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jerryking : beyond_one's_control   18

Is ancient philosophy the future? - The Globe and Mail
DONALD ROBERTSON
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Stoic philosophy, of which Marcus Aurelius was history’s most famous proponent, taught its followers not to waste time on diversions that don’t actually improve their character.
* Ryan Holiday and Steven Hanselman’s The Daily Stoic.
* Stoicism offers rational solutions to human problems but it is especially effective in troubled times. Its offer is attractive: It doesn’t matter how crazy the world is, how “bad” others are, you can always keep your cool and flourish.
* Stoicism.....carefully distinguishes between things that are under our control and things that are not. We should learn to take more responsibility for things we do and to be less disturbed by events that happen to us.....Serenity Prayer.....“God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
* it’s not things that upset us but rather our judgments about them. ...modern cognitive therapy... teaches us to become more aware of the role our thinking, or cognition, can play in shaping our emotions.
* Stoic acceptance does not mean passivity....The ancient Stoics sought to reconcile emotional calm with deliberate action for the common welfare of mankind.
* remain committed to improving the world around us without having to become distressed when things fall short of our expectations.
adversity  beyond_one's_control  books  emotional_mastery  metacognition  mindfulness  personal_control  philosophy  Romans  Ryan_Holiday  sense_of_control  sense_of_proportion  span_of_control  Stoics 
april 2019 by jerryking
CIBC’s Victor Dodig warns about global debt levels; urges Canada to prepare
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by JAMES BRADSHAW (BANKING REPORTER)

Who/Where/Occasion: CIBC's CEO Victor Dodig, in a speech to the Empire Club

Problem(s):
* alarm over rising global debt levels, warning that Canada needs to start preparing now for the next economic shock.
* some of the most acute threats to the global economy are beyond this country’s control, but cautioned Canadians not to get too comfortable while times are good.
* developing problems could ripple through interwoven financial markets around the world.
* “It sounds counterintuitive, but that same debt that helped the world recover is actually infusing risk into the global financial system today," ...“I think there’s a real serious global challenge of this low-interest-rate party developing a big hangover."

Remedies:
* clarify rules around foreign direct investment, which is falling in Canada. The main culprit is the uncertainty plaguing large business deals that require approval from Ottawa under opaque foreign-investment rules – and he cites the turmoil surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as an example.
* more immigration to Canada, asking the government – which has already set higher immigration targets for the coming years – to open its arms even wider.
* governments and employers to work more closely with universities and colleges to match the skills graduates have to employers' needs, promoting what are known as the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – as well as skilled trades.
* remove interprovincial trade barriers.
* allow companies to expense capital investments within one year to be more competitive with U.S. rules.

My Takeaways:
CEOs  CIBC  debt  FDI  global_economy  interconnections  interest_rates  opacity  pipelines  resilience  speeches  uncertainty  Victor_Dodig  war_for_talent  threats  beyond_one's_control  complacency  preparation  financial_system  readiness 
september 2018 by jerryking
Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader.
JAN. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By BARI WEISS.

All of this put me in mind of another article published this weekend, this one by the novelist and feminist icon Margaret Atwood. “My fundamental position is that women are human beings,” she writes. “Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote.
consent  feminism  dating  relationships  funnies  autonomy  beyond_one's_control 
january 2018 by jerryking
How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them
T OCT. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | Corner Office By ADAM BRYAN.

It started with a simple idea: What if I sat down with chief executives, and never asked them about their companies?.....not about pivoting, scaling or moving to the cloud, but how they lead their employees, how they hire, and the life advice they give or wish they had received....C.E.O.s offer a rare vantage point for spotting patterns about management, leadership and human behavior....What's the best path to becoming a chief executive? No one path... too many variables, many of them beyond your control, including luck, timing and personal chemistry. Bryan cites three recurring themes.

