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Posts Tagged ‘Accountability’

…be water

March 16, 2015 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of a few lines that the venerable Bruce Lee was quoted as saying.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

As a habit, I tend to compare and contrast what I learn between personal and professional life. Often times, viewing something through the personal lens offers a stark contrast than a professional one. Rarely, do I come across something that can truly be ubiquitous.

This one was different. I realize that this is not exactly an epiphany – but this just hits it in all the right places. These few lines really resonated with me in that it speaks to the need to continuously adapt, engage and excel. Many people may read the words above but do not get the meaning due to them having preconceptions about their own behaviors and actions. The self-awareness becomes a limiting factor in the ability to adapt to changing conditions or things that change the mental model that folks have created for themselves as well as their situation.

Now, let’s pivot for a moment.

In a recently read book (that kicks some serious ass); the author discusses the hidden as a pretext of awareness, adaptability and the impact self-awareness has on executing and teamwork. Simply put, if you are not aware of what is around you and your team – how can you effectively deal with challenges?

“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.”

Tying together individual/team-oriented fluidity; coupled with self awareness and high performance is hard. It is damn hard. Few teams get there…few teams get to flow together.

For those that have read my earlier blogs, yes I went on a rant on quotables regarding using quotes. But hey – things change and I am adapting right?

…make wise choices,

-sk

…embrace dread

March 15, 2015 Leave a comment

I recently read an article that referenced a psychological study on the disvalue of future pain. Essentially, the study found evidence to support the hypothesis that people prefer expedited pain versus the thought of waiting. More importantly, in some cases, test subjects preferred to receive a stronger pain stimulus sooner vs wait for a weaker one later. However, there is a point in time where the effects are attenuated due to the passage of time. The example used is a painful Dentist appointment 8 months out may not be as dreadful as one a month out…etc.

This begs the question in general, how do we apply this notion to our daily decisions? Granted, as with any study, one can dismiss results, question methods and/or present an arguing case. That being said, the notion is valid, at least based on some of my experiences.

The takeaway that intrigued me was a reminder that ultimately anticipation carries a cost…but the cost decays. There is an apparent arc of dread. 

How do we use this to our advantage?

I can tell you that I certainly prefer to complete activities under artificially induced pressure. Sometimes, it is due to deliberate procrastination…to a certain point, of course. Other times it is with over-analysis and polishing the bb, as an old friend used to say.

Needless to say, that I need to time the events and deliverable so that I can ensure the right balance of engagement with purpose and motivation in order to produce quality. Personally, this approach is empowering and allows complete clarity to task and purpose.

Ultimately, my dread is sliding down the arc!

What do you dread?

…make wise choices

-sk

…who’s happy?

May 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Memorial Day, in the US is always a bittersweet time of year. A time for reflection and remembrance for those that died during conflict. Also, it marks the beginning of Summer vacation season The few days leading up to the day, are usually marked with mixing of the adulation and reverence. The pinnacle of this mixing, often culminates with the utterance of “Happy Memorial Day!”

Really…do you want to wish someone who has lost a loved one a happy day?

Many people have forgotten the meaning of this observance and in 2000, The National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed. It asks that at 3pm local time, that all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way, a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence, or listening to Taps. I have done this for years and do not think it is too much to ask, considering the cost.

Most people also do not realize, that traditional observance requires that the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff, then slowly lowered to the half-staff position – remaining there until noon. Only then, is it raised back to full staff for the rest of the day. Flying the flag at half-staff is a remembrance to the more than one million service members who lost their lives for their country. The notion being that, at noon, their memory is raised by the living – to continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

So take some time, if you will, and remember the fallen. Wear a silk poppy…then carry on into the summer season.

Don’t, however, wish anyone a happy Memorial Day…that’s just silly.photo

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
http://www.taps.org/
http://www.fisherhouse.org/

…make wise choices

-sk

 

 

 

 

…woohoo

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

As 2013 comes to a close, I have come to think back to the many things that I have learned in the past 12 months. Learning is growing – and the moment one has nothing left to learn, they have failed. Yes, it is my opinion and sure I could be wrong. If I was going to sum things up and extrapolate one massive lesson what would it be, that would have created such a strong impact?

