Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's just 3 things...

Hit me in the shower this morning.

It's just 3 things.

That's really all that's important.

We're not talking 3 specific things... it's different for each of us. But it's still just 3 things.

It seems to me that we're made to really focus, best, on 3 things. More than 3 and you start to get scattered in your approach, less than 3, too easy for the human mind.

Of course, there are generally about 30 important things that need your attention at any given time. Can you focus on those 30 things? Nope. You're brain just isn't wired for it. It's aware of them, but it can't focus on all of them. Too many things.

What makes for a highly effective person is the ability to determine, from those 30 important things, which 3 are important right now. Which 3 they should be working on (or making sure others are working on if they're managing people).

Anyone can 'track' 30 things,but only executive thinkers can really see, almost immediately, which 3 of those 30 things they should be focused on. If you're in a big company that's the difference between being an individual contributor or a manager. A director or VP... on up the line.

In a startup company, it's the difference between being the PHP program monkey working on the support forum or the company Architect. The product manager or the CEO. It makes a big difference.

The next 300 things are what really trip us up. We're all dealing with, overall, about 300ish details, just by being alive. Homeless or CEO, the numbers are about the same.

The people that can determine, out of those 300 things, which 30 are important, and which 3 should be the one's they're focused on...

Those guys... they run the place.

So, it's not really about being able to manage dozens of things as many of us believe and, often, what makes our lives so hectic and at times overwhelming.

It's about being able to tell what 3 things should be the primary focus, and not worrying about those important 30 things or those 300 in the back of your mind.. gotta deal with em things...

It's just 3 things.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Are the best start up founders sociopaths?

I've been thinking about this lately and I've concluded that it takes a sort of criminal mindset (disregarding 'the rules') to be a startup founder / Entrepreneur.

This isn't necessarily bad. you can have a criminal mindset and have a positive effect on society (left side of the chart). Of course, most are negative (Right side of the chart).

Maybe it's a case of just a little bit of something that's bad when taken in high quantity (like, say, Caffine) can be a good thing.

Another term you could use in the place of Criminal Mindset might be Sociopath.

Some definitions from Profile of a Sociopath
Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility

Manipulative and Conning

Grandiose Sense of Self

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

Need for Stimulation

Callousness/Lack of Empathy

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Any of this sound familiar? Ever seen any high profile tech founders exhibit some level of these behaviors? (Think: Jobs, Gates, Zuckerburg, Ellison)

I"m not saying the 'extreme' edge of sociopathic behavior is good. I am saying that some sociopathic behavior and being an Entrepreneur tend to go hand in hand.

Now, having been a startup founder, I can't say that I'm a sociopath, but, I do have a healthy disregard for the traditional 'rules' and some would say that makes me an outlier when it comes to fitting in.

And to that I say, ok, so be it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Been a while

Well folks, it's been a while. Almost an entire year, actually, since I blogged. You might have noticed a new URL for this blog ( Apparently Blogger lost my linkage and all those links back to this blog are now gone. So, starting over.

Check back on occasion if you're so inclined. I'll be writing again now that things are working (reasonably) correctly.

An excellent read from an ex-evangelical.

  As you know, I once was an evangelical megachurch pastor and my pastoral career stretched over many years. Eventually, I could no longer t...