Get Efficient


How to Practice your Management Skills

Want to get better at a sport? There are clearly documented methods and approaches to practice. Want to get better at playing guitar, the drums, or the sax? Same thing.

But with those, even if you practice poorly, a certain number of reps will get you somewhere. And the reps are easy — you can sit down and practice the drums for hours, if you have the time.

I have written quite a bit over the years about accelerated learning, and practice techniques for learning new skills.  Like Jason, I too have found it very challenging to practice management skills.

Managerial trials and reps are much harder to come by. And when you practice being a manager, you’re already on stage. Your flubs have consequences. Fucking up could cost you or someone else their job. It could cost a business money, customers, reputation. But when you practice guitar you can sit in your basement, alone. No one cares, and there’s nothing at risk, if your pinky can’t stretch three frets quite yet.

I don’t know… There are a lot of reasons it’s so easy to be a bad manager.

Another reason is that you feel like you have to contribute when there’s really not a lot you should be doing most of the time. Many managers over-involve themselves. Not even micromanage, but are simply around the work being done too often. They get in the way. It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re trying to prove yourself. Especially early on when you’re job title doesn’t really line up with your experience. You’re still just practicing.

Jason Fried

Read at Signal vs. Noise

Linked article written by: Jason Fried.

How to Read a Book in a Week ... and do it week after week.

For over 4 years I've been reading a book every week. Its one of my favorite habits and creates new learning opportunities for me all the time.

I still accomplish this just about every week, and it's lead many of my colleagues intrigued with how I pull this off while running two organizations and a home life. Much to their surprise, this habit is largely the reason I have the opportunity to do just that. 

When it comes to your time, reading is one of the most valuable investments you can make. A few hours in a book will return years of wisdom.  There are few investment opportunities with that kind of ROI. That newfound knowledge will make you more effective with the limited time you have.

There are two challenges to overcome if you want to build this habit for yourself.  First, you have to learn how to read a single book in a week, and secondly, you have to build enough discipline to do it week after week.

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