I thought about this for a few minutes and it popped into my brain…well, after the dancing Steamboat Willie. So much of this blog, and my personal ethos is about delivering on commitments, service and pushing oneself past the proverbial comfort zone. The capstone of this would have to be the notion of taking a step back, reflecting on accomplishments and recognizing when something has been completed. From that, taking away what was learned as a result.

For me, that clarity is accomplished by celebrating what you have done and not who you are  – yes that’s deep (well for me it is). It is so easy to look at factors that you cannot easily control  and either over/under emphasize those elements that you feel have either contributed your success or failure. Almost everything is malleable, however, some things are vastly simpler to manipulate. One thing, in particular, that most have direct control over is the setting and completing of personal and/or professional goals.

Whether large or small – those goals are yours to own and yours to execute! Embrace the action of achievement and cast aside those that would dilute your accomplishments by placing you in a category.

…make wise choices,
(Happy New Year)

-sk

BTC

 

 

…multidimensional excrement

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Often within the workplace and/or in our personal lives, we talk about the notion shit rolling downhill.” The vernacular, in spirit, is meant to convey downstream decision-making having an often catastrophic cascading effect on individuals further down the perceived power ladder.

Also, being in a position that allows the foresight of impending doom and stepping aside is almost worse than making a bad decision/letting others suffer. When this is a systematic issue along multiple levels of the power ladder – you have a perfect storm that creates a poisonous culture.

Now, enter the impact of technology on the above. Shit rolling downhill only works if there is a limited form of unidirectional communication (i.e downhill)  that is shaped and controlled. There is the notion of the Crest of Ignorance which basically pools all the bad news until it overflows down the power ladder. This is beautifully illustrated, using real-world-scenarios here.

That is no longer the reality and communication activities flow in a non-linear fashion. There is a communications bubble that is dynamically shifting based on amount and urgency of information being shared.

So, in fact, shit can no longer roll downhill. There is no downhill. The proverbial shit ends up seeping everywhere. Good for visibility, bad for channeling accountability.

…make wise choices
-sk

…myopic goodness

July 8, 2013 Leave a comment

Few things bother me more than people that lack focus. It is great to be aware of the situation and understand that your actions have reactions. It is great to want to help those around you and, thereby learn from others’ endeavors. Building trust, esprit de corps and collaborative relationships are awesome and are invaluable in personal and professional maturation and growth.

None of this means anything – unless you can hit your targets, commitments and achieve results. One of the focal points of these writings has been focused around delivering and achieving results. It stands to reason that supporting elements are important – but they are only just that – supporting elements. They are secondary to the goal….the only goal – hitting the target.

Look through the proverbial scope – see the opportunity and take the shot.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…target of opportunity

May 27, 2013 2 comments

military target “visible to a surface or air sensor or observer, which is within range of available weapons and against which fire has not been scheduled or requested.”

I was in Central London last week the same day that the Country was a-buzz with news of the attacks on a British Soldier in Woolwich by cowards filled with misguided ideology. The timing of this to Memorial Day, here in the States had such a connection that I felt compelled to include this in my post. Although news stories are often sensationalized, the basic facts are a soldier dressed in civilian clothing, wearing a well respected UK Veteran support organization was basically hit by a car and hacked to death with bladed weapons. He was out-of-the-fight so to speak, but still a military asset and a target.

There are plenty of dangerous jobs/careers that people knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) assume. Serving in the Military is one of the very few vocations that follows you home in some cases.

It follows you home in the potential forms of discrimination, physical disabilities, emotional disabilities and more recently so – being a target. I am not going to pretend that random violence does not take place. I will not ignore the fact that certain demographics of people are targeted for crime. That being said, we have had domestic instances of such attacks  on military bases, and attacks  away from bases as well. Certainly, this trend won’t soon diminish as we have generations of post-war zealots that continue to use religion as an excuse to do harm to others. That, coupled with an increasing amount of veterans rotating out of the various battle theaters worldwide – will present more targets.

