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The Pareto Principle And Decision Making

The Pareto Principle And Decision Making

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle, and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted the 80/20 connection while at University in 1896, and published it in his first paper.

Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy at that time, was owned by 20% of the population. He developed the principle by observing that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

Mathematically, the 80/20 rule is roughly diagrammed by a Pareto distribution, (see below) and many natural phenomena have been shown empirically to exhibit such a distribution.

Nature

  • The sizes of human settlements (few cities, many hamlets/villages)
  • The values of oil reserves in oil fields (a few large fields, many small fields)
  • Sizes of sand particles
  • Sizes of meteorites
  • Numbers of species per genus
  • Areas burnt in forest fires
  • Severity of large losses for insurance businesses such as general liability, commercial, auto, and workers compensation.
  • In hydrology the Pareto distribution is applied to extreme events such as annually maximum one-day rainfalls and river discharges.

Rule of Thumb

While it is common to referred to as the "80/20" rule, under the assumption that, in all situations, 20% of causes determine 80% of problems, this ratio is merely a convenient rule of thumb and is not, nor should it be, considered an immutable law of nature.

More generally, the Pareto Principle is the observation (not law) that most things in life are not distributed evenly. It can mean all of the following things:

Not distributed evenly

20% of the input creates 80% of the result
20% of the workers produce 80% of the result
20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue and often 80% problems as well
20% of software bugs cause 80% of the crashes
20% of software features cause 80% of the usage

And on and on…

Steps to identify important issues using 80/20 rule

  • Generate a table listing the issues and their frequency of occurrence as a percentage
  • Arrange the rows in decreasing order of importance of the issues (i.e. the most important one first)
  • Add a cumulative percentage column to the table, then plot the information
  • Plot (#1) a bar graph with items on x- and percent frequency on y-axis
  • Plot (#2) a curve with items on x- and cumulative percentage on y-axis
  • Next draw a horizontal dotted line at 80% from the y-axis to intersect the curve.
  • Then draw a vertical dotted line from the point of intersection to the x-axis. The vertical dotted line separates the important issues (on the left) and trivial ones (on the right)

Pareto distributions are often used in the cases when many different small independent factors contribute to a result.

Pareto Chart Example (Customer Complaints)

First find out how many customer complaints were received in each of, say, five categories.

Then take the largest category, let’s say in this case it is “documents”; break it down into, perhaps, six categories of document-related complaints, and show cumulative values.

If all complaints cause equal distress to the customer, working on eliminating document-related complaints would have the most impact, and of those, working on quality certificates should be most fruitful.

Pareto Example
Pareto Example - Document Issues

Draw a horizontal dotted line at 80% from the y-axis to intersect the curve.

Then draw a vertical dotted line from the point of intersection to the x-axis. The vertical dotted line separates the important causes (on the left) and trivial causes (on the right)

That means, in this example, quality certificate error, quality certificate missing and invoice error, (in that order) are what need to be worked on – the rest can be safely ignored.

Simple and effective.

Yaro Starak says

It really doesn’t matter what numbers you apply, the important thing to understand is that in your life there are certain activities you do (your 20 percent) that account for the majority (your 80 percent) of your happiness and outputs.

Life Isn’t Fair

What does it mean when we said above that “things aren’t distributed evenly”? The key point is that each unit of work (or time) doesn’t contribute the same amount.

In a perfect world, every employee would contribute the same amount, (red line in the graph below) every issue would be equally important, every feature would be equally loved by users. Planning would be so easy.

Pareto Distribution
Pareto Distribution

But that isn’t always the case:

The 80/20 rule observes that most things have an unequal distribution. Out of 5 things, perhaps 1 will be “cool”. That cool thing/idea/person will result in the majority of the impact of the group (the green line). We’d like life to be like the red line, where every piece contributes equally, but that doesn’t always happen.

Of course, this ratio can change. It could be 80/20, 90/10, or 90/20 (the numbers don’t have to add to 100!).

