Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 09/07/2020
I’ve been observing (it’s cheap, available, and gives me material) the actions and behaviors of people as we proceed through uncharted waters. Advice on Linkedin, for example, comes in the form of an avalanche of self-produced videos which tend to range from the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous. (I love the woman whose hair keeps falling in front of her face.) Articles on business development proliferate in everything from the HBR to, well, newsletters like this! (I thought I’d beat you to that!)
There is an immanent human condition which seems to convince us that we need to listen to others who are publishing or speaking, because they must be experts, more informed than we are. Let me state this clearly: Publishing a book or speaking on stage doesn’t make one an expert. And to quote the Yoda-like George Carlin, reading someone else’s book means it can’t be “self-help”!
What I’ve learned is that we need to work smart, not hard, focus on results, not tasks. Those observations I’ve been making show me a cloud of dust, all kinds of gravel and dirt and detritus kicked up as people swirl about in flurries of activity, vainly trying to overcome adverse conditions and ambiguity, volatility and disruption. But the dust never settles and they can’t see what’s really around them. Hence, they can’t see the real opportunities within their grasp.
Stop and think and observe. It’s not important or helpful to be fretting about the past or dreading the future. It’s important to be looking around in awareness to understand where you are. More often than not, you’ll be the only one with a clear view.
My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.
Never mistake motion for action.