Back to quotes table-of-contents

From Thinking Fast and Slow
It is the mark of effortful activities that they interfere with each other.

From Wabi Sabi - the japanese art of impermanence
More than any learned ideas, it was the effort and attitude of the gardener that would decide the outcome of the garden.

From Maverick
In business, effort is too often confused with result.

From Wooden on Leadership
Effort is the ultimate measure of your success.

From Drive
Effort is one of the things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it. [Carol Dweck]

From All I need to know about manufacturing I learned in Joe's garage
Fanatic: A person who redoubles his effort after having lost his direction.

From Zen in the Art of Archery
You had to suffer shipwreck though your own efforts before you were ready to seize the lifebelt he threw you.

From Mindset
It's startling to see the degree to which people with the fixed mindset do not believe in effort.

From The Conquest of Happiness
To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.

From The Mythical Man Month
Our estimating techniques fallaciously confuse effort with progress.

From The Aesthetics of Change
Cybernetics therefore suggests that 'all change can be understood as the effort to maintain some constancy and all constancy as maintained through change'.

From Simplicity
Simplicity means focused effort.

FromThe Principles and Practice of Fly and Bait Casting
One certain index of efficiency is the absence of effort.

Style is synonymous with efficiency, and style and effort do not go together.

Excessive effort is not only uncalled for, but if practised defeats itself.

From Zen Bow, Zen Arrow
One day of effort is one day of bliss; One day of sloth is a hundred years of regret.


Back to quotes table-of-contents

From The Secrets of Consulting
A crisis is the end of an illusion.

People create illusions, which they build to replace the lost reality.

We soon find ourselves spending all our energy maintaining the illusions.

When you create an illusion to prevent change... the change becomes more likely and harder to take.

From The Alchemist
"Tomorrow, sell your camel and buy a horse. Camels are traitorous: they walk thousands of paces and they never seem to tire. Then suddenly, they kneel and die. But horses tire bit by bit. You always know how much you can ask of them, and when it is that they are about to die."

From How to use Conscious Purpose Without Wrecking Everything
Ignoring feedback merely means that the system will eventually experience a massive unpleasant surprise rather than a small unpleasant surprise.

From An Introduction to General Systems Thinking
They know "better" - which is to say that their illusion is stronger.

The more sure we are the more likely we are to suffer an illusion.

From Thinking Fast and Slow
This quality of pastness is an illusion. The truth is, as Jacoby and many followers have shown, that the name David Stenbill will look more familiar when you see it because you will see it more clearly.

From The Logic of Failure
If we never look at the consequences of our behaviour, we can always maintain the illusion of our competence.

The results also support the idea that activity may foster an illusion of competence.

From Existentialism and Humanism
I should be without illusion and I should do what I can.

From Switch
Positive illusions pose an enormous problem with regard to change.

From Mind and Nature
In Ames experiments, you are always made to observe the truth before being subjected to the illusions.

From Quality Software Management. Vol 4. Anticipating Change
It is easy to look at this diagram and believe that you're seeing a defined process. You're not. What you're seeing is an optical illusion.


Back to quotes table-of-contents

From Implementing Lean Software Development
The paradox is that in our zeal to improve the predictability of software development, we have institutionalized practices that have had the opposite effect. We create a plan, and then we act on that plan as if it embodies an accurate prediction of the future.

From Slack
When the new automation is in place, there is less total work to be done by the human worker, but what work is left is harder. That is the paradox of automation: It makes the work harder, not easier.

From Peopleware
The paradox of the CMM is that process improvement is good, but process improvement programs aren't, or at least they often aren't.

From The Lean Startup
The paradoxical Toyota proverb "Stop production so production never had to stop."

From Experiential Learning 3: Simulation
Paradoxically, realism often interferes directly with learning from a simulation.

From Free
Paradoxes are the opposite of contradictions. Contradictions shut themselves down, but paradoxes keep themselves going, because every time you acknowledge the truth of one side you're going to get caught from behind by the truth on the other side.

From The Road Less Travelled and Beyond
If a concept is paradoxical, that in itself should suggest that it smacks of integrity and has a ring of truth.

When you get to the root of things, virtually all truth is paradoxical.

From Zen Soup
The words of truth are always paradoxical [Lao Tzu]

From The Aesthetics of Change
A paradox in ecology is that the most flexible species are the dullest. When a flexible species is not controlled by its ecosystem, ecological climax breaks down and a system of weeds remains.

From Management of the Absurd
The real strength of a leader is the ability to elicit the strength of the group. This paradox is another way of saying that leadership is less the property of a person than the property of a group.

From Adapt - Why Success Always Starts With Failure
Cognitive dissonance describes the mind's difficulty in holding two apparently contradictory thoughts simultaneously.

From The Book of Five Rings
The practice of all the arts is for the purpose of clearing away what is on your mind. In the beginning, you do not know anything, so paradoxically you do not have any questions on your mind. Then, when you get into studies, there is something on your mind and you are obstructed by that. This makes everything difficult to do.

From Mastery
Those we know as masters are dedicated to the fundamentals of their calling. They are zealots of practice, connoisseurs of the small, incremental step. At the same time - and here's the paradox - these people, these masters, are precisely the ones who are likely to challenge previous limits.

kanban push-me pull-you

The video of the kanban push-me pull-you presentation I gave at David Anderson's Lean Kanban UK conference is now up on youtube. Here's the slide-deck too.


Back to quotes table-of-contents

From Zend Mind, Beginner's Mind
Usually when you listen to some statement, you hear it as a kind of echo of yourself. You are actually listening to your own opinion. If it agrees with your opinion you may accept it, but if it does not, you will reject it or you may not even really hear it.

From Quality Software Management: Vol 1. Systems Thinking
People's language often reveals when they believe that they are victims of events, rather than having a choice of reactions to the event. Learn to listen for falsely deterministic key words.

From Quality Software Management: Vol 2. First-Order Measurement
No other observational skill may be more important to software engineering than precision listening.

From Authentic Happiness
The overarching principle of good listening is validation.

From Agile Coaching
We find the hardest part of listening is resisting the temptation to jump in too early with advice or to switch the conversation to a similar story that happened to you.

From The Way of the Leader
Listen carefully. Observe closely.

From The Fifth Discipline
Listening is not easy.

From Management of the Absurb
When we really listen, so that we understand the other person's perspective, we risk being changed ourselves.

From Surfing The Edge of Chaos
Because we thought our job was to persuade, too often we forgot to listen.

From Non Violent Communcation
When the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens.

From Cat Stevens
From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen

From The Road Less Travelled and Beyond
Listening well also requires total concentration upon another and is a manifestation of love in the broadest sense of the word.

From Understanding the Professional Programmer
It's sometimes hard to know when someone is listening - rather than merely waiting to seize control of the conversation. One way everyone knew Mack wasn't listening was by noticing how seldom he allowed other people to finish what they were saying.

From Siddhartha
He learned more from the river than Vasudeva could teach him. He learned from it continually. Above all, he learned from it how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgement, without opinions.