The key point is that most things are not 1/1, where each unit of “input” (effort, time, labour) contributes exactly the same amount of output.

Benefit:

The idea is to realise that you can focus your effort on the 20% that makes a difference, instead of the 80% that doesn’t add much.

In economics terms, there is diminishing marginal benefit. This is related to the law of diminishing returns: it means each additional hour of effort, each extra worker, is adding less “oomph” to the final result. By the end, you are spending lots of time on the minor details. Huge benefit right there.

Decision Making and The Pareto Principle

Think about 'diminishing marginal benefit'. Obviously building a bridge requires 100% of the construction to be completed, or else we don’t have a safe, working river crossing, but decisions, about almost anything in life, can be made using the 80/20 rule.

How so?

Look at the second graph, above, and come at it from the opposite direction, ie the right hand side moving left, you notice that at the 80 percentile of effort (bottom X axis) you will have achieved approx 96% of the result. (Take a line up to the green curve). A result in decision-making terms might be the level of certainty that the decision is correct.

Consider that effort is ‘researching if a decision is right or wrong’, then after we have 80% of the info - we are good to go. The last 20% of effort will only give you 4% more certainty. Why waste that effort?

A perfect reason for procrastinating just bit the dust. We DON’T NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING before making a decision. So stop messing about, make that decision and get on with it.

The Pareto graph suggests, in fact, that at 50% of the effort/research/info you are likely to have a 90% result/certainty. Hmmm.

Stop. That’s Dangerous.

Yes, I can hear you. How do you know if you have reached 80%? Well you don’t. Not really. Just as you don’t know if you reach 100% of the required info.

Truth is – you never will. It’s all relative. A moving feast. We wrack our brains, ask experts, ask customers, do tests and experiments, contemplate our navel, but once the info gathering process appears to be slowing down, that is probably the 80% mark.

It’s a guess. You can keep guessing, or get on with doing stuff.

Decision Making Made Simple

  1. Get as much info as is reasonably easily obtained (remember, you don’t need to know everything – 80% is more than enough)
  2. Then ask yourself 2 questions about your impending decision.
    1. Knowing all that, what’s the worst that could happen? The very worst case scenario?
    2. Can I live with that? Yes/No.
  3. If yes. Just do it. Use the 5 second rule. But that’s another topic altogether.
  4. But, if no. You need to go right back to the beginning. Perhaps even think about if this is something you need to do, or decide. Or whatever.

Consequently, it really is that simple. Decision making on steroids. The 80/20 rule rocks.

So Much To Do

So much to do.

I find that making lists is a fine old way to procrastinate. The dad joke of the century is: “I will put off procrastinating until tomorrow.”

But it’s true. If we can find a way, anyway, to allow some event, or task, to control us to the extent that we put it off for another day, we think we have won! Lists work, don’t they? Every time. We can even convince ourselves that it’s OK. It’s work. We are moving towards our goals, are we not? That’s a win? Surely?

NO it’s not!!! We have LOST. Bigtime.

The way forward

Today I found a way through this maze.

It all starts with Mark Forster. He has created the mother of all hi-tech processes which ANY of us can use. He calls it The Autofocus System.

You need:

A bound notebook (25 – 35 lines) more than 35 lines on a page seems to circumvent the snapshot - 1 page at a time - mental gymnastics that to help the system work.

And a pen or pencil. That’s it. That’s as hi-tech as it gets. Yep. I lied.

It’s a rolling list. And one of the many beautiful things about this, is that you use it as a means to follow the ‘a little and often’ approach.

Kind of related to the ideas of Jeff Olsen et alia in the magnificent book ‘The Slight Edge.’ Do look it up. You will be very surprised how it helps with life. It is subtitled (for good reasons) ‘Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness’. No - don’t judge. Just give it a look.

I will not go into much detail about the autofocus system here, because Mr Forster has a fabulous description of what it is and how to use it on his blog.

However, I will say this.

