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Sunday Links: let others decide, origin story and time to quit
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I couldn’t wait till Sunday, so here I am. Before you jump to the links I’ve brought, let me share some news.
I created a page on Mastodon. It’s a new decentralized Twitter alternative and it’s growing. It’s free, there are no algorithms, hashtags work as they should, and people don’t post cringe. At least they do it much less than on Twitter.
The design may seem unusual at first, but the way Mastodon boosts my posts I can let it slide. I’ve been posting there for two days now, and have already got 9 subscribers which is fast for a newcomer. Just for comparison, to grow my account on Twitter for the same amount of subscribers took me two months.
The best thing about Mastodon is that people who followed me actually see my new posts. It never happened on Twitter, even with a Blue subscription.
If you’d like to get in touch more often, follow me on Mastodon. It’s great out there. I hope you’ll love it, too.
Findings I’ve enjoyed this week
The single visionary fairytale. Tim Kadlec opposes a well-known myth of the effectiveness of a single vision. There’s no doubt it’s crucial to have a clear and sharp focus, but it’s not applied to making decisions.
Having a single decision-making center is only effective in times of chaos like we experienced during the pandemic or last year when the war started. People get disoriented and need someone to take a lead.
But things such as pandemiсs and wars happen once a decade or even less frequent. Those are emergencies, not regular situations. So making decisions for the whole team shouldn’t be your everyday management and leadership credo.
If you take over every decision, soon you’ll find yourself alone. And when you need a hand of your teammates, there won’t be any. As all decisions are made by one person people will lose interest and motivation to help.
If you make for building a supportive culture in your team, you should let people make decisions, mistakes, and take responsibility for them. That’s the only way you can build a team that will run independently, without your supervision. It’s only good because when hard times come you’ll need something solid and stable to lean on. You can’t lean on the soft and fluffy.
Origin story. Equality and freedom for everyone is another myth we’re being told and assured of these days. Some people clamor for freedom without defining what freedom is. Some people demand equality by infringing on the rights of others and don’t wink an eye.
I think the question itself is formulated badly. It’s not “why aren’t we free and equal?” It’s “what do those limitations grant us with and how can we use them for our own best?”
We are born different. We live different lives. We can't expect being treated the same way as someone else. That's just foolish. Rather than choose to spread animosity and rage, complaining about injustice, we should learn how to benefit from our origin stories, instead.
Equal freedom for everyone is the worst kind of freedom. It's a utopian world structure that is impossible to achieve. You can't just hand over equality or freedom to anyone. Those are very ephemeral things.
No one is equal by origin and no one ever will be, whatever the constitution of your country says. The only equal thing about us—we are mortal, we die. That’s what we should remember coming out of our houses every day.
Probably it would help us be a little more constructive and focus on creating value and building trust rather than being jealous of something we don’t have.
When you should quit. Starting something is easy. You just start doing it. The hardest things are continuing and quitting. It’s hard to define whether you should keep doing this or you should stop and move to the next idea.
Justin Jackson shares his approach, and let me add something of mine. I look at two things: how I feel and what people say.
How I feel about it. If I feel tension and a resistance I wonder where they come from and what they mean. They can be a signal that I am on the right way, but they also could be a signal that what I do brings more harm than value and profit.
To define what I feel I ask myself the following questions:
Does what I do still bring me joy? Do I feel satisfied by the end of the day?
Do I do it with ease? Or do I have to force myself to keep going?
If there’s a reluctance where does it come from? What’s that about?
What people say. I also mind my readers’ and customers’ opinions. It’s the fastest way to get feedback and learn if what I do gets a proper response. If it’s mostly positive—good, if it’s negative—OK, there’s something I should work on.
Even though I read those emails, comments, and reactions, I try not to pay too much attention to outside opinions. What my guts tell me always comes first. People can be judgemental and biased due to their own experience and see in my words something I didn’t mean.
Tribe meets white man for the first time. One of the most kind and wonderful videos I came across on YouTube. Just look at the reaction of the tribe people. Those are pure emotions: fear, curiosity, and excitement. Most of us will never be able to experience anything like this, not even close.
Hope you’ve found this email thought-provoking. If you have, share it with your friends and people who may like it. I’ll appreciate your support and feedback.
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Tyumen, 4-6 July 2023
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