Friday, February 24, 2012


The cliché goes: Anything is possible if you set your mind on it. The thing is, it's not really a cliché—it's the truth.

When this notion sinks in, when you truly believe it, when every bone in your body knows it, it'll happen: life will take you on a journey where anything is possible. Where the destination fades into the background of the journey itself. When every experience, whether good or bad, becomes a well taught lesson.

This is when we're truly alive. This is when we can accomplish anything we set our minds on.

Just believe...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Doing it on your own... not a good idea.

Here's a short recommended "shopping list" of what you will need:

Close friends who will not mind you "wetting their shoulder".
Almost everything that will happen to you, whether good or bad, will be a result of you leaving. It will take up most, if not all, of your time and your friends will be there to hear all about it. Since the throes of leaving are many, your friends are going to get a lot of kvetching. It's important that you have strong friendships that allow you to vent and that offer a shoulder you can lay your head on when needed.

A mentor/coach/person who you trust to "give it to you like it is" and whose advice you will take.
An outside person can offer an unbiased point of view/opinion something which can prove to be priceless. As the pressures of leaving raise (mainly due to financial issues) and your judgment qualities diminish, it's important to have a person who can keep you straight. Be it advice regarding a job, financials, life, whatever... find that person you trust, you'll need them. (PS If you have more than one you're very lucky!)

And most importantly:
A 100%-behind-you significant other.
Your significant other (wife/husband/life partner) is going to go through hell. And just so I'm clear: H-E-L-L, HELL! Sure, you'll be suffering an emotional, stressful fiery inferno, but for them it'll be much tougher. It'll be tougher because they have to keep life going "as usual": taking care of the kids, doing all the house chores, keeping up with their own career workload, all this while you breakdown. And watching you breakdown will not be easy—your pain is their pain, your sufferings theirs. Yet they will have to stay strong, strong enough to pick you up and set you straight... Come to think of it, "Hell" is an understatement!
When their energy levels founder—and they will—keep the above in mind and do your best to find the patience and energy to be there for them when they give.

I'd like to take this opportunity and thank my gang: my friends, my coach, my "Lifey" and most importantly my wife, my rock, who no matter how hard I came crashing down, stood strong and assuring. I couldn't have done it without you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Report: Outliers

I recently finished re-reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a terrific book, but re-reading it today gave it a whole new flavor for me.

The book talks about outliers (something that lies outside normal experience) and explains—with scientific precision almost—why they occur. More interesting, to me at least, is that by doing so Malcolm teaches perspectives, and how important it is to look at a situation from different angles/levels in order to clearly understand it.

Do you know why during the 80's thru to the 90's Korean Air was the airline most prone to crash? You're probably thinking: lousy flight crews or lousy maintenance, and lousy flight crews or maintenance equals airplane crashes. It's plain math (no pun intended). Intuitively it seems like the correct answer, but I'm afraid you would be wrong: The maintenance was excellent and the crews were highly trained. So why did they crash? They crashed—believe it or not—because of cultural issues. Because of something called the Power Distance Index (PDI). Something which caused first officers to, well, fail their duty. So much so that crashing seemed an "easier" option than saving the plane (you gotta read the book to get a full sense of this, it's crazy!)

If you enjoy looking at situations from different perspectives (or learning to do so) and are looking for a witty well-written book then I recommend you read Outliers—I couldn't put it down.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Interesting articles

If you are leaving the business to a managerial/senior position, I really think you should read the following 2 articles.

Managing people in the "real" world could be a lot different than in the family business, mostly because in the family business the buck stopped at your dad and people kinda knew that. If you're planning on joining a large firm, the onus will be on you (with no fallback on dad).

Jeff Haden writes for Inc. and recently posted these 2 articles:

  • The first is about what your employees need most from you—their leader.
  • The second is about pay and the need to look at it from a different, more personal perspective.

They are both short, well-written articles worth the ten minutes they'll take you to read.