Be Likable

Here’s a gem from the February 20th edition of Mad, Sad, Glad from

This is a typical HBR article in that it’s long and academic.  The important part is that people would rather work with with someone who is incompetent than someone who is unlikable.  If you think that smarts are enough, refer to our very first podcast ‘Solution to a Stalled Technical Career‘.  Yes, HBR, we said it 10 years ago 🙂

2015-06-03 Unlikeable

What! I thought this was a meritocracy! Am I not hired for my mad skills?!

Well, yes. You are.

And contributing positively to a team is a skill. One the vast majority of us can’t succeed without.

Be likable.

Be a good, kind, and gracious person. People tend to like those.

No tricks. Don’t just gently imitate others like Andy Bernard from The Office. Trickery is icky and doomed to fail — if not professionally then ultimately in the shriveling of your soul.

Keeping Your Team from Burnout

An intern at Novell my first manager told me stories of his experiences with burn-out as an intern for IBM. He loved his work and put in extreme hours. Then one day couldn’t put his hands on a keyboard.

Allison Davis’ article How to Keep You and Your Team from Burning Out gives 6 actionable recommendations for protecting your team.

I’ve experienced burn out. Coworkers I respect have, too. Yet, I hesitate to write about it. It’s squishy. But it is real.

I’m not alone. At NGConf Igor Minar (Angular core team) spoke tentatively about his own struggles with burnout. His talk about mindfulness came just after my own exposure to it in a lecture series on the workings of the brain. Mindfulness is a great tool that studies have shown effective at managing stress and improving mental wellbeing.

Read Davis’ article.

My quick advice is:

Remove heroics from your list of options

Get it done in normal time with normal effort. Don’t do heroics. Don’t ask for it from your team.