First, they share a habit of mind that is best described as “applied curiosity.”...They make the most of whatever path they’re on, wringing lessons from all their experiences.
Second, C.E.O.s seem to love a challenge. Discomfort is their comfort zone.
The third theme is how they managed their own careers on their way to the top. They focus on doing their current job well, and that earns them promotions... focus on building a track record of success, and people will keep betting on you.
The Most Important Thing About Leadership, Part I - understand that leadership as a series of paradoxes.
The Most Important Thing About Leadership, Part II - the most important qualities of effective leadership? trustworthiness, “If you want to lead others, you’ve got to have their trust, and you can’t have their trust without integrity,” A close cousin of trustworthiness is how much you respect the people who work for you....“By definition if there’s leadership, it means there are followers, and you’re only as good as the followers,” he said. “I believe the quality of the followers is in direct correlation to the respect you hold them in. It’s not how much they respect you that is most important. It’s actually how much you respect them. It’s everything.”
‘Culture Is Almost Like a Religion’ - “No matter what people say about culture, it’s all tied to who gets promoted, who gets raises and who gets fired,” he said. “You can have your stated culture, but the real culture is defined by compensation, promotions and terminations. Basically, people seeing who succeeds and fails in the company defines culture. The people who succeed become role models for what’s valued in the organization, and that defines culture.”
Men vs. Women (Sigh) - distinctions in leadership style are less about gender and more about factors like whether they are introverts or extroverts, more analytical or creative, and even whether they grew up in a large or small family....the actual work of leadership? It’s the same, regardless of whether a man or a woman is in charge. You have to set a vision, build cultural guardrails, foster a sense of teamwork, and make tough calls. All of that requires balancing the endless paradoxes of leadership, and doing it in a way that inspires trust.
I Have Just One Question for You - If you could ask somebody only one question, and you had to decide on the spot whether to hire them based on their answer, what would it be?.....“So if I ask you, ‘What are the qualities you like least and most in your parents?’ you might bristle at that, or you might be very curious about it, or you’ll just literally open up to me. And obviously if you bristle at that, it’s too vulnerable an environment for you.”
My Favorite Story -..... It’s work ethic,” he said. “You could see the guy had charted a path for himself to make it work with the situation he had. He didn’t ask for any help. He wasn’t victimized by the thing. He just said, ‘That’s my dad’s business, and I work there.’ Confident. Proud.”

Mr. Green added: “You sacrifice and you’re a victim, or you sacrifice because it’s the right thing to do and you have pride in it. Huge difference. Simple thing. Huge difference.”

Best Career and Life Advice - biggest career inflection points, he told me, came from chance meetings, giving rise to his advice: “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.”....from Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University. Her suggestion to students:

“They should never assume that they can predict what experiences will teach them the most about what they value, or about what their life should be,” she said. “You have to be open and alert at every turn to the possibility that you’re about to learn the most important lesson of your life.”
howto  human_behavior  CEOs  career_paths  Managing_Your_Career  curiosity  discomforts  values  hard_work  trustworthiness  paradoxes  pairs  organizational_culture  gender_gap  work_ethic  playing_in_traffic  compensation  rewards  beyond_one's_control  guardrails  inflection_points 
october 2017 by jerryking
Rules for Modern Living From the Ancient Stoics -
May 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Massimo Pigliucci.

Stoicism is practical and humane, and it has plenty to teach us. The philosophy may have been developed around 300 B.C. by Zeno of Cyprus, but it is increasingly relevant today, as evidenced by the popularity of events such as Stoicon, an international conference set to hold its fourth annual gathering in Toronto this October.

The Stoics had centuries to think deeply about how to live, and they developed a potent set of exercises to help us navigate our existence, appreciating the good while handling the bad. These techniques have stood the test of time over two millennia. Here are five of my favorites.

(1) Learn to separate what is and isn’t in your power. This lets you approach everything with equanimity and tranquility of mind. ...Understand and internalize the difference, and you will be happier with your efforts, regardless of the outcome.

(2) Contemplate the broader picture. Looking from time to time at what the Stoics called “the view from above” will help you to put things in perspective and sometimes even let you laugh away troubles that are not worth worrying about. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius made a note of this in his famous personal diary, “The Meditations”: “Altogether the interval is small between birth and death; and consider with how much trouble, and in company with what sort of people and in what a feeble body, this interval is laboriously passed.”

(3) Think in advance about challenges you may face during the day. A prepared mind may make all the difference between success and disaster.

(4) Be mindful of the here and now (i.e. living in the moment). The past is no longer under your control: Let it go. The future will come eventually, but the best way to prepare for it is to act where and when you are most effective—right here, right now.

