Was just reading the One Minute Entrepreneur and came across a reference to Wayne Dyer’s philosophy on eagles and ducks.

Ducks tend to get all caught up and rules and regulations creating a lot of mess which prevents them from thinking entrepreneurially to better serve their customer base.

Eagles soar to go above and beyond to serve their customers. They are flexible and malleable in their thinking.

However, organizational leaders need to allow their people to soar like eagles to deliver superior customer service.

As stated in the One Minute Entrepreneur (page 90), “If we want our people to soar like eagles and take care of our customers, we have to create an environment where they can win-where they know that we’re on their side-so they will be empowered to act like they own the place.”

23. July 2017 · Comments Off on Good to Great by Jim Collins: Thoughts on People · Categories: Uncategorized

Thinking about what I’m learning through Good to Great and Great by Choice by Jim Collins.

On people Collins says the following:

“In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances.” See the article Good to Great for details.

 

Again on people, Collins notes:

The good-to-great leaders understood three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world. If people join the bus primarily because of where it is going, what happens if you get ten miles down the road and you need to change direction? You’ve got a problem. But if people are on the bus because of who else is on the bus, then it’s much easier to change direction: “Hey, I got on this bus because of who else is on it; if we need to change direction to be more successful, fine with me.” Second, if you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away.  The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great. Third, if you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company. Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” See the article First Who-Get the Right People on the Bus.

18. June 2017 · Comments Off on Three Things on my mind during June · Categories: Uncategorized

Three things have been on my mind for June

  1. PlayTape. With this product you can, “instantly create roads and rails for toy vehicle play anytime, anywhere!”  I wonder if any children’s librarians would be interested in this.
  2. One Minute Manager. Interesting to learn about One Minute Goal Setting, One Minute Praises, and One Minute Reprimands.
  3. Mindful Librarianship article by Ellyn Ruhlman. Kenley Neufled is mentioned. I briefly discussed him on a previous post in March concerning the 5 books that I brought with me on vacation.
20. May 2017 · Comments Off on Setting Aside Space &Time for Solitude, Reflection, and Meditation · Categories: Uncategorized

I’m continuing to reflect on the Essentialist and how we all need to build time for ourselves just to concentrate/focus. I like what McKeown wrote on page 68. Simply put the amount of stimuli and distractions stemming from electronic devices and commitments has banished boredom from our modern world.

“But by abolishing any chance of being bored we have also lost the time we used to have to think and process. Here’s another paradox for you: the faster and busier things get, the more we need to build thinking into our schedule. And the noisier things get, the more we need to build quiet reflection places in which we can truly focus.”

I have reason to believe that finding quiet time is also something that successful leaders do.

In his recent book Tools of Titans author Tim Ferriss cites on page xx that, “More than 80% of the interviewees have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice.” On page 213 Tony Robbins, says that, “And, as I’ve always said, there’s no excuse not to do 10 minutes. If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life.”

Ferriss goes on to say, “This reminded me of something I’ve heard from many adept meditators (such as Russell Simmons) in various forms: “If you don’t have 20 minutes to delve into yourself through meditation, then that means you really need 2 hours.”

30. April 2017 · Comments Off on The Power of Choice · Categories: Uncategorized

Continuing to take notes on McKeown’s Essentialism.

I like the discussion on page 39 contrasting the Nonessentialist and the Essentialist.

The Nonessentialist feels that they “have to do” everything and consequently surrenders their ability to choose.

The Essentialist comes to act because they, “choose to” and uses their own free will to do what is right for them.

One party acts from a sense of obligation while the other party is passionately choosing to act.

24. April 2017 · Comments Off on Speaking and Writing Great Reviews · Categories: Uncategorized

I just stumbled upon this quote on Amazon from a review of The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre, check out what Rosemary P. wrote in October 2016,

“Like sitting in an oak paneled library at dusk with a cherished companion, fire burbling in the grate and a glass of something wonderful within reach–nary an error of grammar within earshot! An absolute delight. A wonderful book that achieves exactly what it’s meant to.”

Wow! Knocked it out of the park! I would definitely pick up the book! Sure beats a typical, “I liked it.”

I find this encouraging to use the imagination to better describe what we find enjoyable about something. Analogy is a good way to do it. Now only to start practicing this in speech and in writing.

 

24. April 2017 · Comments Off on Three Core Facets of the Essentialist · Categories: Uncategorized

I was just looking back over my notes on Greg McKeown’s Essentialism particularly pages 20 to 25.

