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The Prerequisite to a Meaningful Business Plan? Know What Moves You.

Defining Success with Lauren Bacon at Lynda.com

In our clearest moments, entrepreneurs know we don’t do it for the money. Money’s a part of it, sure. But money isn’t the main fuel for our fire. We don’t start businesses to win accolades or to see our names accessorized with “Founder” or “CEO.” We start businesses to change something: something in our own lives that […]

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Where Do You Defer Authority?

Curiosity Experiment No. 24: Authority

Peter Drucker, the Austrian-American expert on management who was one of the more influential “thought leaders” in 20th century business circles – and who Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine called “the guru’s guru” – once dismissed such labels with a sharp smack: “We are using the word ‘guru’ only because ‘charlatan’ is too long to fit into a headline.”  Dial […]

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Why I Quit Coding: The Pain and Pleasure of Focus

Photo of a focus frame from a film strip

Last month, I sat in a dark auditorium in Austin, watching Edward Snowden in conversation with the ACLU’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian, and getting pretty wound up about the implications of blanket state surveillance of the internet. And I thought to myself: I should really go back into coding.  This isn’t an uncommon thought for […]

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It’s Different for Leaders: Lessons from Mozilla’s CEO Appointment

Photo by Tom Gill

Mozilla appointed a new CEO, Brendan Eich, last week, and a lot of good people are feeling troubled by it. They’re wrestling with wildly conflicted feelings and convictions. They’re doing the hard work of trying to reconcile their deeply-held respect for diversity and freedom with itself, as freedoms of belief and expression hit painfully up […]

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Hands-on Help for Impostor Syndrome

Photo of spotlight illuminating a red curtain

Ambition and conscientiousness aren’t always the most comfortable bedfellows. When you have high standards of integrity, and big dreams for getting your work out into the world, the inside of your head can feel like a long, high-velocity tennis match. You want to reach higher – and you want to stay grounded. You long to […]

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Ken Blanchard Just Got Spiritual on Your Ass

Photo: Ken Blanchard at TedXSanDiego

I had occasion this week to refer to Ken Blanchard’s bestselling book, The One-Minute Manager, which is an excellent book on leading teams disguised as a corny parable. (There are a lot of good business books I’d love to rewrite for people with a sense of irony, but I digress.) As I was Googling Mr. Blanchard, I […]

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Curiosity Experiment: Trusting Yourself

Curiosity Experiment No. 11: Trust

Here’s your weekly curiosity experiment: The past year has given me many opportunities to learn about the power of reframing – that is, the way a situation can change rather dramatically when we shift the energy and interpretation we bring to it. A simple example might be waiting in a slow-moving line at the grocery store: […]

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Curiosity Experiment: On Amanda Palmer and hosting good conversations

Here’s your weekly curiosity experiment: Musician Amanda Palmer has nearly a million followers on Twitter. She told me that she sometimes gets criticized for “over-retweeting”: that is, excessively posting tweets from other people. But she sees this as an important part of her role as a convener of conversations: to lift up the perspectives she feels are […]

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Why You’re (Micro)Managing Too Much – And How to Stop

Photo of pen doodles

He’s a wonderful guy – he just needs a little more technical training to get him up to speed. I can see so much potential in her – if only she could develop some better habits in her phone manner when talking to our customers. I just wish I had more time to devote to […]

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How Great Leaders Inspire Engagement and Solve Problems Faster

Abstract black-and-white image of feedback waves

Like most people in the tech sector, I’ve worked for my share of young, inexperienced bosses – young turks who’d gotten ahead by being brilliant at one aspect or another of their business, but who hadn’t managed a team of people before. After a few years of grumbling about what they ought to be doing […]

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