building user-facing products.
This increased my impact. However, if you enjoy helping coworkers build products, you may be better suited for an internal team.
I told the Directors and Vice Presidents that their actions could waste Engineering time, even though it was unpopular. Some were receptive, some not.
I kept having tough conversations because they were good for me and the company.
However, some of my coworkers praised my candor but said they'd rather follow the boss.
An outdated piece of technology can take years to update.
Apple introduced Swift for iOS development in 2014. Most large tech companies adopted the new language after five years.
This is frustrating if you want to learn new skills and increase your market value.
Knowing that my lack of Swift practice could hurt me if I changed jobs made writing verbose Objective C painful.
What you can do about it
Work on the new technology in side projects; one engineer rewrote the Lyft app in Swift over the course of a weekend and promoted its adoption throughout the entire organization.
To integrate new technologies and determine how to combine legacy and modern code, suggest minor changes to the existing codebase.
Most managers spend their entire day in consecutive meetings.
After their last meeting, the last thing they want is another meeting to discuss your career goals.
Sometimes a manager has 15-20 reports, making it hard to communicate your impact.
Misunderstandings and stress can result.
Especially when the manager should focus on selfish parts of the team. Success won't concern them.
What you can do about it
Tell your manager that you are a self-starter and that you will pro-actively update them on your progress, especially if they aren't present at the meetings you regularly attend.
Keep being proactive and look for mentorship elsewhere if you believe your boss doesn't have enough time to work on your career goals.
Alternately, look for a team where the manager has more authority to assist you in making career decisions.
After a certain point, company loyalty can become quite harmful.
Because big tech companies create brand loyalty, too many colleagues stayed in unhealthy environments.
When you work for a well-known company and strangers compliment you, it's fun to tell your friends.
Work defines you. This can make you stay too long even though your career isn't progressing and you're unhappy.
Google may become your surname.
Workplaces are not families.
If you're unhappy, don't stay just because they gave you the paycheck to buy your first home and make you feel like you owe your life to them.
Many employees stayed too long. Though depressed and suicidal.
What you can do about it
Your life is not worth a company.
Do you want your job title and workplace to be listed on your gravestone? If not, leave if conditions deteriorate.
Recognize that change can be challenging. It's difficult to leave a job you've held for a number of years.
Ask those who have experienced this change how they handled it.
You still have a bright future if you were rejected from FAANG interviews.
Rejections only lead to amazing opportunities. If you're young and childless, work for a startup.
Companies may pay more than FAANGs. Do your research.
Ask recruiters and hiring managers tough questions about how the company and teams prioritize respectful working hours and boundaries for workers.
I know many 15-year-olds who have a lifelong dream of working at Google, and it saddens me that they're chasing a name on their resume instead of excellence.
This article is not meant to discourage you from working at these companies, but to share my experience about what HR/managers will never mention in interviews.
Read both sides before signing the big offer letter.
1 month ago
Get Real, All You Grateful Laid-Off LinkedIn Users
WTF is wrong with you people?
When I was laid off as editor of my town's daily newspaper, I went silent on social media. I knew it was coming and had been quietly removing personal items each day, but the pain was intense.
I posted a day later. I didn't bad-mouth GateHouse Media but expressed my sadness at leaving the newspaper industry, pride in my accomplishments, and hope for success in another industry.
Normal job-loss response.
What do you recognize as abnormal?
The bullshit I’ve been reading from laid-off folks on LinkedIn.
If you're there, you know. Many Twitter or Facebook/Meta employees recently lost their jobs.
Well, many of them did not “lose their job,” actually. They were “impacted by the layoffs” at their former employer. I keep seeing that phrase.
Why don’t they want to actually say it? Why the euphemism?
Many are excited about the opportunities ahead. The jobless deny being sad.
They're ecstatic! They have big plans.
Hope so. Sincerely! Being laid off stinks, especially if, like me, your skills are obsolete. It's worse if, like me, you're too old to start a new career. Ageism exists despite denials.
Nowadays, professionalism seems to demand psychotic levels of fake optimism.
Why? Life is unpredictable. That's indisputable. You shouldn't constantly complain or cry in public, but you also shouldn't pretend everything's great.
It makes you look psychotic, not positive. It's like saying at work:
“I was impacted by the death of my spouse of 20 years this week, and many of you have reached out to me, expressing your sympathy. However, I’m choosing to remember the amazing things we shared. I feel confident that there is another marriage out there for me, and after taking a quiet weekend trip to reset myself, I’ll be out there looking for the next great marital adventure! #staypositive #available #opentolove
“Now looking for our next #dreamhome after our entire neighborhood was demolished by a wildfire last night. We feel so lucky to have lived near so many amazing and inspirational neighbors, all of whom we will miss as we go on our next housing adventure. The best house for us is yet to come! If you have a great neighborhood you’d recommend, please feel free to reach out and touch base with us! #newhouse #newneighborhood #newlife
Admit it. That’s creepy.
The constant optimism makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I hate fakes.
Imagine a fake wood grain desk. Wouldn't it be better if the designer accepted that it's plastic and went with that?
Real is better but not always nice. When something isn't nice, you don't have to go into detail, but you also shouldn't pretend it's great.
How to announce your job loss to the world.
Do not pretend to be happy, but don't cry and drink vodka all afternoon.
Say you loved your job, and that you're looking for new opportunities.
Yes, if you'll miss your coworkers. Otherwise, don't badmouth. No bridge-burning!
Please specify the job you want. You may want to pivot.
Alternatively, try this.
You could always flame out.
If you've pushed yourself too far into toxic positivity, you may be ready to burn it all down. If so, make it worthwhile by writing something like this:
Well, I was shitcanned by the losers at #Acme today. That bitch Linda in HR threw me under the bus just because she saw that one of my “friends” tagged me in some beach pics on social media after I called in sick with Covid. The good thing is I will no longer have to watch my ass around that #asspincher Ron in accounting, but I’m sad that I will no longer have a cushy job with high pay or access to the primo office supplies I’ve been sneaking home for the last five years. (Those gel pens were the best!) I am going to be taking some time off to enjoy my unemployment and hammer down shots of Jägermeister but in about five months I’ll be looking for anything easy with high pay and great benefits. Reach out if you can help! #officesupplies #unemploymentrocks #drinkinglikeagirlboss #acmesucks
It beats the fake positivity.