Of talents and their use

Yesterday Bea and me went to the movies with a couple of our friends. The movie was the cop mall movie, and I would probably not pay for it at the theater but think it might be an ok rental for some. During the previews a new movie about someone reliving their youth is coming out. The guy is down on the dumps, being divorced and having his kids totally ignore him and pass him off as irrelevant. Looks like an excellent comedy with all the jokes of an older guy trying to be hip. The feel good movie part is that the guy realizes that the chance he gets to relive his youth is not about not making the same mistakes as before but rather help his kids navigate through high school as a buddy since he could not do it as a parent.

The preview made me think about a lot of things, some I chose not to discuss because I am currently not a parent. The most interesting one is something I had discussed earlier with someone else about talents. Some people take longer than others to discover what their talents are. Some people think that they don’t have any talents, I disagree with that thought and think that they just simply have not discovered them.

My best friend from high school help me discover my talent. He is way more talented than I am when it comes to music and has had a very successful career back in Colombia. I never really explored my acting even though I had enjoyed it when I did it back in high school and have considered doing local theater, but he also has done theater back there with a pretty cool group. For one of our school assignments we had to record a speech on a tape that lasted more than 2 minutes. We had worked on the assignment together and he had possession of the tape that had both of our speeches.

When the day came to turn the assignment in my friends first words when I saw him in the morning were, I left the tape at home. Our school was a very strict Catholic institution. Some teachers that would have probably let us turn the assignment in late, that was not the case with this teacher. That is when my talent came into play.

I started thinking of what alternatives we had. The class was not until the second hour, so I knew we had an hour to play with. I also saw that some people had actually brought hand held tape recorders. I told him, you get a tape we can record on I will get us a tape recorder. I looked around and spoke with some people and in record time I had a blank tape, a recorder and was ready to redo the assignment. We were walking away from the classroom to skip class, when he pulled the tape from his jacket. He then told me something I would never forget, “I just wanted to see how resourceful you really are.”

Call it a practical joke, but that day it hit me. I do not panic under pressure, I start to think of solutions or alternatives to the issue at hand. I did not get mad at him or made it his responsibility to solve the issue, I made us work together to solve the problem at hand. I have used that talent in some extreme situations also, one of them actually having to do with life or death situations… but I am not sure I want to tell that story just yet.

I use that talent at my job all the time. I believe from that talent comes the ability to troubleshoot and find bugs. I also think that my business analysis and process improvement benefit greatly from that resourcefulness and being able to see other avenues to get to the same place. So can you remember when you first discovered one of your talents? Do you use your talents on what you do every day? If you could be 17 again, would you work to develop one of those talents into a career?

The Visionary

Thanks to my employer I had the opportunity to attend the Get Motivated Seminar at the Sprint Center this past Wednesday. My favorite speaker was Colin Powell who spoke about leadership, but I also liked Krish Dhanam a lot, I will have to write about him some time soon. There were many more speakers and I actually missed Rudy Giuliani, but one of them had such a great message that I wanted to share it with you guys.

Her name is Tamara Lowe, and she is a great speaker. She might come off as a little cookie to some, a little to Christian for others, but when she was talking about motivational DNA I was pretty impressed.

Many people think they know how everyone around them is motivated. Motives are probably the easiest thing to guess on, but probably the hardest to guess right. Some people are as cynical as to believe that for most people it boils down to money, sex or power. Funny enough, that is not the whole truth, and with her little method you can find out quite a bit about how people are motivated.

I took the online test and came up with the following.

Logtar’s Motivational DNA Type is PVI
(Production-Variety-Internal): The Visionary

Visionaries are persistent, energetic and confident. They are able to organize people and projects. Visionaries exhibit strong leadership potential and react quickly to crisis. Creative thinkers, Visionaries have the ability to craft a vision and get others excited about it. They enjoy working on multiple projects at the same time and like to be involved in exploring alternative concepts. Farsighted and imaginative, Visionaries are good at finding original solutions to difficult problems. Visionaries enjoy change and thrive under pressure. They have the ability to shift gears and turn on a dime. They are confident in their ability to master new skills. Visionaries enjoy challenge and desire personal growth. Visionaries want to know that their work matters and desire to “go where no man has gone before.”

