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Learning through everyday situations

Long-time friend, Sam, wrote me an important lesson he realized when thinking sbout how I look for coffee.

Sam wrote:

One big danger I see in the approach is to scan like this, you have to:

1) be a real expert for coffee and

2) know very exactly what you want.

This can be good – but also very bad.

By knowing exactly what you want, you probably look for what you are used to, what you already know, and what is like yourself.

There might be situations where this is valuable and exactly what you want. But especially in hiring, I wonder if this strong focus on looking for what you already know limits your chances for candidates that are different than you, would have a different approach and would be a huge benefit to the project/company in ways you couldn’t imagine (we don’t know what we don’t know.)

This is another important lesson about hiring – thank you for sharing it, Sam!!

In fact, we could dive deep into this one, but I’m going to go meta instead.

This is another example of a realization we find as we analyze one situation, then consider how it might apply to another.

I find it’s especially powerful when the initial situation is silly or has no consequences.  I think that lowers our defenses.

This might be why it’s often easier to come up with ideas for other people’s problems – we aren’t emotionally attached to them.

You can use this exercise with your team to discuss hiring, and you might be surprised by what you find.

Even more meta

Hmm… would more “everyday situations” which you could use to analyze your work would be helpful?

If you liked this sort of thing, rather than direct “You should always do these five things” articles, would you let me know?

Actually, please let me know either way.  🙂

Have a great week.

Take care,


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About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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