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A Crisis has the Power to Transform

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“Instead of social distancing, how about physical distancing?  Words matter.”  It was a message that came across my Twitter feed from Brad Stulberg – a recent guest on The Good Life Podcast – and it hit me hard.  He continued the tweet: “Now, more than ever, we need to be socially CONNECTED. The only way we get through this—both biologically and psychologically—is together. Action. Attitude. Support. Kindness. It’s all contagious.”– Brad Stulberg Aristotle famously...

Trillion Dollar Coach

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In 1979, after six straight losing seasons as the head football coach at Columbia University, Bill Campbell resigned.  During his tenure the team won 12 games and lost 41.  He didn’t blame the failure on his players, rather he put it squarely on himself.  To succeed as a football coach, he believed, one needed a quality he called “dispassionate toughness,” and he didn’t have it.  By his own admission, he had too much damn compassion for his players.  “I tried to make...

The Good Life Podcast

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About ten years ago I started listening to podcasts while traveling on airplanes.  Suddenly, the time I previously spent battling the airplane wi-fi and trying to win the arm-rest battle while in the middle seat (I got very little work done), was replaced with learning.  Those early podcasts motivated me to read more.  Soon I was listening to podcasts while running, which in turn, inspired me to start writing more.  And that, inevitably led to this...

My 10 Favorite Books of 2019

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As the year comes to a close, it’s helpful to look back on what you’ve read and take stock of the learning.  Here are my favorite books of 2019.  Note, not all of these books were published this year, some were published in 2018 and I only got around to reading this this year.  In no particular order, here is the best of what I read: 1. Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living A Better Life by Ryan Patrick Hanley.  This book has the most “wisdom per page” of any book I read this...

Steve Jobs’ Most Important Decision Making Tip

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Our lives are defined by our decisions.  Try this thought experiment: consider your life as separate from the decisions you have made.  You can’t.  They are one in the same. Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and the author of the book Principles, put it eloquently: “The quality of our lives depends on the quality of our decisions.” If Dalio is right, and I believe he is, then the study of decision making should take up a much larger percentage of our education and...

Life is a Single-Player Game

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The Silicon Valley investor and free-thinker Naval Ravinkant has a saying: “Life is a single player game.”   It’s a good reminder because so much of what we’re exposed to by our culture reinforces the view that life is a multi-player game.  We feel strong social pressure to constantly compare ourselves to others.  We’re programmed, at an early age, to check the score – what college we attend, how much money we make, the size of our house, the car we drive, the vacations we take – and when...

7 Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill

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Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was a soldier, writer and statesman who led England and the Allies to victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. His life spanned from the Victorian Age to the Space Age. He authored 37 books, producing more words than Shakespeare and Dickens combined. When Western Civilization was threatened by the ominous expansion of totalitarianism, Churchill defended liberty against tyranny, exuded a confidence in victory and provided something freedom-loving people across...

What you are Willing to Tolerate becomes the Standard

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Jeff Bezos refers to Amazon’s customers as “divinely discontent.” Ten years ago Amazon customers were satisfied with 3-5 days shipping. At some point expectations shifted to 2-day shipping. Now many demand Same Day delivery. How long before Same Hour delivery is the norm? In his 2017 Letter to Shareholders Bezos had this to say about Amazon customers: “Their expectations are never static – they go up. It’s human nature.” One of the ways great leaders stay ahead of ever-rising...

Vision is Fixed, Strategy is Flexible

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The movie “Lincoln” (2012) focuses on a critical period during the Civil War – January 1865 – when President Lincoln makes a high-stakes attempt to pass the Thirteenth Amendment through the House of Representatives. It was clear by this time in the war that the Union would prevail. Lincoln thought it imperative that the U.S. Constitution abolish slavery once and for all, so that as southern states were readmitted to the Union, there was no question about the status of African...

When Technology Meets Community

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A co-op grocery chain in Seattle began dismantling their self-checkout kiosks this month. After considerable investment in the technology over the past few years, the PCC Community Market, made the decision to remove the automated stations.  Here is how the store describes the reasoning behind the decision: “A kiosk doesn’t create community or connections. So we wanted to take those out so that when someone comes into our stores, they have a human connection with someone and an interaction...

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