Unplugging is good, actually

In the middle of 2021, a new word exploded through social media: “grindset.” The word may have been new, but the idea was not. Amid a continuing pandemic that upended our norms of work and life, the online world rallied around the notion that exceptionally hard work can transform a “side hustle” into a business.

Everything that was wrong about that idea back then is still wrong now, yet we continue to glorify “disruptors” and “innovators” and believe that the “Protestant work ethic” is the gateway to wealth. Although working hard and committing yourself to a purpose are noble and useful habits, don’t confuse raw, unmetered, self-destructive exertion with good leadership.

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Newsletter update

How has your year been so far? Has it met with your expectations?

As for me, my year has been great, but has not gone entirely as expected. A lot has changed for me, and there are changes coming for this publication, too. This is your “Curious Leader update post.”

TL; DR: I’m still here, and this is still happening.

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Challenge expectations 🔊

This comic from “marketoonist.com” showed up on LinkedIn somewhere and made me laugh. It depicts one person boasting about using AI to expand a single bullet point into a lengthy email, and another person boasting about using AI to condense a long email into a single bullet point.

I think the reason this is funny is because it’s just possible enough to be believable, and highlights an ironic office process dysfunction in a novel way. It’s a ChatGPT joke, but it’s also a foolish workplace norms joke.

Let’s dig into what we can learn from it.

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How to agree on something 🔊

The foundation of a healthy working relationship is agreement. Even when people have differences of opinion—and they always will—getting everyone on the same page about broader goals and individual motivations produces better outcomes.

As a manager, you can use a few conversational techniques to create powerful agreements that drive productivity and job satisfaction. Let’s take a look at a couple of them.

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"Do more reorgs" with Brian Guthrie 🔊

Instead of bringing you another analysis of a leadership topic laced through and through with my opinions, I thought it would be fun to share a new perspective. This time, from my old friend and former start-up colleague Brian Guthrie.

Brian recently started a company to help tech leaders visualize and execute smooth re-orgs, so we talked about that. What makes re-orgs hard? What would make them easier?

I strongly encourage you to listen to the podcast episode! The below transcript is accurate enough, but fails to capture the spirit of the conversation in many ways.

Brace yourselves; this is a longer one, but I really think you’ll take something away from it.


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