S3 E36 — Placebo, Meaningful Coincidence or Just Feeling Lucky

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 people’s responses to events.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): The first idea that comes to you may indeed be the best one, but come up with more anyway, if only for the accompanying thrill of heading into unexplored directions.” Aries

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 36 in Season 3 of  My Paradoxically Normal Year” on this 29th day of April in the spring of 2021 — which is a three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic year and then in the pandemic year, and now months after.

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

Table of Contents

Previously from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E35This Ain’t No Zemblanity; S3 E34Why You’re Susceptible to Subliminal Suggestions Like …; S3 E33Do Meaningful Coincidences Really Exist?

Related from Season Two, The Pandemic Year

S2 E36Turning Lemons into Margaritas; S2 E35Was this Pandemic Year a 1-Off or New Way of Life?; S2 E34Why Is This Kicking Off the 4th Industrial Revolution?; S2 E33What Happens When Your Business Collapses?

Related from Season One, The Normal Year

S1 E36Day 36 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E35Day 35 of My 1-Year Experiment ; S1 E34Day 34 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E33Day 33 of My 1-Year Experiment

Context

In the Report’s Conclusion Section of The One-Year Natural Experiment we’ve covered meaningful coincidences and synchronicity, now it’s about their second cousin,  serendipity or happy accidents as in unplanned, but fortunate discoveries. 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 and 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 as random or chance events beyond our control which occur all around us.

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 people’s 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?

Evidence

You know Zahnny, I have to disagree with your opening premise.  I could agree if you added “but there are 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

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @KnowLabs suite of digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8068 organically grown followers

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge” by E.O. Wilson, an entomologist who studied colonies of ants for their insights.  But didn’t stop there, according to The Wall Street Journal, “A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them.”
    • “True Believers,” the novel by Kurt Andersen (which seems to precede Fantasyland)? I like how he goes back and forth from now to the ‘60s in which the main character is writing a memoir, but needs “Okays” from her friends who had been hiding a secret for 40+ years that could ruin their careers?  Like, what’s my equivalent?
    • “Disappearing Through the Skylight” by O.B. Hardison, Jr. which proceeded “Consilience” by a decade.  Hardison’s been described as a polymathic renaissance man who wrote, “… Nature has slipped, perhaps finally beyond our field of vision.”  What does it mean for “… science, history, art and architecture, music, language, ultimately, for humanity”? This one provides missing chunks of understanding where we came from and where we’re going.
    • 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.”

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E73 — WorkFit: Chopping Off 12 Losers at the Intersection of Speed and Independence

So, what does mean when only one out of the list of 13 original worse fit organizations remained on the list of when independent identity intersected with a rapid pace as a dozen vanished?

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The day is marked by a resilient spirit of independence that has you preferring your own company, keeping your own council, deciding for yourself without worry or need of any outside reassurance.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 73 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 2nd day of July in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E7220 Niche-Specific Opportunities Found After Making Soul Crushing Mistakes; S2 E71 My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All TimeS2 E70Persistent Failure

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E73Do You Need a Little Leo da V Time Too?; S1 E72It’s Taken so Long, I Could be Wrong; S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

It all began with the future of talent development.  I facilitated a human resources task force that listed 19 trends out of 100 that they felt would impact the composition of employees in companies of the future.

They evaluated generation X, Y, and Z demographics together with baby boomer statistics. 

They considered the increase in free agent preferences and globalization with new technologies including alternative energy. 

They sorted each of the 19 written on post-its into four clusters on the conference room wall and then free associated about the unique story each cluster told. 

Finally, they drew a box for each scenario so they could better see boundaries differentiating one from another.

And it became easier to flesh out a vertical line in the middle and a horizontal line. 

Those lines intersected in the middle like a “+” where the internal smaller boxes touched each other.    

Pretty soon the team saw the two outer vertical borders of the four boxes representing higher degrees of one dimension and the same for outer horizontal borders.  

So stories emerged along the vertical axis “+” which corresponded to an identity ranging from independent on the top and affiliated at the bottom.

And, along the horizontal “-“ axis the pace or speed on the left hand-side and time-for-mastery on the right hand-side.

Are you thinking what I was thinking?  

Now back to me.  What if we combine the two sets together and sort the 20 better and 13 worse positions I already identified to figure out why? 

So we’d have a High Degree of Independence at the top and a Higher Degree of Affiliation at the bottom. 

And a Higher Degree of Speed at the left margin and a Higher Degree of Mastery at the right hand margin.   

Here’s the display of my 25 of my 33 positions resorted first by the combination of three dimensions: high degrees of independence, speed and mastery.

I keep the original number for each opportunity and identify whether they came from the original worse or better fit lists.

First I consider 7 of 25 combining high independence and speed.

High Independence & Speed High Independence & Mastery
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Worse Fit
23.  Organization Development — Technology: Better Fit
24.  Startup — Quantum Learning Systems: Better Fit
25.  Director Continuous Improvement: Better Fit
26.  Organization Development — Tech Company: Better Fit
30.  Venture Guidance: Better Fit
32. Consultant — Product Development Merger: Better Fit

To refresh your memory from the previous episodes, I include snapshots of situations I encountered for each.

High Independence and Speed 

Better or Worse Fit?

6.  Vocational Rehabilitation Services— Three private companies offering B2B services for insurance companies.  Didn’t like opposing sides.  Close micro-management. Clients had back injuries and required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification — Worse Fit

23. Organizational Development – Technology — Climate for Innovation, (A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracted the best of the best. Our motto was simply, “It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”) World Class Manufacturing, Skunk Works, Trends and What ifs to find value during high change, Mergers and Acquisitions — Complex, Disruptive, Accelerated Changes, Just-In-Time, Safari. two different immune systems develop equal and opposite anti-bodies over five years, but especially in the first 18 months of selling something that even we didn’t understand — Better Fit

24. Startup — Quantum Learning Systems — Safari, Organizational Learning to accommodate speed of disruptive innovation, anticipating new opportunities and rapid learning as a basic skill set for reinvention — Better Fit

25. Director Continuous Improvement — Spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions. Its corporate immune system and talent culture reflected their preferred seat of the pants high pace flavor of time-to-market product introduction. Product managers wanted to know with was more important, driving revenue or scheduling yet another series of non-productive meetings — Better Fit

26. Emerging Desktop Projector Company— 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. It provided the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. Introduced me to tools for capturing new knowledge creation for product development teams short staffed with critical talent — Better Fit

30. Venture Guidance —Prepped potential startup entrepreneurs to seek investments from a a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agree to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  In a deck of 10 slides after being coached by us individually, they’d have to stand and deliver to a group of us roll playing the sharks and throwing them curve balls and challenging their assumptions — Better Fit

32. Consultant — Product Development Merger — Advised two former competitors to define gated product development process with input from all stakeholders from innovative idea to manufacturing — Better Fit

Next time we’ll focus on my worse or better experiences in organizations whee I operated with higher degrees of independence and mastery.

Summary for High Independence and Speed  

So, what does mean when only one out of the list of 13 original worse fit organizations remained on the list of when independent identity intersected with a rapid pace as a dozen vanished? 

I rated Vocational Rehabilitation Services as a worse fit, because I had transitioned from more traditional professional psychology positions into a newly privatized services offering, largely spun out of insurance companies that had written workers compensation policies for employers in the State of California. 

My professional training downplayed the business development and sales emphasis that new companies require quickly to grow. 

It just wasn’t for me.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:With your attention pulled by recent developments, it may be hard for you to concentrate on work. Devote yourself to the repetitive, tedious and necessary parts. You’ll be most productive while mentally processing life.” Cancer

Boy, that’s true for me.  How about you?  But, we introverts don’t mind the isolation so much as do the extroverts who tend to socialize for their energy replacement.  Just give me some time to concentrate on this manuscript and I’ll be happy.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Don’t worry about starting things off on the right foot. Just lean forward and see which foot sticks out to prevent your fall. That’s what progress is — a precarious tilt; catch yourself; right yourself; repeat.” Virgo

Given that I’ve become more vertically challenged until I can get this damned left-knee replaced, I’m not too thrilled with this TauBit of Wisdom.  It hits too close to home.

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:Why do you like the hard challenges? They practically demand you grow stronger. You want to be a force of nature, not a victim, acted upon by other forces of nature.” Libra

Really?  I do?  The challenge needs to capture and sustain my attention or else I lose interest rapidly.  I do look for patterns so I can anticipate the direction of forces important to decisions in my life.  It’s just my nature.

