Reid Hoffman’s 3 Secrets of Highly Successful Grads

Some great advise here. I love some of the quotes though:
  • If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.
  • If you are not growing, you are actually contracting.
  • in the world of work, every day is exam day.
  • Congratulations on all the great work, that you’ve put into your education so far, but your learning has just begun.
  • Ironically, in a changing world, playing safe is one of the riskiest thing to do.

Great Wisdom from Seth Godin


I read this great FastCo article about 4 Bullet points that Seth gave in a talk to Creatives on how to do Design that matters. I personally feel that, these are great points for even non-creatives. For that matter, these are great for anybody who ‘produces’ as part of their job. And yes, I count software lines of code as production. I count efficient management of projects as production too.

The four points are:

  1. Do it in purpose
  2. Tell stories that resonate with those in charge
  3. Demand responsibility, and do not worry at all about authority.
  4. Reflect credit but embrace blame.

I agree with all of these points a 100%. I have actually practiced some of these points in different points in time in my career, and they _work_.

Seth apparently ended the talk with a great quote:

“I have no doubt the people in this room are going to succeed. The question is: Are you going to matter?”

Love the quote.

Read the full article here.

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Too Many Hops

Quite recently, I had been talking to a friend of mine, who was vying for a senior leadership position. After a couple of conversations with the recruiter, he was told he had taken too many hops, and hence the company was not considering him. I was thinking about this for a bit, and I thought I would share my thoughts.

I personally feel that, ‘rejecting’ based on this reason as the only reason seems pretty foolish and hasty. The least that one should do is to find out the reason for the hops, and how the hops happened.

Insecurity? Were the hops because of the candidate not feeling confident that he could do the job assigned to him? This might be a valid reason for rejecting, but then, we should also dig in into finding out how the fellow landed up that job in the first place. In the numerous interviews that I have taken, I have found that, one can easily figure this out, using some behavioural traits.

Performance. Were the hops because the candidate did not perform well? Did the interest levels dip soon after the candidate was hired? Again, think. Why was this not caught during the interview process? Again, performance measurement is subjective. It could be your perspective that he may have gotten the boot because of bad performance. But, this is a valid case of rejecting a candidate.

Burnt bridges. How did the candidate leave the previous companies? Were they amicable? Were they jumps with the management in full support? Were the jumps such that management tried ‘everything’ to retain him? Did he burn bridges? If the candidate had had personnel (not personal) issues because of which, he burnt bridges (fought with manager/team etc), then this is definitely something that should discourage you from hiring this person.

The fire brand. Is the candidate someone who has the fire burning in him to grow fast? Did he find that he has been increasing his net intellectual/management experience worth significantly by jumping from gig-to-gig once in a few years? If the candidate is someone like this, you can be sure that he would not have left the previous gigs in bad taste. He would have alternate plans, succession strategies, etc, that when he leaves, it does not leave a void. It is not necessarily a bad thing to hire this guy. Except, one should hire him recognizing that he is a fire brand, and craves growth. For a senior management position, this craving is a good thing. Stoked correctly, this fire brand can create miracles for a company.

To end, my opinion is that, too many recruiters make this mistake of judging a candidate by too-many-hops. Yes, I agree, there are some folks who have had too-many-hops because of ‘issues’, but you cannot generalize. In this current generation of companies, there are two kinds of people who race to the top – both the turtles and the hares. The turtles are the folks who have risen in the company (it took them 15 years in the same company to become the senior manager/director). The hares are the folks who gain experience and expertise in working through a variety of positions (these are the folks who have risen to a senior manager/director in 7-8 years). Think for a moment, and you can easily recall folks in both categories.