Can’t Seem To Work Together

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I wrote a piece on Facebook a few days ago about the teacher strike in Oklahoma and its conclusion and results.

My compliments and thanks to all the teachers in Oklahoma, and the associated supported staff and leadership, who stood up to the Oklahoma legislature and governor and called for change. You’ve made a difference.

Mary Fallon, you were AWOL. You weren’t there on the ground trying to help find a solution. You were elsewhere. You should be embarrassed.

Now it is time to hold the legislature and our candidates for the next governor accountable for what they said and what they didn’t say.

The real issue in Oklahoma is that our legislature can’t solve problems, can’t work together, can’t collaborate, can’t compromise. Some are ideologues who can’t work with others. Some only want victory for ‘their party’ and some are just plain idiotic. I say vote them all out. Let’s put new people in our government offices and see if the new legislature can work together to solve our problems and move us into the future.

Probably we need to revise taxation on companies and industries, probably we need to consolidate school districts, probably we need to change tax structures, probably we need to reconsider what has been done in the past and find a better path to the future. Let’s elect people who can get us there.

Teachers, thank you for starting this process.

I keep reflecting on how hard it is for our elected officials at the state (and of course the Federal level) to work together. We’ve become polarized and we’ve elected people into offices who are ideologues and simply can not compromise or collaborate.

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There are times when you need to get together and figure out how to fix or improve something and it might require new thinking, a fresh approach, a break from the past, or heaven forbid, a reversal on a previous position. It just seems to me, that the number of ideas that one should cast into concrete and never reconsider or reevaluate is very small.

Perhaps, just be uncompromising and dogmatic on the side of Kindness. Maybe that is the rule to keep at all times. Make the decisions, judgments, rules, and laws that err on the side of Kindness.

Elections are circling around soon. Let’s find some people at the state and federal levels who can solve problems, move us forward and move us more in the direction of tolerance and kindness.

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Trust & Fraud When Vulnerable

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When I was a kid, our Dentist called months after I had been in for a cleaning and told my parents that he had been reviewing old x-rays and noticed 1-2 cavities on my teeth that they had not spotted earlier.

Even back then as a kid, it struck me that he could just be making this up because he needed more money. But there is no way to test this without going to the expense of another doctor for more x-rays.

For some reason, I’ve always remembered this.

Just recently, another friend had age-related, routine, diagnostics done at a special medical center and was told there were concerns leading to more tests, a procedure and then more tests out into the future all at substantial expense but all leading to no serious issue found.  And then this person had two more friends have the same diagnostics, at the same place, leading to the similar results and test and again with no issue found.

We are so scared of the C word that we jump through every single hoop to test, evaluate, diagnose and re-test. Our fear of the C word is fully justified as we all have stories. However, that fear makes us very vulnerable to fraud, wasted time and money, possible harm from the tests themselves and then, of course, fake miracle cures.

I do not know the solution to this problem other than to ask around when needing professional help in any matter (doctor, accountant, lawyer, etc.), seek 2nd opinions on serious matters, and try to remain calm and wise in your decisions.

Regarding the Dentist, I vaguely recall that we didn’t stay with him much longer. Can’t even recall if we went back to have those ‘cavities’ filled. That same Dentist once was needing to remove a tooth in my mouth and he deadened the wrong side of the mouth and was about to start cutting before I stopped him.

 

 

Change Coming Faster and Sooner

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I found this article a few days ago entitled This is How Big Oil Will Die which somehow I had not seen before. I read a lot about autonomous vehicles and have written several times about them elsewhere. My daughter and son-in-law have a Tesla.

There are big changes coming with electric vehicles and with autonomous vehicles. The disruptions to many incumbents are going to be huge and this will likely be starting sooner than expected. I know a friend who just sold his auto-related business over just these concerns.

The article above approaches it from an economics point of view and after sharing it with an advisor, he shared another think tank report that says the same thing only much deeper and with data to back up the points.

Really, the only question is how fast will this get here and will governments, in the interests of the incumbents, slow it down. Personally, I think governments should help accelerate this as much as possible. States and countries would be wise to make it happen sooner.

 

Things of Interest

A few interesting things I’ve found recently:

Am I Invisible? The Pain-Relieving Response to Being Rejected or Excluded is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. Seems to me that we are disconnected from one another more than ever and that more and more people are very lonely. I’ve been thinking about this article for a week now.

Remember the deepest desire of the human heart is to belong … to be welcomed … to know you are seen and worthy of kindness.

Warren Buffett’s ‘20 Slot’ Rule: How to Simplify Your Life and Maximize Your Results is an article about focus. Much like a prior post on Mindsets and Focus, this provides an interesting way to think about what is important to you and where you should invest your time, energy and thoughts. You’ve only got some many opportunities…

The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen by Andy Raskin struck me as a clear outline of how to sell your idea. A clear, step-by-step outline of how to sell your idea to someone else. I’m thinking of where I can apply this outline to something soon.

How (and Why) to Find, Hire (and Promote) a Utility Player by Karin Hurt has some thoughts on how to be really indispensable to an organization or team. She outlines some skills, and really a mindset to embrace, that can make you indispensable.

