Great stuff from Max Kalehoff’s blog Online Spin. The human behavior trend pendulum swings back to Einsteinian inspiration.
1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So why not cultivate imagination? Why not seek it out when screening new hires, or emphasize it in professional development, or cherish it when problem-olving?
2. “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” What really are you trying to achieve? How well is your mission defined? Perfection of everything else is meaningless if you and your organization don’t know where you’re headed. This is where leadership begins.
3. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” This is an ideology of humbleness, selflessness and authenticity. Embodying this ideology creates longer-term, competitive advantage. Value to customer is what really matters, not whether you’re successful. You’ll end up successful if you create value.
4. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” In an increasingly quant-driven marketplace, it’s easy to obsess on what you can count and disregard the rest. This paradox contributes to the confusion of aims mentioned above. To be successful, it’s critical to find alternative means of codifying and leveraging the important things you can’t count.
5. “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Perhaps violence is less relevant in most businesses, but size and complexity are major problems. For reasons I can’t explain, marketers too often get obsessed with size and complexity — as if they’re desirable. The fact is they’re the opposite, and they’re offensive jabs at our most precious assets: time and attention. Marketers may not see this, but customers do. Customers delight in simplicity and efficient use of space and time.
6. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This is true for internal employee communications, as well as customer communications. Master your subject matter so you can confidently pick the language, concepts and style that communicate with the greatest ease and efficiency.
7. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Mistakes and losses should actually be rewarded. Fear and low tolerance for mistakes breads stagnant cultures and boring products.
8. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” When you enable passion, you drive focus, cultivate mastery, leverage spontaneity, foster creativity, build intuition and live toward mission. The dots connect, clarity emerges.
9. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Truth is paramount, but carelessness with what is small is a window into how one may handle anything large. The small stuff matters.
10. “Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” Same for marketing and business in general. Need I say more?