links for 2009-05-17

17 May
  • This year’s final Nebula Awards ballot has been released. Congrats to all of the F&SF authors who made the cut:
    * Kiosk by Bruce Sterling
    * Memorare by Gene Wolfe
    * Stars Seen Through Stone by Lucius Shepard
    * The Helper and His Hero by Matthew Hughes
    * Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter by Geoff Ryman
    * The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang
    * Titanium Mike Saves the Day by David D. Levine
  • You’re entering a special place in our society. People will be awed by your expertise. You’ll be placed in a position of privilege. You’ll live well, people will defer to you. call you by your title…
    I know what this is like to some extent because in some ways you and I are alike. We both study the human being. And we both try to offer relief — you through medicine, and I through laughter — but we both try to reduce suffering. We’ve both learned difficult disciplines that have taken years to master, and we’ve both dedicated ourselves to years of hard work. And we both charge a lot.
    We live in a society that has decided to reward my profession and yours, when we succeed in them, very highly…It’s easy to think that because our society grants us privilege that we’re entitled to it…
    there is one more thing you can learn about the body that only a non-doctor would tell you:
    The head bone is connected to the heart bone – and don’t let them come apart.
  • 2 haunting melodies (yes i know the cliche has been done before, but it's befitting), in an awesome new voice.
    (tags: music)
  • I have uncovered only six variables that matter as we face transition: health, wealth, relationships, meaning, contribution and happiness. If something else matters, I have never heard any executive mention it. Most of the leaders that I know have their health, they have enough wealth to live comfortably, and most have good relationships with family and friends.
    That leaves meaning, contribution and happiness, which are closely connected. The happiest "transitioned" executives I have met are still making a contribution to the world, they are finding meaning in what they do and finding contentment in what they do today – not just reflecting on what they used to be.
    Think about "life after work." How can you make a contribution? How can you find meaning? What will make you happy? You might have 20 or more years to live after your primary work is finished. How can you make this time count for yourself and the people around you?
    Now is a good time to start planning.
  • I find that the 20 flaws that hold most people back are rarely flaws of skill, intelligence, or personality. They are challenges in interpersonal behavior, often leadership behavior. They are the egregious everyday annoyances that make your workplace noxious. They are transactional flaws performed by one person against others.
  • The more successful we are, the more positive reinforcement we get, the more we fall into what I call in the book ‘superstition trap’. CEOs live in a strange world where they get positive reinforcement all the time so it’s very difficult for any CEO not to believe that. I was once working with the head of the US army in the New Generals School and the first thing he tells the new Generals is: “Remember, as soon as you get those stars, everyone will laugh at your jokes, but you’re not that funny, and everyone will write down your comments but you’re not that smart, and women will want to have sex with you but you’re not that handsome. It’s just your title. Don’t let it go to your head”. Those words are so wise. I try to reinforce that with my clients. They’re not saluting you, they’re saluting your stars and the second you think it’s all about you, its over. You’ve to keep listening, you’ve to keep learning, you’ve to make mistakes and you’ve to apologise for them.
  • This exaltation of leaders is one of the root causes of some of the simply awful leadership we've witnessed and experienced over the last decade or so. If you turn leaders into semi-divine beings, you shouldn't be surprised if they act like that the rules that apply to the rest of us don't apply to them…
    If you're responsible for the performance of a group, you must do leadership work, management work and supervision work. Don't assume that you can neglect one kind of work. They're all important. Don't waste your time worrying about whether you are a leader or a manager. Just get to work.
  • Limited time and having commitments to other people creates pressure. Pressure feeds productivity. Unless you are an highly disciplined person who can add deadlines to yourself and stick to it, having time restraints and/or commitments to people can actually make you more productive. There is a lot written about making more time for ourselves so we can do more, but is this the right area to be focusing on? Try using that lack of time as an incentive to get more done.
  • That's why I hate salons too 🙂
    "Having wiped off one-third of my salary in three hours, and finding out that, genetically speaking, my skin loves to burst into pimples, I head home with a new hairstyle, a “lightened” face and neatly painted fingernails. At home, my mother opens the door, looks at me lovingly and says, “Hi, bad day at work?” "
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Posted by on May 17, 2009 in Links


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