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Overcoming adversity: In the footsteps of polar explorer Shackleton
December 22, 2018 | Financial Times | by Sarah Gordon.

In 2013 Tim Jarvis, an adventurer and environmental scientist, re-enacted Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 epic journey, sailing a replica of his boat 1,500km across the Southern Ocean from Antarctica, where Shackleton’s men were stranded for more than a year, to South Georgia island, then climbing over its mountainous interior to the site of the whaling station where Shackleton finally found help.....Mr Jarvis’ team used the same rudimentary equipment, clothing, rations and technology as had been used a century earlier......Jarvis' Shackleton expedition, like the original, hit numerous hurdles:
(1) loss of a sponsor;
(2) a gruelling sea leg of their journey, navigating storms and treacherous currents to reach South Georgia;
(3) three of the six team members had trench foot and some frostbite and were unable to embark on the next phase, the mountain climb across the island.

Jarvis coped by “trying to take a leaf out of Shackleton’s book”, keeping people busy, staying completely focused himself and “not even entertaining” the thought of stopping. He and the other lead climber, former Marine Baz Gray, isolated themselves in order to stop others’ negativity clouding their judgment before tackling the mountains ahead. There were no rows, says Mr Jarvis, but there were tears......“If you feel that at some level the risk and the fear are worth it, you will overcome it.”.....Choosing the right team for a challenge as extreme as this required unorthodox methods. For Mr Jarvis, the best team is about people whose skills complement one another rather than just the best individuals. But he also needed to make sure that team members could really do what they said they could....You don't want “employees”. “When the chips are down, you want someone who feels that they’ve invested a lot in [the expedition] and it’s theirs . . . ”Jarvis believes the expedition taught him how to set a positive example, how to recognise which buttons to press to get people to apply themselves more, and how to deal with “multi-dimensional” challenges, not just physical, but reputational and financial. “On the sea I wasn’t the best sailor. On the land I wasn’t the best climber. All you’ve got is your leadership, your conviction that you can pull it off, your bloody-minded determination to continue.”
adversity  Antartica  Ernest_Shackleton  expeditions  explorers  leadership  multidimensional  negativity_bias  obstacles  pessimism  teams  re-enactments  selection_processes  South_Pole  torchbearers  unorthodox 
december 2018 by jerryking
How to overcome common decision-making obstacles

Obstacle 1: Putting too much importance on your “anchor”
Obstacle 2: Overconfidence
Obstacle 3: Confirmation Bias
Obstacle 4: Group think
Obstacle 5: Present Bias
Obstacle 6: Personal patterns
decision.making  bias  lists  analysis  trobuleshooting  obstacles 
october 2018 by po
The path through obstacles
Obstacles aren’t to be avoided. When we apply the right antidotes, they are the path itself. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche diagnoses the different types of obstacles we face and prescribes the proper remedies.

-- Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Lion's Roar | lionsroar.com | 6 nov 2017
buddhism  buddhism-practice  buddhism-tibetan  dharma  dharma-foundation2-details  obstacles  Sakyong_Mipham  type-teaching 
november 2017 by tometaxu
The Biggest Obstacles Facing Awnings
The awning is a great benefit, but you can't forget about maintenance.
obstacles  awnings  maintenance 
september 2017 by Adventure_Web
Boost your sales with tips from Warren Buffett

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett
By Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries
(McGraw-Hill, 217 pages, $24.95)

The authors recommend a process they call "the triples" that will help you make the case for your product or service:

Triple 1: The prospect's three problems

First, find out – and write down – the three biggest problems the prospect faces in the area your product or service can help. This aligns you with the buyer's interests.

Triple 2: Your three-part solution

Now think carefully about how you can solve each problem. As you write it out for the client, remember that generic language such as "improved," "better," and "big difference" are not that compelling. Use actual numbers and refer to specific pressure points to focus on the outcomes your prospect can expect.

Triple 3: Your three references

The third step is to identify at least three references you can share who have experienced similar outcomes when using your products and services. This may be sensitive, given confidentiality and competitive issues. But the authors stress: "The most effective way to get the attention of prospects is to drop the names of others just like them."

The authors urge you to become a student of psychology and develop profiles of members of the prospect's team. Try to determine each person's fears, since those qualms may send your pitch into the ditch. Determine each person's point of view about your solution, as well as any other personal trait or event that might be of importance. At the same time, study the team dynamics, from where people sit around the table to who they defer to.

The most dangerous person will be "the eel." The authors insist that "in every deal, and at every prospect's table, there is always an eel – a person who is against the deal. Always. Eels have a tendency to hang out in the shadows. They are hard to get to, and they usually talk you down when you're not around."

