Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My kids can't wait.

I’m woken up every morning by a two-year old who wants food.  And he wants it now.  That isn't the only thing my two-year old or my three-year old want right now.  Anything they want, they want it now.  Right now.  A few days ago while I was cooking dinner, they were fussing about how long it was taking.  I admonished them by saying, “You’re acting like children”.  Of course, this didn't have much impact on them, since they are children.  What exactly was I expecting?

(Creative Commons)

But, beyond that they simply don’t have patience, there are two lessons I take from this.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The opportunity to pass on today. To quit.

You will have a million opportunities to do this today. This isn't unusual. It's probably a day like any other. Every day will present these same opportunities. And while it is important to take advantage of the day's opportunities, this is one of the exceptions. Don't take advantage of this one.

Today will give you millions of opportunities to quit. Don't take them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Thinking Life by P. M. Forni

Title:  The Thinking Life

Author:  P. M. Forni

Rating:  Good

Reason for Reading:  This book was recommended by my friend Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor and Up, Down, or Sideways.

Format:  Hardback, borrowed from my local library.

Summary:  This book is Dr. Forni’s treatise on the importance of intentional thinking to improve every aspect of your life.  As a professor of romance literatures, Dr. Forni includes throughout the book lessons from classic Greek and Roman philosophy and mythology where the value of clear thinking is demonstrated.  The book also has numerous contemporary stories as well, and Dr. Forni includes specific tasks that the reader can do to harness the potential power of intentional thinking in their life.

Review:  This book is a wonderful read for anyone interested in exploring the power of their own thinking habits.  I’m reminded of Susan Cain’s comment in her book Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking when she says that there is a word for people who live in their heads too much, they are called thinkers.  For anyone more on the introverted side of the spectrum, who enjoys thinking deeply, I would recommend spending the brief time to read The Thinking Life by Dr. Forni.

Other resources: http://krieger.jhu.edu/civility

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader by Mark Sanborn

Title:  You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader

Author:  Mark Sanborn

Rating:  Good

Reason for Reading:  I’ve read some of Mark’s other work, including his latest Up, Down, or Sideways (reviewed here), his blog, and his regular newsletter.

Format:  Hardback, borrowed from my local library.

Summary:  The book is short at just 100 pages, and very easy to read.  Mark shares his insight from years of consulting with companies across the country, and his own experiences as a customer, traveler, and parent.  Mark’s thesis in the book is that leadership is often found without association to a position.  He provides numerous examples of how the critical difference in the performance of a company or an organization is in the performance of an individual who embraced their power as a leader.  And he specifies this as leadership with a small l, as they often do not have a formal role that puts them in a leadership position on an organization chart.

Review:  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I will recommend it to my team members interested in being more effective in our workplace, especially those with a leadership title.  Mark’s examples of where an employee was intentional and thoughtful about their actions, making an enormous difference to the customer’s experience, are the kind of stories I’d like to hear about my own organization.  This book deserves a place on many “must read lists” for companies and organizations.

I may need to purchase a copy I can keep on my bookshelf.

Other resources: www.marksanborn.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Truth and Power of Incremental Change

You’ve probably heard the story.  A frog dropped in boiling water immediately jumps out and saves its life.  But, a frog dropped in room temperature water which is gradually heated to boiling will stay in it and be cooked.  This story is often told as a warning against the dangers of incremental change.  The abrupt, life threatening change of the environment gets the first frog’s attention, and his reflexes save his life.   But the second frog doesn't notice the slow, steady change of its environment and loses its opportunity to escape.

It isn't true.  At least, not for frogs.