The Process
  • Make a list – put anything and everything on it. Emails, reading, even exercise. Like brainstorming in a workshop. No editing. Just dump it all down. One item per line.
  • Read it through once, quickly. And I mean quickly. (Just the one current page.) Mental imprinting. No thinking at this point. That’s cheating.
  • Read through the whole list once again, slowly, until something jumps out at you.
  • DO that one thing. Here’s the kicker – only as long as you want to. Minutes, hours, days. No guilt.
  • Cross it off. If you didn’t finish all of it, write a new entry at the end of the list, (usually the next page), altered to identify what still needs to be done.
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • If you have gone over the page slowly again or returned to a previous page and nothing jumps, on the first pass then dismiss all unfinished items on that page. (highlight them in yellow – do NOT re-enter them).
  • Keep cycling.
  • That’s it.

A very quick and easy system.

Find more detailed notes AND look for this genius on “Get Everything Done” (http://markforster.squarespace.com/autofocus-system/).

What’s it all about? We are in Control of our lives!

I had my leg over the edge. 22nd floor. St Kilda Rd.

Up and Over

I was going to do it this time. Jump off the building. After the bankruptcy, the retrenchment and the Government taking almost all my payout, there was nothing left. It was hopeless. I had even lost the $1M insurance policy I had been contributing to for the last 48 years to leave my children a nest egg. I started this 13 years before they were even born. My very existence was a washout. 64 years of living - down the tubes. Or down to St Kilda Rd, at least. My life sucked. Big time. And it was not my fault!

The beginning of the Comeback

Not sure why. But I climbed down from that railing.

I went to the Doctor, and the Doctor said – "Take these drugs, See a Healer of the Head.” (You can sing this one to yourself if you like! And dance a bit too. It works!)

And I did.

AND Then: someone showed me a video of this man. (No Arms No Legs - No Worries

Nicholas Vujicic (Voya chic) An Australian Preacher and Motivational speaker born without any limbs. As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. Who would have guessed?

But he eventually came to terms with his disability.

Did You Get That? “He eventually came to terms with his disability.” How inspiring is that?

What was thinking. My issues were NOTHING in comparison to that. Yeah, of course it's real allright. To me. But Gee wizz. Where do you go from here?

If he could do that – handle that, who could deal with the relatively insignificant issues that I was facing?

ANYBODY!

Inspiration To Go On

Since then. I have walked on hot coals. Twice.  Really.

And as if I needed further inspiration, these 9 people kept cropping up in my reading.

Nine People

Albert Ellis, Anthony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, Dr Phil, Dr Wayne Dyer, Jim Rohn, Shakespeare, Susan Jeffers and Zig Ziglar.

What do they all have in common I hear you ask? Let me explain.

They all believed in one simple truth. One that I had failed to understand Up until THEN!!

Let's read their own words so we can understand what this truth might be shall we?

Albert Ellis: In 1955 he developed REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) the main principle of which was – A person is rarely affected emotionally by outside things, but rather by 'perceptions, attitudes or internalised sentences' about outside things and events.

Anthony Robbins: Whom the NY times calls 'The High Priest of Human Potential' says – There are two worlds. The EXTERNAL world which we can INFLUENCE, (We cannot control the external world) and the INTERNAL world which we do control. Therefore our ultimate significance in life comes not from something external but something internal.

Dale Carnegie: Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.

Dr Phil: Unlike the external factors that we have no control over, our internal factors are made up of our own reactions to the events in our lives.

Dr. Wayne Dyer: (Oh this one is really good!!!) Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.

Are you getting where this is going? I certainly was.

Jim Rohn: You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind. But you can change the set of your sail. The same wind blows on us all, whether we win or lose depends on the set of our sail.

Shakespeare: (Hamlet, Act II, Scene II) … there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Susan Jeffers: (in her best-selling book  'Feel the Fear, and Do it Anyway') says  - Don't be deceived into thinking that by changing the external, the internal will be changed. It works the other way around.

