Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Trust Edge

I am thinking about writing a book called the 2 minute solution (or perhaps the 3 minute solution). Fill it with habits that take 2 minutes. Suggest people adopt only a few. So I am experimenting with some. For example, I never shower (and I like to shower daily) without doing 2 minutes of hard exercise first. This can be pushups (and I am sore after doing only 100 pushups for 3 days), lunges, squats, squat jumps(if I have no weights), or run 1/3 mile. I am not sure why but I am finding even that simple habit to be daunting.

Another 2 minute idea - write a list of what I am grateful for (and I know that would take way more than 2 minutes but ...).

Still thinking about it and for that matter I need to decide if writing a book is my best use of time. To a large extent, writing has been commodicized (and worse, some writers even make up words like commodicized). And I am too much of a business person to not look at where the value choke points are. I also do not want to contribute to the "noise" if I am not adding enough value.


I am sure it will surprise everyone that I read a book.

The book was "The Trust Edge - How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships and a Stronger Bottom Line" by David Horsager. I love the way the full titles of books these days describe the book. "Trust, not money, is the currency of business and life".

The gist of the message is leaders need trust and there is a lack of trust in the world today. Horsager cites numerous examples of low trust and explains the damage that causes. He also describes the value of having high trust. He goes on to explain how to gain trust.

I know that with trust, leaders can do great things and with low trust, nothing happens.

He talks about the 8 pillars of Trust. One I particularly liked was 3 - Character - People notice those who do what is right over what is easy.

There are sections in the book that echo those found in most self help books (like my Time Management book). It even has a section on time management and how to handle email more efficiently. He includes what he calls magnetic traits with corresponding repellant traits. Things like Grateful vs Thankless, Good Listener vs Talker, Optimistic vs Pessimistic, Honest/real vs Exaggerating. I can identify with each trait. I do not see them as black and white, rather they are all on a continuum.

I loved the many quotes throughout. Gives me many more to tweet. There was even another quote for me about habits by Charles Noble "First we make our habits, then our habits make us.

The book is well researched with 13 pages of footnotes.

Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why People Fail

Today will be a great day. I am already feeling productive. Ran 5 miles. Read a book. Life is good.

Part of what added to my productivity this morning was planning ahead(said redundantly for emphasis). I planned last night what I was going to do today. I even had my running clothes set out. Makes it all happen seamlessly.

I worry a bit that I am a busyholic. I always seem to be swamped. I know that it is my choosng though so I must like it like this.

The book I read was Why People Fail - The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them by Simon Reynolds. I normally like reading about success although I do always say Fail Often, Fail Fast, Fail Cheap.

I loved the book. It starts with a chapter "Unclear Purpose". It is so obvious - the main cause of failure is not lack of clarity. "Vagueness leads to failure". The chapter goes on with concrete examples of how you can set your purpose. It even suggests setting a purpose for the week. For me, purpose comes before goals. The book tends to lump them together.

There is a good chapter on low productivity and what to do about it (perhaps a trick like planning ahead might work).

And one of my favourites - Daily Rituals (or habits). Something that I have blogged a lot about.

I guess if I have any beef with the book, it is the negativity of the title. It really is a success book.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just Tidbits and Links

I notice there is talk of a total cell phone ban while driving including handsfree and with a headset. I have mixed feelings. I am such a productivity person that it would make car time even less productive. Not sure how much safer it would make things (although I hate unsafe drivers too). I do think it will drive voice technology (voice dialing).

Hatsize (one of my investments) is giving away a free Cloud Automation Guide.

Honestlynow (one of my investments) now has no password required. Will be interesting to see how that impacts the numbers.


My brother Glen published his solar results on his blog (supporting another investment Estill Energy).


Karma411 (you get the idea - another investment) got good mention in an article on crowd sourcing.


I was interviewed by Collaborative Innovation.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Reviving Work Ethic

I read a short book - Reviving Work Ethic - A Leaders Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce by Eric Chester.

Sometimes I like short books as they suit my short attention span.

I love the topic. One of my strengths and one of the things that I attribute my business success to is my high work ethic. I have often wondered why I am so driven. Interestingly, the people I seemed to attract in business also had tremendous work ethic. EMJ and SYNNEX were high work ethic companies.

For me, work ethic is about hours and time but equally importantly about focus and productivity with that time.

I was correctly "called out" for a previous post that implied that young people feel entitled and are not willing to do the work to get the reward. There is a perhaps a part of us that wants to think "when we were young, we worked all the time and walked uphill both ways to school - not like the young kids today".

I do know that work ethic is partly tied to energy. And as people age, their energy decreases. I wrote a guest post on "Ways to keep your work ethic".

I know my work ethic is less now than when I was in my 20s. I am wondering if I need to change my list of strengths and remove that one (by choice). I ask myself if I really want to be the hardest working. It has been a competitive advantage but...

Reviving work ethic talks about 4 quadrants of workers - the Idle, the Lucky, the Cheating and the Valued. (Sad that 3 of the 4 quadrants seem negative).

Chester then writes about how to move employees to the Valued quadrant by techniques like find your style, develop trust, value tact and timing, tell stories and cast a vision.

It is a good and thought provoking book.


I wrote a post on Market Research on CMA Blog.


I have long known that email is a productivity tool but also a huge time suck. A multi billion dollar French company - Atos is doing away with email! Banning it. And they are a tech company. Will be an interesting experiment.

I have blogged previously on How to Deal with Email Volume.

I would worry that they would become insular without it.