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: You have your choice of routes today. As a rule, the bendy roads are more exciting and more dangerous. It’s all about sightlines. None can see around the curve. How comfortable are you with uncertainty?” Sagittarius

This reminds me of a story Joel Barker told illustrating anticipation with open filtering.  Maybe on the bendy road snaking outside of Jerome, Arizona on the route to Sedona, a convertible screams around the curve obviously enjoying the freedom of the road. Driving a bit more cautiously, but heading in the opposite direction a local with his elbow hanging out the drivers window sees them approach.  As they barely squeeze past the convertible driver yells “Pig!”. To which the local yells back, “Go to Hell!” and watches the convertible in his rear view mirror, muttering to himself.  And just then he crashes into the pig crossing the road.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:There’s someone who gives you undivided attention and places the focus exactly where it matters most to you. A solid case could be made for the premise that this is the very definition of love.”Aquarius

How should I rate this TauBit of Wisdom?  Let’s see, how about a “5”?  She’s looking over my shoulder isn’t she?  Doesn’t matter, Emma the Baroness is the very definition of love.  Right dear?

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): The day is marked by a resilient spirit of independence that has you preferring your own company, keeping your own council, deciding for yourself without worry or need of any outside reassurance.” Pisces

So, which day isn’t marked by this kind of spirit?  

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4073 to 4231.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E72 — 20 Niche-Specific Opportunities Found After Making Soul Crushing Mistakes

Why did these employment opportunities land on the this list?  A feeling of independence or affiliation?  Or allowing for creative expression? Or trying and succeeding at something new?  See for yourself.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:The pro is just an amateur who has made and recovered from many mistakes. Your personal life will benefit from the application of a few marketing principles, particularly, knowing your niche and differentiating yourself.” Virgo

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 72 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 28th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E71 My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All Time; S2 E70Persistent Failure; S2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E72It’s Taken so Long, I Could be Wrong; S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

Up next I list 20 of my better fit jobs and clients I’ve engaged with in contrast with the 13 worse fit in my previous episode.  The key question is what was it about each project or employer that discouraged or inspired me.  

Let’s turn to the better fits now.

Worse Fits Better Fits
1.   Manufacturing 14.   Bank CD Conversion Tracker
2.   Gas Station Attendant 15.   Good Humor Ice Cream
3.   US Army 16.   Graduate Student Assistant
4.   Auto Insurance Agent 17.   Graduate Assistant Internship
5.   Retail Sales Big Ticket 18.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services 19.   Artist — Cards, Poetry, Photos
7.   Professional Training Company 20.   Information Preneur — InFox
8,   Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms 21.  Research & Development — Career Change
9.   Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company 22.  Trainer, Management Development
10. University Extension Instructor 23.  Organization Development — Technology
11. Consultant Leadership Academy  24.  Startup — Quantum Learning Systems
12, Director Electronics Distribution Company 25.  Director Continuous Improvement
13. Consultant Professional Services 26.  Organization Development — Tech Company
27.  Knowledge Management — Brand Company
28.  Knowledge Media Business
29.  Key Executive Advisor
30.  Venture Guidance
31. Consultant — Defense Company Spin Off 
32. Consultant — Product Development Merger
33. Advisor — Executive MBA Program 

Better Fits

Why did these employment opportunities land on the this list?  A feeling of independence or affiliation?  Or allowing for creative expression? Or trying and succeeding at something new?  See for yourself.

14. Bank — Challenge of manual to technology operations. Problem solving. detective following a pattern of clues. No paper work. Solved, move on, keep my mind engaged.

15. Good Humor Ice Cream — Variety, independence. nothing in common 

16. Graduate Student Assistant — Never received great grades in under graduate classes; more serious after the Army — more autonomy, flexibility, enjoyed research and knowledge work.

17. Graduate Assistant Internship — Working for the State of California half time and professional services startup 50%.  First job in psychology field.

18. Vocational Rehabilitation Services — The more interesting patients were cops, firefighters and sheriffs who filed stress claims. Set up the first behavior modification steps to more objectively evaluate patients and group job club reinforcement for self-placement while marketing not selling. Exposed to Outplacement.  Something new.

19. Artist — Cards, Poetry, Photos — Creative expression combining my new found love of photography with prose and poetry.  Considered creating a line of greeting cards and posters.  

20. Online Membership Start Up Information ‘Preneur based on ways of “making money while you slept”. Money in your mailbox. Experimenting with personal computer. Named it InFox for Information Exchange 

21. Research & Development — Career Change — Field testing my approach — tried to sell to Orange Coast and Coastline Community Colleges. Orange County the Association Training and Development

22. Trainer, Management Development — Research, trends and past information interviews. Internal Outplacement – sold it and got permission. Learned on the job — improve quality, introduce new technology, teach and facilitate sales teams (I know, right) and at corporate headquarters send high potential managers in the developmental pipeline to university executive programs for rounding out.  I learned large-scale organizations resist change like an immune system does. Developed and refined my skill and talent to package new ideas — newer ways of doing things better — than the tried and true, especially during a decline when hundreds of employees receive their pink slips on Fridays.  Oh you need a plan A for thriving in the good times and a plan B for surviving in the dark times.

23. Organizational Development – Technology — Climate for Innovation, (A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracted the best of the best. Our motto was simply, “It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.”) World Class Manufacturing, Skunk Works, Trends and What ifs to find value during high change, Mergers and Acquisitions — Complex, Disruptive, Accelerated Changes, Just-In-Time, Safari. two different immune systems develop equal and opposite anti-bodies over five years, but especially in the first 18 months of selling something that even we didn’t understand.

24. Startup — Quantum Learning Systems — Safari, Organizational Learning to accommodate speed of disruptive innovation, anticipating new opportunities and rapid learning as a basic skill set for reinvention.

25. Director Continuous Improvement — Spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions. Its corporate immune system and talent culture reflected their preferred seat of the pants high pace flavor of time-to-market product introduction. Product managers wanted to know with was more important, driving revenue or scheduling yet another series of non-productive meetings

26. Emerging Desktop Projector Company — 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. It provided the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. Introduced me to tools for capturing new knowledge creation for product development teams short staffed with critical talent.

27. Knowledge Management — Brand CompanyStrategy and Brand Consultancy. We crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, advertising and marketing. We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand on digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates.  

28. Knowledge Media Business — Three of us tried to make a go of our pioneering efforts to capture the new knowledge being spun off so it wouldn’t fall through the cracks for Paradoxy-Moron organizations.  But the market didn’t support it and we had to go our separate ways.

29. Key Executive Advisor — Heading up the regions outplacement for C-suite services paid for by their former company. I covered delivered individual and group facilitated services for offices throughout the Southern California Region from San Diego to Woodland Hills, Pasadena and West LA.  It dawned on me that who you knew made the most difference for people at this level I created an online community for information and insight sharing and of course for trusted referrals.

30. Venture Guidance —Prepped potential startup entrepreneurs to seek investments from a a group of entrepreneurs and former executives who agree to pledge $50,000 each as seed or A-series funding.  In a deck of 10 slides after being coached by us individually, they’d have to stand and deliver to a group of us roll playing the sharks and throwing them curve balls and challenging their assumptions.

31. Defense Industry Commercial Spin Off — To commercialize electron-beam sterilization of fruits and vegetables and hamburger meet to extend their shelf life.  Doctors had invested after a round of salmonella outbreak.  He had another client which was reinventing itself trying to both innovate and control their product development process. I learned that the talent cultures that inhabit defense contractors are no way the talent cultures that you need to commercialize a startup.  

32. Consultant — Product Development Merger — Advised two former competitors to define gated product development process with input from all stakeholders from innovative idea to manufacturing.

33. Advisor — Executive and Healthcare MBA Program — A decade which I view as a field test or a laboratory for the content in these second volume books. I proposed a curriculum to the Director for him to review and meet with me.  “Why would anyone choose to come back to school for an executive MBA (and spend over $100,000 over two years) when you’ve got all they’d ever need in this curriculum?

So, yes I admit at this point I wanted to know for myself and for others I would advise, just how do you match your talents to opportunities that bring out the very best in you so you can succeed over the course of your career(s).

But, there’s the flip side.  The perspective from the employer and client side as well.  We’ll turn to what Human Resource Executives discovered next.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Should you impart your exact vision, or should you be more collaborative? The art is in what you leave out. When in doubt, choose space and let people fill it with their imaginations.” Scorpio

Boy, as you scan down the list, doesn’t this describe what drew me to each of them?  Collaboration. Imagination.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: Don’t worry about being original today. You already are and cannot help but be. Copying work you admire will prime you for eventually creating your own masterpiece.”  Taurus

I selected this TauBit, not for today, but for how I operated in those better situations that required something newer, but maybe not bleeding edge new.  As an idea packager, I needed access to better ideas which meant original research.  It meant throwing out a wide net.  It meant copying and note taking.  It meant rearranging and recombining.  It meant all of those processes coming together for creating new knowledge and innovation. 

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: There’s a world of difference between what people say and what they do. Your comprehensive understanding comes from observing others in action, all the while knowing that each move speaks volumes.” Leo

Sure, in the same way a detective interviews witnesses with low stress questions at first and then builds to more difficult queries while all the time observing their reactions.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:The pro is just an amateur who has made and recovered from many mistakes. Your personal life will benefit from the application of a few marketing principles, particularly, knowing your niche and differentiating yourself.” Virgo

Ok, so I’m definitely an amateur.  “Mistakes” is my middle name, so paying attention to marketing principles within the pipeline I need to activate couldn’t hurt, eh?

