Self-Realisation

The irony of close competition

The easiest way to get someone’s attention is to compare them to someone else.

When people compete on the same metrics (how many followers, how much income, how many points scored) the focus gets very tight. With a simple metric, there’s no confusion at all about how to earn more status.

The irony is that the simpler the metric, the less useful the effort is.

Big ideas, generous work, important breakthroughs–to pursue these goals is to abandon the metric of the moment in favor of a more useful sort of contribution.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

“I wish I had more data”

Really?

More data is usually available. It takes time or money, but you can get more data.

But you’re probably not using all the data you’ve already got.

I’m guessing what you meant was, “I wish I had more certainty.”

And that, unfortunately, isn’t available.

If it’s worth the work you put into it and the change you seek to make, it’s worth dancing with the uncertainty. Reassurance isn’t going to come from more data–that’s a stall.

Forward motion is the best way to make things better.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

“I don’t know how it could fail”

That’s a warning sign.

So is, “I don’t know how it would fail.”

In the first case, you haven’t thought deeply enough (or don’t have enough experience) to imagine how your solution might not work in every case. The best way to make your work better is to get more imaginative about how it could fail to resonate with those you seek to serve.

And in the second, once you can imagine that it might not work, it’s really helpful to imagine what failure actually entails. What breaks? What are the side effects? How will you recover?

The art of solving problems often involves spending time and energy on what you’ll do when you don’t actually solve the problem.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Successful creatives

Many of the ones I know are terrible listeners. They don’t actively engage, don’t see the people who are right in front of them, and don’t exercise much in the way of curiosity or empathy.

I think they got successful because the idea they had inside of them somehow resonated with enough people that they get to share what they were thinking.

But the most reliably successful people I know are precisely the opposite. They are desperate to see and know what’s making other people tick. They actively engage, and they do it with empathy and generosity.

The second path is no guarantee, but it’s more likely to work and it’s also a lot more fun.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Nothing is one thing

“How was your day?”

It’s tempting to answer with just one word.

“Fine.”

The same way we try to lump a job, a project or a person into a single emotion. As if there’s a prize for brevity, and pressure to categorize a lifetime of experiences and expectations into just a few words or a single feeling.

Whatever we’re encountering is a combination of experiences and feelings–from extraordinary to banal to absurd.

The real question is, “which part are you focusing on?”

If you’re focusing on the part of your day that was “fine”, then you’re ignoring the parts that were a miracle, or disappointing, or thrilling.

We get what we pay attention to. Our narration determines what we experience and what we remember.

If your narration isn’t helping you, perhaps it pays to focus on something else.

“Which part of your day are you experiencing right now?”

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The travel agent’s problem

Not just travel agents, but all agents.

Information scarcity is disappearing.

Forty years ago, passengers didn’t know which airline flew where and when. And forty years ago, airlines had no easy way to find out who wanted to fly somewhere. Today, of course, there’s no shortage of information or ability to connect. So paying 10% of their revenue to a human who will use a terminal instead of the passenger using a computer hardly makes sense for the airline.

Movie studios used to have to wrestle with information scarcity, and so did talented creators. Actors weren’t sure who was making what, and studios had imperfect information about who to cast. Today, IMDB (and proprietary tools) surface enormous amounts of information for the studios. They know who is working on what, who is a pain in the neck, who can add to the effectiveness of the project. And the creators are part of networks, formal and informal, that get them information faster and more efficiently than a single human often could.

The same thing is happening to car dealers. In fact, just about any job where you used to hoard information and charge a fee is now in danger.

When your clients know more than you do, it’s difficult to be an old-fashioned agent who is making money based on information scarcity.

The alternative is to become a network hub who creates value through information abundance.

Reblogged from: here