Tag Archives: quotes

Experience vs. Record

From the Harvard Business Review:

Recent research hammers this home, showing that our performance drops when we try to perform both encoding tasks (experiencing what’s around you) and response selection tasks (capturing stimuli) at the same time. So next time you have a big meeting, ask yourself whether you’re better off 1) as an active, fully engaged participant; or 2) frantically scribbling down comprehensive notes for later use, while ignoring critical room dynamics that can turn meetings on a dime — non-verbal cues, power postures, and nuanced changes in tones of voice.

Make sure your taking notes, or recording the event don’t prevent you from actually experiencing the world.

Leadership Summed Up

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

-commonly attributed to Antoine de Saint Exupéry

I saw this most recently in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s testimony to Congress. I think it applies very broadly.

People aren’t machines, and actually react very poorly to detailed mindless instructions. But give them a goal, a vision, something they believe in and think they can do, and you’ll find that you only need to do minor direction to accomplish those goals.

Start somewhere

When faced with a problem you don’t understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.

-Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I see a lot of folks that have lofty ideas, and never get anywhere, because they don’t want to start until they are sure they can do it right the first time. Here’s the thing, you can’t do anything right the first time. So just dive in somewhere. Consider the mistakes lessons learned, and the cost of building expertise. Be prepared to feel stupid a lot, because that’s the price of learning something new.

You’ll never finish a project if you don’t start it. You’ll never complete a project, if you don’t keep working on it. These may seem obvious, but it’s impressive how many people don’t seem to realize this.

(Thanks to Ed for posting this first.)

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

W. H. Murray [thx SM]

via the Signal vs. Noise blog (yes, you should go and subscribe to that immediately)