Abhi Yerra

Sheepdog: A Framework for Action in Life and Work

Influence and Power

Decision Making

The principle of intervention, like that of healers, is first do no harm (primum non nocere); even more, we will argue, those who don’t take risks should never be involved in making decisions. 
 
This large payoff from stubborn courage is not limited to the military. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” wrote Margaret Mead. Revolutions are unarguably driven by an obsessive minority. And the entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people.
- Skin in the Game
 
Do not let the mind become clouded inside; keep it broad, and place your wisdom in that broad place. It is very important to polish both wisdom and mind earnestly.
 
Even when the action is extraordinarily lively on the battlefield, you should take the principles of the martial arts to the extreme and keep your mind unmoved.
 
Here is the reason: when you attack quickly and indiscriminately, without knowing the mind of your opponent, you will confuse your own rhythm and make it difficult to gain the victory. -Book of Five Rings
 
Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed. Scientists have found that people can get better at self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings. - Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity, Charles Duhigg
 
What makes Pixar special is that we acknowledge we will always have problems, many of them hidden from our view; that we work hard to uncover these problems, even if doing so means making ourselves uncomfortable; and that, when we come across a problem, we marshal all of our energies to solve it.
 
In any creative endeavor, there is a long list of features and effects that you want to include to nudge it toward greatness—a very long list. At some point, though, you realize it is impossible to do everything on the list. So you set a deadline, which then forces a priority-based reordering of the list, followed by the difficult discussion of what, on this list, is absolutely necessary—or if the project is even feasible at all. You don’t want to have this discussion too soon, because at the outset, you don’t know what you are doing. If you wait too long, however, you run out of time or resources.
 - Creativity, Inc.
 
  • Have skin in the game. It is hard to make decisions from a far.
  • If you believe in something playing on the sidelines doesn’t cut it.
  • Is the task you are deciding to do a lateral task? Does it help you grow in anyway or are you only doing it because it is comfortable?
  • sometimes it feels nice to be in the bunny slopes because you can go down and not fall but then you just get good at doing easy stuff and never get to do the bigger more challenging tasks that require real strength and change.
  • so when picking a task really figure out if when you have made a decision for the millionth time if it is still a decision you want to make or a decision you will have someone who you trained to make do, or maybe you will automate it?
  • Remember it is okay to say no to things, saying no to a 100 small things so you can work on the big thing, but also note that big thing is made of a 100 small things.
  • So a decision is how does it play into the bigger picture?
  • Ensure that there is growth.
 

Decide if you need to make the decision

  • Sometimes you don’t need to.
  • Is this a decision I and I alone need to make?
  • over time the number of decisions you make should be reduced but those decision should be broad and deep.
  • making too many decisions over time can lead to decision fatigue.
  • that is you make so many decisions you get exhausted and do something stupid.
  • think of all the really smart, powerful people who end up with affairs.
  • they probably were making too many decisions that led to them deciding on the wrong thing at the wrong time.
  •  

Decision making

This is the nature of management. Decisions are made, usually for good reasons, which in turn prompt other decisions. So when problems arise—and they always do—disentangling them is not as simple as correcting the original error. Often, finding a solution is a multi-step endeavor. There is the problem you know you are trying to solve—think of that as an oak tree—and then there are all the other problems—think of these as saplings—that sprouted from the acorns that fell around it. And these problems remain after you cut the oak tree down. - Creativity, Inc.
 
The executive who wants to be effective and who wants his organization to be effective polices all programs, all activities, all tasks. He always asks: “Is this still worth doing?” And if it isn’t, he gets rid of it so as to be able to concentrate on the few tasks that, if done with excellence, will really make a difference in the results of his own job and in the performance of his organization. 
 
Decisions are made by men. Men are fallible; at their best their works do not last long. Even the best decision has a high probability of being wrong. Even the most effective one eventually becomes obsolete.
 
One needs organized information for the feedback. One needs reports and figures. But unless one builds one’s feedback around direct exposure to reality—unless one disciplines oneself to go out and look—one condemns oneself to a sterile dogmatism and with it to ineffectiveness.
 
The effective decision-maker does not start out with the assumption that one proposed course of action is right and that all others must be wrong. Nor does he start out with the assumption, “I am right and he is wrong.” He starts out with the commitment to find out why people disagree.
 
