This is a video about Experts and Fakes, Charlatans and Gurus. I share a 2×2 matrix looking at the 4 types of skill/communication ability.
I also discuss the idea of “craftsmanship” – where one person does all of the parts of a job from idea to execution and the special type of innovation that can come when one single individual understand how all the elements of the work flow together.
There are 2 types of teachers
a) the teacher who is great at teaching beginners,
b) the teacher who is a guide for advanced students and experts. A great “beginner teacher” is often not a great “advanced teacher”.
I was watching a few Charlie Munger speeches recently – Warren Buffett’s partner in leading Berkshire Hathaway.
Charlie talks a lot about “Inverse Thinking”…
The Inverse Thinking Process
What is Inverse Thinking? Charlie says it is helpful to turn a question on its head. If you want to know what would improve the situation of India, ask what would make India worse? You can apply this to most situations: If you want to know what would improve your life, ask what would make your life worse? If you want to know what would improve schools, ask what would make schools worse?
Charlie does provide his answer to how to make life worse.
Charlie’s Recipe for a Miserable Life
His answer: The perfect path to a miserable failure of a life is combining:
Another of Charlie’s particular questions he asks himself is how to keep from fanatical ideology? He sees that human beings are so open to self-deception that we must (yes even you) all be on the lookout for our own beliefs that have become fanatical.
Charlie’s Recipe to Keep From Fanaticism
Can you state the arguments against your position as well as your opposition? If you can state the arguments against your position as effectively as the opposing camp, then you can allow yourself to feel that you are not being fanatical.
Charlie on the Danger of Perverse Incentives
Be careful about being in situations that motivate unhappy behaviour. Are the incentives in the systems in which you operate motivating behaviours that make you a better person, or a worse person. Be careful if you think your answer is “neutral”…
Charlie on the Danger of Perverse People
Don’t work for those who you do not admire.
It will damage you.
Charlie Munger speaking at USC Graduation
There is one random quote that stuck with me from Charlie:
“Hope is not necessary to persevere” Frederick the Great
There… those are my thoughts for this Sunday afternoon 😉 It is now time to head to the Camp Nou for FC Barcelona’s game against Espanyol… key for the league, and the Barcelona derby!
Over the last 10 years I have increasingly moved from product businesses towards a services business.
In the world of private jets we had simple rules: if the trip is not paid, the plane doesn’t leave. It was policy, not decision.
In the world of coaching leaders to build cultures of disciplined high performance, there is often a wide grey area between free discussion and paid consulting. I find it very difficult to mark that line clearly. I love talking about psychology and high performance and getting the best out of people. I am interested.
My landlord only accepts money for rent. Not good intention. So I have to do the same myself.
6 Steps to Stop Being “Free”
Be clear on the results you can help them achieve – Can you explain what success looks like in a clear, concise, specific and compelling way? in language that your target customers can really understand?
Show testimonials, examples, logos of past successes – capture testimonials and make them as specific as possilble
Find common passions or interests (liking) – build relationships that are broader than pure business
Respect yourself – know where you draw your line (Let the prospective client know that you are the most capable, dedicated and solution-oriented consultant they will find and that you normally charge X-amount for your time.)
Blog, write, speak, publish – direct your potential client there rather than give custom answers – thought leadership is free, customising the advice for a specific person and access to you should be expensive
Ask for the sale – Make yourself a product, set clear prices – and ask for the sale. “Look, I think you value my advice – lets set up a 6 month deal – two meetings per month for €XX”
More on the fine line between free and paid consulting
I had coffee this morning with an entrepreneur from Barcelona and fellow member of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. I spoke about a couple of blog posts that had really impacted me and changed my perspectives on life. He asked me to share my list. Here it is.
5 Blog Posts that Changed My Perspectives
Derek Sivers’ post “You don’t have to be local” was a real perspective shift for me. I have spent many years connecting into the local Barcelona entrepreneur community… and I really resonated with Derek’s perspective. I enjoy writing, blogging, travelling with Barcelona as a base. This post allowed me to feel less need to search for purely local connection.
Paul Graham’s post “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule” helped me make a big shift away from my Accenture lifestyle and manager focus towards a creator schedule. I take fewer and fewer short meetings and look at only taking 2, 4 and 8 hour meetings. This amount of time allows me to go deep into solutions and actually create something new. 15 minute meetings, 30 minute meetings really just make me feel busy, but do not actually lead to anything productive as an outcome.
David Maister’s short ebook “Strategy and the Fat Smoker” helped me take a more helpful perspective on long versus short term goals. In the end, strategy fails because the hourly, daily grind of execution doesn’t measure up to the good intentions. The fat smoker didn’t intend to be overweight and ill at 50, it was due to little daily breaks in the plan.
Leo Babauta writes the blog Zen Habits. His reflection on “Why We Procrastinate” resonated with my personal experience. His post didn’t solve my procrastination problem, but it did set me on the path to practicing focus. My own post on Self-Discipline was inspired by Leo Babauta.
