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It’s hilarious that it’s taken me 32 years to learn just how blissfully unaware I was of my backend.

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

No, not my ass, but the stuff that goes on in my subconscious.

Between 9th grade (when I started enjoying learning) and completing college, I was living under the impression that soaking up knowledge, binge-watching powerful documentaries and reading important books brought me closer to my higher self.

Little did I know that was only occasionally true

In his…


Reading stories of superstar CEOs and their genius inventors don’t make you more innovative. It pushes the reality of innovation past our cognitive horizon.

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Innovation is hard work.

The side of innovation that we read about in books and magazines is the superstar CEO and their genius inventors chugging away at changing the world.

It pushes the reality of innovation past our cognitive horizon.

But true innovation is much more complicated than that.

What…


Organisations don’t follow the laws of physics, but if they did, these two rules would make the cut.

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I’ve worked as a business manager for most of my professional life.

And over the 10+ years, I’ve learnt to follow these two principles about productivity and performance:

  1. Measuring performance by activity leads to overwork at the same time as your most important work remains undone.
  2. Any available time that…


Post-2020 hierarchies are being scrapped. And there’s no turning back from two years of flexible work.

Photo by J. Balla Photography on Unsplash

Companies looking to attract and retain talented people need to offer more choices in projects, work hours and locations.

Tech companies and agencies have had a head start in managing a flexible talent pool.

But despite years of practice, they’ve got one thing very wrong.

We still manage productivity the same way we did in the industrial age — by spreading the cost and sharing the machine across multiple…


Practising these techniques will foster an for learning together and winning together.

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Collaboration is hard.

People have different working styles and competing priorities.

As a competitive jerk for most of my early career, I wasn’t bad at collaboration.

But I also didn’t miss a chance to do things my way when the collaborative way didn’t suit me.

Then I was responsible for…


My two hours of googling will never beat your years of professional experience.

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I knew next to nothing about the business, but I knew that agency life was my calling.

And I was determined to turn my foot-in-the-door into a rewarding career.

To be taken seriously, I needed to be knowledgeable about my clients’ business and be an expert on selling.

People appreciate…


It’s known as ‘sandbagging’, and it’s when you reduce expectations, knowing very well that you will exceed them.

Photo by Sahand Babali on Unsplash

Companies do it to look better on paper; when they surpass expected results, they appear financially healthier.

And people avoid setting realistic expectations because they don’t want to appear as average performers and want to get better reviews.

Sandbagging happens when people are afraid to take risks.

So, all the…


It takes three kinds of people to get a job done.

Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash
  1. Thinkers connect ideas, find themes and build compelling visions.
  2. Planners turn visions into practical and pragmatic steps.
  3. Doers are the experts who turn ideas and plans into physical (or virtual) products.

Most people can get on by doing a bit of all three. …


They work just as well for personal and professional growth.

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I was dumbstruck after reading that 78% of business strategies do not affect growth.

According to research based on data gathered over ten years, the odds that your strategy will do much more than keep up with your competitors is less than 1 in 10!

Odds like that make you…


How I stopped my dysfunctional habits from hurting my team.

Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

I was blissfully going about my career, believing that all those years of reading every book on leadership was finally paying off.

I was convinced I was the kind of leader people wanted to follow.

Until the day I heard, “You suck as a manager.”

I had just fired him…

Aliyar

My life’s mission is to help you achieve success at work by doing fewer things better. https://aliyarhussain.com

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