What Price Wisdom?

What Price Wisdom? Brain for Emotions blog post

I am, at age 68, by many standards, old. I am, in many companies, unemployable. Because I am old. Because I am overqualified. Because I am worth more in compensation than young, inexperienced new people entering the job market will accept — although I’ll actually accept less than most companies think for the privilege of sharing my experience and earning a living wage.

That’s not to say that I am destitute. I have a satisfying career helping people — young, middle-aged and yes, even old, make the best choices in terms of their risk management and wealth accumulation strategies. For those who will listen. And there are not nearly enough of those. Far too many spend more time planning vacations instead of their financial futures.

Many young people today have never seen a telephone that required a wired connection. Many have never seen computer applications that used word commands instead of pointing devices. Virtually none remember the BETA vs. VHS video recording wars. They can’t even fathom that content wasn’t always streamed over their smartphones and tablets and once upon a time required physical media and equipment for playing it. And many who can text at multiple thumbstrokes per second can’t carry on an actual conversation with another person.

In “the olden days,” where multiple generations interacted in family and business situations, the wisdom of the “elders” was passed on to the younger generations so that mistakes could be avoided and so that past experience could be applied to new situations. But today’s “elders,” at least for the most part in the business world, are discarded and ignored. And thus their wisdom and experience is lost so that new generations are given the opportunity to make the same mistakes again and again.

Imagine, if you will, a situation where a finance VP decides that the sales people are making too much money and decides to cut their commission rates. If you look at the spreadsheet you’ll see that the savings in commission will make a big improvement to the bottom line. What you won’t see is how the top line will drop dramatically to offset any calculated gains and begin a downward spiral of the business. FYI, I lived this experience!

Who could predict that? The technology supported the decision. But experience tells us that this is faulty thinking. Uh Oh… What experience? There isn’t any. We got rid of that to “save” costs and “improve” productivity. We did that at the same time we eliminated human contact with clients and customers with new phone tree answering systems. Press 1 to…Press 2 to… Want a human? Sorry, that’s not an option.

Then there’s stuff the other way around. Us old folks, while having a lot of experience in a lot of things, don’t necessarily know that we need WiFi to use our tablet devices or to make sure that we’re not overcharged for smartphone data usage because we don’t know that we need to connect to it. We have the Internet, don’t we? What is this Wifi and why is my 4gLTE bill so high?

I heard a great suggestion at a networking meeting a couple of months ago. How about we put retirement homes next door to pre-schools and elementary schools? Imagine what the oldsters could teach the youngsters and vice versa! I’m computer literate for the most part, but I still have to call my sons for help with operating systems and website development tools. In the “old days” when we needed help with some newfangled electronic device, we called a teenager!

I guess the point of this diatribe is that I think it’s a shame, and a tremendous waste of talent, experience, and wisdom, to dump the old folks and bring in the (cheaper?) new folks. We need both! Too many CEOs listen to too many CFOs who put spreadsheets together based on inaccurate assumptions and build presentations to show how smart they are. And too many CEOs fall into the trap.

But they don’t care. They slash and burn the business and move on to the next one before anyone realizes what they’ve really done. With multi-million dollar bonuses — for being fired! — while thousands of workers lose their jobs, their pensions, and their dignity. What a travesty.

It doesn’t have to be this way, people. We can fix it. But it will take work, inspiration, and education. Will it happen quickly? Not in my experience. It took me 20 years to make Design for Test happen in the electronics industry. But I did it. The device you are using to read this is easier to test than it would have been had I not written a 77-page book in 1979 and “preached and teached” its tenets all over the world for two decades.

I changed the world and I think you can too. At the risk of seeming self-serving, I suggest you start by reading my new book Inspiration Now! It may give you some insight into why I think the way I do and to why you might want to ask yourself why you think the way you do. And whether or not you want to do anything about it..

Because you have that power, no matter what your age, profession, employment status or position in an organization. You have the power to change a great many things, not the least of which is your own set of visions, feelings and actions. No one can stop you from changing yourself. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You don’t need to do anything but decide that you will use your personal power to accomplish your personal dreams and goals. Because you can. You have that power.

Comments, compliments, brickbats and lambasts are all, of course, welcome as always. Thanks for reading.

Go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RQT1BLK to order your copy of Inspiration Now!

If I write it will they read it?

If I write it will they read it?

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If I write it will they read it?

If a tree falls in the forest when no one is nearby does the falling tree make any noise?

If a tree falls in the forest is the man wrong anyway?

What is the difference between the sound of one tree falling and two trees falling?

How do you know?

Do you know because you were there, or do you think you know because someone told you about their experience either in person or through their writings?

If you don’t know someone who has experienced something then you are very likely to learn many lessons in hard and painful ways. Unless, or course, you can read about them, understand them and avoid the hard and painful experiences.

