Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Past glories are future graves."

From Gerald M. Weinberg's The Secrets of Consulting:
"As soon as you lose your nerve, you stop investing in new ideas and try to milk your last idea for the maximum return.  But as soon as you lock onto a single idea, your days as a consultant [or anything else] are numbered."
"I've come to understand that my anger [when somebody copies my ideas] actually is a symptom of something else - a strong feeling of inadequacy.  I'm afraid that I no longer have what it takes to turn out new ideas.  Instead of reacting by creating a batch of new ideas, I start grasping for ways to protect the ones I've already produced.  In short, I've lost my nerve."
"Past glories are future graves."  [Or, as John Wooden said: "Success is never final, failure is never fatal.  It's courage that counts."]
I enjoyed the book a lot.  It's one of those books that seems superficial until you realize that the clear, breezy writing contains deep insights.  I hesitated to read the book because I thought it was for a narrow audience of technology or management consultants.  In fact, the book offers universal insights on working with others, problem solving, and becoming a better person (not just a better consultant: Weinberg notes that we're all consultants from time to time).

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