Key Skills for Scientists: Getting the Message Across by Kristy Macdonald

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By Kristy Macdonald

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If I had to sum up in a word what makes a good manager, I’d say decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers to gather the numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act. — LEE IACOCCA I’ve seen decisive people make the wrong decisions. Interestingly enough, they almost always made the intent of their decisions—that is, their objective—happen anyway. I believe there is some natural law connected with this phenomenon. The act of deciding may, in fact, be more important than the correctness of the actual decision and have more influence on the consequences.

Or a Mercedes? Or a Ford? The Rolls costs $250,000; the Mercedes, $80,000; the Ford, $25,000. All get you where you want to go. Each auto manufacturer serves a special customer market. That market has a threshold of what its customers are prepared to pay for a car. The manufacturer produces an automobile that meets its customers’ expectations. ” If you have perfectionist tendencies, you are likely to procrastinate; often your customers primarily want you to be responsive. Certainly, do it right, but establish what right is and Do It Now!!

No wonder we can feel a bit crazy when we are overwhelmed with so many overdue tasks. Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging-on of an uncompleted task. — WILLIAM JAMES When you are operating in the past, you tend to focus on what might have been, on lost opportunities. Anything that directs you from the present toward the future is healthier than that which drags you back in time. Suppose you are running a race in which the starting line is Present and the finish line is Future. If rather than starting the race at Present you start from the Past, you have that much farther to run just to get to the starting line.

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