Newsletter #113: R&R and Idiots

March 22, 2022
It’s holiday season for many of us – including here at CTO Academy – so it’s a newsletter every couple of weeks through the summer … This week we provide a range of articles covering leadership, startups, victims and idiots – the latter being related to our Sanjay’s favourite book, more of that later. It’s been quite a year for all of us with rest and recuperation high on my agenda as I head out of Madrid for a 2 week stay in the north of Spain for some wonderful Asturian landscapes and cooler air. We have some exciting plans from September so thank you for your support and interest so far in 2021 … Make sure you get yourselves some R&R.
Until next time
 Andrew Weaver

NEWS & VIEWS  Articles That Have Caught Our Eye 

10 Questions to Ask Before Joining A Startup Quickest route to becoming a CTO is often by joining a startup and many of you have followed exactly that route.For Stride.VC founder Fred Destin, identifying high-quality startups to invest in is a full-time job. He looks at around 200-300 companies for each investment he makes.Even then, and despite decades of experience and thousands of hours of work a year, he does not always get it right, diversifying his portfolio across ~ 30 companies per fund as he knows some will almost certainly fail.Given successful professionals find picking winners tricky, it’s pretty crazy that people all over the world are quitting their jobs to work at startups, doing a fraction of this due diligence. “Where you work is one of the most important decisions, but it is often a snap decision,” Fred Destin told Sifted. “If you think about the amount of scrutiny VCs put into picking each of the 30 investments we make versus the amount of scrutiny that employees put on the one company they will work for the next few years, there is a huge asymmetry. It’s crazy.”So how do employees looking for a startup job think like a VC to make a strategic decision? What is the VC-style due diligence process that employees should be doing?

Why People Feel Like Victims In 2020, researchers in Israel, led by Rahav Gabray, a doctor of psychology at Tel Aviv University, conducted a series of empirical studies to come up with a reason why people feel like victims. They identified a negative personality trait they call TIV or Tendency toward Interpersonal Victimhood. People who score high on a TIV test have an “enduring feeling that the self is a victim in different kinds of interpersonal relationships,” they write.The study of TIV is built around four pillars.The first pillar is a relentless need for one’s victimhood to be clearly and unequivocally acknowledged by both the offender and the society at large.The second is “moral elitism,” the conviction that the victim has the moral high ground, an “immaculate morality,” while “the other” is inherently immoral.The third is a lack of empathy, especially an inability to see life from another perspective, with the result that the victim feels entitled to act selfishly in response.The fourth is Rumination—a tendency to dwell on the details of an assault on self-esteem.Strikes me that we’re in an era of rampant victimhood … so I found this quite an interesting article to get under the skin of why and how

7 Leadership Strategies that Build Trust with Your Remote Team… This is a super relevant article for many of us at the moment.Not a great surprise to hear that trust is critical to team success and that the remote environment creates particular challenges with trust issues. This article provides you with 7 strategies to consider (if you haven’t already done so) starting with …1. Mitigate your team’s stress.According to author and leading trust expert Paul Zak, stress is one of the most forceful oxytocin inhibitors. Why’s that important? Well, oxytocin is the hormone that’s responsible for social and romantic bonding.As such, this chemical is kind of important when building trust with your team. Specifically, it helps teams work and grow together. And that can completely transform the workplace for the better.“In my research, I’ve found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organisations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies.”“They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance,” he added. So, yeah. This just makes sense.Read the other six here … 

10 Resources To Become A Better Tech Leader Forbes reached out to their technology council to explore how they became better leaders and to share their favourite resources for tech leadership … this is their top 10, with one glaring omission (which I’ve helpfully tacked onto the end)CTO NetworkCollaboration ToolsIndustry MentorsProfessional Performance CoachEntrepreneurial Operating SystemManagement 3.0Manager Tools PodcastThe Great Game of Business – BookNever Eat Alone – BookMake Your Bed – BookSurely the next is … to join CTO Academy?For a deeper explanation of the selections made, jump into their full article: 10 Resources To Become A Better Tech Leader

For an explanation about the benefits of number 11 … just get in touch!

Surrounded by Idiots This week it’s a favourite from our colleague and senior leadership coach Sanjay Mistry.For its full title …Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behaviour (or, How to Understand Those Who Cannot Be Understood)

Here is a brief synopsis;Do you ever think you’re the only one making any sense?
Or tried to reason with your partner with disastrous results?
Do long, rambling answers drive you crazy or does your colleague’s abrasive manner get your back up?You are not alone. After a disastrous meeting with a highly successful entrepreneur, who was genuinely convinced he was ‘surrounded by idiots’, communication expert and bestselling author, Thomas Erikson dedicated himself to understanding how people function and why we often struggle to connect with certain types of people.Since being published in 2014 it has sold >1.5m copies offering a simple, yet ground-breaking method for assessing the personalities of people we communicate with – in and out of the office – based on four personality types.It provides insights into how we can adjust the way(s) we speak and share information and at the same time. help you understand yourself better, hone communication and social skills, handle conflict with confidence, improve dynamics with your boss and team, and get the best out of the people you deal with and manage.It will help you understand and influence those around you, even people you currently think are beyond all comprehension. And with a bit of luck you can also be confident that the idiot out there isn’t you!“I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to know what makes people tick, both personally and in the workplace. Although I am a psychologist, I enjoyed the simplification of the four colors. I found myself in two different categories. I now know that I am not surrounded by idiots but by people who are different than I am” 
 VIDEO OF THE WEEK  Peter Sage…How To Eliminate Self-Doubt 
CTO ACADEMY EBOOK 90 Things You Need To Know … We have reviewed, refreshed and replenished our magnificent eBook so now you get even more value just from knowing us.If you haven’t already grabbed a copy of the new eBook then what are you waiting for, it’s absolutely packed with our wonderfully subjective insight and is definitely not your standard eBook …Available here: 90 Things You Need To Know, If You Want To Become The CTO

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