Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Next 100 Years- Book review

The Next 100 Years- by George Friedman

If you like Sci Fi, this is almost a good book for you. Friedman strengths lie in his insights into past trends. He is able to digest complex history and give a summary of why things happened giving us today's current state. Beyond this strength, he has a very good imagination and he uses his knowledge of how things turn out based on a lot of imagination.
But as we can see, unexpected disasters, stir ups, can throw a wrench in the best made prophesies.
I only recommend the first few chapters in this book, so get it from the library and enjoy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Limitless opportunities

It never ceases to amaze me how blind people are to the endless possibilities and opportunities constantly surrounding us everyday. In his fantastic speech, Acres of Diamonds, which if you've not read yet, you need to read it now, Russell Conwell, gives example after example of fabulous opportunities literally in peoples own backyards. He also points out that you don't need a title or a position to start doing great things.

I've worked with a person at my company who swore to me that there are no opportunities to grow or get promoted at our company. I just shook my head. Three years later and two job positions later for me, he is in the same spot. He had the same opportunities that I had, the same education, same network. The only difference was he didnt have his eyes opened to what was clearly there. 

Attitude is the key to success. I often like to talk about my brother. He is extremely smart, he's got fantastic people skills,  but he lacks drive. I get weary trying to encourage him to go out and show the world his incredible talent. It breaks my heart to see talented people waste their lives because they are blind to how much they could do. I say if you going to dream, dream big and open your eyes to the limitless opportunities around you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Start-up nation

In the new book, authors Dan Senor, Saul Singer, give an explanation of why Israel has The most startups.
This book was not the book I was expecting, instead of it being about how companies are structured, or about regulation, it was all about the culture of Israel. Their culture and how their society is structured creates entrepreneurial people who have both the desire, knowledge and network to create companies. The structure comes from several building blocks which are carefully laid out and compared and contrasted against similar countries. The mandatory military service is the embryonic stem cell which generates the other building blocks:
Questioning everything/Lack of recognition of hierarchy
Maturaty at an earlier age from combat experience
Because lIfe and death questions are always front and center the common Israeli is very disciplined and focused.

What this book does not do is give a step by step how to on transforming your country into a startup nation. Israel is very unique place which no other country could or would want to duplicate.
I recommend this book for general background on Israelian culture and history which are well told. Also the type of people and the pre-reqs for an entrepreneurial culture.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Managers vs Leaders

Managers Motto: Who will do what by when?
§Leaders Motto: How can I help you achieve your goals while you help me achieve mine?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why Improv is my favorite new hobby

Lately I've been doing nearly 8 hours of improv acting every weekend.

It’s definitely the scariest thing you can do. You get up in front of an audience with no script working with another person who could do anything.

Here is a video from my teacher Ricky Wayne

The three things I've gotten out of Improv, and why I recommend it to anyone:

1. The "YES, AND" philosophy is the center of Improv. Getting used to saying yes gives you a more open view point in relationships and in life. You wouldn't believe the things that happen when instead of automatically saying "no," you say "yes." Once you've faced not only being on stage talking and doing things, but doing it without a script, you definitely feel more courageous. You start telling yourself, Yeah, I can do a lot more than I thought before. It really expands your view of the world.

2. Mainly Improv is supposed to be comedy. Doing improv has enriched my funny bone. Being on stage hearing what audiences like, lets you become more sensitive to what is funny and what isn't. I can now use this new sensitivity to enhance my other speeches.

3. Increased enjoyment of all life. When I am on stage in a scene, I have to act like I am somewhere else doing something as someone else. These challenges force me to pay close attention in the rest of life. When I meet a person, I pay attention to how they speak their unique attitude. When I am doing any activity, doing the dishes, I pay attention to how I hold them, the weight. This attention makes just day to day living more exciting and enjoyable.

If you want to learn more and you are in Tampa Bay, get in touch with Toby Martini. He has improv workshops which are very focused and effective. I just finished taking it and really saw a lot of improvement in my improv!

 I think you'll really get a lot of benefit out of doing improv, no matter what reasons you need it.