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 [Weinschenk 2012] .
- 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:
- Appreciate Differences
- In group problem solving, diversity of opinion and healthy, reasoned debate ensure that our conclusions
take into account all the difficulties we can anticipate. Lock-step thinking — and limited debate
— expose us to the risk of unanticipated risk.
- First Aid for Painful Meetings
- The foundation of any team meeting is its agenda. A crisply focused agenda can make the difference between
a long, painful affair and finishing early. If you're the meeting organizer, develop and manage the
agenda for maximum effectiveness.
- The Shower Effect: Sudden Insights
- Ever have a brilliant insight, a forehead-slapping moment? You think, "Now I get it!" or "Why
didn't I think of this before?" What causes these moments? How can we make them happen sooner?
- How Not to Accumulate Junk
- Look around your office. Look around your home. Very likely, some of your belongings are useless and
provide neither enjoyment nor cause for contemplation. Where does this stuff come from? Why can't we
get rid of it?
- Wacky Words of Wisdom: VI
- Adages, aphorisms, and "words of wisdom" seem valid often enough that we accept them as universal
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Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming April 8: The New Virtual Meeting: Digressions
- The bane of meetings everywhere, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, has been digressions. But there are reasons to expect the incidence of digressions in meetings to increase now. What reasons could there be, and what can we do about digressions? Available here and by RSS on April 8.
- And on April 15: Incompetence: Traps and Snares
- Sometimes people judge as incompetent colleagues who are unprepared to carry out their responsibilities. Some of these "incompetents" are trapped or ensnared in incompetence, unable to acquire the ability to do their jobs. Available here and by RSS on April 15.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
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.