People are Like Books

Walking into a party full of new people is like walking into an old brick-and-mortar bookstore.

Bookstore Display

The party has sections – First you navigate to a group of people you’re interested in (shopper goes to romance, nonfiction, history, biographies, etc)

Everyone has a cover – that part of themselves that they present to the world that will encourage others to want to talk to them (shopper picks the book up).

Everyone has a back cover – that personal summary they present to new people who they have a conversation with (shopper deciding whether to buy the book).

Everyone has an inner left leaflet – that gut feeling that tells you how much it will cost to befriend them, whether in terms of risk, energy, or sadly, money (shopper deciding if they can afford the book).

But in order to get to know someone, you have to listen to their story, process, and decide at some point if continuing is time well spent (read the book).

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Armchair GM: How to Build a Baseball Team in 2015

The way to build a World Series-ready MLB team has changed a lot in 20 years. Some GMs get it, some do not. The 1990’s model created by the Yankees no longer works. You can no longer load up on talent (and salary) and make a run at it. Further, the Marlins 1990’s and 2000’s model no longer works, which is basically the Yankees model followed by a fire sale, then a rebuilding period.

Let me take my throne (armchair), and share my two cents….

armchair

First, let’s talk hitters.

The generation of hitters right now feed on chemistry, not PEDs. They value being able to lean on each other and win together over being the best bat on the team. Even though they know that one guy on the team will surely be the best hitter, they value respect and admiration being laid across all of the hitters equally.

There are two rules to follow if you’re a GM:

  1. Never make a “face of the franchise” out of your best hitter. That means don’t play up the Yasiel Puigs, the Jose Reyes’s, the Matt Kemps, the Jose Bautistas, the Giancarlo Stantons, etc. You immediately disrupt that chemistry, and just assured yourself of a mediocre, under-performing offense.
  2. Never put two former “face of the franchise” type of players on the same team. Don’t pair A-Gone with Kemp, Reyes with Bautista, Han-Ram and the Panda with Ortiz and Pedroia, Pujols with Trout (and then Hamilton). But seriously, you’d think Boston would have learned after their A-Gone and Crawford with Ortiz and Pedroia snaffu in 2011, which led to a fire sale in 2012, and a championship in 2013, but then they go and make the same mistake in 2014. If I were the owner, I’d can Cherington tomorrow. “Thanks for the ring, but stop wasting my money”.

You can go and get yourself one of the aforementioned guys; after all they’re great hitters. But don’t play it up. Don’t hold press releases about it. Assimilate them into the team, place expectations on them, and quietly let them go hit. If they stomp their feet and talk too loudly because they’re not getting all the attention they need, bench them. Trade them. Basically, remove them.

Here is a short list of examples from recent years that prove the above: read more »

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Success Defined

Quite simply, success is being good enough at what you do that it creates opportunities, and then seizing those opportunities.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, you can be successful. Also, you do not have to be great at everything you do, just do it well enough to create opportunity. And naturally, when you are presented with a great opportunity, you have to seize it.

Every opportunity seized, is a rung in the ladder that leads to being successful.

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My Baseball Manifesto – A Radical Way to Improve the MLB

I love baseball. If nothing were to change from how it is scheduled, officiated, and played today, I would be perfectly fine with that. But see, I’m not an “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” guy – I’m more of a continuous improvement guy, where you accept that culture and technology change over the years, and the things we love can benefit from following their cues.

Plus, as great as the MLB is, that doesn’t mean it has no problems. And aren’t problems worth solving if they can be? So let’s dig in… read more »

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Shower Hack: Saving Water During Warm Up

I had a thought the other day while warming up the shower before I hopped in. What if it would save water if I turned the temperature all the way to hot until hot water got there, and then turned it to warm? Wouldn’t that save cold water?

handles

By my logic, if you just leave the setting on warm all the time and pull out the knob, or turn both hot and cold knobs until things get warm (whichever is the way your shower works), then cold water is mixed in with the hot while it’s dumping into the drain during warm-up. Warm-up will take longer due to the fixed amount of water that can leave your spigot and the fact that half (or so) is coming from the cold water pipe.

BUT, if you turn it all the way to hot (or only turn the hot knob) until the water gets pretty warm, then mix in the cold, you save all that cold water that flows down the drain in the first scenario, right?

BONUS: You’re shower warms up faster that way too.

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Words and Actions – Which One are You?

What a person does, is who they are. What a person says they are, is who they want to be.

Each person’s path in life will undoubtedly be to make their actions and words match. I say undoubtedly because when we do not, it causes an internal conflict (cognitive dissonance) that will cause us to either consciously live up to our words, or subconsciously succumb to our actions (impulses).

Some people will try to mend the difference by continuous improvement, slowly matching their actions to their words.

Others reluctantly end their pursuit of improvement, accepting who they are, and changing their words to match their actions.

Still others use somebody else’s words as their character definition, and continuously change until their actions match what others say is true about them.

But at the end of it all, if we live long enough, those words and actions will match

If you won’t become the person you describe to others, at least accept who you are. But please never do yourself the disservice of living to anybody else’s definition of you.

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