Is it about me, or my mission?

What do the notorious former marketing director of American Apparel, Ryan Holiday, and renowned Dutch reformed theologian Bram van Beek have in common? They both have written a book about the danger of egocentricity. 

Blame it on social media – again?

Social media offers endless possibilities to promote ourselves and serve as outlets for our vanity. It enables us to humble brag about our professional achievements on LinkedIn, share evidence of our successful ‘friends & family’ life on Facebook, and demonstrate our cutting-edge lifestyle on Instagram. 

However, looking at our current society and world history, it seems we as human beings always have been prone to self-centeredness and self-promotion. Social media therefore merely enables us to express something that is already deeply rooted in us.

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Are deeply held convictions your backbone or achilles heel?

In all walks of life, there are people who have deeply held convictions about how the world works, and act accordingly. The business world is no exception. 

Examples I encountered during my career were business leaders that held and acted according to the following convictions:

  • The only way you gain respect by ‘the business’ as a staff department, is by reducing your headcount to the absolute minimum
  • Partnering with other vendors to deliver an integrated solution for clients is unnecessarily complex and has a negative impact on the margin
  • Teams perform at their best if the annual bonus of individual members is linked to individual financial targets 
  • Customizing services for individual clients equals to sub-optimization

Strong convictions usually stem from the successes they brought us in the past. They also tend to become stronger over time: every time we successfully act in accordance with one of our convictions, our inclination to use it in similar situations increases.

Strong convictions offer several advantages

Strong convictions help us to make sense of the world around us and to simplify our decision-making processes. They save us time and effort. When we are confronted with an issue on which we have a strong conviction, our mental muscle memory immediately kicks in to prescribe the decision we need to take.

Another advantage of strong convictions is the potential it offers to persuade others. Because we feel strongly about a topic and have an active ‘personal repository’ of evidence (previous cases in which a particular course of action worked for us), we can speak convincingly to others about it.

Disadvantages

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Wunderlist RIP – Why ToDo is pushing me outside Microsoft’s ecosystem

Why the decision to eliminate a key feature of Wunderlist is hard for me to understand

By Dirk Verburg

I am very interested in personal effectiveness and am using a number of apps to ‘hack’ my personal productivity level:

  • Grammarly – Unbeatable to spell check anything I type in a brower. Great integration with Google Chrome
  • Small Pdf – A small Swiss gem, shrinks pdf’s to manageable sizes, and does so much more
  • Google keep – Great for keeping notes. Again: available on all platforms I am using. Not the best (Evernote has much more features but useful version are not freeware; OneNote is clumsy if you write entries in more than one language)
  • Wunderlist – Great activity tracker. Available on all platforms I am using: Apple, Android, and my Chrome Web browser

The core of my IT set-up, however, is Microsoft Office. Both on my Windows PC at work, as well as on my Mac for private use. There are programs in Microsoft Office I love (Powerpoint and Excel), programs that are good (Outlook), and again others I consider to be ‘ok’ (I find Word for instance hopelessly complicated).

Ecosystems

Strangely enough, my ideal is the same as that of tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Google: stay within a single ecosystem. 

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