First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

Maybe All Learning Starts with “Unlearning” – Insight from Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpI’ve just read the Kindle sample pages of the new book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. I read about it in this New York Times article: Kissing Your Socks Goodbye – Home Organization Advice from Marie Kondo by Penelope Green.

I won’t bore you with details about my life-long battle with clutter, but suffice it to say I have not done all that well in defeating this beast.

But, this passage jumped out at me (from the book):

Do people who have been tidying for more years than others tidy better? The answer is no… Many of them spent so many years applying erroneous conventional approaches that their homes overflow with unnecessary items and they struggle to keep clutter under control with ineffective storage methods. How can they be expected to know how to tidy when they have never studied it properly?

So, in other words – to learn how to do it “incorrectly” does not make you any better at it over the long haul

So, in other words, the first real step to learning how to tidy is to unlearn “erroneous conventional approaches” to tidying. (“Conventional approaches” — commonly accepted, but…  wrong).

I’ve got a pretty big hunch that this is truly a universal truth. We have all learned to do a fair number of things incorrectly. And once we learn how to do something/anything incorrectly, we simply keep on doing it incorrectly.

So, the path to genuine learning involves this first step:

Before we learn, we have to unlearn.

Man, is this hard to do! It’s hard to even recognize, and then, it is really hard to actually unlearn, so that we can then learn.

Friday, October 24, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | Leave a comment

Assumptions and Key Actions for Managing Change on November 12

My blog posts continue to feature Randy Mayeux’s workshop on November 12 for Managing Change in Richardson.   Click HERE for details.

I wanted to share with you the assumptions we make and the three major key actions which all the skills he teaches in that program revolve around.  This section comes directly from the workbook for the program.

Assumptions

 

  1. You will experience change — major and minor changes — time and again throughout your career. The sooner you make peace with this, the less you will resent it or fight it.

 

  1. The more you learn to recognize needed changes that you can embrace and put to use, the more you will develop a change mentality. This will lead to higher productivity.

 

  1. Change for the sake of change is good. Because we live in a world of constant change, change itself keeps us “in shape” for other changes.

 

  1. Every change has its enemies. Every change agent needs communication and persuasion skills, for the purpose of building change friendly alliances.

 

  1. The more you accept/experience/befriend change, the more you will change. Change begets change, which begets more change.

 

Key Actions

 

  • Recognize your tendency to resist change, and resist it!

 

  • Recognize all of us are in the change boat together.

 

  • Look for opportunities in the way you do your job that you can put change to work for you.

 

Don’t you know someone who could benefit from this workshop?  If he or she resists change, and becomes lower in productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency because of it, this workshop will be useful.  We teach how to cope with change that you didn’t initiate or create.  It is very valuable.  We are glad to speak with you about the program.  Call (972) 980-0383 or send an e-Mail to info@creativecommnet.com.

Friday, October 24, 2014 Posted by | Karl's blog entries | , , , | Leave a comment

Randy’s Workshop Shows You How to Cope With Change You Did Not Initiate!

Do you work with someone who fights change?  Someone who dislikes changes that he or she did not initiate?  Someone who “over-resists” when a new corporate mandate comes down from the top?

That is a problem!

That person undercuts productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, and cannot be a team player.

RANDY’S  WORKSHOP ON MANAGING CHANGE WILL SHOW PEOPLE WITH THIS PROBLEM HOW TO COPE AND WORK THROUGH CHANGE THEY DID NOT INITIATE.

On Tuesday, November 12, Creative Communication Network offers a half-day public workshop on Managing Change, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Richardson Civic Center.  Our facilitator is Randy Mayeux, who is an expert on change management, and has taught this workshop to professionals throughout and beyond the metroplex.  .

You can find complete details, including a registration form, in the upper-right hand corner of our web site.   We have an early-bird discount and reduced prices for multiple registrants from the same organization.  Registrants for more than one of our three workshops on November 12-13 receive additional discounts.  Click HERE to get to that web site for RichardsonCivicCenterLogodetails and the registration form.  NOTE:  We are limiting the number of participants to only 20, in order to maximize interaction.