Steven Pressfield wrote “The War of Art” and helped me understand that the little voice in my head that questions why I am writing, who am I to think I have something to say, what will one article change is not me, it is “Resistance“. Each day, the creator must sit down and push through this voice of resistance and “Do The Deep Work“.
Bloggers that I love and read every post, but there is not one single post that I can point out:
“If you know the name of a bird in all of the human languages, you will still know absolutely nothing about the bird. My father taught me the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing about that something.” Richard Feynman
Earlier this week, my father sent me 2 short video interviews of Nobel Physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman speaks of his intense dislike of “honours”. He speaks about valuing his work for the intrinsic value of his work: “I enjoyed physics because I used to play with it, I do it for the fun of it”. He speaks of the need to “disrespect the respectable”.
Disrespect for the Respectable
What’s the difference between the king and the subjects? The difference is epaulets, uniform, position: it has nothing to do with something intrinsic of that person.
Science in 1 Minute
Richard Feynman explains science in under 60 seconds:
Step 1) Guess…
Step 2) Check if your guess can predict nature,
Step 3) If not, your guess is wrong.
It doesn’t matter who made the guess, the beauty of the guess, how much you would like the guess to be right, the simplicity of the equations… it only matters whether it can predict nature.
More like this?
Do you know any other great minds that we can find their interviews on youtube? I would welcome ideas in the comments below 😉
“It’s extremely difficult to do something big. I think setting out to do something small is easier and more likely to work.” Seth Godin
If you are reading this, I will assume that you writing a book or are thinking about writing a book. What is holding you back? What obstacle sits between you and a flow-like state where all is clear and the words come?
I believe the biggest obstacle is not outside of you. I believe the biggest obstacle is inside of you.
Your anchor is dragging. More power to the motor won’t help. You must raise your anchor: The Resistance.
Stephen Pressfield says that our purpose lies behind what we most fear. The book we are most scared to write is the book we should be writing. If there is no fear related with the writing, it is probably not important.
Our ego is so determined to undermine us, that it will justify all forms of procrastination. The excuses will be rational. They will be true. They will be well argued. If we engage on their level, they will always win. Seth Godin calls this The Resistance. The closer we get to achieving our purpose, the louder the Resistance will rebel.
The Wisdom of Horses
Ranulph Fiennes is the oldest British man to have climbed Everest. He climbed it at his 3rd attempt when he was 65 years old. What changed on his 3rd attempt?
Ranulph’s wife is a horse trainer. When he was setting out on this last attempt, she said “do it like horses”.
Ranulph asked “what do you mean, do it like horses?”
His wife explained to him that a horse runs with no thought for the finish line. A horse runs until it drops from exhaustion. She told him to only ask himself “can I take one more step?” and if the answer is “yes”, take that one more step and repeat. Don’t allow your mind to consider more than the next step.
Great endurance athletes have learnt this. They have learnt to cheat their mind by refusing to allow it to think about the sheer scale of what they are taking on. They look at the summit of Everest and don’t really see it again until they are standing on it.
Prolific writers don’t think about the 60,000 words they need to write for the book, they think in pages or paragraphs or just word by word. John Grisham wrote one page per day before starting work at his day job. One page a day.
If a Gap Opens, The Resistance will win
The moment a gap of thinking is opened, the Resistance will step in and will win. If I stop to edit, I will kill this writing session. If an ultramarathon runner thinks “how much more have I got left?” his Resistance will win. The moment that the pause comes in, is when the Resistance has a chance of winning.
The Resistance will win in any argument. It has no morals nor any type of excuse that it will not use. It can only be conquered for moments when you commit completely to the flow, to the production of words, to the practice of piano, to make the sales call, to finish the drawing.
Performance = Potential – Self Sabotage
I spent some time last year interviewing successful endurance athletes like Kilian Jornet. I wrote about the Mental Models of High Performance. How do they manage to do the “impossible”?
The answer was quite simple: They don’t think. When they are running, biking or swimming they don’t let their mind wander off into the future. They stay present in this moment. At most the next stroke, or at the very most the next pause for a drink.
How to write a book?
Write like a horse. Can you do one more word? Write one more word. Keep going.
In the last issue of IESE Insight magazine, Carlos Ghosn offered three key lessons he has learned during his career.
First, he said, “Every problem has a solution,” but business leaders have to be prepared to pay the personal or collective price that will come with a given solution.
Second, things have to get worse before they get better. “It’s easier to improve a company in trouble than a company with an average performance,” he said.
His third lesson was that “you learn management by doing” and nothing is as instructive as highly stressful situations. When faced with adversity, often “you cannot sleep, you cannot eat,” he said, but in the end, such situations are often what teach managers the most.
What lessons have you learnt?
What would you share?
Thanks to Sergio C. for alerting me to these wise words from Carlos Ghosn.