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: You are wise to the fact that urgency is usually a disguise people use to get more quickly to the result they want. Take back the power. Do things on your timetable, not theirs.” Sagittarius

In one way this TauBit of Wisdom comes naturally to me and all you other introverts out there, right? In another way too many people who I won’t name want the answer, but not the understanding.  You know they’re hungry for the meal, but not the preparation by following a recipe.  If you aren’t careful, you’ll create a co-dependency if you cave in.  They’ll be back later wanting the same result from you.

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:Different languages exist within the same language. You listen to what people speak and speak their language back to them, thus creating an atmosphere of trust.  Capricorn

Isn’t this at the core of active listening, which all of us consultants, coaches, psychologists and advisors practice?

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:You’ll find yourself aware of your own presence and wondering who the ‘you’ is who seems to be witnessing you. In this way, you are similar to most of the great gurus and spiritual-seekers who have walked this earth.” Aquarius 

Wait!  Gurus and spiritual-seekers wandering the earth?  I’ve noticed this phenomenon as I fill in these sentences today and over time as I obsessively kept a journal.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4073 to 4231.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E71 — My Top 13 Worst Jobs of All Time

Not everyone loves the work they do.  Not everyone can make a living doing what they love to do.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Aligning to the belief systems of those around you is a survival mechanism. Sometimes, the right answer is hard to see because everyone around is agreeing to the wrong answer. But don’t worry; things are shifting.” Scorpio

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 71 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 27th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E70Persistent FailureS2 E69How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?; S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This?; S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown; S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?

Context

This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

Not everyone loves the work they do.  Not everyone can make a living doing what they love to do.  The trick is to find how to navigate through your career(s) using your most enjoyable skills and talents do something, working for yourself or someone else, which is in high demand and pays well. 

Here’s what I’ve only recently come to understand about “why” out of a total of 33 jobs I fell into or choices I made led to my best and worst fits. First the 13 worst fits … 

Worse Fits

Better Fits

1.   Manufacturing
2.   Gas Station Attendant
3.   US Army
4.   Auto Insurance Agent
5.   Retail Sales Big Ticket
6.   Vocational Rehabilitation Services
7.   Professional Training Company
8,   Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms
9.   Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company
10. University Extension Instructor
11. Consultant Leadership Academy
12, Director Electronics Distribution Company
13. Consultant Professional Services

For a more detailed description of why I felt each of these jobs landed on my “Worse Fits” list, check out my previous episodes.

Worse Fits

      1. Manufacturing — I felt brain dead. no intellectual stimulation. No affiliation with co-workers. No variety.
      2. Gas Station Attendant at a 24 hour Mobile — nothing in common with fellow workers, mind drifted, same routine
      3. US Army — not loyal, not much in common with lifers, got to know minorities better, but more challenging work in preventive medicine; hated standard operating procedures, “There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Army way.”
      4. Auto Insurance Agent — Learned about reoccurring income as a business model for professional services, just not into the amount of sales effort and prospecting for leads.
      5. Retail Sales Big Ticket — Hard on my feet, low amount of shoppers, didn’t feel like it was in their best interest to buy from this department store; more a consumer advocate.  Learned about tricks of the trade, bi-polar character.
      6. Vocational Rehabilitation Services — three private companies offering B2B services for insurance companies.  Didn’t like opposing sides.  Close micro-management. Clients had back injuries and required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification. 
      7. Professional Training Company — Focus on customizing suite of supervisory training programs.  Seemed old school, been that done that, couldn’t engage my attention and I didn’t sell new business, but it made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” sense or repurposing what you’ve done to grow revenue.  But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to turn out and deliver supervisory courses for clients like a university hospital, a transportation agency, or even to three technology companies. I lost interest in management training in slow moving mature organization types while craving the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging  talent I developed when the ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.
      8. Independent Contractor Outplacement Firms — I activated Plan B as an independent contractor delivering outplacement group training sessions and coaching at two firms. For the second I held down the fort while the founder underwent heart surgery.  He recognized my heart wasn’t in his business and his pressure to sell.  I was much more interested in conceptualizing which trends — demographic, social, technical, economic, political — through their interconnectedness would produce major opportunities for new products, services and careers.
      9. Consultant Life and Mutual Fund Company — Can you interject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  It was a complex, complicated maneuver with tons of new knowledge and new ideas packaging.  But, I yearned for a return a more Paradoxy-Moron organization that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
      10. University Extension Instructor —teaching reengineering and continuous improvement as an idea packager thrilled and challenged me, but it represented a hell of a lot of work for low pay.
      11. Consultant Leadership Academy — Medical laboratory that didn’t present the challenge of high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.
      12. Director Electronics Distribution Company — regional distribution company tried first grow nationally and then internationally.  They ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place. Less about innovating and more about sales. The joke told internally was “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”
      13. Consultant Professional Services — Advised software startup who seemed to be the Swiss Army Knife of surveys with additional functions and features that could fit almost any requirement in the human resources development profession. Their niche was their ability to conduct a survey and generate findings almost immediately instead of weeks which increased the probability that leadership development could be initiated right away. 

Does this list make me a winer, instead of a winner?  Or does it show something else?  And just what is that something else?  Next we turn to the twenty jobs, organizations and projects I worked on that provided a better fit for me.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:Aligning to the belief systems of those around you is a survival mechanism. Sometimes, the right answer is hard to see because everyone around is agreeing to the wrong answer. But don’t worry; things are shifting.” Scorpio

Is there a better way to describe what seems to be at the heart of those companies and clients that made the Top 13 Worse Fit list? The belief systems I encountered along the way struck me as a form of tribal warfare.  What is it about these 13 compared to the remaining list of Better Fit?  For me, that is.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “What drops into your life doesn’t need to be labeled ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ just yet. For now call it, ‘what’s happening’ and know that you’ll make more sense of it on a later day.” Aries

Isn’t this what I’m doing by writing the introduction to “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit”?  At the time of each of these 33 projects and employment opportunities I hadn’t considered that there may be different Organization Types which attracted me or repelled me yet.  

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: A million people could see the very same thing you see today and have a different view of it than you. Your unique point of view will allow you a discovery or invention.”  Taurus

This WorkFit project and manuscript originated with a small team of human resources experts — so not quite a million — but by harnessing the perspective of those professionals allowed me to develop my original research through further discovery.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Secrets tend to hide in plain view. They will be discovered readily by the people who most want to know. Many are too self-involved to understand the thrill of deciphering puzzles. Not you.” Leo

Give me a good fictional book of mystery or a complex and complicated challenge to work through and I’m a happy camper.  

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:The truth has power. It speaks to the gut and brings about emotional responses like laughter, tears and experiences of profundity. You’ll feel this today as you witness and tell the truth.” Libra

So, I’m a strong believer in the power of truth, but don’t you agree it has been drowned out by those who have alternative agendas and conspiracies to spread?

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Your opener may seem humble and unimpressive, but that’s because you’re still setting things up. You’re a strategist at heart and, like a chess master, you’re already working several moves ahead.” Aquarius

Yes, I am a strategist at heart.  While I may be working several moves ahead, I can easily get lost without finding my way back to the board.  Too many pieces in too many combinations in too many timeframes become too confusing.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): To take advantage of one opportunity, you have to leave all other experiences behind. You hardly ever think of what might have been, but today, a slight glimpse at an alternate path will intrigue you.” Pisces

Ok, you’ve got my attention.  Where is this intriguing alternate path about which you speak?

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

        • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

        • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E69 — How Can You Tell Who’s an Engineer at a Party?

A few years earlier they had won Company of the Year honors like my team did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ve known both introversion and extroversion and are currently an ‘ambivert,’ as some situations make you feel outgoing and others make you feel closed up.” Leo

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 69 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 25th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E68Take More Breakthrough Showers;  S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You; S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany; S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons from the school of hard knocks and an introduction for the second volume of books I described in the previous episode.

I had already changed careers and switched industries following the future brought to us by technology companies.

Founder’s Curse

I think it’s called the founder’s curse.  You hit a milestone — mature growth phase — and you build a headquarters to house your sprawling groups of employees dispersed and distributed in the local commercial offices.  And, almost a year to the day from when you celebrate with the ribbon cutting dignitaries your market shifts away from you and you free fall into a decline. 

During which they either sell or lease their building to other companies on the rise and distribute their workforce to smaller footprint buildings.

They fell into a decline.  I fell into unemployment. But I activated “Plan B” — becoming a consumer of outplacement at the firm that fired its founder a year or two earlier who, by the way,  received heart stents to keep him going. 

Small world.

Long-Term Retainer

Knowing how to go about finding work, an employer or as a client, within weeks I scored a long-term retainer with a life insurance and mutual fund firm.  It was the kind of mature organization that employed maintenance workers just to polish its each brick in its elaborate entry way.  

A few years earlier they had won Company of the Year honors like my team did in my “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for permission” company.  

Their challenge was asking if you can interject innovation into a century’s old mature company?  

I figured, why not try. 

