Manage By Walking Around http://jonathanbecher.com Aligning Execution With Strategy Mon, 03 Jun 2019 03:05:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 https://i2.wp.com/jonathanbecher.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-jb-logo.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Manage By Walking Around http://jonathanbecher.com 32 32 56894116 Defending Learning Latin, almost ad nauseum http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/06/02/defending-learning-latin/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/06/02/defending-learning-latin/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2019 03:05:26 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7313 As an eighth-grader, I decided to take Latin as an elective. Openly, it was more of an impulse choice than a carefully-constructed decision. Not surprisingly, my friends questioned my decision and I found myself defending learning Latin. In fact, the class was much more interesting than I expected it to be. At the bottom of...

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As an eighth-grader, I decided to take Latin as an elective. Openly, it was more of an impulse choice than a carefully-constructed decision. Not surprisingly, my friends questioned my decision and I found myself defending learning Latin.

In fact, the class was much more interesting than I expected it to be. At the bottom of our first quiz, the teacher included a still memorable quote:

Latin is a dead language, as dead as it can be.
First it killed the Romans, and now it’s killing me.

The textbook also had a series of engaging cartoons designed to help you remember random phrases. My favorite was a Roman policeman who had stopped a speeding chariot and asked “ubi ignis est?” – translation: Where’s the fire? That still cracks me up.

Over the years, I’ve realized that knowing some Latin can improve your English vocabulary. While English is considered Germanic language, Latin has had a strong influence. There are plenty of Latin words commonly used in English – consider alias, et cetera, vice versa, verbatim. During a particularly busy time at my last job, a close friend sent me a two-word email: “memento vivere.” Sure, I could have googled the phrase but my Latin schooling suggested it translated to “remember to live” – my friend was encouraging me to take a break from the tyranny of the urgent.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to share ten of my favorite Latin phrases:

a priori — from what comes before; relying on knowledge rather than experience.

ad nauseam — used to describe an argument that has taken place to the point of nausea.

barba non facit philosophum — having a beard doesn’t make you a philosopher; similar to “clothes don’t make the man” and “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

carpe diem — seize the day; usually used to encourage someone to act.

caveat emptor — let the buyer beware; the purchaser assumes the risk that the goods or services fit the needs. Similar to “as is.”

et tu, Brute? — from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar’s last words after being murdered by his friend Brutus; used to convey betrayal.

ipso facto — by the fact itself; something considered true by its very nature.

mea culpa — my fault; usually used as a confession. Similar to “that’s on me.”

non sequitur — it does not follow; used to describe a remark which is absurd because it doesn’t make sense in the current context.

quid pro quo — this for that; an exchange of value. Similar to “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

Of course, I could have included many more. What’s your favorite Latin phrase?

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Explaining The Dunning-Kruger Effect http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/05/27/dunning-kruger-effect/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/05/27/dunning-kruger-effect/#respond Mon, 27 May 2019 20:40:24 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7308 Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? The term derives from a 1999 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology which showed that low performers tend to overestimate their abilities. It’s not that low performers think they are better performers than higher-skilled people (that’s the illusory superiority effect); it’s just people think they’re...

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Excessive Fanaticism in Sports http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/05/05/excessive-fanaticism-in-sports/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/05/05/excessive-fanaticism-in-sports/#comments Mon, 06 May 2019 01:42:05 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7302 One of the things I love about my job is the unbridled passion of our fans. I’m continuously in awe of the many ways people express their love for the San Jose Sharks. When was the last time someone tattooed the logo of a technology company or bank on their body? Being a supporter of...

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You Should Be Using the Eisenhower Matrix To Make Decisions http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/04/21/eisenhower-matrix-to-make-decisions/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/04/21/eisenhower-matrix-to-make-decisions/#comments Sun, 21 Apr 2019 19:28:23 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7284 The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones. —Dwight Eisenhower In light of our always-on world, it’s natural we focus on time-sensitive tasks; the seemingly non-ending list of things that have to be done. At work, these tasks include responding to emails or voice mails, generating a report due later in the day,...

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Adaptability may be more important than IQ or EQ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/03/31/adaptability-more-important-than-iq-or-eq/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/03/31/adaptability-more-important-than-iq-or-eq/#comments Sun, 31 Mar 2019 20:06:38 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7280 For most of my career, I have favored candidates with high Emotional Quotient (EQ) over those with high Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Just like my mantra that culture eats strategy, I believe situational awareness often trumps pure smarts. Of course, I’ve never known any candidate’s IQ test score let alone their EQ score. (Yes, you can...

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The Power of Suggestion http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/03/17/power-of-suggestion/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/03/17/power-of-suggestion/#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2019 02:59:56 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7274 “Objection, your Honor, the Defense is leading the witness.” If you’ve watched TV courtroom dramas, you’ve heard this common expression. One lawyer is complaining that the other lawyer is asking leading questions; the questions suggest the answers the witness should give. As such, it unfairly taints the witness’ testimony. As often happens, a recent courtroom...

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Hockey is for Everyone, Doggonit http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/03/10/hockey-is-for-everyone-doggonit/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/03/10/hockey-is-for-everyone-doggonit/#respond Sun, 10 Mar 2019 23:12:39 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7240 Research shows that businesses with more diverse workforces perform better financially and are more innovative. Similarly, diversity and inclusion is good for the business of sports. The more that sports teams embrace the diversity of the community they are in, the more likely their fans will embrace them back. The National Hockey League (NHL) uses the international reach of the...

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Does Swearing Reduce Pain? http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/02/10/does-swearing-reduce-pain/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/02/10/does-swearing-reduce-pain/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2019 01:14:26 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7231 While I’m not an expert handyman, I don’t mind trying to fix things around the house (except electricity – no, thank you). My skills are such that I’ve occasionally hit my thumb which invariably elicits a yelp swear word from me. Over the years, I’ve wondered why I feel better after the outburst. Does swearing...

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Have You Heard Of Inversion Thinking? http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/01/13/inversion-thinking/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2019/01/13/inversion-thinking/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 00:31:47 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7224 You likely know about reverse psychology, but have you ever heard of inversion thinking? Reverse psychology is when you get someone to do something you want them to do by suggesting they do the opposite of it. One form of reverse psychology is to forbid someone to do something that you actually want them to...

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What’s the most difficult thing to do in sports? http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/16/most-difficult-thing-to-do-in-sports/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/16/most-difficult-thing-to-do-in-sports/#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2018 21:13:02 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7216 Years ago, ESPN assembled a panel of experts to determine which sport demanded the most from the athletes who compete in it. The experts ranked 60 sports on 10 different skills, including endurance, speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination. Their verdict: boxing is the most difficult sport while hockey is a close second. These are the...

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