(5) Before going to bed, write in a personal philosophical diary. This exercise will help you to learn from your experiences—and forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Stoicism was meant to be a practical philosophy. It isn’t about suppressing emotions or stalking through life with a stiff upper lip. It is about adjusting your responses to what happens, enduring what must be endured and enjoying what can be enjoyed.
Stoics  philosophy  Romans  journaling  self-discipline  mindfulness  span_of_control  mybestlife  preparation  beforemath  sense_of_proportion  the_big_picture  anticipating  contextual  forward_looking  foresight  GTD  perspectives  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  chance  living_in_the_moment  Greek  personal_control 
june 2017 by jerryking
Edith Cooper Goldman Sachs on talking about race at work - Business Insider
Edith Cooper, Goldman Sachs
Sep. 23, 2016,

Focusing on what you can control and taking mindful steps and positive action towards what matters to you
Goldman_Sachs  African-Americans  Harvard  HBS  women  beyond_one's_control  Wall_Street  human_resources  affirmations  span_of_control  Edith_Cooper 
december 2016 by jerryking
6 Ways Pretend Investors Differ From the Real Ones
NOV. 21, 2016 | The New York Times | By CARL RICHARDS.

* Have a long term plan
* Don't react to every single event that happens in the short term. Financial pornography is not 'actionable information' on which to make a decision about.
* Make changes to my investments based on what happens in my own life. If my goals change or there is a fundamental change in my financial situation, then I should consider an alteration.
* Real investors know that it takes a long time for a tree to grow, and it will not help to dig it up to see if the roots are still there. The same rule applies to investments. And because watching things get big slowly is not very exciting, real investors tend not to talk about that tree all that much.
* Real investors understand the difference between the global economy and their personal economy (aka micro economy) and choose to focus on the latter.
* Focus on the things I can control, like saving a bit more next year, keeping my investment costs low, not paying fees unless it’s necessary and managing my behavior by not buying high and selling again when prices are low.
howto  investors  advice  personal_finance  beyond_one's_control  habits  microeconomics  personal_economy  actionable_information  long-term  span_of_control  financial_pornography  patience  noise  discretion  global_economy 
november 2016 by jerryking
Speaking the Language of Risk - NYTimes.com
By CARL RICHARDS MAY 11, 2015.

humans outside the financial world define risk differently. In everyday life, we tend to think of risk as uncertainty, or what is left over after we have thought of everything else.

With uncertainty comes variability within a set of unknown limits. It’s the stuff that comes out of left field, like Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s black swan events. Because we can’t measure uncertainty with any sort of accuracy, we think of risk as something outside our control. We often connect it to things like running out of money in retirement or ending up in a car crash.

But how did we end up with two such completely different definitions of the same thing? My research points to an economist named Frank Knight and his book “Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.” (Toronto Reference Library, Stack Request, 330.1 K54.11)

In 1921, Mr. Knight wrote: “There is a fundamental distinction between the reward for taking a known risk and that for assuming a risk whose value itself is not known.” When a risk is known, it is “easily converted into an effective certainty,” while “true uncertainty,” as Knight called it, is “not susceptible to measurement.”...I’m also betting that if you heard a term like “risk management model,” you really thought, “uncertainty management model.” Unfortunately, no financial firm offers uncertainty management.

Solving this problem doesn’t require a new definition. We just need to shift our thinking when we hear someone in finance mention risk. We need to remember, that person isn’t talking about the odds we’ll lose everything, but about something that fits in a box.

I suspect that is why financial professionals sound so confident when they talk about managing our risk. In their minds, managing risk comes down to a formula they can fine-tune on their Dial-A-Risk meter. In our minds, we have to learn to separate the formula from the unknown unknowns that cannot be accounted for in any model or equation.

Once we learn to recognize that we are not talking about the same thing, we can avoid terrible disappointment and bad behavior when financial risk shows up again. And it will.
risks  uncertainty  unknowns  books  interpretation  financial_risk  beyond_one's_control  Nassim_Taleb  black_swan  misinterpretations  miscommunications  disappointment  languages 
may 2015 by jerryking
Eight ways to become the most proactive person you know - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOGILL
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Tuesday, Dec. 09 2014

It’s all about you. No one else is going to get you where you want to go – it’s up to you.... Take ownership of your problems, and realize that nobody else is going to solve them for you.

Be solution-focused. ...The most effective way to handle a problem is to focus on finding a solution. Focusing on things that are out of your control is a waste of time, so focus on what you can control with the final outcome.

Be accountable. Set your clearly defined, quantifiable goal and then work backwards from that goal to establish metrics to track and evaluate it.

Use “SMART” goals. S: Specific (Pick something particular instead of using a broad category.) M: Measurable (Choose something you can quantify.) A: Attainable (You should actually be able to reach this, and it may just require the right steps.) R: Realistic (Be honest – it’s probably unrealistic to say you will go from making $10,000 to being a billionaire in one year.)T: Timely (Give each goal a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.)