In the midst of ever-increasing change, the ability to manage your own effectiveness is now required for virtually every position in an organization.  In this program, learn how to turn change into a powerful competitive advantage, and into a friend, rather than an enemy.  This program helps you to:

  • implement change you didn’t create
  • work in a change-friendly environment
  • reduce personal anxiety about change
  • produce an environment of freedom
  • look for positive changes to implement

The program has three sections:

1.  All about change

2.  Experience change

3.  Strategies for change

Every participant will submit a pre-assessment and Randy will provide those results to you as part of the program

The registration fee includes breakfast, a pre-assessment, the workbook, and implementable “work-with’s.”

Join the many professionals who have experienced this fast-paced, interactive, and practical program!

If you have questions, please call us at (972) 980-0383 or send an e-Mail to info@creativecommnet.com.

We are really excited about having you join us!

 

Friday, October 24, 2014 Posted by | Karl's blog entries | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dominant Companies of Yesteryear, No Longer With Us – a Hidden Warning in Walter Cronkite’s 1967 Home Office of the Future

When you’ve been at it for decades, you’ve seen the companies disappear. I bought my first stereo at Montgomery Wards. I used to eat at Wyatt’s cafeteria. I won’t even describe the pants I wore briefly in the 1970s, or my permed hair that same decade (my wife told me to leave that detail out of this post)….

So, I saw this fun 1967 video – made the year I was a Junior in High School. Walter Cronkite is introducing the home office of the future. By the way, I am writing this at my home office. I can do all of the things he pictured. With much smaller machines.

But – here’s the big detail to notice. Philco is prominent in the video.  Not one of the machines at my home office – not the computer, not the phone or tablet, not the printer, not the fax (actually, the 3 in one) machine, says Philco on it.

Mr. Cronkite’s home office had Philco products. In my home office, I’ve got three Apple products two Brother products, one AT&T land-line telephone, and one neat product.. (And, by the way, I do not print out a one-page news feed sheet each day). Not a Philco product to be found…  As close I can tell, none of the well-known products of today are in any way descendants of the original Philco (although, of course, the lessons learned and the breakthroughs made at Philco are all part of the technological past that all companies, in some sense, have built on).

Can you imagine the pride Philco felt when Walter Cronkite described the future home office they were designing?

Philco Cathedral Radio ()My current home office radio is in/through my iMac

Philco Cathedral Radio (My current home office radio is in/through my iMac)

How dominant was Philco?  From the Wikipedia article:

By 1930, they were selling more radios than any other maker, a position they held for more than 20 years.
Philco built many iconic radios and TV sets, including the classic cathedral-shaped wooden radio of the 1930s (aka the “Baby Grand”), and the very futuristic (in a 1950s sort of way) Predicta series of television receivers.
Philo Farnsworth, who invented cathode ray tube television, worked at Philco for some time.

Now, you know that there were meetings of smart people at Philco planning their next future business innovations. But, something happened along the way. And, now, Philco is a memory from the past, along with Wyatt’s and Montgomery Wards. And a long, long list of other products and companies.

The simple message/warning? – Staying the company of the future is a whoppingly big challenge!

(And, here’s another sobering note — my current students do not know the name Walter Cronkite.  I really do feel old at times…)

Here’s the video:

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | Leave a comment

If creativity, change, and innovation were easy… – Do You Need a Jump-Start? We might be able to help

If creativity, change, and innovation were easy…

There has been no shortage of books and articles and case studies and blog posts to read about this…

But, the reality is, change is hard. Creativity is harder.

And, you don’t learn to be good at change, you don’t become a creative genius, by reading one book or attending one workshop.

But, enough input, over the long haul –with maybe a jump-start to get you heading in the right direction … this may be the value of a good pull-away workshop.

So, give our public workshops on change, creativity, and innovation (November 12-13) a good look. We might provide just the “jump-start” you need.

Click here for all the details.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | Leave a comment

Extreme Clearness – Simple and Clear Communication Advice from The Earl of Chesterfield (from Shannon Camberlain)

(a couple of posts about communication issues today. Here’s the second).

So, this one’s a little shorter. I read this terrific article from The Atlantic: How to Write a Business Letter: Advice From the 18th Century – You too can sound like a rich, proper, old English gentleman with guidance from their charming correspondence manuals by Shannon Chamberlain. The whole article is terrific – be sure to read it! But, here’s a key excerpt:

The Earl of Chesterfield, the 18th-century British statesman and patron of the arts, had a number of concerns about his illegitimate son Philip, but one he revisited often in his posthumously published letters to the boy is about Philip’s correspondence. This species of worry ranged from handwriting (“shamefully bad and illiberal; it is neither the hand of a man of business, nor of a gentleman, but of a truant school boy”) to the boy’s prose style (“one principal topic of our conversation will be, not only the purity but the elegance of the English language; in both which you are very deficient”).

