No Purpose? No Problem

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Sure, it’s great to have purpose in your work. But don’t sweat it if you don’t. Three tips for the purposeless.

“I’m not here to give you the standard commencement about finding your purpose. We’re millennials. We’ll try to do that instinctively,” Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard’s Class of 2017. “The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.”


Baloney. A sense of purpose is like an appendix. If you’ve got one, good for you. If you don’t, you’re not missing anything important.

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The Best Manager I Ever Had

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The criteria for “best manager” is quite subjective, but hopefully everyone’s had (at least) one by now.

As I mentioned in a previous article, managing people is a completely different skill set than technical job skills. Just like food, what you think is “best” can differ tremendously from someone else’s perspective.

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It’s Okay If You’re Not an Entrepreneur

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The hype train about entrepreneurship is at full speed these days.

You can’t swing a dead cat online without hitting a pile of articles about why now is the time to own your own business, why you need to quit your day job and follow your “passion”, why The Man is just in it to keep you down and how being an entrepreneur is the only path to wealth and redemption and legitimacy.

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“Find a new city.”

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There’s a very romantic American story that I love, that lots of artists who are young and starting out love, too, and it goes like this: Move to the Big City with nothing, make friends, make art, struggle, but make it. That’s the kind of story told in Patti Smith’s wonderful memoir, Just Kids.


The trouble with this story is that people remember the place (New York) but they don’t remember the conditions. Here’s Patti Smith herself on NYC nowadays:

It certainly isn’t the place I knew when I was young — we had no money, the city was bankrupt, it was filled with cockroaches, a lot of rats, it was a bit gritty, and it was cheap to live here, really cheap. You could have a bookstore job and a little apartment in the East Village. There were so many of us, so many like minds. You can’t do that now.

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Five Death Traps Of Middle Management

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Get Shift Done: Management

And How To Avoid Them


Sandwiched between individual contributors and line managers on one hand and executives on the other hand, middle managers get satisfaction neither from tangible creation, nor from setting strategic direction. Instead, their role is to translate executive vision into an executable plan, hire/manage a team and set the processes and culture to ensure delivery.

In large corporations, middle management is the black hole where sizable input (brain power, time, $, energy) results in questionable output. It’s the place where careers stall and many former rising stars fizzle out. It’s also the layer — like our midriff — that has a tendency to expand stealthily, if kept unchecked.

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