As part of an SPS Commerce book club, I found the following notes and quotes interesting from The Hard Thing about Hard Things:
Page 3: “being scared didn’t mean I was gutless. What I did mattered …”
Page 5: “diverse perspective utterly changed the meaning of every significant event in the world”
Page 29: Don’t sugar coat bad news
Page 37: People before announcement celebrations
Page 52: “What am I not doing?”
Page 65: “If we lost a big prospect, the whole organization needed to understand why, so that we could fix the things that were broken in our products, marketing, and sales process”
Page 66: Communication Trust!
Page 67: “A healthy company culture encourages people to share bad news.” “Don’t bring me a problem without bringing me a solution.” -> hiding problems
Page 87: “Only took action on the positive leading indicator”
Page 89: Address problems head on
Page 92: “Spend zero time on what you could have done, and devote all of your time on what you might do.”
Hire for strength rather than a lack of weaknesses
Page 105: “Would you want to use software written by an engineer who was never told how the rest of the code worked”?
Page 106: “How many fully productive employees have they added?”
Page 107: When you fired a person, how did you know with certainty that the employee both understood the expectations of the job and was still missing them?”
Page 110: "no investment that you can make that will do more to improve productivity [than training]"
Page 117: Respect friends and business partners
Page 120: Big business executives are interrupt driven but startup executives drive initiatives
Page 122: "What do you do in your first month on the job?" "How does your new job differ from your current job?"
Page 123: "Force them to create" "require a report from them on what they learned from each person"
Page 127: "Write down the strengths you want and the weaknesses you are willing to tolerate"
Page: 171: "A weak definition of what you are looking for will lead to a bad outcome."
Page 182: Culture can be widely defined by one narrow, unusual rule.
Page 187: When getting a new employee up to speed takes more work than doing the work yourself, you need to specialize.
Page 188: "The first rule of organizational design is that all organizational designs are bad."
Page 193: "Evaluating people against the future needs of the company based on a theoretical view of how they will perform is counterproductive"
Page 200: Investing in courage and determination. "Focus on what I needed to get right and stop worrying about all the things that I did wrong or might do wrong"
Page 202: mean CEO grade is 22%. The larger the organization, the bigger mistakes and worse behavior.
Page 204: Separate importance of issues from how you feel about them.
Page 207: "Focus on where you are going rather than on what you hope to avoid."
Page 211: "the team supported the decision they thought the CEO wanted"
Page 214: "Knowledge of technology, prior decisions, culture, personnel, and more tends to be far more difficult to acquire than the skills required to manage a larger organization."
Page 232: "Watered-down feedback can be worse than no feedback"
Page 233: "Encourage people to challenge your judgement and argue the point to conclusion." "As a CEO, you should have an opinion on absolutely everything."
Page 247: Don't argue about the unchangeable situation – deal with it.
Page 255: "As CEO, you can do very little employee development"
Page 256: Loyalty to employees to give them great executives is more important than loyalty to executives that did well in the past.
Page 259: Can sell unless market will grow by order of magnitude and your company will be number 1.
Page 260: "(big enterprise can't generally succeed with small acquisitions, because too much of the important intellectual property is sales methodology, and big companies can't build that)"
Page 262: "once the company starts to become a company rather than an idea it makes sense to pay the CEO at market" ... "so that the decision to keep or sell the company isn't a direct response to the CEO's personal financial situation"
Just because all the other companies are run a certain way, doesn't mean there isn't a better way to run that will take over the market.