Latest Observations

On the Danger of Apprehending Beauty

Topic:Personal
Posted on:Oct 22, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Paul C

Beauty is not apprehended; it is appreciated. It is the apprehension of beauty that costs us beauty itself. The harder we grasp for it, the more damage we inflict upon it. That which is most beautiful is most free. The moment we capture beauty is the moment we diminish it.

On the Importance of Capability and Character

Topic:Philosophy Topic:Communication
Posted on:Oct 21, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

In the end the decision to trust someone to perform a service for you can be summarized into two questions: “Can they?” and “will they?”  Indeed, these questions thought of differently are the drivers of two positive conclusions that the marketer must achieve: the “you can” and the “you will.”

“You can” translates into capability. “You will” translates into character. Your prospective customer must believe both. Trust does not hinge on character alone, but also on capability. The nurturing phase of the lead managing process is about building trust. All collateral should serve to foster these two conclusions: that “you can” and that “you will.”

On the Medium as Grafted into the Message

Topic:Communication
Posted on:Oct 20, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Austin M

The medium changes the message. We may wish it were not so but that does not help. One must be sensitive to how the medium necessarily contextualizes the message. This is why, for instance, trying to take the transcript of a lecture and turning it into a book is so difficult. The medium is grafted into the message.

On Leadership and the Importance of Unreasonable Demands

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Oct 17, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Anthony W

The leader must be careful of accepting good reasons for bad outcomes. When good people do good work, they may still experience a bad outcome. Thus because they are good, and because their work is good, they can sometimes offer a good reason for a bad outcome. The empathetic leader may be tempted to accept this good reason as a good excuse. Beware: Some outcomes are so important that no excuse is acceptable. In such cases, the leader’s team may believe their leader to be unreasonable, but unreasonable (unacceptable) outcomes demand “unreasonable” leaders. 

On the Quest for Wholeness

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Oct 16, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Austin M

I think the internal quest to be fully human is a quest for wholeness. Our divided selves reflect our distance from the ideal. As we pursue full integration; an undivided heart, we are in fact moving towards the actualization of our person. This pursuit inevitably integrates all of the pathos within an individual. Such an integration artfully encompasses symmetry.

On the Priority of Velocity over Speed

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Oct 15, 2014
Method:Previous Writings
Captured by:Austin M

We need to look ahead at our writing output to determine if our processing velocity is in sync with our producing velocity. If there is a wide differential, then we have to adjust the entire approach. Sometimes velocity is more important than speed.

On the Means to the Right Answer

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Oct 14, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Paul C

To build a great organization, the leader must develop an effective team that knows how to engage in a "thorough process." This is a strength that could become a weakness. This thorough process can be an impediment. Deliberation may become delay. The leader needs to understand when a thorough process is unnecessary. The key is this: We are after the right answer. “Thorough process” is a means to that end. In situations where risk can be properly controlled, the leader may engage in a simpler way to get to the right answer. In the end, the leader will be judged by the right answer, not the beauty of the process.

On Negation as the Determination of Possibilities

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Oct 13, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

A movement in the space-time continuum represents (ultimately) a negation. The positive cancels other possibilities. The positive is the concrete that fills the void of the possible.

If I move my hand to select an item from a shelf, I am negating all of the other items I may have selected instead. I am negating all of the other movements I might have made instead of selecting anything. I am negating a myriad of possibilities. Sartre understood the power of negation as it relates to the positive, but I see negation as directly connected to the termination of possibilities. 

If I had a large house with many items burning to the ground, imagine I am only able to rush in and bring just one out. That particular item serves as an indicator as to who I am and what matters to me. Its power is not derived only from what it is, but rather from what it is not. What about the other 10,000 items I abandoned? If I had $50,000 hidden in the closest but a photograph of my child on the borough, and if I choose the photograph over the money, what does that say about me? Not choosing the $50,000 tells me more about the photograph. It provides additional information. The myriad of negations in my life, the elimination of possibilities in favor of what I move from possible to actual, is a profound indication of my essence.

On Leadership and Giving Your Team Ownership

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Oct 10, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:David J

Sometimes the leader knows the answer, or perhaps he knows the most efficient way to get to the answer. Still, it may be best to allow his people to overcomplicate the answer, to overcomplicate the method by which they get to the answer. By doing so, he gives them a sense of genuine ownership and contribution. Beware; your attempt to show them the best way may really be your attempt to show them your “superiority.” 

On the Difference between Clarity and Simplicity

Topic:Communication
Posted on:Oct 9, 2014
Method:Dictation
Captured by:David J

Leaders must grow comfortable with paradox and nuance. Clarity does not equate with simplicity.  Simplicity does not equate with easy.