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Does Being Busy Make You Valuable?

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017


Live mindfully long enough and you can get an interesting perspective on lifestyle changes.

Some will please, some not; some you’ll question, some deplore, and some will cause you to shake your head in amazement.

The last is how I felt when I read new research from HBS.

In fact, some boast the lack of spare time as a status symbol—even an aspirational lifestyle.

“The new conspicuous consumption is about saying, I am the scarce resource, and therefore I am valuable.”

I’ve seen this first hand, not just in the startup community or twenty-somethings, but among Gen Xers, Boomers and even my own peers.

It used to be that overload came from always saying yes, instead of a carefully evaluated “no” — however, if you are known for saying ‘yes’ be prepared for the backlash if you change.

These days, the things that keep you busy also need to raise your profile/ reputation/Klout score/ increase your Likes/generate followers (preferably on multiple platforms)/social presence/etc.

A couple of year after I started MCS a reader asked why I bothered to do it when it generated so few comments.

My response was that I wasn’t writing to promote myself, but to provide information to those who wanted/needed it and that comments came when readers had questions or wanted to add to the dialogue.

While accurate, my response ignored the fact that because my blog is not high profile commenting on it has a very low ROI.

That said, I understand and don’t fault readers.

We live in a world where building your personal brand is a necessary part of building a career, so the time allotted to writing comments needs to provide a certain ROI and, of course, you are busy.

OK, I get all that.

But no matter how long I live I doubt I’ll ever understand the fragility of egos that need to prove their value so badly they are willing to give up their lives to do it.

Image credit: Sean MacEntee

Entrepreneurs: When to Do It

Thursday, January 10th, 2013


People, in all their varied glory are as Spock said, fascinating.

They come in many different flavors and ‘entrepreneur’ is one of my favorites.

Entrepreneurs come in many flavors, too. From the ones that set out to build the next Google, Facebook, Apple or Intel to the micropreneurs who just want to earn a decent living.

Within every business of any size at any stage there are tasks that are prime for avoidance.

Stuff like establishing culture; defining values; developing financial controls, etc.

All kinds of intangible infrastructure that can wait “until things calm down” or “when we’re bigger”

In other words, mañana—and we all know when that is.

Or, as Ryan Blair says, “If it’s important you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Flickr image credit: JD | Photography

Preventative Management

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Are you familiar with the old sayings, “don’t trouble trouble unless trouble troubles you” or “don’t go looking for trouble?”

More and more often I hear from and about managers at all levels who seem to be making this attitude central to their management approach.

Not just managers, but workers, too, have absorbed the message into their MAP.

They tell me that they are so overloaded, so busy, with so many fires to fight, that they can only deal with what is actually happening.


They claim there is no time for preventatives; no time to “nip [whatever] in the bud.”

I tell them that if they made time to stamp out the sparks now they wouldn’t be fighting so many fires next week/month/year.

What about you?

Are you a firefighter or Smokey the Bear?

Flickr photo credit to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billmcdavid/3840647521/

mY generation: Group Dynamics Part 1

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

See all mY generation posts here.

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