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ADAM’S BLOG

All posts from August 2018

263: Do they fit your team? ​

How do we know? What do they need?

  • Skills: We can teach these. If we (and they) are prepared to do the work. It’s worth our time if they have the right…
  • Attitude: We can’t teach this, no matter how hard we try. Those with the right attitude are worth training if they can tolerate…
  • Pain: Don’t teach pain tolerance, that’s called torture. Some of us can simply endure hardships longer than others. For teams doing meaningful work for the long-haul, that’s a valuable trait.

You bring the mission and the training. They bring the attitude and thick-skin. That’s the deal.

262: The simpler version ​

It takes a lot more work to make less:

  • A great new project idea: What’s the simpler version? 80% of what we think is “necessary” may actually be entirely surplus. What can we throw out?
  • A genius approach to a problem: What’s the simpler version? Most solutions are over-engineered and over-complicated. How can yours be simplified?
  • A new system for your work: What’s the simpler version? What if we were to take out this entire section over here, what happens then?

Complexity gives us permission to get stuck.

The simpler version is harder to make–it takes more confidence–but removes all the excuses.

 

261: Doing the wrong work

What do you think about at 5am?

Is it something that moves you forward or something that holds you back?

  • The wrong work: Founders worrying about client relationships instead of an Account Manager. Account Managers worrying about writers using the right tone instead of the Writers. Writers worrying about ad targeting instead of the Ad Manager.
  • The right work: Founders pondering how to further realize the vision within the team. Account Managers pondering how to make their clients feel extra-special. Writers and Advertisers collaborating to go deeper for their readers. 

Same people, vastly different focus. When we focus on doing the right work, value germinates, starting at 5am.

260: Your mind is like your computer desktop ​

If it’s a mess, you won’t find anything:

  • Focus or Forgetful: There’s no such thing as a good or bad memory, only an organized or disorganized mind. “Good memory” is merely a byproduct of an organized mind.
  • Files you were sent: But aren’t yours to keep. Things that are better off with a team member, otherwise it’ll only distract you from doing your best work. Send it on, and move it to trash.
  • You can’t see your desktop wallpaper anymore: The things you love to see and do become obscured by “stuff” you shouldn’t be holding on to.

What’s your desktop look like right now? If you’ve got stuff all over it, consider the state of your mind, too.

 

259: You’ve got (more) problems ​

We all solve problems in the marketplace. But we may not always know how many:

  • “I need X” is a problem. This is how most of us recognize the problem our teams solve.
  • “I need X that can Y” is two problems. Often there’s a second problem buried within the first, such as a result it creates.
  • “I need X that can Y by Z” is three problems. Deadline control is a renderable service, where new stakeholders may need managing.​

There’s normally more than one problem we solve. More clarity over that enables us to better solve–and be compensated for–our team’s work.

258: Don’t leave it to Chance ​

“What Chance has made yours is not really yours” – Seneca

Does leaving things to Chance make you nervous?

Good; chance is a fickle mistress, and not to be trusted:

  • Your competitor may have Chance on their side: And so they’re in the news more, or are more profitable, or have bigger offices. Good for them! But…
  • She giveth and taketh away: The news may fade, the office may become a liability. The fickle nature of Chance’s gifts makes them unreliable.
  • Lasting change doesn’t flirt with Chance: Systemize news. Systemize profits. Things that grow slowly in nature also live the longest.

Teams last when we don’t take venture capital from lady Chance.