As a result, decision-making can no longer be confined to the very small group at the top. In one way or another almost every knowledge worker in an organization will either have to become a decision-maker himself or will at least have to be able to play an active, an intelligent, and an autonomous part in the decision-making process.
  • - Effective Executive
 
  • You will never have 100% of the perfect information to make a decision. You only have imperfect information to work with most of the time. Have a criteria that you have that is yours that you can empirically test that you revolve over time for helping you make decisions. How do you make decisions on what you invest in, what you buy, who you date? Sometimes you don’t want perfect you want the good enough that meets your criteria.
  • Most of the time you want to make a good decision not a perfect one. A good decision is made by taking 60-80% of information available. 100% is never available to you.
  • It is just as important to remove the need to make decisions as it is to make them. Standard Operating Procedures, kill projects that don’t or won’t give you joy, etc. are important. You can’t focus your energy on everything, you can really only focus on 2-3 projects so it really depends on how you want to get those projects done quickly that matter.
  • delegate. You can’t do it all yourself and great things are done with other people so learn how to have others do tasks for you.
  • Remove tasks that doesn’t fit a certain criteria that you have.
  • When you have the upside you also bear responsibility for the downside. You can’t blame others for it
 
High Output Management
  • What decision needs to be made?
  • When does it have to be made?
  • Who will decide?
  • Who will need to be consulted prior to making the decision?
  • Who will ratify or veto the decision?
  • Who will need to be informed of the decision?
 
Effective Executive / Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker
  • Look for disagreements even if overall the main task is in order
  • Feedback analysis
  • Make a decision
  • Every 6 months review the decisions
  • Once a decision has been made and worked on you need to go check on it.
  • Is it the work you want.
  • What were the failures and mistakes?
  • Were certain things not met?
  • Was the project too big to chew?
  • Was work not held to high standard.
  • All of these are important. What you lead with creates the culture that you want. You shouldn’t expect less
  • When making a decision think of boundary conditions
  • Will you want to live with this if it is going to last a while
  • What are the limitations and who will need to run this in the future. Are we making it too complicated for them?
 
 
 

Influence and Power

  • Micro-commitments. Have people commit to the smallest things. Next meeting, next step, next way to talk to people, small project to start.
  • Slow Down When Speaking. Slow it down. Calm it down. speeding things makes people think they are not heard. Listen, Don't Interrupt
  • Positive playful voice. Relax and smile while talking even when on the phone.
  • Tell the Illness, Sell the Cure
  • Be Funny
  • Ask How and Why questions. (Makes them think)
  • When asking a question make them do the work to figure out the answer. It makes them think they came up with the answer

Book Notes: Never Split the Difference

 

  • Mirror the Other Person
  • Label all bad things the other entity can say about you. It cuts the power of their criticism.
  • Get the other side to say no as soon as possible. No is a default because people fear change. So get to no early so the other side can then be more open to your ideas. “What about this doesn’t work for you?” It also makes them feel safe. Persuade from their perspective.
  • Get them to say "That's right." A challenger with bunch of questions from their perspective.
  • Say that we only want "what's fair." This puts the other person in a predicament of whether they are good or not.
  • Don't say I understand because it makes you sound like you are not listening to them.
  • Ask for help. Let them feel like they are in control
 
 

Notes

 
Sales as competition what they like about their current vendor it pulls out the negative. As it doesn’t makes people follow their consistency bias.
People thinking emotionally and apply logic to their emotion. 
Sales is about sales not the relationship
  • People tend to fail at sales because they want to be liked and accepted instead of disrupting the bias.
For sales need to be empathetic a lot. 80% listening and 20% solving their problem.
  • But the solving of their problem has to be done in a way that puts you ahead. 
 
 

Todo

Customer Development
  1. How do you do customer development? #next
  1. How do you ask customers for what they want?
  1. What are the jobs to be done?
 
Effective Communication
How to have effective meetings?
  •  High Output Management
  • Write how to have one off meetings
  • Learn: How do I effectively communicate my ideas for others to understand?
  • How do I communicate clearly?
  • Learn: How do I communicate more succinctly when communicating ideas?
  • Learn: How to speak more clearly?
  • How do I get through conflict?
  •  Crucial conversations
  •  creating conversations: improvisation in everyday discourse
  •  Note Crucial Conversations as a section on Conflict Resolution
  • Learn: How do I effectively communicate what my objective and outcome should be for tasks?
  • Learn: How do I effectively hire vendors?
  • How do I effectively communicate my ideas so others can achieve them?
  • How do I get through complicated decisions?
How do I deal with conflict and resolution?
 
