Be Relentless

Be Relentless

Sarah Linden is the least self-aware television detective.

Her dedication to her work and stubbornness are unbeatable. She never gives up. Even though she fails in many aspects of her life — like being a mother. But, she keeps showing up and trying to do better. She tries again, fails again, and fails better.

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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Sherlock Holmes observed facts without being judgmental. He would construct a hypothesis about what he believed happened. He would then search for more evidence to logically validate his initial statements. The detective deconstructed what happened — piece by piece.

All Stories Are Possible — Until They Are Not

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot encourages everybody to tell their story.  Stories help Poirot comprehend what kind of person the victim was. And to uncover the murderer’ motive.

Storytelling is powerful to uncover insights, not just the truth. Design Thinking — a process for creative problem solving — leverages the power of stories to detect human desires and needs.

Detective Humphrey Goodman is very clumsy. He often forgets things and usually finds himself with nothing to take notes on.

Humphrey has a knack at being able to solve murders by making sense out of small details

An obsession with small details helps trigger an Aha! moment. Connecting what seems unrelated. But, when all the pieces fall into place, the solution ends makes sense.

Being Vulnerable Is Being Smart

By being authentic, Clarice disarmed Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s intellectual superiority. Instead of trying to compete with him, her vulnerability made Hannibal more cooperative.

Being vulnerable reflects the best on you and others. You don’t need to outsmart others to find a great solution. Vulnerability is not a weakness, but a superpower — what we reflect comes back to us.

Father Brown’s methods tend to be more intuitive rather than deductive. The Catholic priest is a detective in disguise.  He overplays appearing clumsy, and naive. Brown uses empathy to get inside the criminal mind. He can see what others can’t — that’s how he solve crimes.

Brown reminds us that you don’t need a formal title or expertise to be good at solving problems. His life as a priest turned him into an intuitive human behavior expert.

Find Your Sidekick

Sherlock had Watson. Linden has Holder. Ellie Miller is Alec Hardy perfect sidekick. She counterbalances his rational and relentless spirit.

A great duo is where both parts can complement and balance each other. We all need a partner in crime to help us see what we miss. Our sidekick is an accountability partner — it increases our chances of success.

Finding the solution is not enough — you want to eliminate the problem.

As P. D. James said: ‘What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.”

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RELATED IDEAS

Notice important details. 

“Holmes is an expert at person perception,” says Konnikova. Holmes is also an expert at identifying his own biases–i.e. the memories in his brain attic that might influence his perception of a person or situation.

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IDEAS

Subgenres
  • Whodunits are traditional mysteries in which the perpetrator is hidden until the end. Some aithors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.
  • Howdunits focus on the how of the crime. Writers ranging from Joseph Wambaugh to Michael Connelly have written this
  • Whydunits focus on the motivation of the perpetrator. Examples are Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and many of Elmore Leonard’s criminal novel depictions.

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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