Usually eels are driven by fear that they don't want to acknowledge, so instead they insist they are against the deal on principle. They are dangerous, and must be identified early. Then you can try to co-opt them, taking the eel's ideas and baking them into your proposal.
Harvey_Schachter  deal-making  eels  Warren_Buffett  books  tips  salesmanship  pitches  think_threes  solutions  psychology  references  problems  obstacles  management_consulting  JCK  problem_solving  indispensable  enterprise_clients  aligned_interests 
august 2017 by jerryking
crap futures — Back to nature
"We live on a remote island - mountainous, mid-Atlantic, still heavily forested and pretty wild - and for that reason nature sometimes sneaks into our otherwise technology-centred work. It is hard not to think local when you live in a place like this. We’re neither farmers nor pioneers - except in the sense that resident aliens on this island are few - but lately our reading has got us thinking about ancient paths and rural places. We’ll discuss the paths today and save most of the farm talk for a future post.

Paths v roads

In his 1969 essay ‘A Native Hill’, Wendell Berry - the American writer, farmer, activist, and ‘modern Thoreau’ - makes a useful distinction between paths and roads:
The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around. A road, on the other hand … embodies a resistance against the landscape. Its reason is not simply the necessity for movement, but haste. Its wish is to avoid contact with the landscape. … It is destructive, seeking to remove or destroy all obstacles in its way.

Aside from conversation as usual, the reason we are talking about Berry is the arrival of a new film, Look & See, and a new collection of his writing, The World-Ending Fire, edited by Paul Kingsnorth of Dark Mountain Project fame. Berry and Kingsnorth, along with the economist Kate Raworth, were on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week recently chatting about the coming apocalypse and how it might best be avoided. It is a fascinating interview: you can actually hear Berry’s rocking chair creaking and the crows cawing outside the window of his house in Port Royal, Kentucky.

The normally optimistic Berry agrees somewhat crankily to read ‘the poem that you asked me to read’ on the programme. ‘Sabbaths 1989’ describes roads to the future as going nowhere: ‘roads strung everywhere with humming wire. / Nowhere is there an end except in smoke. / This is the world that we have set on fire.’ Berry admits that this poem is about as gloomy as he gets (‘blessed are / The dead who died before this time began’). For the most part his writing is constructive: forming a sensual response to cold, atomised modernity; advocating for conviviality, community, the commonweal.

Paul Kingsnorth talks compellingly in the same programme about transforming protest into action, although in truth no one walks the walk like Berry. Kingsnorth says: ‘We’re all complicit in the things we oppose’ - and never were truer words spoken, from our iPhones to our energy use. In terms of design practice, there are worse goals than reducing our level of complicity in environmental harm and empty consumerism. Like Berry, Kingsnorth talks about paths and roads. He asks: ‘Why should we destroy an ancient forest to cut twelve minutes off a car journey from London to Southampton? Is that a good deal?’

It’s a fair question. It also illustrates perfectly what Berry was describing in the passage that started this post: the difference between paths that blend and coexist with the local landscape, preserving the knowledge and history of the land, and roads that cut straight through it. These roads are like a destructive and ill-fitting grid imposed from the centre onto the periphery, without attention to the local terrain or ecology or ways of doing things - both literally (in the case of energy) and figuratively.

Another book we read recently, Holloway, describes ancient paths - specifically the ‘holloways’ of South Dorset - in similar terms:
They are landmarks that speak of habit rather than of suddenness. Like creases in the hand, or the wear on the stone sill of a doorstep or stair, they are the result of repeated human actions. Their age chastens without crushing. They relate to other old paths & tracks in the landscape - ways that still connect place to place & person to person.

Holloways are paths sunk deep into the landscape and into the local history. Roads, in contrast, skip over the local - collapsing time as they move us from one place to the next without, as it were, touching the ground. They alienate us in our comfort.

Here in Madeira there are endless footpaths broken through the woods. Still more unique are the levadas, the irrigation channels that run for more than two thousand kilometres back and forth across the island, having been brought to Portugal from antecedents in Moorish aqueduct systems and adapted to the specific terrain and agricultural needs of Madeira starting in the sixteenth century.

Both the pathways through the ancient laurel forests and the centuries-old levadas (which, though engineered, were cut by hand and still follow the contours and logic of the landscape) contrast with the highways and tunnels that represent a newer feat of human engineering since the 1970s. During his controversial though undeniably successful reign from 1978 to 2015 - he was elected President of Madeira a remarkable ten times - Alberto João Jardim oversaw a massive infrastructure program that completely transformed the island. Places that used to be virtually unreachable became accessible by a short drive. His legacy, in part, is a culture of automobile dependency that is second to none. The American highway system inspired by Norman Bel Geddes’ (and General Motors’) Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair almost pales in comparison to Jardim’s vision for the rapid modernisation of Madeira.

