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Universal Cents Posts

Make it the Best

Apple never set out to sell the most of anything. They never set the goal of having the biggest market share. They focus on making the best product, and the sales followed.

The lesson: make whatever you are doing, the best in the world.

Don’t worry about running a spreadsheet and extrapolating the potential market share. A good manager finds the resources a team needs to execute.

The best organizations play the long game by focusing on quality.

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Take Advantage of Winning

People aren’t motivated by being upset or losing. Just look at twitter. People comment when they are frustrated. However, not a lot of action follows those comments. People are looking for an outlet for their feelings.

The same thing happens in the workplace. It’s hard to take action on failure. Change or a pivot should occur, but what will drive progress is taking action on gratitude and success. Look for those opportunities, however large or small, to take a step.

When people are riding high on momentum, take advantage of that velocity and push for the next big thing. It’s easier for folks to keep working hard when they see that hard work has paid off. Keep your foot on the gas after you cross the finish line because there’s always another line.

Winning is contagious. 

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Effectiveness

A lot of leaders judge themselves on production or quantitative measures.

Whether times are tough, or times are a great, a great leader measures themselves on effectiveness, not productivity.

What organizations need changes over time. What was a great metric for a start-up, isn’t as valuable for a larger organization.

Therefore, it’s more about making the right things happen than just making things happen. Getting things done is excellent, but overloading your task list will prevent you from focusing on the actions that produce the most gain. Developing the right accountability framework for yourself and your team is critical.

Use time effectively to maximize output on the things that will enable your team to be productive.

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Fear

Fear is natural.  

Being afraid about what you’re planning to do, or how you are going to execute is normal.

In the best of times or the worst of times, fear means you’re pushing. And if you aren’t at risk of falling, you aren’t innovating, challenging, or growing. 

It might be intervals in the pool, pivoting your organization, going on a blind date, almost anything.

Fear is good; embrace it.  

If you aren’t afraid, ask yourself if you’re going as hard as you could?

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Joy at Work

Would you rather be making $150k a year and being miserable or $75k a year blissfully happy?

My advice to employees is always to upscale their focus on happiness and downscale their emphasis on money. If you focus on money, it will show in your work anyway. If you focus on doing work you love, the money will come. 

No profession will be perfect, but if you’re miserable every day, you need to make a change. 

Consider the things that matter to you. Maybe it’s a mission you can stand behind. Or, perhaps you like a specific team environment. Maybe it’s the flexibility or travel that come with particular jobs. But do yourself a favor and think about the atmosphere you want to surround yourself with.  

Take the time to reflect on the choices you’re making and focus on what matters; happiness.

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