Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 5, Issue 42;   October 19, 2005:

Some Things I've Learned Along the Way

by

When I have an important insight, I write it down in a little notebook. Here are some items from my personal collection.

Insights can be really helpful, especially when we face challenges. When I seek advice from those I respect, I often have that forehead-slapping moment where I think, "I knew that!" or "Duh!". When that happens I write down what I just learned. Here's some of what I've come up with.

  • Good enough usually is.
  • When I want to feel good, I ask myself what I want. I'm the world's expert on Me.
  • There's good news and there's bad news. Sometimes the hard part is figuring out which is which. Sometimes the same news is both.
  • A happy dog People tend to believe they know what other people are thinking.
  • I can't possibly know what you're thinking. Mastering ESP is still on my To Do list.
  • Whenever I make a mistake, I remind myself that I probably didn't invent that particular way to goof up.
  • Nodding understandingly goes a long way, but only if you actually do understand.
  • The nastiest thing about nasty problems is not that they don't go away when you refuse to deal with them. It's that they get worse.
  • If you don't have a plan you can't follow it.
  • Plan for today first. Planning for the distant future is worth less the more distant the future is.
  • Kids know way more
    than they get credit
    for. Way more.
    Most people do their best. When it seems otherwise, maybe you just don't get it.
  • Kids know way more than they get credit for. Way more.
  • Deceiving others is difficult, especially if they're your kids.
  • Dogs never ask you how you're doing because they already know.
  • What fits for me might not fit for you. What fits for you might not fit for me.
  • When someone speaks from the heart, listen to the beat.
  • Experience eventually leads to wisdom. Some people require more experiences than others.
  • That voice in your head that tells you you're messed up is usually coming from the part that's the most messed up.
  • Feeling embarrassed is a waste. Most people are too busy worrying about themselves to notice.
  • Speaking your own No is more powerful than repeating anybody else's Yes.
  • If you don't like your choices, choose to look for more choices.
  • Even though you know your favorite flavor of ice cream, try one of the others now and then.
  • It's a lot easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.
  • Attributing significance or intention to other people's mistakes is often a mistake.
  • Lots of people have been through really terrible things that they don't talk about. It's safest to assume that everyone deserves your respect and admiration.
  • You don't always get back what you give. But since we can't really measure that, feeling slighted might be unwise.
  • A human being is a wonder. You are a human being.

I could go on, but maybe you're wondering what your own list would look like if you wrote it down. You can find out.  Next in this series Go to top Top  Next issue: Dealing with Deadlock  Next Issue

Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunLove the work but not the job? Bad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? This ebook looks at what we can do to get more out of life at work. It helps you get moving again! Read Go For It! Sometimes It's Easier If You Run, filled with tips and techniques for putting zing into your work life. Order Now!

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenXEiRBfuFHUtjHrqUner@ChacpYPvvSVhUNIOeXHKoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.

Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter. Browse the archive of past issues. Subscribe for free.

Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.

Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.

Related articles

More articles on Ethics at Work:

ApplesCurrying Favor
The behavior of the office kiss-up drives many people bats. It's more than annoying, though — it does real harm to the organization. What is the behavior?
The interior of an Apple store, location unknownPersonnel-Sensitive Risks: I
Some risks and the plans for managing them are personnel-sensitive in the sense that disclosure can harm the enterprise or its people. Since most risk management plans are available to a broad internal audience, personnel-sensitive risks cannot be managed in the customary way. Why not?
A happy dogMore Things I've Learned Along the Way
Some entries from my personal collection of useful insights.
A happy dogMore Things I've Learned Along the Way: IV
When I gain an important insight, or when I learn a lesson, I write it down. Here's Part IV from my personal collection. Example: When it comes to disputes and confusion, one person is enough.
Boeing 737 MAX grounded aircraft near Boeing Field, April 2019On Standing Aside
Occasionally we're asked to participate in deliberations about issues relating to our work responsibilities. Usually we respond in good faith. And sometimes we — or those around us — can't be certain that we're responding in good faith. In those situations, we must stand aside.

See also Ethics at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

Adolf Hitler greets Neville Chamberlain at the beginning of the Bad Godesberg meeting on 24 September 1938Coming October 20: On Ineffectual Leaders
When the leader of an important business unit is ineffectual, we need to make a change to protect the organization. Because termination can seem daunting, people often turn to one or more of a variety of other options. Those options have risks. Available here and by RSS on October 20.
Browsing books in a library. So many books, we must make choicesAnd on October 27: Five Guidelines for Choices
Each day we make dozens or hundreds of choices — maybe more. We make many of those choices outside our awareness. But we can make better choices if we can recognize choice patterns that often lead to trouble. Here are five guidelines for making choices. Available here and by RSS on October 27.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenXEiRBfuFHUtjHrqUner@ChacpYPvvSVhUNIOeXHKoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

Get the ebook!

Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:

Reprinting this article

Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500-1000 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info

Public seminars

The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power

Many The Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople 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.

Bullet Points: Mastery or Madness?

DecisBullet Point Madnession makers in modern organizations commonly demand briefings in the form of bullet points or a series of series of bullet points. But this form of presentation has limited value for complex decisions. We need something more. We actually need to think. Briefers who combine the bullet-point format with a variety of persuasion techniques can mislead decision makers, guiding them into making poor decisions. Read more about this program.

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at Twitter, or share a tweet Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
101 Tips for Managing ConflictFed up with tense, explosive meetings? Are you the target of a bully? Learn how to make peace with conflict.
101 Tips for Managing ChangeAre you managing a change effort that faces rampant cynicism, passive non-cooperation, or maybe even outright revolt?
101 Tips for Effective MeetingsLearn how to make meetings more productive — and more rare.
Exchange your "personal trade secrets" — the tips, tricks and techniques that make you an ace — with other aces, anonymously. Visit the Library of Personal Trade Secrets.
If your teams don't yet consistently achieve state-of-the-art teamwork, check out this catalog. Help is just a few clicks/taps away!
Ebooks, booklets and tip books on project management, conflict, writing email, effective meetings and more.