I am so glad I bought and read Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s latest book It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. The book is a collection of succinct and insightful essays on how to work calmly and effectively. Alongside those, it teaches great lessons on leadership which ties into how Jason and DHH run their company, Basecamp. I feel lucky to have found and read book at this stage in my career. I loved the book so much that and I am keeping it as my go-to leadership handbook.
The essays are quick and easy to read. I think their ideas are nonconformist. Yet they don’t sound weird and make perfect sense.
I also enjoy reading their blog Signal v. Noise where they share great posts that overlap with some of the book’s content. I specifically recommend Jason’s articles on iterating and flip-flopping which are close to my beliefs.
I also recently listened to Jason’s Hurry Slowly episode and loved it. I am yet to get to his Tim Ferriss Show episode but I know it is going to be a great masterclass which I am saving up for later.
I highly recommend this book because you will learn loads of ideas on how to run a calm team and have a calm career; which seems daunting in this fast-paced and hustle-loving world. This book may shatter all the notions you have about what it means to have a great career.
Over the past few years, the following foundational skills have helped me shape my career. I am not going to perfect them anytime soon but I think I don’t have to. I believe these skills takes life-long practice and I really don’t want to get done with them. I think it would be silly of me to think that someday I will master them all. I probably won’t. But by simply being aware and practicing them, I feel like I can adopt growth mindset and get better in my life and career.
Regardless of what I do, being indistracable and being able to focus on the task at hand for longer periods of time is a great skill. It is hard; if it isn’t everyone would do it. Being able to focus gives me a great competitive advantage, so I think it is very well worth learning how to be focussed. I learned that even a few focus blocks each week makes me highly productive and effective. Having said this, it is really hard. I fail more often than I would like to believe. But that’s the challenge I signed up for.
Willingness to ask and accept feedback without getting defensive is another essential skill to develop. It sounds simple. But being told on the face that you have a lot of room for improvement —which is generally true in most cases— is inconvenient and deeply cuts through my most precious possession called ego. But however harsh it may sound, feedback on how I can improve is exactly what I need to get ahead. So I consider feedback as a gift. To get ahead in life, I need tough love, not being told how awesome I am. That’s why I am always open for feedback.
Flip-flop and iterate
It takes a lot of courage to be comfortable with changing my mind and ideas often. Everything around me is changing constantly. So should my ideas and opinions, I think. I am not obliged to stick with anything just because I felt certain way at certain point in time. Rather than being dogged about my ideas, I found that being open, adapting to feedback and iterating has helped me do cool things.
Can you think of any other skills that are useful regardless of what we do?
Next time I will share what I believe are foundational habits and how I learned about them.
Also, this is my first attempt with a cheesy clickbait title 😉
Feeling fired up and immensely grateful.
Tad tired after an amazing week but at least I got to hangout for a few hours with two of my brothers on my way home.
I will keep the 🔥 glowing.
Failing this week to eat mindfully, sleep restfully, and exercise intensely. For a good reason.
Today I learned these three important things about myself (and others).
- You will make mistakes.
- You have complex intentions.
- You have contributed to the problem.
Looking forward to meet many of my lovely coworkers for a week long fun, learning and general awesomeness!
Just watched this useful video.
Being indistractable is a super power. Nir Eyal started out his Mind the Product SF 2018 presentation by sharing that in the five years since his book Hooked came out he’s kept up with everything, gathered feedback, and learned even more about the neuroscience and behavior that drives our motivations and attention. My main takeaway […]
via (Video) Indistractable, Nir Eyal — The Sensible Leader
I am not sure why I did not realize yet, but I became an appreciator of avocado toast!
Glad that I realized it just before the harvest season for Hass avocados (the main variety of avocados in New Zealand), September to April. Yet another reason to look forward to spring and then summer!