Control Your Narrative

Giff Constable leadership, management

A former colleague of mine, Anil Podduturi, used to exhort everyone that worked for him to “control your narrative.” My interpretation of his saying is that we all need to get pro-active about how we are perceived. The hard truth is that people make judgements. They will make judgements about you as an individual or an entire group you lead. …

10 Rules for Startup Leaders

Giff Constable leadership, management

I’ve got a new group of managers reporting to me today, and it made me think explicitly through what I value and expect: lead by example push decisions down whenever possible be inside the team circle, not outside of it face the hard decisions, and don’t dither doing so lift the team with positive energy, but keep it real be …

Cultivating a Leadership State of Mind

Giff Constable leadership

The product and design team at Axial is only 6 people (3 in each discipline, excluding me) so we run as a very flat group, working in cross-functional teams. But the flatness of an organization doesn’t mean that everyone in the team can’t try to improve their leadership game. Leadership isn’t bossing people around. It’s not writing reviews or determining …

Lessons for New Managers of Creative Teams

Giff Constable leadership, management, product management

I recently took on a new hobby: singing in our church choir. I’m a total noob at the singing part, but it is clear that a successful choir is greater than the sum of its parts. Great outcomes require great leadership, and not just about music but also about people. It got me thinking about teams and leadership. Exceptional individual …

Favorite quotes from Creativity Inc.

Giff Constable innovation, leadership

I’ve been obsessed with Pixar for a while, and I’ve never marked up a business book like my reading of Ed Catmull’s book Creativity Inc. I looked on the Kindle website today and realized that I marked 63 passages in the book last May. I had previously posted favorite quotes from Pixar alumni. Here are my highlighted passages from the …

Creating, Improving… Managing?

Giff Constable leadership

I bet most of you have listened to Ira Glass on being creative. If not, ignore this post and go watch that video. His comments resonate with me deeply. Frustration with not being able to always produce work to the level of your taste. Demanding more. Overcoming that frustration through perseverance and relentless creating, making, shipping. The downside to being …