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Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 12 2022

Efficient or effective?

Which is more important: efficiency or effectiveness?

Efficiency (and productivity) is the poster child of progress in the business world.

But what about effectiveness?

Efficient is elegant, until it isn’t. We see this in code, when developers use short function names that nobody can understand in the spirit of efficient load times (every letter counts!) We see this in companies, when shared calendars sacrifice effective days for efficient ones (when trivial meetings are deemed more important than empty time for strategic thinking).

Effective is elegant, if you plan on having humans be involved. We see this in code, when it’s written for humans to easily understand and enjoy using (so they can continue to understand and use it, which ironically reduces code bloat). We see this in companies, when people who care are given time to be effective (who appear on the surface to be working less, yet get significantly more done).

Efficient is much more popular. It feels like work, even when it’s merely a place for procrastination to hide.

You can choose instead to be effective, if you’re okay with removing all of the hiding places.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 11 2022

On not being let down by others

If you work within a team, or lead teams, you have probably experienced these:

“Why would someone do that? Why leave it like that?”

*“Why is nobody pushing this forward?”

“Why is this so darn difficult for these people?”*

“Do I have to do everything myself?”

This happens when our high aspirations for ourselves and our work exceeds either our clarity in communication, or the expectations others have of those same things. Were they to have the same aspirations, the same clarity and the same drive as you do, they would already do as you do.

They may not have the same aspirations or expectations, but you can lead them by showing them what success looks like. That is within our control to do. They may not have the same clarity, but you can lead them to that by communicating more. That is within our control to do. And in the meantime, we can do our best regardless of whether or not others decide to meet you in doing so.

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The more we value things outside of our control, the less control we have.”

The only true let down is focusing on things outside of our control, thus allowing our peace to be sold to the highest bidder.

The solution is found in our focus.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 10 2022

Prisons and Gardens

Do you buy or sell work on a platform? Like Facebook, or Fiverr?

There are two kinds of platform to buy and sell things on:

Platform prisons, and platform gardens.

This was drawn to my attention after experiencing both in a 24 hour period:

Platform prisons: These are when the platform makes work, and workers, worse.

For instance, Fiverr’s documentation cites that a seller who enables “out of office” will see the feature, quote: “affect[s] your rankings badly, ultimately demoting your Sellings”. It goes on to say, “elements start working negatively for you, possibly making you start from scratch on the return”.

As a result, if you want to use their platform without penalties, you must be available within 24 hours of anyone who messages you at all times; no weekends, no vacations, no breaks to greave a lost one, or go to the hospital, without penalty.

This is a platform prison. It rewards unhealthy behaviour, only displaying the unhealthiest workers to their buyers and marginalising what’s possible as a result.

Platform gardens: These are when the platform makes work, and workers, better.

For instance, on this week’s Mortiverse AMA, we discussed with hundreds of people how the platform will be designed to give everyone engaging the Mortiverse personal development content the opportunity to make their own content, augmenting the core material, to reach more of the edges and go deeper for those eager to grow further.

As a result, things aren’t built around time pressure or penalties, but around equipping those who are growing with the ability to help others grow too. We call it a ‘garden’ because we all get to plant seeds and nurture the fruits of our efforts to healthy ripening.

This is a platform garden. It rewards healthy behaviour, only displaying the healthiest work to users and encouraging what’s possible as a result.

We should nurture Platform gardens.

We should demand better from the Platform prisons.

We vote with our voices, our attention, our time, our return, and our money.

Vote wisely.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 09 2022

We’re all builders.

You’re a builder.

You’re not just a fan of your favourite neighbourhood coffee shop, you’re a builder: you tell your friends, share your ideas, and make up one of the many regular faces that make that place a second home for many people, many of whom you’ve yet to meet. At least, that is your opportunity, within a coffee shop that deserves you.

You’re not just a blood relative to your close family, you’re a builder: you do things for them when they’re not looking, you’re there before they know they need you, you’ll catch them if they fall. At least, that is your opportunity, to build the family you want to see.

You’re not just a fan of the Mortiverse (our upcoming personal development project), you’re a builder: you learn and grow in peace, calm, happiness and resilience… then receive opportunities to turn what you’ve learned into teaching opportunities to reach the edges you’re uniquely equipped to reach, to help yet more people grow too. At least, that is your opportunity, to build the culture of the future you want to see.

The future is built by people just like us.

