Secrets of greatness

This article, from Fortune magazine, is very interesting and worth reading. The “gallery of leaders and their secrets” is where the real meat is, so make sure you click the linky at the bottom there.

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10 thoughts on “Secrets of greatness

  1. up at dawn, check.

    What was next?

    I find it odd that the gal at google – who is in charge of the user experience nonetheless – uses pine and not gmail to crunch through her work mail. I would kill to have gmail available for work. I use it for my brewers’ mailing list which often has 250+ emails a day, and it is indespensible for churning through them all in no time at all. The threading makes it trivial. And their motto of “search it, don’t sort it” is right on. Any time I ever need to find anything in there, it is only a few seconds away by search.

    Interesting article though.

  2. up at dawn, check.What was next?I find it odd that the gal at google – who is in charge of the user experience nonetheless – uses pine and not gmail to crunch through her work mail. I would kill to have gmail available for work. I use it for my brewers’ mailing list which often has 250+ emails a day, and it is indespensible for churning through them all in no time at all. The threading makes it trivial. And their motto of “search it, don’t sort it” is right on. Any time I ever need to find anything in there, it is only a few seconds away by search.Interesting article though.

  3. Yikes! If that’s “greatness” or “accomplishment”, they can keep it. It’s pretty fucked up that business culture can convince someone that working 12 hour days, reading 600 emails or listening to 200 voicemails a day, attending a dozen meetings a day or living the hell of air transit every few days and never doing anything for pleasure or off the clock is a rewarding existence. What about their families or friends outside of work? What about fun, calm, beauty, spontaneity or solitude? What about wandering around, eating tasty meals, sleeping in, sitting and doing nothing, hanging out chatting?

  4. Yikes! If that’s “greatness” or “accomplishment”, they can keep it. It’s pretty fucked up that business culture can convince someone that working 12 hour days, reading 600 emails or listening to 200 voicemails a day, attending a dozen meetings a day or living the hell of air transit every few days and never doing anything for pleasure or off the clock is a rewarding existence. What about their families or friends outside of work? What about fun, calm, beauty, spontaneity or solitude? What about wandering around, eating tasty meals, sleeping in, sitting and doing nothing, hanging out chatting?

  5. It’s a choice people make. Some people are driven to work like that. Others (you, me) aren’t.

    What I found interesting was that some (most? all? I would have to reread) of these “great leaders” very specifically take time out of their days for themselves — the guy who does yoga every day for an hour and a half, for example — or are very, very deliberate about their communication choices and filtering. Obviously very few of us will ever be (or want to be) “great” like that, but I do see a lot of people I know try to do too much without being strict with their personal time or information-glut control.

    The lesson I took away from this (perhaps because I’ve been thinking about it already lately) is: have laser-like focus and be utterly strict with your personal time and you will be more creative and more productive. I think most people could benefit from that idea.

  6. It’s a choice people make. Some people are driven to work like that. Others (you, me) aren’t. What I found interesting was that some (most? all? I would have to reread) of these “great leaders” very specifically take time out of their days for themselves — the guy who does yoga every day for an hour and a half, for example — or are very, very deliberate about their communication choices and filtering. Obviously very few of us will ever be (or want to be) “great” like that, but I do see a lot of people I know try to do too much without being strict with their personal time or information-glut control. The lesson I took away from this (perhaps because I’ve been thinking about it already lately) is: have laser-like focus and be utterly strict with your personal time and you will be more creative and more productive. I think most people could benefit from that idea.

  7. I guess. It looks to me more like it’s forced on them by their positions, and that they sacrifice all unstructured time for a few highly focused personal activities. I think I prefer having a position in life that lets me be a bit unfocused and random, meander around trying new things which might not be ideal, but which I can afford the time to try anyways.

    I agree that in order to get anything done these days, you have to cut off the vast majority of things you can read and listen to. Both signal and noise; our brains are small and weak, easily swamped by mailing lists and blogs and whatnot.

  8. I guess. It looks to me more like it’s forced on them by their positions, and that they sacrifice all unstructured time for a few highly focused personal activities. I think I prefer having a position in life that lets me be a bit unfocused and random, meander around trying new things which might not be ideal, but which I can afford the time to try anyways.I agree that in order to get anything done these days, you have to cut off the vast majority of things you can read and listen to. Both signal and noise; our brains are small and weak, easily swamped by mailing lists and blogs and whatnot.

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