I really enjoyed Ben's previous book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things (especially the rap intros to each chapter). I recently heard on Tim Ferriss's podcast about Ben's newly released book, What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture. Based on how much I liked the first book, I decided to read the new one.
I found the stories and historical anecdotes interesting, and I also enjoyed hearing more "war stories" from Ben about his previous startups. I did enjoy this second book a little less than the first; its core messages were less impactful/applicable. The beginning and end of the book were solid, but the middle didn't seem to connect and flow as well in one cohesive narrative. As a book focused on culture, it did teach some important lessons; I just was hoping it would've been weaved together as well as the first book. In any case, it was still enjoyable and instructive.
Below are some of my notes and takeaways from the book.
I heard about Reboot by Jerry Colonna via Tim Ferriss's and Jason Calacanis's podcasts. It's a book by a very well known startup "coach," but it goes much deeper than that. It exposes how startups bring out many psychological issues in founders that are rooted in childhood experiences. One of its core lessons is that "better humans make better leaders," so working on oneself improves one's company.
It reminded me a bit of Getting The Love You Want, which taught how couples in marriage are dealing with issues from childhood via their relationship. It also reminded me of Esther Perel's new podcast How's Work? that delves into similar issues ("therapy" for the workplace).
I enjoyed the book and learning about the author's "pathless path." The book did stay at a pretty high level, and I found myself craving for a bit more tactical "advice." Regardless, it was interesting to read about the stories of other founders' struggles and how they "processed" their issues.
Below are my main notes/takeaways from the book.
I was debating the pros and cons of various organizational structures with a colleague of mine who's a former Navy SEAL, and he was kind enough to gift me the book One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams written by Chris Fussell, with whom he worked on the Teams before.
Before reading this book, I always thought of "bureaucracy" as a bad word, but now I see why it exists and what important functions it serves. I also got a really good sense as to how to build a hybrid organization that aims to balance between periods of decentralization/agility/bottom-up with periods of stability/centralization/top-down.
I also really enjoyed hearing about how to implement O&I (Operations & Intelligence) Forums to get key stakeholders on the same page quickly using technology, and how to match the operating rhythm of a group with that of its environment/market. I aim to put in practice a lot of the major lessons from this book.
My major notes and takeaways are below.