Can I succeed at …?

February 1, 2014

In preparing for an introduction session with post-graduate students I flipped through Steven Pressfields “Do The Work” again. A couple of statements managed to really struck home if I look at new post-graduate students (but it really holds for any new endeavor). Here is my ideas…

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Three writing lessons while learning from notes

February 24, 2011

Image via Wikipedia

Last week I did not get to Writing Wednesdays, although I did do a post about a rather impressive passionate presentation. This week I am attending a course and did not really have time for anything else. However, studying for my exam on Friday I did notice some irritations in the notes I was using. So three lessons from doing a bit of studying: Read the rest of this entry »

What makes good ol’ bullshit?

October 19, 2010

Well the answer is not bulls… Last week I attended a rather academic conference, and as part of one of the keynotes (Jan Dietz) I had to listen to an academic explanation of what is bullshit… Yes, you read correctly: bullshit. So what is bullshit?

Well here is the official slide photographed…

I like the first and third comment very much. Let me repeat them here for the record.

Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about”
“Bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are”

The second point makes sincerity sound like bad thing… which i am not sure i agree with, speaking truly about ones feelings, thoughts and desire can be a good thing, provided it is not about you.  However the focus of the sentence on the slide is on the shift from considering facts to personal beliefs certainly is not good…

For a much deeper discussion read Harry Frankfurt on “Bullshit”. Philosophers clearly have too much time on their hands…

Currently I am reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith‘s Trust Agents. When they discuss “trust signals” they make the following statement (p. 99) “People have very sophisticated bullshit sensors, and your intentions will be exposed, if not immediately, then later.” I could not agree more: a good reason for sincerity in the good sense of the word. So I was just wondering: if we are so good about sensing bullshit, why has it not been eradicated yet…

What characterizes bullshit for you? How do you know when somebody is bullshitting?

[PS. I hope you don’t think my blog is bullshitting you!]

Three unexpected events that could happen in your next presentation

October 16, 2010

Fonts display as gibberishEarlier in the week I attended the SAICSIT conference. Three “unexpected” events occurred at the conference which I think is worth thinking about. Afterall, we learn from our experiences and those of others.

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A five-label incarnation of my four-facet thinking framework

October 9, 2010


global financial crisis

Image by guendal via Flickr


After my earlier post on a four-facet thinking framework I had some discussions with Riekert du Preez where we tried applying that way of think to his MBA research. His research, by the way is about Green IT.  I want to share some of our thoughts, albeit with a more general question than what Riekert’s research addresses.

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Five guidelines for practicing your next presentation

October 3, 2010

So, exactly how much should you practice? You will probably get as many answers to this as you ask people. So here is my opinion:

Seth Godin claims “Rehearsing is for cowards“. He argues (roughly) that the goal of rehearsal is to get rid of the hitches, which in turn undermines “going forward”. Now, being somewhat of a fan of Seth Godin I am pretty sure that he does not claim that we go in completely unprepared. No, in fact, he eludes to this by saying: “I’m not dismissing study, learning, experimenting or getting great at what you do. In fact, I’m arguing in favor of this sort of hard work.” The implication is that we know our work; however, that we do not rehearse every single word, that we rather leave opportunity for spontaneity and going with the flow. Read the rest of this entry »

Driving your message home through the unexpected

September 30, 2010

During my recent visit to New Zealand I saw the advertisement below on TV. 

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