Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"A man is but his thoughts..."

Eurobasket05_1The national team of Greece are European champions of basket-ball! Having spent quite some time on the courts and with still vivid memories of the first European championship Greece took in 1987, I am extremely happy and proud of what this team achieved. Like in football in 2004, team spirit is what really made a crucial difference in getting to the top. In fact, I believe that this is true in almost any human endeavour: if you build a great team you have far better chances to succeed.

Of course, "technical" capability is an absolute prerequisite: you can't build a team for great performance without individual talent and skill. But it is not sufficient. One also needs to have spirit, team spirit as it were.
Pinakasgiannakis_1And I was wondering how the Greek coach built such team spirit. I now have part of my answer in a picture from the room in which the team gathered before the final game.  Usually one will see technical drawings of moves to play during a game on a white board such as this one. Here there are just three sentences:

"One is successful in big undertakings not only by showing strength but by persevering"

"The only path for this team is to be who we really are in order to become what we can become"

"Only when one is ready to go beyond their limits can they win"

These are eternal truths for any bunch of talented individuals who aspire to become a winning team. Extremely difficult, but much less than ususallt believed to be. It takes putting the ego aside and working for the team amongst other things. And in fact ego is one of the top 5 reasons why some teams do not perform. All sorts of teams, not just sports teams.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Quote of the day

"The short road to ruin is to emulate the methods of your adversary." - Winston Churchill

Monday, September 5, 2005

Quote of the day

"Every act of creation is first an act of destruction."
Pablo Picasso

Of decisions, choices and duality...

Duality_1There can be no certainty in our world. Decisions are often complex. Choices even more so. Especially when one has trouble with the world of feelings and with intuitions. There are no road signs, no way of being rationally certain that a decision is right and no way of feeling peace with the choice of a path prior to walking the path, for the path does not exist before one walks the steps that eventually form a path. In may respects 'right' and 'wrong' are illusory ways of categorizing events in our world of relativity.

I used to feel that the position of decision makers was easy and somewhat unfair because by their very action of deciding, decision makers would affect the lives of other people. I used to believe that They had the upper hand and those affected by a decision would pay the price of the decision more than those making the decision. This is yet another opinion that seems correct and is in fact wrong,
for the decision maker too pays a price for his or her decisions,
especially if making good decisions is important to them. It is a very
different price, but nonetheless a hefty one.

In fact, there has been a time in my life when I wanted to be a "different" decision maker, perhaps more focused on the consequences of decisions for other people. Then part of my life happened and it taught me that it is best to undertake an action for its own merit rather than for its induced effects, be they positive or negative. This is what makes one live in the present. And the 'present' is preciously rare. My brother pointed out to me that if we were to apply the law of scarcity as formulated in Economics, then the most precious thing we have is the present.

Duality is an illusion... unlike when one drives on a road in the country side. In certain respects our world can be considerably light. The Unbearable Lightness of Being?

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Succeeding by design

Gardenia_00006Many factors influence successful endeavours. Few do so as much as design. Succeeding by design is a way of doing things that does not leave essential aspects of a product, a service or an experience to chance.

Realising the importance of design is a key to achieving more better results in your endeavours, the enabler to getting more satisfaction from projects. Becoming conscious of the criticality of design is the single most important factor to create your happiness and your success day after day.

Good design is about harmony and style.

Succeeding by design requires attitude and discipline because there are a few universal rules that actually underpin successful design of anything you can think of from...

  • hit products like the iMac, a Cartier fountain pen or a BMW,

  • to excellent service like Amazon,

  • to awesome experience like a show of Maurice BĂ©jart.

UniversalpinciplesofdesignThis is a book I purchased a few months ago that summarizes all these principles of design; it deals with the 80/20 rule, the way people perceive colors, how metaphors and archetypes work to convey meaning, applications of the normal curve, the golden ratio and many many other principles, all presented in a fabulous manner.
It is a goldmine if you are interested in design and a powerful source of inspiration about things you can do to enhance your experience on the planet. Of course there are a few other things you ought to be informed of, but that will be for a future post on this blog :-)