Trade-offs and Triumphs 7
Issue 7: Stumbling Upon the Right Key, The 5 Keys to Running Effective Meetings, The Key to Learning via Listening to 13 Birds Singing
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Welcome to issue 7!
Last week ended with fewer trade-offs, almost no triumphs, and more headaches. But, we have to persevere, so I hope that in a few months, I can share some positive news - a triumph. We shall see.
In the meanwhile, what keys have you found unlock your ability to navigate the trade-offs that lead to a triumph here and there?
And this historical collection of Roman keys prompted some thinking about:
Running effective meetings
Stumbling Upon the Right Key - Exploring and Discovering Yourself to Grow
When minutes, hours, and days are scheduled with barely any breathing room, you falsely believe that you are evolving and becoming stronger. You run to and from meetings, calls, emails, and evening events. You encounter many people, collect and give out business cards, and then follow up on the other to-do items. You are memorizing more names, your email, chat, and call metrics are high, and your response time to emails and calls is incredibly quick.
You are productive, right?
Or, you could be dying of plenty - plenty of emails, meetings, calls, and evening events that actually lead to nowhere. It just took COVID19 and the mandated social distancing to realize that.
In my latest essay, Dying of Plenty But Becoming Reinvigorated, the acts of inventorying household supplies with my mother and reading a Wall Street Journal article about our nation’s paper towel shortage led me to question my priorities and current design of my life.
Were the meetings, calls, emails, and evening events productive, or just landmarks that hinted at productivity?
What are my values and am I living them?
Or, had I been deceiving myself that motion equaled growth?
COVID19’s mandated social distancing provides us a perfect opportunity to rediscover our values, identify new opportunities, and be more intentional about following through.
Because I should not be the same person I was even a few months ago.
So take that sheet of paper and writing instrument and draw it out:
Immediate COVID19 reaction routine
Evolving COVID19 routine
Thanks to my writing partner Dan Greenwald’s essay Abundance in a Raging Pandemic for inspiring this reexamination. Thank you Dan and Abhi Verma (our other early morning writing partner) for their feedback on this essay.
The 5 Keys to Running Effective Meetings (courtesy of MIT Sloan)
The key to growth demands discipline when it comes to meetings. Meetings can be a great tool to generate information, evolve ideas, and to implement them. However, used unwisely, meetings can become a bureaucratic nightmare.
Many articles have been written about avoiding ineffective meetings or running effective meetings, but this particular one from MIT Sloan caught my eye.
Here are the 5 keys to maximize meetings, especially during COVID19:
Match the frequency of meetings to the speed of change
Catalog issues that need to be resolved
Measure meeting productivity in decisions and problems
Establish a trigger rule for escalating issues
Be clear on the timing between work cycles
The Key to Learning via Listening to 13 Birds Singing
Earlier this spring, The New York Times identified that you could actually hear the birds singing in New York City. Due to COVID19, the city that never sleeps had moments of almost complete silence.
The New York Times catalogued the birds and their sounds:
Listening is crucial to growth - not only will you learn new information and generate ideas by remixing prior knowledge, you will also become more self-aware. And especially listen to what you have not listened to before, and understand that you have much more to learn.
Listen to your mind, heart, and body. Make time for listening to supposed silence.
Or, listen to Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.”
Have any questions or comments? Let’s chat!
Want to exchange some thoughts over Twitter? You can find me @jennykim
Check out my website for more: puttingittogether.blog
See you next week!
And remember to find that trade-off that will lead to that triumph this week, no matter how small, and celebrate it.