Slow Down

Where is the fire?

We want to rush because progress feels good. If our default is “active” then we, in effect, are covering our ass. If you see, I cranked out 30 emails today; it’s pretty obvious that I’ve been working on something great, right?


The good work takes time. This means deliberately choosing to look “unbusy.” That is a hard choice because social standards scream for progress. No one we know gets fired because they sent too many slack messages. So we default to active.

As a result, we’ve implicitly chosen to do mediocre work.

The great work happens when you give it the space to grow. Decide to, even when the optics tell you not.


Have you spent some time thinking about “enough?”

Because, if you don’t, it might never show up. And if it doesn’t, then you are wasting time, full stop.

Let’s say you need “perfect,” first, are you sure? The requirements to get the “perfect” treatment ought to be stringent. Get a third party, the law, what has been done before, and whatever else you need, and if passes muster, then do it.

Odds are, though, is your project doesn’t need it at all, and your ego is afraid of “what it may look like.”

Look, I don’t expect you to put out a complete piece of trash. Odds are, if you are reading this, you have a “good enough” reputation for getting things done.

So take a chance, ship a little earlier by making it clear how much “enough” is. 40% overwork means absolutely nothing to the project.

Alignment and Action Matrix

Just an idea

I’ve been toying with an alignment and action matrix, and what it means in regards to projects.

Some quick hits:

  • Action/alignment – Pro: Feels excellent, optimal state about 80% of the time, Con: If you are always here, you are running into local maxima.
  • Nonaction/alignment – Pro: This is planning, and planning is good. Con: No plan survives first contact with the enemy.
  • Action/nonalignment – Pro: This is exploring and experimentation, breaks local maxima. Con: You are “wandering,” do it too long, and you’ll have nothing.
  • Nonaction/nonalignment – Pro: Recovery Con: Waiting

This matrix is something to think about with your projects when it comes to status. Maybe you are in the right place, even if it doesn’t seem that way.


Build Measure Learn Loop and Making It Falsifiable

How quick can you align?

If you don’t know what this means, read this first.

The power in the build-measure-learn(BML) loop is in alignment. This alignment, with the market, our team, or project helps us right our ship.

It is a great “thinking” tool. Experiments are a great way to test your concept.

However, this is only true if it’s falsifiable.

There are two ways that one can fail falsifiability that stand out to me:

  1. Inside of the experiment (“Who wants free money?” -Who doesn’t)
  2. Outside of the experiment (“We are batting 10/10” – You aren’t trying anything)

Remember that you can’t think and know at the same time.

If all your experiments tend to be right, it might be time to question if you are “thinking” or not.


Whatever it takes to start

Just start.

The conversation moves when you to.

Sometimes it’s just best when you are at a crossroad to scream YAHOO! And get to it.

Don’t over think it, trust that you’ll figure it out on the way.

The Push and the Nudge

I know what your thinking – it depends.

Pushing is forceful, nudging is a reminder

Pushing focuses on the pusher; nudging focuses on the nudged

Pushing is aggressive, nudging is assertive

Pushing makes for theater; nudging makes for poetry

Pushing is for you; nudging is for someone else.

Pushing is a wakeup call, nudging is a reminder.

Again, don’t think one is better than the other. However, I do believe pushing is being over utilized. Great theater can shift an organization when used correctly. It can, however, destroy a team when just a nudge will do.

Leaders have to learn how to do both.