Q4, meet flu season

This week is just about the last week you have to get “ready” for the holiday season. That means capacity planning. (Plus, three bonus rapid-fire questions just in time for Q4.)

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Every strategy we can think of for managing under a toxic boss

We can brainstorm strategies with you for days — and we definitely will — but I doubt there’s a silver bullet piece of advice that will solve this problem. There are too many different players and you’re all humans: each of you is going to have different things you like and want. Ultimately, I recommend mixing and matching and making your own Thanksgiving plate with what feels right from this assortment.

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Get ready: Your team will embarrass you

It took me a long time to build up the confidence to let my team’s actions stand on their own, and not let my own insecurity take over. In the meantime, it’s helpful to have a process to fall back on — a sort of program you can mindlessly rely on when you may not be thinking clearly.

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Optional meeting invites

An optional meeting is a meeting where you truly do not care what the reply will be. The optional attendees can come or not come and the world will be exactly the same. Anything more or less than that? Do not mark the invitation as optional. It’s preferred, recommended, prioritized, pointless, a waste of time — some other adjective that’s not “optional.”

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Why manage?

No matter what your job title is, you can write such good documentation that anyone can jump in and ace something on their first try. You can yank the chain when you know something’s not right. You can create a safe space for honest feedback, for figuring hard things out, for talking your buddy through a nightmare situation.

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I provide context and share what I know

When you provide context, you’re explaining how to interpret a raw piece of data. It’s walking through why something is happening, or how it happened, or what’s coming next — why not all three? There are lots of opportunities to provide it outside of explaining stats on a dashboard. These are some of our favorites.

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