A few years ago, an employee handed me a copy of the Spencer Johnson classic - as he was resigning. He told me it would help me understand why he was leaving. I was not happy to see him go, and could not get past the first few pages. I have tried to read the book a few times since and must admit my analytical mind revolts against the maze the book weaves.
The last few years for most of us have been, as the Chinese curse goes, "interesting times". Entrepreneurs unhappy with VCs. Investors unhappy with Wall Street analysts. PeopleSoft employees angry with Larry. Number of people upset about offshoring. Seems like most of the world unhappy with President Bush.
Against this background it is so nice to see people with optimism and composure invoking Bobby Kennedy: "Some men see things as they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were and ask why not?"
Like my wife. She has for the last year spent a weekend a month in Raleigh preparing herself for a new entrepreneurial career in counseling and therapy. All year long, she has had the biggest cynic at home - me. But she persists and appears constantly exhausted - and yet, absolutely energized. She could not begin to spell "business plan" but Steve Jobs would be proud of her "Stay hungry, Stay foolish" attitude...
Like Tony Dungy's comments this week at his son's funeral. Dungy addressed Malcolm Glazer, not as the man who fired him as
Bucs coach in 2002, but as the man who often sat on the team bus and
talked to James about being a good son. "I love you and I appreciate
you for that", Tony told him. He could have ignored Malcolm or even snapped at him and everyone would have understood what he is going through, but instead he chose the classy path...
Like my 12 year old son. He started asking me this week about investments and I offered to give him a small budget if he did some research. I fully expected him to pick some electronic or fast food company as his first stock. He picked Delta Airlines. I reasoned they are in bankruptcy and have lots of problems (as I have written often on this blog). He stuck with his decision...
As Roger McNamee says, it is The New Normal. There are Great Opportunities in a Time of Great Risks. Not just in careers, but in personal life.
So, here's my resolution for 2006. I will make my peace with the Johnson book. I will spend far fewer days asking "who moved my cheese?" and many, many, many more days asking "where can I find new cheese?"