All posts tagged: Success

Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 5, 2010. Photo: Scott Kublin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Success despite failure

When the Atlantis Space Shuttle was returning from its space flight in 2002 a piece of insulation intended to protect the craft from the searing heat as it traveled through the atmosphere broke off on re-entry. It resulted in minor damage to a rocket booster. The crew and shuttle landed safely and because of this successful landing, the insulation issue received only a cursory inspection. The next year, insulation broke off the heat shield again. It happened during the launch of the Columbus space shuttle destroying the craft and killing all seven members of the crew. This time NASA suspended all flights and undertook a thorough investigation resulting in nearly 30 recommendations to increase shuttle safety. This story was highlighted in 2010 by two researchers — Vinit Desai, assistant professor of Management at the University of Colorado Business School and Peter Madsen a professor at BYU School of Management. They used this story as part of their study on failure as a learning tool. The said the difference responses were due to one flight being …

Oldest operating McDonald's restaurant, vintage 1953, in Downey, California Photos Flickr - Left:Thomas Hawk; Right:Turkeychick

Jesus and Hamburgers

Most of us are completely wrong about the world, and how we should live. The popular ‘best way to live your life’ is wrong. About a hundred years ago, Mr McDonald, an Irish immigrant, worked as a shift manager in a shoe factory. In 1937 his two sons Richard “Dick” and Maurice “Mac” moved to southern California and opened a hot dog stand in Pasadena. In 1940 they moved to San Bernadino, nearby, and switched to Hamburgers. That tiny business grew to become McDonald’s with the golden arches. From the start, the brothers searched for their own innovative ways of operating, instead of following the wisdom of the crowd. Here’s where they are today: Equivalent to one percent of the world’s population eats at McDonalds every day, more than the population of Britain. The company sells 75 hamburgers a second worldwide, and the Queen owns a franchise near Buckingham palace. The company has more revenue than Mongolia, its economy is larger than Ecuador’s, and it is the largest distributor of toys in the world. You …

The Cult of the Victim

A few days ago I saw something that shocked me. I was walking near a large supermarket, when I saw a distraught young woman. She was very drunk and holding the remains of a beer six pack, and she kept shouting at people and falling down. I saw my neighbors passing her as they went for groceries, some with children, and I immediately took out my phone and called police 911. The police dispatcher promised to send a car and I waited for a while, but that never happened. Thinking back, the woman became less drunk when she saw me on the phone. She walked in a straight line off the property and onto a public space. I stayed shocked and appalled until the next day, when I realized that I and my neighbors had been scammed. The police weren’t interested, because they knew. The young woman was just acting out in a public place, we may never know why, but she was not seriously drunk. My question now is, why did we believe her, …

Photo Maureen McLaughlin/Flickr

Failure is Guaranteed, or Don’t Ship Your Enemies Glitter

Someone, named Mathew Carpenter started promoting a new business Ship Your Enemies Glitter. I believe our new world economy is entrepreneurial. We need to start new things to survive and prosper, and Mr Carpenter started a new thing indeed. Here’s the glitter story. The founder built a web site to promote his crazy idea: We’re going to be pouring a tonne of glitter into an envelope with a folded up piece of paper. You know what’s going to happen when that special someone opens the envelope & pulls out the letter? The craft herpes will be released & will go everywhere. By Far the most effective and easiest prank ever … Click the buy button. Decide whose day you want to ruin & then enter their address. Please note, there is a lot of swearing on that web site. Also note, the new business made money. Ray Hennessey, a writer for Entrepreneur comments about this surprising new business: You need to have a business behind your idea — as great as that idea may be …

The failure that helped make Lincoln president

[by Earl Blacklock] Robert Todd Lincoln was a witness to some of the most momentous moments of American history. As Secretary of War under President James A. Garfield, he witnessed Garfield’s assassination at the hands of Charles Guiteau. He was Minister to the Court of St. James (U.S. Ambassador to Britain) under President Benjamin Harrison. He succeeded George Pullman as the President of the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1898 and, at the invitation of President William McKinley, he was at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo when McKinley was gunned down by Leon Czolgosz. Despite his lifetime of achievement, however, it was his record of failure which was, perhaps, his greatest contribution to history. Robert Todd Lincoln was the first son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and the only one to reach adulthood.

