We are verbs, not nouns

In conversations with managers, I often hear people say something like “Well, I can’t help myself, that’s who I am, I’m” an engineer / a finance person / a lawyer, etc.

I share Stephen Fry’s consideration in The Guardian:

“We are not nouns, we are verbs.

I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next.

I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.”

A first-person account of switching from engineer to manager

David Chua on Medium:

“Don’t do it if you consider it a promotion. (…)

Also don’t do it if you want to micromanage or control your team members, or want the authority to correct bad behaviour. There are other ways to solve that problem that don’t involve switching your day-to-day work entirely. (…)

However,

If removing blockers, helping others to grow, building alignment across cross-functional teams, and resolving conflict is more fulfilling than writing code and solving technical challenges, then the management track is something you might enjoy”.

“The mindset of improving how your team functions, rather than giving up and trying to do everything yourself, is a key trait of a leader and team player. Having a fancy job title doesn’t make you a leader, and being the manager can in some ways make it harder to lead as people tend to build some distance between themselves and their managers.”

View at Medium.com

Thank you Mom!

CEO unable to explain how one of his low-paid employees should budget her salary

 

Cultivate extreme indifference to both praise and blame

John Berryman’s advice to writers:

I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.

Vanity and self-pity are bad for any professional.

h/t to Maria Popova

10 things you don’t know about yourself

You probably do not understand yourself as well as you think you do.

  1. Your perspective on yourself is distorted,
  2. Your motives are often a complete mystery to you,
  3. Outward appearances tell people a lot about you,
  4. Gaining some distance can help you know yourself better,
  5. We too often think we are better at something than we are,
  6. People who tear themselves down experience setbacks more frequently,
  7. You deceive yourself without realizing it,
  8. The “true self” is good for you,
  9. Insecure people tend to behave more morally,
  10. If you think of yourself as flexible, you will do much better.

 

More here.

Indra Nooyi on how to get more women in the C-suite

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, in the New York Times:

The issue is not women in the C-suite, it’s a leaky pipeline. The pipeline is leaking at the early stages. Because we get enough women coming into the work force in various stages. But by the time they get to Level 2 and Level 3, they just drop out of the work force for several reasons.

One that can be addressed quickly is this tremendous unconscious bias. On top of that, the time that they get to Level 2 in a company is when they will have families, and many companies are not mandated to give parental leave. People just drop out of the work force, and then we wonder why they don’t go up to the top. We can ill afford to be a country where women drop out of the work force.

More here.