Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 20th, 2017

Kicking and screaming (vs. singing and dancing)

Unfair things do happen.

You might be diagnosed with a disease, demoted for a mistake you didn’t make, convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.

The ref might make a bad call, an agreement might be abrogated, a partner might let you down.

Our instinct is to fight these unfairnesses, to succumb if there’s no choice, but to go down kicking and screaming.

We want to make it clear that we won’t accept injustice easily, we want to teach the system a lesson, we want them to know that we’re not a pushover.

But will it change the situation?

Will the diagnosis be changed, the outcome of the call be any different?

What if, instead, we went at it singing and dancing?

What if we walked into our four-year prison sentence determined to learn more, do more and contribute more than anyone had ever dreamed?

What if we saw the derailment of one path as the opportunity to grow or to invent or to find another path?

This is incredibly difficult work, but it seems far better than the alternative.

The Bad B’s of Leadership

The letter B

Bad leadership feels safe like baggy jeans and broken-in sneakers.

Bad leadership has a baffling capacity to walk comfortable paths while the world changes.

Bold leadership, on the other hand, feels dangerous like learning to walk.

Bold leadership feels like almost falling.

The difference between safe and dangerous, bad and bold is:

  1. Declaring hopes. Unshared dreams don’t happen. If you want to get somewhere, tell someone where you’re going.
  2. Forgiving.
  3. Stepping out so someone can step in.
  4. Expecting more from yourself and others.
  5. Trying something untried.
  6. Developing untested skills.
  7. Admitting failure publicly.
  8. Trusting someone new.
  9. Accepting new challenges.
  10. Asking when in doubt.

No wonder there are so many bad leaders. Bad is benign.

Bold leaders step out with UNcertainty.

Bold leaders step toward the edge. Brash leaders mock the edge. Bad leaders are so far from the edge they can’t see it.

From bad to be bold:

  1. Let reluctance show you who you are. What’s in you that blocks your future.
  2. Reject notions of feeling competent. They’re overrated. You aren’t reaching high enough if you make it the first time.
  3. Make growth personal. Tie new skills and challenges to character. How does facing fear, for example, help you become who you want to be? What new character-muscles create your future.
  4. Imagine the new you before she emerges. Describe who you are on the other side of uncertainty.
  5. Rely on trusted advisers, mentors, and coaches.
  6. Continue moving forward – don’t fix failures – leave them behind. Think next time all the time.
  7. Role play in safe environments. Test your wings before leaving the nest.

What can you do that feels like you’re almost falling?

More bad “B” words for leaders:

  1. Belittle.
  2. Beguile.
  3. Baby.
  4. Biased.
  5. Baggage.
  6. Boring. (By the way, anyone interested in me isn’t boring!)
  7. Backstabbing.
  8. Bragging.
  9. Brownnoser.
  10. Bottleneck.

For a longer list of important “B’s” for leaders visit the Leadership Freak Facebook page (7/2/2013).

What good or bad B’s for leaders can you suggest?

Add important leadership words that begin with “C” onFacebook for tomorrow’s post.

Cost reduce or value increase?

Organizations that want to increase their metrics either invest in:

Creating more value for their customers, or

Doing just enough to keep going, but for less effort and money.

During their first decade, the core group at Amazon regularly amazed customers by investing in work that created more value. When you do that, people talk, the word spreads, growth happens.

Inevitably, particularly for public companies, it becomes easier to focus on keeping what you’ve got going, but cheaper.

You may have noticed, for example, that their once legendary customer service hardly seems the same, with 6 or 7 interactions required to get an accurate and useful response.

This happens to organizations regardless of size or stature. It’s a form of entropy.

Unless you’re vigilant, the apparently easy path of cost reduction will distract you from the important work of value creation.

The key question to ask in the meeting is: Are we increasing value or lowering costs?

Race to the top or race to the bottom, it’s a choice.

Clear policy in dealing with terrorism/fundamentalism

Let us go through some deep and rigorous logical thinking which would lead us to a clear policy in dealing with terrorism/fundamentalism.

TWO QUESTIONS, one easy one hard (the second –more uncomfortable– one should come next post).
So step 1 (the easy one).
QUESTION ” Would you agree to deny the freedom of speech to every political party that has in its charter the banning of freedom of speech?”


One step further, “Should a society that has elected to be tolerant be intolerant about intolerance?

This is in fact the incoherence that Goedel (the grandmaster of logical rigor) detected in the constitution while taking the naturalization exam.


I wrote about idiots asking me if one should be “skeptical about skepticism”, using a similar answer put to Popper about ” if one could falsify falsification”.

Please answer. People who agree may not like the next question.

Nassim Taleb on FB


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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