144 STASHED IDEAS
Once you have given power to others, included them in groups and meetings, and documented your knowledge, they’ll be ready to take work from you. Delegate work that can make them grow and focus on the things only you can do.
People should know what’s coming up in your projects and/or team by looking at those plans, not by relying on you to tell them “in real time”. Plan a few months ahead so, if you leave, your peers won’t be lost from day one.
Keep (public, within the team) notes for all meetings you attend, listing who was there, what was discussed, and any conclusions. Reference those notes from design documents. Your replacement will need these to catch up.
A good philosophy to live by at work is to “always be quitting”. No, don’t be constantly thinking of leaving your job 😱. But act as if you might leave on short notice 😎.
Counterintuitively, this will make you better at what you do and open up growth opportunities.
In the same vein as training others, to switch roles you’ll need to replace yourself. Identify who that replacement might be and actively and continuously coach them.
The goal is for them to be independent (what is usually considered “seniority” in a typical engineering ladder). Familiarize them with the plans and technologies and make sure they know how to use the documentation.
In short, being disposable to free yourself to grow into a higher-level role and make it easier to change the projects you work on. Confused still? Here are 10 specific things you can do 👇
Trust them to do the right thing. If you are in a leadership position, don’t make it so people come to you asking for permission. Let them make their own choices. Guide them so that their choices are based on the right data.
Take the chance to grow your knowledge in any area you are interested in, and keep it fun. Bonus points if that area aligns with the future path you want to take.
Establish mailing lists or other forms of communication that can accommodate other people, and then grow those groups. (The exception is when management needs names for accountability.)
Every time someone asks you a question, they are highlighting a gap in the documentation. Take the chance to write the answer down (in a document, sheet, note, code, comment, etc.) so that the next person doesn’t need YOU.
If not a 1-on-1 and you are the only person from your team attending a meeting, involve someone else. Different perspectives are useful, but more importantly, you are avoiding becoming the only point of contact.
Reach out to the right people. People who won’t let you fail. Or, who will at least give it to you straight when you’re going the wrong direction. And you will go the wrong direction, from time-to-time, because egos, money, time, and other things are on the line.
This investment is almost always what triggers a "point of no return moment". It’s that point in time when a person becomes truly committed.
Once you make an investment in your decision, you solidify your new identity. Your role changes. You become a leader of the cause you’re about.
Because no one care about your success more than you do. Most of the people around you will hold you to a lower standard - they are too busy with their own goals to care about yours.
Hence, you need to put people around you who will hold you to the standard of your decision, or an even higher one.
When you make a definitive decision to live differently, you need to continually re-create the experience that spawned the decision, because there will be resistance to your living out that decision.
You need to act consistently from the peak state that formed your decision. So, you need to develop a routine of regularly getting yourself into a peak state.
... means you’re operating at the level you want to be, so that you can achieve ambitions beyond anything you've done before. You can reach this state by:
They are what triggers a peak state.
The core purpose for having a morning routine is to put yourself into a peak state in the morning — so you can then operate from that state for the rest of your day. Rather than being reactive, addicted, and unconscious in your morning — it’s far better to proactively put yourself in a peak state in a ritualistic manner.
Most long-term goals are intimidating, and the mind can feel overwhelmed, resulting in demotivation. If the goal is too easy, the mind feels bored.
The optimum state of productivity, known as ‘flow’ occurs when the activity in question is reasonably challenging, but not too hard. Slicing the larger mission into smaller milestones which have the right amount of challenge makes one enjoy the process and stay on track.
Elon Musk shows the world how big, audacious goals can be achieved by dividing them into smaller milestones and embracing failure and negative feedback.
His goals are not something he is doing for the media circus, but something in which he is emotionally committed. Goals work when they are bigger than ourselves, enhancing our commitment and responsibility towards them.
If we look at the number of failures and setbacks in Elon Musk’s life, we begin to see why he is so successful.
The Tesla and Space X CEO uses failure as a tool towards eventual success, if at all. It is a non-linear path to innovation, which involves starting from the first principle, which is obtained by breaking down all the unessential parts and getting down to the fundamental truth.
"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same."
"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from."
"Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."
"Someone once told me that 'time' is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again."
"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present."
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."
"The Pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails."
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."