And Finally

Zig Ziglar: If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

What's it all about? What does it all Mean?

Seems to me that they are all saying exactly the same thing. And it is all about the simple truth I alluded to earlier. And that truth is:

We Are The Boss of Us”.

YEP

We Are The Boss of Us”.

Nick and Blame.

Nick Vujicic could have blamed his extrinsic situation. He had more reason than most. But he didn't. He dreamed of a bigger and better future for him and his family. Yes. That's right. He has a wife and children.

Serenity Prayer:

I am reminded here of the Serenity Prayer. I guess you have all heard of it? (Not from Alcoholics Anonymous - I hope).

Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The Courage to change the things I can, and The Wisdom to know the difference.”

The Victim and the Blame (Victim) Game - Work, Weather, Relationships etc:

Speaking of that, How many times have you heard people play the victim game?

Complaining that they can't be happy because of their

  1. Terrible job,

  2. horrible boss,

  3. bills,

  4. childhood experiences,

  5. Their Parents

  6. the bad weather,

  7. Unhappy marriage or a strained relationship?

There's always someone or something else in charge of their lives. Someone else who is to blame. "It's not my fault." is their constant refrain.

"What is it with this stupid phone? Or that driver is an idiot? "

I think you know what I mean.

How many times have you said this kind of thing yourself? I know I used to. A lot. Still do - far too much.

But - I am getting better.  I am aware of it now - and that is the first step.

FINALLY:

Here I am. It's Approximately 2 years later and I am still here. Getting better every day.

1. I'm taking back control.

2. I'm not sitting around lamenting how bad my life is.

3. I'm not accepting the idea that things just happen to me.

That's being a victim.

I remember Susan Jeffers - “Don't be deceived  .... she said. 

Don't be deceived into thinking that by changing the external, the internal will be changed. It works the other way around.

This is clever stuff!!

I bought an AWESOME plaque while I was in Bali recently.

Live Like you will Die Tomorrow.

Dream like you will live forever!!

I plan to live my life from now on based on these simple thoughts, and I am going to think of Nick Vujicic, and just get on with it.

CAUSE - Being in Control

I will be the cause of what happens to me, not the victim of the circumstances in which I find myself.

I will be the CAUSE of what happens to me, not the VICTIM of the circumstances in which I find myself.

I am doing it!!!!!  And IF I CAN DO IT!!!  Who else do you think can do it?

ANYBODY!!!!!!!!!

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift is used to describe a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events. A radical change in underlying beliefs or theory. A changed attitude, or way of doing things.

Dig Deep

What this means is that if the way we are doing things is not working, we must stop just piddling about at the edges making small, usually ineffectual alterations, and dig in and turn the whole thinking process upside down; we need to look at a problem or issue from a completely different angle.

Examples

What has changed in recent times that proves this rule?

The Sharing Economy

AirBnB is now one of the biggest accommodation providers in the world. It owns no hotels or any other properties and is entirely accessible on line. This is customer to customer business. A whole new way of finding and securing a place to stay.

Uber is now one of the biggest taxi providers in the world. It owns no cars or any other vehicles and is entirely accessed on line via an a computer browser or an 'app' on your smart phone or tablet.

Netflix and other movie sharing and streaming services have completely swamped Blockbuster and other bricks and mortar video stores. They no longer exist.

Travel. There is now a disruptive travel company that owns no aeroplanes, hotels, rental cars or offices in the high street. But it provides 5* travel experiences for members at 2* prices. And this is growing at an exponential rate overseas and now in Australia.

Even Skype deserves a mention. Paradigm shifts.

EBooks

People are not reading traditional books as much now as 10 years ago. Cheaper publishing techniques, cheaper purchase prices, cafés and other community/social areas in bookshops and libraries, more book tours and launches, reading and writing festivals were tried, but still the reading public stopped buying paper based books.

Enter eBooks. Electronic books. A paradigm shift. Along came Kindle and other electronic reading devices; and programs for reading eBooks on your smart phone and tablet.

