Strong beliefs, held loosely

As people managers, we often talk about creating an environment where each employee “feels like an owner.” We give out stock options, talk about aligned destiny (we all sink together or rise together in this startup!) and hire people who want to control their own future.   We accept the idea of ownership as an unbiased, […]

Ragnar Lothbrok vs Ira Glass: The Spectrum of Leadership

There are two kinds of leaders. One propels the team forward, aggressively tackling every problem. Fighting like hell to push everyone beyond the realm of possibility, exploding the obstacles along the way, motivating everyone with a battle cry and personally demonstrating what it truly means to struggle and win. Another creates emotional safety, an environment […]

The Wrong Incentives Are Killing Your Marketing

CEOs have complained for decades that half of marketing spend is wasted, and we don’t know which half. Despite the move to digital, the massive amount of data that Google and Facebook have collected about each of us and the near-Orwellian AI systems that can automatically pick a face in the crowd, we are close to where we started, with […]

Line-Drawing Fallacy and Accountability

There’s a beautiful logical paradox, a line-drawing fallacy:  it’s difficult to tell when quantity transforms into quality. Which of the cuts killed an elephant?.. Which of the thousand-dollar checks made a company go bankrupt?.. It’s so difficult to tell when an incremental, continuous process turns the corner and radically changes its character, and a temptation […]