Friday, April 29, 2005

From FC

I love reading Fast Company. Here's some good excerpts:

An article on leadership entitled Borrrrring!:
    Under legendary acting teacher Jacques Lecoq, founder of École Jacques Lecoq, Gaulier learned a secret: You can achieve any great vision that you have of yourself -- if your work gives you pleasure

    < snip >

    "So does one need to go to drama school to learn how to do all this?" I ask Gaulier. No, he says: "Life is a school. Experience teaches you many things. But often, we learn the wrong things from our experiences.

    "A lot of events make us contract," he continues. "We learn how to play smaller and smaller roles. A woman may come to think that she is stupid because she has made a few bad decisions. Her voice grows quieter, and she becomes less trusting. Her effectiveness diminishes without her knowing why. Others see that she is performing the role of the frightened creature, but she doesn't see that.

From Climbing Back Up The Mountain:
    To attract such knowledgeable employees and keep them happy, EMS offers flexible work plans with sabbatical-like stretches of vacation time. Several years ago, Bradbury took a year off from EMS to go climbing in the Himalayas. Recently, his assistant manager spent a month rock climbing in Thailand. Such liberties aren't just for management-track employees: After a year, any full-timer can cut out for 90 days' unpaid leave. It's just another part of Manzer's plan to get EMS back on the side of the angels.

Think EMS needs someone to write distributed systems code for them?

From Are All Consultants Corrupt?:
    I don't want my tombstone to read, "He did tolerable stuff for tolerable people because they paid him." I'm not that much of a whore. Do I do it occasionally? Sure. I'm no more noble than anyone else. But that's not the issue. The issue is, Is that your life? Why would you want to spend your life doing stuff that you can just tolerate, working for people you don't like? Especially when you realize that you can make more money doing work that engages your passions. The only sensible business rule is, Life is too short to work for idiots.

From The Call of the Anti-Extreme Job:

    At JLT, which supplies rugged laptop computers for extreme conditions, Einck leaves by 5:10 p.m. almost every evening -- and he expects his 15 employees to follow.
    Einck admits his company could sell more computers if his people worked longer. But at what cost? Last year, JLT's revenue rose more than 50%, to almost $10 million. Any more than that, he says, would have exhausted workers and taxed morale. As it is, "being able to have dinner with my kids and put them to bed is huge," says general manager Lisa Ridley, a mother of two. "Does it makes you more loyal? Absolutely."

From Soul Proprietor:

    "Have you ever seen the movie with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino called Heat?" he continues. "De Niro is the bad guy, and Pacino is the good guy. And at one point, De Niro says to Pacino something like, 'One of the things that lets me do what I do is, there's nothing in my life that I won't walk out on in a matter of seconds. Nothing. So if you're going to chase me, and if there's something in your life that you're not willing to walk out on in a few seconds, you're going to lose.' That's what it's like to be an entrepreneur."

update: I didn't finish reading all the stuff I wanted to. Here's some more.

From Natural Leader:

    But we have a love-hate relationship with success and failure -- that is, we love success and we hate failure. That's more of an adult phenomenon, by the way. When little kids are first starting to walk and to pick up and drop things, they're fine. There's no judgment associated with those things. Everything's an experiment to them. But by the time people get to be adults, they have almost no tolerance for failure. And that is a very, very dangerous context to have if you want to be a lifelong learner, because the only way to learn is through failure. That's another one of those "aha" moments: when you realize that people work in organizations that religiously try to reduce the risk of failure, when the only way to grow is through experimentation, practice, and risk.

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