Friday, 28 August 2015

Three Rules of Life

Here's another bite from The Big Moo that helps me re-remind myself about the bigger picture, and is quite apt in terms of the journey I now find myself in, with both my personal and professional life:

Three Rules of Life (and everything else)

1. Your Attitude Is Your Life

You can choose your attitude. And your attitude changes your life and the lives of those around you. rarely does a bad attitude solve the problem. Typically, when something goes wrong or feels unpleasant, we get crabby and yell at the wrong people. We may solve the problem, but the crabbiness is an unnecessary extra. Solve the problem without the crummy attitude and everyone wins.

2. Maximize Your Options

When we lock ourselves into one possibility of how things must be done, our businesses, our lives, and the lives of those around us get stuck. Maximize your options. Before you settle on just the right thing, play out a few more possibilities. In all things, big and small, open yourself to the possible options. Then trust yourself to choose the right one for the moment.

3. Don't Let the Seeds Stop You From Enjoying the Watermelon

Tell this to yourself every day. It will help change your attitude. ;-)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

On Leadership

Here's another snippet from "The Big Moo" on the philosophies of leadership that promotes my own value system:

Philosophies on Leadership

  • Be impatient, don't tolerate mediocrity.
  • Be confident in your ability - you CAN make a difference in the world.
  • Have extreme passion for your work and those your are working with.
  • Never compromise your integrity.
  • Risk is the only reward - without risk, there is no benefit.
  • Expect isolation, separation, and intolerance.
  • Take the time to know and connect with worlds that are vastly different from yours - your greatest discoveries reside there.
  • Dare to be different.

Extracted from chapter "The student becomes the teacher".

Saturday, 8 August 2015

What, exactly are you afraid of?

Here's another snippet from the Big Moo that resonated strongly with me...

What, exactly are you afraid of?

Here's a list. You pick:
  • getting yelled at by the boss
  • getting fired
  • having your company close down for lack of business
  • your company gets acquired and you get fired
  • not getting promoted
  • making promises you can't keep
  • doing the wrong thing
  • getting caught using the copy machine after hours
  • not knowing the right answer
Here's the big news: If your strategy is to lie low, do your job, follow instructions, and hope that nobody notices you, (a) nobody WILL ever notice you, and (b) you're actually increasing the chances of something bad happening.

If, on the other hand, you develop a reputation as the person who is always pushing the envelope, challenging the organisation to go to the next level, and using your influence to get good stuff done, you've got the world's best job security. If you never pretend to know all the answers, nobody will hate you when you say, "I don't know." And if you surround yourself with a team that depends on you to lead them to the next big thing, you all benefit.

You can't shrink your way to greatness. 

-- Extracted from the Big Moo, Seth Godin

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

They say I'm Extreme

Here's another snippet from the Big Moo that was written just for me :-), and sums up pretty much of my own life & work experience thus far:

They say I'm Extreme

They say I'm extreme.
I say I'm a realist.

They say I demand too much.
I say they accept mediocrity and continuous improvement too readily.

They say, "We can't handle this much change."
I say, "Your job and career are in jeopardy; what other options do you have?"

They say, "What's wrong with a 'good product'?"
I say, "Wal-Mart or China or noth are about to eat your lunch. Why can't you provide instead a fabulous experience?"

They say, "Take a deep breath. Be calm."
I say, "Tell it to Wal-Mart. Tell it to China. Tell it to India. Tell it to Dell. Tell it to Microsoft."

They say the Web is a useful tool.
I say the Web changes everything. Now.

They say, "We need an initiative."
I say, "We need a dream. And dreamers."

They say great design is "nice".
I say great design is necessary.

They say, "Effective governance is important."
I say bold, brash boards that are representative of the market served - more than a token woman or two and an empty seat for the "forthcoming Hispanic" - are an imperative. Now.

The say, "Plan it."
I say, "Do it."

They say, "We need more steady, loyal employees."
I say, "We need more 'freaks' who routinely tell those in charge to take a flying leap...before it's too late."

They say, "We need Good People."
I say, "We need Quirky Talent."

They say, "We like people who, with steely determination, say, 'I can make it better.'"
I say, "I love people who, with a certain maniacal gleam in their eye, perhaps even a giggle, say, 'I can turn the world upside down. Watch me!'"

They say, "Sure, we need change."
I say we nee revolution now.

They say, "Fast follower."
I say, "Battered and bruised leader."

They say, "Conglomerate and imitate!"
I say, "Create and innovate!"

They say, "Market share."
I say, "Market creation."

They say, "Improve and maintain."
I say, "Destroy and reimagine."

They say, "Normal."
I say, "Weird."

They say, "Happy balance."
I say, "Creative tension."

The say a favor a "team that works and lives in harmony."
I say, "Give me a raucous brawl among the most creative people imaginable."

They say, "Peace, brother."
I say, "Bruise my feelings. Flatten my ego. Save my job."

They say, "Basic black."
I say, "Technicolor rules!"

They say, "We need happy customers."
I say, "Give me pushy, needy, nasty, provocative customers."

They say, "We seek Harvard M.B.A.s"
I say, "I seek certificate-free 'Ph.D.s' from the School of Hard Knocks."

They say the want recruits with "spotless records."
I say, "The spots are what matter most."

They say, "Integrity is important."
I say, "Tell the unvarnished truth, all the time... or take a hike."

They say diversity is a "good thing."
I say diversity is a breath of fresh, creative air - absolutely necessary for economic salvation in perilous times.

They say it's "daunting."
I say it's "a hoot."

They say, "Zero defects."
I say, "A day without a screwup or two is a day pissed away."

They say, "Think about it."
I say, "Try it."

They say, "Plan it."
I say, "Test it."

They say, "Radical change takes a decade."
I say, "Radical change takes a minute."

They say, "Times are changing."
I say, "Everything has already changed. Tomorrow is the first day of your revolution... or you're toast."

They say, "We can't all be revolutionaries."
I say, "Why not?"

They say this is just a rant.
I say this is just reality.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

How to be a failure

I'm a huge follower of Seth Godin, been dipping into and out of this book called "The Big Moo", bookmarking the blurbs that standout and resonate with me...and to true Godin-style, he encourages
his readers to share the experience. So I'll start sharing some of these blurbs, that I find personally relevant to me as I've come to experience both work-and-life, on this blog, starting with...

How to be a Failure

  1. Keep secrets.
  2. Be certain you're right and ignore those who disagree with you.
  3. Set aggressive deadlines for others to get buy in - then change them when they aren't met.
  4. Resist testing your theories.
  5. Focus more on what other people think and less on whether your idea is as good as it could be.
  6. Assume that a critical mass must embrace your idea for it to work.
  7. Choose an idea where number 6 is a requirement.
  8. Realise that people who don't instantly get your idea are bull-headed, shortsighted, or even stupid.
  9. Don't bother to dramatically increase the quality of your presentation style.
  10. Insist that you've got to go straight to the president of the organisation to get something done.
  11. Always go for the big win.
[...thought-provoking, isn't it? ...]
[...have you found yourself nodding in agreement through at least one? ....]