A man is usually more careful of …

June 26, 2017

“A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


I was wrong about that

June 26, 2017

Gates with the Microsoft staff in 1978.

Source: Mic/Wikimedia Commons

Be the most persuasive person

June 26, 2017

By Jeff Haden via inc.com   Article

Be the Most Persuasive Person in the Room: 9 Things Highly Influential People Always Do, According to Science

“Every successful person I know is extremely good at persuading other people. Not manipulating or pressuring, but genuinely persuading: Describing the logic and benefits of an idea to gain agreement.

When you think of it that way, everyone needs to harness the power of persuasion: to convince other people your idea makes sense, to show investors or stakeholders how a project, or product, or business will generate a return, to help your employees understand why they should embrace a new process.

Having the ability to persuade is critical in every career. That’s why successful people are extremely good at persuading others.

So how can you become more persuasive — in a genuine and authentic way?

1. Always share positives and negatives.

According to University of Illinois professor Daniel O’Keefe, sharing one or two opposing viewpoints is more persuasive than sticking solely to the benefits of your position.

Why? No idea is perfect, and your audience knows that. They know there are other perspectives and other potential outcomes. Address that fact. Talk about the things your audience is already considering. Discuss potential negatives, and show how you will minimize or overcome those problems.

The people you hope to convince are more likely to be persuaded when they know you understand that they might have misgivings. Talk about the other side of the argument — and then do your best to show why you’re still right.

2. Always draw positive conclusions.

Which of the following two statements is likely to produce a better result:

  • ‘You need to stop making so many mistakes,’ or
  • ‘I would like you to work on improving your accuracy’?

And which of these two?

  • ‘You need to stop criticizing people,’ or
  • ‘I would like you to work on finding ways to praise your employees more’?

While it’s tempting to use scare tactics, positive-outcome statements tend to be more persuasive. (Researchers hypothesize that most people respond negatively to feeling bullied or ‘guilted’ into changing a behavior.)

If you’re trying to create change, focus on the positives of that change. Take the person you hope to persuade to a better place instead of somewhere he or she should avoid.”

Choosing your fuel

June 26, 2017

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/   Article

“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’ll 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, there’s a deadline)
  • Connection (because others will join in)
  • Creative itch (the voice inside of you wants to be expressed)
  • Dissatisfaction (because it’s not good enough as it is)
  • Engineer (because there’s a problem to be solved)
  • Fame (imagining life is better on the other side)
  • Generosity (because it’s a chance to contribute)
  • It’s a living (pay the writer)
  • Peer pressure (the reunion is coming up)
  • Possibility (because we can, and it’ll be neat to see how it works in the world)
  • Professionalism (because it’s what we do)
  • Revenge (you’ll 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, we’re 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.”


Men only flights

June 19, 2017


United Had Men-Only Flights Until 1970. Here’s The Manly Services They Offered.

“These flights were operated by DC-6B aircraft and later Caravelles. Flights mostly operated at 5pm in each direction between the two cities(generally six days a week excluding Saturdays). They didn’t just ban women, but children also, and flight attendants catered to these business flights with special meals and offered complimentary cigars.

They offered ‘last minute message service’ (to make a call on behalf of the passenger back to the office) and the flights also had a teletype business news update with closing market prices. This was co-branded with the Wall Street Journal at one point. …

Likely apocryphal but there’s a story that United sent vouchers to the wives of passengers on these Executive flights, ‘A special invitation for wives whose husbands like to fly’ or something to that effect. They then surveyed those who redeemed the vouchers, and the most common response was ‘what flight?'”

Learn from United’s experience

June 19, 2017

By  via groovehq.com   Article

5 Things Your Business Should Learn From United’s Experience

“This entire incident could have been avoided with one thing: more empowered frontline employees. There were no takers at the $1,000 compensation offer, and the company’s policy ensured that the agent couldn’t make a higher offer. Not $1,001. Not $1,100. Not $1,500. Of course, today, $1,500 looks dirt cheap compared to the fallout from the incident. Which is why … announced that they were increasing the maximum compensation for involuntary ‘bumping’ to $10,000.

Most policies for customer service employees are made to protect the business from unnecessary costs. But it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that by giving your employees the power to make customers happy, you’re protecting the business from far, far worse.

At Ritz-Carlton Hotels, each employee is given a $2,000 budget to make any single guest happy. That budget is PER GUEST. How’s that for empowerment? Now, a $2,000 allowance to make things right for a guest sounds like a lot. And it is. Now, here’s the thing: that amount is very rarely used. But the freedom that a number so large signifies to the support team shows that the brand trusts them to make the right decision; and that the right decision is to do whatever it takes to make the guest happy.

‘We entrust every single Ritz-Carlton staff member, without approval from their general manager, to spend up to $2,000 on a guest. And that’s not per year. It’s per incident. When you say up to $2,000, suddenly somebody says, wow, this isn’t just about rebating a movie because your room was late, this is a really meaningful amount. It doesn’t get used much, but it displays a deep trust in our staff’s judgment. …

Significantly, there is no assumption that it’s because there is a problem. It could be that someone finds out it’s a guest’s birthday, and the next thing you know there’s champagne and cake in the room. A lot of the stuff that crosses my desk is not that they overcame a problem but that they used their $2,000 to create an outstanding experience.

There are stories about hiring a carpenter to build a shoe tree for a guest; a laundry manager who couldn’t get the stain out of a dress after trying twice flying up from Puerto Rico to New York to return the dress personally; or when in Dubai a waiter overheard a gentleman musing with his wife, who was in a wheelchair, that it was a shame he couldn’t get her down to the beach. The waiter told maintenance, who passed word, and the next afternoon there was a wooden walkway down the beach to a tent that was set up for them to have dinner in. …

– Simon Cooper, Former President of the Ritz-Carlton Company'”

Is this a circle?

June 19, 2017

Via spring.org.uk   Article

Is This A Circle? What The Answer Reveals About You

“If pushed to choose, would you say this image contains a circle or not? People who tend towards saying the shape above is a circle are generally more liberal, a new study finds. People in the study who tended to say this was a circle were also: for the legalisation of cannabis, for gay marriage, for a government-funded welfare state.

Those who said the shape above was not a circle tended to be more politically conservative. Naturally, they were also more likely to be for strengthening drug laws and ‘small’ government.

For the study people were shown all sorts of geometric shapes, not just circles. Some of the shapes were perfect squares, circles or rectangles, some were not. The idea is to test how much people tolerate differences from the norm.

People who are more tolerant of the difference between the shape above and a circle are more likely to accept deviance in society and in others. Those who are stricter about geometry are also stricter about other people.”