Procrastination Podcast

Please enjoy this podcast inspired by the video The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers.




 

References

Grant, Adam. “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers.” TED. April. 2016. Lecture.

“Adam Grant: Books, Podcast, TED Talks, Newsletter, Articles.” Adam, https://www.adamgrant.net/.

Duan, Crystal. “This Is How You Show Your Creativity, Based on Your Myers-Briggs Type.” Bustle, 27 Mar. 2018.

https://www.bustle.com/p/these-myers-briggs-types-are-the-most-creative-in-the-conventional-unconventional-sense-8546249

Grant, Adam. “Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Jan. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/opinion/sunday/why-i-taught-myself-to-procrastinate.html.

Week 5 Book Review

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Harowitz

This weeks reading started with the fact that companies justify their employees leaving by saying that they were going to fire them anyway. The company hired them and they were great. How did they suddenly become a bad employee? Most times they do not. Many times the company fails to train them or inform them of their expectations.

Being a good place to work is only the beginning for a company. It is crucial to train your employees in all levels of the company. Training will increase productivity, performance management (setting expectations), product quality and employee retention. We all have probably worked somewhere you are not properly trained. Not being trained can lead to a very poor work environment. The training will build confidence in the employee which will spill over to your customers and products.

Training starts with Manager training. The manager needs to know their expectations. Managers should be held responsible for the training of their team. The team will respect the managers if they take the time to train them and let their expectations be known. Better training leads the company to better performance, product quality and better employees. If you wont your company to be successful, your employees must be successful.

Week 4 Book Reflection

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Harowitz

This weeks reading included the difficult things that a CEO or Entrepreneur may go through. These include the struggles, having to tell it like it is, laying employees off, firing an executive, and demoting employees when things fall apart.

Horowitz’s answers to overcoming the “Struggle” include not putting everything on your own shoulders. He encourages you to get the maximum number of brains on your problems even if the problems represent existential threats. Second, understand that your business can be extremely complex, business is like chess there is always a move. Third, Play long enough and you might get lucky. Things can be going dead wrong and if you make it long enough to see tomorrow, it may bring you the answer that seems impossible today. Fourth, Don’t take it personally. Finally, Remember that this is what separates the women from the girls. If you want to be great, accept the challenge.

Mr. Horowitz’s thoughts on laying employees off. You should not delay telling your staff that there are going to be layoffs. It is better that they hear it from you. Be honest. Train your managers on the proper things to say. Assure your employees that it is a company failure, not an employee failure. Be prepared to offer employees benefits and support.

Firing an executive, the person that you have many times searched months for to carry out your mission at the company, is usually not because of incompetence or laziness. It is probably you, the one that hired them, that blew it. You possibly did a poor job defining the position, you hired for their lack of weakness instead of their strengths, or you possible failed to integrate the executive into your company. You prepare when firing an executive: be clear on your reasons, use decisive language, and have their severance package ready. You will then have to inform the company being careful not to damage the reputation of the employee.

Harowitz includes a section on how to demote a friend. I am sure he included this because of a personal experience. In my experience, this is a very hard thing to do. Unfortunately, you have to look at the good of the whole company over the good of your friend. While your friend will be embarrassed and feel betrayed, you have to decide what is your friends best role in the company. When demoting a friend, you must be honest. Many times your are not telling them what they want to hear. You have to admit reality while acknowledging their contributions to the company. Harowitz also suggests when demoting include and increase in compensation to let them know they are still valued. Now that is a tactic I have never witnessed.

This weeks reading was intense but informative. I find it interesting that he always uses the pronoun her or she when referring to the CEO. I am going to try to figure that one out.

Week 3 Reflection Book Review

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The book continues with Ben getting hired by Netscape. You get a good feel of Ben’s relationship with his boss Marc Andreesen. He admits that they do not see eye to eye, but in the end it works.

Netscape sells to America Online(AOL). They invented JavaScript, SSL, and cookies. After the buyout, he was assigned to run the e-commerce platform and Marc became Chief Technology Officer. They worked through problems and experienced crashes. In 1999, they incorporated a company called LoudCloud and began raising money. Marc Andreesen would end up being the full time chairman of the board and Ben would be the CEO. The company grew at an alarming pace, but less than a year later they experienced the dot.com crash. This crash spooked their investors. The money was getting seriously low so they were faced with going public to stay alive. The IPO(initial public offering) did not bring in the the revenue they had hoped for and as time goes on their stock drops from $6 to $2. The company ends up selling LoudCloud to EDS in 2002. They retain their intellectual software property and become Opsware.

Ben receives some very important advice from another CEO, Bill Campbell. Don’t celebrate the sell, let your people know where they stand so that you will be trusted. After the sale, the stock dropped to 35 cents per share.

Ben interjects the words to a song “On To The Next One” by Jay Z. ” I move onward, the only direction Can’t be scared to fail in search of Perfection.”

He takes the 80 employees left with the company to a meeting at a motel for a night of drinking and explaining the Opsware opportunity. Seventy Eight remained with the company. After the restructure, stock rose from 35 cents to $7. Ben thought they were out of the woods. But were they???

This books continues with the theme do not give up. Whether we are coming up with an idea or running a company, it is important to continue with the quest of success.

Discovering Innovation through my WCU class ENT601

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

I chose this book because I liked the title.  You know they say do not judge a book by its cover.  As I eagerly awaited the delivery of my Amazon purchase, I had no idea what the book was about.  Imagine my surprise upon opening the envelope containing this gorgeous hardback book to find a book about Ben Horowitz and his experiences, issues, and lessons learned the hard way throughout his life. His life as a tech guru! If you follow my discussion prompts, blog posts, or you just know me, you will soon find out that technology is not my friend.  Technology has been one of my biggest challenges as an Entrepreneur. Fate may be telling me something as I embark to read and understand the life of Ben Harowitz.

This book is dedicated to Ben Horowitz’s family.  The notation in the front of the book states that 100% of Ben’s proceeds of the book will go to help women in developing countries gain basic civil rights via the American Jewish World Service. 

Mr. Harowitz starts his book with all of the things that we may think are not hard in managing a business. In his words, “The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.”(Harowitz,2014)

This book is an autobiography.  The first couple of chapters outline Horowitz’s first jobs which happen to be in the tech industry.  He is at the forefront of the technology industry and things did not come as easy as you might think. I will continue reading about the saga of Ben Harowitz and apprise you of all his experiences both good and bad.

Horowitz, Ben. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. New York, Harper Collins,2014.

WELCOME

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

Albert Einstein

Today, I make my first blog post ever. My name is Tina Jones. If you would have told me one year ago that our family farm would incorporate hemp into the products we grow, I am not sure I would have believed it. Could we possibly be growing the next Golden Leaf? Would we get rich in a year? Should we jump in on the band wagon? Those were the questions I asked myself as my sons, Derek and Bill, along with my husband Edward were bouncing the idea around.

Our farm is in North Carolina so the first step was to submit an application for a license to the Industrial Hemp Commission. The application would include the amount that we intended to grow and where it was going to be grown. We then had to wait for the commission to meet and approve our license. The license was approved!! We had to pay the fees associated with the license and we were ready to begin. I will not lie, we were very excited!! A family of farmers would certainly be excited about a new crop.

Next, the growing process begins. This is were I step out!! I have been known to literally kill a half of greenhouse full of plants. Luckily, everyone else in the family has a green thumb. With plants and guidance from a veteran hemp grower, the adventure began. Stay tuned to hear about last years adventures.