Thursday, July 28, 2011

Outliers... the common becoming exceptional

by Dale Shumaker

by Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers means that something is situated away from or classified
different from a main or related body. What has brought success to some may be due to outlier conditions as much as anything. Gladwell brings this to light. The story of success is more a story than some great secret weapon someone had in his business quiver. We must look beyond the individual. They had to understand the culture he or she was part of, and who their friends were, and what town their families came from. The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.

Society plays a big role in who succeeds and doesn't. When a person is born, where a person is born, and starts school has a big impact in sports and many other areas. Just a three-month age difference as a child can put one child ahead of his peers.

Practice can be a defining factor. Those who excel at something put in at least 10,000 hours in that field, it seems 10,000 was the number that separated those ahead of others. People don't work harder, they work much harder to be out front, at the top, recognized the most. No one has come up with a case where world class expertise was accomplished in less time. Achievement is less about talent and more about opportunity.

Intelligence and achievement are far from perfectly being correlated. The reason many very intelligent
people may by pass a lucrative job in private industry and take a professorship at a university is the university gives them more freedom to do what they want to do and what they feel is right. Practical intelligence is knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it with the maximum effect. It's procedural: it is about knowing how to do something without necessarily knowing why you know it or being able to explain it, it's knowledge that helps you read a situation correctly. The presence of analytical intelligence doesn't assure the presence of practical intelligence. Social knowledge is a set of skills that have to be learned. And many times ti comes from their families. For example some working class or poor children didn't know how
to get their way, or how to customize the environment they were in for the best purposes. It comes from a cultural advantage, painstakingly taught from the nudging, prodding, encouragement and showing them the rules of the game from mother, father, his family.

Intelligence is rated more on what we think others want us to think, how to think, rather
than thinking fluidly itself.
Successful people don't do it alone. Where they come from matters. They're products of particular places and environments. It's about a skill they have been working on for years and suddenly it becomes valuable.

For work to be satisfying, three things are present... autonomy, complexity, and a connection
between effort and reward. It's not how much money we make, but what makes us happy between nine to five. When these criteria are present, it is meaningful.

There's a culture of honor. Some people fight, not for money or achievement, but for their honor. The culture of honor means a man's reputation is at the center of his livelihood and self worth. For instance in the south, when you can avoid arguments and adultery you are as safe as anyone. In the back country, violence wasn't for economic gain. It was personal. You fought over your honor.

Up to this point, success rises out of a steady accumulation of advantages, when and
where you were born, what your parents did for a living, your upbringing. Taking legacy seriously rates as well.

Planes are safer when two people fly a plane. One to check the other and both are
willing to participate. When one ranks over the other, planes aren't as safe when the lesser ranking person is not flying. He is less likely to be direct in telling his superior when he sees a problem, and give direct orders in an emergency. In serious situations, politeness can mean disaster.

Rice patty farming is more productive than raising crops in America. Small areas of
productivity and constant attention keep the rice growing. Chinese learn math faster because it is more systematic in its process. it all relates as it expands. Pattern learning makes sense and can be processed faster in the brain. Whereas, rote learning, common in America, takes more time and makes less sense to the normal brain in how its processed. Chinese math has patterns, with a system, English math is not.

In rice paddies you work hard. Working hard is what really successful people do. The students in a south Bronx school learn to work hard and steady in a very poor environment. Shorter summer vacations and staying in the education flow, positively affect their cultures learning retention and growth. The result is higher achievement even in a recessed area, among poor families. They learn the miracle of meaningful work.

This interview with Gladwell gives more insight to Outliers:

What David and Jesus had in common was that
their best men were the outsiders, or should we say outliers.

What made the difference? They weren't the society cream of the crop.
They were actually considered not real significant. They didn't have cultural connections except in their somewhat deprived communities. They were not educated, or considered worthy of attention by their peers. Actually David's men were a bunch of bandits, and Jesus had some despicable followers known to extort money from people.

Although, they were the ones used to be world changers. How did they do it? The answer is in the end of Matthew, the first of Mark, the end of Luke and first of Acts in the Bible.

In Matthew 28 Jesus instructed his motley crew to "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

And then Mark in his Gospel, John the Baptist said he would
baptize in water, but Jesus would baptize in the Holy Spirit.
"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!" (Mark 1)

In Luke, Jesus said they will be flooded with power from on High,
the High order of Spirit, God's Power over all the universe, that all this power would fall on them.
"And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.
" (Luke 24)

They hung around for a few days after Jesus said this
and whoom... it came. They were all inundated with this power and everyone was so impressed with the transformation that came over them. “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1, 2)

Well, they are not educated, so how do they know so much many
wondered. People are getting healed, even by their shadows following on them. Everyone was in awe of them. They knew something special come over them. They naturally loved everyone among themselves. They loved everyone so much, they didn't think twice to assist those in need. They seemed like one group, and how could this happen, when they were all so different.

It boiled down to the unexplainable. When the Spirit of God comes on
you, you are totally different. The shy become bold, the quiet are articulate, the poor act rich, and the rich are humble. They all become the very character of God. They had the power of God on them. No one could keep them in jail as when they all prayed and worshiped God, the cell doors opened to release them to continue sharing this wonderful new power, love that is now among us.

Was it just for then. Some of faith say it was. But, what if it can be, is, and is available to us now. Wouldn't it be fun to check out if this could happen again.To investigate the Scriptures about this possibility being available to us now.

It's all in our faith, and investigation of God's word from the perspective it
could happen again. Why don't we give it another run, and see if it just won't show up, like in the Acts, and rest of New Testament.

If God could make it flood in the old days, and archaeologist point out that
this is verifiable, why couldn't the same happen again, and maybe even better than before.

The answer is... our time and relationship to become One with God
and our time and relationship to become One with each other, releases the power. Let's give it another run, and see what God comes up with this time.

God's Spirit Power is released in us and our circumstances around us when we worship Him. Read the Psalms... try 20 to 30... God's power is released when we worship Him. Knowledge is given, locked doors are opened, demons flee, bodies are healed, relationships restored. It all happens in worship with our prayers.

Jesus said to go, pray, and great power, the Power of Spirit will come pouring
down on you, springing up from within you and you will be transformed examples of "who I am." It will be self evident as power will be oozing out from all parts of you.

The 10,000 hour rule to excellence, when applied to our Spiritual strength, will show even greater results than for anything else we attempt to master. Over 10 years, that's about 2.7 hours a day. Start at 12 and by 22, wow, or at 35 and by 45, wow. By 60, you probably have many hours already under your belt so in a years time, doing double time, you will be flying again. And if retired, make it your regular job and in a short time you will be a world changer.

It is not restrictive to a certain age, culture background, but the time you spend in His
Spirit will be released proportionately in demonstrations of exceptional power, boldness, influence, love and kindness through you.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Now Revolution ... Angels Watching Over You

by Dale Shumaker

The Now Revolution by Jay Baer and Amber Haslund, is about the shifts in business that
are making it a real-time event. The real-time shifts include engineering a new bedrock, finding talent you can trust, organizing your armies, answering the new telephone, sharpening response-ability, building fire extinguishers, and setting up your calculator.

In each section Baer/Haslund included "Now Hear This" features of ideas you can put to work.
In this summary, those ideas will be featured too.

The adoption of the social web opens the way for the whole culture to participate. Inside and out side the glass bubble in which your business now exists. Along with the business of making money, how you balance your goals with the human and emotional sides of business becomes critically important. A healthy real-time culture has solidarity (reflections of one voice), demonstrated trust, curiosity to try things and see what works along extensive feedback lines, diversity of individuals and their ideas and rewards systems that fit their being-appreciated language. Now Hear This: If you suspect your employees would like to give feedback but are intimidated, set up an anonymous email account with a public password that anyone can log into and send an email to management with their thoughts. Know what you stand for as an organization beyond your product or service.

The second shift is finding talent you can trust. Every person is a spokes person for the company.

The best way to build this is hire the right ones. Before you bring then in, observe their LinkedIn profiles, blogs, Facebook activity, twitter and where they show up on search engines. Now Hear This: When possible, try to pair self-starters on teams with more reluctant, skeptical, or less confident employees to see if the motivated members can help instill and nurture this quality in others.

Communicate your cultural manifesto, values and guiding principles for your business in video, a public page on
your website. Like Martin Luther nailing his 95 thesis to a church door, both your team and customers will have a visible, tangible picture of your values.

The third shift is organizing your armies. We all need to communicate faster without and within, with more
fluidity and less friction. Crushing the things that have given us a false sense of security and bottle-necking consistency, real-time communication makes skills of social media a necessity. Stay flexible and build integrated social media teams. Each base of social media should follow this path... authenticity, listening, going where they are, personal voice, learning through action, sharing and open source.

Use your internal social networks or collaboration tools to centralize meeting notes, highlights, and let others in your organization/associate network read about what everyone is doing. Keeping everyone informed in real time. You can conduct quick, free online polls in just minutes using software programs like Routinely share stories of triumphs, mishaps... both successes and failures teach us important lessons about speed and inter-connectivity. Everyone needs training from each other on this.

Shift four is answer the telephone. Everyone's talking online... tweets, social forums, Facebook, blogs, so we need to be listening and respond when it affects us. They may not call you to complain about your service directly, but post a comment on their Facebook wall. This is our phone ringing and we need to answer where they are talking. look for key words like "I wish they had" or "really needs". A few tweets could turn it around. Create technology tools to listen for when your name comes up. Collect, report, respond. It's a listen, respond, then talk to your group. It's real time and the committee method is too slow to get opinions and respond. In real time business, everyone on deck is the voice of the business.

Shift five emphasizes response-ability. The communication highway starts with listening, responding,
participating (in a corporate blog, category blog, topic blog), and storytelling. Email is commonly use as a dissemination vehicle, but it can be used to implement stories collected. Create a story dedicated email (story@...) and ask your team, associates, fans, customers to send in all interesting tidbits to share experiences. Re-share through email, blog, your intranet page. Wiki's, LinkedIn groups are sources to consider. Add alerts at the top for "message of the day."

Shift six is to build a fire extinguisher.
Real time business has it dangers. The more who know you and know what you do the greater the chances of someone lighting fires of discord, within and without. It's easy to complain and discredit someone on the social social web. If it happens, you need to be ready and have your fire extinguisher near by. People can make a mountain out of a mole hill, set a forest on fire with one match. Fires grow with wind, fuel and direction of the wind. A person or company can be hurt greatly in a short period of time. This fear was demonstrated in the financial meltdown that launched the great recession of 2009. In hours, days, within a week a country could have been ruined.

If your fire extinguisher is set up, and near by, an incident can be warded off quickly. Keep binoculars
close by so you can see the smoke. Create systems to sound the alarm so the fire trucks can be dispersed quickly.

Social media crisis has eight components. Acknowledge the crisis. Fight social media fire with social water. (Make sure your CEO has a small camera with him at all times to respond quickly where ever he may be.) Be sorry, say it and mean it. Create an FAQ. Have a "communication alert" built into your social connection network so they hear your side of the story quickly, and you build your base of support quickly. Build a pressure relief valve. Create a mechanism that enables interested persons to subscribe to crisis related notifications via email or text message. Know when to take it offline. Arm your army. So they know what's going on and how to respond. Their social network will ask them. Learn your lessons. Evaluate what just happened and if your response system worked as you liked. Then rebuild your fire extinguisher for the next fire.

Shift seven is to make a calculator. Use social media to measure your culture. Create a mechanism for
collecting stories and anecdotes that don't show up on graphs.

We are in a new era of democracy. The influence of size, budgets, location, product mix is waning.
In their place are speed, smarts, humanization, and an embrace of social media.

The Now Revolution:

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said that everything covered up will be revealed, and all
that is secret will be known to all. (Luke 12:12)

In the Revelation, it says we will be judged by all we have done on earth, in the open
or in private. What we do in the dark will be brought to light, and made known to all. (Luke 8:17) We will be given at the end of our lives all that we deserve... if good, eternal reward, if bad eternal devastation. (Revelation 2:2)

It says in Hebrews(1) that we each have angels assigned to us. They exist to care for us
and watch over us.

When you think about it, when you are alone, they (angels) are there. Everything you are
doing is being monitored and recorded. It will eventually be brought to light. What we are dong will be either rewarded or exposed to our demise. We really can't get away with anything if it is not a good thing. It eventually comes out in the open. First by our behavior as it will change and then the acts themselves may be revealed. What is done in the dark and brought to light is made evident with our technology age.

It is said a computer's hard drive contains information, even if stripped manually, that skilled technicians can recover whatever was ever on the hard drive. When we inadvertently have a hard drive crash, skilled technicians can recover what was on it. So what was done is there forever. What we have tried to hide can be found out. We have seen the quick devastation to lives who use text, email with inappropriate communication. When discovered, it can in an instant be shared with the whole world. Those who tried to conceal things, will have it brought to light and the whole world will know. Nothing can be concealed today securely so no one knows.

God said he would remember our sins no more, if we confess them. It is better to
come clean, admit indiscretions and seek His forgiveness as soon as possible. He said He will forgive and, even more so, forget them, and we are to continue on a better path. If we have a weakness, the more we do this(sincerely ask forgiveness), the stronger we will get to eventually overcome it. God's love is enduring and will work with the sincere broken heart over a matter.

If we become arrogant and don't ask God for His help, and try to act like all
is great and fine, it will be found out, and exposed to all. Some may continue in pride to do wrong in secret but act like a wonderful saint in public. Those sins will be found out, and this person will be judged on the last days. If the person does not repent and beg God's forgiveness, he will be lost forever.

So it's better to stay humble, recognize our shortcomings, admit them to God,
ask for help, and not act so great around others. "Those with a humble and contrite heart are close to the Lord."

What is hidden will be brought to light. So may what is hidden be good deeds,
fair actions, kind gestures to others... that the good you do is brought to light. As Angels watch over us, may they be our assistants in doing good, and not our record keepers of what we are doing wrong. Be true to God in private and in public. What you do in secret is expressed in public. May the good you do, be matured in public that helps mankind, spreads love and shows the Love of God in the universe.

Our choices then.
Know that God knows. Admit mistakes and seek His forgiveness. He will forgive
and forget.
What we do that's good, that no one knows, God knows. He will note and reward us according to the good we do on earth. It encourages us to know that the good we do, even if no one knows, that God knows and He is faithful to reward us.

If we do wrong, in secret, and we try to hide it, and show arrogance in acting like we are such a wonderful person, the truth of our hypocrisy will be found out. It will come to light.

Angels are watching over all things. Think again, do what is good, commendable and worthy of praise. Angels are around us to help us do good for people. "... servants to care for people who will inherit salvation from the coming destruction." Through Jesus we escape horrors. With Jesus, all things are possible to be victorious in all we face.

Two choices... pick doing good in secret. The rewards are greater.