Came across an interview with Evan Spiegel, Snap’s CEO, who offered career advice for entrepreneurs. The main message was to find something you are really good at and excel at it. Be the absolute best that you can be at because your career will eventually lead you to other opportunities whereby you’ll need to learn new subjects. Being excellent at one thing will help you to become excellent at other things. Check out the article at business insider. It’s a fantastic message.
I came across an interesting article about a former Google employee who taught his fellow coworkers mindfulness and emotional intelligence during his 20% “me” time. At the end of it, the goal was to teach one to pursue his passions that were unrelated to his or her work responsibilities but that would ultimately benefit the company. His approach was to recruit other big names in the industry and have them speak (on the company’s dime) with a central message of always doing the right thing for Google and the world. What he didn’t know was whether or not Google would condone the message or not. In his words:
“The secret of my success in Google is to always do the right thing for Google and the world. And then I sit back and wait for them to fire me. So if they don’t fire me, I’ve done the right thing for Google and the world. If they do fire me, then I’m in the wrong company. So either way I win.”
He went on: “This is one of those situations where I just do the right thing and then, if it doesn’t work out, just ask for forgiveness.”
What is your secret in the workforce? My view is that one should always do the right thing for the company. Shoot first and ask questions later…or firing from the hip can be maverick, but sometimes asking for forgiveness later is the quickest way from point A to point B. I agree that this won’t work for every employee, but there are definitely situations that warrant this. Be nimble and flexible, and use an agile, well thought out approach for every situation.
I read a recent article about rethinking how you manage that really piqued my interest. When there are issues to be resolved and decisions to be made in the workplace, it takes a certain level of effort to get the job done. I’ve been on both sides of the equation here — as an employee who has reported to a superior and as a manager with direct reports. And because of this, I know that there can be different solutions taken that arrive at the same answer. However, some solutions may be more or less efficient or effective than others. Knowing how to effectively communicate, either employee to boss or vice versa, is important here. The key to resolution is ownership — if one feels they are vested in the project or the issue at hand, they’ll take on responsibility and see the task to completion. On the flip side, if there are always questions but no proposed solutions, or if one’s solutions are always discounted, there can be no real ownership. It’s all about the appropriate level of employee empowerment!
A recent article about Apple’s interview questions was really interesting which got me thinking — as a manager, I’ve never been asked questions like this before during an interview. I ask the typical questions about who you are, where you’ve been and what are you up to now. I’ll usually ask a few questions to make the interviewee think, such as what is your favorite excel formula and why? Or ask them to describe a situation that had conflict and see how they resolved it. But it dawned on me that there is a whole other creative way to glean information from a candidate and Apple seems to have it down pat. There are some pretty challenging questions in this article. How would you answer them?
Following are some of them:
“A man calls in and has an older computer that is essentially a brick. What do you do?” — Apple Care At-Home Consultant candidate
“Are you smart?” — Build Engineer candidate
“Have you ever disagreed with a manager’s decision, and how did you approach the disagreement? Give a specific example and explain how you rectified this disagreement, what the final outcome was, and how that individual would describe you today.” — Software Engineer candidate
“You put a glass of water on a record turntable and begin slowly increasing the speed. What happens first — does the glass slide off, tip over, or does the water splash out?” — Mechanical Engineer candidate
“Tell me something that you have done in your life which you are particularly proud of.” — Software Engineering Manager candidate
“Are you creative? What’s something creative that you can think of?” — Software Engineer candidate
“Describe a humbling experience.” — Apple Retail Specialist candidate
“What’s more important, fixing the customer’s problem or creating a good customer experience?” — Apple At Home Advisor candidate
“Why did Apple change its name from Apple Computers Incorporated to Apple Inc.?” — Specialist candidate
“You seem pretty positive, what types of things bring you down?” — Family Room Specialist candidate
