Archive for February, 2007

The Retention Factor

Posted in personal development on February 23, 2007 by velocityvortx

All great minds have learned how to learn and how to retain.

John Gardner, Harvard Professor

Why do some people just seem to have great memories and others of us struggle to remember where we put our car keys (well that could be an aging issue there)? The answer? All of us remember what we deem important and then store away for recall. While everyone has unconscious ways they store and retrieve important items, here are some of the strongest tips for peak performance in recall and using information you are learning or reading. And can I share with you a secret…I didn’t make these up, I was taught these by two people who I thought were genius and had amazing memories.  You know what they told me?  Both said, “I am not a genius, just disciplined at remembering what I want to remember.”  That is a big nugget.  Was it Einstein that said “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration?  Well there you go…start some new habits.

1.    Take the 3rd party learning approach as much as possible. This means learning and reading as if you were going to teach the same material to someone tonight.
2.    Within 48 hours of learning something you want to seal in your memory go find someone and share it with them. No one available? Tell the cat. And you know what I hate cats
3.    Associate a memorable key word or phrase with that material, and place in a visible location for 1 week.
4.    Review your new learning once a week for 4 weeks. People don’t review.  You don’t review you won’t remember, it is that simple.

If you diligently do these four things your retention will dramatically rise and people will think you are a genius. The kingdom implications are enormous – your command of scripture, leadership principles, parenting nuggets to pass on will surprise even you.

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The Fine Balance of Life’s Ecosystems

Posted in personal development, Uncategorized on February 14, 2007 by velocityvortx

The main ecosystem threat is inevitable entropy.
John Lyons
An ecosystem is the balanced harmony of outputs and inputs that provide a healthy environment for life to flourish. As with all ecosystems, an imbalance in the output/input ration and you are looking at trouble. The tendency of all systems to move to lower energy and greater disorder is called entropy. Look at your office, your kids bedrooms, your staff leadership team, or your vocational context. The law is universal, that is why it is called the second law of thermodynamcis

I continue to hold up Robert Quinn as the most insightful guy on all this entropy stuff. He says all humans, like all systems, have two and only two choices, slow death (entropy) or deep change. The problem is we want easy change. But that isn’t on the menu of options. It is slow death or DEEP change.

Spiritually speaking our spiritual lives and vocational world are constantly going to lesser energy and higher disorder. Every time that happens we are facing a balance problem – in ecosystem terms the outputs of the system are exceeding the inputs. How do we intercept spiritual entropy? Make a list of outputs and inputs into your ecosystem….then answer these:

1. What are the 3 biggest entropy producers in your life?
2. What 2 things could you being doing that would significantly increase your ecosystem balance?
3. What 2 things could you curb or cease that would make room for your two new high leverage entropy fighters?
4. When will you being your two new things and who will keep you accountable?
5. What current inputs need to be incased? Decreased?
6. What earmarks alert you to imbalance in your ecosystem?

The Bose Speakers in Your Mind

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8, 2007 by velocityvortx

The internal dialogue that goes on inside of our heads is the greatest determiner of our outlook, performance, and expectation level. The silent self-talk floating between our two ears has deafening impact on our self-perception and ability to change what over time, has come to feel like “our fate”. But here is the liberating and powerful truth of it all – all of us control what mental iPod tunes play. Through conditioning from coaches, school teachers, parents, siblings and employers, we have certain sound waves that get lots of repetitive play; some detrimental, others beneficial. The source of these MP3 brain downloads is much less important than the hard work of purging the archives of those “downers”. Here is a prescription:

1. Do a “waking hours” thought audit. Every time you find yourself listening to dialogue you find less than desirable, note it in print. One or two days of this and you get the idea real quick.
2. Identify any patterns that you see emerge. By and large our own thoughts are something less than affirming and bolstering. Are there certain times of the day your thoughts are less or more on target? How impact by moods are they and vice versa, how does that self talk impact your moods?
3. In response create a mental trigger list. These are key thoughts, quotes, biblical references that act as counterpoints to the cycling iTunes that keeps playing.

On a more proactive tact, create a daily quotes list that allows you to pre-program your thinking for the day.

Book Resources: Joan Borysenko-Minding the Body, Mending the Mind. Tara Bennett-Goldman – Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Mend the Heart.

Myths of Continuity in a Discontinuous Age

Posted in leadership on February 2, 2007 by velocityvortx

The sea change of structures, technology, and speed mean equilibrium as you know it will never reappear.
P. Drucker

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Drucker makes clear that the myths of re-established homeostasis and a return to business as usual will perish with the modern world. The following myths linger in much of our thinking, and as a result, keep us tentative and conservative in our initiatives. If we embrace the idea things will never be the same, we will take the opportunity to help create tomorrow and not tread water hoping it never arrives. Here are the myths we need to let go of and truths to embrace:

There is a critical mass that once reached will make it easer. From the size of your team to the amount of income this will be false every time. With an increase in any critical mass area you increase complexity, maintenance and potential time sucking problems. Embrace and assume it never gets better than this moment. You will work more effectively, create and accomplish.

Once my skills and knowledge are developed I will be more comfortable. Not true. The need for skill development far outpaces our ability to acquire them. Instead embrace the feel of doing it on the fly. Learn to love exhilaration, not frustration.

Pace is the problem – I just don’t have time. Welcome to reality and it won’t be getting better. Leverage your effectiveness by shrewd and ruthless selection of the truly important. This is a key every successful leader will mention to you. LASER FOCUS.