During my usual forays around the internet, I stumbled onto two pieces I felt offered great realistic advice for new graduates.
10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You
“8. Don’t model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don’t let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. If you leave a work task undone in order to meet a friend for dinner, then you are "shirking" your work. But it’s also true that if you cancel dinner to finish your work, then you are shirking your friendship. That’s just not how we usually think of it.”
Letters to a Young Engineer: How to Decide Where to Work (written by a friend of mine, who is eminently qualified so these words have weight!)
“This is the first branch in the decision tree. If the answer is that you’re not happy about going into work, you need to scratch that company off the list. It’s a non-starter. I don’t care if the company is super-popular or has 10 Nobel Prize winners that you revere. If you’re not excited, you’re not going to do your best work. Then those 10 Nobel Prize winners will see you as a non-phenomenal colleague, and that’s the reputation which will spread about you.”
I’ve never believed in titles meaning anything significant in the workplace.
Was musing over this after reading an article about Goldman Sachs.
“In a subsequent memo to staff, Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and chief operating officer Gary Cohn said Mr Smith’s views were in the minority among his 12,000 fellow vice-presidents around the world.”
Twelve thousand vice-presidents!!
If you haven’t read Greg Smith’s OpEd about why he is leaving Goldman Sachs, you should.
I just got off a phone call with Daikin Air Conditioning. I’ve been a customer of theirs for many years (around 6, ever since they took over the aircon company that used to maintain my air conditioners).
In Singapore it’s a necessity to get air-con maintenance done every 3 or 4 months. If not the air-conditioner starts choking up and becomes inefficient. It also begins to leak water.
My service contract expired in December. I didn’t get a call for renewal so I overlooked it and unfortunately this morning woke up to a leaky air conditioner.
I called Daikin and they told me my contract had expired. Which is fine, I’m set to renew it and have someone come as soon as possible to fix the air-con. Uh-oh… they say that it will take at least 2 weeks before they can get me a new contract and send someone. I remark that each previous time they just sent a repair guy and I signed the contract on the spot.
It was explained to me that their new system does not allow this.
I asked the lady what kind of system is this? It doesn’t seem to improve things for the customers. She said, “Some things improved, some things not.” So I asked her what part of this new system made any improvement for the customers. She didn’t have a response. I pointed out that while the system may have improved things for their internal workings, it made things more difficult for customers.
Looks like it’s easier to turn to another air conditioning maintenance company rather than wait two weeks for Daikin to figure out how to renew my contract.
Rule for business – if your system makes it harder for a customer to give you money, it’s probably a bad system.
“The future of business is pure chaos. Here’s how you can survive–and perhaps even thrive.” – catchy subheading!
Meet the Pioneers of The New (and Chaotic) Frontier of Business
Good essay about ultra-successful people and how they made the most of their lucky moments.
What’s Luck Got to Do With It?
I have registered and listed my first item for sale on ebay. I am trying to help my dad sell furniture online.
How exciting. I am now part of the global marketplace.
Rattan and Wicker Bar Stool
Fake Steve Jobs (Dan Lyons) continues with his brilliant writing and insight.
Corporations can be wankers
“It was all just one big swindle, and the only kind of engineering that matters anymore is financial engineering.”
Found this opinion piece interesting and wanted to make note of it. Written by Jay Goltz, who runs five small businesses in Chicago.
An Entrepreneurial Life
Fortune Magazine has dubbed Steve Jobs the CEO of the Decade.
He certainly is awe-inspiring.
More fury regarding bonuses paid to employees of AIG. These bonuses are being paid after the US Government has already bailed out the company with billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s like a rich parent giving money to a little bastard of a child simply because without the money, the child acts like a brat and f’s up the parent’s day.
AIG is paying around USD 165 million to 400 employees in its financial services unit – the same unit that caused AIG to collapse in the first place. I’m not sure what constitutes a pat on the back and “Congratulations on a job well done!” but I’d assume forcing your company to beg for money should not qualify. But oh wait in the financial industry, it does.
The justification / reasoning is that the bonuses were in the employee contracts so the company is obligated to pay them. Fair enough, but it’s time to re-negotiate those contracts.
What’s sad is that employees in morally-sound companies are taking huge blows –layoffs, reduction in salary increases, lower benefits, etc. while some of the chief instigators of this economic crisis are still getting rewarded.
I’d like to see some opinionated owners of large companies take a stand and refuse to do business with certain institutions. Imagine if AIG could no longer buy software from Microsoft, Google, Sun, Oracle, IBM, etc. AIG would die. (Yes, yes, I know this doesn’t make sense because then the company would collapse and the American taxpayer money used in the bailout would be lost… but wouldn’t it be exciting to see!)
(Written on the HP Mini 1000)