Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 1/16/2023
I’m sitting here wondering about what to write. But it’s not what you might think. I’m not trying to come up with a subject. I’m trying to “cull” from a plethora of topics.
Michelangelo famously said that he created the magnificent David from a single piece of marble by cutting away everything that didn’t look like David. I’ve found that most selections by committee—for example choosing a keynote speaker or a book proposal for publication—are not made by identifying the best option but by “deselecting” lesser desirable submissions, until just one remains.
It seems to me we need to become comfortable with the ambiguity of “a range of winners” and not just one. Oh, I know that just one horse wins the Derby (and, if by a tenth of a second, is it really the “best horse”?), but there can easily be five vacation sites which are equally attractive to me. Why agonize and waste time to find the “best” when they’re all excellent?
I don’t know how many times I’ve told coaching clients to simply choose any of the marketing alternatives I’ve suggested and move on it, and stop trying to decide which is optimal for them. They can always get to the others, but not if they don’t start somewhere.
When I’ve seen something that triggers an idea for dissemination, I don’t agonize over whether it’s a podcast or video, blog post or newsletter item, speech inclusion or information for a book. I just get it out there. I never self-edit or critique and wonder if I should have done something different with it, because I know there will always be more ideas and channels to express them.
But, I digress. I’m just about at the bottom on this column and need to think of something to write about for you to read Monday morning.
We need to stop feverishly reporting the drama of approaching hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and other inevitabilities of nature, and feverishly work harder to prevent the devastation and deal with what we can’t prevent far more effectively.
They say the best place to have a cardiac arrest and survive is on a football field or in an airport. That’s not funny. We don’t live on football fields or in airports.
Every morning, we choose between milk or tea or coffee. Usually, I know what I like, but I don’t rule out changing my idea sometimes. The editing process is one of the most important parts in everyday life. The same is with my work: mistakes are part of the decision-making process. —Maurizio Cattelan
Observe, orient, decide, act. It’s fighter pilot terminology. If you have the faster OODA loop in a dogfight, you live. The other person dies. In Silicon Valley, the OODA loop of your decision-making is effectively what differentiates your ability to succeed. —Reid Hoffman
No one chooses the absolutely “best” alternative every time. The idea is to choose a successful one. And people can choose to be resilient every time. —Alan Weiss