Friday, July 21, 2023

Book Review: Nine Lies About Work

A few years ago, I read a New York Times article that changed my life. That may sound overly dramatic, but the effects of it show up repeatedly in my blog posts, including My Yearly Reflection and Planning and Writing and Labeling in a Journal. It’s why I knew Cookie Club was so important to me and it’s why I knew I should stop being a manager.

While writing one of those posts, I discovered that the article was based on a book. I was more than a little embarrassed to realize that I wasn’t crediting the ultimate source, and worse, that I hadn’t read that source.

I have finally rectified my mistake by reading the book Nine Lies About Work, and I’m so happy that I have. In this post, I share some of my notes from the book. Nine Lies About Work is nominally aimed at managers, but I think it is also useful for anyone who has a manager. Most importantly, I encourage everyone to read chapter eight about love in work.

Cover image of the book "Nine Lies About Work". The cover has 9 crumpled pieces of paper arranged in a 3x3 grid, followed by the subtitle: "A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World". 

Below the subtitle, is the title: "Nine Lies About Work". Followed by the author's names Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Making Good Decisions

A few summers ago I got to work with a wonderful intern. It was a pleasure to work with him, as it always is with our interns. He was a rising senior, and at the end of the summer, we extended him an offer to return as a full-time employee after he graduated the following year. He was excited to receive the offer, but then, over the next couple of months, he tortured himself and everyone else over this offer. The problem was that he had too many good options, and he couldn’t choose among them.

This post contains my advice to that intern and to many interns since. However, I suspect (and hope) that it will be relevant to many people in addition to interns. Specifically, this post focuses on the importance of making good decisions, rather than trying to make perfect decisions.

Large piece of paper with hand written notes comparing three job offers. Across the top are the headings "Factor", "MegaCorp A", "Large Co B", Late Stage Startup C". Down the left side of the page are the factors "Salary", "Change to Get Rich", "Stability", "Growth Opp", "Interesting Role", "Work/Life", and "Commute". The rest of the table is filled out with plusses, and minuses, and some notes and questions.
Hypothetical comparison of three job offers