Piece by Piece

Imagine you have a junk piano needing permanent vacation in a dumpster. No one is available to help lug the bulky 300 pounds up and down steps followed by 100 yards to the dumpster, nor can you pay a professional $300. How would you do it?

Like any monumental task: piece by piece. Start with something simple and obvious, and continue in this manner. When something won’t budge, avoid the temptation to grab a hammer. Take a step back and find a tiny piece that won’t rebel. Then another and another. Suddenly the large, stubborn piece falls off.

You’ll likely face an obstacle undefeatable with the afore tactics. Some can remain, but for others you simply need help. Don’t waste weeks banging your head against a door for which your neighbor has a key.

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The Impact Trap

I stumbled across this article by Andrew Bosworth a couple of weeks ago. It’s an outstanding nugget of truth on growth and our careers. Here is a short snippet to whet your taste buds:

We must take the long view of our careers. Optimizing for immediate impact is a reasonable thing to do day by day but to avoid the impact trap we must consider impact over the course of years or even decades. That way when we get to the top of yet another mountain we have the courage to once again forge into the valley to pursue even higher peaks.

Read the full article here.

People Who Often Change Their Minds Are Often Right

I just came across this blog post on the Signal v. Noise blog that shares an amazing insight by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com:

He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.

What trait signified someone who was wrong a lot of the time? Someone obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If someone can’t climb out of the details, and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong most of the time.

Wow, that is good.