I was lucky enough to be hired by Gerald Suarez to work for him at the White House Military Office. The webcast below is speech he gave at TedX Loyola Marymount.
The illusion of knowledge is more dangerous that ignorance.
Without the proper foundation for planning for the future (contemplation and desire),
our design will be incomplete. It will be like trying to build a house with no foundation. We become addicted to shallow metrics of success where more and bigger is better.
In talking to a senior executive at a Fortune 500 company about a promotion to VP that the executive doesn’t want to take because of all that accepting the VP position would require.
Executive: If I say no it will ruin my career
Gerald: But if you say yes it will ruin your life, which is worse?
I see similar situations and most of the time people “chose” career without much thought. They don’t think they have options. I am traveling around China now after presenting a seminar for The W. Edwards Deming Institute in Hong Kong.
I decided I didn’t want to spend my life working “9 to 5.” There are tradeoffs. It sure is nice having a nice paycheck every 2 weeks without much risk. But control of my life mattered more. My choice is more extreme than most. But I believe people need to consciously question what they want out of life and make those choices by considering their options. Too many people don’t take the time to realize they have many more choices than they ever consider.
Gerald quotes a very apt Turkish proverb
No matter how long you have been on the wrong road, turn back.
This is often hard, and gets harder the longer we are on the wrong road. Sunk costs often pull us in the direction of continuing on the path we invested so much in. It makes all the sense to turn back if it is the wrong path, but our psychology often makes it hard to act in that way.
Gerald’s book, Leader of One: Shaping Your Future through Imagination and Design, was just released.
Related: Transformation and Redesign at the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) Better Thinking About Leadership – Think Long Term, Act Daily – Build an Environment Where Intrinsic Motivation Flourishes – Dr. Russell Ackoff Webcast on Systems Thinking