Day 22 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2019

Yesterday on 4/13/19 I wrote about how “disappointed” we were by missing out yet again with our daily ration of the Holiday Tau.  Have I jinxed us? Now I’m second guessing about recording 6 or 7 or more TauBits that could apply to me, ranging in value from “1” (hardly worth mentioning) to “5”  illustrating off-the-charts relevance). 

Am I diluting the value of this experiment?

Is it too early to draw conclusions about the ideal number I track?  

If it isn’t, maybe I could pay attention to just four or five Holiday Tau.  

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Four Holiday Taus feel about right.  Although I’m sure I’ll still be subject to bouts of FOMO or confirmation bias or a whole host of unconscious motivations.  

Put me down for a key principle from my Knowledge Creation and Innovation days.  Book learning or classroom learning is great, but if you don’t apply it in different situations you don’t acquire the knowledge that comes from that experience.  

In technology companies we often talked about the half-life of an engineer’s knowledge — how many years before 50% of what an engineer knew became obsolete because of the pace of technological change.  

I wonder what the half-life of wisdom is?

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: Maturity comes from experience — often, not always.  Those who don’t also reflect on what happened and make changes may get older without getting wiser.” Taurus

Thank you Steve for allowing me to steal your Holiday Tau.  I may just rank this one at the top for me and remind myself to dig for enlightenment.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: You’re struggling against what you want.  Maybe you’re worried about how others see you. Dig deeper for enlightenment.” Gemini

Huh, this is a pretty cool day.  I made it a habit of painting word pictures in my journals of offices, buildings, homes, and outdoor settings so I could reference them much later in my life.  

Hmm. Come to think of it, I not only took a series of photos documenting how the construction crew built the building on campus so you could see its progress and how they managed to complete its 5 stories, but I photographed my office, its view and places where I advised Executive MBA students.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61: The saying, ‘These are the good old days’ is completely true. So take pictures, not just of people’s faces but of the ordinary things.” Virgo

So, you’re saying it’s time for me to grow up!?

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41:Children fantasize about who they’ll be when they grow up.  Grown-ups do the same.  Our identities are in continual development.  Move forward.” Sagittarius

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

TauBits for the Taking

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2021

It’s Thursday and this is another edition of “TauBits for the Taking” on 4/29/21. Diving deeper into Wikipedia I found luck.  Isn’t that what we all hope for? Yeah, I thought so and that’s why this section of the natural experiment’s conclusions is:

Do I Feel Lucky?

Harry Callahan: You’ve Got To Ask Yourself One Question: ‘Do I Feel Lucky? ‘ Well, Do Ya, Punk?

There’s Dirty Harry and Harry Bosch.  While Michael Connelly’s  Detective Harry Bosch doesn’t believe in coincidences I just read a passage in “Black Box” where he drew energy after getting lucky — he knew reporters follow a story which leads to another story and then another or to a trusted source. 

“But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold.”  

Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later … “So much for his luck holding … he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.”

We talk about luck in improbable, negative or positive terms when we’re faced with random or chance events beyond our control.

Luck is a form of superstition. We already mentioned how Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity, which he described as “a meaningful coincidence”. 

Some evidence supports the idea that belief in luck acts like a placebo, producing positive thinking and improving our responses to events.

Richard Wiseman did a ten-year scientific study… concluding, to a large extent, people make their own good and bad fortune. His research revealed that, “Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. 

They are skilled at: 

            • creating and noticing chance opportunities, 
            • making lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, 
            • creating self-fulfilling prophecies via positive expectations, and 
            • adopting a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

We’ve heard from two Harrys, a Michael, a Carl and a Richard.  What say we turn our attention to four of my favorite Steves?

You know Zahnny, I have to disagree with your opening premise.  I could agree if you added “but there certainly ideal tribes which I call Talent Cultures in organizations, and (this is a big and) if you know which of 16 Talent Profiles you can claim, then you can more easily select the best and worst organizations and growth stages to pursue.

To your second Holiday Tau observation — yes, organizational change happens slowly and, thank you that fact alone provided years of consulting fees for me in mature companies heading towards decline, but desperately wanting to reinvent themselves.  

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There are no ideal groups, though it’s fun to imagine things being better. Organizational change tends to happen very slowly; changing yourself is relatively quick and doing so will affect the entire group.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Which way should I interpret your TauBit of Wisdom, Steve?  My first take more easily fit this passion project, especially as I write up my natural experiment’s report. 

