Submitted by putska on
I know the MT recommendation is that everyone should be reading the Wall Street Journal and their Daily paper each day. I just don't understand why. I gave it a shot last week and found myself reading numerous articles about murders, wars, famines and elected officials with odd sexual habits.
I have a great job and a wonderful family. With so many blessings all around me, why would I spend valuable time filling my mind with this type of information? Am I missing something?
The Wall Street Journal is the major source of business news. I assume you're not questioning that one.
The local newspaper, as bizarre as it can get, has information on the events that everyone else is reading or hearing and then talking about. Reading the paper (or otherwise keeping up with current events) lets you talk about things other than work that other people know something about as well.
Giving oneself access to all of that information is just another chance for to excercise one of the most important "managerial muscles:" separating what's important from what's not important.
For example, the workplace is full of gossip. Some of it is important to know about, much of it is not. And knowing about it doesn't make you a participant in spreading it.
You need to converse with colleagues about the world: politics, the arts, sports, local happenings.
You do NOT need to read every article.
Yes, the news last week was particularly salacious. It isn't always like that, but history is unfortunately filled with such characters (Cleopatra, Parnell, Clinton, etc.)
There was other important news last week, too: the credit crisis and run up to the Bear Stearns debacle. The dollar's continuing slide. March Madness. Iraq. Elections in France. Uprising in Tibet.
Wars are important. Famines are important. It's often easier to remain in darkness than to accept reality (and the implications for action that ensue). Reading the news also challenges my thinking and helps me understand the forces that affect my family, my community, and my industry.
Last week's news does show some interesting sides of the marketplace. Ms. Dupre is suddenly a very popular and wealthy woman definitely making one wonder if "negative publicity" may be an oxymoron... then it raises the question why she has seen so much benefit while the governor was being torn apart.
Gov. Spitzer's history as a champion taking down organized crime and his fall from grace makes for an interesting story, perhaps even one to take a few lessons away from (for example, maintaining high ethics throughout a career, not just in the beginning).
Sometimes the more sensational stories still provide food for thought.