"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Beware the Halos or Horns Effect


Oh, we humans! We are SO full of cognitive bias (that’s psych speak for “jumping to conclusions”) and we are so often so unaware of our tendencies! We like to think that we think but really we usually make an emotional choice and then go looking for logical justification.

The “Halos or Horns Effect” is the human propensity to carry over associations: if we’ve had a good experience with one aspect of a group or organization or product, we tend to carry over our favorable impression to things related to it. The Halos or Horns Effect works on the negative side as well: we have a bad experience with one member of a group, we often judge the entire group.

Strange as it may seem, within reason, cognitive biases can serve a logical function: the world is complex, we need short cuts, rules of thumb to guide us through; it is impossible, exhausting, to approach every situation de nova. The key is to be remain aware, fully aware, of our tendency toward faulty reasoning, and to periodically step back and examine our internal mental maps of the world to insure that they correctly reflect reality.

Closing Quotes:

“Eliminate as many judgments of others in your thoughts as possible. The simplest, most natural way to accomplish this is to see yourself in everyone.” ― Wayne W. Dyer, 1940-2015, Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life

“If there’s something you really want to believe, that’s what you should question the most.”  ― Penn Fraser Jillette; b. 1955, magician/illusionist (Penn & Teller)

“It is an acknowledged fact that we perceive errors in the work of others more readily than in our own.”  ― Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519, 6’4”


As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier


The Magic Question That Will Change Your Life


So what is this magical question that can improve the quality of every relationship you are in, every product you produce, every service you deliver, everything you do?

Here it is:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of our relationship (service/product, the meeting we just had? Me as a manager/partner?) during the last week (2 weeks/month/quarter/year/season)?

Any answer less than a 10 gets this follow-up question:

What would it take to make it a 10?

This is where the valuable information comes from. Knowing that a person is dissatisfied is not enough.

Knowing in detail what will satisfy them gives you the information you need to do what is necessary to create a winning product, service, or relationship.

Make it a habit to end every project, meeting, significant interaction with the 2 questions; ask weekly of anyone with whom you are in an important relationship.

*From: Jack Canfield; The Success Principles

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Stop Sorting Gravel


Stephen R. Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, used a dramatic illustration to teach the value of time and energy management. Covey would invite an audience member up on to the stage where a table would be set up with containers holding rocks of various sizes from Gravel on up to Big Rocks. Two large bowls would sit beside the containers, one empty, the other with gravel and other smaller rocks inside. The audience member would be challenged to place the Big Rocks into each of the two large bowls. It would be virtually impossible to force the Big Rocks into the bowl already containing the gravel and small rocks; no matter how you tried to wedge or work them in, the smaller rocks resisted moving aside to make room. However, when the Big Rocks were placed in first in the other large bowl, the smaller rocks easily fit into the area around the Big Rocks, the gravel fit in around the small rocks and low and behold there was even room for sand to fit in and after that there was even room for water.

The message was “Big Rocks” first: Put the most important things on your schedule first, fit everything else around them. The key is that they are important to YOU, not to others. You get to decide what they are and make sure it’s you that’s deciding! It may take time to get control of your schedule, it may be a process but the sooner you start, the sooner you will begin to make progress. Without creating a Life Plan, without thinking through our “Passion and Purpose”, without focusing on our Big Rocks, it is all too easy to end up “Sorting Gravel”, giving our best energy to things that aren’t our highest leverage point! Things that matter most should never be at the mercy of things that matter least.

What were you put on this Earth to do? What is your Passion and Purpose? Your Destiny? Your Gift? How can your Life make a Difference?

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music.” – Martin Luther King Jr.; 1929 – 1968

Closing Thoughts:

– If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

– Every yes is a no to something else, know what you say no to.

– Schedule your priorities, do not merely prioritize your schedule.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier