In parallel

I am old enough to remember the time when multitasking was often a requirement in job ads. Nowadays, I have at least the impression that it is not so much so anymore.

In any case, if you feel like multitasking, you are asked to multitask, you are looking for someone who multitasks, this study is a good reminder of why that is not a good idea.

  • Multitaskers are often people who struggle to block out distraction, and therefore it is very difficult for them to focus and enter in a state of flow.
  • Multitaskers are high sensation seekers, they are impulsive, and do not like to plan.
  • Multitaskers tend to overestimate their capability to multitask.
  • Multitaskers are not among those who are better at multitasking effectively (i.e., if you do not multitask frequently, you have better chances to be effective at multitasking in the occasion that is needed).

Weakness

When you abuse your power and take advantage of those below you, you put your weakness on display.

When you pay someone one third of a fair salary just because they don’t know any better or they have no other choices.

When you share news that have negative impact on the receiver with a dry note.

When you ask for more despite knowing that a “no” would have negative consequences for the other.

When you point your finger towards someone who does not have it in them to counterargument.

Power is a responsibility towards those who don’t have as much.

More important

The moment you realize you care more about the outcome than about the process, is the moment you have to reassess how you spend your time.

If getting likes is more important than taking pictures.

If cashing the bonus is more important than the work you do.

If growing your audience is more important than writing.

If being acclaimed is more important than what you have to say.

If hitting the goal is more important than how you get to hit it.

That is the right time to look at the second half of your sentence, and honestly answer the question: “Am I enjoying that?”.

Most likely, you have mistaken a dopamine hit for actual pleasure and accomplishment.

It can happen, and you can do something about it.

Never be the same

The best way to approach anything new is by putting aside what you know about it.

We have been taught that experience matters more than anything else. And since today everything needs to happen now (even better, yesterday), we augment the importance of experience and try to get farther by doing more of what we have done so far.

That rarely works.

Experience matters, for sure, but it is not a good predictor of the success you are going to have in your next endeavor. And it does make sense, since the world is complex and ever-changing. What you truly need is not experience, but the capacity to put that aside and learn something new over and over again.

Your next gig might be similar to the previous one. It will never be the same.

The best self-promotion tool

If you are starting in a new role, make it your first priority to talk to people who work close to you.

Your direct reports, their reports, your peers, those you will collaborate with in adjacent teams, your manager, their manager.

There is no rule for where you should stop, just do it with common sense.

And while the instict would probably push you to use the conversations to promote yourself, your background, your agenda, make it so instead that you will mainly listen. Understand who you are talking to, what motivates them, how they get measured, what success means to them.

If you do that effectively, you can’t fail. You will deliver exactly what they need, and they will be the ones promoting you and your agenda when that is needed.

Listening is the best self-promotion tool.