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Ryan’s Journal: Hurricane Madness

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

https://www.flickr.com/photos/noaasatellites/37064048185/in/photolist-XTaCJY-XSEXo9-X9wkNd-YtdWex-XT1eej-Ys8QZR-YcwrBJ-XeZQaP-YubEqB-YubFH6-YtbPRB-YtJZLc-YcWK5s-XejK4K-YcjXkm-Ygp2JZ-YcbeBG-Ycuqsj-Ycwwaw-XeZ68r-XT9br9-YcjXi7-XSQyzd-Y9CBQA-Ye8SEj-Xe457g-XdoJw1-XT9cMf-YfPiPx-Xfhisx-XdoULj-XT94D1-Ye8D5d-Ycx58E-Ye8Hdd-YgFriF-YdCeME-X9BC7A-X9wkLQ-SACtD4-X9wkMS-YbSHFy-YtJZKv-XSQAa7-Ygp3BF-YcjXkb-YgoXVM-Ya2Xro-YdQniY-XeZ3UDHave you ever watched the propaganda film from the 1950’s titled, “Reefer Madness”? 

It was put together by the US Government with the intent to scare the population about the dangers of Marijuana.

Most of what they presented as negative aspects of using the drug were not particularly true, but they were effective.

However, this post isn’t about drugs, it’s about paranoia.

I live in Florida and you may have heard that there is a MASSIVE storm headed our way. Obviously with Harvey in the news people are taking it seriously. However there is a certain amount of panic as well.

Grocery stores are empty of water and canned goods. Gas stations are without fuel and the roads have started clogging up with people exiting the state.

To a certain degree this is rational behavior on the part of the individual, but when taken in aggregate it becomes more of a prisoner’s dilemma.

That may be a charged statement, but as I am watching my fellow man I start to see the cracks in civilized society.

People seem to be in a rush. They cut in line. There is a general “me first” attitude of self preservation.

My perception is that this is a natural state before a storm. Once the storm passes and we are left with the after-effects you see folks band together in harmony.

I’ll keep you posted whether this happens.

Now, what did I do as a rational consumer? I loaded up on water and food, more than what I need. I filled up all my vehicles with gas. And I am preparing to leave.

I have little ones and cannot risk them to chance.

But I did let someone in front of me in the water line out of kindness, a way to balance it all out.

Image credit: NOAA Satellites

2 Simple Strategies to Avoid Bad Hires

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015


I often say that I’m successful now because I’ve made every mistake in the book. The key is I’ve learned from those mistakes and it’s rare — if ever — that I make the same one twice. –Robert Herjavec

Herjavec wrote a good post on hiring that covers many bases, but ignores two critically important factors.

  1. The most common reason for a bad hire is charm and the best way to guard against it is preparation.
  2. The most common interviewing  error to avoid can be summed up this way: don’t lead the candidate and don’t follow where the candidate leads.

In fact, if you do nothing other than what is described in 1 and 2 your hires will improve significantly.

Flickr image credit: qthomasbower

Entrepreneurs: Hiring Preparation

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anoldent/3646491079The Young Entrepreneur Council identified Ten startup hiring challenges with different entrepreneurs suggesting solutions.

The funny part is that when you read through them you’ll see that most are a function of poor candidate fit.

Successful hiring has a lot in common with good cooking, i.e., most of the work is in the prep and paying attention to details.

Poor candidate fit is generally the result a lack of preparation addressing three specific actions that should precede all interviews,

  • creating a comprehensive position description;
  • competent interviewing skills; and
  • skilled reference checking.

It all starts with whether you have a req or a wreck (which is a wish-list of skills and experience).

One of the great benefits of a well thought-out req is that it also protects you from the number one hiring error (charm).

To help you along I’ve added a link in the right-hand column to the complete 12 Ingredients of a Fillable Req.

Take the time to think through each step in the order listed (as opposed to the typical order it’s done) and you’ll eliminate better than half of your hiring errors.

For help interviewing I’ve already posted both the InterviewER and InterviewEE CheatSheets; study the former and send the latter to your candidates.

We’ll talk more about reference checking next Thursday.

One more thing; if you don’t believe you have time to do the prep, don’t complain when your hires don’t work out.

Flickr image credit: anoldent

CandidProf: teaching isn't just a job

Thursday, July 17th, 2008


CandidProf is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at a state university. He’ll be sharing his thoughts and experience teaching today’s students anonymously every Thursday—anonymously because that’s the only way he can write really candid posts.

What I do is not just a job. I know a few college professors, and several pre-college teachers who see what they do as just a job.  They are not very good at what they do, though.  Sometimes, you have to do more than just stand in front of a class and talk.

Good instruction means taking time to prepare what you are going to say. Yes, I’ve taught for enough years that I can just walk into a classroom, with no notes and no preparation, and start lecturing.  And, my students would learn something.  But they would not learn as much as if I had actually prepared.  Now, I don’t often follow my notes.  I have gone over what I’ve got to say before I say it, and I’ve taught this material for so long that I am quite familiar with it.  Still, I prepare.

That preparation also means that I have to keep current in the field.  What new developments have there been?  What new discoveries supersede what the textbook says?  It is my job to know my field.  That means spending many, many hours reading journals.  It means going to conferences.  It means keeping up with my own research.

And, of course, I need to grade student papers.  I want to give reasonable feedback so that they can learn from their mistakes.  But that takes extra time.  I don’t have to do that.  I know several faculty who don’t give students any feedback.  But for my class practically every thing in the class is a learning experience.  There is a reason that I have certain students go out of their way to take my class.

I am not the easiest professor around. That is clear from the internet sites where students evaluate their professors.  However, I am thorough, fair and my students learn. So, those students that want an easy “A” take someone else’s class and those who want to learn take my class.

How tough are your kids teachers?

Your comments—priceless

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