Make your own luck. Being successful ... is about taking steps every day to be better than you were the day before by moving in a positive, forward trajectory. Make a blueprint and set out milestones for yourself in specific timeframes, or you are not going to hit your goal. Things do not come to fruition just because you really, really want them to happen. You have to make them happen.

Be consistent. Ultimately, success is not about getting everything right. It is about being consistent. Are you consistently and persistently taking steps every day to steadily move toward your goal?

Find the right people. Surrounding yourself with driven, effective people is a proven way to help you succeed.

Honesty is the best policy. Busywork is not effectiveness/progress. At the end of the day, if you don’t hit your goals, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. You cannot get better if you tell yourself, “Oh, it’s okay, I’m fine where I am.” (There has to be a certain element of sustained dissatisfaction).
accountability  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  blueprints  books  busywork  chance  character_traits  consistency  contingency  dissatisfaction  effectiveness  goal-setting  GTD  honesty  indispensable  intrinsically_motivated  It's_up_to_me  JCK  ksfs  luck  Managing_Your_Career  personal_control  proactivity  problem_solving  productivity  rainmaking  restlessness  self-starters  solutions  solution-finders  span_of_control  the_right_people  thinking_backwards  work-back_schedules 
december 2014 by jerryking
Relax
1. Develop your own personal operating system. Carve out and define your own reality, philosophy, values, and interests rather than automatically accepting those of your family, peers, religion, or culture.

2. Begin to let go of the need for validation. Don’t be motivated by the opinions or others or the desire for recognition. Be driven by what is important to you and what you value.

3. Trust your instincts and allow for experimentation. Get to know yourself and discover what you enjoy and find exciting, even if you have to fail a few times.
4. Accept others as they are. Begin letting go of judgments and criticism of others. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their faults. Learn to deal with difficult people without diminishing yourself.

5. Really hear people. Go beyond just listening and understanding. Let people know that you really get them.

6. Take care of unresolved matters in your life. Restore your integrity. Forgive and ask for forgiveness where necessary. Reclaim the energy you have given to these matters.

7. Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get some form of exercise daily. Eat healthy foods that support your body, not your emotions. Do this because you respect yourself, not to impress others.

8. Cause things to happen. Don’t wait for them. Be a creator, an instigator, a collaborator. Share your enthusiasm.

9. Show people you care. Don’t just talk about it. Show them in ways that are meaningful to them, not you.

10. Require the best of people. See them not only for who they are, but who they can be. Lovingly reflect that vision to them.

11. Ensure your own needs are met. Discern your primary needs, and communicate fully what is important and valuable to you in your relationships. Don’t compromise these to keep peace or hang on.

12. Speak constructively. Use your words to uplift, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Don’t offer “constructive criticism” or subtle digs.

13. Laugh easily. Have a lightness about you. Take life less seriously and choose to find and create fun and joy.

14. Cease gossip. Choose not to talk about others in ways that are openly or subtlety critical. Don’t share information for the feeling of power or intrigue.

15. Make requests, not complaints. If you need something from someone, ask for it directly. Don’t whine or complain to them or others.

16. Handle situations fully. Kindly but clearly deal with negative issues as soon as possible. Don’t tolerate anything if it causes resentments.

17. Be done with arguments. Smile and walk away until healthy communication is possible.

18. Offer help only when asked. Don’t assume that others want you to fix them or that you know best for them. Be available and give help only when asked.

19. Care deeply, but remain detached. Let others know you care deeply about them when they have problems, but don’t get caught up in their problems.

20. See with your heart, not your eyes. Look beyond superficiality when seeing someone. Financial status, appearance, notoriety, all mean nothing. Look for the authentic person inside.

21. Don’t say yes when you mean no. If you mean no, your yes will be harnessed with resentment. Say yes only when your yes is given freely.

22. Let others know you are grateful. Tell them and show them that you feel blessed to have them in your life.

23. Never play the guilt card. Don’t try to manipulate or hurt someone by trying to make them feel bad about their choices, decisions, or actions.

24. Give more than is expected. Don’t over-commit, but freely give more than you promise.

25. Be inter-developmental in your relationships. Don’t be controlling, dependent or co-dependent. Create relationships that are mutually uplifting, reward, and satisfying.

26. Be a big person. Don’t try to take credit, diminish others, or hold back on praise. Offer acknowledgment and power when it is needed and deserved.