Remember that.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 08 2022

Two ways to have it all

There are two ways to have it all as a creator:

The short-term way: Get everything you think you want, and hope your appetite doesn’t grow further. The problem with this option is that those who choose it often find their appetites to be ever-increasing. There’s also the dilemma of rarely creating what you truly wish to create, in favour of that which you perceive to be most lucrative in the moment.

The long-term way: Have an appetite smaller than that which you possess. The benefit of this approach is that you can be happy now, creating from your unique genius, and quite possibly attaining abundantly more, accidentally and tangentially.

It seems you can have it all right now. It jut depends if you can bring yourself to make the choice.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 07 2022

Total respect

Do you totally respect your clients and peers?

Let’s check to make sure:

Total respect for your clients means you respect their time, the needs of their business, and handle them with good taste and propriety. It also means that you don’t conform to behaviours that differ in return; representing a respect for your own time, the needs of your business, and good stewardship of how you allow yourself to be treated, respectfully dismissing those who refuse such regard. Serfdom doesn’t protect a client relationship, total respect does.

Total respect for your team mates means you respect their desires, the needs that differ from your own, and to help them learn what success looks like. It also means that you don’t permit behaviours that differ in return; recognising your own desires, the needs that differ from theirs, and the help they are to render toward what success looks like executively. More a benevolent-but-firm uncle, than a bar-buddy.

Total respect is often looked at either as a defensive matter (“I deserve more respect”) or a self-sacrificing matter (“Show them some respect”). It’s neither of those things.

It’s what makes a melody where there would otherwise be discord.

It’s what makes long-term working relationships thrive without drama.

It’s a salve for sunk confidences sink or roaring egos.

It helps unlock greatness.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 06 2022

Each small step

We can’t control much.Society celebrates the huge wins.

The standout, milestone successes.

But misses how what really makes the difference, is each small step.

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Do now what nature demands of you. Get right to it if that’s in your power. Don’t look around to see if people will know about it. Don’t await the perfection of Plato’s Republic, but be satisfied with even the smallest step forward and regard the outcome as a small thing.”

Each small step racks up.

Every step of a marathon, every stroke of a brush, every word in a novel.

It’s the little things that count.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 05 2022

Pursuing statistical inevitability

We can’t control much.

But statistical inevitability helps in areas we can.

Can’t control how others will receive your work? Committing to lavishing upon one hundred customers with white-glove, high-touch service keeps you close to the feedback and teaches you a lot about how to refine your work. While you can’t control the reception, you can engage feedback and iteration so intently that positive reception becomes a statistical inevitability.

Can’t control how many people will see your work? Committing to twice as many strategic partnerships as you need and lavishing upon those relationships will unlock a lot. While you can’t control how many will see the work, you can over-cook your outreach so that the reach you need becomes a statistical inevitability.

Got something that feels out of control in your work? Committing to going above and beyond in the work that you can control enables you to engineer enough of a ‘land, sea and air’ assault on the problem to make success a statistical inevitability.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 04 2022

What you can’t right-click save

Web3 has become a cultural phenomenon on the back of jpegs.

We’ve seen communities come together. Friendships forged. Even orchestrated giving at the forefront of the Ukraine war.

All thanks to these jpegs, their immutable ownership, and the lives they’ve touched.

Season tickets to a sports team have pictures, too. But, we assume that such things, once bought, are just the tip of the iceberg… an access pass to a world of entertainment, or education, or an experience…

…That the proof of ownership unlocks so much more than the picture on the front…that there’s more to some books than the cover.

There’s always room for benevolent acts of service, lavishing upon those you wish to serve, and dutifully protecting those in your care.

You can’t “right-click save” that.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
August 03 2022

Better than Open or Closed

What’s a better platform, an open one or a closed one?

There’s a third (and, I’d propose, better) option:

1) À la carte: Where you can do whatever you like, and so can everyone else. Such extreme divergence prefers a mile in every direction over ten miles in one direction.

2) Prescription: Where you are told what you can have, in what quantity, and that’s the end of the discussion. Progress moves at the pace of the prescriber, in that direction only, and you’re required to either participate in that direction or leave.

3) Omakase: Where chef serves what chef thinks you’ll like best, describes the dishes, answers your questions, and turns their expertise into an act of service. Progress is led by a master, benevolently and in the best interests of those who choose to follow.

“Open or closed” removes the leadership opportunity from a master who cares, abdicating either responsibility or a heart of service.

What if your work were to be Omakase?

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