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jerryking : action-oriented   13

The Future Is Dodgeball -
Nov. 5, 2017 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.

Ben Rosen rambled on about getting in the middle of things at events, conferences and seminars. He said that at first nothing will make sense and all these balls will be flying across the room out of your reach. But eventually you’ll find yourself in the middle of the room and balls will start hitting you. Then you’ll know you’re inside....Turns out it was the best advice I would ever receive.

The thing about the future is that, as William Goldman wrote about screenwriting, “Nobody knows anything.” Everyone is an outsider, and it’s all up for grabs. Someone might have an opinion, but there are few facts. What you need are your own opinions about where the world is headed in any given industry: artificial intelligence, gene editing, autonomous trucks, marine salvage—whatever.

You need to go to places where the future is discussed. Every industry has these events. Make the time to go. And not only to hear keynoters billow hot air, but for the panel discussions where people disagree. The conversation spills out into the hallways between talks..... Barge in anyway. Remember, there are no facts, only opinions.

Walk up and talk to people. Ask what they do. They’re there because they want to learn something too. They will all ask you what you think. Come up with something fast, but don’t be too stubborn to change what you think as you learn more. During the personal-computer era I saw a guy, whom Bill Gates had just introduced, standing by himself after showcasing the first truly high-resolution videogame. I chatted him up and he has been a friend for life, showing me not only where technology is headed but the path it takes.

It’s not classic networking but a network of ideas. The goal is finding a new way to think, to filter news over time as the future takes shape in fits and starts. It never happens in a straight line. Hydraulic fracturing has been around and argued about since 1947. Anyone had a chance to study this future of unlocking natural gas and make a fortune. Same for artificial intelligence in 1956, e-commerce in 1979 and quantum computing in 1982.

The future doesn’t happen overnight. You just need to get inside it and let some of those balls whizzing by start to hit you. And you’ve got to do this in person. Most issues don’t show up online, let alone on Facebook or Twitter . It’s tough as a writer to admit that subtle nuances sometimes require face-to-face conversation.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 25, 45 or 65. The industry you pick to work in has more of a say in your success than your job description. Same for giving money away. If you want to fund Alzheimer’s research, you better find yourself at wonky conferences going toe-to-toe with doctors. Eventually, you’ll know more.

I met Jeff Bezos at a tech conference about a decade ago and mentioned that I had just self-published a book and used his Amazon Advantage program to sell it. He proceeded to grill me like a steak, asking what was wrong with it and what features he should add. I’m convinced he keeps winning because he enjoys being hit with dodgeballs. He famously left New York a retailing outsider with an idea to sell books. Balls whizzed by until they hit. He now has the ultimate inside view.

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“Play in traffic.”.....“It means that if you go push yourself out there and you see people and do things and participate and get involved, something happens,” he said. “Both of my great occasions in life happened by accident simply because I showed up.”“I tell people, just show up, get in the game, go play in traffic,” Mr. Plumeri said. “Something good will come of it, but you’ve got to show up.”
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Andy_Kessler  '80s  Wall_Street  Morgan_Stanley  Communicating_&_Connecting  conferences  panels  future  small_talk  face2face  independent_viewpoints  action-oriented  ice-breakers  advice  playing_in_traffic  industry_expertise  Jeff_Bezos  straight-lines  think_differently 
november 2017 by jerryking
Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny - The New Yorker
OCTOBER 10, 2016 |New Yorker | Tad Friend.

Quotation from Admiral Hyman Rickover. “The great end of life is not knowledge, but action,” ...“I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. . . . We must live for the future, not for our own comfort or success.”
Sam_Altman  doers  Y_Combinator  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  investors  entrepreneur  quotes  Paul_Graham  Peter_Thiel  action-oriented  forward_looking  future 
october 2016 by jerryking
Amazing Career Advice For College Grads From LinkedIn's Billionaire Founder - Business Insider
1. Competition.
What should I do with my Life? is the WRONG question--it's too self-absorbed. Instead, make it about everyone else, which means isolating your competitive advantage (assets, aspirations, market realities). In terms of making a positive difference in the world, ask "how can I help?"
2. Networks
Proactively build your network.Relationships matter as people control access to resources, opportunities and information. It's likely that someone I already know knows someone who could help me.
3. Risk
Actions, not plans generate useful lessons. Playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do--learn to take Intelligent Risks. Prioritize plans that offer the best chance at learning about yourself and the world. If the worst case scenario is losing a bit of time or money or experiencing some discomfort, this is a worthwhile risk. if the worst case scenario is the serious tarnishing of one's reputation, loss of all economic assets, or something otherwise career ending, don't accept that risk. The best opportunities can be the one with the most question marks.
advice  Managing_Your_Career  Reid_Hoffman  LinkedIn  career_ending_moves  entrepreneurship  indispensable  serving_others  Colleges_&_Universities  students  new_graduates  job_search  discomforts  action-oriented  self-absorbed  playing_it_safe 
may 2013 by jerryking
Note From the Edge: Sometimes You Can't Control Your Success - WSJ.com
September 2, 1997 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

