CategoryCoaching

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...

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...

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...

The Power of We versus Me

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At the age of twenty, Art Unruh flew 50 missions into enemy territory in the European theater of World War II. The first six missions he served as a tail gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. Protecting the B-17 from all threats behind the plane was a dangerous assignment, but it wasn’t the most dangerous – that belonged to the waist gunners. The waist gunner had to stand, which exposed them to more enemy fire. For the next 46 missions, Army Staff Sgt. Art Unruh served as a waste gunner, and...

Use this Richard Feynman Technique to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

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As World War II broke out, the physicist Richard Feynman was recruited to Los Alamos to assist in the development of the first atomic bomb. He was tasked with calculating the energy released by the nuclear explosion. Machines were brought in from IBM to assist in the task. Although state of art in their day, they were crude mechanical calculators that used punch cards to execute complicated calculations. The Army dispatched a group called the Special Engineering Detachment to operate the...

How My First Boss Saved Me From Failing

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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 reached for the phone to make each call. I experienced a wave of rejection the likes of which I had never before seen. I was demoralized. My boss could see I was floundering and ready to quit. After a few days, he...

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