/Ed Batista

Drowning In Feedback tl;dr: “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” Ed discusses the challenges leaders face in an era saturated with feedback and emphasizes the pitfalls of information overload. He critiques common organizational beliefs, such as "feedback is a gift" and the objectivity of anonymous feedback. Ed encourages leaders to self-reflect, manage their attention, and prioritize meaningful insights over sheer data volume. Ed advises leaders to create an "information ecosystem" that filters out noise, allocate dedicated time for deep reflection, and regularly assess the quality and relevance of feedback sources.

featured in #453


Currencies (On Motivating Different People) tl;dr: Ed dicusses conventional approaches to motivation, referred to as "kicks in the ass" or KITA. These can be both negative (i.e. criticism) or positive (i.e. rewards). While rewards might induce “movement” or compliance, they don't necessarily equate to genuine motivation e.g. increasing compensation. Leadership experts introduce the concept of "currencies" as resources that can be exchanged to “gain influence.” Examples of these currencies include inspiration-related ones like "Vision" and "Values," task-related ones such as "Resources" and "Challenge," and personal ones like "Gratitude" and "Comfort." Ed emphasizes that while these currencies can be powerful tools, it's essential to discern if they lead to compliance or deeper commitment.

featured in #449


Kicking The Can Down The Road (On Hard Decisions) tl;dr: “How can you stop kicking the can down the road? A first step is simply being mindful of the factors above and asking whether any of them apply to you. And despite the wide range of possible scenarios, note a theme that runs through all of them: emotions. Fear of the costs. Excessive optimism. Guilt about the past. Overwhelm. Distrust.” The key is identifying your full range of feelings, labeling them accurately, determining which ones are preventing you from making a decision, and asking whether that response is truly justified.

featured in #416


Questions For A New Leader tl;dr: A set of questions to guide these initial conversations, relevant for a new leader in any situation: (1) What are the things you are hoping I don't change? (2) What are the things you secretly hope I do change? (3) What are the good things about this organization we should build on? (4) If you were me, what would you do first? (5) Why isn't the organization doing better? And more.

featured in #368


Group Dynamics: Very Loud (and Very Quiet) People tl;dr: "If you're a leader with an unusually loud or unusually quiet team member, what can you do? First, assess your tolerance and that of the other group members for communication styles that differ from your own. Bear in mind that the goal is a more effective group, not simply one that's more comfortable for the majority. Having done that that, what further steps can you take?" Ed outlines the various tools at your disposal.

featured in #362


Why Some Feedback Hurts (and What To Do About It) tl;dr: Ed highlights the physiological impact of negative feedback and social threat it creates. "Research shows that reframing can reduce stress levels and increase our abilities to manage negative emotions." When receiving feedback, remind yourself that your perception that feedback is threatening is rooted in well-understood neurological dynamics. Ed also shows us how to respond to such feedback.

featured in #356


How to Deliver Bad News tl;dr: 3 steps: (1) State what happened. The most important step is initiating the conversation. It's common to downplay bad news or share the bare minimum. (2) Provide an explanation for the cause. This may be embarrassing, particularly if your action or inaction was a contributing factor but trying to avoid acknowledging your embarrassment often makes it worse. (3) Here's what you're planning to do: this gives the other parties the benefit of your thinking while signaling your openness to theirs.

featured in #338


The Problem With Fighting Fires tl;dr: "The problem isn't that you're too busy. If you view being busy as the problem, there's no solution. You will always be too busy, and that'll never change." The problem is that "you're acting like a firefighter instead of a fire marshal. You're rushing from one fire to the next, never slowing down to install smoke detectors" and, likely, "you're really good at fighting fires."

featured in #330


The Value Of Embarrassment tl;dr: The impulse to pretend that nothing has happened is understandable, it carries a cost: You may actually heighten your embarrassment and distress. Instead, by acknowledging and addressing your embarrassment, you: (1) Diminish your embarrassment and the resulting distress. (2) Clarify the situation, restore consistency to your self-presentation, and reduce others' anxiety. (3) Role model a productive response to unwelcome events.

featured in #324


The Warrior And The Sage tl;dr: A set of attitudes leaders display while enacting these two roles. A warrior's "purpose is overcoming resistance, where life is a series of battles," where a Sage's purpose is "learning and helping others learn, where, life is a series of mysteries to be studied." Ed notes that the Warrior's mindset becomes less useful as leaders grow more senior, and the Sage mindset increasingly important.

featured in #319