January 21, 2010

Over Deliver

Posted in Business, Life tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 10:58 pm by lindaslongview

As a regular Seth Godin blog reader and Triiibes member (a closed social networking site for his blog and reader community), I had an opportunity to read Seth’s newest book, Linchpin, before it was generally available.

Over the past several years, Seth’s ideas, blog-posts, and books pushed me toward mattering and away from settling.  I have absorbed Seth’s ideas in the same way I have absorbed engineering ideas (Dorian Shainin) and business ideas (Eliyahu M. Goldratt) from other geniuses.  I am grateful to have been able to improve my own professional performance through learning from those that have taken time to teach their art.

Linchpin is a culmination of Seth’s genius and is his most inspiring to date.  Seth’s premise is that on any given day, it is easy to do the bare minimum, not take responsibility, and keep from being noticed — it is what our “lizard brain” wants us to do.  He counsels each of us to overcome the resistance (to the lizard brain) and tap into the linchpin quadrant of discernment (long view thinking!) and passion (see graph pg. 181) to create positive traction, speak truth to power, and over-deliver. 

The book exhibits Seth’s vignette style of writing, which connects personally to his readers.  Seth made me laugh out loud on pg. 59, when he wonders, “Why is there writer’s block but no chemical engineering block?”  Is he sure that there is no chemical engineering block?!

My long view advice: read Linchpin (available in five more days).

Achieving linchpin status is the integration under the curve (over time) of staying positive and being committed.   It’s about always getting better…

Are you choosing to Over Deliver?

If you are interested, other Linchpin book reviews can be found here.

January 11, 2010

Love Story

Posted in Business, Life tagged , , , , , at 9:38 pm by lindaslongview

First, I have been married a LONG time (in a few more months, a wonderful 20 years LONG) so this will not be all gushy…

The setting was post-breakfast.  Everyone at the house was moving toward jobs and school (two teens, two parents).  I mention to my wonderful husband that I just got off the phone about a quote for some insurance that I thought we should consider.  His immediate response was to tell me that it was unnecessary and I shouldn’t spend any time on it.  I became upset because I thought I was doing something good for us and he was not being duly appreciative.

Even though we both hate to part mad at each other, there was no time to get everything back to better before we all had to depart (he was leaving for three days).

When I was done being upset, I wrote him a quick email with the following long view advice:  Support first, then Criticize.

I wrote:

  • I know that we both hate parting mad, so I apologize for not being able to get past my upset this morning.  I know that you mean well when you criticize my efforts.  I even value the criticisms, but not when I don’t feel supported.
  • I need from you:  Support first, then criticism. Okay?!

He writes back:

  • You beat me to the punch.  I was chomping at the bit all morning to get a moment to write you and say “sorry” for the bad parting this morning. Yes, you are right.  I meant to say and do exactly as you suggest – “good idea to investigate, let’s make sure we understand if it is really needed.”  Please accept my apology.

So I write back:

  • Apology accepted.

All better!  🙂

Are you supporting first and then criticizing (when needed)?

P.S.  Support first then criticize (if needed) applies to business too….

January 2, 2010

Open Doors and New Roads

Posted in Business, Life tagged , , , , , , , at 9:55 pm by lindaslongview

I am always grateful to welcome new opportunities. Yet recently, my blog has suffered while I’ve been opening doors and building new roads for myself…

As I reflected on what long view advice I might give on the departure of 2009 and arrival of 2010, I realized that my siblings are professionals in door opening and new road building, respectively.

My sister is responsible for writing software to open the door on NASA’s specialized jumbo jet that hauls an infrared telescope above the lower atmosphere (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA). More pics here…how cool is that?!

My brother is in road construction, he supervises the work teams, manages the projects, and ensures that new roads get built.

On account of the new year, I offer some amateur long view advice on opening doors and creating new roads that I think the pros would agree:

  • Be deliberate, act with intention.
  • Be aware, observe, listen, and assess more often than you advise.
  • Be dedicated to quality, don’t settle for less.
  • Be committed to improvement, get better at what you do.

Wishing you new roads and many open doors. Happy 2010!