Think Like A Shark « Manage Better Now

This article is from a blog I follow that is always chock full of great ideas and quick bits of inspiration for managers, leaders, and the average person moving through life.

The most recent article does a really great job of reminding us that we sometimes get overwhelmed by things because we try to take in the macro concept instead of the micro, systemic components that make up the greater macro system.  In other words, as I mentioned in my comment on the blog article, small wins are still wins, and are steps toward a larger goal.  Enjoy the article, and ask yourself, what is a small win I can experience today that leads me on the path I want?

Think Like A Shark « Manage Better Now.

Change is good for our government too.

As I was reading an article on Yahoo and then began reading the comments associated with the article I came upon a few excellent words of wisdom.  I felt as though one in specific was important enough to pass along and save for future sharing as well.  Here is what I read:

REAL CHANGE will ONLY happen if WE make it happen!!

Politicians, ALL politicians will not serve the common people of this nation until they ARE common people of this nation. Politicians are RICH to begin with or else they cannot run as an “effective” candidate. They do not relate to common people and speak only in euphemistic idealism and platitudes of populist idealism. None of which they have any intentions of following through with. Bush did it. Clinton did it, Obama is definitely doing it. There will be NO CHANGE with him, or anyone under the current “system” of government we now endure!

The truth is simple: REAL CHANGE will ONLY happen if WE make it happen!!

Time for us to get control of the incredibly dysfunctional form our government has devolved into and hit the “reset button.” This will require an effort equal to what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, and trying to happen in Libya. Until we have common people in the legislature and running the government, you are just going to change the faces but NEVER SOLVE THE PROBLEMS. You may think these are unrealizable goals, but then, how realistic was it when the Colonial Army took on the British in the war for independence? We won that one, too, in case you’ve forgotten….

Here’s were we begin “budget reform”….

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. Term Limits.
8 years only, one of the possible options below..
A. Two 4-year Senate terms
B. 4 Two-year House terms
C. One 8-year Senate term and Two 4-Year House terms
D. One 8 year term for Supreme Court Justices
If term limits are requisite for the President, Vice-President, and State Governors, then they most certainly are equally imperative based on the same principles for ALL of our legislators and even the judicial high seats.

2. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make these contracts with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

9. Make all lobbyists and special interest groups illegal. They have no basis or rights for their existence except the greed of the oligarchs they represent. This is the heart of our dysfunctional government system. This is “legal bribery” in America and the Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

10. All campaign contributions, corporate or private, cannot exceed $250 max. No candidate can use their OWN money to campaign with. This violates the constitutional principles of equal opportunities for ALL people in the nation. If candidates qualify for federal campaign monies, then that is what they can use. Otherwise, they hit the trail like everyone else for the last 200 years.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

This was written by a poster named Triad (I want to make sure to give credit where it is due).  I believe that our government, for all it is run as a corporation, needs some serious restructuring, process improvement, ethics and cultural training, leadership development, and constant 360 feedback processes.  Triad’s posting speaks to that eloquently, and I think as the American people we need to take the responsibility back for running our own government if we want to see real improvement.

What is your action word?

Right now, my literary addiction is “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell.  This is the second book that I have read by him, the first being “Blink!”, and I can’t say enough about how insightful and though provoking his works are.  I’m not quite half-way through “The Tipping Point”, and have already taken close to four pages of notes on ideas and thoughts that have been inspired by the book, so I thought I would share some here.

First I suppose I should clarify the purpose of the book for those that may not have read it.  The premise behind the book is that at any moment an epidemic can happen, and there are many components to understanding how and why.  It would seem that there is an underlying implication that through this knowledge, one can potentially instigate an epidemic of their own (hopefully for positive purposes of course) in business, communication, etc.

In the beginning of the book, a powerful example is given about an action word that actually initiates and almost inexplicably forces someone to take action; the word is yawn.  As Malcolm explains, just typing or writing the word can make you do it.  The same can be said for reading the word yawn, either to yourself or out loud.  When you hear someone yawn, say the word yawn, or see them yawn it most likely will actually cause you to yawn.  Just as you have been reading this paragraph, have you yawned yet?  Have you felt tired?  Amazing how powerful that one little word is, isn’t it?

With that thought in mind, I can’t help but feel as though this is applicable in many business, academic, and political situations.  I would venture to say that I am not the only one who has sat in a meeting, or on a conference call, or in some other gathering where the statement is made, “We need to get people to take action on this,” or the question asked, “How do we get forward motion with this?”  Is it possible that one word could really be powerful enough to create, spark, infect, and grow action?  If the word “yawn” is powerful enough to evoke an action simply by reading, writing, speaking, or hearing it, what other words could do the same in a different context?  Is it a real word, or one that is made-up?  I have to believe that there are other words out there that can initiate an epidemic within an organization or situation.

Certainly some words can cause you to cringe, or salivate, or smile, or emote in some other fashion, so it would stand that there are other words that could be that powerful.  I’m sure this was, in some fashion, the premise behind the using the word “synergize” or “synergistic”.  There is a real word as a foundation (“Synergetic” is actually a word, and yes, I had to check it with Merriam-Websters!), and the meaning of the real word is similar to the faux word, but the feeling expected from the faux word is obviously expected to be much more powerful.  Unfortunately, I would guess that I’m not alone in the feeling that it became such a “buzz word” that most people almost sneer in disgust at the very mention of it.  But is there another word out there that can actually work to accomplish the end goal of generating action?

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to this question, but I think it’s certainly food for thought, and I believe that in each interaction where the question, “How do we get people to take action on this” comes up this should be a part of the conversation.  Searching for a word or even a phrase that could ignite an epidemic of action and production could be the difference in the success or failure of your next initiative.

So what are your thoughts?  What is your action word or phrase that is going to make the difference?