It was a complex, complicated maneuver requiring tons of new knowledge and new ideas packaged in a way they could swallow without triggering an immune system response.  

I was free to add more clients, so I did — teaching reengineering and continuous improvement through the local university and collaborating with the Vice President of Human Resources at a headquarters of a medical laboratory to build out a Leadership Academy.  

But, to be honest I yearned to return to a more Paradoxy-Moron organization, the kind that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed. 

So much so, that I probably viewed the next opportunity through rose colored glasses.

Pursuit of a Paradoxy-Moron Organization

I didn’t mind the commute along the InFox coastline, which had grown in congestion but for a shorter distance to Sorrento Valley in San Diego.  

A smaller more manageable sized company of 200 employees generating revenues of roughly 200 million dollars required a full-time director of organizational development and training. Hot damn, that’s me.

It competed in the emerging multi-media projector business.  

A new CEO replaced the one who took over from the much beloved founder.  Most of the employees from day one believed they would always be in line for promotions. They wore so many hats in the beginning, surely they figured, when they hung up most of those caps in the closet they’d be entitled to freely move up the organizational chart and place their remaining hat on their office’s rack while claiming a position yet to be formulated.  

Instead, those positions at the top level went to people like me who had larger company experience, than they did. Nothing wrong with them,  but they had yet to experience by trial and error what would be required when the pace accelerated and risks grew exponentially.  We on the other hand could “parachute in” take a look around, size up the situation and move forward very quickly.

Still by Thursday evenings, the 1 hour and 15 minute commute wore on me and I didn’t look forward to the early Friday afternoon navigating the bumper to bumper traffic clogging the 5 freeway traveling north out of the city.  

De j’ vu, right?

Technology Distribution Company

Luckily one of the HR VPs who had received outplacement with me accepted a similar role at an Orange County technology distribution business, interviewed me and offered me a similar job but much closer to home.

Wow, it was great!  Except I failed to take off my rose colored glasses. Strike one.

And, strike two, I wished I hadn’t erased the voice mail message sent to all employees announcing the acquisition of our company while simultaneously assuring everyone that no-one would be laid off.  

Oh, and strike three, I wished I had asked just one more question in my initial interview with my VP buddy, instead of during subsequent working sessions with him as my boss.  

When it was too late during my orientation, I asked, “So what is the strategy to which I should tie my activities?” To which he responded, “I don’t know.”  The CEO kept those cards close to his vest.  

I did know the regional distribution company tried to first grow nationally and then internationally.  But, later they ran into complications with the technology required to translate currencies for product ordering.  Instead the acquirer from Europe already had systems in place which accommodated both different languages and currency types seamlessly.

Oops.

Strategy, Talent Branding, Knowledge Creation and Innovation

I left to join colleagues which I had hired to sync up the distributor’s “internal brand” with their” external brand” to attract more sales engineers.  The engineers they sought weren’t the “straight A” top-of -the-class candidates, which I learned never had considered a technology distribution company in their top 5 to pursue.  

If we were honest, those sought after engineers had no clue about our company, or if they heard of us, we never cracked their top 25 list.  

But, that’s OK.  My eventual colleagues discovered we shouldn’t be pursuing them either. Our targets were the fraternity rush chairmen who happened to take engineering and technology classes, but actually had a social personality.  

The joke told internally was, “How do you tell who’s an engineer at a party?  They’re the ones looking at their shoes.  How do you tell who’s the sales engineer? They’re looking at your shoes.”

Once my time at the plate with the technology distribution company ended with a called third strike, I hooked up with the team I had hired.  We crashed our models together — learning and development, knowledge creation, media production, internet communities, advertising and marketing. 

From our studio in the corner of Laguna Canyon Road we continued internal and external branding with clients ranging from startups to the Fortune 100.  

I learned companies paid much more for branding campaigns than I was ever able to charge in the HR world.  

We pioneered a way of capturing the essence of a brand from interviews using digital video, searched through audio tracks for the touch points and reused portions of the interviews for orienting new coders hired at accelerated rates.  

Unfortunately we expanded too quickly like many mom-and-pop restaurants do by anticipating an exploding  market that never grew and eventually dried up forcing the two founding partners to declare bankruptcy.

Dot Com Bankruptcy

Three of us continued on our own and tried to make a go of our pioneering efforts to capture the new knowledge being spun off so it wouldn’t fall through the cracks for Paradoxy-Moron organizations.  But the market didn’t support it and we had to go our separate ways.

One of my colleagues from the training and development association and the Orange County Development Round Table that grew out of it, needed to conduct survey work.  I had just been introduced to a software startup that seemed to be the “Swiss Army Knife of Surveys” with additional functions and features that could fit almost any requirement. 

Best of all it could generate findings almost immediately instead of weeks which increased the probability that leadership development could be initiated right away. 

Swiss Army Knife Software in Search of a Problem

I joined forces as the “translator” to human resource executives  and provided professional services consulting to define the scope of implementation projects.

The guy in charge of their sales and I hatched a marketing scheme to use their software as a pre-Glassdoor application. We approached companies for permission to survey their employees and from that produce a ranking of the best places to work, first in Orange County, and then branching out geographical region by region. 

We needed sponsors. I met the marketing person for a consulting firm offering organizational consulting and outplacement at a breakfast networking meeting.  

She wanted me to pitch the idea to the guy heading up their organizational consulting.  I could tell he wasn’t buying the value proposition.  He said they had their own propriety software and besides he didn’t have the budget authority anyway.  

Dejected and walking on my way out near the reception area I bumped into an old friend  almost literally as he exited his well appointed office and who happened to be the general manager. He asked me if I’d be interested in becoming their Key Executive Advisor.  I learned I’d be heading up the region’s outplacement services for C-suite executives paid for by their former companies.

Clearly this was a major stretch for me.  Fake it until you make it, right?

Rose colored glasses again?  You bet.  I immediately envisioned a 360 degree opportunity.  

Evidence

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51: “In uncertain circumstances, it is only human to rely on assumptions. Be superhuman instead. Let go of what you know and reserve judgment as you try to absorb the truth in front of you.” Scorpio

Isn’t this the lesson I keep missing?  The trouble of seeing the patterns emerging just around the corner and then pursuing opportunities in line with those possibilities is the blinders I wear relying upon those assumptions.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ve known both introversion and extroversion and are currently an ‘ambivert,’ as some situations make you feel outgoing and others make you feel closed up.” Leo

So that’s fluid enough to satisfy the introvert in me, who chose public speaking in the form of facilitation, training and addressing membership audiences, as a path to my development.  

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54:There is little in life more valuable than the unconditional support of a true friend. You’ll experience the pure love of an exchange that is without motive or expectation of reciprocity.” Libra

Wow, I’ll say.  Dr. J brings a smile to my child in me as we remember ancient conspiracies we hatched.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: For most people, if they know how to start, then they’ll dive right in. Not knowing where to start leads to procrastination. You’ll have the opportunity and privilege of leading the way.” Sagittarius

Are you saying that the one thing I share with Leo da V is not knowing where to start which leads to procrastination?  If not, I will and it’s not my genius move.  

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:Too many choices can be overwhelming, not enough is boring. You’ll find your own sweet spot of options, but don’t assume it’s the same for all. Some people can handle three, others 23.”  Capricorn

Boy you got that right.  I figure I have enough time to learn as much as I can for handling 23 options.  When you master the first twenty the remaining three leave me feeling bored.  

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Some thought patterns are like riptides. It’s easy to get carried away and fighting them head-on can be futile. Relax and be carried. Wait for the break — it’s coming — and then you can swim to the shore.” Aquarius 

So, this has been a mantra of mine.  If you’ve ever been body surfing in Newport Beach, California and one of those big waves bears down on you, you have no choice but to dive deeper under it, wait until it spins you like a washing machine until it passes and then you pop up, quickly scan for another.  If there isn’t another you can relax and float awhile until you find one that will propel you back to shore.  That’s what disruptive change feels like if you don’t anticipate it.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E68 — Take More Breakthrough Showers

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The people around you may be too busy executing the action to pause and consider why they are doing it or whether there might be a better way. That’s where you come in — the witness with an objective overview.”  Aries

Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 68 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 21st day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E67Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You; S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit; S2 E65Pandemic Uncovered 11 Life-Changing Secrets You Shouldn’t Ignore

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results?; S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?; S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy 

Context

This is the continuing story of how I learned important lessons by graduating at the top of my class from the school of hard knocks and is an introduction for the second volume of books I described in the previous episode.  

Company of the Year to Start Up

Four of us left to start-up a business to business (B2B) company that bottled the magic we performed believing that all other companies requiring reinvention through highly rejuvenated leaders would be beating down our doors.  

Wrong.  

Even though one of us had left an advertising agency kinda like “Mad Men” in favor of pursuing a physics degree we couldn’t get enough traction fast enough in the marketplace.

The dreamed lived on, but the opportunities failed to materialize.  

Paradoxy-Moron Wannabe

In your area of expertise, you’re a forward-thinker.  Trend-chasing would put you behind.

