Specialist or Generalist?

There are people who can speak about many subjects. They can carry on conversations about politics, religion, the weather, the economy and much more. Admittedly, they usually can’t go into great detail about any of these subjects but at a dinner party, they shine.

There are others who know a great deal about one or two subjects but are somewhat clueless about most other subjects.

Would you rather be a specialist (knowing a lot about one or two subjects and being clueless about the others) or would you rather be a generalist (know a bit about a lot of subjects but not a lot about any)? I realize there are options between these two extremes but if you would have to choose between the two, which would you prefer?

I would love to hear peoples opinions on this so if you get a chance, please email me at lawrence@lawrencefine.com with which you would choose and why

Thanks!

Have a great day.

Lawrence

We are lacking creativity!

One area we, as a society, are truly lacking in is creativity. This is true in the work environment, this is true in sports, this is true in life.

The first thought is we need to find a way to train people to be more creative. Teach them how to be creative. Encourage them to be more creative.

However, the reality is, we don’t need to teach creativity (and I’m not sure it’s something that really can be taught) but rather, we need to stop discouraging creativity.

If we want students to be more creative in their writing, we have to be willing to allow for mistakes in other areas. When a teacher assigns a creative writing assignment and then hands back the assignment with red marks all over it for spelling and grammar problems, that wont encourage more writing in the future (creative or otherwise).

If an athlete tries something creative and gets yelled at for not doing the simple thing instead, that discourages creativity.

If a marketing person tries something different (as opposed to what all the other marketing people is doing) and is told it looks too different, they will stick to the norm in the future and avoid doing something remarkable. I met with an attorney recently who said he was looking at a legal journal and there were 12 advertisements for law firms and 11 looked the same (similar template, similar wording etc). This tells me that these firms are so afraid to be seen as anything outside the establishment that they probably aren’t being seen at all.

The best way to encourage creativity is to stop discouraging it. Until we stop discouraging creativity, we will continue to be “just like everyone else”

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Someone might be watching you

Too often people don’t realize that people might be watching or listening to them and this might have a long term effect.

I was at a business function a few weeks ago and there was a person working there who made the comment “I don’t really care about this event, I’m just doing this because I’m getting paid but I think it’s stupid”.

A week later it was mentioned to me that this same person was looking for some work. What he is looking to do is something I have a need for but the idea of hiring him was never a consideration. His side comment the week earlier let me to believe he has no pride in his work and if he is willing to say that in front of others, what else might he be willing to say or do?

It never occurred to this person that a person who saw (or in this case heard) him at that event might be able to help him in the future.

When I was coaching high school aged soccer players, I would remind them that if they were interested in playing college soccer, they have to play as if the coach of their dream school is watching them at all times. While that particular coach might not be watching them at all times, some other coach might be watching and coaches do talk.

One bad action seen by one person might get spread to others quicker than you could even imagine (and you don’t believe me, check out youtube.com sometime)

Realize, someone might be watching at any time. Act responsibly

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Quality over Quantity

How many paintings did Leonardo da Vinci paint?

How many symphonies did Beethoven write?

How many discoveries did Marie Curie make?

It’s important for people to realize that quality is frequently judged as more important than quantity. People don’t recognize Da Vinci as a brilliant artist because of the number of paintings he did but rather because of their quality.

Beethoven wasn’t considered a genius because he was a prolific writer of music but rather because of how good his music was.

Marie Curry isn’t known because of the great number of discoveries and realizations she made but rather because of how valuable they were.

Quality is remembered long after quantity is forgotten

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Small Additional Effort can make a BIG Difference

People frequently get frustrated near the end of projects and end them before completion. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is just a small amount of additional effort can make a HUGE difference.

Too often, people think it has taken so much time, energy, money etc and they can’t afford to do anymore so they stop before it’s done. However, stopping before it’s done might be the difference between great success and complete failure.

An example would be an author who is writing a mystery. They might be on page 199 of a 200 page book and think “well, it’s almost complete and I don’t want to spend more time on this so it should be good enough”. However, finishing that last page is the difference between a possible best seller and 199 sheets of worthless paper.

An attorney might have done a great job presenting their case but the additional few minutes spent on the closing article might make all the difference in the world.

A Realtor might be selling a million dollar home but the few dollars spend on staging the house might make the difference between it selling or sitting on the market for months longer.

The last steps of a process might sometimes seem to be a good place to look for short cuts but they often are the ones that separate good from great and sometimes success from failure

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Do what you say

Would you buy a Ford from a car dealer who drives a Toyota? If he truly believed in Ford, he would drive one.

Would you be responsive to diet information from a fat person?

If you saw the manager of McDonald’s eating at Wendy’s would that encourage you to eat at McDonald’s?

It’s difficult to believe in something when it’s apparent the person selling it doesn’t believe in it either.

It’s not just about sales either. If you are a coach and preach discipline, then demonstrate discipline. If you are a business manager and you want your employees to give their all, then they must see you doing the same.

I know a soccer coach who has four basic rules for his team. They are actually four wonderful rules but there is one small problem. This coach breaks each of these four rules on a regular basis. How can he expect them to abide by the rules when he doesn’t?

I run a web design company called Web Breez and we create many web sites for clients (to see a small sample go to http://webbreez.com/portfolio.php) and one of the most frequently asked questions is “how can we get traffic to our web site”. There are a few different methods ranging from advertising, word of mouth etc but the one I always encourage is through adding content. This can be done through a blog or through other means but for long term traffic, content still is the most effective way I know. Does it work? If you are reading this article it’s because you are either on my blog or you went to my blog and subscribed to receive the information via email but either way, you are proof it works. If I encouraged others to generate traffic through content but didn’t do the same myself, I would have no credibility.

The adage “do what I say, not what I do” doesn’t work anymore. If you want people to do what you say, then do it yourself. Managers are in the background telling people what they should do. Leaders are out front doing it themselves.

Are you a leader? If so, make sure you are doing and not just saying

Have a great day!

Lawrence