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A collection of 18 posts

Leader Fables: 'Baking Ideas Pt. 2'

As expected, Casey and I are back with part two of making ideas happen. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of project execution, we couldn't resist recapping the importance of seizing inspiration (because let's face it, those lightbulb moments can be as fleeting as a sneeze).

Casey and I also found ourselves tangled in an impromptu showdown about what truly constitutes a minimum viable product (MVP). Trust me, it's like watching two nerds duke it out over the best flavor of ice cream—but with much higher stakes.

Amidst the laughter and friendly banter, we share a variety of tips for executing projects like pros. We cover everything from persuasion tactics, to handling those moments when your grand plan suddenly takes a nosedive into the fiery pits of chaos.

If you're up for a dallop of wisdom, wit, and a touch of nerdiness, tune in to the latest episode of Leader Fables.

Leader Fables: 'Baking Ideas Pt. 1'

Get ready for another exciting episode of Leader Fables where we outline how we make ideas happen.

Casey and I discuss effective brainstorming strategies, share our experiences on the art of persuasion, and provide practical tips for getting projects underway. The episode is chuck-full of actionable insights, personal anecdotes, and a dose of our favorite recommendations.

This episode is packed with tools and tips to help you turn your ideas into reality.

Leader Fables: 'Help Your Family Love Your Job'

I'll be the first to admit that there have been times when my wife hated my job. In our latest episode of Leader Fables, Casey Clark gives us some great advice on how to love our work and our families. He also outlines a litmus test to determine what our families thing about our work. If you cherish both your career and your loved ones, try his test.

I invite you to join me on a journey towards creating a fulfilling life where work and family thrive together. I'm just getting started 💙

Leader Fables: 'Don't Drink the Water'

Looks like we've got a classic case of delayed gratification, folks! This week's episode took a detour thanks to the ultimate culprit: travel.

But don't worry, we're not here to complain (well, not too much anyway.) Join me and Casey on a journey through the wild world of business travel. We share our tips and tricks for surviving the airport shuffle, and maybe even inspire you to try something new on your next trip.

And if that's not enough to entice you, I also unleash some fiery hot takes on everyone's favorite office annoyance: email auto-responders.

Leader Fables: 'Stop Reading Business Books'

After a five-month hiatus, Casey and I are back behind the mic to discuss all things leadership.

One of the professional maxims I try to live by is: the better I get, the better I better get. In this week's fortnightly episode, we attempt to unpack that truth by discussing the importance of professional development.

To improve as a leader, I've learned that I need to seek ways to inspire and challenge me. Neglecting professional development is a recipe for obsolescence. And who wants to be obsolete? I certainly don't.

Leader Fables: 'Powerful Presentations'

Happy New Year, friends! Casey Clark and I have great plans for Leader Fables this year, and we can't wait to share our plans with you soon. Until then, we're releasing a handful of episodes on topics we're passionate about, and this week's episode on presentations is no exception. So join us as we discuss the elements that make for a powerful presentation.

If you're a veteran presenter or new to giving presentations, this episode has a tip for you.

Leader Fables: 'Marvelous Meetings'

Meetings can either energize or bore. I've learned the hard way how to orchestrate meetings that are memorable, impactful, and fun. In this week's fortnightly episode of Leader Fables, Casey and I discuss how to host team meetings that are energizing, inviting, informative, and celebratory.

For those of us that struggle to make meetings effective or could use some advice to make an impending team meeting more inspirational, this episode will not dissapoint.

Leader Fables: 'Interview with Mary Jane Isaacs'

One of my favorite people, Mary Jane Isaacs, joined us on Leader Fables Fables this week.

Mary Jane is a phenomenal leader who shares inspiring stories about navigating difficult seasons. She also delivers excellent tips on conducting effective one-on-ones and adding a little whimsy to team celebrations. Give this week's episode a listen; it's not one to miss.

Leader Fables: 'The Summit'

The most difficult but most rewarding activity I do every week is a retrospective. Taking 30 minutes to reflect on the prior week and make minor course corrections has made me a more effective leader, father, and husband. In this week's episode of Leader Fables, Casey and I demonstrate and discuss how to conduct effective after action reviews.