But now rereading it — probably influenced by Zahnny — I might reclassify it from practical, project and task orientation to how I went about my role as an external consultant and an intrapreneur in those declining organizations.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): Because you want to make your work the best it can be, you’re willing to entertain new ideas. You’ll banter, twist and play around with your resources. Changes and add-ons will take it to the next level.” Aries

WTF G&G?  How lucky am I?  All three of today’s Holiday Tau, yours included, describe what was foremost in how I approached my professional career and peeled away the onion layers to find the simplest answer to complicated challenges. Thanks, Steves.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:Complex problems may not require complex solutions. However, finding the solution that works may be a long and winding journey that seems complicated indeed! Regardless, stay in it for the long haul and the satisfying end.” Virgo

“In the Knews Letter”

The Tau of Steves 

  • “5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “While emotional energy, like love, may be invisible, to your eye, it animates the physical world quite obviously. You will easily tell how people are feeling, especially when they are trying to hide those feelings.” Leo
  • “5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There are no ideal groups, though it’s fun to imagine things being better. Organizational change tends to happen very slowly; changing yourself is relatively quick and doing so will affect the entire group.” Scorpio

Trends Fresh from the Labs

Headlines and Highlights 

Long-Form

    • I enjoy any of the Harry Bosch detective books in the series authored by Michael Connelly.  “A Darkness More Than Night,” described “A strange constricting feeling filled his gut. He didn’t believe in coincidences… (It) was a coincidence that even a believer in coincidence would have a difficult time accepting.”So much for detectives, tying up loose ends, relying on their hunches and reordering data, information and witness first hand accounts. 
    • Or, in “Black Box,” Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch adventure he writes, “But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold.”  Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later … “So much for his luck holding… he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.”

Progress and Procrastination

    • Progress — Composing a draft of the Conclusions Section of the Report

Speaking Volumes

    • Can I structure the “Volume Three Manuscript” story like in “True Believers,” the novel by Kurt Andersen? He describes the writing of a memoir and the horrible secret as the heart of his story, but in a fictional story.  

Working on the Business

    • @KnowLabs suite of digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8088 organically grown followers

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Previous:

Related:

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip

Day 18 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2019

Our manic teacher, who shaved his head and ranted and raved about how if you’d be coming up against him in the real estate marketplace then you’d better be prepared, because he was all about grabbing exclusive listings that you’d never have the opportunity to lock up.  

4/6/19

You guessed it. Even though it is spring and hope springs eternal the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me has been so lackluster I have no choice but to steal these.  I’m not proud of it.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

First up, let’s steal from two comics and a founder.  This is a two parter. It was fun to think about the future, but it became more of a necessity when I found myself adrift between what was once my career and the unknown of what was to become of me.  

I failed miserably. Couldn’t get a foothold that wouldn’t slip me into despair.  Out of basic survival I received VA tuition income for taking real estate classes on the Irvine campus of Saddleback Community College.  

Our manic teacher, who shaved his head and ranted and raved about how if you’d be coming up against him in the real estate marketplace then you’d better be prepared, because he was all about grabbing exclusive listings that you’d never have the opportunity to lock up.

Later the same night another instructor, who had been a civil engineer and a real estate appraiser, lectured us about how the market defines “higher and better use.  What drives value in the market place? Trends — the macro economic and cultural environment influences ”.  

Oh crap I thought to myself I don’t know nothing about trends. And then I found out there’s just too many to ponder.  And that led to analysis — paralysis.  Yikes.  

And, yes I became guilty of missing the small moments I grew to cherish with Emma the Baroness.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: It’s fun to think about the future so long as you can avoid getting so caught up in planning that you miss what’s happening right now.” Leo

Is there a point to monitoring trends?  If you get good enough you begin to anticipate why they’re happening, and why you should pay attention far enough in advance to protect your earning capacity and future security.

Oh wait, is this more about the rule of thumb in training I followed?  Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them? Naw.  If it was I’d give it a “2”.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61: When you tell people what they are about to experience and then deliver on that, the reaction will be favorable.” Virgo

Why steal Aoki’s Holiday Tau when I could have chosen any of the other eleven?  Putting your best foot forward, you need to know which is your best foot when walking is an activity that doesn’t require your conscious direction.  

Ok.  See if this helps.  When you’re really good at something and you’re in the flow, that artistic, creative, professional zone — you just are.  

That’s your superpower.  

In an interview when someone asks you about your strengths you want to describe it, but it’s what you do outside of your awareness.  You’ll stammer and talk in circles leaving a horrible impression unless you take the time break down your super strengths and talents ahead of time. 

Often another’s feedback shortens that process and helps you pull out the valuable tidbits a client or employer would want.  

“3”  Steve Aoki, 41:There are so many wonderful things about your life, most of them so common to you that you can’t really see them.  It’s why the perspective of strangers is so valuable to you now.” Sagittarius

Sorry Steve, this doesn’t get me very far today.

“2”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): You can’t argue with what works, nor is there any point in arguing with what doesn’t.” Aries

Feel free to steal McQueen’s Holiday Tau if it suits you better.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 17 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2019

You’ve been tested a lot recently. Try to temper your self-criticism with a softer and more gracious attitude toward yourself.

4/5/19.  The Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me has been so lackluster lately — as I pointed out last week — that at first I only included ours giving it a low score.

I could have easily skipped it again until I re-read the last line and “long-term” caught my imagination.  Taxes.  Filing taxes to be more exact.  

“2”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There will be small ups and downs. Stay cool. It’s the long-term that matters.” Scorpio 

Up until this tax year I’d been practicing a year’s old strategy of minimizing the amount we’d have to pay while salting away as much as was allowed for retirement sometime in the future.  

With good fortune my 401K and IRA contributions grew.  I could predict my income, but the wild card — which I’m too fortunate to complain about — was finding out how much we earned from our Schwab and Edward Jones accounts almost after the deadline they were supposed to honor.  

