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That’s always going to be a challenge for any manager, not just executives. One way I’ve found to help avoid that problem is to make sure the culture knows meetings are not to decide things but to communicate what has been decided. In our book mentioned in the article we talk about this quite a bit and there were a lot more blog posts internally on the specific topic of meetings and purpose. I think most senior folks recognize the challenge you describe–folks might be surprised how often we feel we have to unwind a question turned request. A tool to help in this regard is for the “owner” or “leader” of the meeting to send out the notes for the meeting, rather than the attendees, so that there aren’t any ambiguities like you describe. It is something I tried to do personally for a long time.

2012-12-11 21:40:00 Steven Sinofsky

A very thoughtful article and worth this small set of folks reading. 

There’s an alternate point of view that just says to stay focused and continue on “creating wealth” until you gain more experience in life.  If you’re a hacker, keep hacking as though nothing ever happened and keep contributing to the organization that you were lucky enough to join and happened to offer this gift to you.  While you might always have some misfortune and regret having not lived large, statistically you are probably more likely to get a bit older and regret having made a lot of financial choices and decisions without more life experience first. 

Diversification is nice but it is also costly if you believe in the organization you are part of more than other organizations.  It sounds great on paper and many investment advisors will preach it, but really ask yourself if you believe in other organizations more.  At least think about that for a few years.  Yes, your organization can become the victim of some misfortune, but is that more or less likely that an organization you don’t know anything about but are investing in?

Thinking about doing good things?  Ask if you would be in a better position to do good things if you accumulate more wealth and more life experience.  Maybe you’ll make better choices, have more time, or just have more resources to contribute?

Above all, if you think you don’t need to work or are “set” then pause and do some math. It takes a lot of money to not work–actually it takes almost the same amount of money to not work as it does if you just kept at your job for the rest of your working life, but adjusted for real growth and real inflation.  Compounded percentages are pretty scary when taken out 75 years.

2012-05-18 03:38:00 stevesi