Robert Greiner

I deliver software that helps businesses achieve their goals.

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Create an Environment of Greatness

Leadership: Embedding the capacity for greatness in the people and practices of an organization, and decoupling it from the personality of the leader.

This is a really great abridged talk on leadership and greatness by David Marquet during the 2013 Fortune Leadership Summit.

My favorite part of the video is at 7:14 when David outlines the key to greatness in an organization. Move the authority to where the information is. Instead of having a single all-powerful commander making exclusive decisions for an organization, responsibility should be delegated to the people best equipped to make a decision.

This leads to better decisions from better information, faster decisions from less red-tape, and a greater feeling of importance from the increased responsibility assigned to the decision maker.

Win. Win. Win.

If you like the speech, check out David’s book Turn the Ship Around! A...

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More by Robert

You Are Probably Lonely

In a recent poll on Hacker News 132 users bravely answered how frequently they feel lonely.

Here are the results:

  • Always: 19 points
  • Often: 50 points
  • Sometimes: 33 points
  • Rarely: 19 points
  • Never: 11 points

lonely.png

This is pretty staggering. 69 out of 132 people (52.2%) feel lonely often (more than sometimes).

At first, I thought this high number was due to some sort of “entrepreneur bias” where the main source of loneliness was due to working in the startup culture of intense focus and burnout hours. However, after doing some research, the cause appears to be deeper and more widespread than that.

Recent studies are showing two disheartening facts about our culture’s current state of mind. First, there are links between social media usage (specifically, Facebook) and increased feelings of loneliness. Second, we have fewer “close friends” to share our troubles...

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Science Fiction

What do geostationary satellites, RADAR, 3-D printing, space tourism, tablet computers, and the TASER have in common? Each of these world-changing technologies were all dreamed up in science fiction long before they made their debut in reality.

My favorite example is the coffin hotels that were littered throughout futuristic Chiba City, Japan in William Gibson’s Neuromancer. These economy hotels, which were thought up over thirty years ago, are now part of everyday life. I still remember the first time I read about coffins, they really made future-earth seem… crowded.

CapsuleHotel.png

Science fiction authors not only imagine the future of technology, they also think deeply about the implications that technology will have on individuals and society at large. After all, what would a world look like where you can predict crimes before they happen? Would this reality really make the world a...

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My RSS Workflow

In my early years as a programmer, I spent more time consuming RSS feeds than actually doing real work and practicing my craft. This lead to a period where I wasn’t growing as much as I wanted to or knew I was capable of. Over time, I realized how much time I was wasting reading - instead of doing - and decided I needed a change.

Since then, I’ve evolved an RSS workflow that helps me consume great content without drowning in the vast ocean of information generated every day.

  1. Browse headlines for all of my RSS feeds through Feedly. Typically, this is done on my iPhone while I wait in line at Chipotle, the grocery store, or the bank.
  2. Long-press feeds that pique my interest to send to Instapaper. I don’t read the article at this time, I just save it for later.
  3. Repeat for a given period of time. Usually one week.
  4. Find a quiet place and consume all of the articles saved...

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Broken-Down

My commute right now is pretty rough. I drive a little over 100 miles each day and have to trudge through downtowns Dallas and Fort Worth. Such is the life of a consultant. I know there are some out there with much, much worse drive times.

On the drive home yesterday my air conditioner stopped working. Then my Check Engine light came on. Then my temperature gauge peaked out at H. Then my engine started rattling every time I stepped on the accelerator.

Now, some irrational part of me wanted to just push on until I got home, but I really didn’t want to be broken down on the side of I-30 during rush hour. So, I decided to pull into a Walmart and call a tow truck.

This particular Walmart had a Tire and Lube garage which seemed like a good place to park, even though I knew they didn’t fix engines. I went in and asked anyway, no luck.

I told the guy at the register what was...

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Please Don’t Bring Your Parents to Work With You

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago that said, more and more Millennials are bringing their parents to job interviews, corporate events, and salary negotiations than in years past. In fact, some companies are even revamping their entire hiring process to make it more parent friendly in order to help attract new talent.

A 2012 survey of more than 500 college graduates by Adecco, a human-resources organization, found that 8% of them had a parent accompany them to a job interview, and 3% had the parent sit in on the interview. - WSJ

The thought here is that parents have a greater influence in their children’s life choices than ever before. Companies hope to capitalize on these relationships by influencing parents so they can act as a champion for them post-interview. After all, mother knows best, right?

I don’t really want to get into the personal...

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