Monday, October 05, 2015

Discussion and collaboration

An element of my pastor's sermon this Sunday was interdependence. Our culture puts more emphasis on being right than on effectiveness. Today I witnessed several discussions which were focusing on one liners and zingers, not on dialog and engagement. There was no respect, no interest in the other side's opinion, except as something to pull apart and deride.  Out of all the elements, though, it's the disrespect that bothers me the most.

American culture heavily values the individual, to the detriment of society. We have lost our valuation for interdependence, assuming we ever had that to begin with. All out culture's problems require us to work together. Our ability to collaborate will determine our species' survival. No pressure.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

My word of the day: multipotentialite

For most of my adult life, I've felt pulled to choose a specialty. And I've tried, dozens, maybe hundreds of times. As each time has resulted in failure, I realized, some time ago, that my varied and rich perspective is a valuable thing. Oddly, I never really considered my multi-faceted focus to be a good thing, just that good things had come from this. I admired the great work done by the specialists and really only saw myself supporting that work. Not that I had a creative and powerful perspective to add. However, after this TEDTalk, I see otherwise.

Ms. Warnick talks of multipotentialites, people with a variety of interests and passions. These people work those into skills. Something richer than simply generalists supporting the more valuable specialists. People whose brains work like mine. And, most importantly (to me at least) that this is good. That we have a great deal to offer the world. Considering the multi-faceted issues that our world faces, we have a particularly critical viewpoint to offer.

So, I offer you this video. One that has transformed my personal view of the world, my life and my definition of my "life's work".


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

JibJab: Ice Ice Baby

Check out my friend Toby's JibJab video. I love these things.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Always Emotion, The Stock Markets

Was just reading a lending market update which included a note about the puzzling behavior of the stock market last week. Faced with a number of positive economic indicators, the market sold off pretty heavily. Well, with my time at Fortune 500s, I’ve seen this before. I learned a long-time ago that Wall Street, the stock-markets and prices of such things is driven, on a day-to-day basis primarily by emotion. This also feeds into the quarter by quarter mentality of most stock valuation. Time and time again, in most markets, it’s those with long-term views and understanding that do well. This is true in real estate as well. If you can shift your view out 5, 10, 20 years in the future, you can escape the variability of these emotionally based fluctuations.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A meditation on efficiency

For many years now, I've been a Franklin-Covey devotee. For decades it's been live changing/life affirming in the richest way possible. At one point, I was recruited to be a training facilitator. That didn't align with my objectives, but was very flattering, and shows my commitment to these principles.

Anyway, this week brought several reminders of all that. First, my son is getting introduced to the concepts more formally. He's enjoying the fact he knows all the concepts. And it's very satisfying to hear that attributed to my teachings.

Also, at my latest team meeting, my boss broke out my beloved "Importance/Urgency" grid. (Side note: I understand that this was developed by Eisenhower, but I was introduced to this by Steven Covey.)

As we were talking, the group was talking about focusing on quadrant I, what I call the hyper-urgent. Mostly, this is the land if crises and drama. No, we don't want to live in this space. Of course it needs to be dealt with; they only become more dramatic with neglect. But our goal must be to spend as little time in this space as necessary.

Quadrant II, the "non-urgent but important" is where we need to focus, and where the others 3 quadrants distract us from. Planning, developing, growing, learning and building our relationships all help prevent the crises of quadrant I. This is the area that grows our sphere of influence, too.

Moving our focus "above the line", only on the important is the real focus, and the real challenge. It requires forethought, planning, and consideration, all of which help define "important", and keep us focused on it. All quadrant II activities. See how this works?