On building teams: experience or talent?

Obviously when you hire, you want to find a good mix of experience and talent. But a perfectly balanced straddle between the two is impossible. So when forced to choose between them, which do you choose: experience or talent? The case for experience The primary case for experience is risk mitigation. If you want to […]

[Plexxi Rewind] Don’t be the “We already” guy

For folks accustomed to the original blogs we post daily, our industry is in the throes of VMworld bliss, so we will be running the Best of Plexxi this week. Of course, if you haven’t read this one yet, it’s new for you! Stop by Booth 747 if you are in San Francisco this week, […]

Is your career a destination or a journey?

When most people think about their careers, they tend to think 5 years out and picture the job they would like to have. From there, they back into the things that need to happen, and use that as a bit of a roadmap to get to where they want to be. This works well when […]

You are a topic at your employees’ dinner tables

The transition from individual contributor to management is probably a bit selfish for almost everyone. In that moment when your responsibilities and title change, you will naturally focus your attention on you. Your mind is aflutter with how you will manage a team. What projects do you have to deliver? How will you balance those […]

You don’t have to be Tiger Woods…

Stop me if you have had this type of exchange before. You offer up some feedback to someone on a project or some activity. The person nods their head to placate you, but clearly they don’t really value the feedback. And then they say something along the lines of: You don’t know anything about my […]

Smartest-person-in-the-room Complex

A few weeks ago, I came across one of those LinkedIn stories that pop up in everyone’s feed. Basically, it was an advice column dedicated to answering a question from someone who asked if he should leave a company that made stupid decisions despite him telling everyone what the right answer was. The comments section […]

Don’t ask before you take vacation

I returned from a vacation in Peru just last night. When I was going through my work emails, I came across one asking me if it was ok to take a half day of vacation the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to spend time with some family that was in town for the long weekend.  My answer […]

Are you suffering from Battered Employee Syndrome?

There is a very powerful psychology behind Battered Person Syndrome (sometimes called Battered Woman Syndrome). After prolonged exposure to abuse, battered people go through a psychological transformation that leaves their confidence shattered, oftentimes blaming themselves for their abuse and typically being incapable of holding the actual abusers responsible for their actions. This creates a vicious […]

The unexpected link between humility and frustration

As I have written a few times before, the most promising trait to look for in a candidate is coachability. To be coachable, you need to be exceptionally humble, capable of listening to feedback and applying it in real-world ways. Because this is what I explicitly hire for, it means I tend to build teams […]

11 rules of thumb for giving feedback

I have written before that the most important trait in a new hire is coachability. What a shame it would be if you went out and hired an extremely coachable talent, and then failed to effectively coach. There is skill involved in giving effective and meaningful feedback. Here are my rules of thumb: Don't be […]