When I learn something, I sometimes wish I had learned it long ago. If it could have saved me trouble, or led me somewhere I find appealing, I write it down. Here's another installment from my growing collection.
- If your workload is totally unreasonable, better time management won't help much.
- If you work for a jerk, striving for superior performance is worse than a waste of time. It keeps you from finding another job.
- Multitasking is a hoax. What we really do is task switching, which drains energy and wastes time [*] .
- If my success depends on yours, but yours doesn't depend on mine, I might be in big trouble.
- Creating great ideas from scratch is really hard and really rare. Many great ideas are clever combinations of other great and less-than-great ideas.
- Organizations and their people either succeed together or fail together.
- Risk-averse organizations risk stifling creativity and innovation.
- Threats work in the short run, but they drive people away in the long run.
- If you decide to give up, you'll never know whether you could have done it.
- You can't trust everything you find on the Internet, but some Internet communities and Web sites are very reliable. Find some you trust.
- Perfection isn't achievable, but with practice, you can make the imperfections insignificant.
- Cherish imperfections. They can sometimes lead to wonderful, exciting places.
- If a difficult decision gets easier when you pretend you're deciding it for somebody else, the difficulty is probably about you, not the decision.
- When all your choices are bad, choosing usually isn't the hard part. The hard part is accepting that you must choose the least bad choice.
- To get more choices, try letting go of dogma and ideology.
- When people suddenly renege on commitments, they could be just untrustworthy, or maybe somebody powerful ordered them to do it. Some people would let you believe the former before they would ever acknowledge the latter.
- You can't When I learn something that
I wish I had learned long
ago, I write it downsolve problems you don't realize you have.
- You can't use assets you don't realize you have.
- The Development orientation focuses on figuring out how to break the mold. The Operational orientation focuses on using the mold more perfectly.
- Creativity and Freedom are partners. You can't have much of one without help from the other.
- I've forgotten so many great ideas that I'm sure some must have been better than any idea I've pursued. So now when I get an idea I write it down (or type it in). Now if only I can figure out how not to lose what I've written down (or typed in)…
- Outsourcing risk management is risky. Something about having to live with the consequences of risks makes people better risk managers.
- The easiest way to offend somebody is to disparage something personal they can't change.
- If all you know is where you don't want to go, you'll get there faster.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- When We Need a Little Help
- Sometimes we get in over our heads — too much work, work we don't understand, or even complex
politics. We can ask for help, but we often forget that we can. Even when we remember, we sometimes
hold back. Why is asking for help, or remembering that we can ask, so difficult? How can we make it easier?
- FedEx, Flocks, and Frames of Reference
- Your point of view — or reference frame — affects what you see, and how you experience the
world around you. By choosing a reference frame consciously, you can see things differently, and open
a universe of new choices.
- Favors, Payback, and Thoughtlessness
- Someone at work who isn't particularly a friend or foe has asked you for a favor. What happens if you
say no? Do you grant the favor? How do you decide what to do?
- When It's Just Not Your Job
- Has your job become frustrating because the organization has lost its way? Is circumventing the craziness
making you crazy too? How can you recover your perspective despite the situation?
- How to Get Out of Firefighting Mode: I
- When new problems pop up one after the other, we describe our response as "firefighting."
We move from fire to fire, putting out flames. How can we end the madness?
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
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- And on November 1: Risk Creep: I
- Risk creep is a term that describes the insidious and unrecognized increase in risk that occurs despite our every effort to mitigate risk or avoid it altogether. What are the dominant sources of risk creep? Available here and by RSS on November 1.
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- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.