Once, during a trip to visit my colleagues at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, I spent nearly eight hours over the course of a week waiting for people to show up to meetings because they were running late, or in some cases, had completely forgotten. Another time, I worked on a strategy proposal all weekend, only to find out my boss had waited to tell me it was no longer needed. Earlier this year, I had to scramble on a project that I waited a month to get the green light on.
While we don’t have to help our colleagues tie shoes or remind them to FaceTime Grandma (that’d be weird), parenting skills can translate surprisingly well in the workplace.
I don’t have kids myself, but I was curious when Julie Zhuo, a former vice president of design at Facebook and a mom of three, tweeted that she learns as much or more about improving teamwork from parenting books as she does from books about management. “I find kids present a more extreme version of the same kinds of interpersonal challenges that a colleague/friend/report would,” she writes.
This month marks two years since I received the news that would change my life: The San Francisco Giants were releasing me as a player. Read: I was fired. This was the end of a dream I’d been pursuing my entire life.
In terms of my career, I was back at zero. Imagine going from the top 1% of your craft to a brand-new starting line with no direction. To illustrate just how lost I was, my first post-baseball venture was working on a cattle ranch in Montana. …
Jessica Powell, the former Google vice president who wrote The Big Disruption and told you how to quit your job, is here to answer your common but tricky work questions. Check back every other week for more management advice with a tech inflection.
I work with people who are inconsistently motivated, not particularly high-performing and not possible to get rid of. Sometimes I assume the worst, get frustrated, and am an asshole. But I would like to be a better human. How can I work effectively and without arrogance (clearly I struggle with this) with people of different levels of…
I had to say it: Our business relationship wasn’t working.
This was a colleague I respected. I admired their accomplishments and genuine kindness to strangers. I had learned many things from this person and was proud of what we accomplished together. We were friends, even. Over beers, we always got along great.
But at work, we had become accidental rivals. This colleague was acting as the gatekeeper between me and our clients, preventing me from making any progress on our goals. It was as if they were working against me, not with me. The tension had been growing.