An Ex-Manager Says You Can't Always Control Your Success

Mr. Curnutt says. He speaks for a large populace of middle managers who aren't golden boys being groomed for senior management, who will likely rise only so far and then stay there.

But there is more these managers can do to bust out of their confining boxes. Mr. Curnutt always wanted to be a manager and he says now he would have been better off majoring in business or accounting from the start. I think he also could have been more aggressive in promoting himself, particularly after getting his M.B.A. Perhaps he could have created a new position, using some of the skills he learned in his M.B.A. program, instead of waiting for the company to identify an opportunity for him.

Even then, of course, things might not work out. Not everyone is meant to ride the gravy train. But you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Remember, those who stand in place the longest are the most vulnerable. Ask Mr. Curnutt.
action-oriented  beyond_one's_control  contingency_planning  crisis  crisis_management  first_movers  Hal_Lancaster  immobilize  middle_management  paralyze  self-promotion  stress_response  Sue_Shellenbarger  uncertainty 
december 2012 by jerryking
Learn 'Languages' And You'll Always Land on Your Feet - WSJ.com
October 21, 1997|WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

Lesson 1: Learn as many "languages" as possible. Through all this, he learned the value of being a business linguist. He spoke fluent finance, law, investor relations, marketing and brand management.

"It helps your credibility when you can speak the language of other functions," he says.

Lesson 2: Build bridges to other functions.

During his six years at Allied, Mr. Simon had to deal with issues involving the company's toxic-waste cleanups. "We had all these Superfund sites and I had to learn about every one of them," he says.

So he sought out experts in other departments. "I worked a lot with people in strategic planning," he says.

He believed all areas of corporate communications -- media, investor, employee, community -- should be unified, so he spurned job offers that would pigeonhole him and sought training that would broaden him.

Lesson 3: Sometimes you've got to go down to move up.

In 1987, Mr. Simon joined Inspiration Resources, a mining company looking to create a combined media and investor-relations department. "I traded way down in size, but it was a chance to develop more broadly," he says. "It's easier to be a Goliath, but you learn a lot more with the Davids."

Lesson 4: Differentiate yourself by articulating your own philosophy.

When headhunters called, Mr. Simon would discuss the needs of the job, and often recommend someone for the post, even if he wasn't interested himself.

Lesson 5: Don't freeze in the midst of chaos -- act.

Within a year, the banking company was acquired by Fleet Bank and many Natwest people "gave up," Mr. Simon says. But he prepared a three-page summary on public-relations issues confronting the combined banks and requested a meeting with Fleet's vice chairman. The result: He was invited to join the integration team and his employment was extended a year.
next_play  Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  indispensable  lessons_learned  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  rules_of_the_game  advice  crisis_management  contingency_planning  first_movers  crisis  chaos  stress_response  immobilize  paralyze  bridge-builders  action-oriented  post-deal_integration  creating_valuable_content 
december 2012 by jerryking
Nine key traits to make the shift from failure to success - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Oct. 09 2012

1. Rebounders accept failure: They hate to fail, but they accept it, and try to fail productively, learning from the experience, as the inventive Thomas Edison did with his many failed experiments.

2. Rebounders compartmentalize options: They are often emotional people, with drive and passion. John Bogle, who founded Vanguard Group, was furious when he was pushed out of a previous job and even had revenge fantasies. But he didn’t spend time trying to get even. Rebounders control the emotional fallout of their struggle (i.e. emotional mastery).

3. Rebounders have a bias toward action: After Tammy Duckworth lost both legs when her U.S. military helicopter was shot down in Iraq, her first impulse was to get to work at rehabilitation and her new life. Rebounders keep pushing, keep doing.

4. Rebounders change their minds: They can discard old thinking, give up on long-held dreams, and adjust their ambitions to evolving situations. They don’t cling to ideas that are proving hopeless.