The latter became a particular concern after Chesterfield went to the trouble of setting the boy up in the world. In December 1751, he offered Philip some delightfully modern-sounding advice on his business correspondence:

The first thing necessary in writing letters of business, is extreme clearness and perspicuity; every paragraph should be so clear and unambiguous, that the dullest fellow in the world may not be able to mistake it, nor obliged to read it twice in order to understand it. This necessary clearness implies a correctness, without excluding an elegance of style. Tropes, figures, antitheses, epigrams, etc., would be as misplaced and as impertinent in letters of business, as they are sometimes (if judiciously used) proper and pleasing in familiar letters, upon common and trite subjects. In business, an elegant simplicity, the result of care, not of labor, is required.

An elegant simplicity. Clearness. Able to be fully understood – at the first (and thus, only) reading.

Artists can be obscure, symbolic, mysterious – their purpose is different.

But most communication is for the purpose of direct communication. “Understand this; do this.” The “this” has to be crystal clear.

So – clear! Simple! To the point! Very good advice indeed.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | Leave a comment

Write Your Speech Out Word-for-Word – The Case for Manuscript Speaking

(a couple of posts about communication issues today. Here’s the first).

If you read many articles about different approaches to take for speeches and presentations, you find a lot of people in favor of not using a manuscript.

But… maybe you should.

Here's a page of a manuscript with President Reagan's edits

Here’s a page of a manuscript with President Reagan’s edits

Here’s my thinking. First, quick: name the greatest speeches you know of. Pick your favorite: The Gettysburg Address; Kennedy’s Inaugural; I Have a Dream… Reagan’s speech after the Challenger explosion. They were all scripted. If you carefully watch I Have a Dream, Dr. King reads from a manuscript until he gets to the I Have a Dream portion (which, though appearing “off the cuff,” had actually been written for an earlier speech).

Here’s what might happen when you don’t write out a speech in full. You might ramble; you might go off subject; you might “skip” sentences, and lose your audience in the process.

To write a speech in full, and then to read it aloud (a number of times!), lets you know if you succeeded in creating a message with effective “flow.” This is what I mean:

I am saying this sentience now.
Now, this sentence is the sentence that should follow the sentence that I just said before this one.
Now, this sentience is the logical next sentence.

Each sentence builds on the prior sentence, and it all “flows” together.

A number of years ago, my colleague Karl Krayer told me I was weak on transitions. He was right about that. After a while, I finally got what he meant (I can be pretty slow to learn), and now I pay attention to my transitions.

You might ask, “Randy, do you write your speeches and presentations out word for word?” No… I speak very often. But I do use extensive notes – much more than just bullet points/talking points.! And, I am quite mindful about issues of flow.

And, I listen to student speeches. Speech teachers generally teach students not to speak from manuscripts. And, yes, a manuscript can really negatively effect eye contact. (The key is practice, practice, practice)…

But I’m always amazed at some “common wisdom.” It appears to be “common wisdom” to teach against the use of manuscripts. And yet, when we show exemplar speeches, they are practically all manuscripted speeches. Kind of a disconnect, don’t you think?

And, let’s be honest – I’ve heard some nearly incoherent student speeches because the students did not write them out in full.

Incoherence is not good when speaking…

Surely, it is not a bad idea to write out a speech in full. Reagan did it; Hillary Clinton does it; every President speaks from manuscripts (yes, they do use teleprompters – that helps).

But, any negatives in using a manuscript can be outweighed significantly by the positives. A manuscript helps you say:

what you intend to say,
all that you intend to say,
only what you intend to say,
and nothing that you don’t intend to say.

That sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

Years ago (in my preaching years), I got to know J. Daniel Baumann. He was a Pastor, and a professor of preaching. And he wrote a terrific book called An Introduction to Contemporary Preaching (now out of print). I asked him if he thought a preacher should write out sermons in full manuscript form. He said yes – for the first ten years. After that, he said, you won’t have to. You will have developed the discipline of choosing the right words, putting them in the right order…

I did not fully follow his advice. But I did a fair number of times – and I especially did in some “big” speaking assignments. Manuscripting helped me a great deal, I think…

Now, feel free to reject this advice.   But, if you do, ask yourself:

Do you ever say anything you wish you had not said?
Do you ever leave key thoughts out?
Do you ever not quite make sense – are you skipping needed transitions?

