I read Kevin O’Leary’s Cold Hold Truth over the holidays. As to business, money and life, his perspective reminded me of the axiom, “Facts are our friends.” I most enjoyed the early chapters that explored his family of origin and early influences. O’Leary faces the challenge of dyslexia and was blessed to have early intervention through the active concern of his mother who accessed care at Montreal’s Children Hospital. Dr. Sam Rabinovitch and Dr. Margie Golick gave O’Leary both skills and perspectives on dyslexia that helped him harness his strengths and get ahead of his weaknesses. I believe this early intervention is a huge contributor as to why we know his name and recognize him in Canada today.
It’s no exaggeration to say that enrolling in special education changed my life completely. To be told that my dyslexia had an upside shifted my perspective on myself and the world around me, and it left me with five very important principles that carried me through the rest of my education, all the way to my MBA and into my business life.
1. Stick it out through difficulties. You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to finish.
2. Stand up for yourself.
3. Explain what you need, clearly.
4. Ask questions.
5. If you don’t understand the answer, ask for a better, clearer explanation.
Margie gave me this list, reminding me again and again that no one else would do these things for me. I had to do them for myself. Cold Hard Truth p. 22
Until a child has the means to advocate for themselves parents, teachers and others must do it for them. Early intervention with dyslexia has proven helpful over and over. Its important to intervene before the spirit of a child is crushed and they become infected with a resentment that spoils most of their life. O’Leary goes on to say, “There is a lot of shame when children are told over and over they can’t do something. These children rarely grow up to be success stories. Margie Golick removed that shame at the exact right time in my life, before it took root and hampered me, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I hope everyone finds his or her Margie.”
I recently finished reading Dan Roam\’s book, The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. I am a paper on the wall, whiteboard, and post-it note person when it comes to brainstorming and solving problems so this book was an easy sell. I recommend it though to even the most picture resistant. An easy read…follow the pictures, but very insightful as to what it takes to understand a complex problem or a simple one, come to a set of solutions, make a decision, and then communicate that decision visually to another group of people.
You can get the basics from Dan Roam\’s webite and watch his presentation to the Commonwealth Club of California. In the last few weeks I have been trying to apply his approach and so far have found it to speed the process of decision making and communication along. In fact, last night I was watching Celebrity Apprentice and thought, \”Gosh, they need Dan Roam, to help them visualize this problem. Both teams would have saved themselves about 5 hours of painful conversations and they would have gotten the best out of their most creative thinkers.\”
This is a great book for anyone involved in making decisions, leading, and then having to communicate the problem, solutions, and decisions. Pick-up the book and give it a read. And then… try it yourself.
In case you were not wondering and worried about your debt, it might be helpful to educate yourself on the tricks of the credit business. Dileep Rao has an informative article at Forbes that I would recommend.
I find that it creates great motive to stay off the addiction of credit card debt and borrowing!
Steven Berglass, professor of psychology at Harvard, has written an entertaining but also seriously provoking article on the difference between workaholics who think they should start a business and the true entrepreneur. I think his humpty dumpty analysis of the workaholic applies to ministry and the allure of church planting. Not every hard working minister is a church planter. Give the article, Are You A Humpty Dumpty Entrepreneur?, a read and let me know what you think.
I’ve been watching the bailout discussion in the states and I still have a huge cringe factor when contemplating it. I haven’t seen a lot of alternative plans nor have I seen clarity about what this “bailout” plan really amounts to.
Dave Ramsey is proposing three steps to save the nation of America from this financial crisis. Here is the link to his page 3 Steps to Change the Nation’s Future, and here is his pdf on The Common Sense Fix.