Grow Your Business by Nailing the Most Important Meeting of the Week


Did you know that on average, every single one of us wastes 31 hours per month in unproductive meetings? I’m going to show you how to prevent that.

Very early on at Stride Consulting, I searched for a process to help me scale. This was my 4th company and I had my heart set on scaling in a way that I had never scaled before.

I’ve never raised any funding. All four companies I’ve run have been bootstrapped. So leveraging a pile of cash to scale has never been an option for me. I was searching for a process to enable scale.

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Google’s Tortured Relationship with China Continues


A new report reveals the company’s plans to enter the Chinese search market. We’ve seen this movie before. But Android has changed the game, forcing profits over corporate values.

Google’s Beijing offices in 2010, the year the company exited the Chinese market.

(Cross posted from Searchblog)

I’ve been covering Google’s rather tortured relationship with China for more than 15 years now. The company’s off again, on again approach to the Internet’s largest “untapped” market has proven vexing, but as today’s Intercept scoop informs us, it looks like Google has yielded to its own growth imperative, and will once again stand up its search services for the Chinese market. To wit:

GOOGLE IS PLANNING to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.

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Google Discovered the Highest Performing Teams Have These Two Characteristics


What makes a high-performing team? It’s not intelligence. It’s not seniority.

Google recently discovered that the highest performing teams are the ones with two characteristics:

  1. Individuals are able to sacrifice something they want for the good of the team.
  2. Each person feels safe to speak what’s on their mind.

Hidden underneath all of this is the foundation that makes it all possible: trust.

If a team lacks trust, everything else is impossible.

Think about your team. Think about each person on your team. Do you trust them?

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When Should an Employer Ask an Employee to Quit?


Companies spend a lot of time talking about retention strategies for good reason. High turnover is extremely expensive. The total cost to the organization for each employee who leaves can quickly reach between 100 and 300 percent of an employee’s salary.

On the flip side, we talk often about how and when to fire an employee. Likewise on the employee side, we talk about when it’s time for an employee to quit.

Yet, we don’t talk about the fourth option: When should an employer ask an employee to quit?

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Breast Cancer Nearly Took My Life. Instead, it Made Me a Better CEO.


Here’s How.

On September 5, 2015 I discovered a tumor in my left armpit. Two days later, I was diagnosed with Stage II HER2 Positive Breast Cancer. I was 41.

I was also the founder and CEO of a tech startup that was less than two years old.

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You Probably Shouldn’t Be CEO of Your Startup. Ask Yourself These 3 Questions to Find Out.


Too often, I speak with founder-CEOs who have fallen out of love with their business, or whose business has fallen out of love with them. Yet they continue as CEO.

Why? Because it’s hard to look inward.

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Solving the Gender Wage Gap Is Hard. Here Are Four Things You Can Do Today.


On April 5, U.K. companies with 250 employees or more were required by law to reveal their pay data. The goal: Narrow the gender wage gap.

In response, many people across the world have shared their personal experiences, data, and opinions regarding gender pay differences. An columnist, Heather Wilde, wrote about being paid 60 percent less than her male colleagues at the same level. The 2016 U.S. Census revealed it takes a woman one year, three months, and 10 days to earn what her male peer earns in one year. I personally quit a job once over a $5,000 gender wage gap.

Now that we’re really talking about this, let’s solve the gender wage gap once and for all. I believe achieving equal pay for equal work is possible. It takes time and effort and it isn’t easy, but it is a solvable problem. Creating true equal pay requires two things:

  1. Commitment to a system that evaluates each individual relative to their peers.
  2. Fluidness within the system created.

Through decades of trial and error, I believe I’ve found a system that works. It’s achievable by teams both big and small. It’s likely to raise a few eyebrows, and that’s OK. Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard.

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Is Snapchat’s Culture As Sexist and Toxic As Uber’s?


What truly matters is how leadership responds. And time isn’t Snap’s friend.

There is a bottom line when it comes to what’s acceptable in the workplace and Snap just crossed it.

Yesterday, an email written by a former Snap female developer, Shannon Lubetich, emerged. The email was written back in November, on Lubetich’s last day of work. In it, she accused Snap, the makers of Snapchat, of having a toxic and sexist culture.

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This Company Raised Wages to $16 an Hour. Two Years Later, What Happened?


NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Aetna President Karen Lynch runs 95 percent of the company’s core businesses. Since her firm’s novel move, productivity is up 15 percent. Next up? An industry shifting merger with CVS.

Karen Lynch during NewCo Shift Forum 2018

Given NewCo Shift Forum’s theme of “Business Must Lead,” it was a pleasure to welcome Karen Lynch, President of healthcare industry leader Aetna to the Forum stage earlier this year. Lynch discusses her company’s decision to raise minimum wages for thousands of its employees, an “ecosystem” approach to the healthcare business, and the role companies must now play in social issues beyond their core stakeholders. Read the full transcript below, or watch the interview, conducted by Makers and Takers author Rana Foroohar.

John Battelle: Please join me in welcoming my friend, Rana Foroohar, who has written extraordinary book about the financialization of the economy in conversation with the president of Aetna, Karen Lynch. Welcome to “Shift Forum.”

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Beware Of Loneliness as You Manage and Lead


Loneliness is a powerful shadow that clouds our judgment.

By John O’Sullivan and Michael VanBruaene

It’s common for managers and leaders to feel alone. When we make decisions, particularly those for which there is no easy answer and the outcome is uncertain, we gather information, discuss the issue with colleagues and weigh alternatives. And depending on the nature of the decision we may have to be alone with our thoughts to make the decision. However, feeling lonely is different than being alone. When we experience loneliness there can be harmful repercussions to our organizations. Loneliness is a signal that it’s time for introspection.

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