Recent Reading

[Finally] Read two books yesterday that I’ve been meaning to get to…

The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams
I liked this book because it seemed like a very concise synopsis of the other One Minute Manager stuff. I also liked the spin it put on teams in particular.  I did find it interesting , from a design perspective, that as the story progressed through their 4 stages it was pretty formulaic until I realized that they had switched the order of presentation for the 3rd and 4th stages. 

The book was easy reading (I got through it in <2 hrs) and I think that is directly related to the simplicity of the presentation.  What I like about most of Ken’s books is that they are so uncluttered.  I wonder how often we think we need to make something seem “deep” or “complex” so it appears to have “value”.  This is still something I struggle with when I design…  I get to a point towards the end of the process where I think “that can’t really be all there is to it, that’s too simple”… “anyone could do this, what if they think I’m a fake and start to think they could have done this without me (even if they could have) because it’s so simple?”

Of course, I’ve had experience with customers who see my stuff then figure just that only to fail when they try and replicate it themselves.  Trust in the process and my skills, I guess, is what gives me confidence to design elegant, simple solutions.  Wow, I never thought of confidence as an important factor to designing simple training. Hmmmm…

The Leadership Pill
This one was too light-weight.  I got through this in ~30 minutes and it felt kind of airy – like one of those chocolate covered Krispy Kreme doughnuts with whipped cream in the middle (rather than custard).  Man!  I’m not even joking, I could eat like a dozen of those things at a single sitting.  And the thing is that after ~7 or 8 I would think to myself “hey, Self, you are really eating a lot of these things; you should proabably save some for everone else.”  Then I would think “yeah, but they’re really tasty and everone else can eat those plain raise ’em and glaze ’em ones, since these are Krispy Kremes even those ones are tasty too.”  Then rhetorical Paul would say “Yeah, but you’re gonna get fat and probably be sick later on.”  To which I would reply “So what?!?  How often do I eat these?  Besides, I’ve almost eaten a whole dozen now; that’s a nice round number –  for baked goods at least – and I’m all about the symetry.”  Of course, having out logic-ed myself I would finish the whole box.  Then feel guilty about what a bad person I am for the rest of the day – or at least until the next meal.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, the book seemed more oriented towards making a book out of a series of catchphrase posters and just seemed simple, not elegantly simply.  I didn’t get that much out of it but I’m totally hungry now… 

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