5. Rebounders prepare for things to go wrong: They don’t expect things to go their own way. They are cautious optimists, always aware their plans may go awry.

6. Rebounders are comfortable with discomfort: They are willing to accept hardships and inconveniences as long as they feel they are getting closer to their goal. Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams could have signed a major recording deal years earlier if she had agreed to make the songs the music companies wanted, but she stayed true to her own vision, even if it meant often barely having the money to pay her rent.

7. Rebounders are willing to wait: They are determined to succeed on their own terms, and can accept that it might take a long time. “But rebounders don’t just wait positively for a lucky break, or do the same thing over and over. They constantly learn and get better, continually improving the likelihood of success until the odds tilt in their favour,” Mr. Newman observes.

8. Rebounders have heroes: Many of the rebounders he met are romantics, seeing their role as in some way historic, and they are entranced by some mentor or historical figure who they want to emulate. Vanguard’s Mr. Bogle, for example, often alluded to the naval battles of Admiral Lord Nelson and named his mutual fund company after his hero’s ship.

9. Rebounders have more than passion: We are told we need passion for success, but rebounders realize it requires more than that. They have a special drive and resilience that allows them to capitalize on their passion.
bouncing_back  resilience  Harvey_Schachter  emotional_mastery  personality_types/traits  ksfs  long-term  patience  preparation  contingency_planning  reflections  self-analysis  self-awareness  thinking_tragically  discomforts  strategic_patience  adaptability  inconveniences  passions  heroes  pragmatism  compartmentalization  action-oriented  hardships  next_play 
october 2012 by jerryking
Three top traits of leaders - The Globe and Mail
Harvey Schachter

Special to The Globe and Mail

Last updated Friday, Sep. 21 2012,

three top traits for leaders to emphasize as they move through the ranks: Influence over others, to sell ideas; high energy levels to accommodate the increase in time demands that occur at successive levels of leadership; and a take-charge approach, combining a more directive style that involves delegating tasks and imposing action....At the same time, the research suggests leaders must give up the following traits as they move up the ladder:

· Passive-aggressiveness: Instead of going along to avoid conflict and then lashing out, as you rise in ranks you can be more direct about what you think.

· Micro-management: You now need to focus on managing outcomes, rather than fussing about the details.

· Manipulation: You no longer have to hide your agenda and try to twist people towards your desired direction. You should lead by influence and be transparent about your goals.

· Attention to detail: This helped you before you rose to management and in the first levels of management, but as you gain a broader scope of responsibility you must think more strategically, which can be blocked if you get lost in details.
movingonup  Harvey_Schachter  leaders  personality_types/traits  detail_oriented  personal_energy  action-oriented  transparency  micro-management  passive-aggressive  think_threes  pitches 
october 2012 by jerryking
How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work
March-April 1994| HBR | Amar Bhidé.

However popular it may be in the corporate world, a comprehensive analytical approach to planning doesn’t suit most start-ups. Entrepreneurs typically lack the time and money to interview a representative cross section of potential customers, let alone analyze substitutes, reconstruct competitors’ cost structures, or project alternative technology scenarios. In fact, too much analysis can be harmful; by the time an opportunity is investigated fully, it may no longer exist. A city map and restaurant guide on a CD may be a winner in January but worthless if delayed until December...What are the critical elements of winning entrepreneurial approaches? Our evidence suggests three general guidelines for aspiring founders:

1. Screen opportunities quickly to weed out unpromising ventures.

2. Analyze ideas parsimoniously. Focus on a few important issues.

3. Integrate action and analysis. Don’t wait for all the answers, and be ready to change course.
entrepreneur  strategies  HBR  founders  Amar_Bhidé  hustle  capital_efficiency  pivots  analysis_paralysis  action-oriented  pragmatism  Michael_McDerment  frugality  parsimony  good_enough 
june 2012 by jerryking
How to Stay Stuck in the Wrong Career
December 2002 | HBR | by Herminia Ibarra.

