Thursday, November 15, 2012

Management effectiveness

The effectiveness of any manager is inversely proportional to the amount of time that his or her door is closed.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Scholarly writing

The level and volume of reading and writing in my PhD program ramps up with each class.  Rather than look upon the work, along with the time commitment, as a burden, I see it as part of my journey to become proficient and prodigious in scholarly writing. 

Malcolm Gladwell has postulated that it takes about 10,000 hours of repetitions to become an expert at anything - I see the doctoral journey in this light.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Asking the wrong questions

You can't prioritize anything when you're asking the wrong questions. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Leave perfection behind

One of the most productive things that I've done for myself was to leave perfection behind.  I still strive for quality and excellence, but I no longer strive for perfection.  For example, when I discovered a new way of taking notes, I would go back to previous notes and convert them to my "new" way rather than moving forward from that point on - I was always trying to reach back and perfect the past.  I recognize this compulsion and I'm working toward eliminating it.

Perfection is rarely achieved; however, when it is, it generally arrives as a surprising confluence of events and circumstances.  That perfect meal, that perfect speech, that perfect moment...

Let the journey be the journey; don't try to perfect the past, present, or future, but instead seek to progress and evolve naturally.

Image courtesy of

Monday, June 18, 2012

My exile is over

This Wednesday I head to New York to attend my daughter's high school graduation, have a little fun with friends, and then..."Escape from New York Part II."

20 months ago I headed to Texas and left my wife and daughter in NY so my daughter could stay in school there, sell our house, etc.  It's been a LONG time.  I've jokingly called it my 20 month exile, but that's over.

It's been a huge monetary and personal sacrifice having to maintain two households 1,800 miles apart, but it was worth it for all of us.  My daughter begins school this August at the University of Texas at San Antonio's Honors College as a Biology major.

I look forward to our new life and all the opportunities, adventure, and fun ahead.

Escape from New York courtesy of AVCO Embassy Pictures

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Let the river flow

In the July 2012 issue of Cowboys & Indians, Kevin Costner shared his approach to prioritizing his time between his two professions - movies and music.  

"I just have to let things in my life work organically. If they expand, then they expand for the right reasons."

I love the simplicity of this philosophy; do what you're passionate about, put in your time where it has the most value, and things will naturally take a course that they're meant to.  Like a river, the course may not be the shortest, but it will be the most elegant and efficient.  

Kevin Costner doesn't let the end game drive his creativity; he lets it go where it naturally wants to go.  He doesn't write a song and then visit every radio station to push his song up the charts, he lets it, as he says, grow organically.  There is some planning, or better yet, scoping.  He knows that he can't tour 200 dates a year; he tours when it fits his schedule.

I don't know if it's the wisdom and maturity that comes with age (doubtful in my case), but my philosophy mirrors Costner's.  I simply don't know where my PhD studies and my eventual degree will take me, I have a rough idea, especially with regard to what I don't want to do; however, my passion will take its natural course and I'm very much OK with that.

Photo courtesy of Michal Marcol.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Say "yes" to your life

I just spent a great New Year's Eve in Houston with some very old and dear friends.  This trip came on the heals of my trip to NY to spend Christmas with my wife and daughter.  It would have been very easy to not take the 3 1/2 hour drive, to stay at home for New Year's, but I chose to say "yes."

All too often we choose to say "no" because it's easy and expeditious.  We make excuses in defense of our "no" - it costs too much money, I don't have enough time, I'll do it later, etc., etc...  This is a very sad way to live life - turning down passions, dreams, love, excitement, happiness, and all the other good things that life has to offer, all because it's easier to say "no."

Say "yes" to your life.  Start doing the things that you want to do, make a living the way you want to make it, and embrace your passions.  Quit saying "no."