27. Be confident enough to be humble. Be able to laugh at yourself, acknowledge your flaws and failures, and accept that they don’t define you.

28. Be open to learning. Don’t flaunt your intelligence or superior knowledge. Recognize that there is always something to learn, even from those who appear “less than.”

29. Be more engaged than engaging. Show your sincere interest in others. Use the word “you” more than “I.” Listen intently and reflect back to others who they are.

30. Give gifts that others want. Not just gifts to impress or that are important to you.

31. Challenge yourself constantly. Don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t languish in past accomplishments. Keep moving forward and exude enthusiasm about possibilities and the actions to make them happen.

32. Detach from adrenaline. Simplify your life enough so you are not rushed, stressed, cluttered, or distracted. Allow yourself time and room to focus.

33. Embrace the incredible power of now. Nothing is more valuable than this moment. Make it the best moment you possibly can right now.

34. Don’t fight the flow. Don’t struggle against people or situations you can’t control. Move effortlessly in a different direction.

35. Keep evolving. Stay on a path of self-improvement and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.
motivations  inspiration  strengths  affirmations  personal_growth  self-improvement  immediacy  simplicity  focus  movingonup  gift_ideas  listening  continuous_learning  humility  praise  relationships  overdeliver  gratitude  sincerity  authenticity  self-awareness  constructive_criticism  foregiveness  values  self-starters  healthy_lifestyles  gossip  self-analysis  self-assessment  self-satisfaction  complacency  personal_energy  span_of_control  disconnecting  rainmaking  individual_initiative  beyond_one's_control  next_play  walking_away 
august 2014 by jerryking
Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid
11/18/2013| - Forbes| Cheryl Conner, Contributor

For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and an unfailing ability as Forbes contributor David Williams says, to “fail up.”...we can also define mental strength by identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do.
1. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves.
2. Give Away Their Power.
3. Shy Away from Change.
4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control.

5. Worry About Pleasing Others.
6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks.
7. Dwell on the Past.
8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over.
9. Resent Other People’s Success.
10. Give Up After Failure.
11. Fear Alone Time.
12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything.
13. Expect Immediate Results.
grit  resilience  personality_types/traits  character_traits  habits  inspiration  beyond_one's_control  affirmations  overachievers  span_of_control  high-achieving 
december 2013 by jerryking
Keep Calm and Carry On
May 31, 2013 | NYT |By TONY SCHWARTZ

I had been away much of the week, I was tired and I had several morning meetings the next day that I did not want to miss. I made an instant decision: I am not going to let myself get frustrated or move into victim mode. It’s something I have worked at for many years. ....The first technique comes from sports psychology--the best tennis players are meticulous about renewing themselves in the 20 to 30 seconds between points. The first thing these players did when a point ended was to turn away from the net.

I loved the metaphor: Turn away from the net. Let it go. Don’t dissipate energy on something you can no longer influence. Invest it instead where it has the power to make a difference. I came to call it the Energy Serenity Prayer....the Each of us has a finite reservoir of energy in any given day. Whatever amount of energy we spend obsessing about missteps we have made, decisions that do not go our way or the belief we have been treated unfairly is energy no longer available to add value in the world.

Worse yet, negative emotions feed on themselves and move us into fight or flight – a reactive state in which it is impossible to think clearly. Negative emotions also burn down energy at a furious rate. It is exhausting to be a victim.

The goal is to keep calm and carry on.

If I was to keep my composure at this point, I needed to find a new gear.

This is where the second technique came in. I have long recognized that one of the best ways to make yourself feel better is to make someone else feel better
I also happened to be in the midst of reading a book called “Give and Take” by Adam Grant, which makes a compelling case that people who give without expecting anything in return actually turn out not only to feel better for having done so, but also to be more successful.