But change actually happens the other way around. Doing comes first, knowing second, because changing careers means redefining our working identity--our sense of self in our professional roles, what we convey about ourselves to others and, ultimately, how we live our working lives. Who we are and what we do are tightly connected, the result of years of action. And to change that connection, we must first resort to action--exactly what the conventional wisdom cautions us against....First, determine with as much clarity and certainty as possible what you really want to do. Next, use that knowledge to identify jobs or fields in which your passions can be coupled with your skills and experience. Seek advice from the people who know you best and from professionals in tune with the market. Then simply implement the resulting action steps. Change is seen as a one-shot deal: The plan-and-implement approach cautions us against making a move before we know exactly where we are going....It all sounds reasonable, and it is a reassuring way to proceed. Yet my research suggests that proceeding this way will lead to the most disastrous of results, which is to say no result. So if your deepest desire is to remain indefinitely in a career that grates on your nerves or stifles your self-expression, simply adhere to that conventional wisdom, presented below as a foolproof, three-point plan....what consumed 90% of the year he spent looking for a new career, is what the conventional models leave out-a lot of trial and error....that it is possible to discover one's "true self," when the reality is that none of us has such an essence. (See the sidebar "Our Many Possible Selves "for a discussion of why one's true self is so elusive.) Intense introspection also poses the danger that a potential career changer will get stuck in the realm of daydreams....We learn who we have become-in practice, not in theory-by testing fantasy and reality, not by "looking inside." Knowing oneself is crucial, but it is usually the outcome of-and not a first input to-the reinvention process....To launch ourselves anew, we need to get out of our heads. We need to act....But when it comes to reinventing ourselves, the people who know us best are the ones most likely to hinder rather than help us....Mentors and close coworkers, though well meaning, can also unwittingly hold us back...So if self-assessment, the advice of close ones, and the counsel of change professionals won't do it, then where can we find support for our reinvention?....Reaching outside our normal circles to new people, networks, and professional communities is the best way to both break frame and get psychological sustenance.
Managing_Your_Career  career_paths  career  HBR  reinvention  Second_Acts  Herminia_Ibarra  analysis_paralysis  trial_&_error  action-oriented  self-assessment  self-awareness  pragmatism  counterintuitive  conventional_wisdom  change 
august 2011 by jerryking
MASTERING THE ART OF GIVING ADVICE
Fall 2008 | Leader to Leader. : Vol. Iss. 50; pg. 45 | by
James E Lukaszewski. Having influence means being remembered, being
asked in on decisions and strategy well before the strategies are
selected and the decisions need to be made. Those with influence make an
impact on their organizations and the larger world and can advance more
rapidly in their careers. Your advice may be perceptive, even wise, but
if it falls on deaf ears, it helps no one. Beyond the actual quality of
your advice, how you communicate that advice plays a major role in
ensuring that others can and will listen to it and act on it. The six
approaches suggested can help achieve this goal: 1. Be positive. 2.
Eliminate criticism as a coaching and advising practice. 3. Urge prompt
action. 4. Focus on outcomes. 5. Be an incrementalist. 6. Be pragmatic.
howto  advice  ProQuest  indispensable  guidelines  influence  leadership  managing_people  Managing_Your_Career  pragmatism  incrementalism  outcomes  action-oriented  coaching  upbeat 
march 2010 by jerryking
MARKETING: Selling by doing, not telling
20 Aug 2007| Globe and Mail Blog pg. B.5.| by Harvey Schachter.

MARKETING: SELLING BY DOING, NOT TELLING

If you're selling complex, intangible services, turn your next sales presentation into an action session where the client can sample what it is like to work with you. On RainToday.com, Charles Green tells of the firm that began its pitch session with: "We have 90 minutes with you. We can either do the march of a thousand slides, which we're happy to do, or we can get started now and begin to work with you. After 85 minutes we will stop, and you'll have first-hand experience of exactly how it feels to work with us." Buyers need a way to determine your expertise, and the best route is by offering them a sample rather than hearing you list your achievements.
presentations  execution  marketing  Harvey_Schachter  pitches  action-oriented  experiential_marketing  enterprise_clients  intangibles  services  sales  salesmanship 
march 2010 by jerryking
Robert Gates - Defense Secretary - International Relations - Politics - Iraq - Iran - New York Times
February 10, 2008 | New York Times | By FRED KAPLAN

* Importance of forward thinking/planning: “I learned to ask the
question, What’s Chapter 2?” he said. “If we do this, what will they do?
Then what? Then what? Try to think two, three, four moves out.”
* Making the boss successful.
* Meetings imply an action--a policy decision.
security_&_intelligence  profile  meetings  action-oriented  Robert_Gates  anticipating  Fred_Kaplan  forward_looking  managing_up  APNSA  SecDef 
april 2009 by jerryking

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