Zinn Weekend

Zinn Weekend
In Zinn Weekend

A collection of Ray Zinn’s social posts for the past week.

Sometimes things aren’t as they appear. The other day I went with a friend to pick up his airplane. He noticed an object was hanging down too close to the ground near the tail wheel. Thinking it was a radio antenna, he kindly called it to the attention of the airplane mechanic who explained it wasn’t an antenna, but a static wick that had to be in that location. My friend felt rather foolish until I explained that he did bring the issue up kindly, assuming it could have been a real problem. The only thing he might have done a little better was to ask what the object was rather than jump to a conclusion. I was taught that a question is often better than a conclusive statement.


Confidence is born out of courage. Courage is defined as the ability to overcome those things that frighten us. Therefore, courage gives us confidence and why when you overcome your fears, you become courageous. They go hand in hand. To develop confidence and courage is to try different things that are new to you. Get out of your comfort zone. Eat different foods. Take a new route to work. Find new friends. It is all about developing your confidence. Once you boost your confidence, your fear of failure will diminish.


Coming up with the right idea requires setting aside our biases. It is like hitting ctrl-alt-delete on the computer. To make sure we disable our bias we might have to “soft reboot” ourselves several times. You will know when you have disengaged your biases when you can tell if that bias is affecting your decision. You will get the feeling that your idea or decision is a good one. You will feel it in your gut.


If you think about the people you really enjoy being around, they all have the same characteristics. They are kind, loving, helpful, and not into themselves. Oh, how we love these kinds of people.


Avoid a tragedy by having a good strategy. A good strategy comes from fully understanding what it is you want to accomplish. Too many times, our strategies are based on a whim. They are impulsively driven. Maybe we are in a panic. Under these conditions our strategy will most likely become a tragedy. Get the most out of your strategy by carefully reviewing the possible downsides. You need to look at all the pros and cons and there should be an equal number of each. If your strategy is rash the results will be harsh.


Getting to the bottom of something is the challenge. Sometimes when we think we fully understand, we have only scratched the surface. I usually assume some degree of personal ignorance before researching a decision. This helps not to jump to a conclusion. Wrestling with a problem or a decision is good. Getting in the habit of looking at the issue from all directions and angles helps you get to the bottom of it all. You will avoid a lot of heartache and disappointment if you can do this religiously. Get all the facts and make sure they are thoroughly vetted.


Getting to the bottom of something is the challenge. Sometimes when we think we fully understand, we have only scratched the surface. I usually assume I don’t fully understand before concluding. This helps not to jump to a conclusion. Wrestling with a problem or a decision is good. Getting in the habit of looking at the issue from all directions and angles is truly getting to the bottom. You will avoid a lot of heartache and disappointment, if you can do this religiously. Get all the facts and make sure they are thoroughly vetted.


Sometimes the more we try to do, the less we get done. This is because we fail to prioritize. Prioritizing is not just setting aside less important things, it is also not procrastinating. It is procrastinating that bogs us down and then the real important things don’t get done. In my book, Tough Things First, I talk about tackling the difficult tasks first thing every day. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you will be amazed at how much you will get accomplished.


There has been a lot of public discussion concerning factual representations in the media. Getting facts straight is important when communicating with others. This goes back to the core issues of honesty and integrity. Does anyone have the right to use unvented information to harm others? The answer is an emphatic no! Yet it happens all the time. The only reason someone would do this is because they have an intent to harm. In most aspects of law, intentionally harming other people is a crime, be it assault, robbery, etc. So, what is at the root of this effort to use mass communications to intentionally harm another person? In a word, greed, a vice we should never condone. If greed gets a foothold in a society — as many say has already occurred in Washington D.C. — only bad things will result. Fight greed by not engaging in the denigration of others, at any time or for any reason, factual or not.


Finding the “sweet spot” in running a business is key to being successful. This takes time, at least three years, to reach this point. Three years is how long – at minimum – one business cycle takes. A cycle is defined as the time it takes a product or service to get developed, introduced, adopted, and reordered. The business “sweet spot” occurs when the results of the product or service meet or exceed the expected results. This will determine if a company will make it or not. It is a statistical fact that 9 out of 10 companies do not find their sweet spot within the first three years and thus are not alive to develop their second product.


Before you engage in a meaningful conversation, make sure all are on the same page. Are we debating or discussing? Is there mutual respect? Do we care if the outcome is favorable? What is the purpose of the communication? These are some of the issues to be decided before engaging in a meaningful conversation. Of course, if the conversation is not meaningful, why are we having this conversation? Honing your conversation skills will greatly improve your dialog with others.

 

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