But to do that, of course, you must make a conscious effort to read and understand what others have written – preferably before you are faced with a situation where prior knowledge would be extremely helpful.

Have you read something recently that will help you gain knowledge and wisdom or will you take your chances on being wrong in a critical situation?

Only you can choose.

Scoop.it Featured Author on Business 2 Community

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10 Reasons Not to Hire an Expert

Calvin & Hobbes - Math HomeworkI’ve been curating a lot of articles lately and re-posting them for the edification of my friends, fans and connections and several of those posts have been lists of 5, 10, 12, 20 or more things you can do to improve your business, life, social media strategy or anything else. In fact a lot of experts say that the titles for your posts should have numbers in them and that lists make for good content. So here’s mine!

1. You know more about the subject of how to solve a given problem than anyone else possibly could. Especially someone from outside your organization who lacks the in-depth participation that you have in the original creation of the problem.

2. You know that an outside expert will ask you a lot of irrelevant questions in an attempt to get to the root cause of your problem and you really don’t have time to answer a bunch of those kinds of questions.

3. You worked with an expert once that your company hired to solve a problem that you couldn’t solve on your own and that expert simply presented your solution to management in such a way as to get it accepted while giving no credit to you.

4. You can’t pay an outside expert $125 an hour to quickly provide recommendations to solve the problem you’ve been wrestling with for weeks or months and that has been preventing my ability to grow my business.  Too expensive!

5. You’ve been doing things this way for years and the last thing you need is some wise guy in a suit with a briefcase coming in here to tell you that there might be better ways to do things. So what if you’re working 60 hours per week? You don’t need any help.

6. Strategy, schmategy! You’ve just got to get the message out to everyone possible that they are just dumb if they don’t buy your product/service. Don’t these experts realize that you wouldn’t be in this business if you didn’t know what you were doing?

7.  You don’t need some expert telling you that what you’re currently doing isn’t working as well as you’d like it to. You already know that! You just need to work harder at what you’re doing and get your people to do so as well.

8. You’ve heard all about this “working smarter” stuff and you just don’t believe in it. The old ways have always worked for you in the past and all of this newfangled stuff is just going to make more work for you.

9. How can anyone without detailed knowledge of the ins and outs of your particular business help you by showing you how generally successful goals, strategies and tactics that work for others could work for you?

10. You don’t have time to talk with any experts. You’ve got too many problems of your own to solve!

Hope you enjoyed this.  Isn’t is amazing how many people — not you, of course — fit these examples?  As always, I’d love to have your comments — pro or con or just plain different.  Thanks for reading and don’t be shy.


The Mayonnaise Jar and the 2 Beers

I found this post on another site and wanted to share it.

Mathboard Image from Original PostWhen things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions — and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.’

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.’

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.’

author unknown — happy to attribute if somebody knows

Found on Google+, posted by Jordan Arseno, October 8, 2012, 3:26 PM (edited) –  Public

Jon Turino:  This post hit the top of the chart on Google+.  What do you think of it? I’d love to have — and share — your comments on it.


A Marketing Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sliced ham. Sliced turkey. Sliced Swiss cheese.  Sliced bread. Scrambled eggs mixed with a tablespoon or two of milk, some cinnamon and some vanilla extract. Butter and a hot  skillet. What are we making?

The list of ingredients isn’t very fancy now, is it? Some pretty basic ingredients to work with.  We could make  a variety of things with our ingredients. A ham, cheese and turkey sandwich, for instance. Some scrambled eggs and some cinnamon toast. How about some French toast? Or how about a Monte Cristo sandwich? Doesn’t  that sound tasty?

And what does all of this have to do with marketing?  Think about the list of ingredients as the raw materials of your product or services. Think about the recipe as the packaging and the finished product as the presentation.

How different is your  ham, turkey and cheese sandwich from those supplied by your competition? Or your scrambled eggs? Or even  your French toast?  Ah, but a Monte Cristo sandwich? How many of your competitors offer one of those? How many restaurants for that matter?

Messages, media, markets. Monte Cristo sandwiches. It’s what’s for brunch today. Make sense?

Enjoy the sandwich. Add some syrup or jam if you like it with something sweet. Call me or take one of my courses if you’d like help cooking up your own better marketing strategies.

And please leave your comments. I will respond to them.

Chef’s Note: Mix the eggs, cinnamon, milk and vanilla together with a fork or a whisk. Soak the bread on both sides and cook on buttered skillet until golden brown on one side. Flip to cook 2nd side and add turkey, ham and cheese to sides already cooked. Then fold together to make into a complete sandwich. Flip as needed until cheese is melted and serve immediately with fruit, jam/jelly or syrup. Makes a very tasty meal!