Giving, Mr. Grant explains, does not require extraordinary acts of sacrifice. It simply involves a focus on acting in the interests of others. When takers succeed, there is usually someone else who loses. When givers give, it spreads and cascades. In my own case, the book served as a powerful reminder that the “giver” is the person I want to be....Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I decided to focus on making other people feel better.
inspiration  books  giving  work_life_balance  serving_others  beyond_one's_control  personal_energy  span_of_control  sport_psychology  disconnecting  affirmations  metaphors  athletes_&_athletics  finite_resources  tennis  missteps  Adam_Grant  high-impact 
june 2013 by jerryking
Six Things to Put on Your To-Not-Do List - Forbes
DON’T DO #1: Spend time thinking about anything beyond your control. If you can’t do anything about it, drop it.
DON’T DO #2: Waste a second trying to change somebody else.
DON’T DO #3: Do anything you can delegate to somebody else.
DON’T DO #4: Focus on fixing one-time occurrences.
DON’T DO #5: Spend time with people you don’t trust or people you can’t count on.
DON’T DO #6: Put effort into anything that will clearly have little or no impact.
lists  tips  Managing_Your_Career  span_of_control  delegation  distrust  sense_of_control  productivity  affirmations  GTD  ineffectual  personal_energy  one-time_events  beyond_one's_control  high-impact 
march 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
When Uncertainty Is A Constant, You Can Still Plan for Surprises
April 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

one of the few certainties in today's tumultuous business world: About all anyone can expect is the unexpected.

Hal Lancaster answers readers' questions on career issues in Career Corner. Send your questions or comments by e-mail to hlancast@wsj.com .

Between mergers and restructurings, new technology and intensified global competition, "change is accelerating," says Dallas management consultant Price Pritchett, who specializes in change management. "The more change and the faster it comes at us, the easier it is for us to get blindsided."

But isn't the ability to cope with the unexpected genetically coded? "Some people have a high need for structure and don't like to wing it." Still, anyone can get better at dealing with surprises.

Here are some other effective strategies:

* Figure out what you can control.

* Plan tight and play loose. "deep planning," or considering all conceivable scenarios and what-ifs. But won't the unexpected foil the best-laid plans? "The better job we do planning, the better we'll do improvising, because we'll understand the situation better,"

* Develop solutions. In a soon-to-be-released booklet on innovation that he is publishing for clients, Dr. Pritchett draws lessons from the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory talked about "crafting solutions that were tolerant to the uncertainties" of such a project,

* Separate fact from assumptions.

To make good decisions, you need good information. In turbulent times, Mr. Postons observes, "people get suspicious, they get paranoid and that's when they get frozen."

* Do something.In an environment of high-velocity change, Dr. Pritchett says, remember the perils of passivity. "You have to keep moving forward, knowing that in this blurry, fast-moving world, you're going to have to drive on fog lights much of the time."

Concentrating on a plan of action and lining up others to help can turn despair into accomplishment, Dr. Stoltz says. The strategy, he adds, is "whiner-proof and solution-oriented."
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  uncertainty  adversity  surprises  critical_thinking  managing_change  unexpected  cost_of_inaction  assumptions  change  resilience  tumultuous  constant_change  solutions  solution-finders  accelerated_lifecycles  action_plans  span_of_control  momentum  blindsided  blind_spots  beyond_one's_control  JPL  next_play 
december 2012 by jerryking
10 Things They Don't Tell You at Graduation - WSJ.com
April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. ...One of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings....think "friendships.

2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. ... no one can afford to retire.

3. Don't make the world worse. .... don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up.

4. Marry up

5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction.

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. ...

9. It's all borrowed time. Take nothing for granted, not even tomorrow. ....the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.

10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.
commencement  Colleges_&_Universities  good_enough  public_speaking  speeches  Communicating_&_Connecting  new_graduates  self-doubt  failure  risk-taking  discomforts  marriage  obituaries  Theodore_Roosevelt  happiness  friendships  arms_race  personal_connections  advice  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  luck  mybestlife 
april 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005| The Globe and Mail pg. A.20 | Carol Richards-Sauer.

Your editorial rightly claims we need to admit that the absence of black fathers contributes to social alienation and violent behaviour among some of their sons. The silence that you decry, however, is not universal.

Recently, I have participated in a town-hall meeting and been in the audience at a round-table discussion about gun violence.

Each time, at least one brave black person from the audience spoke about the issue. Each time, their comments sparked little discussion or self-evaluation.

The topic is rarely addressed because too many community leaders, often self-appointed, have become too focused on blaming forces from without that we can't control as primary or sole causes of black disenfranchisement.

We need to recognize also those forces from within that we can control. We need to characterize ourselves not just as people to whom bad things are done (racism, police brutality, school suspensions etc.) but also as people who make choices that sometimes lead to bad results.

This is necessary to make any true change and to win helpful alliances
ProQuest  fatherhood  family  dysfunction  African_Canadians  disenfranchisement  silence  individual_choice  autonomy  violence  killings  family_breakdown  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  beyond_one's_control 
november 2011 by jerryking

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