If Business is War, Jeff Bezos is a lot like Ulysses S. Grant

In 1861, Ulysses S. Grant was managing his brother’s leather goods store in Galena, IL, having retired from the military seven years prior. When the Civil War broke out later that year, he reenlisted and quickly rose through the ranks. The officers Grant replaced on his meteoric rise to Commanding General of the Union Army[…]

My Favorite Books of 2017

A list of the top 15 books I read in 2017: Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.  This is the same biographer that wrote wonderful biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.  The power of Da Vinci’s intellect and the insatiable nature of his curiosity is well detailed in this volume.  Isaacson focuses[…]

Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark

Charles M. Russell: Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia From May 1804 to September 1806, two men led an expedition from St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean and back again. The group covered over 7,000 miles, crossed the Rocky Mountains in harsh conditions, and encountered numerous Native American tribes, both friendly and hostile. They[…]

How My First Boss Saved Me From Failing

I was 23 years old, in my first professional job and I was failing big-time. My boss had recently handed me a list of five-hundred names and phone numbers and instructed me to cold call them. I picked up the phone and started dialing. I felt a palpable sense of fear and anxiety as I[…]

Innovation, Risk & Failure at Pixar

In a recent interview, Ed Catmull, the cofounder of Pixar, shares his views on risk, failure and culture. The entire interview is worthwhile, but I found Ed’s perspective on these three issues to be especially insightful and applicable to all industries. Taking Risks The nature of innovation requires risk taking. This creates a fundamental tension[…]