PVI Motivators: Inspiring work environment, opportunity to originate and initiate ideas, peer respect, credit for work accomplished and a strong sense of mission.

PVI De-Motivators: Rigid structure, routine, delays, time-consuming details and bureaucracy.

The funny thing is that it is very accurate. I think this is a great tool for managers to read their employees, or sales people their potential customers. I ordered her book and plan on reading it. The simple online test gives you more than the usual; it actually gives you some tips on how to get motivated right now in ways it will work for you. Take the test, I found it quite useful.

Productivity Tip

Luigi, one of my coworkers was redoing her list of todos yesterday. One of those lists is so clever that I thought I would share it here. She called it a ‘get back to me’ list. She records all of the people’s names that she communicates with and expects a response from, then checks them off. I can remember several times where I began communication with someone, but did not get a response and ended up getting bit on the butt by it. So there it is, I share the best productivity tip I have gotten in a while… got any?

H4X0R again

I never really became a hacker, I used to hang out with some people in college that knew how to get around some places but were mostly not really dangerous or malicious. However, recently I have been wanting to just start all over again and just take down sites… which ones, the ones that take over my browser.

One of the most annoying things that a website can do is resize my window. I know I can prevent it, I know its not the end of the world, but I dislike it more than being bombarded with adds or music.

I am not sure why they are lazy enough to not do something that works with all resolutions, but even if they do want to do that then launch another browser window. Why resize my current browser window and make me to through extra clicks just to get my interface back to normal?

Most websites are designed to transmit some kind of message, and the ones that are advertising or selling a product are the biggest offenders. Why would I ever want to buy a product from a company that is already making decisions for me on how to set my home computer resolution?

So what are some of your web annoyances?

Stats Whore

Blog's Stats

Should you be impressed by those numbers? I think not. I feel that 90% of them are spiders crawling the web. I really don’t think that stats mean much, at least not to me because I don’t try to make money of my blog (even though I do use google adsense and amazon links sometimes) and I do this blogging for totally selfish reasons. Sure it has been kind of cool to have a higher google page rank than most of my employers, but in reality it does not do all that much for me.

I have talked about the subject of why I blog before, but it boils down to two reasons.

Blogging is way better than therapy and I use it to practice my writing in English.

Recently Faith wrote a pretty good post, fueled partly by XO asking why any of us bothers. While the nicest side effect of the blogging world has been the friends I have made, one actually staying with us this weekend, I bother because in the back of my head I think I am doing something good. I hope I am sparking some people to look at a different point of view that their own.

When I started blogging I had no clue that it would actually get as many visits as it started to get. I think by my second year blogging I had become a total stats whore. I would go to other sites just fishing for more readers. Then life kind of made blogging take a different direction and it became my only outlet. I forgot about stats completely, I did not think anyone would care for vague posts that talked about almost nothing.

Moving to KC changed all of that. I had the chance to begin a new life and a lot of changes came about. Blogging was once again as fun as it used to be when I started. However, I never picked up the whole stats whore ways. I really don’t have the time, I barely get posts in when I want to… and have way too many (57 to be exact) half written and saved for another day.

If you want to be impressed by stats check out TKC. While Faith even put it simply as posting half naked woman and news links will get you there, I disagree. Even though I DO NOT share his views on many topics and he has ticked me off more than a couple of times with his borderline personal attacks (alas never on me) I do give him the credit that his writing style and good sources is what put him on the top of list of most visited sites in Kansas City. Anyone that is a stats whore would be jealous of the numbers of hits he gets. I just want to get to meet him some day, hopefully at one of our meet ups… I think Chimpo and I can do crowd control if things get out of hand. We almost thought he had shown up unannounced to our last meet up, but it was just a shy Mexican dude that sat at the bar.

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