A rather interesting article called, The Status Update Life  with some thought-provoking ideas about social media and the compulsion to post status updates.

“You can take the person out of contributing to social media but you cannot take the social status needs out of the person.” — Taylor Wallace

and finally a good article about how to develop your self-confidence entitled, How to Activate Extreme Self-Confidence and Destroy Chronic Anxiety and Fear   by Anthony Moore.

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Calendar Invites and Friction

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If you are using an electronic calendar organizer like Google Calendar and you routinely invite others to meetings using that tool, please think about how you send invites carefully and plan ahead.

Name the event something that makes sense on ALL the recipients’ calendars, not just your own

If your name is Betty and you are meeting with John next Tuesday, you don’t send an invite titled ‘Meet with John’ because, on John’s calendar, it will say that the meeting is with himself in the title. The event perhaps looks reasonable on your calendar, but it looks ridiculous on the other end. And, you don’t want him to have to do other work on his end to make it reasonable. You want to be able to just accept the invite and he is done.

Put the full location on the Where line

Furthermore, on the ‘Where’ line, put the full, exact, correct location for the meeting. If in a conference room in a building, put THE CONFERENCE ROOM NAME and THE FULL ADDRESS OF WHERE THE CONFERENCE ROOM BUILDING IS LOCATED every time. Again, just like the previous hint about the title, make the ‘Where’ right for all participants. You don’t want other participants to have to call at the last minute to figure out where the meeting is located.

One further reason to get the address right is that many times car navigation systems or phone driving directions are taken directly from the calendar entry without any typing. Get it right on the calendar so it can be used for navigation.

If a phone call, put the full phone number with area code in the title

Recently I’ve received:

  • an invite with a completely incorrect address where I’m supposed to drive to the meeting so I had to be a detective to figure it out.
  • an invite to a meeting with just the conference room name in the ‘where’ and I’m not located at that company and will be driving there.
  • an invite with a meaningless line in the title. I’m meeting someone at a restaurant for a catch-up and the title is the name of the restaurant. If I look at that entry on my phone in a week, I’ll have to open it up to see who is attending.
  • and an invite where I’m meeting with myself.

I’ve gotten into the habit of doing invite titles like these:

  • Talk – Tim/Mark,
  • Lunch – Tim/Mark,
  • Account Review – Tim/Sam/Mark
  • Call – Tim/Mark      Mark call Tim @ 1-405-555-5555

I’m surprised at how many people don’t get this right or persist in sending invites that are focused on the sender’s point of view.

 

 

 

Mindsets and Focus

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There is a wonderful article to read and think about regarding our mindsets and how we think about our own limitations. Everything is not rosy all the time and for many life is hard, but for all of us, there are limitations that are self-imposed. It is probably important for us to be aware of this way of thinking and that for some of the things we think about ourselves, we are limiting ourselves and nothing else is limiting us.

I wrote a few week ago about my recent experiences in note taking on an iPad and Pencel. I’ve continued using this toolset and have not drifted back to pen and paper as of yet.

I’ve been fascinated with Sketchnotes and have purchased his book and worked through it. I wrote back in 2015 about my struggles and ideas with notetaking. I’m trying to get more visual and sketch in notes and I’m definitely capturing pictures and dropping them into my notes. The key to making this work with these tools is to be able to fast and relatively effortlessly (little friction) so you can capture the information on the fly while the talk/event is underway in real time. Related I read an interesting note about Da Vinci and how he took notes.

I find that I take the notes, but then rarely go back to them. I think the process of taking the notes is what keeps me focused while listing and helps me organize the thoughts I’m hearing. Very rarely do I go back and look at the notes. But sometimes I do…

How do you take notes? Do you take a lot of notes? Do you sketch as you take notes? Are you using any electronic tools to do this?  What have you learned about how to do this?

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Recommendations

I just finished the book The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life by Travis Macy and if you are interested in endurance topics, not quitting, grit and pressing on through hard things, then this is the book for you. I’m a runner and I’ve done 4 marathons and just PR’d this past December in Dallas. I’m not fast at all and I know one of my weaknesses is my mental toughness. I’ve read a few books on the mental side of running and this one is by far the best. If you are interested in pressing on through hard things, then this book is highly recommended.

My current favorite podcast is The Knowledge Project: A Farnam Street Podcast which is full of interesting interviews with interesting people. Recommended.  You should sign up for their email newsletter too.

My home state of Oklahoma has a dysfunctional legislature and executive branch. I heard one of our state legislators speak the other day about the most recent failure and she (a Republican) indicated that until we vote out people who are ideologues, nothing will improve. We need people who can think and compromise and move government forward in a constructive fashion. She took shots at the Republicans who wouldn’t raise taxes no matter what and she took shots at the Democrats who were willing to ‘let the state burn down’ in order to hopefully get more Democrats elected next time.  We need to vote these people out.  And, we need to know what our own legislators are voting and engage with them.

I saw this sign the other day while on a run. IMG_3341A friend suggested it was so the birds would know where to land. Another friend pointed out that this an example of our government dollars at work.