Joaquín Rodríguez Kierce

A blog about productivity, meaning and making things happen.

Archive for the category “productivity”

How to get a mentor with one question

Here’s how to establish a mentor relationship:

1. Find someone you admire

2. Go up to them and ask them: what would I have to do to be you in 10 years?

Of course, the timeframe may change. The point here is that you ‘re making the question about them (you didn’t ask “can you help me to…?”) and catching them out of guard with your question. Ten years is a sufficiently long time period that the answer will require a follow up conversation.

So: ask for help by making it about the other person; always be respectful and  considerate with them, showing true appreciation. You can’t fake this.


On self pity

From The Book of Life:

Self-pity is wisely addressed not by condemnation but by the kind suggestion of better perspective and fair criticism: perhaps one did do something a little wrong, perhaps this won’t seem like such a problem, tomorrow morning… If this can be taken on board, then the need to ward off failure or to avoid responsibility is lessened. Self-pity no longer feels required. We learn through reassurance, not bracing reproof – however precise the condemnation may be

We do better when we’re not shouted at. Motivation for a lasting improvement never came from the outside.

It’s all inside: maladies and remedies.

How to change the world – 2015 edition

This was inspired by my friend Laura, of grupo Guayacán


Forgive yourself for being lazy

Know that it’s in our Nature.

“Nu” is the friction coefficient between two surfaces. It turns out it’s higher before (s: static) one object starts to move (d: dynamic) with respect to another. Thus, the force that opposes the movement is higher in magnitude BEFORE the movement takes place.

Just like what happens to you and I when we want to get something done.
Starting is having 50% done etc.

Forgive yourself. Not your fault.

3 secretos de un buen servicio al cliente

1. Declarar que las necesidades del cliente son más importantes que nuestra necesidad de venderle algoy que lo segundo se satisface después de lo primero.

2. Tener claros los puntos de fricción a lo largo de la experiencia del cliente y establecer un proceso disciplinado para eliminarlos.

3. Decir “los sentimos” en caso de que el cliente no esté satisfecho por la razón que sea , no buscando quién tiene la razón sino desde el deseo genuino de que el resultado de la interacción hubiera sido otro.

Por supuesto, estos tres no son ningunos secretos. Son cosas de sentido común una vez alguien en la empresa decide que el servicio al cliente es un centro de ingresos, no de costo.

Indication of future success

Lack of past failures isn’t a good indicator of future success.
Au contraire…


Is it perfect yet?

That’s a question I find in my head whenever I delay execution.
When I don’t kid myself I realize the answer to it – “no” – is the excuse for putting off plans, decisions, etc.

I want to get better at getting past this point in the moment. The answer will always be no; the idea of perfection is a subterfuge to be lazy.

I need to change the question to another one:
Did I put enough love into it?
Yes? Then go.



3 skillsets for success

1. The obvious: hard skills, relevant knowledge of your field.
2. Soft skills: listening, ability to empathize, etc.
3. The “kernel” one: belief in yourself. Develop the ability to go past the fear of failure by diving into it.

I’m sure 1 and 2 we’re 90% ready for anything we want to accomplish. It’s #3 that’s pulling us back really.


How you play your notes


“Your time here is limited.
How you play your notes isn’t.”

I came to this conclusion thinking about drumming and the tremendous freedom one has when playing to a melody. The analogy with life and ownership of your own experience is immediate.

All that noise in your head…

Sources of stress. Check all that apply, add as necessary:
1. The alarm clock
2. We’re running late for work
3. I’m dreading the 11 o’clock meeting
4. Freaking traffic, when will they fix it?
5. I better not be too late to the office, what will they think of me?
6. I’m already running late on my deliverables and it’s not even noon
7. There’s this jerk again, fake smile in 3, 2, 1
8. I shouldn’t have dessert
9. How did the kid do on the exam?
10. I wonder what the Joneses will think of us for not driving that car / not going skiing this year
11. How will this meeting affect my mid year evaluation?
12. No, I don’t think we’ll make ends meet this month
13. I wonder how these shoes make me look
14. I’m late, unable to cool dinner again
15. This freaking traffic
16. I shouldn’t be feeding this to my kids according to…
17. I’m behind on my to-read list. I better keep up or it will affect my career
18. I won’t get enough sleep tonight. Again.


One day. After the other. And the other. And the other.

Then one moment you realize:


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