Failsafe tip

The last thing to add to an important email is the email address.

Write the thing, save it as a draft, and, an hour later, put the email address in and then hit send.

It’s not clear that you should send an important text, but if you’re going to, write it in a notes app, then copy, paste and send.

Send it when you’re ready, not before.

There’s no ‘recall’ button.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

One big idea

Most breakthrough organizations aren’t built on a bundle of wonderment, novelty and new ideas.

In fact, they usually involve just one big idea.

The rest is execution, patience, tactics and people. The ability to see what’s happening and to act on it. The rest is doing the stuff we already know how to do, the stuff we’ve seen before, but doing it beautifully.

You probably don’t need yet another new idea. Better to figure out what to do with the ones you’ve got.

Reblogged from: here


The circus is coming to town

Too often, we wait. We wait to get the gig, or to make the complex sale, or to find the approval we seek. Then we decide it’s time to get to work and put on our show.

The circus doesn’t work that way. They don’t wait to be called. They show up. They show up and sell tickets.

When you transform the order of things, the power shifts. “The circus is going to be here tomorrow, are you going?” That’s a very different question than, “are you willing to go out on a limb and book the circus? If you are, we’ll come to town…”

People respond to forward motion. Auctions are always more exciting than “price available on request.”

Reblogged from: here


The 5 Most Dangerous Creativity Killers

It’s important to recognize these impediments to the creative thought process because many are insidious, and worse yet, most can be made on the managerial end, meaning we may be stifling our creative workers without even realizing it.

For those of us doing creative work, we must be mindful of these deterrents of the creative process so we can continue to put out our most novel ideas.

1. Role Mismatch

As Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Placing people in roles that they are not fit for is a surefire way to kill creativity. Although this may seem like a managerial concern, there are personal consequences here as well. Additional research has shown that we are at our best when we are “busy” (and pushed to our limits), but not rushed. In the wrong role, we can struggle to keep up and live in a constant state of creativity-crushing panic.

2. External End-Goal Restriction

Although self-restriction can often boost creativity, the Harvard study shows thatexternal restrictions are almost always a bad thing for creative thinking. This includes subtle language use that deters creativity, such as bosses claiming “We do things by the book around here,” or group members implicitly communicating that new ideas are not welcome.

3. Strict Ration of Resources

While money and physical resources are important to creativity, the Harvard study revealed that mental resources were most important, including having enough time.

Creative people re-conceptualize problems more often than a non-creative. This means they look at a variety of solutions from a number of different angles, and this extensive observation of a project requires time. This is one of the many reasons you should do your best to avoid unnecessary near-deadline work that requires novel thinking. Also, when we are faced with too many external restrictions we spend more time acquiring more resources than actually, you know, creating.

4. Lack of Social Diversity

Homogeneous groups have shown to be better able to get along, but it comes at a cost: they are less creative. This even applies to the social groups you keep, so beware of being surrounded by people who are too similar all the time, you may end up in a creative echo-chamber.

5. Discouragement/No Positive Feedback

It’s tough to continue working on novel ideas when you haven’t received any positive feedback. This feeling is backed by psychological research that shows people who’ve started a new undertaking are most likely to give up the first time things come crashing down, also known at the “what the hell!” effect.

Creative people thrive on having others impacted by their ideas. Without feedback, their motivation begins to wither and die.

Reblogged from: here


Get the Right People to Notice Your Ideas


The email arrived the day after a speech I’d given in London. “You’ve definitely given me some food for thought about my career trajectory, and how to use branding to my advantage,” an executive at a management consulting firm wrote. In my talk, I’d emphasized the importance of content creation — blogging, videos, podcasting, or even the creative use Twitter — in enabling professionals to share their ideas and define their brands. “But,” she asked, “what advice do you have for making sure that anything you do is read by the right people?”

It’s a common question: why bother to blog (or use other forms of social media) when it’s so hard to build a following, and you may toil in obscurity for years before finding an audience? Given the seemingly abysmal ROI, isn’t it better to invest your time elsewhere? Indeed, Chris Brogan — now a prominent and successful blogger — revealed that it took him eight years to gain his first 100 subscribers. He was a hobbyist who painstakingly built his fan base over time; most of us simply don’t have the resources or the patience for such a slow-drip strategy.

But despite the fact that you’re unlikely to attract a million readers or “be discovered” overnight,blogging (and its social media brethren) are still a valuable part of professionals’ personal branding arsenal. Here are three strategies I’ve found helpful in ensuring that — sooner or later — the “right people” find out about your work.

The first strategy is to write about the people you’d like to connect with (or the companies you’d like to work for). In a world of Google Alerts, it’s not just large corporations that are monitoring what’s being said about them online. You’re unlikely to get a response from the Lady Gagas of the world, but most executives have lower profiles and are quite reachable. Twitter is particularly useful, especially if you focus on active users with fewer than 5,000 followers. Many top executives fall into this category; it means they’re likely to be paying attention to who is retweeting or messaging them, yet they aren’t overwhelmed by an excessive volume of correspondence. (In fact, proving even my cautionary note wrong, after a recent talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a woman came up to me and said that her friend had created a video that she’d sent to Lady Gaga, who retweeted it and brought it massive exposure.)

Next, consider proactively sharing articles you create. That doesn’t mean spamming people with blast emails touting your latest post, but if a client or colleague asks a question or shares a story that inspires you to write, it’s a great compliment for you to follow up by sending them the piece. Alternately, if someone mentions a business challenge they’re struggling with, it adds to your credibility (and is quite thoughtful) for you to offer to send them a post you’ve written on the matter. And if you’re writing about figures you admire, odds are they’d welcome a quick note from you and a link to the article. (I always make it a point to let talented colleagues like Chris GuillebeauJohn Hagel, and Len Schlesinger and his crew know when I’m citing their work.)

Finally, pursue a “ladder strategy” for your content, a concept that author Michael Ellsberg has expounded on. Sure, some people will find your blog accidentally (perhaps through a web search for a particular term), and your friends or colleagues may become early readers. But to build a following over time, start reaching out to fellow bloggers and news outlets that already have a following, and offer to create guest posts. (In my book Reinventing You, I feature finance author Ramit Sethi, who used the technique successfully and has blogged about how to do it.) That will expose new audiences to your work, and perhaps drive them to check out the “home base” at your own blog. It also brands you, as people will associate you with the outlets you write for or the people who have essentially endorsed you by allowing you to guest post. As your following grows, you’re more likely to be discovered by (and impress) “the right people” with your ideas.

As Chris Brogan’s experience shows, it can take years for your readership to grow organically. It’s unlikely that you’ll be “discovered” right away by a top CEO or VC trawling the Internet. But even from Day One, you can begin to reach key players if you’re strategic about the individuals and ideas you cover, proactively share your content (instead of waiting for others to stumble across it), and seek new and bigger outlets to feature your work. Before long, you won’t need to be discovered; the right people will already know who you are.

Reblogged from: here