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:
- Take Any Seat: I
- When you attend a meeting, how do you choose your seat? Whether you chair or not, where you sit helps
to determine your effectiveness and your stature during the meeting. Here are some tips for choosing
your seat strategically.
- Working Journals
- Keeping a journal about your work can change how you work. You can record why you did what you did,
and why you didn't do what you didn't. You can record what you saw and what you only thought you saw.
And when you read the older entries, you can see patterns you might never have noticed any other way.
- Healthy Practices
- Some organizational cultures are healthy; some aren't. How can you tell whether your organizational
culture is healthy? Here are some indicators.
- Teamwork Myths: Formation
- Much of the conventional wisdom about teams is in the form of over-generalized rules of thumb, or myths.
In this first part of our survey of teamwork myths, we examine two myths about forming teams.
- How to Get Out of Firefighting Mode: II
- We know we're in firefighting mode when a new urgent problem disrupts our work on another urgent problem,
and the new problem makes it impossible to use the solution we thought we had for some third problem
we were also working on. Here's Part II of a set of suggestions for getting out of firefighting mode.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming March 27: Stone-Throwers at Meetings: II
- A stone-thrower in a meeting is someone who is determined to halt forward progress. Motives vary, from embarrassing the chair to holding the meeting hostage in exchange for advancing an agenda. What can chairs do about stone-throwers? Available here and by RSS on March 27.
- And on April 3: Career Opportunity or Career Trap: I
- When we're presented with an opportunity that seems too good to be true, as the saying goes, it probably is. Although it's easy to decline free vacations, declining career opportunities is another matter. Here's a look at indicators that a career opportunity might be a career trap. Available here and by RSS on April 3.
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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.