1. I am wired for pattern-matching and pattern-recognition! Software or Social Systems.
2. I understand reverse-engineering stone cold. This is the best way to discovering "cause & effect."
3. I practice having my "crucial conversations" days to weeks in advance
4. I re-read important books annually. Chief among my favorites is Machiavelli's "The Prince" on my desk for reference, which leads to
5. I usually have figured out what you're likely going to do and likely going to say and what my response will likely be three moves from now
When someone tells you what they are "not going to do", do not be dazzled by their amateur misdirection.
I recently had a conversation with a new manager who told me he was basically going "stay out of my way" -- it was the second time I'd heard that exact phrase in the past six months, first from his predecessor who did everything but. Which I understood he meant he was planning the exact opposite.
When you attempt to "lather. rinse. repeat." a highly visible pattern, especially one that has failed miserably, you have to at some point have some kind of honest inner reflection that you might not be as clever as you think you are?
Unless you work for an organization that is fiercely protective of incompetence.
Something's I've learned over my brief time here:
1. The only thing people hate more than a surprise is
2. An unplanned errand.
Today's Big Idea: "Think long and hard about your interaction with people you perceive as your subordinates. Allow for the off chance that they might just be as smart as you. And for the truly gifted, statistically speaking, one in a thousand are likely smarter than you."
That's how I've treated every team I've had the privilege of serving. It is something I learned from Steve Jobs who advocated "hiring people smarter than you" -- I've been very fortunate to have worked with a number of rock-stars who clearly outshine me!
But if you're going to try and throw someone under the bus -- I would caution you to avoid people with really long reach. Especially ones that can see you coming from a mile away...