Sunday Wisdom No. 64
How to build a work culture that promotes calm and peace over stress and anxiety
Welcome to Issue 64!
A very happy Diwali to you and your loved ones from Mumbai.
Like every year, my partner and I decorated our place, dressed up in traditional attire, and took selfies to share with our friends and families. It’s a little ritual that we’ve come to love over the years. What have you done this Diwali? Do share with me!
Hi, I’m Abhishek. Welcome to Sunday Wisdom—A weekly advice column about decision making, clear thinking, working with humans, and everything else that’s stressing you out in business and life. I appreciate you being here. If you are loving Sunday Wisdom, you can buy me a coffee or share this newsletter with a friend.
What I Wrote
This week, I wrote about building a good place of work.
There’s a lot of literature on starting businesses, but there isn’t much on running good companies. No wonder we see so many companies with evil managers, toxic work culture, and huge attrition rate. Although the “best practices” are accepted as universal truth, they are full of BS. They promote workaholism, stress, and exhaustion from work. It doesn’t have to that way.
If you are somebody who is running a company, or planning to start a company, or is working in a company, this is for you. A set of guidelines—I call them Work Rules—to create a stress-free environment that promotes calm and peace of mind. Yes it’s possible to run a business that generates wealth without losing your mind.
Below is the YouTube version of the same essay. If you are somebody who is more into watching videos than reading essays, this is for you. The only catch is that I’ve omitted a couple of ideas from the video to keep it short. If the video intrigues you, do read the full essay.
What I’m Reading
Jerry Seinfeld on Innovation
Find out what you don’t like, and change it. That’s how innovation happens.
Jerry Seinfeld was sick of talk shows where music plays, somebody walks in, shakes hands with the host, sits down, and starts selling whatever they had come to sell. This motivated Seinfeld to create Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee where nothing like this happens. What happens is pretty much in the name of the show. Link
Tobi Lütke on Trust
People have a “Trust Battery” that is charged at 50% when they join a company. Every time they work with someone—depending on how the interactions go—the trust battery between the two is either charged or discharged.
When the battery is drained, everything is wrong, and everything is judged harshly. A 10% charge is a 90% chance that the next interaction will go south.
Ever been in a relationship where you are annoyed by every little thing the other person does? The irritating things aren’t annoying in isolation, there’s something else going on. The trust battery has depleted completely. Link
Working On Your Act
An artist’s job is to create masterpieces. Everything else is secondary.
The first step to become a best-selling author is to write a great book. Amateurs focus on the selling bit more than the writing bit. The Harry Potter books are great first, and best-selling later. We forget that. You may not become a best-selling author despite writing a great book. But if you don’t write a great book, you surely won’t. Link
👋 That’s All!
One last thing. Reading this post won’t help, unless you swallow, chew, and digest these ideas. I urge you to become a demanding reader—one who questions the author, seeks answers, and doesn’t shy away from sharing opinions and interpretations.