The three core facets of the Essentialist are something to keep in mind:

  1. Explore and Evaluate: Discerning the Vital Few from the Trivial Many
    • McKeown’s sums it up by stating, “We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our highest level of contribution: the right thing the right way at the right time.”
  2. Eliminate: Cutting Out the Trivial Many
    • McKeown’s has a few lines worth taking to heart, “To eliminate nonessentials means saying no to someone. Often. it means pushing against social expectations. To do it well takes courage and compassion. So eliminating the nonessentials isn’t just about mental discipline. It’s about the emotional discipline necessary to say no to social pressure.”
  3. Execute: Removing Obstacles and Making Execution Effortless
    • This one is counterintuitive. I best think of it as working smart not working hard. By taking away the hurdles you are able to be that much better positioned to accomplish your goal. I’ll throw out some examples in a later post.
31. March 2017 · Comments Off on 5 books that I took with me on vacation · Categories: Uncategorized
  • Return to the Center by Bede Griffiths
    • This helped me become better aware of a connect ion with spirituality. Stepping back from the world allows us to see it anew in all its beauty.
  • Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
    • Learning to live in rural Provence (France), Mayle takes the reader on a series of adventures. I love how the home renovation project becomes a running theme throughout the book. What most of us think are straightforward tasks are anything but in this book. However, Mayle takes it all in stride with great humor. One can read it multiple times and still enjoy every word.
  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown
    • This is going to be a classic for the 8020 librarian blog. Learning how to reign in over-commitment and focusing on only the most important things that yield the biggest positive results. It will be getting its own blog post in the near future here.
    • This book has inspired me to develop a new mantra for the 8020 librarian blog which is comprised of the 4 points cited below.
      1. Everything is not important.
      2. Only a few things truly have major importance.
      3. Find out what those few things are.
      4. Focus on doing just those few things very well.
  • Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
    • This book debunks the workaholic culture and offers us an antidote to burnout. If Winston Churchill found the time to take naps during World War II, then we can all find ways to rest and refresh. At times the breaks we take are just as important as the work we do.
  • Crucible Leadership by Steven Bell
    • This is going to be one of the most important books of all time in the library industry. Bell has 15 different library leaders each writing their own chapter on leadership. I did not read every single chapter. Rather I skimmed to find the leaders that most interested me and spoke to where I feel I am at professionally right now. Then I just read those chapters that those library leaders wrote. The book definitely deserves to get its own blog post here on the 8020 librarian.
    • The most interesting leader for me was Kenley Neufeld who is currently Dean of Educational Programs at Santa Barbara City College and a mindfulness teacher in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. I am coming to believe in the power of meditative practices and Neufled does a good job of articulating how mindfulness has helped him in this personal and professional life.
26. March 2017 · Comments Off on Criteria Used to Select Books for a Vacation · Categories: Uncategorized

I recently came back from a two week vacation and noted in my journal writings the importance of selection criteria for books to bring on vacation.

Here are several questions for choosing books to bring on vacation:

1)      Is the vacation an action packed tour of many cities/countries you have never seen or is it a relaxing extended stay in one particular place that you may have even visited before? For the very active travel regiment I suggest just bringing one book. Chances are that you will be so busy focusing on what to see in each stop that the book may actually take away from the vacation experience. For a blitz like trip that I took to western Europe 18 months ago, I only took one book and never finished it.  On the other hand, if you are spending time in one location mainly for relaxation purposes and especially if you have visited this place before, I suggest up to 5 books to bring. On my recent relaxing vacation I was able to read through all but one book. I was able to read the chapters that most interested me in the book I did not finish, so this was still a victory.

 

2)      Will I actually enjoy reading the books I bring? Am I bringing these books with me out of my own free will? I would not bring anything that you feel forced to read. Students should not take any school books with them (unless it is an absolute need). Taking work-related material with you, will very likely mentally take you out of the vacation.

 

3)      If I ran out of things to read, would I enjoy reading these books again for a second or possibly third time? If I did not answer this question in the affirmative the book stayed home.

 

4)      If any or all of the books were damaged or lost, could I easily get another copy? Don’t take any rare or signed books. Also don’t take someone else’s book with you unless they are fine with the book potentially never returning.  The ease of access to another copy is helpful if you find yourself in the middle of a good read and need to snag a quick copy to get back into the read. The physical item is not as important as the content. In the movie “Wild”, the main character was encouraged to burn the pages of a book she read as she went on a lengthy backpacking journey.  This served the dual purpose of having kindling for night-time fires and for lessening the weight load being hauled around each day.

 

5)      Can all the books be fit into a backpack or other carry-on bag (with room for all other essential carry-on items) in such a way that the backpack or carryon bag can fit beneath a seat on the plane?  Say no to large hardbacks and yes to slim paperbacks.  Use size as a factor to whittle down what books you plan to bring. I was able to bring three slim paperbacks and two medium sized hardbacks with enough room to spare for all other carry-on essentials.

 

6)      What about electronic books? If you want to use electronic books go for it. However, keep in mind some disadvantages. You might be faced with even more reading options than you would be if you just focused on print books.  You might have to deal with paralysis by analysis. Also, if your device gets lost or damaged you’re out of luck. You’ll need to make sure you bring your charging cord and that you have frequent access to electronic outlets. If the device can’t charge you’re stuck.  Finally, you’ll need to be in a position to pick up Wifi. If your vacation spot can guarantee you all these then you’re set. If not then look to print.