But, wait. Let’s take a moment ask an important question. How do you become a forward thinker if you don’t do what I’ve done over the years? 

Maybe not chase trends, but anticipate their impact on industries, client organizations, employers, investment portfolios, business decisions, career trajectories and major decisions I’ve faced at critical junctures.  

I learned I was the conceptualizer and co-intuitor addicted to trends and innovation and the new knowledge that emerged through application.  

Again, not the closer. 

 “What you’re standing in looks a lot like the river from yesterday and can be maneuvered as such.

I’m pretty sure I’ve already stipulated that I’m a fan of Steve Jobs, mostly for his brand of disruptive innovation — creating new rules for an older industry.  

It’s his spirit that reminds me of a quote, I believe came from Joel Barker originally:

Mastering new rules is like trying to cross a white-water river. If you can anticipate the whirlpools and the changes in the current, if you can anticipate the landing on the other shore, you have a much better chance of getting across that river successfully.

And I felt a strong pull towards what I’ve come to name the “Paradoxy-Moron” organization type.  A talent culture that thrives on high degrees of disruptive innovation, independence and speed.

Project yourself to the far future.  What you see there will help you create your best strategy.

I recently published “Knowing About New Possibilities Gives You More Choices. Check These Out” on my website, Know Laboratories: Thriving in an Age of Accelerating Uncertainty. 

The main point was:

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

But, I digress.

Learning Enterprise Initiatives

At the turn of the decade I transitioned from president-elect to president of the training and development association.  They were heady times for taking on the “Learning Enterprise Initiatives” forging alliances among corporate education, technical training schools, colleges and universities and community colleges.  

My focus as written in monthly columns for the association’s newsletter  had always been on the amazing future opportunities the new decade could bring.  And speculation about impending threats and opportunities for us in the “Learning Enterprise” and for the talent in our organizations.

I figured by “putting it out there” my next “Strategic Safari” opportunity would materialize.

But, instead for the next two or so years I joined a past-president and a former colleague in their training and development professional services firm so my family could eat and we could pay our mortgage.  

Avoid Supervisory Training Gigs

I learned the basic business model in the training business was all about you finding clients that need supervisory training, developing a customized curriculum from scratch but retaining the rights to what you developed for a previous client and then repackaging the offerings for your new client.  

That made sense to my growing knowledge management “Robin Hood” sense of repurposing what you’ve done to grow revenue.  

But, I also learned I wasn’t cut out to turn out and deliver supervisory courses for clients like a university hospital, a transportation agency, or even to three technology companies.  

I lost interest in management training  for slow moving mature organization types.  I craved the adrenalin rush of working in Paradoxy-Moron companies. 

It just didn’t satisfy the idea packaging talent I had developed when ideas were old and trending towards commodity knowledge.

Going in I didn’t know that the talent culture should have gone on my list of worst fit, or at least worse fit.  Definitely not best fit.

Outplacement for Retreading Downsized Managers

When I left I activated Plan B as an independent contractor delivering outplacement group training sessions and coaching at two firms. 

For the second firm I held down the fort while the founder underwent heart surgery.  Even he recognized my heart wasn’t in his business and his pressure to sell more than to deliver his service helped me self-select out.  

Local Disk-drive Technology Company

I was much more interested in conceptualizing which trends — demographic, social, technical, economic, political — through their interconnectedness —would produce major opportunities for new products, services and careers. 

And threats for those asleep at the wheel.

Luckily I caught wind of a permanent opening at a local disk-drive technology company working for my former client who led their corporate university function. He was spearheading the introduction of continuous improvement and needed a director to manage facilitators from all functions.  

 “Give yourself a break; you’re solving a problem even if you’re not aware that you are.  This takes time.

It gave me the opportunity to repackage what I learned up to that point time from facilitating teams, mentoring “non” trainers and develop my “reinvention and new knowledge creation” war stories like:

“What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?” she asked.  

“Take showers,” he said.  “Huh?” was her reply not quite sure if he was making fun of her or not.  He then explained the major breakthrough he and his team of co-conspirators couldn’t quite find was driving him nuts and keeping him at his incubator on many late nights.  

But, his phone rang.  It was his wife reminding him in that scolding way that only the loves in our life can that he was late for their date. 

He dropped everything he was doing in a panic and peeled out of the incubator’s parking lot. While showering to freshen up, something clicked in his unconsciousness or something he said, and it was like the world changing solution popped out as soon as the water hit his face. 

He grabbed a pen and his notebook even before toweling off.  His team couldn’t believe it.  His wife enjoyed their date together.  And the rest was history.

So shower more ofter.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The people around you may be too busy executing the action to pause and consider why they are doing it or whether there might be a better way. That’s where you come in — the witness with an objective overview.”  Aries 

Once you reach his stage in life, living in Sarasota, Florida, my dad told me it’s like every day is Saturday to which I added, “And, every night is Friday night.”  So Emma the Baroness as Father’s Day hostess always says she missed out on conversations around our outdoor bar and barbecue as she brings out snacks from the kitchen.  She’s busy in a hostess way, within the pandemic constraints we all follow.

“4” Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: There’s a pang of longing for something different. You don’t have to be somewhere new to experience another place. You can create the effect with an alternate point of view.” Taurus 

Within our pandemic restrictions, you might enjoy what started out as a roadtrip from San Diego to the northern boarder of California and turned into regional stories of places to visit, places to live, and places where you invest.  It’s all there in just two of my 35 digital magazines — “California Tip to Tip” and “Western Skies and Island Currents”.

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: When traveling to a new place, it helps to know the customs there. Places and people are the same in this regard. Each person has a culture, and learning another person will keep you deeply involved today.” Gemini

And, if you work for an employer the customs and culture you encounter vary by Organization Type and the Stage of Growth (or decline) that organization grows into.  This manuscript explores the four basic types and stages which attract people like you.  Stay tuned.

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Your humanity and the kinship of humans will be a strong theme of the day. You’ll regard your fellow travelers as partners, whether they happen to be your family, friends, co-workers or strangers.” Cancer

COVID restrictions preclude face-to-face family at today’s Father’s Day celebration like last year.

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Watch, listen, study, contemplate… these are the directives for an interesting life. Your mental powers will be even brighter than usual to help you see deeply into simple things.” Leo

Sure, it’s what I do and it’s what led me to writing this manuscript.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3911 to 4073.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E67 — Here’s What I Didn’t Know That Will Help You

My distinguished career began with jobs I hated. I didn’t know why.  It ended with me advising executives and executive MBA students not to make the same mistakes I had made over the years, when I knew why.

This is a continuation of my story

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Do you actually know your strengths? They are so inherent that it takes another person to point them out for you to even begin to realize what they are.” Aries

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 67 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 20th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E66The Romance of a Good Humor Man in Detroit; S2 E65Pandemic Uncovered 11 Life-Changing Secrets You Shouldn’t Ignore; S2 E64Let the Beers and Weekend Partying Begin

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me; S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts?;S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy; S1 E64 — Father and Son Rituals out of Storage

Context

My distinguished career began with jobs I hated. I didn’t know why.  It ended with me advising executives and executive MBA students not to make the same mistakes I had made over the years, when I knew why.

In my research and first hand experience I distinguished between working for yourself independently (which could free yourself up to live anywhere your heart desired), or to follow the more traditional path and work for someone else instead. 

Which translated into focusing on geographical regions where the jobs were and the employers were located. In 90% of the cases, my executive MBA students chose the latter.

Privatized Services B2B Business Model

Next up,  three more professional services businesses, but with a B2B business model for which insurance carriers paid private companies to offer vocational rehabilitation services to workers injured on the job and who were probably unlikely to return to their occupation.  

Originally most cases I saw were for back injuries and thus required work modifications or a transition into a different job classification.  

I provided testing, counseling and monitoring as an independent contractor — being my own boss — until I added a marketing skill set (carefully differentiated from sales) for the third private company.

I became their employee in a business offering outplacement (coaching managers and professionals through their layoffs into their next job) retail career services to people out of work, but not paid by their former company (and who likely wouldn’t pay $3,000 to $5,000 out of their pocked because they had put off looking for a job until it was too late and had to eat and have money left over to buy gas) and our vocational services paid by the insurance carrier — or as in most of my clients paid by “self-insurers” like the City of San Diego and its counterpart, the County of San Diego.

For this last job I commuted 1 hour and 30 minutes from Orange County to Hotel Circle on the 8 freeway in San Diego.  

I drove along the coast starting just north of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente — the South Coast region of Orange County Beach Towns — through the long stretch of Camp Pendleton into North San Diego County past towns like Oceanside, Carlsbad, Cardiff-By-The-Sea, Leucadia and Encinitas, Del Mar and down into San Diego County’s Torrey Pines, La Jolla, and finally past Pacific Beach and Mission Beach where I tried to land my first position in my psychology profession, but to no avail.

Online Membership Start Up

Light bulb.  

I had uncovered job search related data and reports. 

Somebody wrote a book I found at a library promising how you could repurpose information into reports and sell them — making money while you slept. 

