Ten pieces of advice


Ten pieces of advice that have helped me at various times.

  1. Institutions don’t love you back. If you disappear tomorrow the institution will go on.
  2. Every piece of writing is a compromise with time. Be grateful for deadlines.
  3. Try to build consensus one person at a time. Invest in the relationship before you need it.
  4. If you have a choice between committing to abstract principles or committing to competent people with strong moral values, do the latter.
  5. Little mantras help overcome procrastination and self-doubt. “The only way over it is through it” is a mantra I use. So is “words on paper” repeated numerous times until the words magically appear.
  6. There is no pleasure on earth like the pleasure of working on a great team. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
  7. Try not to let a work relationship mirror a pathology of a personal relationship. If your parent was hypercritical, don’t work for a hypercritical boss. If you do, be prepared to spend on therapy.
  8. If you’re going to gather the info you need to lead, never shoot the messenger. Make it safe for people to tell you hard things.
  9. It is impossible to communicate as often as you should. Try anyway. Communication builds support for moving forward.
  10. I’d rather have transparency backfire than be accused of sneaking one over!


~ Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky
@lidskylidsyk (Twitter)

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