Monday, June 30, 2014

Erik Wahl on Thinking Differently à la Einstein

Sometimes it pays to take a risk, to take ownership, to take action on an idea.  One of the first steps on becoming an entrepreneur is to not only dream big, but then to be engaged and take action.  
Erik Wahl is someone I hadn't heard of, until now of course.  I love this dude.  I love how he painted that portrait of Albert Einstein, and quoted him before some people, maybe many of them, realized it was Herr Professor himself.
F.E.A.R. is false evidence appearing real.   
Creativity is daring to be different.  But as Wahl suggests à la Einstein, creativity doesn't always mean acting differently but maybe just thinking differently.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Identifying High Performing Candidates

A clear, succinct and useful video on how to pinpoint candidates who are likely to be high performers on the job.  Here are some additions and emphases: 
  • Using valid, reliable psychometric tests can help in that process; resumes are helpful only to an extent, and interviews ought to be structured and behavior-focused.  
  • Intelligence gets the short shrift in some circles, but it's de rigueur and it's the basis for learning, performing and growing.  
  • Work ethic is akin to Stephen Covey's be proactive, that is, taking initiative to get things done and seeking to contribute beyond listed duties are prized attributes indeed.
  • Along with hypothetical scenarios, asking candidates for specific examples of how they dealt with a moral dilemma or ethical faux pas will help illuminate their integrity.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Embattled Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer
The word this morning is that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer overslept and missed the bulk of a key advertising meeting in Cannes. 
Some of the chatter on social media suggests that if this is true, she should get a pass. Um, not necessarily. In Yahoo's position, with its flat revenue and its need to sell a new digital magazine strategy, this would be the equivalent of oversleeping for a key job interview. After the Henrique de Castro debacle, Mayer needs to show she's personally plugged into the needs of the ad community. It doesn't help that she has a storied history of making people wait. Now, there's the important question of whether a male CEO would get the same scrutiny. Frankly, I think he would. De Castro caught similar heat when he seemed unprepared for ad industry gatherings. And Steve Jobs, though he could be mercurial, was a master schmoozer when he needed to convince a partner to do what he wanted.
Reference: Tech Buzz @ CNBC pre-Squawk Alley: Mayer, Rascoff & Micron

CNBC Technology Editor John Fortt posted an article on LinkedIn, and I weighed in:

Maybe Mayer was not feeling well. Nevertheless, I would have simply but sincerely apologized for being late, left it at that, and kept focused on the people and business at hand. Obviously her absence was an issue, but her presence was all that mattered, upon arrival. I very much agree with Joe Shanahan about not crucifying Mayer: She's only human, and she's not the only top executive who's ever been late for a meeting.

Shanahan remarked:
Let's not crucify Marissa for oversleeping- there was an article on here not 4 months ago stating how she was sleeping 4 hours a night. She needs to delegate a few more big tasks to who she deems fit. Humans were meant to sleep 8 hours a night, be well-hydrated, and operate on high carb diets. I feel quite badly for her- and I wish more people would understand this is the key to a productive, clear mind. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sleep as Much as You Actually Need

For the longest time, I have had the pattern of sleeping only five hours a night.  It's such a pattern that when I vary my sleep times, from 11 PM, say, to 1 AM or to 9 PM, I am awake five hours later.  This is such a pattern that I can use my sleep as a gauge for how I'm doing: If I sleep more than that, then I must be exhausted and need the additional hours.  If I sleep less than that, then something is stressful or troublesome for me, and it is needs attention and resolution.  As much as I can, I also give myself the freedom to nap.  I don't drink coffee, and I minimize caffeinated drinks.  So when I'm tired or sleepy, I find a way to take a nap.  With my naps, then, I sleep 6 - 7 hours in a 24-hour day.  Which is more typical of others, apparently. I am alert and mindful, I have good concentration, and I have the energy to work a long day.

All that said, the notion of a pill that helps us sleep less is disturbing.  There are incidents or events that require us to sleep less or to interrupt our sleep.  As long as that isn't a pattern, then it's manageable.  But I am of the belief that we must sleep however much our bodies need.  Subjecting our bodies to unnatural situations for a length of time is a recipe for trouble.  Case in point: Arianna Huffington, who suggests to a group of women that they ought to sleep their way to the top.

Friday, June 13, 2014

FIFA World Cup Expects Record Draw

The FIFA World Cup is only a week away [it started yesterday], and is sure to be filled with action packed soccer moments, but will it draw in the record crowds other sports events tend to see? Goviva president Robert Tuchman joins the News Hub.
The World Cup is held every four years.  In 2006 it was in Germany, and I was in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, leading a consulting team of multinational staff: English, Swedish, German, Chinese and me Asian-American.  In South Africa for 2010, the World Cup saw me in Dubai, as a resident, having the pleasure of inviting friends over at the posh Capital Club to enjoy two of the games, including the Final one.  Now, it is in Brazil, and I plan to tune in again.

I am not a soccer fan, football as it's called outside the US, but my mates in Dhahran helped me understand the strategy behind the sport.  That was the key for me.  If I could discern what the players were doing on the pitch, not so much with their actual play, but more the intent, the plan, and the purpose, then the sport was quite enjoyable for me.

