Being The Boss

Why does someone want to be… and why in the world would someone think they can be… the boss?

I had a conversation recently with a young woman who had been promoted be the head of the company she started working at when she was still in high school. I have watched her journey and I given advice only occasionally when asked for it. She put in the hours necessary to get to where she is… working 100+ hour weeks was not unusual.

So it was with great interest that I watched her process the context within which she now operates. She is the boss.

And watching her discover exactly what that means.

You get blamed for everything and, if you are good boss, you give all the credit for successes to your team.

You better get a brain trust of other “bosses”… CEO’s and Presidents of companies… together fast or the isolation of being the one that everyone else goes to will become mind numbing. Everyone else in the company has one, or many, “what do you think about this…” people to go to. As the boss, you are the ultimate resource. Only someone else in your position can relate to what it is like to be the boss.

You will have more critics than you ever imagined possible. In this day of the internet and blogs and chat rooms where people use fake names, you will be criticized relentlessly and you will never know if it is a smart person or a former employee or a competitor. Read the words of Theodore Roosevelt often…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

You will experience true victory.

When you get it right, when you learn from your mistakes, when you utilize the concept of original thought and the spontaneous intellectual combustion of a talented team creates a truly new product or methodology that helps your company and your customers and the world in general and you know that you were the driving force behind it and the one who said “Let’s keep going” when everyone else wanted to quit and you were right…

It is victory and it is success, pure and simple, and you are living life fully.

Congratulations to my friend and her well deserved promotion and to all of those who are living life fully as active participants and leaders, not as bystanders and commentators.

Stuart Burchill

#goforit

The Relevance of Tech to the Real World

I live in the world of nanotech. We all hear endlessly about “high tech”. Now “AI” or artificial intelligence has become a hot topic.

Why?

Apple, Facebook. Google. Twitter. LinkedIn. AI. This app. That app. Silicon Valley.

If someone… or something… were to land on earth from another planet and pick up an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy or some other Android phone, they would get the impression that we are all about digital all of the time.

Completely untrue.

The fact is that we all still get up in the morning and get out of a (manufactured) bed and have a (manufactured) bowl of (manufactured) cereal or a (manufactured) cup of (manufactured) coffee before getting into our (manufactured) shower and putting on our (manufactured) clothes and getting in our (manufactured) car and driving to our office to sit at our (manufactured) desk with our (manufactured) pen and (manufactured) pad of paper… you get the trend?

Everything digital is our way of storing/sharing/analyzing data/information. We can’t eat it. We can’t wear it. We can’t drive it.

It simply is a tool to help us become better at manufacturing the things we manufacture now and to become better at creating and manufacturing new important life changing… or at least life benefiting… things in the future.

With all the advances we have made in “high tech”… you still need a hammer to build a house. Don’t underestimate the value of our ability to actually make something… not just talk about something.

Put down your phone. Pick up a hammer or a chisel or a paintbrush and make something.

Stuart Burchill

The Deal

I’m just going to wade right into the middle of this whole global warming debate/conversation and say “Why are we even discussing this?”!

Let’s all step back and take a breath.

Then, all of those who don’t have children and/or don’t really care about children or grandchildren or any of the future generations and who don’t have an altruistic love of the planet earth in general and nature in particular, you can leave the room. If you are alive now, the planet earth is probably going to last your lifetime. You’re all set. You have nothing to worry about. Go enjoy your life.

For those of us who have children and/or do really care about future generations and/or have an altruistic love of the planet earth in general and nature in particular, let’s stop talking about global warming. It’s like a patient walking into the doctor and saying “I have a bad fever” and all the doctor and patient do is debate how bad the fever is or is not.

It does not treat the underlying cause.

The fact that “something” unusual appears to be happening to the planet’s weather system and there is a strong indication that a trend is being well established falls into the “amazing grasp of the obvious” category. But it is a symptom, not the underlying cause.

We all knew this, or something like this, was or is going to happen eventually. Let’s do the simple math. The human population is growing. Our ability to grow our population is limitless, from a biological reproduction point of view. Our ability to reproduce is, at least to date, infinite.

The earth’s resources are not limitless. The earth’s resources are not infinite. They are limited and finite.

Whether we will run out of food and water and other important resources here on earth is a “when”, not an “if”, scenario.

So instead of talking about whether or not we have a fever or how bad the fever is, let’s talk about using human’s incredible ability to be imaginative and creative and ingenious and resilient and utilized the planet earth’s resources more…

…EFFICIENTLY!!

Business thrives on efficient use of resources. Families thrive on efficient use of resources. Nations thrive on efficient use of resources.

Let’s start arguing about who can be the best at using the earth’s resources most efficiently and therefore most economically and therefore most strategically advantageously.

The person or nation that wins that competition his going to be… and here it comes… THE BIGGEST HUGE SUCCESS EVER and drive the rest of the world to be better.

And that is an artful win win deal.

Stuart Burchill

Who is Stuart Burchill?

After years of being defined by what other people said or wrote about me… some people portraying me as nicer and smarter (and more handsome) than I am and some portraying me as not nice and not smart (and not handsome)… and realizing that the days of my relative anonymity were long gone because of the technologies and products I had invented in the field of nanoscience and energy efficiency and my role as CEO of several companies, I decided to take some control over the world’s perception of who I am and what I do by writing a blog.

I am first and foremost a husband and father. I am by nature an inquisitive intellectual explorer who found that he had some gifts in understanding the science of nanotechnology and used those gifts to create products that help people and industries and created companies to take those products to market and create jobs and opportunities for those who would help me.

It really is just that simple.

I have had big successes and big failures and I continue to learn from both.

What I have never had is a day that I am not grateful for the opportunity to be alive on this earth and a committed participant of the human race.

“Life is not a burden or task to be endured. It is a limited edition, limited time only gift to walk this earth and explore it.”  Stuart Burchill #goforit