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jerryking : personal_payoffs   9

Why Trying New Things Is So Hard to Do - The New York Times
By SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN DEC. 1, 2017

Experimentation is an act of humility, an acknowledgment that there is simply no way of knowing without trying something different.

Understanding that truth is a first step, but it is important to act on it. Sticking with an old habit is comforting, but one of these days, maybe, I’ll actually buy a bottle of generic soda.
experimentation  habits  choices  personal_payoffs  decision_making  novelty 
december 2017 by jerryking
How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible
Understand Effectiveness Versus Efficiency

"Effectiveness is goal orientation. This is picking something to do. This is doing right things—picking a goal and doing that goal," Hanselman says. "Efficiency is doing things in an economical way, process-oriented.

"So phrased differently: Effectiveness is doing the right things, but efficiency is doing things right. That means effectiveness is picking a direction and efficiency is running really fast in that direction," he says.

"Effectiveness is doing the right things, but efficiency is doing things right."- Scott Hanselman

"When you realize those two things are different, it becomes an extremely powerful tool that you can use."
advice  effectiveness  efficiencies  goal-orientation  GTD  howto  personal_payoffs  personal_productivity  process-orientation  productivity  scaling 
march 2016 by jerryking
Some Life Lessons From Silicon Valley - WSJ.com
December 7, 1999 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER

Inspirational story about an African-American Air Force office, Joe Booker, whose career hasn't been a slam dunk. He was often the youngest and most inexperienced guy on the job -- or the only . He took jobs for which he hadn't been trained. Also, he asked for the toughest jobs, the ones nobody wanted. If he could do those well, he reasoned, he would be recognized. "Some of them were risky jobs," he acknowledges, "but if you succeeded, the payoff was high."And he was rarely handed any of the high-profile, career-making assignments.

This strategy has led to a highly successful high-tech career in Silicon Valley for the 58-year-old Mr. Booker, who is currently vice president of operations for Alteon Systems , a computer-networking company.

Here are some life lessons he has learned:

Lesson 1 : "Understand what you're up against and put in place a strategy to win."

Mr. Booker was the only African-American at an Air Force school in Mississippi, studying electronics, about which he knew nothing, with a teacher who talked derisively about "Yankees" and ignored him when he raised his hand. Rather than quitting, he worked harder and aced the final exam. "When the teacher had to read my name off first as tops in the class, the class cheered," he recalls.

He says he also wasn't welcomed warmly at his first Air Force assignment at Keeler Air Force Base. Since a cushy assignment wasn't likely, he asked for the base's most difficult job. Nobody liked to work on Doppler radar, he was told. He became a Doppler radar expert and a star at the base. "It really opened doors," he says.

Lesson 2 : "Don't sacrifice understanding for speed."

In 1966, Mr. Booker started his post-Air Force career in manufacturing at International Business Machines Corp. because there was less competition in that unglamorous field and results were measurable -- and irrefutable.

When he transferred to engineering, he initially lagged behind others. "Management was saying, 'We had high hopes for you, but you seem a little slow,' " he says. "I said, 'I'm spending more time understanding what I'm doing rather than going at breakneck speed.' " Mr. Booker eventually leaped over many of his peers. "I had to bail people out because I was the only one who understood the technology," he says.

Lesson 3 : "You have to think of where you want to go and does this take you there."

As he drove to work one day, he decided he wanted to be in management. "I wanted to work with people and not look into oscilloscopes all day," he says. But IBM had a surplus of managers at the time, so he waited. He even turned down two technical promotions that "didn't take me where I wanted to go."

In 1969, he jumped at the chance to follow his boss to Memorex, which wanted to get into the computer business. "The boss said, 'Come with me and I'll make you a manager,' " he says. He eventually made it to the director level, even though he lacked the needed educational credentials.

Lesson 4 : "If you set the bar high, even if you don't reach it, you end up in a pretty good place."