Manuscripting can definitely help.

I spend part of my time writing speeches for others. I write them in full. I do my best to put them in “their words,” certainly with their stories, and their tone, and their personality. But, they are full manuscripts. Bullet points/talking points don’t quite accomplish the same thing.

So, if you have a speech to give (especially an important one), write it out in full.

Then, refine it. Write it for the ear. It’s not an essay – it’s a speech.

Use a lot of punctuation to remind yourself to pause, and verbally punch key words and phrases. It doesn’t have to get an A for proper sentence structure in English class. But it has to flow well, and not ramble, and make sense.

Practice the speech over and over and over again – so that you know the speech, and you don’t have to “look down the entire time” at your manuscript.

And, if it is written word-for-word, as you practice your speech, you will know exactly how long your speech is. Not an unimportant consideration!

But, I think you will have more complete, more effective presentations, if you write them carefully, word-for-word, before you present them.

That’s what I think…

——————

(for our next “common sense” discussion, maybe we ought to tackle this. Many speech teachers teach students to speak from 3×5 cards. Quick, name the last time you saw a great speech delivered from 3×5 cards. You remember President Reagan holding his 3×5 cards, don’t you? Thought not!)

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | 4 Comments

We All Start at the Beginning – The Question is, “How Far Along are You?”

Do you know what to do when you show up to work?

This is not a small point.

We all start out playing a little "mob ball"

We all start out playing a little “herd ball”

Have you every watched the youngest youth team play soccer? I’m talking sbout really young? About the only comparison to actual soccer is that they play on a field, with nets… I’ve heard it called “herd ball.” The players move in a “clump.”  It’s herd against herd… They don’t yet know what they are doing. They’re not ready for real soccer – yet.

The only way to get ready for real soccer is to start before you know what to do and how to do it.

But… it is expected that they will learn how the game is played, and how to fill their roles. As they get older, they add a little more knowledge, a little more expertise – and a lot more confidence.

I once knew a girl – you have to read this carefully – who was playing third base on her softball team. She was playing third base; out in the field, at third base, glove on her hand. Someone at bat hit the ball to the outfield. This girl scored on the hit – ran to home plate, and scored.   (Did you get it? She was playing defense and scored for the other team). Not yet knowledgeable!

So… what makes me think about all this. In addition to my business and other speaking, I also teach speech to first year college students. They do not yet know a whole lot as they begin the semester. When they first get up to speak, they don’t walk up with confidence; they don’t greet the audience with their eyes and body language, from their appropriate speaking spot, before they begin speaking. They don’t know the “things to do” when speaking – many speak in a monotone, too softly to hear, with few gestures…. Thus, they don’t demonstrate much self-confidence.

I suspect this is pretty universal, for practically any and every job. (I remember Barbara Ehrenreich describing how incompetent she felt as a server in a restaurant in her classic book, Nickel and Dimed). For example, I suspect that the first time a medical student practices incisions on a cadaver, they’re a little unsure of themselves.

The process is this – learn the process. Practice and drill. Master the process. Then, you’ll develop self-confidence. Then, you’re truly ready to work.

How far along are you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | Leave a comment

Rod Pyle: Part 1 of an interview by Bob Morris

Pyle, RodRod Pyle is author of multiple best-selling books on space exploration and innovation for major publishers including Smithsonian, McGraw-Hill, HarperCollins, Prometheus/Random House, Sterling and Carlton. His most recent books are Innovation the NASA Way: Harnessing the Power of Your Organization for Breakthrough Success for McGraw Hill (March 2014), which the Library Journal called “A gripping history of NASA… riveting… [the] writing is superb,” and, Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen, published by Prometheus/Random House. It is listed as a “Top Ten Science and Tech Book for July” by The Guardian. Rod wrote and co-created The Apollo Leadership Experience for NASA and The Conference Board, which he taught at the Johnson Space Center for C-suite executives from companies like Michelin, Conoco-Philips, Ebay and The Federal Reserve. He continues to give keynotes and seminars on innovation and leadership.

