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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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5 Questions for Resolving Workplace Disagreements

A message pops up in the company chat channel: A new marketing idea “for discussion” from a colleague. You’re immediately irritated, because you’ve got a hundred other things on your plate and deadlines looming – but you also have strong opinions and want to ensure they’re heard. You compose a terse reply, aware that it’s lacking […]

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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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Curiosity Experiment: Who’s on Your Dream Team?

Curiosity Experiment No. 13: Dream Team

Here’s your weekly curiosity experiment: Since becoming a solopreneur, I’ve experimented with several ways of assembling smart people with shared values to strategize about my business. At first, I mostly relied on my wise and wonderful partner, David. Later, I paired up with another entrepreneur for weekly check-ins, to discuss and clarify our long-term and immediate […]

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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: Who or what in your life needs a sponsor?

Here’s your weekly curiosity experiment: A recent Washington Post article suggests that women who are paired with sponsors – mostly-male leaders who commit to introducing them to VIPs, clearing obstacles from their career paths, and grooming them for promotions – experience far greater success than women who are mentored in conventional ways (e.g. given advice). Who – or what […]

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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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