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#TimesUp #Resist

an excerpt from the beautiful and poignant poem by Halsey @ NYC Women’s March 2018

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photo credit: Elite Daily ( You can hear her read the entire poem on YouTube).

Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale
And that’s why we’re here
And that’s why we rally
It’s Olympians and a medical resident and not one fucking word from the man who is President
It’s about closed doors and secrets and legs and stilletos from the Hollywood hills to the projects in ghettos
When babies are ripped from the arms of teen mothers and child brides cry globally under the covers
Who don’t have a voice on the magazine covers
They tell us take cover
But we are not free until all of us are free
So love your neighbor, please treat her kindly
Ask her story and then shut up and listen
Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian
Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs
Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues
For the people who had to grow up way too young
There is work to be done
There are songs to be sung
Lord knows there’s a war to be won

Winning Arguments Through Science

I love a good argument.

For one, arguments are intellectually stimulating, firing up my dopamine receptors to capacity. And they are an opportunity for me to engage in one of my favorite activities–at work and at leisure–and that is:

Thinking.

My. Dope. Candy.

Which is why, along with potato chips and chocolate, I maintain that I could never become a casualty of the other kind of drugs.

And just like I approach a good kettle potato chip or gourmet chocolate, I approach argument making with the power of vengeance.

Winner take all.

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Which feels good in the brain, but according to at least one work colleague, doesn’t translate into good feelings in the office. After one vigorous argument, one of work colleagues told me that it was one of her least favorite things about me. And that many people in my office felt the same.

I’ve heard it before.

For a while I will try being less aggressive and more compromising. That tends not to last long. For one thing, it’s a lifelong habit. While it really started developing in back in 6th grade when I learned about debate, I think it goes back further than that.

And honestly, most of the time, I’ve tended to brush off  as a price of being in business. And pretty much unavoidable, especially if you are an ambitious woman trying to rise up in the business world.  And if you are an ambitious black woman in business, it’s almost a given that men and dominant culture will see you as “uppidy.”

Win Arguments by Aligning with Your Enemy

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

According to this article @Fast Company on “winning arguments without making enemies,” the secret sauce is in how you frame your argument.

In the case of same-sex marriages, researchers found they could move the needle with conservatives by emphasizing how same-sex couples were “loyal, patriotic Americans” rather than Satan-spawn.

They framed their position to liberals as one of “fairness.” Which to me is like “duh.”

But okay.

Feinburg and Willer [the scientists conducting the research study] concluded that to win someone to your position, it’s best not to challenge their beliefs but to instead connect your own position to those beliefs (which, obviously, means empathizing with values you may not share–often the tricky part). Doing this can help others see the legitimacy of your position and reduce the perceptual gap between your viewpoint and theirs.

This is advice that definitely plan to take this advice to heart at work.

But when it comes to other areas where much is at stake, all I can say is–

democrats vs republicans

We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devil’s Advocate: The Case for Planning More “Executive Time”

Like many, I have had lots of fun mocking Trump’s predilection for a day packed with “executive time” rather than actual work.

Which does a disservice to the concept.

Because while whether Trump is a “staple genius” is up for debate (okay, only certain circles would argue it at all),  creative geniuses have long used unfettered free or “executive time” as well as “working less” to achieve higher creativity.

In an article @The Guardian on a book by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less,  Pang says that this camp includes Charles Darwin, who worked for two 90-minute periods in the morning, then an hour later; mathematician Henri Poincaré who labored only from 10am till noon then 5pm till 7pm.  Spy-turned-writer John Pang le Carré is mentioned as well as  Virginia Woolf and her husband who apparently worked on average 3 1/2 hours a day.

As well as no other than Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas_Jefferson_Hamilton actor

Too bad Trump doesn’t pick up a book or magazine (other than ET) once in awhile, or tune into a t.v. program NOT on Fox News. Then, he might have been able to play devil’s advocate himself, countering his image as “buffoon” for all those non-working gaps in his average day.

“An 8-hour workday only make sense if you’re screwing in widgets on an assembly line.

Damn. I like the sound of that.

Of course convincing employers that it’s in their best interest to allow us lots of  “Executive Time” during the workday might be more difficult.

Especially as most of us will still expect the salary we’re getting for an 8-hour one.

 

 

When It Comes to Planning and other Important Stuff, Don’t Be Like Trump.

As I mentioned last post, Trump doesn’t much care for planning, or other important stuff. Like moral leadership. Or racial equity (you know, opportunity and justice for all!).

Trump also seems to have missed the memo, that as a general rule, it’s just not a good idea to go around calling other countries *sh*tholes. Or sh*t houses, as “clarified” by to one GOP Senator who I guess thought his comments were actually helpful.

Don’t be like Trump.

Well, not unless you TOO have a day that’s spent mostly watching t.v. and eating cheeseburgers from McDonald’s.

Or you can otherwise schedule loads of Executive Time into your day. 

Hint: #NotMyLife

Soooo… along the way, I became a fan of creating goals and planning how to reach them.  Especially as I was in business.

And I wanted to be taken seriously.

Which in most of Corporate America (and the White House once upon a time) meant  showing up for meetings ON TIME, the expectation that you would set and meet goals, and able to document–during your annual review–that you actually were doing the important work stuff you were getting paid money to do.

For years, I accomplished this by way of the Daytimer, then later Franklin Covey, while coveting Filofax (then later, Moleskine).  When I moved back into “Corporate America” ten years ago, I went the electronic-digital route with Outlook as a base and more recently trying out cloud based tools such as AirTable and Evernote.

Planners-for-Designers-Moleskine

But now, I am flirting with the idea of letting a paper planner back into my life again.

And I am not alone.

Millennials, it turns out, are big buyers of paper planners. For some, like this young writer notes, writing in a paper planner has a “romantic appeal…”  Yes there is the functionality aspect, but compared to digital tools, as she notes: “a paper planner can be an extension of one’s aesthetic. “

Which I totally get, identifying as an aesthete.

Which means, I’m willing to bet that my preference for Filofax and Moleskine back in the day (along with Big Hair and shoulder pads) can probably be traced to romantizing and identifying with Working Girl’s Tess McGill and Katherine Parker.

Since those days, “we’ve come a long way baby.”

Okay,  if we are talking about “breaking the glass ceiling” into the C-suite and board room, maybe not so much.  But when it comes to planners (digital and paper), there are many paper planning tools (however you define “aesthetically pleasing” or not) to choose from.

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from “14 Planners to Help You Get Your Sh*t Together in 2018” slideshow @  Hollywood Reporter

Even if it’s just for scheduling more “executive time.”