His 2012 Destination Mars (Prometheus) was heralded as “The best recent overview of Mars missions” by the Washington Post, and was selected for Scientific American’s book of the month club. Rod has produced and directed numerous documentaries for The History Channel and Discovery Communications, including “Modern Marvels: Apollo 11” and “Mars: 100 Years of Discovery.” Rod is a space journalist, writing frequent articles and creating videos for Space.com, LiveScience, Huffington Post, NBCNews Online, the Christian Science Monitor and the Daily Telegraph. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Art Center College of Design, and taught communication studies at the University of La Verne for ten years.

Here is an excerpt from my interview of him. To read all of part 1, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Before discussing (in Part 2) Innovation the NASA Way, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Pyle: Honestly, the entire cadre of Gemini and Apollo astronauts. While my friends memorized states and collected cards for football and baseball players, I was studying NASA’s best. These guys were going to the moon, and I wanted to be with them! Alas, that was ultimately less likely even than my buddies joining the NFL…

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Pyle: There are so many, but Gene Kranz, the flight director for most of the Gemini and Apollo missions, was a major influence. His tough but fair approach to managing Mission Control teams, and his unashamedly “Gung Ho” attitude is inspiring. But I think the ultimate inspiration was the “Kranz Dictum,” as it came to be known; the speech he gave to his teams after the Apollo 1 fire. He was not even in charge the day of the fire, but it was Kranz who made the seminal speech, and it is posted all over Mission Control to this day. At its core is being “tough and competent,” and making Mission Control “perfect.” His people came as close to that demand as any organization can.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Pyle: Calculus! After encountering differential equations (with a less than stellar result), it occurred to me that astronomy at UCLA might not be my best option. My next choice was to tell science stories via visual and print media… and that’s turned out to be a lot of fun. Film and TV was my final undergrad major, and at Stanford I had a blast studying the more theoretical aspects of communication. Since then it’s been books, articles and TV work, and I hope to never stop.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Pyle: In the media business, excepting to some extent journalism, degrees don’t mean very much. In TV they mean nothing at all. So any progress I’ve made in those areas was fueled primarily by passion and tenacity. On the other hand, I did teach in various colleges for about twelve years and there, of course, the masters degree was everything. And I enjoyed teaching quite a lot.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Pyle: Success is as much about instincts, drive and dogged persistence as it is about brilliance or intellect. Determination to achieve a goal – often to the exclusion of anything else – seems to be critical. In NASA terms that equates to having the tenacity to sell a flight concept or a scientific goal, then pursue the accomplishment of that mission. We see it over and over again, how an individual voice makes all the difference in a project, science instrument or flight plan. And that’s great.

Morris: Of all the films that you have seen, which – in your opinion – best dramatizes important business principles? Please explain.

Pyle: There are a few classics that relate here… but Casablanca is one, in which personal passion and individual needs are secondary to duty and honor. Along the same lines, the original Star Trek TV show had some things to say about duty, persistence, honor and success, but always with a cost. I think that these apply to business success on a personal level, decisions that you live with long after the company has moved on to other concerns. Finally, Patton demonstrates the drive and brilliance often needed to succeed against great odds, and the personal costs that often come with it. As George C. Scott quoted “All glory is fleeting…”, a worthwhile sentiment to remember.

Morris: From which non-business book have you learned the most valuable lessons about business? Please explain.

Pyle: Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Here is a man, Doc Ricketts, to whom business success, always elusive, was subsumed by, then buoyed by, the beauty in his personal existence. He maintained the former and grew the latter like a bloom. Together they made for a whole life, though marriage and the consummation of his inner desire for love remained somewhat elusive. But the longing within us often makes for a far greater motivator than achieving.

Morris: Here are several of my favorite quotations to which I ask you to respond. First, from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Pyle: Lao-tse was a smart man. I took a class at UCLA years ago in the Chinese mystics – this reminds me how insightful they could be. Human needs and behaviors have not changed much over time (anyone who has read Greek mythology knows that the core emotions discussed have not changed one iota). To the point: an inspired leader would do well to give his team a voice and a tangible stake in the process of building and succeeding. I address this in my innovation book and leadership seminars: give your team members a sense of ownership, a stake in the process of innovating and making that innovation into a success. I think it’s critical – in many cases, the passion of that person, or team, is the core force, the engine driving the process. Then, in a perfect world, the team shares the sense of accomplishment.

