July 6

Notes: trust, motivation, learning, culture


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If you want to improve trust with your team you need to increase face to face communicationBuilding trust means doing and giving. Each of these will reward you with a feeling of purpose and human connection. I have a direct experience of this. I worked in teams where the only face to face communication was at stand-up time and trust among members was very little. This is a good reminder of making sure to have face to face communication with every member of my team!

Workers who are given a voice in the decision-making of their company become more intrinsically motivated. Extrinsic promises destroy intrinsic motivation. When a person finds a job fulfilling, no further reward is necessary. Also, workers will remain with a company which they believe cares for them even when a competitor offers them a higher salary. A great way to build talent with accountability is to build a feeling of shared purpose and collective belonging.

You can become an optimist by questioning and analyzing your beliefs. The psychologist Albert Ellis developed a technique of handling negative self-talk: the ABC technique (Adversity, Belief, Consequence). It consists in monitoring yourself in order to observe the link between adversity, belief and consequences in your life. After you did that, you can try to change them! It’s the basis of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

A very important goal is to make your team an High Performance Learning Organization (HPLO), a place where learning is praised as a key element for success. This requires an environment in which every member is invited to share thoughts, and this is only possible when they feel safe. We learn when we admit we are wrong or when we suspend judgement regarding others’ opinions. Engage in humble inquiry and switch to “asking”. By asking questions, you demonstrate to your colleagues that you care about what they think and that you are willing to listen and learn. To do this, you need to admit to yourself that you know much less than you think you know. Change of paradigm: not “I am listening so that I can provide an answer” but rather “I am listening so that I can really understand the person next to me”. An insight process to discover new ideas is to slow down, suspend your judgement and ask yourself: Is there any data that contradicts my beliefs? Would a different perspective bring different answers? If I reframe my question, will I end up with a different set of answers?

Your first hours of sleep in the early evening are important for retaining facts. If you are studying vocabulary words, its better to go to bed early. However, if you need to think creatively, then it’s more effective to stay up and study at night. Creative thinking requires REM sleep which happens mostly in the early morning hours.

It’s important to be clear about your long term goals. Getting the maximum amount done in the shortest amount of time, is pointless if you don’t know why you are doing it. It is useful to come up with a personal mission statement where you set down your basic values and principles and the larger goals you want to achieve in your life. It’s good to be reminded on the importance of prioritizing: First things first.

The most reliable way to find out whether people will buy your product is to offer it to them and see how they respond (this can be just a prototype or an image). Don’t just look at the numbers from your analytics to make decisions. Talk to customers!

Hiring just one person who’s against the organizational culture could unravel all the hard work you’ve invested. It’s important to attract the right people. This is why is very important to include your company purpose, values and expectations for behavior in every job posting you make. Also when taking new employees on board, make sure they experience cultural exposure, an explicit educational session on your organizational culture.


  • The Leadership Challenge,
  • Scaling Up Excellence
  • Learned Optimism
  • Drive
  • Learn or Die
  • How We Learn
  • The 7 habits of highly effective people
  • The Lean Startup
  • The Trust Edge
  • The Culture Engine

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