October 2013

* true lies

"Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency."
(Raymond Chandler, US detective novelist and screenwriter)


For every successful Alpha, there are hundreds, and even thousands of Betas. And if winning, or succeeding ,is measured by reaching the top slot, then everyone who fails to win the ultimate prize is seen as second-best, second-rate, a runner-up, an also-ran.

Happiness, he now knew, wasn't about taking on a new high-profile position that was bigger for the sake of being bigger. He was not saying he would remain with the company forever. But right now he was where he needed to be. The increased communication and collaboration required of Beta organizations demand a new style of leadership and career planning.

Beta leaders need to be curators, not commanders. Rather than striving to be content experts on every aspect of their operation, they need to be able to collect, sort analyze data and edit all communications and collaborative streams of information that could potentially influence their business. Organizations need to have dozens, maybe hundreds of individual experts, fully capable of idea generation and innovative thought. In turn, these experts must be encouraged to drill down deep in their own specializations, develop plans and strategies, and share them with the rest of the organization. Beta leaders then need to sort through the ideas, figure out how they fit together, and then recombine them so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As curators, Beta leaders are skilled at assembling employees, encouraging them to think new thoughts in different ways, and challenging them to do new things.

(The Fall of the Alphas, Dana Ardi)




"Self Pity is the most destructive vice, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '. Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice. I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about."

(Stephen Fry)


"Never waste a minute thinking about people you don't like."

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog."

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership."

"May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done."

(Dwight D. Eisenhower)