When I learn something, I sometimes wish I had learned it long ago. If it could have saved me trouble, or led me somewhere I find appealing, I write it down. Here's another installment from my growing collection.
- If your workload is totally unreasonable, better time management won't help much.
- If you work for a jerk, striving for superior performance is worse than a waste of time. It keeps you from finding another job.
- Multitasking is a hoax. What we really do is task switching, which drains energy and wastes time [*] .
- If my success depends on yours, but yours doesn't depend on mine, I might be in big trouble.
- Creating great ideas from scratch is really hard and really rare. Many great ideas are clever combinations of other great and less-than-great ideas.
- Organizations and their people either succeed together or fail together.
- Risk-averse organizations risk stifling creativity and innovation.
- Threats work in the short run, but they drive people away in the long run.
- If you decide to give up, you'll never know whether you could have done it.
- You can't trust everything you find on the Internet, but some Internet communities and Web sites are very reliable. Find some you trust.
- Perfection isn't achievable, but with practice, you can make the imperfections insignificant.
- Cherish imperfections. They can sometimes lead to wonderful, exciting places.
- If a difficult decision gets easier when you pretend you're deciding it for somebody else, the difficulty is probably about you, not the decision.
- When all your choices are bad, choosing usually isn't the hard part. The hard part is accepting that you must choose the least bad choice.
- To get more choices, try letting go of dogma and ideology.
- When people suddenly renege on commitments, they could be just untrustworthy, or maybe somebody powerful ordered them to do it. Some people would let you believe the former before they would ever acknowledge the latter.
- You can't When I learn something that
I wish I had learned long
ago, I write it downsolve problems you don't realize you have.
- You can't use assets you don't realize you have.
- The Development orientation focuses on figuring out how to break the mold. The Operational orientation focuses on using the mold more perfectly.
- Creativity and Freedom are partners. You can't have much of one without help from the other.
- I've forgotten so many great ideas that I'm sure some must have been better than any idea I've pursued. So now when I get an idea I write it down (or type it in). Now if only I can figure out how not to lose what I've written down (or typed in)…
- Outsourcing risk management is risky. Something about having to live with the consequences of risks makes people better risk managers.
- The easiest way to offend somebody is to disparage something personal they can't change.
- If all you know is where you don't want to go, you'll get there faster.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Organizational Firefighting
- Sometimes companies or projects get into trouble, and "fires" erupt one after another. When
this happens, we say we're in "firefighting" mode. But it's more than a metaphor — we
have a lot to learn from wildland firefighters.
- What Makes a Good Question?
- In group discussion or group problem solving, many of us focus on being the first one to provide the
answer. The right answer can be good; but often, the right question can be better.
- Team Risks
- Working in teams is necessary in most modern collaborations, but teamwork does carry risks. Here are
some risks worth mitigating.
- The Limits of Status Reports: II
- We aren't completely free to specify the content or frequency of status reports from the people who
write them. There are limits on both. Here's Part II of an exploration of those limits.
- Why We Don't Care Anymore
- As a consultant and coach I hear about what people hate about their jobs. Here's some of it. It might
help you appreciate your job.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming November 29: Manipulators Beware
- When manipulators try to manipulate others, they're attempting to unscrupulously influence their targets to decide or act in some way the manipulators prefer. But some targets manage to outwit their manipulators. Available here and by RSS on November 29.
- And on December 6: Reframing Revision Resentment: I
- From time to time, we're required to revise something previously produced — some copy, remarks, an announcement, code, the Mona Lisa, whatever… When we do, some of us experience frustration, and view the assignment as an onerous chore. Here are some alternative perspectives that might ease the burden. Available here and by RSS on December 6.
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- Ten Project Management Fallacies: The Power of Avoiding Hazards
- Most of what we know about managing projects is useful and effective, but some of what we know "just ain't so." Identifying the fallacies of project management reduces risk and enhances your ability to complete projects successfully. Even more important, avoiding these traps can demonstrate the value and power of the project management profession in general, and your personal capabilities in particular. In this program we describe ten of these beliefs. There are almost certainly many more, but these ten are a good start. We'll explore the situations where these fallacies are most likely to expose projects to risk, and suggest techniques for avoiding them. Read more about this program. Here's a date for this program:
- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.