Friday, March 04, 2005

New feature: Adding links to this site

You'll note at that the bottom of the right-hand column of this site now lists some of my favorite links. I'll change it up regularly, including favorite blogs and Web sites. If you have anything new or interesting to suggest, just let me know! :-)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Leaders who aren't the center of it all

In the business book, Good to Great, the authors talk about some key ideas that resonate with my experiences at different companies. The section I'm currently reading talks about the question of leadership, specifically the top dog/CEO. The following little excerpt really struck me as especially pertinent as leaders try to "find" the magic formula for success:

The moment a leader allows himself to become the primary reality people worry about, rather than reality being the primary reality, you have a recipe for mediocrity, or worse. This is one of the key reasons why less charismatic leaders often product better long-term results than their more charismatic counterparts.

Indeed, the best leaders I've worked with were less concerned with being the business messiah for the organization and giving the right answers, and more concerned with good people, great people placement and meaningful discussion.

So far, this has been a very interesting read, and I'm glad to recommend it.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Curious Dog makes interesting story

Last week I finished a book for my neighborhood book club. Titled "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," this book tells a tale from the perspective of a young autistic man who is trying to solve the mystery of his neighbor's murdered dog.

In the course of the story, the main character makes several key discoveries about his family, though he doesn't seem to really understand the full implication of what everything means.

Because people with autism don't understand the difference between faces and other objects (such as a doorknob or a light switch), they aren't as likely to understand sarcasm, emotions or other personal communications. Autistics do not process the context of the words as communicated by body language and facial expressions, and therefore the literal meaning of dialogue is accepted as is.

The character in this book is very high functioning, but ultimately the development of characters and any understanding of their motivations, must be inferred through the reported dialogue.

I read this book very quickly and the drama of events helped keep the pace moving, but ultimately it wasn't as satisfying as other novels because I felt "disconnected" from all the other characters ... probably not unlike the story's narrator. All in all, it's a very interesting read, especially for anyone curious about what it may be like to be an autistic person.