Influence and Power

Influence and Power

 
  •  Never Split the Difference
  • Mirror the Other Person
  • Label all bad things the other entity can say about you. It cuts the power of their criticism.
  • Get the other side to say no as soon as possible. No is a default because people fear change. So get to no early so the other side can then be more open to your ideas. “What about this doesn’t work for you?” It also makes them feel safe. Persuade from their perspective.
  • Get them to say "That's right." A challenger with bunch of questions from their perspective.
  • Say that we only want "what's fair." This puts the other person in a predicament of whether they are good or not.
  • Don't say I understand because it makes you sound like you are not listening to them.
  • Ask for help. Let them feel like they are in control
  •  Book: Influence
  •  Book: Charisma Myth
  •  Book: Crucial Conversations
  •  Book: How to Make Friends and Influence People
  •  Book: 48 Laws of Power
Existing Principles
  • Micro-commitments. Have people commit to the smallest things. Next meeting, next step, next way to talk to people, small project to start.
  • Slow Down When Speaking. Slow it down. Calm it down. speeding things makes people think they are not heard. Listen, Don't Interrupt
  • Positive playful voice. Relax and smile while talking even when on the phone.
  • Tell the Illness, Sell the Cure
  • Be Funny
  • Ask How and Why questions. (Makes them think)
  • When asking a question make them do the work to figure out the answer. It makes them think they came up with the answer
What are some latest research on exerting power?
What great ancient texts showed the use of power?
How does one internalize the use of power?
  • Learn: How do you influence people?
  •  Charisma Myth
  •  Influence
  •  How to Make Friends and Influence People
  •  Never Split the Difference
  •  Crucial Conversations
 
Leader / Manager
Learn
Do
Advance
  • Learn: How do I become a good leader so that I can effectively delegate my tasks and get them accomplished?
  • Learn: What does it mean to be a leader?
  •  Leaders Eat Last
  •  Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
  •  Principles
  •   Be an effective delegator
  •   Delegate more tasks from my plate
  •  Systematize as postulates
Plan hour a day managing
 
setup hiring
 
learn how to hire
 
plan day aroundtasks
  • Learn: How do I do effective Goal Setting?
  •  the practice of management
  •  High output management
  •  First Thing First
  • Learn: How do I setup an effective organizational agenda?
  •  Only the Paranoid survive
  •  Managing for Results
 

Influence and Power

 

  • To get where you want to go you need to be able to influence and exert power.
  • People may scoff at this principle but it is important to exert a level of power.
  • Power is an important human dynamic and it is what powers and runs group sociology
  • It is therefore important to understand how to exert and use it for your gains.
  • You have to want and be able to manipulate people to get what you want.
  • To do that you need two skills:
  • concrete decision making
  • conflict resolution and negotiation
  • Having good decision making capabilities allows you to move forward.
  • A decision is a stake in the ground in whatever way you are going but it is a stake.
  • However, a decision can be made to go forward or backwards
  • So having a good series of decisions backing you up leads you to gain trust and hence power.
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • A lot of power also resides in how you handle when getting angry and how you negotiate what you want.
  • These are the times where other people perceive you in a certain light.
  • How you handle conflicts shows how you handle under pressure
  • How you negotiate shows how you get what you want

 

Decision Making

 

  • Effective decisions are one of the pillars of power.
  • The way to make decisions is two fold. Quick decisions with limited information, longer decisions which require more input.
  • Decide, Simplify, Execute, Validate
  • Decide they type of task that you want to make
  • Is it a big choice? Or a simple one?
  • Most decisions are as Jeff Bezos put it a two way door.
  • You can walk through the door and you can walk back out.
  • Some decisions are big existential ones that is more akin to burnings the ships after you land.
  • Know which decision you have to make.
  • Furthermore, you will not know all the information before making a decision and nor can you.
  • 60-80% is enough information to make a decision.
  • Anything more and you are wasting time or are too late.
  •  

 

Conflict Resolution and Negotiation

 

  • Getting angry and emotional doesn’t usually work when dealing with other people
  • It usually leads to them having the advantage over you
  • Think about it. You never get what you want when you are angry.
  • You need to deal with 
 
 
 
Decision Making
 
How do you make effective decisions?
  •  Principles
  •  High Output Management
  •  Drucker
 

books

 
  • paradox of choice