 

7)      Anything else I should bring with the books? I would suggest a medium sized notebook and two pens to jot down any good ideas you get from the books or just to journal.

 

In the next several posts, I’ll discuss the 5 books I brought with me on vacation and why I brought them. I’ll then go into some vacation dos and don’ts.

 

10. February 2017 · Comments Off on Favorite Quotes: Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is The Way: Turning Trials into Triumph · Categories: Uncategorized

Below I have cited my favorite quotes from Ryan Holiday’s  The Obstacle is the Way: Turning Trials into Triumph

“We decide what we will make of each and every situation. We decide whether we’ll break or whether we’ll resist. We decide whether we’ll assent or reject. No one can force us to give up or to believe something that is untrue (such as, that a situation is absolutely hopeless or impossible to improve). Our perceptions are the thing that we’re in complete control of. They can throw us in jail, label us, deprive us of our possessions, but they’ll never control our thoughts, our beliefs, our reactions. Which is to say, we are never completely powerless. “ (Page 21)

“An entrepreneur is someone with faith in their ability to make something where there was nothing before. To them, the idea that no one has ever done this or that is a good thing. When given an unfair task, some rightly see it as a chance to test what they’re made of-to give it all they’ve got, knowing full well how difficult it will be to win. They see it as an opportunity because it is often in that desperate nothing-to-lose state that we are our most creative. Our best ideas come from there, where obstacles illuminate new options.” (Page 52)

“We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given. And the only way you’ll do something spectacular is by using it all to your advantage. “ (Page 69)

“We talk a lot about courage as a society, but we forget that at its most basic level it’s really just taking action-whether that’s approaching someone you’re intimidated by or deciding to finally crack a book on a subject you need to learn.” (Page 75)

“We will not be stopped by failure, we will not be rushed or distracted by external noise. We will chisel and peg away at the obstacle until it is gone. Resistance is futile.” (Page 77)

“Like any good school learning from failure isn’t free. The tuition is paid in discomfort or loss or having to start over. Be glad to pay the cost. There will be no better teacher for your career, for your book, for your new venture.” (Page 84)

“When it comes to our actions, disorder and distraction are death.” (Page 89)

“Some problems are harder than others. Deal with the ones right in front of you first. Come back to the others later. You’ll get there.” (Page 92)

“Everything is a chance to do and be your best.” (Page 94)

“To whatever we face, our job is to respond with: hard work, honesty, helping others as best we can.” (Page 95)

“Right action-unselfish, dedicated, masterful, creative-that is the answer to that question. That’s one way to find the meaning of life. And how to turn every obstacle into an opportunity.” (Page 96)

“But if you’ve got an important mission, all that matters is that you accomplish it.” (Page 100)

“Part of the reason why a certain skill often seems so effortless for great masters is not just because they’ve mastered the process-they really are doing less than the rest of us who don’t know any better. They choose to exert only calculated force where it will be effective, rather than straining and struggling with pointless attrition tactics.” (Page 106)

“Ordinary people shy away from negative situations, just as they do with failure. They do their best to avoid trouble. What great people do is the opposite. They are their best in these situations. They turn personal tragedy or misfortune-really anything, everything- to their advantage.” (Page 120)

“To be great at something takes practice. Obstacles and adversity are no different. Though it would be easier to sit back and enjoy a cushy modern life, the upside of preparation is that we’re not disposed to lose all of it-least of all our heads-when someone or something suddenly messes with our plans.” (Page 137)

“The next step after we discard our expectations and accept what happens to us, after understanding that certain things-particularly bad things- are outside our control, is this: loving whatever happens to us and facing it with unfailing cheerfulness.” (Page 152)

“We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we feel about it. Any why on earth would you choose to feel anything but good? We can choose to render a good account of ourselves. If the event must occur, Amor fati (a love of fate) is the response. “(Page 154)

“There are more failures in the world due to a collapse of will than there will ever be from objectively conclusive events.” (Page 158)

“Shared purpose gives us strength.” (Page 164)

“Whatever you’re going through, whatever is holding you down or standing in your way, can be turned into a source of strength-by thinking of people other than yourself. You  won’t have time to think of your own suffering because there are other people suffering and you’re too focused on them.” (Page 165)

“Compassion is an option. Camaraderie as well.” (Page 165)

“Help you fellow humans thrive and survive, contribute your little bit to the universe before it swallows you up, and be happy with that. Lend a hand to others. Be strong for them, and it will make you stronger.” (Page 166)

“But thinking about and being aware of our mortality creates real perspective and urgency. It doesn’t need to be depressing. Because it’s invigorating. And since this is true, we ought to make use of it. Instead of denying-or worse, fearing-our mortality, we can embrace it. Reminding ourselves each day that we will die helps us treat our time as a gift. Someone on a deadline doesn’t indulge himself with attempts at the impossible, he doesn’t waste time complaining about how he’d like things to be. They figure out what they need to do and do it, fitting in as much as possible before the clock expires.” (Page 170)