Diamond Pencils

Benyamin Elias
The "soft" skills that nobody teaches but are what make people actually successful at work.
Created 21 Jan 2021
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  • Controversial career advice: Skills first, then company (also: how to choose a company)
    14 Nov 2021 • 9 min read • 1 0
    An obvious thing that goes unsaid in advice to “advocate for yourself” is that it is a lot easier to advocate for yourself if you have 1) a valuable and uncommon skill set and 2) experience with that ...
  • You can leave if you want to
    19 Sep 2021 • 6 min read • 3 2
    Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful. – Maggie Smith, “Good Bones” My resting ...
  • Follow the recipe (but double the garlic)
    05 Sep 2021 • 6 min read • 2 0
    I always admire people who get amazing results by following simple instructions, because so few people seem able to do it. I collect these stories. One of my favorites come from former Olympian, stren...
  • Free, fast, easy, effective. So why don’t people do it?
    09 Aug 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    Once in college I was doing a research project on the interactions between Big 5 personality traits and culture, and I could. not. figure. out. the method section of one of the studies I wanted to cit...
  • Don’t trust the Process™
    25 Jul 2021 • 3 min read • 3 0
    “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have...
  • The criticism trap (part 1)
    11 Jul 2021 • 8 min read
    “The feedback that has the most emotional power has two characteristics: It relates to a domain you care about, and it’s in an area where you feel uncertain.” – BJ Fogg, Director of the Stanford Behav...
  • Hard conversations
    27 Jun 2021 • 4 min read • 2 0
    I’m not sure what we think of Tim Ferris nowadays, but one thing he says that’s stuck with me is “A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or ...
  • The ask behind the ask
    13 Jun 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    A few weeks ago, I sat in a team meeting where one of my direct reports went through their “day in the life.” This is one way we’ve stayed together during the pandemic, and I comfortably listened to a...
  • Obvious as a Service
    01 Jun 2021 • 7 min read • 2 0
    “If you look around and think things don’t make sense, don’t necessarily assume that the way they’re being done is the right way. There’s a surprisingly high chance you’re right, and things are wrong....
  • Please stop working so hard
    16 May 2021 • 6 min read • 2 0
    Why is the “easy” answer to every problem “I’m just going to buckle down and work harder?” This shit drives me nuts. It’s everywhere. More more more. Never enough. Never results, either, just more act...
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