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On learning

25 May
  • Do what you love doesn’t mean, do what you would like to do most this second. Even Einstein probably had moments when he wanted to have a cup of coffee, but told himself he ought to finish what he was working on first…
    The rule about doing what you love assumes a certain length of time. It doesn’t mean, do what will make you happiest this second, but what will make you happiest over some longer period, like a week or a month.
    Unproductive pleasures pall eventually. After a while you get tired of lying on the beach. If you want to stay happy, you have to do something…
    It’s hard to find work you love; it must be, if so few do. So don’t underestimate this task. And don’t feel bad if you haven’t succeeded yet. In fact, if you admit to yourself that you’re discontented, you’re a step ahead of most people, who are still in denial. If you’re surrounded by colleagues who claim to enjoy work that you find contemptible, odds are they’re lying to themselves. Not necessarily, but probably…
    Constraints give your life shape. Remove them and most people have no idea what to do: look at what happens to those who win lotteries or inherit money. Much as everyone thinks they want financial security, the happiest people are not those who have it, but those who like what they do. So a plan that promises freedom at the expense of knowing what to do with it may not be as good as it seems.
    Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Most people fail. Even if you succeed, it’s rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or forties. But if you have the destination in sight you’ll be more likely to arrive at it. If you know you can love work, you’re in the home stretch, and if you know what work you love, you’re practically there.

    tags: inspiration career work advice paul_graham essay life wp

  • When a customer calls the support number, sends an email, or talks to a store employee, he is initiating a conversation. You have his undivided attention, even if he’s annoyed, and that makes it a crucial brand-defining moment. He’s hoping for a conversation, but bracing for an ordeal. He knows you’ve collected information on him for your own purposes and wondering why you don’t do something useful with it. Not useful to you–useful to him.
    Synchronized data is worth the expense because it’s a hallmark of human interactions. If I talk to a friend and they keep asking me for information I know they already have, I have a right to get irritated. In the age of Big Data, I hold brands to the same standards. The few that meet those standards earn my trust and loyalty. But if you’re hoping to use personal data successfully, there are a few things you have to get right…
    1. Give your employees the right tools.
    2. Let the customer know you know. Then listen.
    3. Give the customer a sense of control

    tags: data customer_service amazon big_data analytics wp

  • When and where do you like to read?
    When I can. I read less fiction these days, and it worries me, although my recent discovery that wearing reading glasses makes the action of reading more pleasurable is, I think, up there with discovering how to split the atom or America. Neither of which I did. (I clarify this for readers in a hurry.)…

    If I started it, I’d read it to the end: until I found myself a judge of the Arthur C. Clarke Awards in the U.K., and obliged to read every science-fiction book published in the U.K. in the year of eligibility. I was a judge for two years. The first year, I read everything. The second year, I read a lot of first chapters and took delight in hurling books across the room if I knew I would not be reading the second chapter.
    Then I’d go and pick them up again, because they are books, after all, and we are not savages.

    tags: neil reading habits books neilgaiman wp

  • Deciding to cut options can be terrifying — but it is the very essence of what we mean by making strategic decisions. The Latin root of the word “decision” — cis — literally means to cut…
    Jobs said in an interview with Betsy Morris in 2008, “People think focus means saying ‘yes’ to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying ‘no’ to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.”
    Since my initial conversation at Apple, I have made a point of asking leaders to define strategy. I’ve polled more than 200 leaders since and they have universally defined strategy as: “Saying what you want to do and how to do it.” Not one person has opted for Jobs’ definition.

    tags: leadership management leaders work apple jobs strategy wp

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Links

 

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