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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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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 cheesy 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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Being an Expert Isn’t About Knowing the Answers.

Photo of a curled blade of grass with reflective water droplets

I’m betting that you’re an expert in what you do, and you possess a lot of answers to challenging questions. Moreover, you probably enjoy answering questions about your area of expertise – and your customers likely come to you with questions that are nagging at them. The questions you hear might sound something like this: […]

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Your Deliverables Are Not Your Value.

Graphic illustrating three layers: Execution, Process, and Deep Collaboration

My father is a bit of a genealogy nut, and I remember the day he came home and joyfully announced that he had discovered a writeup about the Bacon family crest in some old history book. (Despite the porcine nature of our surname, there are a couple of famous Bacons: Kevin, of course, but also […]

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It’s Here! My New E-Book on Asking Better Questions

Close-up of a red cactus

What does it take to create a masterpiece? A home run? A collaboration that takes flight? What are the secret ingredients that make the difference between a project that’s just okay, and an extraordinary one? I’ve wrestled with this question for years – and I know many of you have, too. I talk to a […]

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Announcing Curious for a Living: A guide to doing greater work, loving up your customers, and becoming indispensable.

Curious for a Living book cover (cropped)

Over the past few months, I have been quietly working away at a project that brings me great joy – the kind of joy that comes from doing work you love with all your heart, for people you adore, and that you know has the potential for huge impact. It’s almost ready to be unveiled. […]

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Getting Real About the Gender Ratio in Tech: What the Numbers Reveal

Photo of a woman's hands typing on a keyboard

I have a new piece in Quartz today, on Tracy Chou’s excellent Women in Software Engineering project. In just two weeks, she’s collected data on gender diversity in 84 companies’ engineering teams. It’s growing daily, with contributions from company employees doing head counts as well as volunteers combing companies’ websites for info. Why, you might […]

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Why Pinterest is Seriously Valuable (and What It’s Teaching Men in Power)

Pinterest screen capture

Pinterest has just closed a big funding round – $225 million – and has posted its current valuation at $3.8 billion. The digital world is all abuzz about it. And I notice that many of the online commentators seem surprised – shocked, even – by that valuation. This parallels my experience talking to friends about […]

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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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