Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 32, 2022

Weekly Pulse by William Meller - Week 32 2022
Weekly Pulse is content curation and highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, ramblings, and other interesting things I discovered and digested during the week.

So, let's go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 - Saving Your Rookie Managers From Themselves
#2 - A To-do List Won’t Help You Master Your Life
#3 - Why Leaders Resist Empowering Virtual Teams
#4 - Better Ways to Green-Light New Projects
#5 - 
The Fastest Path to the CEO Job, According to a 10-Year Study
#6 - X&Y Theory by Douglas McGregor
#7 - Book Notes: Scrum and XP from the Trenches - Henrik Kniberg


Saving Your Rookie Managers From Themselves

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Carol A. Walker
Year: 2002

Summary: Many companies unwittingly support this downward spiral by assuming that their rookie managers will somehow learn critical management skills by osmosis. Some rookies do, to be sure, but they’re the exceptions. Most need more help.

3 Highlights:

"... Some inexperienced managers will not seek your help even when they start to founder. Seemingly capable rookie managers often try to cover up a failing project or relationship—just until they can get it back under control..."

"... Rookie managers have a real knack for allowing immediate tasks to overshadow overarching initiatives. This is particularly true for those promoted from within because they’ve just come from the front lines where they’re accustomed to constant fire fighting..."

"... Delegating, thinking strategically, communicating—you may think this all sounds like Management 101. And you’re right. The most basic elements of management are often what trip up managers early in their careers. And because they are the basics, the bosses of rookie managers often take them for granted. They shouldn’t..."



A To-do List Won’t Help You Master Your Life

Source: Carl Pullein Blog
Author: Carl Pullein
Year: 2021

Summary: A to-do list won’t help you become a master of your own life — it will simply make you feel like you’re not doing enough. You’re ultimately sabotaging yourself. To truly grow, you have to learn life management skills instead of just piling more tasks on your plate.

3 Highlights:

"... Meaningful tasks are tasks that move things forward..."

"... So, if you haven’t thought about what you want out of life, stop, move away from your keyboard and think about it..."

"... The biggest problem with to-do lists is that we often feel we must keep adding to the list instead of removing from the list..."



Why Leaders Resist Empowering Virtual Teams

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Payal N. Sharma, Lauren D’Innocenzo, and Bradley L. Kirkman
Year: 2021

Summary: Many remote leaders who feel constrained, drained, and isolated are just getting in their own way. So how these managers can become better at empowering virtual teams?

3 Highlights:

"...  For instance, they cite technical difficulties, constrained access to information and resources, distractions at home, social isolation, and ever-blurrier work-life boundaries..."

"... Despite the noted advantages of empowering leadership, here’s the catch: Leaders often resist this approach, especially when managing people remotely..."

"... These issues won’t simply disappear after the global COVID-19 pandemic dies down, because, for many businesses and employees, remote work isn’t going away..."



Better Ways to Green-Light New Projects

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Thorsten Grohsjean, Linus Dahlander, Ammon Salter, and Paola Criscuolo
Year: 2021

Summary: Many organizations have created expert panels that invest significant time and effort in reviewing project pitches and deliberating on their merits. Because these panels are usually composed of senior members of the organization, they are an expensive resource. But research shows that these expert panels can be highly problematic for five principal reasons.

3 Highlights:

"... Organizations fail to capture sufficient information on their failures..."

"... Our research shows that by understanding the potential pitfalls and improving the process, companies can make smarter decisions and generate better outcomes. Innovation will always be tough to assess, but by creating a process that is more open, fluid, and collaborative, organizations can spot the true gold nuggets among the rocks..."

"... There are a number of ways to reduce these biases and improve outcomes before, during, and after se- lecting innovation projects for further investment..."



The Fastest Path to the CEO Job, According to a 10-Year Study

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Elena Lytkina Botelho, Kim Rosenkoetter Powell, and Nicole Wong
Year: 2018

Summary: Some people’s careers take off, while others take longer — or even stall out. Common wisdom says that the former attend elite MBA programs, land high-powered jobs right out of school at prestigious firms, and climb the ladder straight to the top, carefully avoiding risky moves. But Harvard data shows a completely different picture.

3 Highlights:

"... The path to CEO rarely runs in a straight line; sometimes you have to move backward or sideways in order to get ahead..."

"... Ask your boss for additional responsibilities. Tackle tough, complex problems. Above all, make a habit of saying “yes” to greater opportunities — ready or not..."

"... While there is no single path to the CEO seat, these career catapults can be replicated by anyone who aspires to a leadership position and could be especially powerful for those who may find it harder to get to the top. Accelerating your career through these catapults doesn’t require an elite MBA or a select mix of inborn traits, but it does require a willingness to make lateral, unconventional, and even risky career moves..."



X&Y Theory by Douglas McGregor

Source: Article of the Week

Theory X and Theory Y were first explained by McGregor in his book and they refer to two styles of management: authoritarian (Theory X) and participative (Theory Y).

Management style is largely determined by your assumptions and how you assess your people's needs and wants. 

You should, however, challenge your assumptions and regularly review the individual requirements of each member of your team. 



Book Notes: Scrum and XP from the Trenches - Henrik Kniberg

Source: Book Notes of the Week

As an overview of how one Swedish company implemented Scrum and XP for over a year, this book provides a down-to-earth account of how they continuously improved their process. 

It was under Henrik Kniberg's leadership that they experimented with a variety of teams, sprint lengths, definitions of done, formats for product backlogs, sprint backlogs, testing strategies, demo methods, and ways to synchronize multiple Scrum teams.




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