Success

If you’ve every flown on an airplane then you’ve heard the flight attendant say:

In the event of the cabin loose pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.

That last statement may seem odd to anyone that has children.  I’ve got 3 kids and as a father, my natural tendency is to help my kids first.  But the instructions clearly state not to do that. Ever thought about why? Well let’s think about it.  What happens if you run out of oxygen?  If you’re out, then you can’t help others.  You have to take care of your own need for oxygen first, then you can assist others.

The same is true when you’re leading a team. You have to put your oxygen mask on first.  Make sure you’re healthy enough to lead the team.  If you run out of oxygen trying to save others, then its likely you both will perish. So as a leader, how do we put on our oxygen mask to ensure that we’re taken care of?

This is a super vague question with dozens of possible answers. I’m going to hit the highlights here.  For details on these 7 things, please listen to this episode:

  1. Take care of yourself physically – physical health goes along way with mental energy
  2. Take care of yourself mentally – take time to work on your mind, learn something new, not related to work
  3. Make time for Deep Work – Block off large blocks to time to immerse yourself on a single task or problem
  4. Make time for brainstorming – Many times the solutions to our largest problems come in the blank spaces, or the margins of our busy schedule.  Block time on your calendar for brainstorming.  I like to take a walk around the lake outside my office to think.
  5. Make room for growth – prune less valuable work relentlessly
  6. Empower others – Your team will never grow if you don’t give them the opportunity. Delegate like a champ.
  7. Disconnect from time to time – When you’re off work, you’re off work.  Take time off, without your phone, laptop or iPad.  Disconnect and let your brain recover.

 

I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!

April 11, 2018

AGL 031: Put your oxygen mask on first

If you’ve every flown on an airplane then you’ve heard the flight attendant say: In the event of the cabin loose pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. That last statement may seem odd […]
April 6, 2018

AGL 030: How to Quit Your Job… The Right Way

So you got a new job and now you have to deliver the bad news that you’re putting in your 2 week notice.  How do you do it without burning bridges, saving face, and leave the position better for you having been there. Below are some tips that might help you out: Have a plan. I don’t recommend quitting a job until you’ve already accepted an offer somewhere else, or have a side income stable enough to cover your basic needs (food, rent, etc.) Write a formal resignation letter.  Before you tell anyone, be sure to have written a formal letter […]
April 7, 2016
communication for geeks

AGL 026: Communication for Geeks

Most people in Technology struggle with communication… better yet, most people in business struggle with communication.  I’m no exception to that, but I’m working on it.  Here are some of the things that I’ve learned and implemented to help me with communication. One of the reasons some of us are bad at communication is due to fear.  We’re afraid to let people that we don’t know, what we don’t know.  We’re afraid that they will think less of us or something… But really, if we only new how little they already think of us, then we wouldn’t care what they […]
March 4, 2016
hubspot

AGL 025: Anthony Roldan from HubSpot – Culture Code

In this episode I interview Anthony Roldan from HubSpot about the companies culture code. I was pretty much blown away with the autonomy and freedom that HubSpot offer’s their employees.  Their growth is amazing and there is no doubt that they are a leader in the marketing software industry.  I’ve followed their blog for a while and used lots of their free tips and tools for marketers in the past, but this was my first time meeting and talking to one of their employees. Some of my key take aways: I was shocked and intrigued by their “no QA” on […]
February 9, 2016

AGL 023: Learning as a Leader

Part of being a great leader is being a great learner.  If you decide to be leader, either in a leadership/managerial role, or just leading those to your left and to your right, you must also decide to never stop learning.  When you stop learning, you stop leading. Last week my wife and I rented “The Intern.”  It’s a movie with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.  De Niro plays the part of a 70+ year old widower who is board with life and wants to have something to get him out of the house.  He’s a retired VP from a […]
February 1, 2016

AGL 022: The Biology of Leadership – inside the brain of a tech leader

When most people talk about Leadership they talk about the psychology side of it, but I believe that it goes much deeper that than.  In this episode I’m going to talk a lot about brain chemicals and I’m going to get a little deep into the biology of leadership.  I was first made aware of such a think when Simon Sinek talked about the makeup of the brain in his famous “Start with Why” TEDx Talk a few years ago.  I was fascinated with the fact that his “golden circle” was grounded in biology and not psychology. There are many […]