Monday, October 24, 2011

The Compound Effect


I love Malcolm Gladwell and think he is one of the great thinkers of out time. I like his book "Blink". It talks about the power of the unconscious mind and how we make snap decisions and conclusions and usually they are right.

There is another great thinker, Daniel Kahneman, who wrote an outstanding article in the NY times that challenges Blink.

In the article he talks about the stock picker and fund managers and the people that manage them. How they are paid huge bonuses, thinking they are contributing when in reality, their results are actually random. This is a phenomenon I call "when you think you are brilliant in the stock market, then stop investing in the stock market".

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I read a great book by Darren Hardy called The Compound Effect.

Hardy is a motivational speaker in the Tony Robbins style of motivation (Robbins even wrote a special introduction for The Compound Effect). I sometimes find their motivational style to be off putting (too rah rah and too much "I grew up eating dirt and now own 100 ferraris and you can too"). But there is great validity in the simple underlying message.

Life and success happen over the long term. And small changes daily determine long term success. Small good things now create big good things later (and small bad things create large bad things later).

He talks about the microwave mentality of instant success. Clearly people want it instantly but this is just not the way success happens.

Like Aristotle said "We are what we repeatedly do".

I have often talked about success habits and the book inspired me to look again at my habits.

I have often called this compounding effect momentum. He even has a chapter titled "momentum". The more success you have, the easier it is to get things done and have more success. I have been fortunate to have had success early in life and that good fortune continues to follow me.

3 Comments:

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous steve werner said...

Great post.

I spent a career making split second decisions as a commodity trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. I had no other choice to believe in my self.

I also adhere to the Super Slow method of fitness training and life it in my life and business.

Small incremental advances weekly, add to giant gains over time!!

Thanks for the insight.

Sw

 
At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Duncan - Vetter said...

Hey Jim has that book been released yet? I couldn't find it in my local book shop and Amazon says the publication date is Nov. 1st?

Duncan

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Jim PPO said...

Hey Jim, I have to admit I've never read Blink though I've heard enough about it over the years, especially when the book was popular, when I worked for a company you're familiar with, Geosign. (Remember that??) I think decision making is something that does not often need to be done in the blink of an eye. We may have intuitions and gut feelings but how often do we actually have time to weigh those gut feelings, maybe measure possible effects and do some research. While this may not apply to the stock trading floor or in some sales decisions, I think it applies often. Gut feelings plus careful thought and consideration can make for a more failsafe decision-making process.

 

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