You Can Get It If You Really Try

Vintage Ad #1,177: Tired of Being Skinny?

Vintage Ad #1,177: Tired of Being Skinny? (Photo credit: jbcurio)

There is something about being in a supportive environment, I think, that makes success easier to achieve.  Here are a couple of instances to mull over.


First, it is worth noting that Joe Weider died not so long ago, at the age of 93.  Who was he?  Well he was the physical culture mentor to an Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the 1970s.  According to Arnie’s web site Mr Weider was responsible for teaching Mr S and his fellow gym regulars that:


“…through hard work and training we could all be champions.”


Who knows, without Mr Weider’s unwavering support would Mr Schwarzenegger’s CV include film actor, Planet Hollywood co-founder, Governor of California and whatever else he has up his sleeve?


Second, as the cliché goes, some people talk, others actually ‘do’.  Someone who has been actively trying to make his mark, since the age of 10, is Nick Daloisio.  Now at 17 years of age he is an employee of Yahoo, that company having purchased his ‘Summly’ software application supposedly for £19m.


His interview with the Guardian newspaper makes him sound quite down to earth and not money mad.  His mother Diana says:


“[she is surprised his success] happened so soon, but we always knew Nicholas was technical and talented.”


There seems to be a lot of faith invested in the young millionaire by his family.  They certainly gave him licence to spend plenty of time on his computer getting his ideas together.  It wasn’t a get-rich-quick vision either.  He says in the same article that:


“… If the motivation had been money, I’d be going off laughing. But because the motivation was technology and product, this is just the beginning of what I want to do.”


If Mr so inventive at 17 I wonder what influence he will be wielding in the world of software at 27?

Equally, if one’s working or home environment is not so supportive how much effort is required to find others to share one’s dream and make it happen?

The Upside To Home Working

Y from the Yahoo logo

Y from the Yahoo logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wonder if Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer has looked carefully at the costs (as well as the benefits) of denying staff the opportunity of working from home in favour of office-based collaboration?


In my experience of working for an office-based team it was possible to get quite a lot done for the team, when working remotely from it.


It was necessary to focus on the specific tasks and outputs to be delivered whilst operating from home though.  The Guardian’s five golden rules for successful home working would have helped.


The point Yahoo may be missing is that home working wasn’t an everyday event, but an infrequent privilege extended as a sign of the healthy upside in the emotional contract between employer and employee.  Employer trusts the employee to get the job done, even though the employee is not sitting in front of them chained to a desk.


What was the usual result after home working?


The employer got the timely outputs needed in the quantity required and to the appropriate quality standard.  The employee got to shape their life around their work and lower the environmental impact of their work by commuting less.  No dramas, no skiving and no downside involved.  In fact it seemed to me to be a fairly happy, efficient and productive arrangement for both sides.


If Yahoo was to ask me I would say their proposed change seems counter-productive.  Employees lose a privilege, gain a commute and wonder if their employer trusts them to deliver tasks at arms length.