Leadership at the Expansion Stage

From: Leadership at the Expansion Stage: Dos and Dont’s

The key defining attribute of expansion stage organizations is that they are expanding rapidly to capture a market opportunity and capitalize on their product or distribution advantage. It then behooves the leader to be even more aware of the rapidly changing circumstances, especially when it comes to how they affect the wants and needs of his or her constituencies (customers, partners and employees).

Being generally resource-constrained, younger companies typically try to stretch their people, encouraging them to wear many hats and multi-task, and of course no one is more overloaded than the CEO and his or her management team. In such a situation, it is very easy to focus on hard KPIs such as sales, marketing return, net promoter score, etc., and rely on those numbers and trends alone to manage the company. Yes, those numbers are good indicators to help one “manage“ a business “” planning projects, organizing people to execute according to a plan, controlling the pace of the project and ensuring its output. But that is not leading! It’s just supervising the execution of a plan. To really assess the situation, numbers alone are not enough because they do not tell the whole story “” especially the human dimension “” and it requires the leader to be extremely perceptive and responsive to changing circumstances in order to push the company ahead.

So much easier said than done.

deceiving many of our constituents

“What is really amazing is that some (Senate) members are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation ““ and that is foolish,” McCain said.

“That is worse than foolish,” he continued. “That is deceiving many of our constituents.”

“To hold out and say we won’t agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, it’s unfair, it’s bizarre,” McCain added. “And maybe some people who have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe that. Others know better.”

– John McCain (source)

simple shots that I like

Sometimes it is a still life-ish photo that resonates with me. They don’t get much traffic on Flickr. But I really like these two:

the TECH cafe

spied

sticking your neck out, sometimes you get hit

Had an interesting conversation with a friend tonight. Lots of topics. Towards the end I found the conversation turning to Julia Allison’s lip dubs. And I respect that. Stick your neck out. Julia does that. I don’t know her, but my bet is if you were going into combat, you’d want that lady on your side.

“Trying to get up that great big hill of hope, for a destination.”

Ski Dub: 4 Non Blonde’s “What’s Going On!?” from Julia Allison on Vimeo.

And when you stick your neck out, you get haters. Which sucks. But there it is. I guess I am still small time because my haters just send me anonymous facebook messages. As for Julia, I really hope this contract was a big one. Haters be damned.

too much consensus and not enough dissent

It’s a red flag to me if there’s just too much consensus and not enough dissent. I feel like in any human community there’s always dissent because people just disagree. Anytime there doesn’t appear to be dissent, it means that the corporate culture has just shifted way too much toward consensus. That means the leadership just doesn’t welcome dissent enough.

– David Sacks, formerly of PayPal and now with Yammer (source: NY Times)

On Hegel’s Dialetic and Husserl’s Epoche

Woke up thinking about this stuff from days gone by, so consider these notes to myself.

From a Simple Explanation of Hegel’s (1770 – 1831) Dialetic by Tanasije Gjorgoski

The analogy would work with the notions of “Left“ and “Right“…. There is nothing that distinguishes them internally. The half-space that we named Left can be Right, and the half-space that we named Right can be also Left.

It is in this abstract symmetry where different notions become equal. (or more general produce a contradiction of some kind)

But for sure Left and Right as notions are not equal, they have different meaning. So, we are brought to a contradiction, they are different, but also they are equal.

This contradiction is resolved by externalities;

The resolution is based on really simple principle ““ if the distinction between two universals is not in them taken alone, then their difference is something outside of them.

Hence the role of an external “observer” to break the symmetry.

On phenomenology from the Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) entry on Wikipedia.

Husserl made some key conceptual elaborations which led him to assert that in order to study the structure of consciousness, one would have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the objects as intended). Knowledge of essences would only be possible by “bracketing” all assumptions about the existence of an external world. This procedure he called epoche.

And Stanford’s entry on Phenomenology continues

We are to practice phenomenology, Husserl proposed, by “bracketing“ the question of the existence of the natural world around us….

Consider my visual experience wherein I see a tree across the square. In phenomenological reflection, we need not concern ourselves with whether the tree exists: my experience is of a tree whether or not such a tree exists. However, we do need to concern ourselves with how the object is meant or intended. I see a Eucalyptus tree, not a Yucca tree; I see that object as a Eucalyptus, with a certain shape, with bark stripping off, etc. Thus, bracketing the tree itself, we turn our attention to my experience of the tree, and specifically to the content or meaning in my experience.

Which, in pop-culture, is probably best explained by The Matrix

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

It’s incredibly selfish if you think about it. If I imagine the spoon bending, it is bending because I am the external observer of said spoon. Or Eucalyptus tree if you wish.

tantrum

“We don’t need to tell the rest of the world that anytime people in Congress start throwing a tantrum that we’re not going to pay our bills.” – Warren Buffett

The Rule of Consistency and Why You Are Being Played

You are being played to keep you on the corporate teet photo of a photo of a foxand make sure you don’t rise up. You have been convinced to do what you are told at a level that you no longer even realize it. Yes. You.

There is no one “the man” that is keeping us down. It’s the entire empire. The one that tells the black man he has to argue with another black man about “whose parents were worse and whose childhood was worse.” (see original and “you ain’t never been on probation“)  The “man” that tells the country kids about the working man blues. The one that sings Narcocorrido to our youth on both sides of the border.

Humans are persuaded by a variety of means. This author gives us the six laws of persuasion. Reciprocation, Commitment, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity.

Example: Most people are aware of the power of reciprocity, which is why they are so eager to give you a cookie when you go into a furniture store or buy you a free coke at the car dealership. Once we say yes, we owe them. The fact that we don’t OWE them enough to buy a 30k car is besides the point, there is nothing else we can give them to repay the favor when we are in their offices. So a free coke and a free cookie really do increase sales.

You, we, us – we are being played. NoLogo indeed.

I Just Need a Website, That’s All I Need

caller: I was calling about a web site

developer: cool, that’s what we do. how can I help?

caller: I have a simple site and I need some updates. not much really, just a few changes. is that something you do?

developer: yes, what is the url?

caller: well I’ll need you to sign an NDA before I give you the url. can I fax it over?

developer: no (thinks: “do I still have a fax to email gateway working? hmmm”)

caller: what?

developer: we just met and you want to fist bump attorneys?

caller: no, i just don’t know how else to protect my intellectual property!

developer: you have a site now, right?

caller: yes

developer: live on the internet?

caller: yes

developer: …… long pause…..

caller: ok, I see your point.

…. 45 minutes of spec requests and contract pre-negotiation convo takes place here….

caller: so basically that’s it. my brother-in-law said he could build it for $225 dollars but I wanted to call around and get a few options to see if I could reduce the cost. He’s not very good actually.

Thoughts going through your head as the dev:

  1. developer (option 1): so you have a job board and you want to enhance a few features of monster.com to allow for a commission and affiliate structure?
  2. developer (option 2): so you have a great e-commerce idea, have been reviewing amazon.com and found a few ways to improve on their theories to sell widgets?
  3. developer (opti0n 3): so you want to have a self sustaining site that makes you money with no effort invested while you work at your current job realizing the money-for-nothing potential advertised on TV?

Resolution: have you heard of Crowdspring?

#respect #withAllDueRespect