Upside Down

That's turning the issue upside down. Using a different way of doing things.

What might this paradigm shift business be able to offer a person living in the here and now in Australia? Someone not in the industrial revolution, or involved in the advent of printing, or the creating of The Internet? How does that work?

Change and The Paradigm

Author Earnie Larson is credited with the droll maxim "Nothing changes if nothing changes".

Let's look at this.

Australia is an island state far away from the 2 hubs of human life. USA and Europe.

As I write, the news is breaking that the Electrolux factory here in Orange in Central Western New South Wales, Australia is closing down with the associated loss of jobs, self esteem, and regular wages. Of course there will also be the domino effect rippling through the NSW economy as ancillary production diminishes and finally stops. Not to mention the probable decrease in the spending of the more than 500 people affected by this change.

Is this just the greed of an overseas parent company or is there something else at play here?

We, in Australia, are facing constant rises in prices for everything. Wages, Infrastructure, repairs & maintenance, equipment, raw materials to name a few.

Our manufacturing sector then has shipping and transport to take into account. Even if product is sold here in the big brown land; most towns and cities are many hours apart. Even by air. And this is expensive. Export is almost completely prohibitive.

Equilibrium

If we look at a version of the economic equilibrium curve, (not supply V's Demand, but COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) V's Sales) we note, as mentioned earlier, that costs are rising sharply. On the other hand income derived from sales is falling due to among other things cheaper imports, online purchasing and changes in consumer demand. The crossover (equilibrium point shall we say) is racing towards zero faster than any time in our history.

Ostriches we are not. This can't continue. It is not greed to want to stay in business. If a limb is dying or dead we need to cut it off. Has to happen.

Supply V's Demand

Perhaps we can look, now, at the traditional Supply V's Demand curve but note that while demand is quite possibly still high for most manufactured goods although in a different model perhaps - our ability, in Australia, to produce / supply these goods at the required level and the necessary price is becoming less and less. So the equilibrium is unstable. Unpredictable. Other than the realisation that it is getting closer to zero here too.

Life Has Moved On

So, of course we complain. We tweak the edges of the problem, demand that Governments help, or that Parent Companies lose their investors' money or any number of completely ineffectual and traditional remedies. Nothing works. Funny that. The situation has changed. We have to change too. Yep. No longer much point in making large quantities of horse shoes or hansom cabs. Life has moved on. We need to catch-up.

Next

While we cannot (nor should we) completely resile from a need for a manufacturing sector as such; we MUST reduce our reliance on it. We need a paradigm change.

Our Governments, of whatever persuasion, do not seem to be able to tax massive profits at the correct level, nor do they seem to be able to resist calls for assistance from companies making billions who figure a small handout of a few hundred million will help the country as a whole.

We need to look at how we can CHANGE things so our people can be strong again.

Yeah, But What?

Obviously, we will still need cars, fridges, washing machines, TV's and the like. Not to mention furniture and all the other major pieces of equipment required for a modern lifestyle. But is it possible that we can shift our way of living in a way that reduces our demand for such goods? Perhaps? In ways we have not thought of yet? With products that may not have been invented yet?

And with greater numbers of people arriving in our country from overseas and by the normal processes, we have, in my opinion, a huge and ever increasing need for enhanced service industries. See sharing services mentioned above.

Take for example the rise of restaurant food and grocery delivery systems in some of our bigger cities. Just one instance.

We could develop products that do not need to be mass produced, perhaps; nor transported by traditional means. Old ideas can be re-visited or new ideas generated. Stuff that is locally made, even Cottage Industries might be the way to go. (We moved away from these many decades ago, but perhaps we could revisit this kind of commerce). I believe there is now again a huge potential here.

What about Sport, Music and Theater? Performance and Static or Fine Art. Movies, Electronica and esoterica. All of these things can be ramped up and with the right marketing (another service industry) might be a new employment area for displaced manufacturers. Most of us have more leisure time now with a need to fill in the spaces. And everyone has untapped talent just waiting to be unleashed. Hidden gems. Think about it.

