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jerryking : playing_in_traffic   7

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
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
College Advice I Wish I’d Taken
OCT. 17, 2017 | The New York Times | by Susan Shapiro.

* A’S ARE COOL AND COME WITH PERKS. As a student, I saw myself as anti-establishment, and I hated tests; I barely maintained a B average. I thought only nerds spent weekends in the library studying. .... I was retroactively envious to learn that a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher at many schools qualifies you for free trips, scholarships, grants, awards, private parties and top internships... Students certainly don’t need to strive obsessively for perfection, but I should have prioritized grades, not guys.

* SHOW UP AND SPEAK UP If a class was boring or it snowed, I’d skip. My rationale was that nobody in the 300-person lecture hall would notice and I could get notes later.... as a teacher, I see that the students who come weekly, sit in front, and ask and answer questions get higher grades and frankly, preferential treatment. ..... participating can actually lead to payoffs. I reward those who try harder with recommendations, references, professional contacts and encouragement.

* CLASS CONNECTIONS CAN LAUNCH YOUR CAREER As an undergrad, I rarely visited my professors during office hours....In graduate school, on the other hand, I went to the readings of a professor I admired. Eventually, I’d go to his office just to vent. Once, after I complained about a dead-end job, he recommended me for a position at The New Yorker, jump-starting my career.
But it’s not just your professors who will help your life trajectory. Several classmates of mine from graduate school wound up working as editors at other publications, and they have since hired me for freelance work. Years later, I’ve helped students and colleagues where I teach, at the New School and New York University, land jobs, get published and meet with editors and agents.

* PROFESSORS ARE PEOPLE, TOO As a teacher, I’ve kept all the letters, cards and poems of gratitude I’ve been sent. It’s nice to be appreciated, and it makes a lasting impression. After one of my intro sessions, a freshman from Idaho blurted out: “Awesome class! It’s like you stuck my fingers in a light socket.” I laughed and invited her to speed walk with me around the local park — an activity I take part in nightly as a sort of active office hours — and we workshopped ideas that led to her first book. And when a student confided she was dying to take another class with me but had lost her financial aid, I let her audit. In retrospect, I should have been more open with the instructors I admired.

* FIND YOUR PROFESSORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA I answer all emails, and while I may not accept all friend requests, I respond to students who follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. More important, social media is where I post about panels, job openings and freelance work.
advice  Colleges_&_Universities  lessons_learned  playing_in_traffic  reflections  success  regrets  GPA  perks  students  professors  nerds 
october 2017 by jerryking
Five habits that helped Joshua Jackson bulk up his acting resume - The Globe and Mail
COURTNEY SHEA
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015 12:00PM EST
Last updated Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015

To be creative, you have to be prepared

How to be a real man (on camera)

The trouble with the trappings

It’s okay to dress like a grown-up

Throw yourself in front of the (figurative) train
habits  actors  television  HBO  creativity  playing_in_traffic  preparation 
november 2015 by jerryking
Ken Lombard, on Staying a Student of Business - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: July 6, 2013

When I go and speak to B-school students, the point I try to emphasize is, don’t stop being a student of the game. Don’t think that when you get out of this institution with your degree that now you walk on water. This should make you hungrier than you’ve ever been, because there are people who are coming out with fewer credentials who are very, very hungry....The time I spent working with Howard Schultz at Starbucks [as president of Starbucks Entertainment] was a tremendous learning experience for me in a lot of ways. He was very disciplined in that he was such a thorough and deep thinker, and would really commit to diving in and looking closely at any particular situation, and would turn over every stone. But he would not get stuck on the analysis side, and would have the guts to make the decision, and not accept the status quo....I’m a guy who comes from hard work, and I’m a guy who comes with an approach that says, before I make a tough decision, I want to be on the ground, I want to roll up my sleeves and understand the opportunity. While I understand that analysis tells you what you need to hear in how you need to structure a deal, there’s a difference between deal makers and analysts. Analysts can tell you everything wrong with the deal; the deal maker is going to try to figure out a way to come up with a structure that makes sense.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore what the numbers tell you, but you should try to figure out a structure that mitigates your downside. I try to make sure they understand that deal-making takes some guts. You can’t develop that in a short period. You have to be willing to go out and get the experience, and not think that this is going to happen for you overnight.

You can speed up the learning curve by positioning yourself in a way so people who have the experience want to help you. You have to make it conducive for them to really want to provide you with the information. Then become a sponge. That will help accelerate some of it. Go to someone who has done this before and try to get them to provide you with some guidance, so you’re not reinventing the wheel.
African-Americans  Magic_Johnson  commercial_real_estate  Starbucks  torchbearers  entrepreneur  dealmakers  deal-making  learning_curves  mentoring  life_long_learning  analysis  hard_work  Jason_Isaacs  risk-mitigation  staying_hungry  analysts  assessments_&_evaluations  playing_in_traffic  reinventing_the_wheel 
july 2013 by jerryking
Lazard's Rohatyn Urges Action on Budget Crises - WSJ.com
APRIL 13, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By DENNIS K. BERMAN.
Lazard's Statesman, a Game-Changer. profiles Felix Rohatyn. Mr.
Rohatyn sees cash-rich Chinese companies buying up sizable stakes of
U.S. firms. "Control will go with capital," he says. "On both sides of
the world, we need to think about this and how it might work. It's very,
very delicate."

"The thing about Felix is that he's not enjoying his life if he's not
relevant, in the mix, or providing his wisdom," says William D. Cohan,
author of "The Last Tycoons," a history of Lazard that devotes large
sections to Mr. Rohatyn.
investment_banking  Dennis_K._Berman  China_rising  playing_in_traffic  Felix_Rohatyn  Lazard  books  Wall_Street  William_Cohan 
april 2010 by jerryking
Psychology Today: The Laws of Urban Energy
July/August 2007| Psychology Today | Anya Kamenetz
The world is flatter than ever. But while technology may give us each
the tools of creativity, it takes urban proximity and unpredictability
to sharpen them. One's mental garden buds, blooms, and proliferates when
cross-pollinated with the many other flowers and fruits crowding the
urban jungle. People come up with more and better ideas and produce more
results from those ideas by finding more collaborators as well as
critics.

By: Anya Kamenetz
cities  creativity  economics  urban  community  idea_flows  idea_generation  inspiration  cross-pollination  Anya_Kamenetz  playing_in_traffic  prolificacy  proximity  psychology  unpredictability  serendipity  collaboration  information_spillover  densification 
april 2009 by jerryking

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