With the recent tragic death of comedian and actor Robin Williams, my family and I decided to watch one of his many great films over the weekend, Dead Poets Society. The movie is about a group of boys at a private prep school. It’s there that they meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who is played by Williams. Keating encourages the boys to embrace their individualism, think independently, and pursue their passions. This leads them on a path of self-discovery that clashes with the rigid culture of the conservative institution they attend. Keating’s methods ultimately cost him his job, but they win him the respect and affection of his students.
You don’t spend nearly enough time simply thinking. Before you take offense to that statement, consider how much time you spend talking, responding to e-mail, even reading—my guess is that you spend more time doing any one of them than you do thinking.
Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.
—Joel A. Barker
Among my favorite movies is the 1991 film City Slickers. Billy Crystal plays radio ad salesman Mitch Robbins, who is having a bit of a midlife crisis. Mitch and his two best friends decide to leave New York City to spend two weeks on a cattle drive in the Southwest. It’s there that Mitch meets Curly, the crusty trail boss played by Jack Palance.
A colleague shared with me an article published recently in the New York Times Sunday Review. In addition to the fact that the article had been recommended, its title, “The Secret of Effective Motivation,” was certainly enough to get me to read it. Who in management doesn’t want to know the “secret” of effective motivation?
Let me see if something strikes a chord with you as it did with me. As a manager, you’re asked to be a wise steward of the resources given to you. That means not only generating an appropriate amount of revenue and profit with the resources you manage today but also investing wisely to find new opportunities that will sustain the business in the future. A delicate balance, to say the least.
In my last post, I wrote about an article that appeared in the June issue of Harvard Business Review (“The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting”). The subject of the article was hiring for potential. Of course, to do so, one must know how to determine a person’s potential. The article’s author, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, provided five qualities he looks for in determining an individual’s potential: read more…
The cover article in the June issue of Harvard Business Review is titled “The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting.” Since all of us as managers are constantly on the lookout for talent, the title of course grabbed my attention. The author, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at a global executive firm, boldly claims that potential is “the most important predictor of success at all levels.”
My mother often said to me, “Look before you leap.” She was warning me to stop for a second and think before I threw myself headlong into whatever it was I was considering. That’s because out of her four children, I was probably the most impulsive. Let me reword that—I was the most impulsive.
Sunday’s New York Times featured an article titled “Why You Hate Work.” Right from the opening paragraph, I must admit, I had my back up a bit. The article claims it’s very likely that I’m not excited about my work, I don’t feel appreciated while there, I find it difficult to get my most important tasks accomplished, and I really don’t feel like what I do makes a difference. How dare these people tell me what I’m thinking and feeling?! They don’t know me.