What kind of loser are you?

[by Sandy McIntosh] World leaders seem paralyzed by the Islamic State. The most recent news is that IS is bulldozing ancient ruins. Apparently they are destroying the historical heritage of the entire human race, with the attitude, we don’t need a past, we just need their future. Future generations have lost part of their heritage forever. The problem is us, not them. The world has no solution to this horrible problem. I believe the failure comes from our western bias, we believe in our own success but we are confronted by a victorious enemy. World news is grim. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continues to shock the world and no-one can stop them. Thousands of Russian soldiers are in another country, Ukraine and they won’t leave. Iran seems close to building a nuclear bomb, and Saudi Arabia has responded by planning to build its own.

The Putin ISIS War … and Nehemiah

What Nehemiah Did and How You Can Do Anything: Chapter 5 and conclusion, Locate the North Star. [by Sandy McIntosh] Today we have ISIS, a militant group that has kidnapped and sold young women as slaves, beheaded Egyptian Christians with knives, and burned a Jordanian pilot with gasoline, in a cage. The group strives with great energy, but success eludes them. We also have Vladimir Putin in Russia who lost controlling influence over Ukraine when its corrupt government collapsed. He responded by occupying Ukrainian Crimea, resulting in the devastation of that region’s economy. Crimea was followed by the subversive invasion of eastern Ukraine. Affected areas of Ukraine are now in ruins and the population is growing desperate. Success also eludes Mr Putin, in spite of his great efforts.

DMADV and other funny words

What Nehemiah Did and How You Can Do Anything: chapter 2: Define What You Do [by Sandy McIntosh] We can do great things, with the right tools. Nehemiah did impossible things that changed history, in a good way. His story shows us how to start. Nehemiah was passionate about his nation and the city of Jerusalem, where the temple of God was, but he had a few deficits. He was a slave to the king, and probably an old man. He was probably also a “saris” a eunuch with no family. On the good side the emperor trusted Nehemiah and kept him as a top government employee. There were so many reasons to stay home and send someone else.

So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Three: Lose the attitude

[by Sandy McIntosh] In your job, or career, or business, are you proud of your success? Are you stressed about not getting what you deserve? Is recognition too slow sometimes? I once worked in a prestigious place where winners had window offices, and losers had cubicles. When I learned that a former Director’s office was vacant, I did my best lobbying and I got it, with my Director’s old desk. He was upgrading too. So I had a large window office with a big wooden desk; and no I did not have emotional problems with that. It felt good. Soon after, Stan came by my new office. He seemed impressed and asked “How did you get an office like this? You’re doing pretty good for a …” Stan didn’t finish his sentence, and I never learned my rank in the local religion.

How to be a successful failure

From man’s perspective, the prophet Ezekiel was an absolute failure. God sent the prophet to call Israel to repentance. But everybody hated him. Nobody listened to him. Nobody repented. It all started in chapter 2, when God commissioned Ezekiel. The Lord told the prophet, He was sending him to a rebellious people (v 3).  And if Ezekiel had any expectation the people would respond, God told him:

Isis and the Jihad Project

A few months ago, Isis, the Islamic State in Syria was a terrifying organization. In Syria, they murdered Christians and crucified their fellow Muslims. By some accounts, they killed their victims first and then put dead bodies on crosses, if that helps. Recently, Al Qaeda, the leader among Muslim extremists denounced Isis and refused to work with them. They were too bad to run with the bad boys, terrorists to the terrorists. More recently, Isis attacked Iraq and conquered a third of the country. Now they control a national territory in Syria and Iraq with vast oil wealth. Also they inherited American weapons when the Iraqis dropped everything and ran. Billions in American investments are now in the hands of their worst enemies. I believe it is only a matter of time before attacks are launched outside of the Middle East; and that puts you and me at risk.

Mormon Advice?

