"I learned that just beneath the surface there’s another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn’t find the proof. It was just a kind of feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force—a wild pain and decay—also accompanies everything."
David Lynch (via apoetreflects)
“One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything. What’s interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who’ve never gone to college.”
“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained [Laszlo Bock, senior VP of people operations for Google]. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”
The second, he added, “is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”
What else? Humility and ownership. “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in,” he said, to try to solve any problem — and the humility to step back and embrace the better ideas of others. “Your end goal,” explained Bock, “is what can we do together to problem-solve. I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.”
And it is not just humility in creating space for others to contribute, says Bock, it’s “intellectual humility. Without humility, you are unable to learn.” It is why research shows that many graduates from hotshot business schools plateau. “Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure,” said Bock. …
To sum up Bock’s approach to hiring: Talent can come in so many different forms and be built in so many nontraditional ways today, hiring officers have to be alive to every one — besides brand-name colleges. Because “when you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people.” Too many colleges, he added, “don’t deliver on what they promise. You generate a ton of debt, you don’t learn the most useful things for your life. It’s [just] an extended adolescence.”
"it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our cancelled plans
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our ignored voicemails
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our bi-annual trips home
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our over-drafted bank account
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of these fancy cocktails
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our late night phone minutes with exes
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our lazy cab rides home
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our half-read longreads and full-read horoscopes
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our dry-clean only shirts
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our Marked Unread emails
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our Twitter drafts
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our missed calls from Mom
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our broker’s fee
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our Likes
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our mostly walked morning run
it’s okay, we’re more than the sum of our cancelled plans"
Today I tweeted:
You know what’s underrated? The simple act of looking up a word in the dictionary.
And a few people seemed shocked that I actually use a paper dictionary.
A big, 10-pound American Heritage, no less.
A few months ago I went out and bought the biggest, nicest dictionary I could find. I wanted a huge honking dictionary, open on a side table in my office, like one of those big bibles you see at a mass.
If you consider your mission exploring language, flipping through pages of words to land on a particular definition is a feature, not a bug.
For example, did you know that “patina” comes after “patient”? One word about enduring time, the other describing its residue.
Google won’t give you that.
Flying home. Photo by Daniel Sorine.
“I never really liked New Year’s resolutions, but I recently felt as if the universe was picking important people out of my life and telling me to focus on myself. First, my brother moved to Thailand. Then, my best friend moved to Georgia. Finally, the guy I was dating decided to move to Costa Rica and he sort of pulled away from me. It more or less ended our relationship, but that turned out to be an eye-opening experience. It forced me to reflect on our time together, and I realized that I was doing a lot more to keep the relationship going. It probably would’ve ended badly anyway. I guess everything does happen for a reason. I don’t think that, if things hadn’t ended the way they did, I would’ve become aware of the way I need to change to be a better partner and to hold my own. Because even when you’re in a relationship, your main focus should be on you. It’s easy to forget that because love is awesome; it sweeps you away. For me, that was the first time I felt I was in love with someone. But the way we count is one, two, three. You’re number one, and only then comes the relationship with that other person.
So now I see 2014 as the year for me to be by myself. I need to learn how to stand up for myself, be my own person and make myself happy.”