matt miller archives
“You cannot have a black hole in your organization where a star should be.”
Jack Welch

posted by matt on Thursday, Jan 25, 2007

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”
John Ruskin

posted by matt on Monday, Jan 22, 2007

Latest version of YUI grids has built-in support for 950px and liquid layouts. The addition of both these layout options completes an already excellent grid/layout framework for both content sites and web applications.

posted by matt on Monday, Nov 13, 2006

Yellowstone National Park at sunrise with smoke filling the air from a nearby forrest fire. The hour long walk along the stream was one of the most peaceful in my life. If you are ever in Yellowstone get out in the early morning and go for a walk off the beaten path.

posted by matt on Monday, Sep 25, 2006

Do What You Do Best and Then Do It Better

Over a year ago I read an article in Communication Arts by Tim Williams titled Keep Your Best People Doing What They Do Best. At the time I had just left my previous employer where I had been for over 6 years.

Each year during the annual reviews I would get 10 minutes of how much I was appreciated and what I was good at and then we would focus on what I could do to improve for the remainder of the hour. I’m glad I was one of the above average performers. Yes the feedback made me a better person in the end but there has to be a balance to constructive feedback.

T. Williams struck a chord with the following:

The fact is that if you have people with exceptional talents, chances are they will also have exceptional weaknesses. (In fact, these weaknesses are likely to be mirror images of their strengths.) The sooner you accept that fact, the happier you’ll be as a manager.

There are many great points that he goes on to make but here is what I love about this article.

Effective managers don’t waste their emotional energy complaining about how their people don’t do their jobs. Instead, they place them in positions where they can succeed and focus their efforts on building their personal strengths, not “correcting” their personal weaknesses.

I’m not advocating that we let truely bad behaviors go unchecked but I think there has to be a balance. In my previous employment a manager had to come up with 2-3 documented things that you needed to improve upon so that you could improve the next year and get your merit increase.

I think it all starts with the job interview. If you can identify candidates that meet the bar in all areas (and hopefully excel in a few) then you won’t have to be in the position where you have to raise them up just to be successful. Instead the good employees will constantly take their game to the next level.

posted by matt on Sunday, Aug 27, 2006