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The ContraMind Code
Welcome to The ContraMind Code.
The ContraMind Code provides you with a system of principles, signals, and ideas to aid you in your pursuit of excellence.
The Newsletter shares the source code through quick snapshots for a systems thinking approach to be the best in what you do.
The Code helps you reboot and reimagine your thinking by learning from the best and enables you to draw a blueprint on what it takes to get extraordinary things done. Please share your valuable thoughts and comments and start a conversation.
Take a journey to www.contraminds.com. Listen and watch some great minds talking to us about their journey of discovery of what went into making them craftsmen of their profession to drive peak performance.
Fourteen things you need to know about collaborating with data scientists
It was fascinating to see this article in Nature. The authors Michele Tobias, Nick Ulle, and Tyler Shoemaker write about the fundamental principles that will make collaboration with data scientists work very well.
Here are some of the few topline suggestions that the authors suggest, if done, can ensure collaboration:
Develop a communication plan: Set boundaries and norms for communication. Make sure all members of the team have access to the project records so that everyone is kept abreast of its status and goals.
Learn the lingo: Learn about the other disciplines on your team and be prepared to learn their jargon and methods. Different disciplines can attach very different meanings to the same term. ‘Map’, for example, means different things to geographers, geneticists and database engineers.
Communicate Creatively: Diagrams, screenshots, process descriptions, and summary statistics can serve as a unifying language for team members and emphasize the bigger picture, avoiding unnecessary detail. Use them when you can.
Embrace creativity: Collaborating with people who have diverse backgrounds and skill sets often sparks creativity. Working with domain experts in one-on-one advice sessions, incubator projects, and in-the-moment data-analysis sessions often surfaces new data sources or potential modelling applications, for example.
Share the knowledge: Disciplines are vast, and knowing when to defer to others’ expertise is essential for project momentum and keeping contributions equitable. Striking this balance is especially important around project infrastructure. Not everyone needs to write or run code, for example, but learning how to use technical platforms, such as code repositories or data storage, rather than relying on others to do so, balances the workload.
Read the article here.
Discovering Professional Career Lessons From A Pianist and A Doctor.
Professor Roger Kneebone, Professor of Surgical Education and Engagement Science at Imperial College of London, is in conversation with Ann Martin-Davis, an award-winning pianist who performs as a soloist and chamber musician all over the world. In addition to her performing and recording career, she is passionate about teaching. They both explore parallels between their experiences of teaching, coaching and other dimensions of their professional careers.
Here is a summary of some key takeaways:
Having a feel for the ‘whole picture’ is vital.
The concept of ‘human connection’ is a common thread, be it the medical profession or a music teacher’s profession.
The importance of listening when you are a musician.
How using her memory when she plays the piano can be done only if there is deep learning of the music and how it also helps drive audience engagement better.
The difference between coaching and teaching.
Listen to the entire podcast on:
How To Find and Do Work You Love
Scott Dinsmore passed away in a shocking accident after being hit by falling rocks while nearing the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. In this unique and inspiring TED Talk, Scott talks about the secret of how to find and do work you love.
Here are some of his thoughts that were inspiring:
Why just building your resume is not such a great idea!
‘Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age’ - Warren Buffet.
An incredible and honest truth - 80% of people don’t enjoy their work!
Go out and ‘Find that work that couldn’t not do.’
Ask yourself, ‘Why are you doing the work that you are doing?’
The three-step framework: 1. Becoming a self-expert - Understand your unique strengths 2. Values - Know what your soul is made of 3. Experiences - Reflecting continuously and observing for yourself every day - what did you do well, where did you screw up, why did that happen, how could I have done that better, who inspires you, and how does that person accomplish those incredible things etc. etc. - Maintain a journal of experiences.
Just click the above video and watch this fantastic talk.
The Strength-Profession-Values Fit
Scott’s redefinition of work - ‘Find The Work You Could’t Not Do’ - of how you must find and only take up such kind of work can be quite transformational. It’s also hard to zero in on work that fits your strengths and values. And it does not stop there; continuously reflecting and improving based on daily experiences is a lot harder.
Why is it so hard to do this?
You are always told right from a younger age to learn and qualify for a job that has a lot of demand. Educational institutions do the job of selling dream jobs - so many million engineers or doctors or lawyers, or accountants are needed. Then comes the challenge of whether your strengths fit that career best. Usually, this is not an assessment that enough time is spent on. In fact, it is aimed at de-risking your career, but in reality, it is the most significant risk you are being asked to take. Next comes the preparation needed for a career once you have identified your strengths. This is the tricky part. You have institutions or teachers who help you crack admissions and grades. However, you must be taught what it takes to be a self-expert and how to become one. Also, how long does it take to be a self-expert in the chosen area? And how what does it take to remain a self-expert for decades once you have chosen the profession that you have identified as your strength-profession-values fit? Only sometimes is this done. Hence, you end up having 80% of the workforce not enjoying their job! Imagine the productivity and time loss for the individuals concerned and, of course, for the companies employing them.
What are the implications of this?
This leads to an ‘Attitude of Indifference’ at work. It does not matter where you work or what job you do; all it matters is ‘fitting the norm’ and allowing the highest-paying employers to bid for you. This will be seen in how you work or how work happens - a lot of rework, lack of rigour, no real commitment, missed deadlines, poor productivity and burgeoning costs to deliver - as more people are needed to do the same work etc.
The employers and the markets are opportunistic. They want you until there is some demand for your work. Once the environment, technology, or industry ecosystem changes, you are left behind like a hot potato. This is now where life gets hard. You are in the middle of your career, and there is no way you can take a U-turn. You continue to chug along, and there is unhappiness within you soon - lack of growth, poor recognition, being overlooked for a position, etc.
How do you change this?
You may ask, ‘Does Strength-Profession-Values Fit guarantee success?’
There is no guarantee for financial or personal success if you find a strength-profession-values fit. However, it gives you a solid foundation to do your best and keep doing your best. You will first find the ‘inner joy’ of doing what you are good at and working on them with intensity and rigour. Then, you will get to be a master in the profession you have chosen. But then, invariably, when you end up being best in something, it will pay back many times over - either through new opportunities or new networks that you will come across and suddenly, people will reach out to leverage your expertise.
Can you change all this in the middle of your career? It depends on your mental resilience and the hard work you want to put in to change things. It first needs an ‘acceptance mindset’, and you must avoid constant comparison with your peers and colleagues.
To change all this - honestly evaluate your strengths, redraw your professional ambitions, and work hard to improve the skills needed to achieve self-mastery. Do a job that aligns with your values and one that will energise you every day, regardless of the implications- positive or negative. If it is positive, you must try to make it better than yesterday, and if it is negative, assess where you went wrong and reconfigure how you can do it better. The results will show up soon.
Some of the lessons we learnt from this week’s mission:
It’s never the numbers alone when collaborating with data scientists.
Other professions can open up new professional skills you can learn, embrace and adopt.
Find The Work You Could’t Not Do. Know what your soul is made of. It will help you find the work that best matches your Strength-Profession-Value Fit.