Career life management

2016: Scale

Apophysis 3D fractal ball
Credit: Wikimedia

For 2016, I chose the word “scale”. Couple of reasons for this:

  • As a new manager, I feel like this is the biggest thing I need to work on.
  • I really want to focus on projects that have the best ROI. Scale, to me, means eliminating the good-but-not-great.

What does “scale” look like?

  1. How do I make 10 other people more effective? This one is obvious, but still hard.
  2. Saying no. Saying no to things that are good-but-not-great. Saying no to things with limited impact.
  3. Killing things. When it comes to projects I’m playing “kill, finish, or commit”. The more I can get out of my head the better.
  4. Elimination. I have a virtual assistant as part of my job, which is great, and I’m handing off as much to her as possible. It’s helping me be clearer about what the requirements are and what I care about.
  5. Looking for ways to increase the multiplier of projects. E.g. – Chiu-Ki and I started Technically Speaking to scale up the mentoring we already did. Say we have 10X’d ourselves. How do we 100X ourselves?
  6. How do I increase the ROI on projects? One thing I try to do is take one project, and have multiple angles on it. I don’t feel like I have fully explored this yet.

In 2015 I chose “ship”, and one of the challenges with “scale” is that it’s much harder to quantify. For example I might say that a goal of “scale” is to “build an effective mobile team”, but what does that look like? How is that different from what we have today?

Looking at the list above, 2 and 3 are easy to track, so I made a text document which I called “Kill List 2016”. 4 I think I can have a sense of whether I have accomplished.

1 – Did I achieve this with my work on being a better interviewer? Can I apply this to other things? Can I scale that up still more?

5 – Is this subscriber count? Is this other people spinning out things inspired by this? How do we help mentees become mentors?

6 – How do I even calculate the ROI on a project?

Regardless of my level of success here, I think 2016 is going to be interesting. Deep breath. Scale.