Autonomy is the key to employee happiness and outsized performanceThe freedom that a consistent leader provides is a powerful force because having autonomy over one’s work is one of the most potent motivators of personal productivity.In 2004, psychologists, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan conducted a study of hundreds of associates at an investment bank on their job satisfaction. They found that the highest job satisfaction ratings came from employees whose bosses offered “autonomy support” — that is, acknowledgment, encouragement, and structure around getting work done as the employee determines, not the manager.The kicker is that Deci and Ryan also discovered that the employees with autonomy were not only the happiest, they were also the ones with the highest job performance.Great leadership is never about being a dramatic hero. It’s just not about you. Instead it’s about providing support to your team by being willing to be seen as boring and predictable.Provide information they need, work from their perspective, cultivate their performance by offering them the oxygen to succeed. Then they’ll have the breathing room and self-determination to shine.
Education University isn’t everything. But it is something. Everyone I know in fancypants media London claims they burned through their time at their alma mater like a packet of Rizlas, but I’m often the only person they know who didn’t go.
It’s OK to be a nerd If nerds ran the world there would be no wars. Only unconvincing battle re-enactments in meticulously correct period costume.
Love Never date anyone who is rude to waiters. (Knowing this in advance could have prevented the poisoning of five years of my life.)
Style Never buy anything to impress someone you don’t know. Never wear a T-shirt with a face on it that’s more attractive than yours. If you are ever going to wear a crop top, the time is now.
Socialising All the good bits of a night out happen before 2am. Don’t feel the need to stay up any later. Drugs have a terrible rate of return: they make you ugly, boring and ill, in that order. (The legal ones are the worst.) When talking to someone you like, don’t be nonchalant. Be complimentary. Everyone likes compliments, except dickheads, and it’s usually politic to identify them as quickly as possible.
I’ve had it with all these Activists who are just pushing for one Imperialist State over another.
These activists love to criticize American Imperialism while are astoundingly silent with american imperialism.
Well for me I say a Philippines for Filipinos. Not for China, not for the USA and even not for Japan.
After not reading my feeds for so long why does it feel that the Eternal September has ended at least for the blogosphere. Seems the stupid people have migrated elsewhere
While I believe that much about leadership can be learned, I have also come to find out that the practice of leadership is rarely successful via the application of textbook principles. As someone who has long studied, taught, and practiced leadership, trust me when I say there are thousands of leadership principles. Most of which can be found in what seems to be a million books and seminars that teach leadership and its surrounding ideology.
However, what it really comes down to isn’t the leaders in depth training and knowledge of leadership practices. Where the rubber truly meets the road are the inherent actions and subconscious beliefs of the leader. These make all the difference in the world and while there are countless things that individual leaders do drive performance and behavior, there are also some things that are more consistent among strong leaders. Here are 6 that I have identified so far.
Sometimes we feel alien in our own society. That’s what drew me into watching foreign films. Filipino culture sometimes tends to be less retrospective too permissive and yet too suffocating that seeing a different perspective, a new perspective can breath fresh air to a thousand conversations done thousands of times with different people on the same inane things.
his is the accompanying column for the Steve Nash video series The Finish Line. If you want to watch the video before reading the piece, click here.
Steve Nash wears no. 10 for the Lakers, but it’s really 9.3. Next season, that turns into 9.7. Those are the numbers Lakers fans see. They see a walking cap figure.
You can’t blame them for feeling that way. The Internet changed the way we consume professional basketball. Whenever Blake Griffin unleashes a hellacious dunk, you can locate it on YouTube within eight minutes. If you’re dreaming about your favorite team stealing Kyrie Irving from the foundering Cavs, you can create fake Kyrie trades on the Trade Machine for hours. If you want to find every NBA salary from LeBron James to James Johnson, Sham Sports has them shaded in multiple colors.
Everyone talks about how difficult it is to hire great software engineers in the Valley. And it is. But nobody’s talking about how hard — really hard — it is to find good engineering managers. While good engineers might be famously tough to hire, at least they’re easy to find. Good engineering managers, on the other hand, are practically impossible to find.
This is a problem I’ve had to grapple with a lot lately, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the cause. Why is it so difficult to find these people? If there’s a lot of demand for them by so many companies, shouldn’t the supply gradually be going up — lots of talented people wanting the job? For the longest time, I just assumed I was looking in the wrong places. But recently I’ve come to a different conclusion: They don’t exist.
