Do you have a favorite quote or bit of business wisdom?
The best boss I ever worked for told me, “She with a plan wins.” I reiterate this statement to the team quite often — it reinforces how important it is to always begin by asking, “Why?”
That statement is the essence of Aha! — we want our software to help businesses define where they are going by starting with strategy. That is how lovable products are born.
I’ve always loved the work hard / play hard motto, and I think it fits nicely in the remote work environment. The harder I work, the more value I bring to the team, and the more flexibility I can create for myself outside of the office. Similarly, if I’m always slacking, the team will always wonder where I am or what I’m up to.
If I’m going above and beyond in all facets of my role on the team, everyone becomes aware of what I’m doing to move the company forward. In remote business, trust is earned and not handed out: for me just the same as a new hire.
Trust that everything in your career will work out the way it should, and that you can’t stuff it up if it’s meant to be. All roads will lead you where you need to go, it might not be exactly how you imagined it. Quieten your ego and focus on creating and producing – when in doubt, ship it! Don’t be afraid of the worst case scenario and be prepared to lose everything in order to follow your true calling.
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
I think that sums up the startup life!
I’m obsessive about all things productivity and efficiency. I believe working smarter and more efficiently is a better use of my time, and it leads back to my desire for a good work/life balance. I’m into a lot of the time management approaches for productivity and lifehacks. A favorite guiding quote along these lines is, “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
As a remote designer it’s really important to constantly share your work with your team or stakeholders. If you keep your ideas to yourself for too long before sharing, then you become attached to that particular solution. Sharing early makes iterating easier, and it ultimately leads to a better end result.
“A .300 hitter, that rarest of breeds these days, goes through life with the certainty that he will fail at his job seven out of ten times.” —Ted Williams
I understand that everything I try to accomplish won’t work. I understand that only a small percentage of initiatives will be “home run initiatives.” And I also understand that the more swings I take, the better my chances are of hitting one out of the park, so to speak. In a fast-moving company like LiquidSpace, knowing that most things won’t work gives me the confidence to swing for the fences.
A friend in human resources once told me that she measures the health of an organization by how helpful its people are. I’ve still not found a better measure for either office or remote environments. If you really focus on hiring kind and helpful people, I guarantee that communication won’t be a problem — even if your tools and processes aren’t perfect — and you’ll have a very healthy organization.
I live and die by the 80/20 rule. Whenever an 80% solution is good enough, I take it and do what I can with it, knowing that I got it in 20% of the time, energy, and money that the 100% solution would have taken.
The challenge has been identifying (and helping my team identify) what the 80% solution looks like, especially when I personally really, really want the 100% solution.
If you see something, say something. One of the most important things you can do as a manager, especially in a virtual environment, is to offer honest, direct feedback. If you notice a problem, raise it. If you have a question, ask it. There’s no better way to keep the work moving and your people growing.
I also believe in having the most important management conversations face-to-face. I have flown to a staff member’s city for an important performance evaluation or major work milestone to send a clear message about the importance of a conversation.