I already rented a PO box in Laguna Beach.  

I liked money.  

And, sleeping. 

And, Laguna Beach.  

So I ran ads for my InFox business.  I began and ended my commute in Laguna so I mailed reports and received requests efficiently.  

Alas, the cash flow trickled and dried up.  InFox turned out to be one more attempt at becoming rich and famous as an information entrepreneur. 

But, I couldn’t afford to pay for the electricity to keep the light bulb next to my bed lit.  

A couple of years earlier when I sketched out my “Where do you go from here” dreams, I thought writing poems and taking black and white photos could turn me into a greeting card mogul until that light bulb dimmed.

Modifying Group Job Search Behavior

But on Hotel Circle Drive, applying behavior modification principles I learned in graduate school and at the Behavior Modification Institute to clients in job search groups made me realize that I enjoyed facilitating teams and dispensing advice. 

The County of San Diego sent us a steady stream of stress cases — cops, sheriffs and firemen.  I enjoyed interacting with them figuring out their next career move. 

But I needed to move on.  

Where else closer to home, in what other job that included groups, could I find a better fit? 

And, more importantly how could I rebrand myself to qualify for a career change?

Aha.  

Rebranding Seeds

In Orange County the Association Training and Development is where corporate trainers and consultants affiliated. Burned out school teachers in their late 20s credentialed in classroom education transitioned into the profession in droves.  Why couldn’t I?  But, I worked in San Diego and commuted 3 hours daily.  So, for the association I volunteered to create a position referral service . 

I fielded new openings and published them in their newsletter. 

Which gave me advanced warning through the service I built of openings at premier Orange County employers when recruiters called me with their descriptions. 

No decision maker has the time or patience to interview everyone who believes they are the perfect candidate.  So human resources manages a funnel with a wide front end designed to screen candidates out and narrow the flow of probable candidates to the top two or three to present to the decision maker.

But, training and development was a function in human resources.  They happily disclosed information to me not available to the general public.  And with a little sleuthing on my part offered a way in outside of normal channels. 

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: “You don’t get your shot when you’re good enough or when you deserve it.  You get your shot when it comes up.” Gemini

So, during my nearly year long career transition as weeks turned into months my faith had been tested.  Was this plan I doggishly followed as sound as when I confidently kicked it off?  

I really didn’t control the outcome.  

It felt like the rip tide had taken me out to sea from Newport Beach and took all my energy to swim against it to shore hundreds of yards away from where my beach towel and umbrella sat.  

And then swoosh a wave pushed me with so much speed and power back into shore that I totally wasn’t ready or prepared.  But I’m grateful for it.  I got my shot in my first job of my new career.

Internal Consultant 40,000 Employees

For five years I “faked it until I made it” as an internal consultant in the management development and training. 

Other than my college and university experience, this was my first taste of working in a large organization — 40,000 employees at its peak with 6,000 in the corporate office.  

Here’s what I didn’t know.

The executive team misread the length of an industry-wide recession which plunged the mature engineering and construction into a prolonged decline. 

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “If you think too far into the situation, you’re likely to get lost in details and complications, making it impossible to take a stance.” Virgo

Right after I accepted my first job in my new career — the one I talked my way into with transferrable skills and had to fake until I made it — I felt my new career slip away.

A crisis threw me and all my colleagues in our internal consulting unit into high alert.  

With a partner I just barely met, we worked out a comprehensive system for laying off engineers and project administrators. 

But, we couldn’t sell it to the executives with the purse strings.  Until, we surfaced their resistance and dumbed down our pitch to what would happen in the first thirty days.  

That bite sized chunk turned out to be much easier for them to swallow.  And, working everything out comprehensively gave us the advantage of anticipating almost all of the failure points to avoid.

Which woke me up to life in the fast lane as I processed hundreds through our internally run outplacement programs. 

But, that my career wasn’t in jeopardy.  I helped improve quality, introduce new technology, teach and facilitate sales teams (I know, right) and at the corporate headquarters send high potential managers in the developmental pipeline to university executive programs for rounding out.

Immune System Reactions to Dramatic Change

I learned large-scale organizations resist change like an immune system does.  

It takes skill and talent to package new ideas — newer ways of doing things better — than the tried and true, especially during a decline when hundreds of employees receive their pink slips on alternative Fridays like clock work.

What else?  Oh, you need a plan A for thriving in the good times and a plan B for surviving in the dark times.  

Plan A is what I followed when I was recruited by an organizational development and strategy consultant for one of his clients and who was familiar with articles I published in the association’s newsletter.

Climate for Innovation

I met with his client, the general manager, of one of the California divisions that prided itself on being the tail that wagged the dog headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.  

Was it just dumb luck that every time the three piece suit wearing CEO with red tie and black glossy shoes visited the division it was casual day? 

Actually, everyday was casual day so I take that question back.  

My Plan A dreamed I’d be working for a high-tech company with very bright engineers that worked on bringing products to market in record time.  

A fast-paced, innovative culture that attracted the best of the best. Our motto was simply, “It’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.” 

Our GM told everyone that each time the CEO walked the halls he didn’t understand what we were doing, but as long as we hit our numbers he wasn’t going to interfere. 

And, then all hell broke loose when an impending merger of equal sized players became delayed due to alleged bribery for government contracts at the other company and the ensuing uncertainty about who would be doing what and what our new identity would be. 

I participated as an organizational development director with the new corporate task force which tackled the rebranding and communications campaign.

Now I learned about how  competitive rivals with two different immune systems develop equal and opposite anti-bodies over five years, but especially in the first 18 months of selling something that even we didn’t understand.

The most fun I had was during that 5-year run applying what I had just learned in a new setting.  I had been recruited to orchestrate a “cultural change” by doing all right things, in some case just the opposite of efforts in my previous job.  

One of my co-conspirators called what we had going, “A license to steal, but in a good way.”  As long as we helped move the needle towards a “Climate for Innovation” we were appreciated.  But, when our senior executive sponsor couldn’t resist the temptations headhunters persistently dangled in front of him, it was over abruptly.  

What took five years to institutionalize fell apart in 6 months.

Evidence

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “A scattered mind can get focused right quick with the broom of intention to focus it. Write down your top aim, and then give yourself a timeframe in which to accomplish it.” Scorpio

So necessary today as I struggle with the next two volumes I write to complete “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.” However, today a broom is quite literal for prepping our backyard patio to host our pandemic “Fathers Day” tomorrow. 

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Do you actually know your strengths? They are so inherent that it takes another person to point them out for you to even begin to realize what they are.” Aries 

How can you pursue the best fit for you in your career trajectory if you don’t know what your strengths are, what you love doing and what is in demand?  And, that my friends what my original research is all about in my work in progress, “Volume Two Manuscript”.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: Capture your heart’s memories. If you don’t, who will? The way you see it may not match how others do, but it is nonetheless a vital part of the story.” Gemini

Likewise, this describes my other passion project’s work in progress, “Volume Three Manuscript.”

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:Every generation evolves. You’ll notice today how you do things differently from the way your parents did, and their parents… and you’ll get a sense of what is working and what’s not.” Virgo

And, this captures what the first volume was all about, “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.”  The second volume addresses work. The third volume teases out what it means to consider the wisdom you’ve accumulated in the form of a legacy.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3808 to 3911.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E65 — Pandemic Uncovered 11 Life-Changing Secrets You Shouldn’t Ignore

Or, you would work for someone else in a specific location — at a headquarters, in a division, a region, an office … but the key was at their place of work.  Then came the pandemic just as the driving beat of AI platforms and tools swept through. Employers and executives tasted for themselves the flavor of working remotely.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Be on the lookout for ways to repurpose the past. Discarded scraps from one project/relationship/era can be reworked and turned into something new.” Aries

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 65 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 18th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E64Let the Beers and Weekend Partying Begin; S2 E63Easier Than Finding His MacBook Air Password?; S2 E62 — “Shh. Did You Hear That?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy; S1 E64 — Father and Son Rituals out of Storage; S1 E63Day 63 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E62Next Reality?

Context

So if I’m honest I’m drawing from last week’s focus on my legacy and my search for wisdom (Volume Three Manuscript) to fill in with some reworked experiences that better fit this passion project in progress, “Volume Two Manuscript”.

This is the second volume of books.  The first volume described how to discover where to live.  And a path to follow, the knowledge path.  I originally distinguished what you would learn by choosing either to work for yourself independently which could free yourself up to live anywhere your heart desired, instead of where the jobs were and the employers were located. 

Its theme was how to live, love, work, play, invest and leave a legacy.  

Or, you would work for someone else in a specific location — at a headquarters, in a division, a region, an office … but the key was at their place of work.  

Then came the pandemic just as the driving beat of AI platforms and tools swept through. Employers and executives tasted for themselves the flavor of working remotely. 

Superior advantages of mastering knowledge work

Whoa, they discovered this way of working, well worked for them — making them more productive and efficient.

The implications for all of us — the intended consequences and unintended consequences — as individuals it is better to have been mastering knowledge work rather than service work or manual work. 

