Need for advice? Advice for young workers 🎓- Advice for newly appointed CEOs 💼- Advice to ruin your life 😵‍💫

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Episode #37. Hi there! I'm Gilles, repeat entrepreneur and author of The Timestamp. After the interview we published last week with an Olympic fencing champion, Sarah Daninthe, we are going into another format: giving advice.

If you are a bit like me, I find it always super challenging to give a good piece of advice when somebody comes to me asking for some. Most of the time, it is because “it depends”. Are you talking to somebody young with not much experience? Are you talking to somebody very experienced who is looking for an external view? Is this a work advice, a life advice? Do you feel legitimate to give an advice? What if your piece of advice proves to be wrong because you fell into a cognitive bias that we call ‘positive attribution’; when you think some positive outcome came from one action or decision you took while this may just be an external factor that ended up getting to a successful outcome.

To be honest, I also feel, I reached some positive situations in my life… because I chose to listen to some good pieces of advice. And probably because I did not listen to bad pieces of advice.

Ray Dalio uses to trust advice and experience from somebody who has been outstandingly successful in one single expertise at least twice in his/her career or life. If this is just once, that may have been luck.

Well, I realize that The Timestamp (and formerly Clind where we gathered more than 5000 notes) is a very prolific source of good advice and since they are not mine, I feel blessed I can share them here this week. Pieces of Advice for 3 different people:

  • Advice for a young individual starting a first job,

  • Advice for a CEO when prioritizing time and effort,

  • Advice for anybody wanting to screw her/his life (of course this is ironic but always fun to read from a French blogger).


#1 Advice for young workers

From What I wish I understood when I started out my career in Bloomberg Opinion August 28, 2021. 10 pieces of advice for young workers.

"What do you know today about your chosen field that you wish you knew when you were first starting out years ago?"

Answers can be summarized in 10 points:

1. Continue to learn new concepts/ideas/skills that can help you to be more successful in your professional life.

2. Keep only the very best from the reading list, projects/jobs to take on, clients to work with. Add by subtraction, focus on excellence.

3. Work with a small group of talented people, take time and effort to nurture relationships.

4. Have someone who provides unfiltered feedback.

5. Embrace failure. (failure = growth).

6. Understand which metrics of success you are measured with.

7. Learn to "time travel", being able to conceptualize the future.

8. Don't worry about your first few jobs.

9. Collaborate with others to divide workload based on skillset to focus on what you do best.

10. Set a routine to get good habits.

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#2 Advice for CEOs

From An Exact Breakdown of How One CEO Spent His First Two Years, in FirstRound Review

Develop a memo culture rather than a meeting culture: probably best in efficiently using the time of a CEO.

Great quote: « As a startup CEO, you have to be good (but not necessarily great) at everything. It’s a huge asset to the company to be able to jump in and contribute to every part of the company. »

Tasks that are resource-demanding like writing a memo or recruiting may seem to take more time than you think because they seem less fun and enjoyable to perform.

Reality vs expectations
You may spend a lot less time on recruiting and strategy than your expectations. And a lot more on networking than you may think.

About asynchronous modes of communication: better to have email as a primary source because it is less disruptive than text messages or Slack.

Main takeaway about time management: get rid of your to-do list. A to-do list proves to be inefficient because it does not take time into account.
Better to use your calendar instead of your to-do list.

A CEO is responsible for the company output, it means he/she needs to act as an unblocker for everyone to deliver at peak efficiency.
Communication is central.

It is also fundamental that a CEO keeps some spare time to think about how to improve things rather than being always stuck in doing and delivering tasks; delegating is key.

From his experience tracking his time as a CEO, he figured he was spending 3h a day reading the news while he would have guessed it was no more than 20 minutes.
Crucial to be intentional about time management.

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#3 Advice to ruin your life 🇫🇷

9 façons de freiner votre développement from la newsletter d’Olivier Cambournac, De Corps et d’Esprit September 10th, 2021

9. Vous ne mesurez pas vos progrès.

8. Vous pensez qu'on va vous découvrir.

7. Peur de l'échec.

6. Essayer de tout faire vous-même.

5. Arrêtez de reprocher aux autres. Arrêtez de vous reprocher à vous-même (ce qui vous arrive, là où vous en êtes).

4. Vous ne vous concentrez pas sur ce qui compte pour vous.

3. Parler des autres... Les potins représentent 80% du contenu de nos discussions. Qu'avez-vous à y gagner? A moins que vous ne parliez de quelqu'un que vous admirez ou de fantastique et que vous souhaitez apprendre de cette personne, cela vous freine.

2. Penser sans agir pendant trop longtemps.

1. Écouter l'avis de trop de personnes.

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In case you are looking for more takeaways for more pieces of advice, I suggest you subscribe to The Timestamp. We can offer you access to the entire 4000+ takeaways that our kind experts have shared publicly for every paid yearly subscription.

See you next Sunday!