“Show me (role play) how you would show a customer you’re willing to help them by only using your voice.” — College At-Home Advisor candidate
“What brings you here today?” — Software Engineer candidate
“Given an iTunes type of app that pulls down lots of images that get stale over time, what strategy would you use to flush disused images over time?” — Software Engineer candidate
“If you’re given a jar with a mix of fair and unfair coins, and you pull one out and flip it 3 times, and get the specific sequence heads heads tails, what are the chances that you pulled out a fair or an unfair coin?” — Lead Analyst candidate
“What was your best day in the last 4 years? What was your worst?” — Engineering Project Manager candidate
The San Francisco 49ers have had an interesting yet fantastic offseason. Just when we thought there was no way the 49ers could have four head coaches over the last four years, they go out and sign offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan from the Atlanta Falcons, shortly after signing on a new GM in former safety John Lynch. Generally, rookie GM’s find it challenging in all aspects during their first campaign at the helm, but this year’s draft has proved otherwise. Coming off of their worst season in NFL history where they went 2-14, the 49ers earned the #2 pick in this year’s NFL draft. Held over the last 3 days, following is the list of final picks:
1 (3). Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
1 (31). Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
3 (2). Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
3 (40). C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa
4 (15). Joe Williams, RB, Utah
5 (2). George Kittle, TE, Iowa
5 (34). Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech
6 (14). D.J. Jones, DT, Ole Miss
6 (18). Pita Taumoepenu, LB, Utah
7 (11). Adrian Colbert, CB, Miami
What is most interesting is the wheeling and dealing that occurred right out of the gate. After the Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett at #1, the Chicago Bears traded their #3 pick for the Niners’ #2 pick, as well as for pick 67 in Round 3 and pick 111 in Round 4. On top of that, the Niners received a 2018 third-round pick. Interestingly, the Browns selected Mitch Trubisky, quarterback from North Carolina, leaving Solomon Thomas, DT from Stanford, as the #3 pick for the Niners! Solomon Thomas was who they wanted to begin with, so the Niners started off the draft with a bang and a steal!
Shortly thereafter, the Niners traded their 34th pick (Round 2) and their 111th pick that they just acquired, to Seattle, in order to draft arguably the best LB in the draft in Alabama’s Reuben Foster. When the smoke had cleared, the Niners had just drafted two of the top 3 players on their board. Remarkable!
Can’t wait for the season to start – go Niners!
“Hope Arises” was the name and topic of this past Sunday’s sermon at Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch, as we celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, who sacrificed his life so that are sins could be forgiven.
Many things seem impossible in the midst of chaos and in many respects, they really are. Whether one is dealing with a broken marriage, infidelity, financial or legal troubles, disease or sickness, there is one thing that has withstood the test of time — and that is hope. While every man dies because of father time, those who believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead will live eternal life. How do we know this? Because, the resurrection proves this, and it says so in the bible.
This tells us that with God, “all things are possible”. Pastor Dudley tells us that God specializes in the impossible. All he asks us is to Confess and Repent, Believe in Him and through baptism, we may live a new life. Our past will be forgiven and our future will be secured. Isn’t that something — that is hope and salvation in its purest form.
Happy Easter to all…
With the 2017 MLB season about to kickstart on April 2, there is a lot of excitement about the San Francisco Giants this year. The Giants, who one three World Series titles in the last 6 years (2010, 2012 and 2014), are striving to overcome the even year and win an odd year for the first time in San Francisco history. The Giants lost to the eventual World Series champs, the Chicago Cubs, in last year’s playoffs.
Following is the projected lineup this year:
Denart Span (OF)
Brandon Belt (1B)
Buster Posey (C)
Hunter Pence (OF)
Brandon Crawford (SS)
Eduardo Nunez (3B)
Joe Panik (2B)
Jarrett Parker (OF)
Go Giants!!! The Giants should be better than last year as they signed a formidable closer (Mark Melancon), which was the biggest weakness on the Giants. Too many games did they lose in the final few innings and now that they’ve fortified the pen, they should be in good shape. The only glaring weakness on the Giants is their outfield. If they can avoid injuries to key starters, they’ll be average at best. But never count out any team that has manager Bruce Bochy at the helm.