Why?  For two reasons.  You have options that others don’t have.  

You can remain employed during disruptions like a pandemic which forces physical distancing at your home in your neighborhood with or without partners, spouses and children who require daily bandwidth and homework assistance.  

The newer normal translate into inconveniences, frustrations and the time to reflect and enjoy deeper bonding.  

So, that’s one.  

Free to move about the country

The second is, if you can work remotely aren’t you also untethered from having to live where you do right now?  Aren’t you free to move about the country and still remain employed?

While the second book in the first volume examined all the ways you can become a ‘Preneur they all rely on variable income.  

You needed to master a sales process which translates well to media channels and subscription business models.  

Not all of us are cut out to succeed. I know this much about me, I’m not.

But if you are already employed, already have the tools necessary to provide value to your employer while working remotely like all the other knowledge workers delivering distributed work, then head out on the highway and follow 11 steps to the quality-of-life you want and deserve.

My distinguished career began with jobs I hated, but I didn’t know why.  It ended with me advising executives and executive MBA students not to make the same mistakes I had made over the years when I knew why.  

But, that’s not entirely true.  

What I discovered wasn’t they should avoid the jobs and organizations and stages of growth that I did.

Or even find the positions in specific types of talent cultures that brought out the very best in me, because they were the best fit.

That’s what I did. 

But, to understand the “why” that made them tick and pursue their own best fits working with sixteen different talent tribes at the intersection of seven dimensions.

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Be on the lookout for ways to repurpose the past. Discarded scraps from one project/relationship/era can be reworked and turned into something new.” Aries  

How can you separate your work life from you life life? Your work life consumes at least eight hours out of every day Mondays through Fridays if you let it.  Your life life provides the context.  Who was it?  Maybe John Lennon who sang something to the effect that life happens when you’re busy making plans.  So if I’m honest I’m drawing from last week’s focus on my legacy and my search for wisdom (Volume Three Manuscript) to fill in with some reworked experiences that better fit this passion project in progress, “Volume Two Manuscript”.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: Study and cultural exploration will bring you good fortune. You will feel determined to do your unbiased research, and you will refrain from forming an opinion until you have all of the facts.” Gemini

In this case the cultural exploration focuses on talent cultures you find within certain types of work and client organizations and which may be about to move through a new growth stage which requires a transformation from the past. All covered in my “Volume Two Manuscript” in progress.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: You’ll have ideas, and you need the right people to bounce them off of. People who absorb your energy and agree with you are not good bouncing prospects. Look for the hard and deflective types.” Leo

In the beginning, I collaborated with a small team as an offshoot from the Orange County Development Roundtable (OCDRT) who met weekly.  We bounced ideas off of each other to sharpen elements and discard others that just didn’t make sense.  From those humble beginnings a framework emerged and a theory I further developed and tested over a decade with hundreds of Executive MBA Students who had been in the workforce for at least seven or eight years.

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62:The research suggests that improving your weaknesses, while noble in intent, is far less effective than leveraging your strengths.”  Capricorn

We can thank Peter Drucker for this truism.  But he went further and advised managers, leaders and executives to find talented people who excelled at what you didn’t and delegate assignments to them as a way of further developing their strengths through experience.

“3”  Steve Nash, 45:Because of the complexity within the crevices of the human heart, people fit together unexpectedly and in ways so particular that they would be impossible to duplicate.” Aquarius 

Unexpectedly, maybe.  But in my work experience fitting together people from a diverse set of talent profiles leads to better team results after forming, storming, norming and performing processes.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3808 to 3911.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

S2 E61 — Pink Behind the Reflections

So, if you’re an introvert like me, then you understand how the forced solitude brought on by this Pandemic gives me the wonderful opportunity to work on my neglected manuscript I’ve been calling “Volume Three — a Legacy.”

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The more honest you are, the better you know yourself. And the better you know yourself, the easier it is to choose your next transformation.” Aries

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 61 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 11th day of June in the summer of 2020.  

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

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E60She Began to Weep…; S2 E59See What You’ve Been Missing; S2 E58Check Back in 18 Months

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E61 — Investment of Time and Effort; S1 E60Overlapping Cycles of Life; S1 E59Where Did All the Dillon Millennials Go? Eureka!; S1 E58Judging a Stroll from the Hotel Santa Barbara to the Lobero Theater

Context

So, if you’re an introvert like me, then you understand how the forced solitude brought on by this Pandemic gives me the wonderful opportunity to work on my neglected manuscript I’ve been calling “Volume Three — a Legacy.”  

Here’s an excerpt from the Chapter One draft.

Shaggy’s eyes began to tear up too, so he changed the subject.

“So, I moved back in after breaking up with Chelsea when we lived in Huntington Beach after vacationing in Australia and Bali and living in Santa Barbara through the wildfires and flooding and then here just before they left on their anniversary trip to Italy.”

“Which anniversary was that?”

“The 40th, I think.” he said.

“Wow.”

“Yeah”

AJ got up and on her way into the kitchen asked, “I’m getting refill, do you want some?”

“No, I’m good for now. Do you like that Cuisinart? I’m pretty sure I bought it for them when we camped out in the dining room tent city after I moved back in from Santa Barbara during the kitchen renovation.”

“Oh my gosh that must have been fun, right?”

“Yeah, I had to store my furniture and shit because Fernando needed to stage the cabinets in the garage during the installation.  I was already working remote.  So I’d shut the door to the office and make my calls and log in to my work.”

“You guys lived here while the remodeling was going on?  Darin, Maggie and I moved out just before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we had major reconstruction.”

“Yeah, Mom was getting nervous about the deadline. You know how that goes.  It was butting up against their departure date for Italy.”

“Well, it came out beautiful.”

“Yeah.”

“Funny what you remember. Say wasn’t that wall a pinkish red color behind the mirrors?” AJ asked returning to the second couch.

“Yeah, we have pictures somewhere — used to be on the refrigerator with magnets — showing the four boy cousins sitting there through the years.”

“Oh, look up here on the shelf.  There’s the one of you, me, Jazzy, Topher and Mom in front of the tree on the grass in the back yard.” AJ said. “And one of us three on the living room floor in the condo.  You, me and Topher.  Do you remember living at Finisterra On The Lake?”

“Not too much.  Probably my memories are really just from photos.  Look how big Topher was looked compared to us.”

“Well, he was in high school when Jazzy was born. And that’s when he came out to live with you guys after he graduated, right.  Where did he sleep?”

“Downstairs. Before it was converted into an office, Mom says.”

“Oh …”

“Are you ready?”

“No not yet, it’s too sad right now …”

Evidence

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “The more honest you are, the better you know yourself. And the better you know yourself, the easier it is to choose your next transformation.” Aries  

I downgraded this to “4” only because the advice I’m following for writing a memoir is to be  honest.  But, today I figure won’t be when my transformation occurs.  It’s more likely to emerge nearer the end of the tale.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30: Love is a superpower you were born with and you use without thinking about, just like you use your sense of touch or smell. The time you’re most aware of your natural gift to love is when something is standing in the way of it.” Gemini

Who can argue with this TauBit of Wisdom.  Certainly not Emma the Baroness nor I, because truth be told our love story is the central ingredient in this manuscript, if I have my way.  

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:Looking for signs to point you to your next move? They will be ever-present. In fact, you will find them wherever your eyes land. Of course, it’s the interpretation that matters. Trust your inner knowing.” Cancer

Look, I have enough of a problem staying focused over the long haul required for writing a manuscript.  What you’re suggesting is I switch to my other passion project my other work in progress I’m calling “Volume Two Manuscript” which addresses next career moves by finding which organization type and growth stage attract people like you.  Hmm.  Maybe, this manuscript will yield complimentary stories and illustrations.  I’ll just have to trust my inner knowing, you know?

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): It is possible to busy oneself with a million tasks and still have a million left. For just a moment, slip into the sublime state in which there is nothing to do and no one to be. When you come back, ask: What is necessary here?” Pisces

So just in blocking out how my work in progress named “Volume Three Manuscript” as a place holder I have to admit the tasks do pile up.  At first you have no clue how the story will infold.  So coming up with a workable idea starts the ball rolling.  And then one thing leads to another and you’ve got a million tasks to consider doing.  It does become overwhelming.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 3634 to 3808.

Foresight

Quality-of-Life 

Long-Form

    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND INNOVATION

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

Season One: The One-Year Natural Experiment

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

Table of Contents

Season One: The One-Year Natural Experiment

S1 E1 – Day One of My 1-Year Experiment

S1 E2Day 2 of My 1-Year Experiment

S1 E3Day 3 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E4Day 4 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E5Day 5 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E6Day 6 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E7 Day 7 of My 1-Year Experiment

S1 E8Day 8 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E9Day 9 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E10Day 10 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E11Day 11 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E12Day 12 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E13 Day 13 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E14Day 14 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E15Day 15 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E16Day 16 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E17Day 17 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E18Day 18 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E19Day 19 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E20Day 20 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E21Day 21 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E22Day 22 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E23Day 23 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E23Day 23 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E24Day 24 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E25Day 25 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E26Day 26  of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E27Day 27 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E28Day 28 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E29Day 29 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E30Day 30 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E31Day 31 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E32Day 32 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E33Day 33 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E34Day 34 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E35Day 35 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E36Day 36 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E37Day 37 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E38Day 38 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E39What’s Up with Facebook? 

