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Tag / Improvement

The System Works For You

This post is a tribute to W. Edwards Deming, born on this day in the year 1900. The system works for you. At the start, anyway. Then it doesn’t. The cover sheet for the TPS report? Yes, that was part of a great joke from Office Space but it was also a part of the […]

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Authenticity and LinkedIn

True to The Lean Startup principles, I’m conducting a retrospective to report what I’ve learned in the first six-week cycle of this humble effort to develop something useful. Here’s Lesson #5: Is LinkedIn just the Yellow Pages for resumes? The Craigslist of careers? Is it social media? An online community? I honestly don’t know. I never really […]

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(Admitting) Ignorance Is Bliss

“The neurotic who learns to laugh at himself may be on the way to self-management, perhaps to cure.”  —Victor Frankl One of the more frightening individuals featured in Bad Blood is a man with the most incompatible name I’ve ever known: Sunny. Sunny was not named for his disposition. Throughout the book, he roved in […]

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Chalk It Up To Influence

The number 6. What does it mean? Well, unless you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, the number 6 probably doesn’t mean much. Numbers have no meaning on their own. But when used by a leader, your plain old numbers can become a clarifying, motivating force. Take the number 6. In the early 1900s, Charles Schwab was a […]

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The Best Book On Self-Improvement

How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big By Scott Adams Rating: 10/10 Best line #1: Goals are for losers. Best line #2: My optimism is like an old cat that likes to disappear for days, but I always expect it to return. Here is one of the most important lines I’ve ever […]

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Net Positive Failure

I heard a billionaire once say that his company welcomed failure so long as it was net positive. This is a nice idea but it’s tricky. What makes a net positive failure? Seems like a solid method to escape accountability. “I know I was supposed to wash the dishes. I just didn’t get to it. […]

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The Thrill of the Chase. The Sorrow of the Catch.

When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.  —Plutarch Of all the “good” problems to have, the best might be “post achievement depression”. It comes by way of the arrival fallacy—a term coined by the psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar from his excellent book Happier. The idea has been around […]

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Jordan Missed 9,000 Times.

Actually, he missed 12,345 times. And with a shooting percentage of 49.7%, he missed more shots than he made. This fact is used to motivate others. Failure, after all, is the path to success. Part of striving. To borrow from another sports legend, Gretzky said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” It’s […]

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Problems That Create More Problems – The Ratchet

We really need to understand what a ratchet is and how to make them. A ratchet is also known as a flywheel from Quint Studer’s book “Hardwiring Excellence” and is a way to describe the self-perpetuating virtuous/vicious circle identified in system dynamics. These phenomena govern much of what we experience in the workplace and elsewhere.  

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You Are A Teacher. At the School of Rock.

Some music teachers give you an instrument and teach you to play scales. Chromatic, major, and minor scales. Play them again and again until you get them right. Then and only then can we move on to sight reading. Oh, and maybe, eventually, to actual music. Think of the stern stereotypical teacher of yore.   Other […]

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