At weekly production meetings, Mr. Booker volunteered for jobs that were behind schedule or involved introducing a new product in a tough market. "If people were saying this is something we can't do, I'd say, 'I'll do it.' "

Once, he bet his boss he could meet a seemingly impossible deadline for introducing a new disk drive. He forged an alliance with the engineering project manager to minimize the interdepartmental political hassles that had been plaguing the project and won the bet (his boss had to bake him a cake).

Lesson 5 : "You have to be brutally honest with yourself about what you know or don't know, what you can or can't do."

"When you do a job well, ask yourself, 'How do I expand?' " Mr. Booker says. " 'What skills do I need to take this next step?' " Example: He started taking finance classes to help him run a factory better.

Every year, Mr. Booker delivers his own performance appraisal. His 1981 self-review concluded that he hadn't accomplished much because he spent too much time debating the company's direction in meetings with managers from Xerox, which had acquired the company in 1978. So he left to start his own company, Vertex Peripherals.

Mr. Booker eventually sold Vertex to Priam Corp. and served as president and COO of the merged entity until 1988. He left after a disagreement with the board on restructuring strategy.

Lesson 6 : "The work is more important than titles."

He is often asked why he isn't a CEO. "When I left Priam, my ego was shot," he explains. He made a list of job requirements: a job where he could be successful ("I didn't want to be one of those guys whose career spirals down"); people he enjoyed working with; a company that would make money; a growing experience so he wouldn't be bored; and an executive position.

After agreeing to be CEO of Network Computing Devices , Mr. Booker stepped aside when a potential CEO with a life-giving capital infusion came along. The company still wanted him on the team, but he feared he would be seen as a falling star. So he went back to his list. "It didn't say I had to be CEO," he says. He stayed with NCD for six years.

He was faced with a similar situation in 1997. The company he had joined after leaving NCD was acquired by a larger company, Bay Networks, and he was offered an executive vice presidency. But he turned it down for a chance to join another start-up, Alteon. "Over the years, I felt I was a better builder than fixer," he says.
African-Americans  Hal_Lancaster  high-risk  lessons_learned  life_lessons  Managing_Your_Career  personal_payoffs  Silicon_Valley 
december 2012 by jerryking
Surprised by Opportunity - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2007 | WSJ | By WILLIAM EASTERLY.

Set big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. These muscular sentences form the core of commencement addresses, business-advice books, political movements and even the United Nations approach to global poverty. In "Strategic Intuition," a concise and entertaining treatise on human achievement, William Duggan says that such pronouncements are not only banal but wrong.[Duggan is therefore the perfect counterpoint to Jim Collins]

Mr. Duggan, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School, argues that the commonplace formula has it backward. Instead of setting goals first, he says, it is better to watch for opportunities with large payoffs at low costs and only then set your goals. That is what innovators throughout history have done, as Mr. Duggan shows in a deliriously fast-paced tour of history.
[photo]

