How to Boss Without Being Bossy

Deep dive into taxonomy of commands, examining various ways to phrase directives

How to Boss Without Being Bossy
16 minutes by Jeff Wofford

Leaders command people. That’s kind of what a leader is: someone with the authority to direct the actions of others.

The core of the article delves into a taxonomy of commands, examining various ways to phrase directives. Each method is evaluated based on its clarity and perceived harshness.

Key takeaways:

  • balance clarity and respect,

  • adapt to context and relationships and

  • keep consistency in leadership style.

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When managers and leaders don’t specify the expected time investment of an ask, the time that is invested is almost never what was intended.

How to Build Trust
15 minutes by Jacob Kaplan-Moss

What are the major management behaviors that can help build trust? Management books often cover the importance of trust, but abstractly. There’s precious little writing about the nuts and bolts, the day-to-day tasks of trust-building. That’s the gap I’d like to try to fill with this article.

David built out the approach for salary benchmarking of engineers (and anyone else in a technical role). It’s

  • fast to run,

  • data driven and

  • provides individual consideration.

It is a great experience to be part of a high-performing team. At the same time, it can be stressful to be on such teams. Because the bar is so high, and the expectations so positive, these teams often struggle to slow down and catch their breath. Christiaan describes three strategies teams can avoid burning out:

  • Highlight the ability to self-manage.

  • Highlight psychological safety and encourage people to listen.

  • Create norms and work agreements to deal with stress.

Strategy for Natural Monopolies
10 minutes by Roger Martin

“An industry in which multiform production is more costly than production by a monopoly.”

The industries that are usually used to exemplify natural monopolies are railways, power grids, subways, and telecom networks. In each case, the cost of building out one provider is so high that it doesn’t make economic sense for a second player to replicate the first — chances are it would go broke if it tried.

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