S1 E40Nothing to See Here, Keep Moving On 

S1 E41The Dream Was Over, Long Live the Dream 

S1 E42Love on the Run 

S1 E43Desperation on Such a Summer’s Day 

S1 E44Google Me Some Chopped Liver 

S1 E45Day 45 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E46Day 46 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E47Day 47 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E48Holiday TauBit Trumps Funk 

S1 E49 — Magnetize the Version You Imagine 

S1 E50The Bias Brothers or Just Plain Losers? 

S1 E51Brief, Broad, Fast, Wow and Delight 

S1 E52Missing Chapters and Paths Not Taken 

S1 E53High 5’s for Tau Secrets Revealed 

S1 E54A Version That’s a TauBit Grander 

S1 E55All Roads Lead to the Future 

S1 E56It’s Frickin’ Summer and So Are You 

12 Hidden Secrets and Stolen Wisdom – Month Two 

S1 E57More or Less in the Know 

S1 E58Judging a Stroll from the Hotel Santa Barbara to the Lobero Theater 

S1 E59Where Did All the Dillon Millennials Go? Eureka! 

S1 E60Overlapping Cycles of Life 

S1 E61 — Investment of Time and Effort 

S1 E62Next Reality? 

S1 E63Day 63 of My 1-Year Experiment 

S1 E64 — Father and Son Rituals out of Storage 

S1 E65Focus Your Mental Energy 

S1 E66Do Your Proposals Lead to Contracts? 

S1 E67Don’t Misunderstand Me 

S1 E68Overcompensating for Disappointing Results? 

S1 E69Anniversary Trip of a Lifetime Deep in the Heart of Tuscany 

S1 E70Lingering Fear My Cover Was Blown 

S1 E71Isn’t There a Placebo for This? 

S1 E72It’s Taken so Long, I Could be Wrong 

S1 E73Do You Need a Little Leo da V Time Too? 

S1 E74You Know What To Do, Yeah Right! 

S1 E75Dreams and Schemes and Workarounds 

S1 E76“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

S1 E77Why This Caper Is Breaking My Mind 

S1 E78Drag Me to Obsolescence, Clear the Way to the Future 

S1 E79Can I Keep It Up? For a Year? 

S1 E80I’ll Give You Adverse Conditions, Steve 

S1 E81— Is This My Wake Up Call, Steve? 

S1 E82Why Writers Aren’t the Only Endangered Species. Sigh. 

S1 E83The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book 

S1 E90Day 90 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment 

S1 E84Crisis averted?  Energy depleted?  What are we going to do? 

S1 E85What happens when the fear subsides? 

S1 E86Day 86 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment 

S1 E87 — Pipe Bombs Destroy Vacation Bliss 

S1 E88Who’s Marc Maron and What’s da Vinci got to do with him? 

S1 E89Because If You Don’t Someone Else Will. It’s Worth It! 

S1 E90Day 90 of My 1-Year Natural Experiment 

S1 E91If that, then this … ? The daily double?

S1 E92Shh … Secrets Husbands Keep to Ourselves 

S1 E93Why is it easier to Hate than to Love the other Half? 

S1 E94Wasn’t There a Movie about the Tau of Steve? 

S1 E95No Back to Work Days or Hump Days Allowed 

S1 E96Old Rabbits Die Hard 

S1 E97 My Top 19 Reasons for Failing 

S1 E98Why Can’t I Leave 26 Orphans for a Well Deserved Vacation? 

S1 E99What’s in a Name? Baby Boy Names? 

S1 E100Running out of Determination and Grit by the 100th Day 

S1 E101From Saint to Soul Mate and Trusted Friend 

S1 E102Why Is It Always Hidden in the Fine Print? 

S1 E103Innies and Outies and Other Potential Catastrophes 

S1 E104How Yesterday’s Success Triggers Tomorrow’s Failure 

S1 E105Will Fortune Smile on Us Later in the Evening? 

S1 E106 — Attempts to Upset 9 of My Life Stages Apple Cart 

S1 E107How Do You Rate Your Sense of Curiosity? 

S1 E108After So Many Defeats is it Time to Catch a New Trajectory? 

S1 E109Do All Introverts Take the Long Acetylcholine Pathway? 

S1 E110Love, Longing, Belonging, Connection and Loss 

S1 E111Is There Half-life of Wisdom? 

S1 E112 —  When Was the Last Time You Wrangled Your Past? 

S1 E113Is This an Omen? 

S1 E114Setbacks, Frustration, Epic Fails but How Was Your Day? 

S1 E115Meandering Minds, Falling Branches and Strange Pacing Until … 

S1 E116The Jolt of Lightning that Changed Everything 

S1 E117Poets and Priests and Testifying Under Oath … 

S1 E118Swiping Your Birthday Is What I Do, So Sue Me 

S1 E119What Happens When You Hold an Idea? 

S1 E120Metamorphosis, Exhilaration and a Life of Crime 

S1 E121When Should You Work Backwards and When Should You Shop? 

S1 E122Is the Next Best Thing a Friend with a Bad Memory? 

S1 E123Knowing it Wasn’t a Good Choice, But … 

S1 E124No Longer a Misunderstood Genius or Child Celebrity 

S1 E125No Names Again this Year but Pass the Gravy 

S1 E126Who Wouldn’t Want to Choose Steve, Stephen or Stevie for Your Newborn Infant? 

S1 E127Why Does My Horoscope Suck Compared to Yours? 

S1 E128Messy, Creative Leonardo-like Procrastinations 

S1 E129 — An Elephant, A 500 lb. Gorilla and a Chicken Walk into the …  

S1 E130How Do You Go On When Sheer Panic Sets In? 

S1 E131Brain Rattling, Self-Criticism and Second Guessing 

S1 E132Freudian Pink Slips for Endangered Writers and Bloggers 

S1 E133Why Don’t More Creators Write or Blog? 

S1 E134What Will This Force Me to Become? No Black Cats Allowed 

S1 E135The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book 

S1 E136Just How Do Zip Codes Prevent Homebuyer Remorse? 

S1 E137Shouldn’t I Bet It All on the Four 5s I’ve Been Dealt? 

S1 E138The Inscrutable Paradox of Tom Petty and Joan Irvine’s Estates 

S1 E139  — Crap, OTE, Just Crap 

S1 E140Chasing Squirrels While Barking At Nothing 

S1 E141Be Your Inner Artist and Let Her Fly 

S1 E 142Wisdom Arrives by Putting Knowledge into Action 

S1 E143 — The Grand Prize Winner 

S1 E144 — Down to Final Two Days Left 

S1 E145Three Miles of Coincidental Dancing 

S1 E1463 am Dreams Lend No Support 

S1 E147Whistleblowing, Melancholy and Curbing Fallen Needles 

S1 E148 — Unforced Errors, Disruptions and Discord 

S1 E149Tales and Trails and Mind Blowing Dents 

S1 E150Two Tiers Shed for a Dying 4Runner Classic 

S1 E151Stepping onto the Pitch with a Lean MVP 

S1 E152 — Why? Again. Why? 

S1 E153Only The Names Have Been Changed. And Some of It’s True. 

S1 E154 — Ever Gotten That 3 am Call from Gilligan? 

S1 E155 — Distraction or Viewing Addiction? 

S1 E156Hope? Placeholder? Sign? 

S1 E157Schemes, Plots and Plans 

S1 E158Car-Crash Addiction or Integrated Self? 

S1 E1595 Wise Guy Rankings, Why? 

S1 E160Mourning Kobe 

S1 E161Secret Combinations only Life Hacking Marketeers Know 

S1 E162Why Do Her Covert Back Channels End in Discord? 

S1 E163A Balboa Island Thank You 

S1 E164Picking up Followers While Cascading Down the Face of the Falls 

S1 E16511 Simple Steps for Finding the Authentic Quality-of-Life You Deserve 

S1 E166 — Falling Down the Time Sucking Rabbit Hole 

S1 E167Why is Tau the Golden Ratio Showing Up in Nautilus Shells?

 S1 E168A Mammoth Thank You to Kobe and Steve Jobs 

S1 E169Lockouts and Taxing 1-Year Season Coming to an End 

S1 E170Isn’t This Good-Bye?! 

S1 E171 — When’s the Best Time to Air Dirty Laundry? 

S1 E172Got it, Nash.  Rules, Heart, Mouth, Action. 

S1 E173AI, EVs, MRIs, Me and Steves 

S1 E174Isn’t the Lesser of Two Evils Still Evil? 

S1 E175Where’s the Finish Line? Is This Ever Going to End? 

S1 E176The Cliff Hanging Season One Finale

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