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Opinion Editorials

Don’t Be Like a Missouri Football Fan…

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Last season, Benn & I went to the Big XII Championship between Oklahoma (who my husband is a fan of despite my degree from UT) and Missouri. As a group, we decided to be good sports and to be nice to the Missouri fans that had traveled all the way to San Antonio (plus we knew it was going to be a long, sad ride home for them… OU already beat them once this year). Before the game started, this big-hipped tart in front of us turned around with her cat ears on and started razzing us. Oh, it was on. Especially after we found out their cheerleaders were called the “Golden Girls” (so my sister in law and I yelled “Go Rue McLanahan” and “Betty White kicks @ss”). It was all in fun, until the first OU player was injured. For those of you not acquainted with football etiquette (or common sense in general), when a player is injured, the stadium silences (some people pray) and when the player gets up or is carted off, everyone cheers despite what team they’re on. They’re kids after all.

Not Missouri. During every OU injury (4 total), they began “OU Sucks” and “Go Tigers” in unison. It was the most disgustingly tacky thing I have ever witnessed at a sporting event, and that includes hockey. What does this have to do with real estate? There are several companies falling prey to the downturn. Although here locally, Austin is a vibrant real estate market, even we’ve felt the national drama (although I believe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy…). Several offices have closed and the herd is thinning.

Should I cheer? Should I say [insert brokerage’s name here] sucks and we rock? Should I publish articles or press releases touting their failure? No. You don’t kick someone when they’re down. If another company fails, we take a moment to regather ourselves (say a prayer of thanks that WE still have a desk) and move on, *not* kick them while they’re down. It’s proper etiquette. In the blogiverse, I’ve recently seen a lot of horn tooting as agents fall off. That’s wrong, so stop it- don’t be like the Missouri football fan at the Big XII Championship.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Chris Lengquist

    February 5, 2008 at 10:37 am

    You knew I’d stop by for this. 😉 And of course all I’m gonna do is bash Missouri.

    TShirts seen at the Kansas v Missouri basketball game last night:

    M is for Morons
    How Can 6 Million People Be So Stupid?
    Kansas: Protecting America from Missouri Since 1864
    Columbia, Missouri: Keeping Ugly Women Out Of Lawrence

    They are our chief rival (us being Kansas) and they are an unusual fan base. They have fans called the antlers. They wear dresses to the games. Ah, these are the guys.

    They steal Kansas player’s social security numbers and put the on billboards across Missouri. They (the players) refused to shake hands before the game last night.

  2. Lani Anglin

    February 5, 2008 at 10:39 am

    So, when your competitor goes out of business, we shouldn’t blog their SS and broker license numbers in an article and we also shouldn’t cross dress in celebration?

  3. Jonathan Dalton

    February 5, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I’m good with silence. But can someone tell me why everyone now drops to one knee? Not all are praying. Happens every week in my kid’s soccer game and it drives me up a wall. A leg cramp is not exactly a life-and-death situation.

  4. Vicki Moore

    February 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Funny you mention this. We just had this very conversation in the office yesterday. We all agreed that it’s a terrible situation, no matter who you are. Watching your peers fall is uncomfortable. It makes a serious visual that any one of us could be next.

  5. Ryan Hukill

    February 10, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I always enjoy a good post about bad fans and anything related to CFB. We haven’t seen many go down around here yet, but you make a great point, and one that we should all live by. It’s called being a good sport, being gracious, or whatever. It’s sickening to watch people who don’t understand this most basic premise.

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Opinion Editorials

6 skills humans have that AI doesn’t… yet

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s not unreasonable to be concerned about the growing power and skill of AI, but here are a few skills where we have the upper hand.

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Man drawing on a roll of butcher paper, where AI cannot express themselves yet.

AI is taking over the workforce as we know it. Burgers are already being flipped by robotic arms (and being flipped better), and it’s only a matter of time before commercial trucks and cars will be driven by robots (and, probably, be driven better).

It may feel unnerving to think about the shrinking number of job possibilities for future humans – what jobs will be around for humans when AI can do almost everything better than we can?

To our relief (exhale!), there are a few select skills that humans will (hopefully) always be better at than AI. The strengths that we have over AI fall into 3 general categories: Ability to convey emotion, management over others, and creativity.

Let’s break it down: Here are 6 skills that we as humans should be focusing on right now.

Our ability to undertake non-verbal communication

What does this mean for humans? We need to develop our ability to understand and communicate body language, knowing looks, and other non-verbal cues. Additionally, we need to refine our ability to make others feel warm and heard – if you work in the hospitality industry, mastering these abilities will give you an edge over the AI technologies that might replace you.

Our ability to show deep empathy to customers

Unlike AI, we share experiences with other humans and can therefore show empathy to customers. Never underestimate how powerful your deep understanding of being human will be when you’re pitted against a robot for a job. It might just be the thing that gives you a cutting edge.

Our ability to undertake growth management

As of this moment, humans are superior to AI when it comes to managing others. We are able to support organization members in developing their skillsets and, due to our coaching ability, we are able to help others to grow professionally. Take that, AI!

Our ability to employ mind management

What this essentially means is that we can support others. Humans have counseling skills, which means we are able to help someone in distress, whether that stems from interpersonal relationships or professional problems. Can you imagine an AI therapist?

Our ability to perform collective intelligence management

Human creativity, especially as it relates to putting individual ideas together to form an innovative new one, gives us a leg up when competing against AI. Humans are able to foster group thought, to manage and channel it, to create something bigger and better than what existed before. Like, when we created AI in the first place.

