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Title / Author
Notes

Blink

Malcolm Gladwell
Notes

Ineffective decision making is often the consequence of taking in too much information. Using analytical, conscious thinking is effective but frugality also matters.

Successful decision making is a balance of conscious and unconscious thinking.

When we process information on first impression, our initial judgement is created in the blink of an eye by our unconscious thinking. Deep, high level information is filtered through narrow slices of our emotions, experiences, and biases to arrive at an accurate, initial judgement of where we want the interaction to go.

This is the concept of thin-slicing: the use of our unconscious to find patterns in situations, quickly pick out information, and leave out the rest. It’s the moment we know something before we know why because your brain already reaches conclusions without telling you.

The disadvantage of using rapid intuition is the biases themselves, which can be formed by stress, time pressure, and emotions that can blind ourselves to vital understandings and not knowing what to consider/what not to consider.

Application

Your intuition affects your experience of the world. Become aware of your own thinking process and practice your decision making in stressful situations by slowing down and understanding the difference between your unconscious and conscious states.

The value of speed in decision making is obvious based on the situation and profession. Unconscious thinking processes is a skill, and like any skill, can be improved with deliberate practice.

When applied to product design, the additional time and placement of features and experiences we deliberately create will impact the user’s unconscious judgements. If you want people to know that you care about them, think about how they thin-slice their first impression of you. What suggestions are you using to prime their mind?

Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Without thinking too much - what is your initial gut reaction? Capture it and reflect on the experiences that may have influenced your biases.

  • What unconsciously motivated behaviors can you identify?

  • What biases are created by your own experiences and emotions?

Competing Against Luck

Clayton M Christensen
Notes

How do you develop products that customers want and need? The answer can be found in the “Jobs to Be Done” theory of innovation.

Jobs to Be Done holds that people buy products and services to get a job done. People hire and fire products in the process of getting their job faster/better/cheaper.

With this in mind, your competitors are not only other products, but the inaction that people have within the progress they make towards their job to be done.

When applied to product design, a jobs-to-be-done analysis helps you determine which new ideas and features will help your users get their job done best:

Questions to Ask Yourself
  • When using your product, what are you trying to accomplish?

  • Where are your users struggling to get their job done?

  • How is the quality of the job evaluated? What is measured?

Framework

We help customer X do the job of Y so that they can achieve Z

Essentialism

Greg McKeown
Notes

Living your life by design, and not by default is the discipline written by McKeown. It’s not merely a way to do one thing or less things; it’s a different way of doing everything though a different way of thinking.

Achieve more from your work by thinking about getting the right things done and routinely subtract the obstacles and constraints.

Questions to Ask Yourself

For every decision you consider:

  • What’s the most important thing to do to progress towards your goal?

  • How would you rate the decision out of 100 based on your most important goal?

If your rating is below 90%, then simply say no to doing it because it will slow you down.

Framework

Identify what is essential. Then, remove or outsource everything else

Good to Great

Jim Collins
Notes

Doing what you are good at will only make you good. In this book, great companies are differentiated by:

  • The quality of leadership,

  • The right people and talent,

  • Cultural discipline,

  • The ability to consistently be the best in the world at what they do.

How can you become a great company? It begins with confronting the brutal, realistic facts of each concept above.

Confront the brutal facts
  • Leadership: is your responsibility defined by the success of the organization? Or by your own achievements?

  • The right people in the right seats: before any strategy is in place, what are your people motivated by?

  • Confronting the brutal facts: what should we be worried about? What does the data show about our problems?

  • What can you consistently be the best in the world at, based on financial return and operational efficiency?

Framework

Good Company + X⁴ = Great Company

Measure What Matters

John Doerr
Notes

Imagine your best possible outcome. What do you need to do to get there?

Objectives and Key Results is a goal system designed to help you create measurable process, consistent growth, and most importantly: aligned, focused efforts on the goals that matter most.

Application

To write effective OKRs, the Objective must be realistic, large, and create significant value.

Key Results are how you get to the Objective. They must be verifiable, measurable, specific, and time-bound. Effective Key Results are aggressive and two to five should be assigned per Objective.

Defining your OKRs
  • Objective: what is your starting point?

  • Objective: what does the end result look like, and how is it defined?

  • Key Result: what is the most important thing you can do by a specific date that makes a significant difference?

Framework

I will achieve X objective, as measured by A, B, and C results

The Everything Store

Brad Stone
Coming in November

The Innovator's Dilemma

Clayton M Christensen
Coming in November

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman
Coming in December

Trillion Dollar Coach

Alan Eagle, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg
Notes

The world faces many challenges that can only be solved by great teams - and those great teams need great coaches.

To become your own version of great, you need to create your own yardstick. Bill Campbell’s yardstick was measured by how many great leaders he’s helped and influenced. Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg, Steve Jobs, and Larry Page have all worked with Bill - and he’s played an instrumental role in the growth of many more successful companies. His legacy is unmatched, and the reason is found in his management wisdom.

Being an executive of a successful company is all about management - about creating operational excellence and making sure your teams deliver. Results are a direct result of good management that brings people together by making them feel valued.

Bill's Playbook
  • Your title makes you a manager. Your people make you a leader. To help people flourish in your environment, you can only go so far by telling them what to do. Instead, teach people how to think - not what to think. Leaders accrue respect through their humility, sensitivity, and selflessness - all of which can be demonstrated by letting people know that you care (listen well) and using your time and resources to maximize their well-being (work the team to work the problem).

  • Bill found value in unexpected places by helping leaders approach decisions based on First Principles (what is the most fundamental truth that we can agree on? What is the next fundamental truth?).
    When things go south, guide your decisions by resisting the politics, processes, and previous work. Copying things that already work only helps you move horizontally (to places that people have been before; only to reach outcomes that are limited by the process that’s designed to achieve them). Instead - break down problems into important, proven truths, and build new theories and solutions from there.

  • Positive human values generate positive business outcomes.
    When it comes to team coaching, Bill grasped an essential truth: he focused on the things that we all care about as people: love, family, money, attention, power, meaning, and purpose. These values are factors in any business situation. To create effective teams, you must pay attention and understand these human values, regardless of age, experience, or status.

Framework

There’s a greatness in everyone. Your job is to pay attention to it and create an environment where that greatness can emerge.

Zero to One

Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
Coming in December