Terry Storch Dispatch w12.2019
“I have nothing to add.” A brief statement often said from one of the greatest financial minds and investors of our time, Charlie Munger. If you are not familiar with Munger, maybe you have heard of Warren Buffett? Countless books and articles have been written about Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha". However, very few have been written about his business partner of nearly 50 years, Charlie Munger.
Munger has stayed out of the public eye, giving only a small number of talks, and he’s rarely been covered in the media. At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meetings, he lets Buffett answer the questions, often times commenting, “I have nothing to add.” It is this short and sweet statement that actually says so much about Munger.
Think about the last meeting or conversation of which you have been a part. Maybe a brainstorming session, team meeting, or a conversation you had with a family member. What did your participation look like? Were you actively listening, or were you actively looking for an opportunity to speak? Maybe you started out by listening but something triggered in your mind and you had to say something...you MUST contribute. Sound familiar? Did I step on your toes a little?
Participating in a meeting or conversation and offering input isn't bad, and it surely isn't something I'll advise you to stop doing. The deeper point, really, is motive. What is behind your input? What are the motives behind you looking for an opportunity to contribute? Have you stopped long enough to evaluate why you must add input? Why you just need to get a word (or thirty) in the line of thinking? This question has really helped me. Years ago, I learned some honestly yucky stuff about myself in this process...my insecurities, need for validation, desire to perform and be seen a certain way. It's not the most fun stuff to learn, but it’s a part of the journey as a flawed human.
One reason “I have nothing else to add” is so powerful
is that our motives might be off.
Another reason that's just as powerful is touched on in James Clear’s 3 sentence book summary of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.
“Behavioral problems, not technical skills, are what separate the great from the near-great. Incredible results can come from practicing basic behaviors like saying thank you, listening well, thinking before you speak, and apologizing for your mistakes. The first step to change is wanting to change.”
If you have not read What Got You Here Won’t Get You There...I highly recommend it. A great read and resource for leaders at all levels. A concept in this book that has really helped me is the idea of, “adding too much value.” I'm sure it sounds odd... how can you add too much value?! But it is true. Marshall Goldsmith said it this way:
"A classic problem of smart, successful people is Adding Too Much Value. This bad habit can be defined as the overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion. A slight variation on Winning Too Much, Adding Too Much Value is common among leaders who are used to running the show. It is extremely difficult for successful people to listen to other people tell them something that they already know without communicating somehow that (a) they already knew it and (b) they know a better way."
An overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion. Does that sound familiar? It’s a significant problem I have seen and done more times than I would like to admit. Goldsmith goes on to share the major problem with adding too much value:
"It would seem like it would be better for all concerned if our ideas were always improved upon. It’s not. Imagine an energetic, enthusiastic employee comes into your office with an idea. She excitedly shares the idea with you. You think it’s a great idea. Instead of saying, “Great idea,” you say, “That’s a nice idea. Why don’t you add this to it?” What does this do? It deflates her enthusiasm; it dampers her commitment. While the quality of the idea may go up 5 percent, her commitment to execute it may go down 50 percent. That’s because it’s no longer her idea, it’s now your idea."
One reason “I have nothing else to add” is so powerful is that our motives might be off.
A second reason “I have nothing else to add” is so powerful is because it helps to avoid adding too much value.
And with that, I have nothing else to add.
Wonder what is reported to be the current favorite teen chat app? Well, I was reading the latest Culture Translator and was shocked at what I discovered.
What it is: Drumroll, please…...Google Docs. Yes, it beats Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Kik, a slew of other chat apps, and even passing handwritten notes in class. Why? Well, it’s in camouflage.
What makes it their favorite: Many teachers utilize Google Docs (or similar online collaborative word processors) to share lesson plans and group assignments. Students use the comments and chat features to pass digital notes about the day’s events, dish gossip, bully others, and even flirt. Since the comments are easy to hide and most teachers (and parents) aren’t aware of the chat function, the risk of getting caught is low. It even works to circumvent social media bans or parent-imposed age restrictions. Of course, none of this is really new, just 21st-century interpretations of decades-old traditions. Once again, we are reminded to pay attention and continue having conversations about diligence and hard work, balance, bullying, and stewardship.
Google announced a huge gaming initiative: A Netflix-like video-game streaming platform named Stadia. The service is intended to run high-resolution blockbuster games on any device that runs Google's Chrome — from smartphones and tablets to computers and TVs.
Most engaged Instagram post last week: