Rigid Inclinations and Regrettable Miscalculations

“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.”        Anne Wilson Schaef, Author

Years ago, when just a youngster, my parents would take my sister and I to a very special place. It was called Nunley’s Amusement Park located on Long Island in Baldwin, NY

Now, at the time, there were larger, more popular and better known venues, but this was “my place.” For me, Nunley’s was magical.  What made it so meaningful for me was the “merry go round.”  I loved it and my parents couldn’t get me off the carousel-I’ve been dizzy ever since.

I was fixated on only one thing-grabbing the brass ring.  That meant the next ride was “on the house.”  I had my eyes on the prize.

Looking back, it makes me realize how much of the past shapes the outlook and understanding of the present and the future. And, that the core of life’s past moments linger.  It acts as an empathetic, a grasping mechanism that works as a baseline on which to build a bridge from the world familiar to a landscape unpredictable, a sphere unknown.

Recently, I had a meeting with John Doyle, District Director of SCORE here in Los Angeles.  SCORE is such a brain trust resource. Doyle told me about an unanticipated culture shock he experienced while managing Japanese owned banks located here in the USA.

It is a given that as Americans work their way up the corporate ladder, they are rewarded with many ‘perks’ such as higher pay, recognition, expense accounts and the most sought after dividend-the highly coveted corner office with a view.

But, in Japan, residing in the windowed corner berth is considered an insult.  The resident is looked upon as a disgrace to the company.  It says to one and all that the tenant is easily distracted, unable to perform assigned duties and on a fast track to “at liberty” status.

Japanese corporate power and prestige are concentrated mid-structure on each floor.  No windows, no distractions.  So the further away from central command, the less significant one is considered.

And, it makes sense.  It certainly is a unique twist on the old line about being careful what you wish for, it might come true. One person’s aspiration is another individual’s torment. Lacking perspective only leads to Rigid Inclinations and Regrettable Miscalculations.

These are not the days when ‘one-trick ponies’ are held in high regard. Good is not good enough.  You have to be better than good, capable of covering many bases and carrying out divergent assignments.

Author, Speaker, Coach and Trainer are only part of what I do.  My mission is helping people overcome obstacles in order to achieve, sustain or retain Success. Complimenting this goal is a desire to improve quality of life. Being over the age of 50, I figure it’s time to contribute and leave some kind of positive legacy footprint either directly or by attachment.

That’s tough but life is tough so what else is new.

I seek out groups and/or individuals that require funding and then help generate revenue for projects of value and meaningful consequence.  Let’s leave it at that.

Unfortunately, I have found in all too many cases, well-meaning people get so lost in “nobility detail” and wind up boring and alienating potential investors.

These righteous crusaders get so bogged down in agenda intoxication that they lose sight of the goal and the importance of simplicity in relation to the bottom line.

Not too long ago, I set up a conference call between an innovator and a government official.  The purpose of the connection was to gain approval for a device that can alter pain management dramatically; in fact, kill pain completely.  Upon earlier review, the technology but had been turned down due to some minute technicality.

This device could spawn immediate demand and application in the marketplace today.

More importantly, it would generate an enormous revenue stream for his company and potential investors for many years to come.

Before the call, we discussed the importance of getting to the point; and sticking with a strategy that spotlights consumer benefits. In other words, don’t ‘milk’ the presentation.

However, the entrepreneur decided on a different tact.  He never got to the point.  He rambled on about concept origination and details of each stage of development.  Worst of all, he wouldn’t listen  to the bureaucrat and talked over whatever the man had to say.

This was a train wreck in action.

I tried politely to get the researcher back on track, calm down and shut up, but to no avail. A call that was scheduled to last 15 minutes had already gone on for more than 45. Finally, the official had had enough and said, ‘I’m out of here’ and hung up. Rough.

At times, I’ve been guilty of meandering off point as well; hopefully not to this extent.   We all forget and get lost in minutiae in the quest for perfection.

It goes back to the old line:people hear what they want to hear and only hear what they need to hear when they’re ready to hear what they heard.

Chalk it up to Rigid Inclinations and Regrettable Miscalculations.

Conviction and tenaciousness are to be admired but there comes a point when instead of going the features/benefit route, the best course of action is doing a complete 180 and leading with benefit/features.

It shows you are thinking of the other guy.  You are putting them first.

Philosopher Emile Chartrec wrote, “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.”  Very telling.

Sometimes, we get so focused in our pursuit that we get blinded by steadfast conviction.  It’s that ‘forest and the trees’ thing.

If you have been in Sales, you know it’s all about giving the client what they want in the context of what you have to offer.

Of course, fixed attention is extremely important, but an incapacity to allow for, adjust to and accept change and unexpected circumstance can be looked upon as the petri-dish of perception distortion.  And, that ain’t good.

Let me give you an example: At one time or another, most of us have been immersed in some form of “niche marketing.”  Nowadays, the meaning of the term, once related to exacting, well-defined and precise targeting, has expanded in scope.

Not to go buzz-word crazy, but today it is vital to be engaged in everything coming your way. It’s called having a “Portfolio Career.”

Niche marketing is now “mission fragmentation.”  It means everything is niched. Today’s work model demands doing more of everything better and as well as expanding expertise and influence.

Normally, I try and keep these pieces light.  But, this is the harsh reality of now.

The bottom line is there are no jobs anymore.  In an earlier piece, we discussed how most companies HR departments are now primarily the screening point for low-paying positions. That’s it.

And, instead of the steady 9-5/40 hour model at one particular site, today’s marketplace is geared towards employment assignments.

It is like High School where schedules require going from class to class and then given homework assignments. Today’s complex world requires going from one location to another as an independent contractor and completing assigned obligations.

That means working on a project at one venue for a certain period of time and then moving on to the next endeavor somewhere else.  You are a hired gun.  When the task is completed, it’s up to you to graduate and find the next opportunity.

Often, this entails either a series of part time positions that are the 40 hours equivalent and hopefully cumulative paychecks that add up to the former one job position.

Or, it means working on a project full time for a set duration and then moving on to the next opportunity elsewhere.

Most of us are aware of the changing work dynamic.  We know it mentally but haven’t adjusted to the new reality migration emotionally.  That can leads to a torrent of anxiety.

It’s like my old merry-go-round experience. That special amusement park from long ago is now long gone and so is the chance of a free ride by scoring the brass ring..

There are no more free rides.  Today’s brass ring is a metaphor for landing gainful employment and successfully moving on to the next endeavor.  Not accepting this reality is identical to going around in circles.

And, that is comparable to possessing Rigid Inclinations and Regrettable Miscalculations.