Cube Rules Links — February 28, 2014

 

Cube Rules Links

Here’s what I’ve been saving for you from the Internet this week. These are posts that don’t necessarily match up to my mission of supporting transitions in your career, but are about the career path.

The best investment advice you’ll never get

This is long, but if you read nothing else, read this one.

As Google’s historic August 2004 IPO approached, the company’s senior vice president, Jonathan Rosenberg, realized he was about to spawn hundreds of impetuous young multimillionaires. They would, he feared, become the prey of Wall Street brokers, financial advisers, and wealth managers, all offering their own get-even-richer investment schemes. Scores of them from firms like J.P. Morgan Chase, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Presidio Financial Partners were already circling company headquarters in Mountain View with hopes of presenting their wares to some soon-to-be-very-wealthy new clients.

Rosenberg didn’t turn the suitors away; he simply placed them in a holding pattern. Then, to protect Google’s staff, he proposed a series of in-house investment teach-ins, to be held before the investment counselors were given a green light to land. Company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt were excited by the idea and gave it the go-ahead.

Outcome or process — what investment strategy works over time?

We’re not investment bankers or stock traders — but knowing how to invest is a needed skill to succeed in achieving Employment Security.

While two-time Super Bowl-winning coaches are process-oriented, Wall Street thrives by appealing to our tendency to be outcome-focused. We rank fund managers, best asset classes, top-performing sectors, highest-returning mutual funds. Note that all of these are ranked not by repeatable process, but by outcome. This is a brilliant bait-and-switch.

How much more would you have for retirement, if only you could squeeze 1% more per year? The answer, as it turns out, is a lot.

savings-calc

When paying off debt, gain strength by starting small

When I work with people who are in debt through a ministry at my church, I have them list their debts, starting with the one with the lowest balance. I call it the “Debt Dash” plan because the goal is to pay off something quickly.

Let’s say you have five credit cards with balances of $10,000, $2,000, $900, $4,500 and $1,700. Under the Debt Dash method, you would start your debt-repayment plan by paying off the credit card with the $900 balance. The goal is to get some momentum.

Do what you love, love what you do: An omnipresent mantra that’s bad for work and workers.

In ignoring most work and reclassifying the rest as love, DWYL may be the most elegant anti-worker ideology around. Why should workers assemble and assert their class interests if there’s no such thing as work?

How to best respond to a poor performance review

However, be wary of a manager who is dismissive of any plans you have to improve, Green says.

“That’s a sign that she may have moved past the stage of wanting to be constructive and is instead using the meeting as a formality before she can let you go,” Green says.

If you can’t get direction on specific actions you need to take and the feedback seems vague or subjective, that’s also a bad sign, Green says.

The open office trap

But the most problematic aspect of the open office may be physical rather than psychological: simple noise. In laboratory settings, noise has been repeatedly tied to reduced cognitive performance.

Why The Office Is The Worst Place For Work

“There are benefits to social interaction at work, but most work is ultimately solo work,” says Fried. While it makes sense to have a gathering place to brainstorm ideas every once and a while, once tasks have been delegated, everyone disperses to their own areas to do the real work.

It’s the end of February and we’re still in the deep freeze here in Wisconsin. Fortunately, the snow has melted off of the solar panels and we’re a mini-power plant here.

Enjoy your weekend.

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