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Copyright © 2019 Cloudbreak.


A weekly newsletter of curated links giving help, advice and opinion to leaders in teh tech industry.


Ask A Coach Event

I, along with two other experienced coaches, Karen Catlin and Stephanie Soler, will be holding an in-person event on Wednesday, April 11th at 7pm in SF.  Come along (it’s free).  Or pass this along to anybody who has questions about coaching, their work, their organization.

Experiment, Measure, Repeat – buildo blog

Loved this: building a set of management practices around experimentation and iteration, for everything.  How do we improve?  By mindful practice.  Experimentation and iteration is organized mindful practice.

Elided Branches: How Do Managers* Get Stuck?

An older post from Camille Fournier outlining how and where you might be stuck as a manager.

How teams can be more productive by killing 8-hour workday - Teambit

This is pretty interesting.  Given that most of the work we do (and manage) is creative, can be done any time, and is very hard to keep up at an intense pace for eight hours, why do we structure the working week like that?

Why do remote meetings suck so much? – Chelsea Troy

This is long(ish), but thoughtful: remote meetings cause the already-existing “interruption problem” to be worse.  If you’re running a remote group, this is worth reading, and pondering - you can probably do better.

Why Are There Always Technical Problems in Remote Meetings? – Chelsea Troy

This is also long, but you know it’s true - the five minutes of fiddling that starts every remote meeting (honorable exceptions for some fine SF companies I’ve worked with who have super-cool setups).  Can you fix it?  Yes you can.

Run Useful Meetings By Understanding These 4 Personality Types

A helpful taxonomy of personality types and how they might interact in a meeting.  Worth pondering to get a handle on what might be going off (or on) the rails.

How Not To Let All Those Blank Stares Derail Your Talk

A very simple tip, but somewhat hard to do.  Quick read, useful advice.

Luck Is a Skill Set You Can Refine

Very neat research on the “luck skillset”, and how you can develop it.  Sounds like bullshit, but isn’t.

“All of these techniques had one theme in common—being more open to your environment both physically and emotionally”

Luck Favors the - YouTube

Just watch it - it’ll only take two minutes.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

This wanders a bit, but has at least one excellent and memorable conclusion:

“Greatness always comes from someone with a finely honed craft, a craft honed to the point of muscle memory”

Hanlon's Razor: Relax, Not Everything is Out to Get You

This is pretty great:  “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by neglect”.

A cool article, with additional comments on known biases that play into how we misjudge and create (incorrect) expectations about the motivations of others (and the world).

The Man Who Coined the Dunning–Kruger Effect Says We're Most Gullible to Ourselves — Quartz

“…Dunning highlights the studies that collectively show how we repeatedly and consistently fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we do… even when there’s absolutely no evidence to support this. There are dozens of studies supporting this hypothesis…”


5 Beautiful Benefits of Analog Leadership - Soul To Work

Face to face, in-person communication is by far the most effective way to establish human connection.  Leadership is driven by human connection.  A useful, short read.

Understanding Speed and Velocity: Saying "NO" to the Non-Essential

Another reminder that doing a lot of stuff isn’t the same as getting the right stuff done.  Some good insights and suggestions here.

“Don’t rely on your willpower to say no; instead, create systems that help you fend off distractions”

To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To

A similar article, but I like the focus on attention, rather than time.  Attention is your most important resource, and it’s limited.  Use it well.

“In this frenzied work environment, accomplishing the things that are most meaningful to you doesn’t just happen. You can’t leave it to chance”

Problem Solving Steps: 3 Steps to Take Before You Take Any Steps

Neat!  A short, but insightful, and helpful read, particularly if you have one large, or too many small, problems this week.

“People can get so wrapped up in the problem of having a problem that they can’t think straight, they get tunnel vision, and any attempt to start a process will be a waste of time”

Team Leader Venn Diagram – Making Meetup – Medium

Super-helpful model for looking at how Engineering Leads, Engineering Managers and Product Management interact.  This model brings clarity to what is classically a fraught issue, without fudging the fact that the roles absolutely overlap, at times significantly.  If you haven’t got these roles clear in your team, this is essential (and you can expand it to include Design, Sales etc).

The Meaning of Snafu, Clusterfuck, and Shitshow: There's a Difference — Quartz at Work

Excellent title, and a post with some pedigree: Bob Sutton from Stanford.  Mostly concerned with Clusterfucks: what they are, how they happen.

Learn 5 Tips You Need to Tell a More Strategic Narrative

Cool article, getting to the fundamentals (“five storytelling hacks) of how to tell a story in a presentation.  (And I had no idea that Narrative Strategist is a an actual job.  Sweet!).