Morris: From Howard Aiken: “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

Pyle: I’ve always loved that one. Ask John Houbolt, a mid-level engineer in the Apollo program, who had to jump all the way to the top of NASA’s management chain to get his ideas about Lunar Orbit Rendezvous heard (it was the solution to the puzzle of how to land on the moon). Top minds like Wernher von Braun, who favored another method, finally saw the wisdom of LOR. This was certainly an example of one man forcing the organization to accept his excellent idea, despite much resistance at the top.

Morris: From Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s odd….’”

Pyle: Yes, or “That’s interesting…” or perhaps, as John Grotzinger, the Curiosity Mars rover’s chief scientist said when looking at some new and exciting data, “That’s one for the history books!” So often it is the surprises, the results that surpass our expectations, that foreshadow developments and discoveries far beyond what we had planned for. It’s a bit of scientific serendipity… the universe playing with us, deciding what to release at this moment, and providing discoveries beyond, or at least perpendicular to, our expectations. And since all great science is to a certain extent magical, that is often where the magic lies.

Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

Pyle: Yes, GM built the Chevy Cobalt with great efficiency just before they went BK. And while millions of those Spartan autos served people for years, I think we would have all been served better had the car never existed (if you ever drove one for any distance, you know what I mean). This is a very basic and prosaic example of a great thinker’s ideas placed onto the road, but it’s certainly an expression of this loftier thought.

* * *

To read all of part 1, please click here.

Rod cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

His website link

His LinkedIn link

His Amazon link

Huffington Post link

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Modest Suggestion for Peyton Manning When He Retires (at, probably, the age of 75) – Become the Health Care Drill Instruction Czar

It’s sort of hard to miss the big news of the last few days.

News item #1 — Hospital health care personnel were not “ready” for the Ebola crisis to arrive.

News item #2 — Peyton Manning threw for four touchdowns, and broke the all-time touchdown passing record.

Both, pretty big news items.

So, I got to thinking…

Do you know what Peyton Manning is really good at? Here it is. He is really good at “drilling until he gets it just right.”

In Outliers, and Talent is Overrated, we learn a lot about the 10,000 hour rule, and the idea of “deliberate practice — practicing for the purpose of, with the intent of, getting better.” Such practice requires drills – going over and over and over an action time and time again until one gets it right. And, someone is watching, and correcting every little misstep along the way, so that each practice action is closer and closer to perfect.

Peyton Manning is really good at deliberate practice. It is work ethic, yes – but it is also mastering the skill of drilling for the purpose of getting better.

There have probably been other athletes who have worked as hard as Peyton Manning. But not many. And, probably, none have worked any smarter… Here is what a defensive back and a columnist had to say, from Broncos QB Peyton Manning works “as if he never had a penny” by Benjamin Hochman:

Rahim Moore talked about Manning having some fun in his off time, but that “we know when he gets on the field, he’s going hard — like as if he never had a penny. That’s how hard he works. You would think he never had done a commercial, none of that. He’s training like he’s a free agent.”

Let it sink in. What a quote, right? Peyton Manning, one of the best talents of his generation, attacks practice as if his career is on the line, as if one bad day at the office and he’s coaching high school, telling stories about once going to an NFL camp with Peyton Manning.

Peyton Manning running drillsSo, let’s say that I’m right. Peyton Manning is the best ever at getting better at what he does by drilling over and over again.

And, let’s pay attention to the other news. Health Care workers have to drill, over and over again, to learn how to flawlessly put on and take off protective clothing. Atul Gawande has written, in The Checklist Manifesto and other places, about the importance of getting things just right when it comes to health care. One slip up, and the patient can literally catch a more life-threatening illness while receiving treatment for something else.

As much as I like football, I think health care workers need to learn to run drills at least as well as football players do. The stakes are a little higher!

So, my suggestion – after his retirement (at about age 75, it looks like), Peyton Manning needs to become the health-care drill instruction czar.

That’s my modest proposal. And, really, I’m not quite kidding – I suspect that Peyton Manning could watch film of people drilling to put on the protective attire, and recommend specific improvements in how they run those drills. And if he could not quite do so right now, with his attention to detail and his work ethic, he could improve those drills pretty quickly…

(Or… to put it another way, maybe health care workers need to study drill techniques from Peyton Manning. It turns out there are a few videos available to watch)…

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | Leave a comment

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