Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Welcome back

Welcome back to me. I have a book recommendation. Check out A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel H. Pink. Those of us bean-counting, engineering, analytical types often characterized as Left-Brainers can benefit from learning to be "whole-minded." Develop the right side and the skills/abilities it handles: big picture, pattern recognition, design, invention, empathy, some other touchy-feel stuff you think you hate.

It's not a pile of fluff, though. The last quarter of the book is a portfolio of tools and exercises. For example, keep a design notebook. If you see something cool, note it. If you run across an example of poor design - like the dirt-collecting step below my car door that my left leg cannot avoid when I get into and out of my car (so my left pant leg is always grubby) - note it, too. It's about paying attention to the artistry (or lack of it) around you. Or take the short "Spot the Fake Smile" test on BBC's site at http://tinyurl.com/2u7sh.

Pink also refers to research mentioned in Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence. IQ accounts for only 4-10 percent of career success. I agree. I work with many high-IQ people. But it ain't what you know, it's what you do with what you know. So get off of your butt and do something.

And if you read A Whole New Mind, or part of it, let me know what you think.