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[…]

The 8 Best CEOs from the Past 50 Years

In the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Letter to Shareholders, Warren Buffett recommended the book The Outsiders, by William Thorndike, calling it “an outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.” It tells the story of eight unconventional CEOs who managed to outperform the S&P 500 by over twenty times. How did they do it? It[…]

To Improve Decision Making, Focus on the Process not the Outcome

Imagine walking through a Las Vegas casino and observing the following: A patron at the Blackjack table is dealt a 17. The gambler decides to take a hit. The dealer turns over a 4. The player wins. The dealer says to the gambler, “good decision.” But was it? Well, in this particular case the outcome[…]

Management vs. Leadership

I’m often asked, “what is the difference between management and leadership?”  The best answer I’ve ever heard, and the one I usually give is: Management is about doing things right.  Leadership is about doing the right thing. Like any great aphorism, it is short and memorable.  It does a decent job communicating the big concept,[…]

When Your Wave Comes, Ride It

Laird Hamilton surfing Teahupoo on August 17, 2000.  Photo: Tim McKenna   On August 17, 2000, Laird Hamilton was surfing a famous break off Tahiti called Teahupoo. The break at Teahupoo already had a fierce reputation, but on this day, Laird and his friend Darrick Doerner saw a wave approaching unlike anything they had ever[…]