Don’t look down!

Whilst walking over a rope at a higher altitude, one might say

Don’t look down!

Yet the the first thing one does after giving this advice is to look down. It’s almost impossible not to … and it’s the opposite of the advice given. The hard part wasn’t avoiding the temptation, but deciding that you won’t be paralyzed by it. There’s no point in pretending that the reality of your situation doesn’t exist because it does. It’s better to embrace it and then take the next step in a direction that moves you forward. We just can’t linger on that moment that we look down and realize the gravity of our situations.

Look down, and move on!

Face reality and act accordingly. It’s always about context and how you deal with it. When you’re reading my blog you’re probably interested in a lot of techniques and methodologies. But be aware that these are only tools. It’s you who has to choose which to use in a given context!

A tool with a fool is still a fool.

We’re predictably irrational!

Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Professor Dan Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

Your Motivated Team

Having a skilled team is one thing, but having a motivated team is what makes the difference. People can go just that extra mile when motivated in the right way. So a mediocre motivated team will outperform a truly skilled yet low morale team any given day. I must admit that the next video isn’t appropriate to use in a business context, yet it’s a nice motivational speech…

Do you think they would have gone the extra inch without the speech? Some might have, but not all… Motivate your team to get the most out of the situation. It will help your project(‘s performance), but also your surroundings… 😉

The 7 habits of highly effective people

Check out the following slide set by Marina Noordegraaf (Note: Dutch blog)

“The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves”


After distilling the presentation, the key residue is the following:

  • Be proactive “You are respons-able: able to choose your respons!”
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Think Win/win
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • Synergize “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”
  • Sharpen the Saw

Are you a Lizard?

Check out “Do you and your lizard live in a van down by the river?” at Cubicle Nation. It’s a great blog about the Lizard Fear of people.

Lizard Fear
Martha says in Steering by Starlight:

The entire purpose of your reptile brain is to continually broadcast survival fears- alarm reactions that keep animals alive in the wild. These fears fall into two different categories: lack, and attack. On one hand, our reptile brains are convinced that we lack everything we need: we don’t have enough time, money, everything. On the other hand, something terrible is about to happen. A predator– human or animal–is poised to snatch us! That makes sense if we’re hiding in a cave somewhere, but when we’re home in bed, our imaginations can fixate on catastrophes that are so vague and hard to ward off that they fill us with anxiety that has no clear action implication.

“Successful people have all the luck – I just get bad breaks.”
“Lizard Fear” Example

Continue reading “Are you a Lizard?”

Challenge the Known & Embrace the Unknown

Today I’ll be preaching from the book of “Kawasaki“. It envolves a parabel which I also encountered in the book of “Reynolds“…

Let me tell you a short story about ice. In the late 1800s there was a thriving ice industry in the Northeast. Companies would cut blocks of ice from frozen lakes and ponds and sell them around the world. The largest single shipment was 200 tons that was shipped to India. 100 tons got there unmelted, but this was enough to make a profit.

These ice harvesters, however, were put out of business by companies that invented mechanical ice makers. It was no longer necessary to cut and ship ice because companies could make it in any city during any season.

These ice makers, however, were put out of business by refrigerator companies. If it was convenient to make ice at a manufacturing plant, imagine how much better it was to make ice and create cold storage in everyone’s home.

You would think that the ice harvesters would see the advantages of ice making and adopt this technology. However, all they could think about was the known: better saws, better storage, better transportation.

Then you would think that the ice makers would see the advantages of refrigerators and adopt this technology. The truth is that the ice harvesters couldn’t embrace the unknown and jump their curve to the next curve.

Continue reading “Challenge the Known & Embrace the Unknown”