Napoleon is Mr. Duggan's canonical example -- his strategic genius was not to storm a pre-fixed position on the battlefield (the traditional approach to military strategy at the time) but to attack any old position that came along where his army was at its strongest and the enemy's at its weakest. Similarly, in the battle for civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. seized on the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 to shift the NAACP's strategy away from filing lawsuits and toward organizing nonviolent civil disobedience.
audacity  books  book_reviews  civil_disobedience  counterintuitive  flexibility  goal-setting  goals  hard_goals  innovators  intuition  Jim_Collins  kairos  large_payoffs  MLK  NAACP  Napoleon  observations  offensive_tactics  opportunism  personal_payoffs  strategy  William_Duggan  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
For Tech's Elite, Mobile Gaming Is a Big Play - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 15, 2011 | WSJ | By JOSEPH WALKER
For Tech's Elite, Mobile Gaming Is a Big Play
Best and Brightest See the Sector as Chance for Fun and Massive Payoff
mobile_applications  HBS  Zynga  Facebook  gaming  videogames  personal_payoffs  the_best_and_brightest 
november 2011 by jerryking
In the Insider Trading War, Market-Beaters Beware - NYTimes.com
Sep 22, 2011 |NYT|ROGER LOWENSTEIN.A problem with the SEC’s
focusing on high-return funds is that it skates over the crucial
distinction between short- & LT investing. Some of the 8,000+ hedge
funds in the US are engaged in rapid-fire trading —trying to outguess
the competition w.r.t disclosures that’ll become public in a week.Some
are obsessed with trying to outguess Wall Street “whisper
numbers”.Absent tips regarding forthcoming news, their managers have no
value added/edge. For investors working longer horizons the picture is
different.Skillful, L.T. investors can make $ without tips, by analyzing
info. that’s already public...Society has an interest in genuine
research (e.g. whether GOOG will be a more dominant biz.)...Hedge fund
hypertrading doesn’t add to economic output--it ratchets up mkt.
volatility...A marked increase in volatility complicates the SEC’s
job...the payoff for trading on insider tips rises as well.Ferreting out
the prescient & the crooked becomes more important.
insider_trading  insider_information  SEC  Roger_Lowenstein  white-collar_crime  Wall_Street  hedge_funds  SAC_Capital  volatility  long-term  investing  personal_payoffs 
september 2011 by jerryking
Why You Should Stop Being a Wimp
Aug. 3, 2011 |BNET|By Suzanne Lucas |Ever met a successful
wimp? No such thing. The person who succeeds in the world of work isn't
the person that refuses to take chances. Business owners must take
financial & personal risks, evaluate mkts. & spot gaps which
they try to fill. Sometimes they commit to paying other people’s
salaries before knowing for sure if they’ll bring in enough $ to pay
their own. Successful sales people go out every day & risk rejection
in order to sell their products. You can't expect customers to
call. SVPs didn’t get there by keeping their head down & doing
precisely what their bosses asked of them. They looked for new
opportunities, suggested new paths for the biz, made difficult
decisions..This isn’t advice to be irrational, nor rude. Be politely
firm. Think through your plans–you must have plans in the 1st. place.
Do take risks where there is potential for payoff, do speak up in
meetings, do work your ass off and do ask for the recognition you
deserve.
advice  chutzpah  financial_risk  hard_choices  hustle  independent_viewpoints  indispensable  individual_initiative  intrinsically_motivated  It's_up_to_me  jck  ksfs  opportunities  overlooked_opportunities  owners  personal_payoffs  personal_risk  recognition  rejections  risk-taking  self-starters  speaking_up  uncharted_problems 
august 2011 by jerryking
Why Networking Isn't About Achieving Personal Gain
2004 | Wall Street Journal | By Barbara Moses. Good networkers
extend their connections beyond their immediate professional boundaries.
They cultivate relationships with people who know how to get things
done... They enjoy bringing together interesting people and ideas, and
they are as proud of making things happen for others as they are of how
many people are listed in their personal organizers. Skilled networkers
don't view staying connected with others as networking, seeing it
instead as exchanging information. The best networkers rarely expect a
personal payoff...having benefited from their contacts' kindness and
help, they`re seeking opportunities to reciprocate and hope they'll do
the same...Adept networkers are huge information synthesizers who can
see connections that aren't obvious between people, things and ideas.
From the initial presenting issue, they can identify a higher idea the
other person might not have seen and make creative referrals...they're
idea generators.
personal_connections  Barbara_Moses  connecting_the_dots  networking  tips  serving_others  Communicating_&_Connecting  idea_generation  ideas  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  referrals  value_added  packaging  personal_payoffs 
december 2010 by jerryking
2008 Wealth Guide: The private payoff | Canadian Business Online
March 2008 | PROFIT magazine | By Kim Shiffman

It's not for the faint of heart, but investing in private companies can generate big returns and more.
investing  investors  angels  privately_held_companies  large_payoffs  personal_payoffs  upside 
march 2009 by jerryking

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