Book recommend: Getting Things Done by David Allen

Leader Fables: 'Interview with Margaret Simonis'

In this week's episode of Leader Fables, we break from our usual format to interview a long time colleague of Casey's: Margaret Simonis. Margaret is an experienced and exceptional middle manager who shares some practical advice on how to conduct effective 1-on-1s, stay organized, establish routines for recharging, and team collaboration.

This episode is packed with great advice from an experienced middle manager for middle managers. Please give it a listen.

Leader Fables: 'Rallying Cry'

Establishing weekly planning and reflection routines has, by far, enabled me to maintain better focus. And sustaining focus throughout the week has allowed me to do my best work and lead more effectively. This week's episode of Leader Fables is packed with tips on performing weekly planning, establishing rhythms for reflection, setting weekly goals, and maintaining focus.

For teams who are striving to do their best work but could pick up a little more speed, this week's episode is for you 💜

Book recommend: Deep Work by Cal Newport

Leader Fables: 'The Map'

Launching products is complex. But proper strategic planning helps sustain execution and ensures successful outcomes. What is strategic planning, and how does it relate to the middle manager's role? Listen to this week's episode of Leader Fables to find out.

Also, there's some can't-miss talk of a slingshot to space.

Book recommend: Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt

Leader Fables: 'The Code'

Most of us love hearing a captivating quitting story. I hate to admit it, but, at times, I've fantasized about rage quitting, too. While I have yet rage quit, I've experienced a few spectacular resignations as a middle manager. I talk about one of them at the beginning of this week's episode of Leader Fables.

Consider reducing the rage by collaboratively establishing team norms. What are team norms? Listen to this week's episode to find out.

Book recommend: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The Great Safari Tab Fiasco is Over

Today is a good day. As predicted, Safari's tab UI has been restored to its former glory in version 15.1 for Big Sur and Catalina (yes, I'm still running both OSes).

I'm pleased to write that one Mac nerd's nightmare is finally over.

Rethinking My Task List with Beck Tench

I recently watched Beck Tench's walkthrough of her OmniFocus setup and I was struck by how she's made her tasks more inviting by constructing them as inspirational or aspirational notes to her future self. Her task list reads more like a cupboard stocked with good food instead of a list of harsh imperatives that must be done.

Over the last month or so, my responsibilities have changed significantly, so I took the opportunity to reimagine and redraft my project and task lists to use more energizing language. For example, instead of saying "Get photos from my wife of our East Canyon camping trip", I redrafted the task to read "So that I can write a mini review of the Escapod, get photos from my wife of our East Canyon camping trip". While the change is subtle, I'm hopeful that by adding "whys" and a little more explanation to my tasks I'll avoid less and do more.

The Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine is the AirPort Extreme’s Rightful Successor

Over the last year or so, I've been working to replace the network equipment in my home with Ubiquity products, and last night I decommissioned my 6th generation Apple AirPort Extreme and replaced it with the UniFi Dream Machine (the non-pro model).

Setting up the Dream Machine is very similar to setting up a new HomePod. All you've got to do is plug it in and download and open the UniFi Network app. Ubiquiti has done a good job of obstracting a lot of the complexitities for non-network nerds. However, should you want to delve deeper into monitoring and managing your UniFi network, the web-based management interface is exceptionally executed and comprehensive.

While the verdict is still out, initial indicators are very good. My wifi speeds have almost doubled, allowing me to take better advantage of the fastest pipes in the west. For those looking for a whole-home, integrated, wifi and router solution, the UniFi Dream Machine is hard to beat.

Update: Apparently, Apple has started selling the Eero mesh wifi system. Ostensibly, and this probably goes without sasying, they're backing the wrong horse.

Update 2: 9to5Mac has a great write-up extolling the Dream Machine's many great features.

Inspired Workspaces

This is a great Twitter thread highlighting the desks of some of my favorite artists and history's influencers.

I'll admit, clean spaces appeal to me, but my workspace is hardly ever clutter-free. Perhaps I'd do well to get a little more comfortable with my "messy" artist side?