December 29, 2011Deena Bean got me five yoga sessions for Christmas and I attended my first one in a long time. Debbie Payne met me at the door with open arms and we hugged. The studio is about a block from the True West World Headquarters so that is sweet. Really felt good to go again.
We had a big pow wow on Tuesday regarding our Wall of Truth. Here are my notes for the meeting:
The Wall of Truth
• What we do is not a science, it is an art. And some of it is counterintuitive. A cluttered cover drives those of us who appreciate clean design crazy, but we have to learn what sells because it can mean an extra $6K to our bottom line, just by adding the right headlines to entice new readers. This is a first: the review and the trading up of better copy on the cover. Amazing. Thank you.
• This is a wall where the best ideas win. I believe when we all contribute and master the elements on this wall (what works, what doesn't), we will achieve market superiority and we will all succeed.
• All of us are smarter than each one of us. Everyone here can do something I can't do. Stay on task, for example.
• Warren Buffet ascribes his wealth to less than ten decisions he has made in his career. I can pretty much sum up my success at True West the same way. The first good decision I made was to hire Carole Glenn. And the second was to hire Robert Ray. And the three of us are responsible, directly, or indirectly, for all of you being here. These sound decisions i also believe are why we have survived all the bone-headed moves we have made in the past 12 years.
• The biggest predictor of happiness is a network of good relationships. And as long as we are talking to each other, trading good ideas and allowing the best ideas to win, we will be, productive and happy.
• The biggest problem all companies have is that we are all mildly delusional. The most successful people are mildly delusional status inflators. We think we're better than we are, we minimize our minuses, thus eliminating paralyzing self-doubt. It is important that we own this.
• 95 percent of American men believe they are in the top 50% when it comes to social skills. Women are more likely to be status deflaters. Women underestimate their IQ scores by an average of about five points. People not only overestimate what they know, they overestimate what they can know.
• We all seek limerence. The moment when we grasp a situation, solve a problem, or master a task, there's a surge of pleasure. It's not living in perpetual harmony that produces the surge. If that were so, we'd be happy living on the beach all our lives. It's the moment when some tension is erased. So a fulfilling day has its recurring set of rhythms: difficulty to harmony, difficulty to harmony. And it is all propelled by the desire for limerence, the desire for the moment when the inner and outer patterns mesh.
• This drive, this longing for harmony, is a never ending process—model, adjust, model, adjust—guiding us onward. Two-thirds of the decisions we make are going to be wrong. That's why it's important to keep correcting errors and learning. It's like walking. You throw yourself forward, which puts you out of balance, then your thrust your opposite leg out to counterbalance it. That's how we move forward, and more importantly, that's momentum (see below)
• There will still be frictions and conflicts, but if everyone feels like they have a voice, and if I have anything to do with it, you will, then the best ideas will win out. And the odds are in your favor that your ideas will be up here on the wall and in the finished product.
The Magic of History
"A feeling of immediate contact with the past is a sensation as deep as the purest enjoyment of art; it is an almost ecstatic sensation of no longer being myself, of overflowing into the world around me, of touching the essence of things, of through history experiencing the truth."—Johan Huizinga, historian