If Money Were No Object: The Best of the Internet

Happy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week! 

Chart your own path but slow down along the way.

What would you like to do if money were no object? What do you desire?

Turns out there’s something between extroverts and introverts. Dan Pink on the benefits of being an ambivert.

Communicating through the inverted pyramid.

5 things to be more effective at work.

How Ravelry Stitches its Creative Community Together

Ravelry is a website for knitters, crocheters, spinners, and other people into fibers, with close to 2.7 million users, or “Ravellers”, around the world. The site houses a rich database of patterns and reference information, ways to keep track of projects and stock of your yarns, and a forum for its Ravellers to interact.

Ravelry logo

In fact, Ravelry has been called “the best social network you’ve (probably) never heard of”. In talking with Mary-Heather Cogar, VP of Operations/Do-Gooder, that sense of close-knit community shines through, distinguishing Ravelry as an example of what can be so great about the internet.

There’s something really amazing about connecting with people that are into the same things that you are. A lot of Ravellers have struck up friendships, sometimes in totally different countries, or met people in their own communities that they didn’t know were out there. They were used to knitting in front of Netflix or whatever — we all love to do that but sometimes you feel like you’re the only one passionate about this in your neighborhood. It turns out that there’s a group of people that are super into crocheting also, or new spinners and they’re all learning together.”

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The Awkward Leader

Being a manager is difficult because it feels unnatural.  Your job isn’t actually to get work done.  You’re doing your job as a manager when what you’re doing doesn’t resemble work at all.

Andy Grove on information gathering

To Andy Grove, legendary CEO of Intel, a manager’s fundamental work of information gathering can be among the most unnatural and that awkwardness is a necessary part of being a leader.  Information gathering is the bread and butter of a manager’s work, but doing it effectively can mean making yourself vulnerable to looking and feeling like you’re doing nothing.

Grove instructs managers that “[t]here is an especially efficient way to get information, much neglected by most managers” that is underutilized “because of the awkwardness that managers feel about [it].” That is, be out in the open in your company, doing nothing.

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The Other Half of Your Job

Corralling brilliant and creative individuals to work together as a team is incredibly difficult.  That’s why every successful company where people are both productive and happy feels a little magical.  The harried, stressful environment or the disengaged, sullen office are both far more common sights.

You might think that creative and productive individuals easily combine to form creative and productive teams, but I’ve noticed that the opposite happens more often than not.  An individual’s creativity and productivity are extremely fragile things that are liable to fall apart when individuals are put in a room to work on problems that are complex, time-constrained, and flat-out hard.

A well-intentioned response that I often see out of productive people is to get frustrated when not enough is getting done and go 100% into heads-down mode, but that just exacerbates the problem.  What ends up happening is embitterment, disengagement, and finally, attrition.  Preventing all that from happening is the other half of everyone’s job.

Tom Sachs, on the importance of communicating at work

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