Friday, October 15, 2021

“You could have read that book at 11, but you didn’t, did you?! Why didn’t you?”

Honesty. (Including with oneself. In thorough analysis of _everything_.)

A forgotten trait? Or, rather, a systemically buried into the ground (ostrich like) skill we by far underutilize all too often?

"I read your resume. It still isn't very clear to me: What do you do?"
"I'm in sales. I've been in sales for forty+ years."
"You are? It doesn't say sales anywhere on your resume."
"Of course it doesn't. Most important things in communication are the ones that are not said. Peter Drucker said this, I think."
"What do you sell?"
"Smoke and mirrors."
"How do you mean?"
"It's a big lie. All the stories we tell are nothing but big lies. The one I've been most successful with for over two decades is 'education will change your life for the better.' That's what I mean by smoke and mirrors. If you can sell that you can sell anything."
"Education does change lives for the better. You're a liar!"
"It does, of course. The real question is 'by how much?' when you compare with the correct comparable. As for liar, didn't someone tell you that education will change your life for the better?"
"They did tell me, and it did."
"Of course it did. What do you do?" 
"I'm the HR director here. You're supposed to know who's interviewing you."
"I know. You run the company? You own the company?"
"No, that's the CEO. The shareholders own it. I run HR."
"You own shares?"
"No. There are no stock options for us. Only for the VPs."
"That's what I thought. For how long is your contract?"
"I'm asking the questions here."
"Ok. It doesn't matter. This is a right to work state anyway, so however long your contract is it can end tomorrow."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"What do you think? Only the good questions are worth answering, remember? We're just trying to figure out together how much of a difference in your life did education make in your case."
"It made a huge difference. My career would not have been where it is without my degrees and certifications."
"Of course not. But do you know where would you have been had you taken the other fork in the road, say when you were 11 y.o.?"
"You mean a life of crime? They asked me to sell marijuana on the corner. I refused, vehemently. Obviously. My parents taught me well to stay out of that kind of trouble."
"Of course they did. What book do you remember reading when you were 11, that marked your life forever?"
"None in particular. There weren't any good books back then."
"I bet there were. Say this one: 'One thousand ways to make $1,000' was first published in 1936. I bet you could've read it when you were 11, but you didn't, did you? Why didn't you?"
"I didn't know. Nobody asked me to."
"Here it is. Read it now. You have children?"
"Yes. Why?"
"Maybe you can improve their perspective on life. Show them they can choose their own books to read, without waiting for school or you parents to tell them what to do all the time. Maybe it'll help them, and society too."
"Your smoke is deep."
"Is it?..."😇

Adrian S. Petrescu, Ph.D., J.D.
Chief Future Architect, InnovationTrek
We got here. What's next?
Accelerate Innovation. 
In companies and self.
Grow flow. Naturally.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Unleash the power of purposefully self induced autoregression (most of us call it simply _habit_)

There will always be times when you'll feel
let down by the opinion of others about you. It will be even harsher on you when those critical opinions in question will come from those whose opinions matter much to you, and whom you've been accustomed (and conditioned) to want to please. 

Don't let that happen. Don't let the opinions of others impact you. Ever. There is only one person you can compare yourself with at any and at all times. Yourself of yesterday, today. Better yet, yourself of today, tomorrow. That's it. 

"It is extremely hard to break old habits and to strongly support & build daily, and every minute in fact, new better habits."

It may look hard. It's not. It's quite doable.

All it takes is just doing it. Again and again.

"Unleash the power within." These words must be trademarked & copyrighted by Tony Robbins. As if we care. As if it matters. No solution to anything about our advance in life can ever rely on rents paid to others. They can only rely strongest on our own efforts. 

Dream big. Put in passion and effort. Love what you do, at it will all seem like play. Because it'll seem like play you'd be doing it over and over again. You will thrive. Guaranteed. 

Adrian S. Petrescu, Ph.D., J.D.

"I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is to not be afraid of making mistakes or appearing naive." Abraham Maslow (1908-70)
"Cogito, ergo sum" (Rene Descartes, 1596-1650) 
"Who is John Galt?"

Thursday, February 18, 2021

What’s in a name?, and little things that tell you how much they appreciate you.

Many years ago at a place where I used to work I offered to volunteer to help in organizing a partnership with city and county officials. I called everyone as director of a graduate program and secured acceptances to all the invites I made—including with help from a graduate student in our program who was a county elected official himself.

When we were all done organizing we invited the President of the University and of course the Mayor and County Executive to keynote briefly before we went on into workings session to discuss and negotiate the entirety of our cooperative agreement with faculty and graduate students and city and county elected and appointed officials in charge. 

As the event was reported in the university student newspaper, it turns out that "Dr. Jane Smith, President of the University, took part in the event organized by Adrian Petrescu and also attended by Brian Brown from the university."

I wrote a letter to the newspaper editor, appreciating their work and reporting, and empathizing with the utility of the work to all students learning journalism first hand, including by mentioning that I too had learned journalism—and fighting with risks to life and liberty for free press—as a young writer in my university years in then socialist România. Then I asked that Brian (department chair, holding a Ph.D. and a J.D.) and myself, director, also be granted the courtesy of mentioning of our official positions and respective advanced degrees—that were required for us to be in the official positions that we held with the university—, if the Mayor and President etc were to be granted the deference allotted them. 

I received back a reply letter from the student editor explaining that the student newspaper followed a particular journalistic writing style that did only use Dr. for medical doctors, along with a quoted paragraph from that style manual. 

Suffice it to say that the University President's doctorate was in public relations. Please let me state directly: it was _not_ a Medical Doctor degree. Let me add that student newspapers in the United States are generally run by students under the supervision of a designated faculty sponsor. Also, in universities writing styles and their use and intricacies are obviously a taught and learned required competency. 

First off, I didn't appreciate the publishing of a selection of my letter to the editor, without my consent. Second, once the damage was done, the answer was beyond unacceptable in a university setting. Third, I expected the University President's swift intervention on our behalf, and meant to set the record straight. It did not happen. Fourth, and I know I'm expecting much too much here, but that's the reason I was being paid "the big bucks" after all, the true potential benefit that I realize and feel now that was fully missed back then and that was eluding the editor and the President and everyone altogether was never the issue I raised. It was, of course, as Peter Drucker usually pointed out, as with any communications: the most important thing was not even said. What they (someone, whoever that collective or individual someone should or could have been) could have inferred from my letter to the editor was the opportunity for asking me and listening to the stories that I could have shared about fighting for freedom of the press with serious risks to life and liberty back in my youth. 

Today there is a place (of a few, actually) where these opportunities for learning and passing along new things exist here and now. No, not somewhere where I work. There, nobody asks as much or as often as they could. (I do tell stories as I teach and some learners like them and learn intensely from them but the majority don't seem to benefit too much from them though, too busy to be a version of Herbert Simon's busy Administrative Man. Yet, work doesn't really proactively seek or use help of mine in picking my brain on spreading knowledge I hold and could certainly be useful to everyone particularly these peculiar days and years). It's actually when visiting our butcher. He always asks about how would this or that be done in România or in Belgium. Naturally, but without necessarily ever insisting too much, some stories from back there and then may come out and he may ask for more details... 

Let that sink in. 

Adrian S. Petrescu, Ph.D., J.D.

"I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is to not be afraid of making mistakes or appearing naive." Abraham Maslow (1908-70)
"Cogito, ergo sum" (Rene Descartes, 1596-1650) 
"Who is John Galt?"