Choosing your fuel…

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The work is difficult. Overcoming obstacles, facing rejection, exploring the unknown – many of us need a narrative to fuel our forward motion, something to keep us insisting on the next cycle, on better results, on doing work that matters even more.

The fuel you choose, though, determines how you will spend your days. You will spend far more time marinating in your fuel than you will actually doing breakthrough work. Richard Feynman was famously motivated by the joy of figuring things out. His scientific journey (which earned him a Nobel Prize) also provided him with truly wonderful days.

Here is a partial list, in alphabetical order, of narratives light and dark that can serve as fuel to push us to do work that others might walk away from:

Avoidance of shame (do this work or you will be seen as a fraud/loser/outcast)
Becoming a better version of yourself
Big dreams (because you can see it/feel it/taste it)
Catastrophe (or the world as we know it will end)
Competition (someone is gaining on you)
Compliance (the boss/contract says I have to, and even better, theres a deadline)
Connection (because others will join in)
Creative itch (the voice inside of you wants to be expressed)
Dissatisfaction (because its not good enough as it is)
Engineer (because theres a problem to be solved)
Fame (imagining life is better on the other side)
Generosity (because its a chance to contribute)
Its a living (pay the writer)
Peer pressure (the reunion is coming up)
Possibility (because we can, and itll be neat to see how it works in the world)
Professionalism (because its what we do)
Revenge (youll show the naysayers)
Selection (to get in, win the prize, be chosen)
Unhappiness (because the only glimmer of happiness comes from the next win, after all, were not good enough as is)

They all work. Some of them leave you wrecked, some create an environment of possibility and connection and joy. Up to you.

How to Improve Your PowerPoint Slides with the Rule of Thirds…

You can design attractive visuals by following simple guidelines. One of these simple guidelines is the Rule of Thirds a composition technique borrowed from photography and other visual arts that works wonderfully in PowerPoint.In this article, you will learn:

  • What is the Rule of Thirds?
  • How do photographers use the Rule of Thirds?
  • How can you apply the Rule of Thirds to Your PowerPoint slides?

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View all Here….

Bigger may feel safer but is it ?

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Creative institutions get bigger so that they can avoid doing things that feel risky.

They may rationalize this as leverage, as creating more impact. But it’s a coin with two sides, and the other side is that they do proportionally more things that are reliable and fewer things that feel like they might fail.

In other words, hiring more people makes their useful creative productivity go down.

This is not the way it works in a factory. When Henry Ford hired more people for the assembly line, productivity went up. Things got more efficient. More lines, more plants, more hands led to more productivity. The natural scale of the enterprise was large indeed.

But a creative studio, a marketing team, architects, strategists, programmers, writers, editors, city planners, teachers the natural scale of the enterprise is smaller than you think.

This is a new law of organizations, and it’s not well understood.

We hire more people to make it feel safer. To paper over the cracks, to please more people, to increase stability.

None of these things are why the creative institution exists.

While the bureaucracy may benefit from more scale, the work doesn’t.

The great untold story of our time…

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The decline of our personal momentum.

The motor,

Heres a simple hierarchy:

The self-driving car,

Cruise control,

Manual driving,

Hitchhiking,

Bicycling,

Walking

The arc? As you move down the list, it gets harder and harder to coast. It moves from set it once and forget it to one step at at time.

The growth of audiobooks is outpacing reading. Why? Because audiobooks come with their own motor. Even readers are pointing out that theyve forgotten how to read. But of course, thats not truewe can still read a word, or even a sentence, its pushing ourselves through a chapter thats difficult.

The internet is the greatest self-teaching resource ever developed. But few take advantage of it, because it doesnt come with a motor. No tests, no certificates, no cruise control.

The decline of our personal momentum might be the great untold story of our time. That electronic media, incoming, breaking, please reply, didnt you see that, react right now, click here this has a cost. And the cost is our internal drive to initiate instead of to just react.

Someones driving. Its either you, going where you choose, or someone else, pushing you.

 

 

 

How do you do it ?? Bad sorts (and the useful ones)

 

Bad sorts (and the useful ones)

We sort people all the time. Society prefers easy, useless ones. Sorts like: Skin color. Gender. Disability status. Nationality. Religious background. Height.

While these are easy to do and the result of long, long traditions, they’re useless.

The alternatives? Kindness. Expertise. Attitude. Skill. Emotional intelligence. Honesty. Generous persistence. Willingness to take risks. Loyalty. Perceptivity. Attention span. Care. Self awareness

Its a daily battle, an uphill climb to intentionally ignore the bad sorts we were likely taught as kids. This might be the most important work we do today, and every day. The people we care about deserve it

Your soft skills inventory

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The annual review is a waste. It’s not particularly useful for employee or boss, it’s stressful and it doesn’t happen often enough to make much of an impact.

If you choose to, though, you can do your own review. Weekly or monthly, you can sit down with yourself (or, more powerfully, with a small circle of peers) and review how you’re shifting your posture to make more of an impact.

Some of the things to ask:

What am I better at?

Have I asked a difficult question lately?

Do people trust me more than they did?

Am I hiding more (or less) than I did the last time I checked?

Is my list of insightful, useful and frightening stats about my work, my budgets and my challenges complete? And have I shared it with someone I trust?

If selling ideas is a skill, am I more skilled at it than I was?

Who have I developed?

Have I had any significant failures (learning opportunities) lately, and what have I learned?

What predictions have I made that have come to pass? Am I better at seeing what’s going to happen next?

Who have I helped? Especially when there was no upside for me…

Am I more likely to be leading or following?

All deals are handshake deals…

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The only variable is how specific you’re willing to be about who is promising what.

Specific contracts don’t completely protect you from dishonorable people. What they do is make it really clear about what it takes to do what you said you were going to do.

Start with a good agreement. But your future depends on doing agreements with good people.