21
Oct
2013

Painful Lessons and Core Values

SunriseRecently I have spent a lot of time working with students.  I am advising students at two different schools as they work on their final year projects.  Thinking about their futures–the blank canvas of their career before them–has given me cause to think about my first 15 years working for big business.  I have much to be proud of.  And quite a few mistakes to regret.

But my mistakes do not haunt me any more. I turned them into something precious that I hope betters me and improves my decision making.

We all have core values that guide our daily activities and influence our personal development. My values are precious to me. Some of them were born like gems from the intense pressure and heat caused by colossal failures. Others are expelled like a pearl wrenched from an irritation not unlike sand in a clam’s maw. My professional errors have made me a better coworker. Its a shame I had to learn these lessons the hard way.

So, here’s to the class of 2014 and all those just recently added to the workforce. And should this blog last another fifteen years, I offer this record to myself at age 54. What would you add to the list?

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03
Oct
2013

The Illusion of Control

Illusion of ControlThree weeks ago I flew to the states for a brief visit with friends and a prospective employer. On the flight next to me sat an Asian man of my parents’ age. He appeared to be in his early 70s and was enjoying a rich life in retirement. He had just returned from a cruise on the Danube and was in Hong Kong visiting his daughter’s family.  Apparently these two trips interrupted a busy golf schedule near his home in San Francisco.

We talked aimlessly and without substance for a period. Then I stumbled upon a topic of deep interest to both of us. I asked him, “If you could go back in time and offer a younger version of yourself advice, what would that advice be?” He said, “I would tell myself that control is an illusion.”

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