Knowing What To Ignore
William James | Driverless Truck Deliveries | The Fallacy And Failure Of Leadership | Disengaged? Start With A Plan B.
Quote of the Moment
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to ignore.
| William James
I have been working on overload, and trimming back on the massive levels of input I have saddled myself with — email, blogs, newsletters — to make room in my head and my daily agenda.
Driverless Truck Deliveries
I’ve been saying for a long time that driverless trucks would be the first actual breakthrough domain for autonomous vehicles. Trucks often run on well-defined routes, and much of their driving is on highways, a much more constrained terrain than the average city street.
Brendan Case reports on Gatik, whose driverless trucks will be making deliveries for Kroger after doing so for Sam’s Club last year:
Gatik, a pioneer of driverless technology, will use its midsize trucks to carry goods between a Kroger fulfillment center and the retailer’s stores, the companies said Wednesday. The vehicles, which will initially carry a safety driver, will travel as fast as 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour on highways while also navigating urban settings.
For Kroger, the pact is designed to increase the frequency of store deliveries and add driverless capabilities to a key part of its supply chain. The agreement also expands Gatik’s operations in the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, where the company already serves customers including Pitney Bowes Inc., a provider of shipping and financial services, and Sam’s Club.
Four Gatik trucks with 20-foot trailers capable of carrying refrigerated and frozen goods will travel on 60-mile loops between Kroger’s stores and fulfillment center at least four times a day. That will allow for more frequent deliveries since the vehicles will be replacing 18-wheelers that made fewer trips, [Gatik CEO Gautam] Narang said. The deliveries will begin in the second quarter.
Gatik has more than 45 autonomous trucks deployed across North America and expects that number to surpass 100 by year end. Dallas and Toronto are its busiest markets. The Mountain View, California-based company said it has delivered more than half a million customer orders since starting commercial operations in 20
Kroger is also experimenting with Nuro on delivery to consumers’ homes.
The U.S. has over 2 million truck drivers, but it is a stress-filled job, especially long-haul trucking. It is the number one occupation of American men, however, and the prospect of those jobs being lost to autonomous vehicles is concerning. I guess we can hypothesize that those jobs will be converted into opportunities in the green revolution (solar, wind, new infrastructure, etc.), but such transitions have proven difficult in the past. But we are a step or two closer to driverless trucks hauling goods rather than people.
The Fallacy And Failure Of Leadership
My friend, Céline Schillinger, the author of Dare to Un-Lead, recently interviewed me for her podcast.
She collated some materials on the episode page:
Curious To Know More?
Stowe Boyd and some of his ideas can be found in Dare To Un-Lead:
Boyd, Stowe, p. 166
The Persistent Fallacy and Failure of Leadership, 21
Anderson, Elizabeth, 121–22
Liberty under Control, 90
Read the two articles by Stowe mentioned in our conversation:
10 work skills for the postnormal era (2017) https://medium.com/work-futures/10-work-skills-for-the-postnormal-era-2c07a1009a25
Today’s business organization is an oligarchy, and that needs to change (2016) https://medium.com/work-futures/today-s-business-organization-is-an-oligarchy-and-that-needs-to-change-17af726c46d0
Read Stowe’s newsletter Work Futures on Substack:
Read my interview by Stowe ahead of the release of Dare To Un-Lead (Jan. 2022)
This interview is available in French here https://www.weneedsocial.fr/blog/work-futures-dare-to-unlead
Read a much earlier (2014!) interview by Stowe https://stoweboyd.medium.com/socialogy-interview-celine-schillinger-96881e5755ef
She’s interviewing a lot of smart people, so check it out at the We Need Social podcast.
Disengaged? Start With A Plan B.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Lewis Garrad discuss a thorny topic in How to Tell Your Boss That You’re Not Engaged at Work. Bottom line first:
If you think your manager may have a negative reaction or may be unwilling or unable to help, don’t go into this conversation without a Plan B in place, whether that’s a job offer already in hand or the understanding that you may need to move on.
The authors offer four lines of discourse to minimize the boss’s discomfort but headline the reality that telling a boss you are disengaged could likely be considered a criticism of their leadership. As they note,
One of the main drivers of employee disengagement is bad leadership, which on its own can be expected to account for as much as 30% of the variability in engagement levels. However, leaders are often unaware of this, not least because upward negative feedback is rare. Indeed, it is very unusual for employees to feel that they can honestly and openly criticize their bosses without paying the consequences. Even telling your boss that you are not engaged makes for uncomfortable conversation, yet the alternative — not saying anything — is arguably worse for everyone.
Their four talking strategies are these:
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