Posts tagged with: advice

My best advice and lesson from 2015: Cull toxic relationships.

2015 has been a wild ride and major pivot point in my life. It was filled with many new adventures, many amazing successes, a massive career shift and the end to two long-term and toxic relationships that have exponentially changed me. If there’s any advice I could give my past (and future) self, it would be to cut ties with toxic and self destructive things. Life is just far too short.

I know people say this a lot because it will just infect you like a cancer and it almost becomes white noise. I tended to ignore it sometimes because I always wanted to hold tight and work through challenges and try to make things better than I’ve found them. My whole career has been focused on improving organizations that are in trouble or lost on digital — and we *have* made things better and achieved a lot, most of the time.

But along with that, you also need to know that some things you just can’t fix and if you don’t let them go, they will pull you into the quicksand with them. I’m still reeling from how much Stockholm Syndrome I had, how much I invested to try and fix an unfixable thing, and how much I wish I had cut ties so much earlier. …But such is life. Now I have a new, much more positive one and am seeking out and surrounding myself with more diverse, positive, high-achievers that will challenge me in good ways and help me become more excellent.

Onward and upward, to 2016!

Some of the best management advice I’ve seen this year from an Imgur product director

One of the best posts of management advice I’ve seen this year so far is, “21 management things I learned at Imgur,” from Sam Gerstenzang, a former product director at Imgur now at the tech investment firm a16z, which reminded me  of and reinforced a lot of hard lessons I’ve learned over the years.

There’s so much in this succinct piece that’s valuable but a handful of the first three are really hitting home right now (I’m dealing with an unmotivated person on a side project):

1. It’s terribly difficult to manage unmotivated people. Make your job easier and don’t.

2. Different people need different kinds of management. Be adaptable to figure out what drives each person’s best performance.

6. Fire quickly. If you don’t fire bad performers fast, you’re at risk of losing your good performers. Don’t underestimate the effect bad performers have on good performers. Your team will likely move faster even with fewer bodies. Finally, firing for bad performance is easier than having to fire good people because you’ve run out of money, so fire the bad people before you have to fire the good people too.

Check out the full list and save it to back to periodically. Repetition is sometimes necessary to learn these hard management lessons.