The Six-Chair Meeting Theory

6 Chairs

Lew Cirne is the Chief Executive of New Relic, a software analytics company based out of San Francisco. In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of the New York times, Cirne discussed his approach to management and meetings:

  • As an executive, don’t fall into the trap of wanting everyone to like you: “You can’t get very far as a leader without making tough decisions that some people disagree with.” Trying focusing your attention on making the decisions that are best for the company, not best for your popularity.
  • Get every employee to engage enthusiastically at meetings: “When the CEO’s  really active in a big meeting, people feel less willing to volunteer contributions, and that’s not good.” Keep engagement up by keeping the headcount at a meeting down.
  • Six chairs are ideal for a meeting: “I have a table in my office. It has six chairs around it. If the meeting is too big for that table, I won’t go unless it’s a board meeting… Six sets the right tone, everyone can contribute, and you’re more focused on problem solving.”
  • Time management skills are crucial for a successful CEO: “[Time] is our most precious asset, and I don’t think you can be successful in the role without being very thoughtful and deliberate about it.”
  • Be aware of how your emotions affect others: “I try to be aware of where I’m at emotionally, and ask myself whether I’m really going to be able to contribute energy to the company. If all you can do is criticize without offering solutions, maybe it’s best to just go for a long drive.” Offering solutions is key as a leader.

To view the full New York Times interview click here.

Make Accountability and Learning a Habit

Natarajan Chandrasekaran is the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, an Indian multinational IT service, consulting and business solutions company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Chandrasekaran opened up about his approaches to leadership, learning, and the importance of accountability:

  • Learning is achieved by culture, not mandate: “Everyone has to take some accountability for other people, and look for ways to make small contributions to help others. Innovation and caring for people are cultures; they are not departments. It takes time to build that culture.”
  • It all starts with passion: When hiring, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate while finding out exactly what they’re looking for in a job. “The whole idea is to see if there’s a fit… The fit will require the person to have passion first.”
  • Success and learning go hand-in-hand: It’s important to know where you want to go directionally in your career. Define what success will look like after a few years. Remember, “learning is the most important thing in your career. Without it you’ll go nowhere.”

I am a firm believer that you should never stop learning! Do you agree?

To read the full article click here.

Pushing Beyond Comfort Zones


Mitch Rothschild is the chief executive of Vitals , a website that connects patients with doctors and medical facilities. Adam Bryant from the New York Times sat down with Rothschild to discuss his early lessons from managing people, his leadership style, and how he hires. Here are some great points from the article:

  • Developing personal connections with your employees can be emotionally draining: “You always want to be one of those leaders who care deeply about their staff and look after them, but at some point you have to make the shift and say you’re going to do the right thing for the business.”
  • Don’t always assume that people know everything“People just have this incredible thirst to be connected, and they need multiple reinforcing points of communication. I have to remind myself over and over not to assume that everyone knows something.”
  • Seek out a meritocracy: “If you find a meritocracy and you’re highly ambitious and you want to drive your career forward, then nothing’s going to get in your way.”
  • Don’t wear “busy” as a badge of honor: “We’ve become crazy about being crazy, and I’m stunned at how many people are absolutely exhausting themselves. It’s important to figure out how to be ruthlessly efficient and disciplined with your time, and do only those hings that matter.”

To read the article in it’s entirely, click here.

7 Smart Questions to Ask At the End of Every Job Interview


At the end of every job interview, most people know that they should ask questions. It shows that you’re interested and gives you valuable information, but what do you ask? Here are 7 great questions to ask during your next interview:

  • What do you like most about working for this company? They’ll tell you what they value most and you can see if you value the same things.
  • How has this position evolved? Their response will tell you if the job is a dead end.
  • Can you give me examples of how I would collaborate with my manager? Their response will tell you how staff members are used and if you can showcase your skills.
  • What are the first priorities for this position? Helps you know what to focus on if you get the job and how to make a good first impression.
  • What are the challenges of this position? This helps  you know what you’re facing and if they don’t list any challenges, be very suspicious.
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this role? This gives you an idea of how the company measures success.
  • Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? This shows that you are secure enough to discuss your weaknesses.

Read the entire article here