Jonathan Fields Says You Are Exactly As Lucky As You Believe You Are

Jonathan Fields is a speaker, entrepreneur, and author of the book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance. Jonathan joined Never Eat Alone co-author Tahl Raz on the Social Capitalist to talk about his work around the idea of certainty anchors as a tool to support innovation. Here, Jonathan talks about luck, and how it is frequently in the eye of the beholder:

Richard Weismann was doing experiments. He wanted to try and figure out whether there is some commonality among the lucky. Is there something that some people do that makes them luckier or less lucky than others?

So what he did is he got two groups of people together. One group self-identified as being very unlucky. The other group self-identified as being very lucky. He sat them all down and he said, “Okay, here’s a newspaper. I’m going to time you. I want you to go through the newspaper as quickly as possible and count every picture that you see in the newspaper.” The people who identified themselves as being unlucky took about two minutes on average, and they returned and said, “Okay, there are 43 pictures in the newspaper.”

The people, on average, who identified themselves as lucky took a few seconds and came back with the exact same number. Continue reading

Create Meetings that People Don’t Want to Hide From

“Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me … they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone …. I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.” – Steve Wozniak

I’m a natural introvert – a social introvert, but an introvert. And so the Steve Wozniak quote above and the article I pulled it from, “The Rise of the New Groupthink,” play right to my instinctive bias.

But I know the value of collaboration. In the past couple of years, my work has become more about orchestrating a team than sitting in the corner pounding a piano. If you’ve got a grand vision, at some point, you’re going to need a team to carry it out.

So as a manager, I’ve put some thought into how to make the most of a collaborative environment – and in particular, how to help meetings be a place where both introverts and extroverts can flourish. “Meetings” have become synonymous in many offices with “massive soul-deadening time suck,” which is really too bad, because they can be fun, social, creative, and productive. I wouldn’t say I’ve got the formula mastered, but our meetings have produced consistently useful, actionable results.

A great team that likes and respects each other and the work they do is probably the biggest prereq for great meetings, so we’ve got it easy at myG. But a little planning wizardry helps too.

Here’s a few things I like to do: Continue reading