1. I am wired for pattern-matching and pattern-recognition! Software or Social Systems.
2. I understand reverse-engineering stone cold. This is the best way to discovering "cause & effect."
3. I practice having my "crucial conversations" days to weeks in advance
4. I re-read important books annually. Chief among my favorites is Machiavelli's "The Prince" on my desk for reference, which leads to
5. I usually have figured out what you're likely going to do and likely going to say and what my response will likely be three moves from now
When someone tells you what they are "not going to do", do not be dazzled by their amateur misdirection.
I recently had a conversation with a new manager who told me he was basically going "stay out of my way" -- it was the second time I'd heard that exact phrase in the past six months, first from his predecessor who did everything but. Which I understood he meant he was planning the exact opposite.
When you attempt to "lather. rinse. repeat." a highly visible pattern, especially one that has failed miserably, you have to at some point have some kind of honest inner reflection that you might not be as clever as you think you are?
Unless you work for an organization that is fiercely protective of incompetence.
Something's I've learned over my brief time here:
1. The only thing people hate more than a surprise is
2. An unplanned errand.
Today's Big Idea: "Think long and hard about your interaction with people you perceive as your subordinates. Allow for the off chance that they might just be as smart as you. And for the truly gifted, statistically speaking, one in a thousand are likely smarter than you."
That's how I've treated every team I've had the privilege of serving. It is something I learned from Steve Jobs who advocated "hiring people smarter than you" -- I've been very fortunate to have worked with a number of rock-stars who clearly outshine me!
But if you're going to try and throw someone under the bus -- I would caution you to avoid people with really long reach. Especially ones that can see you coming from a mile away...
On one of those rare occasions when I get to be a passenger, I get the opportunity to really notice and read the billboards.
You can tell a lot about an area by the advertising -- I'm often amazed/amused by all the adverts for attorneys and law firms when I'm in places like California. The best one to date: "Half-priced lawyers dot com" ! FINALLY some honest billing for honest effort - LOL
In our area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, we seem to have somewhat of a banking war going on -- I'm not even sure its for actual accounts or for raw mind-share.
In an ever escalating war, one large national bank had the audacity to just come out and tell me they were the best -- "Laughable at best" was what I thought.
What was amusing was that in all my most recent experiences with said bank I couldn't find really anything that they had done that even rose to the level of mediocrity. In other words, they sucked at being average.
I have many friends in theater - Actors, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and many more. They often ask me how do I make a successful living as a performer. Well. Its quite simple and very difficult.
a. People perform fo a variety of reasons, but mostly because they love it.
b. Theater succeeds because audiences buy tickets.
A & B are not the same and are only marginally related. Caring about something, even if you care a great deal, will not cause it to become a successful business.
Over the years I have many (many, many) friends try and create a successful theater business...and nearly all fail. In their defense they usually have tons of talent and infinite drive. But you need that and a business sense.(1) And capital. And luck.
There are some theater models that tend to work:(2)
- Dinner theater
- talent shows
- Stand-up comedy
- renaissance fairs
And there are some that almost never work:
- bagpipe musicals
- all mime
In the Twin Cities there are 50+ theater companies; and they mostly do the same things. They are successful.
BIG IDEA: Before you start a theater business (or ANY business) do a little research -- Find out which models tend to work.
1. Know anything about marketing? reading a P&L sheet? The difference between an employee and a contractor? The non-profit model?
2. Mostly by being popular, selling food and alcohol and keeping expenses under gross income.)
Where do you get all your ideas, Dave? You write perform, coach, create film and even teach creativity -- How do you do it?
Don't you even find yourself with nothing to write about? ( Joke about, create, film, build, teach, etc.)
Hasn't everything already been done/ told/ created?
I have writer's block.
No. You have a case of lazy.
Writer's block is a completely made up thingie. It is an excuse to not write. You can't think of ANYTHING to write about - really?
Here's an idea; Make a list of nouns. Write about those. (Seriously ask me about the 5x5 exercise)
You might not be writing because you are letting your editor interfere with your writer -- Hint -- when you are writing, just write - no editing, no judging no cross outs. Just write.
Want short story ideas? Mash stuff together. A place, a device and two women. A feeling, your childhood, food preparation.
Part of being a writer ( or any sort of creative) is working. And part of that work - possibly the most of it -- is coming up with things to do. You will spend time thinking, experimenting and running up dead ends. A lot of time. Its part of the job, its part of your process.
Tonight's big idea: Creative work requires work. Often lots of it. The raw material of most creative projects is ideas; acquiring them, remembering them and trying them out. Get used to it.