Firing on all cylinders

That’s an old expression- one that may go by the waysides, as my generation passes the torch.  It means one (or one entity) is operating at full capacity, at optimum speed.  It is a more vernacular expression for “The Adjuvancy”- an organization that optimizes the performance of all the entities in a mixture, ensuring maximum benefit to all participants.

It’s why we all need coaches, advisors, mentors- whatever you want to call them.  As Ian Percy observed (see yesterday’s post), we sometimes (often?) find it hard to judge our own performances clearly.  And, if we want to achieve our vision, mission, and goals, we need that feedback.

“Chet” is a word in Hebrew, incorrectly translated as “sin”; it really means “missing the mark”.   We all aim for the best results; we all will fall short (sometimes more often than we wish).  And, since we are so used to judging ourselves by our intentions, we need these outside agents to help us steer directly towards the goal.

It starts early in our lives.  We all talk about that teacher (hopefully, in the plural) that made a difference in our lives.  (Miss Katzman[Mrs. Finkelstein], I still salute you.)  But, really, they were among our very first mentors.  My first job, working in a dry cleaning store (at the earliest legal age), gave me tremendous freedom (Harry and Cary, I still think of you.).  Sure, they hired me to clean up the store and identify the clothes.  But (either knowing my ideas would make them money- or wanting me to shut up), they let me take over their credit business (cash flow, cash flow, cash flow), manage the shop, and branch out to a new business (drapery cleaning), among others.  But, I learned lots from them, too- and, not just about dry cleaning.

Our companies have always had outside boards to advise us (the names get longer here; Arthur Lipper comes first to mind; Bob Boyle comes a close second).  These advisors keep us anchored.  They make us explain half-formed (or more) thoughts before we push these ideas on our people.  They make us defend our actions, thereby insuring that we maintain integrity.  (Among my favorite maxims:  Honesty is conforming our words to reality; Integrity is conforming reality to our words [Stephen Covey]).

We all need to seek advisors for our efforts- even if we are not the leaders of our organizations.  Sometimes, we even choose the wrong ones; but, I have found, even when they were not the “perfect” ones for me, I still benefited.  (We need to find replacements for these choices; just like “missing our own marks”.)  Of course, we want you to choose us for your advisors- but, even we know (ok, maybe grudgingly) that we can’t be all things to all people.  So, seek out YOUR advisors, to insure that  your vision becomes your reality.



A polymath whose interests span chemical engineering, medicine, biotechnology, business, management, among other areas. Among my inventions/developments: dialyzer, dialysate, neurosurgical drill, respiratory inspirometer, colon electrolyte lavages, urinary catheters, cardiac catheters, water reuse systems, drinking water system, ammonia degrading microbes, toxic chemical reduction via microbes, onsite waste water treatment, electronic health care information systems, bookkeeping and accounting programs, among others.
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