Change is inevitable. It is happening all around us. Now.

Life coaching as a service might pick up to the level of acceptance here, that it has in America.

And, of course there is the whole digital economy. Phone and tablet 'apps'. Computer coding. Commodities that can be transported free over the air so to speak. This market, largely untapped even now, is bigger than anything that has gone before.

Summary

The change is here. We have to stop bitching and get on with it. Embrace it. The same wind blows on us all. If we act like a child who says, “I'll turn my back, and if I can't see you – you can't see me,” the wind will still blow on us and likely blow us over. We cannot escape. We must deal with the consequences. We have to change ourselves. We have to adapt to what is happening around us. A paradigm shift is long overdue.

Idlay and the DVD’s

The Milk of Human Kindness

I have to write this. In some way I hope that the woman who is the subject of this doesn’t see it as she will be mortified, but then again, she deserves to know that this is being written about.

Idlay

I met this lovely woman Idlay (pronounced eye di lay) on Friday Sept 25th when I was in Sydney for the Anthony Robbins Seminar. I know almost nothing else about her, as I hardly saw her again during the 4 days I was in Sydney. I know she was a crew member because it said so on her T-Shirt.

I was standing at the booth where they were selling DVD's and other paraphernalia related to the seminar topics. A woman was asking questions about a set of DVD's but was undecided.

Idlay turned up out of the blue and began talking to the undecided person as if she had know here for years, She was just wonderful. The conversation went back and forward like old friends. Our prospective buyer – let's call her Liz as it will be easier – finally decided that she could use the DVD's and that they might make a difference to her life. Liz had decided to buy.

But. And it was a big but. The total investment was quite some dollars more than Liz had at her disposal.

Half

Without batting an eyelid, Idlay said, “I'll pay half for you.”

Now to say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement, but Liz just burst into tears. Not loud sobbing, she was a classy lady, but the tears were there and her immediate reaction was, “NO! I can't let you do that.”

But Idlay had already scurried off to get her credit card to facilitate this transaction.

Remember these two had only met about 10 mins ago. They were virtually strangers.

Discussions

On her return Idlay and Liz had further deep and heavy discussions about the efficacy of this DVD course and after a fair bit of teary protestation, then counter offers, the transaction was completed. Idlay had paid half of the investment for a DVD set she would never see. for a woman she had only just met.

If I had not been there I would have called this as one of the most unlikely happenings ever. And I would have thought it a sad and unfortunate bad taste joke.

Not a Joke

But no. It happened. How can we have people randomly shoot and kill other human beings for no apparent reason, and Idlay open the purse of human kindness in such a manner? Again for no reason that I could see other than we just do this for people we love and that love can extend to strangers in need. It just does not make sense that these two diametrically opposed reactions can come form the same human race. .

This is a shining example of the good we can encounter everywhere in our lives. It is there we just do not all that often get the chance to see it in action.

Reciprocity

I know the universal law of reciprocity works. I trust our friend Idlay will reap in abundance for her totally selfless act on this day, for a stranger she deemed to be in need.

I found out a little later that Idlay had looked at a personal-care product for herself at a fraction of the price she paid for the DVD's, earlier in the day and had decided not to spend that amount of money on herself.

Glad

I, of course, don’t understand the motivation for these actions as they occurred on this day, but I applaud Idlay for giving, and Liz for receiving (for those who receive serve as well) and know both these fabulous women have met for a reason and theirs and our world is so much richer for this circumstance. I am also very glad I was there to witness it for myself. Thank You Idlay.

Ego – A Book Review: A New Earth: Create a Better Life – Eckhart Tolle

I have been reading this book the last few hours.

I have to say it is probably the best book of its kind, I have read for a long time.

Why?

I have not even finished Chapter 3 and am completely blown away by the content. Mr Tolle has taken me and given me the biggest shake.