Our ability to realize new ideas in an organization

Think: Elevator pitch. Humans are masters of marketing new ideas and are completely in-tune with how to propose new concepts to an organization because, you guessed it, we too are human. If the manager remains human in the future (fingers crossed!), then we know what to say to them to best sell our point of view.

Using what we know, it’s essential for almost all of us to retrain for an AI-driven economy that is most likely just a few years away. My advice for my fellow humans? Develop the parts of you that make you human. Practice eye contact and listening. Think about big pictures and the best way to manage others. Sharpen your mind with practicing creative processes. And do stay up to date with current trends in AI tech. Sooner or later, these babies are bound to be your co-workers.

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Opinion Editorials

Your business model doesn’t have to be a unicorn or a camel to succeed

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s not unusual for people to suggest a new business model analogy, but this latest “camel” suggestion isn’t new or helpful.

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Camels walking in desert, not the best business model.

This year in 2020 I’ve seen a great deal of unique takes on how our system works. From 45 all the way down to children instructing adults on how to wear masks properly. However, after reading this new article published by the Harvard Business Review, I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so out of touch with the rest of the business world. Here’s a brief synopsis on this article on business model.

The author has decided that now of all times it’s drastically important for startups and entrepreneurs to switch their business tactics. Changing from a heavy front-end investment or “startups worth over a billion dollars” colloquially called “Unicorns” to a more financially reserved business model. One he has tried to coin as the “Camel”, using references to the animal’s ability to survive “long periods of time without sustenance, withstand the scorching desert heat, and adapt to extreme variations in climate.”

The author then goes on to outline best practices for this new business plan: “Balance instead of burn”, “Camels are built for the long haul”, “Breadth and depth for resilience”.

Now I will admit that he’s not wrong on his take. It’s a well thought-out adjustment to a very short-term solution. You want to know why I’m sure of that? Because people figured this out decades ago.

The only place that a “Unicorn” system worked was in something like the Silicon Valley software companies. Where people can start with their billions of dollars and expect “blitzscaling” (a rapid building-up tactic) to actually succeed. The rest of the world knows that a slow and resilient pace is better suited for long term investments and growth. This ‘new’ business realization is almost as outdated as the 2000 Olympics.

The other reason I’m not thrilled with this analogy is that they’ve chosen an animal that doesn’t really work well. Camels are temperamental creatures that actually need a great deal of sustenance to survive those conditions they’ve mentioned. It’s water that they don’t need for long periods, once they stock up. They have to have many other resources up front to survive those harsh conditions the article writer mentioned. So by this analogy, it’s not that different than Silicon Valley’s strongly backed “startups.”

If he wanted to actually use the correct animal for this analogy, then he should call it a tortoise business plan. Actually, any type of reptile or shark would work. It would probably be a better comparison in temperament as well, if we’re talking ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Whatever you do, consider your angle, and settle in for the long haul.

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Opinion Editorials

10 tips for anyone looking to up their professional game

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) It’s easy to get bogged down by the details, procrastinate, and feel unproductive. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and crush your professional goals.

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work productivity

Self-reflection is critical to a growth mindset, which you must have if you want to grow and improve. If you are ready to take your professional game to the next level, here are some stories and tips to help you remain focused on killing your goals.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, as the quote goes. And, in the workplace it’s bound to make you second guess yourself and your abilities. This story explains when comparison can be useful, when to avoid it, and how to change your focus if it’s sucking the life out of you.

2. Burnout is real and the harder you work, the less productive you are. It’s an inverse relationship. But, there are ways to work smarter and have better life balance. Here are some tips to prioritize your workload and find more ease.

3. Stop procrastinating and start getting sh@t done. The reason we procrastinate may be less about not wanting to do something and more about the emotions underlying the task. Ready to get going and stop hemming and hawing, you got this and here’s the way to push through.

4. Perfection is impossible and if you seek this in your work and life, it’s likely you are very frustrated. Let that desire go and learn to be happy with excellence over perfection.

5. If you think you’re really awesome and seriously deserve more money, more responsibility, more of anything and are ready to drop the knowledge on your supervisor or boss, you may want to check this story out to see if your spinning in the right direction.

6. Technology makes it so easy to get answers so quickly, it’s hard to wait around for things to happen. We like instant gratification. Yet, that is another reason procrastination is a problem for some of us, but every person has a different way/reason for procrastinating. Learn what’s up with that.

7. Making choices can be a challenge for some of us (me included) who worry we are making the wrong choice. If you’ve ever struggled with decision making, you know it can be paralyzing and then you either make no decision or choose the safest option. What we have here is the Ambiguity Effect and it can be a real time suck. Kick ambiguity to the curb.

8. If you are having trouble interacting with colleagues or wondering why you don’t hear back from contacts it could be you are creeping folks out unintentionally (we hope). Here’s how to #belesscreepy.

9. In the social media era building your brand and marketing are critical, yet, if you’re posting to the usual suspects and seeing very little engagement, you’ve got a problem. Wharton Business School even did a study on how to fix the situation and be more shareable.

10. Every time you do a presentation that one co-worker butts in and calls you out. Dang. If you aren’t earning respect on the job, you will be limited in your ability to get to the next level. Respect is critical to any leadership position, as well as to making a difference in any role you may have within an organization, but actions can be misconstrued. There are ways to take what may be negative situations and use them to your advantage, building mutual respect.

You have the tools you need, now get out there, work hard, play hard and make sh*t happen. Oh, and remember, growth requires continual reflection and action, but you got this.

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