Why? Well, the implicit aim of most functions in a company is to get further up the hierarchy. To have more influence. To become the “boss”. To lead people. But engineers are… different. Unlike virtually every other function in a software company, engineers — particularly the good ones – don’t want to move up. This means that the people who want the engineering manager role are unlikely to be very good at it; and those who could be good at it don’t want anything to do with it at all.
Let’s dig into this. When you think about where engineering managers can come from, you divide the pool into two.
Pool one is made up of those engineers that want to become engineering managers because they want to “move up.” The irony is, these are the people that you don’t want. They fail to understand that going from engineer to engineering manager isn’t a decision to move up — it’s a decision to move down. Becoming an engineering manager means that you now work for your engineers — not the other way around. The engineers in this pool are the ones that have never been heard. That were never the leaders inside their teams. They think management is their opportunity to make decisions. Now, they can “call the shots.”
All the wrong reasons
There are a lot of managers like this out there. How did they become managers in the first place? Well, particularly in big organizations, they did so by being organized, by keeping track of what everyone was working on, by focusing on deadlines. I interview a lot of these individuals. They tend to be weaker technically, and have a condescending way of referring to the engineers they “manage.” They wear the number of engineers in their organizations with pride: “At one point, almost 100 engineers reported up to me!”
In pool two, you have the rest of the engineers. If you’re lucky, you have good ones. Within this group hides a breed of engineers that has the potential to be great engineering managers. They tend to be very technically competent. They exert their leadership almost unconsciously through code, through conversations, and by helping others in the team and across the organization. They have a sense of ownership that is broader than their daily tasks. They cannot stand others not caring in the same way. They get pissed when they see people not trying hard — or going through the motions without understanding why they’re doing what they’re doing.
More than managers, they’re leaders.
Even though they don’t have much formal authority, engineers like this have a lot of influence. That dynamic means they have very little motivation to want to move up in an organization. Taking on the role of a manager means giving up time doing what they love — solving challenging technical problems — in exchange for what they see as taking out the trash every night. Meetings, performance reviews, managing other people’s deadlines.
So why would they want to do this? Or better yet, how do you help them realize that management can be fulfilling, and not just busywork? Good question. And I’d love your thoughts.
They Limit Their Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.
I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.
Check out the final list of books in alphabetical order below.
“1984″ by George Orwell
“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking
“A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers
“A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah
“A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived Edition” by Lemony Snicket
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
“Alice Munro: Selected Stories” by Alice Munro
“Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
“All the President’s Men” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
“Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir” by Frank McCourt
“Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret” by Judy Blume
“Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison
“Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” by Christopher McDougall
“Breath, Eyes, Memory” by Edwidge Danticat
“Catch-22″ by Joseph Heller
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
“Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese
“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brene Brown
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1″ by Jeff Kinney
“Dune” by Frank Herbert
“Fahrenheit 451″ by Ray Bradbury
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream” by Hunter S. Thompson
“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown
“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
“Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” by Jared M. Diamond
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
“In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote
“Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison
“Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth” by Chris Ware
“Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain
“Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson
“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov
“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
“Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris
“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
“Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie
“Moneyball” by Michael Lewis
“Of Human Bondage” by W. Somerset Maugham
“On the Road” by Jack Kerouac
“Out of Africa” by Isak Dinesen
“Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi
“Portnoy’s Complaint” by Philip Roth
“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
“Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson
“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
“Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
“The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton
“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon
“The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz
“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
“The Color of Water” by James McBride
“The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen
“The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America” by Erik Larson
“The Diary of Anne Frank” by Anne Frank
“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
“The Giver” by Lois Lowry
“The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
“The House At Pooh Corner” by A. A. Milne
“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
“The Liars’ Club: A Memoir” by Mary Karr
“The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)” by Rick Riordan
“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“The Long Goodbye” by Raymond Chandler
“The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11″ by Lawrence Wright
“The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien
“The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales” by Oliver Sacks
“The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” by Michael Pollan
“The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster
“The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel” by Barbara Kingsolver
“The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York” by Robert A. Caro
“The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe
“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt
“The Shining” by Stephen King
“The Stranger” by Albert Camus
“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
“The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame
“The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel” by Haruki Murakami
“The World According to Garp” by John Irving
“The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
“Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand
“Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susann
“Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.