There is soooo much here already that explains a lot about my life and why I am like I am.

Believe me I am going to change. I am not going to be ruled by ego any-more.

Need to know what this is all about – then get this book.

Example?

One very small example that stuck with me.

When he was a counsellor, Eckhart was working with a woman who had cancer and was told she had only 2 months to live.

She was raving, this particular day, about a belief that her carer had stolen her grandmother's engagement ring. “It has so much sentimental value,” she wailed.

Eckhart asked her what was she going to remember about this ring in 10 weeks time? She thought for a moment and then said, “They think I'll be dead by then.”

“Yep,” he said.

“And while it is not right that it might have been stolen, why are you wasting the little time you have left getting so excited about it? This is your ego talking. Someone has to be wrong. You are the one in the right. It is YOUR ring. 'Oh My God,' you are crying, 'what have they done to me?'

But it won't matter to you in two months. So let it go now. Live today. Enjoy. Don't fret. Be happy. All that good stuff.”

Think about it:

How many times have we all worried about something like this? Something where we complain and fret just to make a silly point? To be right? To be better than someone else? To be richer, happier, more moral, more beautiful? Ego. I am.

Let it go.

More soon. I am going to finish this wonderful book and take as much of it on board as I possibly can.

Battles V’s Challenges

Battles

The best battle, Sun Tzu says, is the battle that is won without being fought.

One dictionary definition is: An encounter between opposing forces.

Therefore; we assume - if we use the word battle, that there will be opposing forces and one of these will be a winner.

By definition this pretty much always means one of the forces will lose, even if according to Sun Tzu an actual battle has not been fought in the traditional sense. We still have an assumed winner and a loser. Let us call that a “pre-supposition.” And definitely one with negative results for one of the parties.

Challenges

A challenge on the other hand is something that puts you to the test. It can often be used in the sense of questioning whether something is true or right. And it can be a demanding or stimulating situation as in questioning a statement and looking for an explanation. This doesn't, by definition, require either a winner or a loser. It assumes (pre-supposes) an outcome, but not necessarily one that means any party will be vanquished.

A challenge is often thought of as something you have to face and deal with as you see fit. Not necessarily involving another in direct conflict. It can – but usually doesn't.

If a challenge seems like a battle, it can nearly always be reduced to a win/win situation. The sort of thing that can be dealt with by finding and exploiting alternatives to any head-on confrontation.

A challenge can therefore, pre-suppose (or assume) a solution that is not necessarily competitive to the point where protagonists on opposite sides become engaged in a fight or a battle. This is likely a more positive outlook is it not?

This is not to say a situation remains uncompetitive and lacking in any desire (even STRONG desire) for a satisfactory outcome - just that win/lose is not the primary aim of the interaction as it is in a battle.

It suggests that YOU will find an outcome that is satisfactory to YOU without destroying, decimating or even sidelining others who might also have an interest in the outcome.

What we have here is a stance that involves the taking of individual or group responsibility for a particular situation along with the actions undertaken; and accepting the results obtained.

Not a fight to the death.

Conclusion

Therefore, let us not look for battles to win, but challenges to face.

And let us use words that help us to see outcomes in a positive win/win light and not conjure up adversarial elements where they do not need to exist. #CareerChangeStrategies

What Did You Learn today?

One of our core needs is to grow.

Growth comes from:

  • New stuff.
  • Old stuff with a new perspective.
  • Something completely out of left field.
  • Mistakes that show you why or how something didn't work.
  • Words that had the opposite effect from what was expected
  • Words that had a different effect from your expectations
  • Feedback both good and bad.
  • Reading
  • Listening

Nothing here about talking.

What else? This is just a teaser?

WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?

Bringing up Children V’s Being a Good Salesperson?

Have you ever thought of the similarities between these two? Between children and customers?

Just as an example:

Try shouting at a baby/child to make him/her do something.

Try shouting at a customer to get him/her to buy your goods/services.

Same result?

Why's that?

Your comments please.