Day 24: Friday 10 February
Not covid but sick today
Not so sick that I was in bed all day, but sick enough that achieving anything today was hard.
The challenge for me on days like this is not to beat myself up about not doing any work. If I’m wiped and in bed all day, that’s much easier. I can’t do anything and that’s OK. It’s the days when I can sit at a screen and try that feel like I wasted them.
The reality is that I might as well not try. I’m not going to do anything I’ll be proud of today.
On days like this, I aim to have a non-zero day. A day when I’ve achieved absolutely nothing.
I’ve got a little done. Like this post. Like my weekly review. And I’ve listened to a few podcasts.
The nice thing about a podcast is I can rest but still feel like I’m achieving something. Any learning that may come will not be as effective, but I’ll recognise something of value when I hear it. If that’s the whole podcast I’ll mark it not-listened so I know I need to re-listen, if it’s just a short gem I’ll seek out the transcript and copy it down. Like this gem from Adam Grant about teamwork on WorkLife in his conversation with Abby Wambach
[00:39:21] Abby Wambach: I love this. How do you ensure a, a winning team? How do you create a winning team?
[00:39:29] Adam Grant: I mean, you did it. I just study it. But I’ll tell you maybe my favorite framework, uh, which we can talk about more later. I had the great fortune of learning from the world’s leading expert on teams, Richard Hackman.
He was the first organizational psychologist I ever met. I took his class when I was a junior in college and I was hooked, and Richard wrote a book called Leading Teams where he tried to unpack everything he knew about making a team great over half a century. And basically what it boiled down to was number one, you need a real team.
We’re not just a group. We’re interdependent. We rely on each other to achieve a common mission that’s greater than ourselves. Two was a compelling direction. We need a, a purpose that, that we all believe in. Three was what, what he would consider a, an effective system of roles so that you know, each person was able to use their individual talents for the benefit of the group. Four was a supportive context. And then the last piece was some expert coaching, when you needed education, motivation, consultation, somebody from the outside who could step in and make the team more than the sum of its parts. And I like that framework a lot.
I think the part that I’ve been most interested in personally is the question of how do we set a compelling direction. Because in, in most teams, like there isn’t that immediate resonance of “We wanna win a championship.” I think that’s a built-in feature to sports. Everyone wants to win. In life, it’s a lot harder to figure out what does winning mean. And how do you make that meaningful to each person? And I don’t know. I would love to read your next book about that.
I’m going to seek out the book too.