Friday, April 29, 2016

Lord Krishna and Arjuna Ride Into Battle

That scene from the Bhagavad Gita came to mind with The Art of Manliness's latest — 10 Overlooked Truths About Taking Action. I'll confess, the Gītā has never done much for me. Wu-wei has always been more my cup of tea. Thus, I approached this article with some skepticism, until I read its first subheading: "1. Action is Cheaper Than Planning."

What I find most frustrating about working in America after spending most of my career in Asia is the insistence on planning, process, and procedure, all accomplished in meetings, which usually require both pre-meetings and post-meetings, all of which require preparation and planning. How counter-productive! "The Triumph of the Managerial Revolution" was the title of a post of mine seven years ago before I returned to these shores that seems appropriate. Is it any wonder we need a Trumpening to make America great again?

My style of work has been informed, and probably to a great extent formed, by the South Korean attitude towards work exemplified by their expression "ppali ppali, taech'ung taech'ung" (빨리 빨리, 대충 대충), which I translate as "fast fast, half-assed half-assed." I like to say that "I shoot from the hip." Perhaps about ten per cent of my quick decisions turn out to wrong and need to be fixed, but overall, I get a lot more done.

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