Robert Tuchman is sure that I will only be one among millions who will tune in and enjoy it.  He expects a record turnout.  Let's see.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Championship Leadership of Pat Riley

From the Stanley Cup Final, to the NBA Final, we come to Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat.  In the 1990s heyday of the Chicago Bulls, he fought fiercely, as coach of the New York Knicks, to knock off his nemesis Phil Jackson.  He never succeeded.  The Bulls won three championships in a row, twice in fact, in that breathtaking decade.  I knew that Riley came up with the phrase Three-Peat, as his Lakers aimed to win three in a row in the 1980s.  They didn't, but he had trademarked the phrase, which meant he could cash in with royalties from any formal use of it.  He couldn't beat the Bulls, but drew cash from theirs and the NBA's winnings.  Ironically, Jackson won another Three-Peat with the Lakers once, and was poised for a second.

As a player, and as a leader in two different capacities - coach and executive - Riley has won championships.  At this very time, his Heat is gunning for a Three-Peat, caught in the midst of a rematch Final with the San Antonio Spurs.  The Heat are so good that they seem like they can just switch it on and win ballgames.  It's hard to see the Spurs stopping them from their destiny with a Three-Peat.  But let's see.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

LA Kings: Lose a Battle, Win the War

I am a Chicago Blackhawks fan, and it was disappointing to watch them lose a tightly-fought series with the Los Angeles Kings.  It went seven games, and needed overtime to decide the winner.  So just one goal separated them, just one goal between another Stanley Cup Final and summer rounds of golf.  Not to worry, though, I love hockey, and was glad to watch the SCF.  

The Kings have proven themselves to be an inspired, resilient team throughout the playoffs, winning three Game 7s on the road.  In the SCF Game 1, the New York Rangers found that out first hand, in rather rude fashion, as they staked out a fast 2-0 lead in the first period, including a short-handed goal.  The Kings methodically turned the tide, mainly by superb checking in all three zones and amazing opportunistic play.  They will not score a goal every single time, of course, and they will give up a lot of scoring chances themselves.  But when push comes to shove, they clearly have the toughness to lose a battle, but ultimately the resolve to win the war.       

The SCF is far from over, but the Kings are looking mighty good so far.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Goldie Hawn on How Meditation Calms

I practice T'ai Chi, I meditate, and I exercise everyday.  I have an inner drive and strong confidence, that borderline on stubbornness and impatience.  So I am by no means the epitome of calm, centeredness, or mindfulness.  But Goldie Hawn is right, in that meditation can quiet fidgety children and adults alike.  That meditative mind is the platform, then, for reflecting openly on, and assessing effectively, what is going on and doing something, if anything, about it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

First Clarify your Purpose

(image credit)
Thousands of people today don’t believe in meaning and purpose as something to discover or pursue in life. And others believe in a life purpose but won’t take the risk to identify or honor it. Those with positive influence feel otherwise. They have found that there is a purpose to their life, and that purpose usually involves some aspect of turning their “mess into a message,” or using what they’ve learned (often the hard way) as a means of being of service to others. People with a sense of purpose are driven, focused, committed, and lit up from the inside – unable to be deterred or distracted from what they believe is the reason they’re on this planet at this time. This sense of meaning and purpose gives them inexhaustible drive and offers guideposts to follow along the path. It informs them of what they wish to attend to in life, and what they need to walk away from because it doesn’t support their higher purpose.
Reference: 9 Core Behaviors Of People Who Positively Impact The World.

I work at avoiding hyperboles like "unable to be deterred" or "inexhaustible drive," that writer Kathy Caprino resorts to.  Nevertheless, having a sense of purpose is crucial to making a difference.  It is at the heart of Theory of Algorithms and The Core Algorithm, the conceptual framework and practical applications model, respectively, that speak to how I aim to have worldwide impact.

While there may be common behaviors among them, I'm sure that their actual profiles are as unique as they are.  I see an article like this less as an actual representation of behavior and more as an aspirational model for would-be altruists, philanthropists and humanitarians.

  1. For those who feel compelled to make difference, they  must first clarify what their life purpose actually is.
  2. Then, it's about taking stock of what they actually need to do to fulfill such a purpose.
  3. Finally, they must actually work at it.

And I've just described the 3 steps of The Core Algorithm.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Forbes Most Powerful Women on Earth

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops Forbes Most Powerful Women on Earth.

She was elected in 2005, and has been on this list 10 out of 11 times, parked at number one, it seems, 9 out of those 10 times.  To think the US Government had her on its phone-tapping roster.  Even as public sentiment toward the European Union is clearly undergoing a marked shift, Merkel seems particularly in influential.

Reference: The World's Most Powerful Women 2014.

Do these women "firsts" mean that their proverbial glass ceiling has been shattered? I hope so.

But it'll take a long while, yet, I daresay, to clean up the shards on the floor and otherwise remove any remnants of that glass ceiling.

"Women are as good as men, because they're no different, and they're as strong, as tough, as smart as men."

I love how these marketing and editorial consultants recommend one of their own, the Most Powerful Pincher, Oreo the dog, and Eve's Mom to be on the cover.  Altogether a brilliant move by Steve Forbes to seek their consultation.    

Forbes' Most Powerful Women are behind many of the brands we have, or encounter, in our daily lives.