Filing 2018 Federal and State income taxes surprised me again, the small ups and downs I suppose.  So we stayed cool realizing we fit in extra vacation time I had banked at the University to enjoy on our anniversary trip to Italy.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Was I tested?  I guess you could say I felt angry during the last twelve months working in what I call a Systematic-Professional, Organization Type — a university.  

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): You’ve been tested a lot recently. Try to temper your self-criticism with a softer and more gracious attitude toward yourself.” Aries

What started as a long-term consulting assignment defining and building out a curriculum for Executive MBA students — which I did beginning with the Great Recession and ending 6 months ago — had been my baby.  

I enjoyed the autonomy and the sand box to field test a new, more effective advisory service and mentoring program based on my work with C-Level leaders.  Then as all things must come to an end, a new boss took over with a management style that brought out the worst in me. 

The darkness lifted and over the past 6 months I’ve found time I couldn’t spend before for creating digital magazines, re-structuring my 6 blogs by building websites “around” them and defining a process for self-publishing an up and coming 5-book series. 

Am I flying blind, you bet. So thank you three Steves for allowing me to swipe your Holiday Tau.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69:You’re getting excited about something new, and you’re not sure how it makes sense for your life.  Just trust yourself. Reasons will emerge.Leo

Scheduling my own time translates into being my own boss who, if truth be told, isn’t always the best example of one.  So, yes this one is for me.  I should return to earlier times when I forced my self time blocks for meditation. 

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: Modern living can feel relentless. Take a break from the pace and complexity. Stop. Relax. Find peace.” Sagittarius

I have to guess I’m not the only one who becomes frustrated with the challenges of learning newer technologies precisely at the time you expect to pump out results.  

I’m my own tech department.  

Mastering WordPress nearly did me in. As did the my early experience with Flipboard — the platform for my 37 digital magazines delivered Fresh from the Labs.  Literally bottled and set adrift from KnowWhere Atoll. 

“4”  Steve Nash, 45: Concentration on the same task over time will yield deep and substantial results.” Aquarius

What have I learned? 

Publishing to WordPress felt so overwhelming that I forced my self to just start and work line-by-line until I was satisfied with the result. 

Each iteration defined a process which then became an efficient habit. 

So, yes and thank you Steve Nash for letting me creatively swipe your Holiday Tau.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 16 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

March 2019

3/31/19.  While it pains me to admit it the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me has been so lackluster lately I didn’t even list our TauBit to give it a low ranking.  So on to the life of birth crimes …

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

File under “What was I thinking?” Oh, wait nobody said I couldn’t combine two Holiday Taus to make a stronger, more relevant Holiday Tau. 

So part one belongs to Mr. Smith.  My natural inclination is truly to ask the ‘why’ question maybe not to the same extent that I did and you did when we discovered how to exasperate our parents, right?  “Mommy, why is the sky blue?”  “Well … hmm … because … light from the sun turns on the blue color, right Daddy?” “Why?” “Ask your Daddy!” “Why?” 

So I get the first part, but I’m pretty sure I’d skip “What” in favor of “How”.  As in how do I apply my new understanding.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30:You already asked yourself the ‘why’ questions, and it’s time to switch to ‘what’.” Gemini

The Holiday Tau for the two, Winwood and Wonder, kinda, sorta round out my experience.  

When I teach seminars, workshops or present to an audience and, especially when I break down a topic into next steps I have to understand it inside and out.  I agree with those people who say you learn the most out of teaching someone else how to do something.  

And by taking yourself through each step answering the string of “whys” and “hows” you come to the “whats” as in what happens next, what about, and one of my favorites what if …?

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69:When explaining something, you’ll come to understand it with new clarity and most likely develop the next phase of the idea too.” Taurus

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 14 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

March 2019

3/28/19.  Not only are we back, but the Holiday Tau exclusively for Zahn, Winkler, Emma the Baroness and me earns my highest ranking for a TauBit of Wisdom in a long, long time.  And I might add to the exclusion of all the rest of Steves.

Why such a high ranking (the highest)? 

 It reflects my lifelong habit, starting in my early 20s, of journaling with a felt tip pen in hand on note paper and eventually into steno notebooks so I wouldn’t lose the pages as often as I did.  

And, yes if I felt blocked, or cornered or frightened or scared or unsure of myself I’d write and draw my way out.  

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “You feel blocked in an area of life, and you’ll write your way out of it.  Getting your feelings down, if only to be read by you, will liberate you.” Scorpio

In psychology circles journaling was and still is a thing, recognized as a positive self-therapeutic tool.  

It took me through feelings about being thousands of miles away from home in a war.  It helped me make sense of the adjustment of returning to a normal life. 

It took me through a divorce and a bankruptcy. And meeting and marrying Emma the Baroness, the love of my life.  

Through career transitions and major life decisions.  

But, the habit introduced new problems — with so much written, how can you efficiently find something you’ve written?  

Digital tools replaced pen and paper. In fact a version of what I experienced can be read by you.

Image Credit: Scott Fisher, Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate