June 22

Maggie gave me a guide to Texas and a book called “The Last Lecture” last week for Father’s day. I recommend “The Last Lecture” as it contains a number of useful ideas for anyone’s life.

I want to remember a few of the points so I’ll make some notes here.

On group dynamics author Pausch recommends the following:
• “Meet People Properly. It all starts with the Introduction. Exchange Contact Information. Make sure you can pronounce everyone’s names.
• Find things you have in common. You can almost always find something in common with another person, and from there, it’s much easier to address issues where you have differences. Sports cut across boundaries of race and wealth. And if nothing else, we all have the weather in common.
• Try for optimal meeting conditions: Make sure no one is hungry, cold, or tired. Meet over a meal if you can; food softens a meeting. That’s why they “do lunch” in Hollywood.
• Let everyone talk: Don’t finish someone’s sentences. And talking louder or faster doesn’t make your idea any better.
• Check egos at the door: When you discuss ideas, label them and write them down. The label should be descriptive of the idea, not the originator; “the bridge story” not “Jane’s story”.
• Praise each other: Find something nice to say, even if it’s a stretch. The worst idea can have silver linings if you look hard enough.
• Phrase Alternatives as questions: Instead of “I think we should do A, instead of B” try “What if we did A instead of B?”

Look for the Best in Everybody

Watch What They Do, Not What They Say

If at First You Don’t Succeed…. Try a cliché
• Dance with the one who brung you
• Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
• Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right
• Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play (don’t focus on the little issues while ignoring the big ones)

Be the first Penguin (the team taking the largest gamble in trying new ideas or technology while failing to achieve their stated goals.)

Send a hand written thank you note.

All you have is what you bring with you

A Bad Apology is Worse than No Apology

Tell the Truth

No Job is Beneath You

Know Where You Are (understand your place in each specific cultural context)

Never Give Up

Be a Communitarian (Rights come with responsibilities)

Make a Decision: Tigger or Eeyore

Don’t obsess over what people think

Don’t complain, just work harder

Treat the disease not the symptom

Dream big

I’m on my Honeymoon … please leave a message
• Time must be explicitly managed, like money
• You can always change your plan, but only if you have one
• Ask yourself: Are you spending your time on the right things?
• Develop a good filing system
• Rethink the telephone

Not All Fairy Tales End Smoothly”

Thanks for this book, Maggie it’s got a lot of good advice in it.

To these I’d add some I use often:
• When in doubt, act
• If you fall on your face you’re moving in the right direction
• Lead, follow, or get out of the way

One Response to “June 22”

  1. tacousar says:

    other things in common — traffic’s always a good one, and just being curious about someone, genuinely (do you have children? where are you from? do you have pets?) — that helps too! the book sounds awesome! think I’ll pick up a copy myself!

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