Yes, I realize that this as been going on since the dawn of time…how wonderful would this world be without religion (a post for another time)?

And so another Memorial Day is upon us, at a time of year where flowers would be in bloom all over the Country. And we can remember and live for and on behalf of those that no longer can….AF

While it is difficult to directly support Active Duty members of the military, it is fairly easy to provide support to trusted organizations. As in previous years, with one addition to the top, given recent events – are organizations that I personally believe in and support:

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
http://www.taps.org/
http://www.fisherhouse.org/

Most, if not all do not expect support or recognition for their service…that’s why we call it service.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…turning left

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

So, I was arguing with myself the other day in the park…it is a lovely sight if you ever happen to come upon this spectacle. It all started so innocently with some introspection on people and how they perceive themselves over having to do the right thing.

Taking a look back at history, we have ample examples of tremendous evil being accomplished under the illusion that it was the right thing..that fit someone’s idealogy. This could be true in business and in the personal life of a person. In my mind this always boils down to a person’s character.

I’m a firm believer (and I have written about this previously), that most people are inherently selfish. Furthermore, given the opportunity many will do what is best for them, despite being detrimental to others. We can argue that this is not universally applicable as we have examples of individuals doing selfless things, often resulting in harm to themselves. As with every type of Gaussian function, I am referring to the majority of individuals.

So what’s the hook here? Figure out a balance (vs. integration) – what is right and beneficial. Every situation is, of course different and sometimes it is better to turn the other direction – even for a short time.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…grand resolutions

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

As I sit here, watching the final remnants of the Twilight Zone New Year’s Marathon, I reminisce about the previous year and the things that have come to pass. Every year seems to bring both wanted and unwanted adventures. Positive and negative experiences, some rich and fulfilling and others wasting time that I will never recoup.

One thing is pretty consistent, my personal drive does not change, diminish or falter (save for purposeful course corrections). It is not triggered by calendar events. Some of the most annoying things that I have read via various social media outlets, hell, just about everywhere…is the notion of starting over or beginning something wonderful in the new year.

Now, I can understand the advertising aspect and timing to merchandise products/services…etc – I get that. What gets my proverbial goat, is the fact that so many folks actually use Jan 1 as a catalyst to start something different, better…etc. Such ferocity and drive, much like a grand flame – burning with a bright light – very admirable concept. How many measure and push themselves after the temporal novelty has given in to the mundane drudgery of everyday life? I think you know the answer to this question.

I am not perfect, not even close. I have no desire to be, quite honestly. However, when something needs to be improved, augmented and/or ceased – it is done when it needs to be done, not when it is a certain time of the year.

Maybe in 2013, I’ll change my mind and do something different – or maybe I won’t.

…make wise choices.

-sk

 btw. Odd advertising, in every commercial break during the 24 hour episode marathon…Cialis, Sonic & Furniture stores….I don’t like the target demographic that  I have been placed into…not one bit!

…oil and water

December 17, 2012 1 comment

I often think about the impact technology has on our lives. The fact that we are constantly connected to one another, whether we like it not, can be a daunting one. Digital peer pressure and the expectation for prompt answers (regardless of time) to various forms of communications seems to be increasing.

What was once a notion of work-life balance has become a concept of work-life integration. In some cases, there is a clear line when one is “off” from their job. That being said, in many careers in globally connected companies – that line has become nothing more than a gradient.

We should accept this new normal and its impacts our lives. We must learn to ensure that we maintain a vigil in under/over commitment towards one end of the extreme or the other. It is no longer enough to balance. I believe that balance assumes a fulcrum of some sort exists as well as a clear understanding of the “weight” on each side. This is largely a fallacy.

I’ll argue that the weight is continuously shifting so much as a focus on balance has become a source of conflict. If we focus in integrating the two, I believe that allows for less personal energy expenditure on a perceived balance.

This allows us to focus on what’s important at the moment while operating within a larger context.

…make wise choices.

-sk