Read, Read Read in 201
Books can entertain, sucking you like a tornado into incredible new worlds. Books can teach, giving you a richer understanding of time periods, people and ideas you’ve never been exposed to. But books can do so much more.
[ted_talkteaser id=1755]In today’s talk, TED’s own Lisa Bu introduces us to the concept of “comparative reading,” the practice of reading books in pairs, to give deeper context and reveal new insights. Comparative reading not only helped Bu adjust to American culture after moving here from China for graduate school — it also helped her re-imagine her life and find new directions after her dream failed to come true. This personal, moving talk about the magic of books and resilience of the human spirit is a must-watch »
Every year at TED, we set up a bookstore filled with books recommended by TEDsters of note. Today, as you prepare for a summer…
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So the year 2013 is coming to an end and you’re already thinking about all your New Year’s Resolutions and what you want to achieve in 2014. You want to quit smoking, lose weight or do that online course. But after the initial motivational high of the first 2-3 weeks in January wears off, you start bailing on yourself and the day-to-day struggle with discipline kicks in. In February, you are back to normal, eating a kebab on the subway, drinking cheap coffee and you “simply don’t have the time” for studying.
If you want your 2014 to be more successful than 2013, read on and share this email with your friends!
See you in 2014!
A great ambassador doesn’t show up in a foreign land and start complaining about how everything here is so different. She doesn’t insist that people start acting the way they act back home. And most of all, she welcomes the idea that people might have different goals and desires than the people she grew up with–in fact, different than she has.
And every great treaty causes both signatories to change something substantial, something important, in exchange for accomplishing a bigger goal via cooperation.
Your customers need an ambassador. Someone who is open to hearing what they have, need and want, not merely a marketer intent on selling them a particular point of view. Once you understand someone, it’s much easier to bring them something that benefits everyone.
And your partners need you to honor the spirit and intent of the deals you do with them. The goal of a long-term relationship isn’t to find the loophole that lets you do what you want. Instead, figure out what you’re giving up and what you’re getting in return.
Companies (and countries) often under-invest in ambassadors and under-value the promises they make in treaties. In the connection economy, it now makes sense to over-invest instead.
The future belongs to people who can spread ideas.
Here are ten things to remember:
1. Create a cause. A cause seizes the moral high ground and makes people’s lives better.
2. Love the cause. “Evangelist” isn’t a job title. It’s a way of life. If you don’t love a cause, you can’t evangelize it.
3. Look for agnostics, ignore atheists. It’s too hard to convert people who deny your cause. Look for people who are supportive or neutral instead.
4. Localize the pain. Never describe your cause by using terms like “revolutionary” and “paradigm shifting.” Instead, explain how it helps a person.
5. Let people test drive the cause. Let people try your cause, take it home, download it, and then decide if it’s right for them.
6. Learn to give a demo. A person simply cannot evangelize a product if she cannot demo it.
7. Provide a safe first step. Don’t put up any big hurdles in the beginning of the process. The path to adopting a cause needs a slippery slope.
8. Ignore pedigrees. Don’t focus on the people with big titles and big reputations. Help anyone who can help you.
9. Never tell a lie. Credibility is everything for an evangelist. Tell the truth—even if it hurts. Actually, especially if it hurts.
10. Remember your friends. Be nice to the people on the way up because you might see them again on the way down.
Management isn’t natural.
I don’t mean that it’s weird or toxic just that it doesn’t emanate from nature. “Management” isn’t a tree or a river.
It’s a telegraph or a transistor radio. Somebody invented it. And over time, most inventions – from the candle to the cotton gin to the compact disc – lose their usefulness.
Management is great if you want people to comply – to do specific things a certain way. But it stinks if you want people to engage – to think big or give the world something it didn’t know it was missing.
For creative, complex, conceptual challenges – i.e, what most of us now do for a living—40 years of research in behavioral science and human motivation says that self-direction works better. And that requires autonomy. Lots of it.
If we want engagement, and the mediocrity busting results it produces, we have to make sure people have autonomy over the four most important aspects of their work:
Task – What they do
Time – When they do it
Technique – How they do it
Team – Whom they do it with.
After a decade of truly spectacular underachievement, what we need now is less management and more freedom – fewer individual automatons and more autonomous individuals. This is a Lesson I have learned from a man I truly think is a great leader and a man I see myself working with for the many years to come.