On my first day of work at a recent job, my Wife had an indoor money tree delivered to my office. To me, it was a symbol of a new beginning — a new chapter in life. The tree itself is a Malabar chestnut (Pachira acquatica), and many people believe that it will bring good luck, fortune and prosperity. Typically, the tree has five trunks that are braided together, and the size of the tree will generally depend on its age and the size of its pot. If taken care of properly, the tree will often sprout new stems of leaves that unfold into five leave stems.
Below is my tree — received in 2012 (on left) and now 2017 (on right), you can see how much it has grown.
This tree is important to me and He is very temperamental. I once put Him outside in the sun for an hour, thinking He would enjoy some sunlight. When I revisited the tree, I realized each of His leaves that were directly exposed to the sun were burnt to the crisp. He didn’t like the sun. I felt so guilty – I know exactly how He felt — the same way I feel after laying out for an hour without sunblock. It took a week for all of His leaves to fall off, only to sprout new ones over the next month.
We fumigated our house for termites one weekend and left all of our indoor plants with a neighbor. When we picked Him up a week later, he had clearly been over-watered and was unhappy, by the look of His droopy leaves.
We’ve grown older together. I now know He only likes indirect light and prefers to drink once a week. Other than that, we pretty much leave Him alone. I don’t bother Him and He doesn’t bother me. But I am thankful for His presence.
Ever been on the wrong side of an argument? Well if you’re like most people, the answer is yes. Don’t get upset or emotional as it will only make matters worse. Identify the weakness or gap in your argument and figure out how to make it better so you’ll end up on the right side next time! Losing is tough and is never fun, but when you do lose, try to spin a positive out of it. If you do that, then you haven’t really lost because you’ve just learned from your mistake.
“Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.”
-Harvey Specter, Suits
The San Francisco 49ers have had a busy off season. After finishing 2-14 (with their only 2 wins coming against the LA Rams), the 49ers fired head coach Chip Kelly after only one season. They also fired General Manager Trent Baalke. A tumultuous season indeed, especially after watching then-backup QB Colin Kaepernick sit during the national anthem, motivated by alleged oppression against black people and other non-white races. Because of their terrible record, the 49ers secured themselves the #2 pick in the draft. It remains to be seen if they will select a QB or not (i.e. Mitch Trubisky*, QB, North Carolina; or Deshaun Watson*, QB, Clemson). The 49ers also poached the offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, from the Atlanta Falcons and made him the 4th new head coach for the Niners in the last 4 years! At the same time, they also hired new General Manager, John Lynch.
Following are some of the key pickups so far this free agent offseason:
–QB Brian Hoyer (UFA, Chicago) 2 years/$12M, $4M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $5.5M
–QB Matt Barkley (UFA, Chicago) 2 years, $4M, $500,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.95M
–FB Kyle Juszczyk (UFA, Baltimore) 4 years, $21M, $5M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $3.4M
–WR Pierre Garçon (UFA, Washington) 5 years/$47.5M, $12M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $6.425M
–WR Marquise Goodwin (UFA, Buffalo) 2 years/$6M, $2.5M signing bonus. 2017 cap: $3.25M
–WR Aldrick Robinson (UFA, Atlanta) 2 years/$4M, $300,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.7M
–TE Logan Paulsen (UFA, Chicago) 1 year, $1M, $125,000 signing bonus: 2017 cap: $1M
–K Robbie Gould (UFA, N.Y. Giants) 2 years/$4M, $500,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $1.75M
–LB Malcolm Smith (UFA, Oakland) 5 years/$26.5M, $11.5M fully guaranteed. 2017 cap: $3.684M
–LB Brock Coyle (non-tendered RFA, Seattle) 2 years
–DB Don Jones (UFA, Houston) 2 years
–DT Earl Mitchell (UFA, cut by Miami): 4 years/$16 million, $5.5 million in first year. 2017 cap: $2.9M
–CB K’Waun Williams (UFA, cut by Cleveland): 1 year/$690,000, $75,000 signing bonus. 2017 cap: $690,000