In April of 2012, Steven Covey, a fit and an enthusiastic cyclist, was riding a bicycle on a rugged nature trail in Utah. He lost control of his bicycle and crashed, and weeks later died from complications of the accident. Steven Covey, born on October 24, 1932 was 79 when he died. At the time of his death he was a husband, the father of nine and the grandfather of 52. His financial worth was estimated at 1.5 billion. That’s billion, with a “b” and that is money that he earned in his lifetime. No doubt he was a highly effective person.

Forgotten History: Bring Your Game

March 6, 1955 is a day in Canadian history that most of us never heard of. In the heart of the cold war, the mighty Soviet Union aimed at world domination in all things, including sports. They invented “amateur” status for hockey players who were paid as military personnel, often as senior officers. These players were trained, fed and groomed in every way to own amateur hockey, thus proving that the Communist system was superior in all things. The system was not fair, but it was clear the Russians owned the world championship. Canada had a simple system, whoever won the Allan Cup national championship, got a trip to Europe for the worlds in Krefeld Germany. Penticton beat Sudbury in a seven game series, one of the best ever, and so a bunch of mill hands from nowhere, the Penticton Vs, crossed the ocean in 1955. 

The Project of Life: Put down the donut!

Any important project requires an investment of you, and that is why so many great ideas die. What makes us stuck so that our projects die? We all get stuck and there is a small industry explaining our failures. There are books, including a Christian study guide called “Stuck” to explain the inertia problem that kills our projects. They identify negative things that we need to deal with so we can keep moving forward. But the problem is not a problem; it’s positive and good, not negative and bad. Can you find a problem in the list below? Are you a dietician? Mixed Berry Smoothie, Chocolate Danish, Double Berry Muffin, Walnut Crunch Doughnut, Timbit Dutchie, Gingerbread Man Cookies, Ice Cream all flavors, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Blueberry Fritters

The Project of Life: Risky behavior

Do you know much about the prosperity gospel? Prosperity teaching doesn’t allow for risks, or threats, or setbacks, and it influences most of us. Jim and Tammy Bakker were rumored to have an air conditioned dog house when they led a Christian ministry, but later Jim wrote a book “I was Wrong.” In Edmonton Alberta a real estate speculator was active for a few years named Kevyn Frederick, or Kevyn Sheldon Frederick, or Kevin Ronald Frederick, or possibly Portia Frederick. When he moved on, he left behind a ruined condo complex in Leduc (pictured), one of Edmonton’s premium hotels in receivership, and a large church without its land or building. Mr Frederick is rumored to be living in Las Vegas, or possibly Ethiopia. So how did this disaster happen to a large prosperous church? 

The Project of Life: Extreme Simplicity

So what are you working on in this new year; a church, a family, a career, a business? Success is simple, we are building a brick house and we only want good bricks. In the last few decades, developers have learned new ways to start new projects. One of the most successful project models is “Extreme Programming” that emphasises simplicity. Developers noticed that large super projects failed too often; years of hard work by large teams of experts could end in spectacular and expensive failure.

Credit: Sara/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Charter: Stepping out of the Dream

So what is your dream, something you want to see, or something you desperately need? Do you want something for yourself or your family, or other people; like a new career, an education, a business, or a mission for God? And you know that all dreams die right? All those great sentiments floating through our heads are just whiffs of electrical energy, and they are born to die. The good news is there are two ways to kill a dream. You can cycle that rosy thought for years and some day it will be a story to bore the grandchildren. I’ve got a few of those. The other way is to the kill the dream and make it into reality. Jesus said a grain of wheat remains alone unless it falls into the ground and dies (John 12:24), and I believe that principle applies to our hopes and dreams. My Grandfather, in Scotland was an expert on religion and theology. He read all the books and had all the answers, except someone told him to …

The Project of Life in 2014

At the beginning of the New Year most of us have resolutions for a better life. According to experts with the Bank of Montreal, 80% of Canadians plan for the New Year with resolutions: 51% want better health and fitness 36% want better finances 31% want personal improvement 19% want a better love life 17% want career improvements That’s the picture on January 1, and apparently we keep about 60% of our financial resolutions, which works out to about 17% of the population. Otherwise, Canadians are mostly unsuccessful in their struggle to make life better.