What can we really learn from Steve Jobs?

August 29, 2011

Source: “This picture of Steve Jobs was taken by TMZ– two days after he resigned as the head honcho of Apple. In his resignation letter, Jobs said, the day finally came when he could no longer perform his duties.”

From Hogafish blog   Article

“I think the most important lessons we can learn from Jobs are not about computers or even about the logistics of managing a company, they are about having a mindset that gives rise to innovation. He said in a commencement address at Stanford University:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something you lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

What I find most interesting is the part about not having anything to lose because at one point, it seemed like his vision actually did cause him to lose everything – when he was fired from Apple in 1985. Getting the boot from the company he spent ten years building from scratch seems like a huge thing to lose – and it was for him at the time – but during his hiatus from Apple, he started Pixar and a company called Next, which ended up developing much of the foundational technology for Apple’s current systems.

Cliché statements like “follow your heart” and “live each day as if it is your last” are always floating around, but how often do people truly live by them? People tend to disavow their ideas because they’re afraid of what they could lose by following through with them. But if today really was your last day on earth would you rather be stuck doing something tolerable yet safe or would you rather be pursuing an idea you were excited about?”


Leadership and Blame

August 29, 2011

By Mike Myatt   Article

“In the world of leadership where the traits of accountability and personal responsibility are so highly regarded, I have one question? What’s with all the finger pointing? One of my pet peeves is coming across leaders who think they’re always right, and that any problem or challenge that arises must clearly be the fault of someone else. Here’s the thing – as a leader, anything that happens on your watch is your responsibility whether you like it or not. This level of responsibility just goes with the territory, and leaders who cannot accept this do not deserve to lead. Last I checked we all make mistakes – I know I do. Most of us don’t look for perfection in leaders, we look for leaders who see mistakes as a chance for opportunity, growth and improvement, not an opportunity to blame shift….

The truth of the matter is no victories are won by participating in the blame game. Blame doesn’t inspire, it breeds malcontent and discord. If trust is the cornerstone of leadership, then blame can only be viewed as the corrosive behavior that eats away at the foundation. … Real leaders won’t accept credit for success, but always claim responsibility for failure.”

Dilbert – An experiment

August 29, 2011

By Scott Adams    Source

10 myths that politicians want you to believe

August 29, 2011

From John DeFeo at TheStreet.com    Article

“10. Quantitative Easing Helps the Economy

Yes, quantitative easing is “printing” money. No, it won’t help the economy. Make no mistake, quantitative easing is a gift to bankers and nothing else. The Federal Reserve is giving bankers risk-free trading profits and causing food and gas prices to surge (making it even harder for Americans to get out of debt).

9. Republicans Are Fiscal Conservatives

From 1946-2010:

Democratic President
* Total Years: 29
* Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $150.73 billion

Republican President
* Total Years: 36
* Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $202.28 billion

8. President Obama Is an Enemy of Wall Street

* The two men who served as principal negotiators for banking deregulation: Gene Sperling and Larry Summers.

* The two men who President Obama appointed to become his top economic advisers: Gene Sperling and Larry Summers.

* Two guys who happen to be paid millions of dollars in consulting and speaking fees by “too big to fail” banks: Gene Sperling and Larry Summers.

7. The Financial System Is Safer Today Than in 2008

The majority of “too big to fail” banks are even bigger. Meanwhile, high-frequency trading is alive and well and the causes of the Flash Crash have not been addressed.

6. The ‘Bush Tax Cuts’ Increased Tax Revenue

Washington has always had a spending problem, but since the “Bush Tax Cuts,” we have a revenue problem as well. From 1990 to 2000, U.S. tax revenue had a period of exceptional growth. Following the 2001 tax cuts, revenue plummeted — then recovered — then plummeted again.

5. ‘No One’ Could Have Seen the Financial Crisis Coming

No one — except for everyone who did. TheStreet has interviewed numerous economists and money managers who have been pounding the table for years.

4. If You Support Capitalism, You Support Big Business

Can a corporation be socialist? Corporations and governments are very similar entities, and both can have capitalist or socialist leanings. If a politician praises big business while chastising big government, or the other way around, be skeptical.

3. Republicans Are a Bunch of Fat-Cat Millionaires

The average congressperson is a millionaire, and if you break down the 50 richest members of Congress by political party, here’s the split:

Republican: 22
Democrat: 28

2. The U.S. Has the Highest Standard of Living in the World

According to the United Nations’ most recent Human Poverty Index (from 2008), the U.S. standard of living ranks 17 of 19 among developed countries.  The ranking is a composite of life expectancy, literacy, long-term unemployment and income equality — while this data is over three years old, it’s not unthinkable that our situation has worsened in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

1. U.S. GDP Is Growing

U.S. GDP has increased by 4.26% from 2007 to 2010, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the same period of time, the U.S. national debt has increased by 61.6%, according to the U.S. Treasury. Looking at these numbers, you don’t need to be an economist to see that something is very, very wrong.

We’ve lost our way, misled by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Go read the full article here.”

“Nice” make less than “disagreeable”

August 29, 2011

By wallace immen   Article

Nice guys make less than ‘highly disagreeable’ men

“Everyone says you’re the nicest person they know at work. You’re considerate, you value relationships and pitch in to be a good team player. But are you also being a sucker? New research has found that even if nice guys don’t always finish last, they’re very likely to have a lot less in their pay cheques than those who put their own needs ahead of others.

Men who score on personality tests as highly disagreeable tend to earn more than 18 per cent more – an average of $9,700 more a year – than men who were scored as most agreeable. Agreeableness made less of a difference in women, but it still meant an average 5-per-cent salary gap for nice gals. …

To find out why, they ran their own experiment with students in business management classes who were asked to role play as human resource managers for a fictional company. Each was presented with single-paragraph descriptions of eight entry-level candidates for a consultant position. Participants were randomly assigned descriptions of eight female or eight male candidates (to disguise the gender component of the study) and were asked which ones should be placed on a fast track to management.

All the candidates were described as conscientious, smart, and insightful, and all the descriptions ended with notes, such as “Observation: seems to be candid and trusting,” or, “Observation: his/her natural competitiveness was apparent.” In assessing the fast-track potential of candidates, the business students were somewhat more likely to favour men over women. But their aversion to agreeableness, particularly among men, was remarkably strong. …”

Two Headed Monster

August 29, 2011

By Barry Ritholtz   Source

Vitality: Collisions between stability & instability

August 22, 2011

By Dan Rockwell   Article

Stabilizers apart from change agents are dangerous. They seek consistent processes and procedures that create sluggishness, inefficiencies, and comfortable irrelevance. Eventually the ultimate goal of their organizations eventually becomes self-preservation.

Change agents apart from stabilizers are dangerous. They destabilize processes and procedures in search of innovation and growth. They transform organizations into fast moving machines that create burn out, inefficiencies, and uncomfortable irrelevance. Eventually the ultimate goal of their organizations eventually becomes self-preservation. …


Creative tension between stabilizers and change agents develops healthy, dynamic organizations that add value to their constituents, customers, and communities. The benefit of colliding perspectives is diversity and maturity.

How much:

Organizations always tend to stagnate without intentional destabilization. ….”