I’m re-reading Bob Sutton’s 2011-08-27 post, “5 Warning Signs to Watch for at Apple.” That post is not about Apple (except as a great for-example). It is about consistency of purpose and ways of maintaining that in a major coordinated effort.
What caught my eye is Sutton’s emphasis on structures that reduce emotional and cognitive load on those making major decisions. I suspect, depending on the nature of the enterprise, that this emphasis needs to be in more places than the top level, especially if there is no strong hierarchical force.
This is also timely because of the recent distress that led to “Stopping work for free that I wouldn’t do as a job for free.” I had already concluded that I needed to find a smaller, coherent contribution that I could make that avoided the psychic energy drain I was experiencing. I now recognize that as a self-medication for reduction of emotional and cognitive load. And find focus on something that fits my passion and conceptual grasp. I can expand my reach (mastery) from there, perhaps.
Bob’s words give me relief by identifying what I’d been suffering with.