But when you walk the diesel-scented streets of the capital, or you drive through the holes bored deep into and out of towering volcanic mountains to reach the airport - and even when you think back in history and imagine those first settlers sitting in their ships as half the island’s forest burned, watching the dense smoke of the fires they lit to make Madeira favourable to human habitation - it’s hard not to think what a catastrophically invasive species are human beings.

Bespoke is a word we use a lot. In our vocabulary bespoke is not about luxury or excess - as it has been co-opted by consumer capitalism to suggest. Instead it is about tailored solutions, fitted to the contours of a particular body or landscape. Wendell Berry insists on the role of aesthetics and proportionality in his approach to environmentalism: the goal is not hillsides covered in rows of ugly solar panels, but an integrated and deep and loving relationship with the land. This insistence on aesthetics relates to the ‘reconfiguring’ principles that inform our newest work. The gravity batteries we’ve been building are an alternative not only to the imposed, top-down infrastructure of the grid, but also to the massive scale of such solutions and our desire to work with the terrain rather than against it.

Naomi Klein talked about renewable energy in these terms in an interview a couple of years ago:
If you go back and look at the way fossil fuels were marketed in the 1700s, when coal was first commercialized with the Watt steam engine, the great promise of coal was that it liberated humans from nature … And that was, it turns out, a lie. We never transcended nature, and that I think is what is so challenging about climate change, not just to capitalism but to our core civilizational myth. Because this is nature going, ‘You thought you were in charge? Actually all that coal you’ve been burning all these years has been building up in the atmosphere and trapping heat, and now comes the response.’ … Renewable energy puts us back in dialog with nature. We have to think about when the wind blows, we have to think about where the sun shines, we cannot pretend that place and space don’t matter. We are back in the world.

In a future post we will talk about the related subject of sustainable agriculture. But speaking of food - the time has come for our toast and coffee.
2017  crapfutures  wendellberry  paths  roads  madeira  bespoke  tailoring  audiencesofone  naomiklein  sustainability  earth  normanbelgeddes  albertojoãojardim  levadas  infrastructure  permanence  capitalism  energy  technology  technosolutionsism  1969  obstacles  destruction  habits  knowledge  place  placemaking  experience  familiarity  experientialeducation  kateraworth  paulkingsnorth  darkmountainproject  modernity  modernism  holloways  nature  landscape  cars  transportation  consumerism  consumercapitalism  reconfiguration  domination  atmosphere  environment  dialog  conviviality  community  commonweal  invasivespecies  excess  humans  futurama  ecology  canon  experientiallearning 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Canada’s biggest obstacle to innovation is attitude - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Apr. 30, 2017
innovation  obstacles  Canada 
may 2017 by jerryking
The Photographer's Ephemeris
The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) helps plan outdoor photography shoots in natural light, particularly landscape and urban scenes. It’s a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth. Created for photographers by a photographer in 2009, TPE is a software tool available for desktop and mobile devices to help you plan outdoor photography shoots to ensure the best possible natural light. TPE was conceived in 2008, following a weekend landscape photography course in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. After a classroom session that required use of paper-based topographic maps, protractor, calculator, pencil and ruler, it seemed like an equivalent digital tool built on internet mapping services might be something whose time had come. The original TPE for Desktop (an Adobe AIR application) was released in beta in March 2009, and quickly found a following online. An iPhone app was released in April 2010, and was expanded to include a dedicated user interface for iPad tablets later that year. TPE for Android was released in November 2011. In September 2014, the original TPE for Desktop was replaced by a modern, browser-based web app. The new app supports all the features of the original, but offers the opportunity for much easier integration and linking with other apps in the TPE family and beyond. Our iOS app reached version 3.0 in early 2015, and has been enhanced significantly over the past year to include Location Synchronisation (for both iOS and the web app), Skyfire, Night Mode, and more. We’ve also improved integration with TPE’s sister app The Photographer’s Transit, a digital field of view and shot planning application. The Photographer’s Transit is available on both iPhone and iPad as of version 2.0, released in December 2015. Since its original release, TPE in its various versions has been used by hundreds of thousands of photographers, both amateur and professional, in over 200 countries. Stephen Trainor recently recorded an episode for Fred Weymouth’s Lens and Landscape podcast, which includes much of the history and background to TPE: We look forward to continuing to update the applications and to seeing how planning your shot helps deliver great results for photographers around the world. TPE has become the premier tool for outdoor photographers planning shots in natural light. Please check out the links below to see how TPE is being used by photographers today.
App  geolocation  Sunsets  Forensics  NaturaLight  android  Tools  top1  Photography  Windows  planning  Professional  iOS  Paid  Multiplatform  Software  obstacles  EN  sun  Web  Sunrises  Calculator  Landscape  sunset  Ephemeris  Free  photo  Shadows  Maps  sunrise 
april 2017 by abetancort

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