Morgan Housel calls it managing a “barbell life.” We have the things we are optimistic and pessimistic about. We have the things we want to do and the things we have to do. They all require a balance. While the natural tendency might be to find a balance between good and bad in time, Housel … Continue reading The Benefits Of Being A Short-Term Optimist And A Long-Term Pessimist
What’s the difference between having an opinion, making a living, and dedicating one’s life to something? What about saying one baseball team is better than another at the water cooler, betting on a game with a disagreeing friend, and elaborately cataloging every match in a rivalry over the years? The difference is having no skin … Continue reading From Skin In The Game To Soul In The Game
One way to look at our modern service jobs is to think about being more transitional and less transactional. An example: The mortgage broker is transactional. They enter when there’s a need, broker the deal, and then go off and search of the next one. The mortgage broker needs a big base of prospects to constantly draw new … Continue reading More Transitional, Less Transactional
My favorite Jocko podcasts are when he reads military books / stories / history and curates them along the way. Warriors and bureaucrats are two very different types (maybe that's a continuum?). Jocko's a warrior who interprets the philosophy exceptionally well of where warriors and bureaucrats meet in the real world. He can speak the … Continue reading Podcast of the Week: “Thirty-Six Strategems” with Jocko
“Do you want to be someone, or do you want to do something?” So goes the famous question from John Boyd. Maybe it’s just one of those weeks, but this quote came up more than once and I realized a lot of people still aren’t familiar with Boyd. Beyond his contribution with the OODA loop (google … Continue reading Be Someone, or Do Something?
Think about a product or service you offer. Imagine a table with two boxes on it. One is a pizza box, the other is Tiffany’s box. Both boxes are desirable, but for different reasons. Which box does your product or service belong in? Are you competing on price or perceived value? Are competing on impulse … Continue reading Pizza Box / Tiffany’s Box?
Imagine a line with a Nike “Just do it” Swoosh on one end, and a “Keep Calm” meme on the opposite end. In Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar H Schein, he details a similar continuum with “do” on one extreme and “just be” on the other. Schein uses it as a means to examine cultures. What … Continue reading Step Towards the Middle
David Hume famously taught that you can’t derive an “is” from an “ought.” For example, we can use science to describe how nature “is,” but we can’t use science to tell nature how it “ought” to act. You might want a flying unicorn puppy for all sorts of cute reasons, but nature says no. While … Continue reading You Can’t Derive an “Is” from an “Ought”
I woke up today with this formula in my head: facts + sentiment = story That means: Story - sentiment = facts And… Story - facts = sentiment The biggest missing variable here is time (I think – what else?). To add time, we need to introduce the Snapshot / Movie continuum. We can take … Continue reading Facts + Sentiment = Story
Ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up. Smile at the optimism, praise the ambitions, and reminisce a little about what crazy stuff you said (unless you’re an astronaut / ballerina /professional athlete /etc. today, in which case – “congrats!”). Bob Lefsetz put a piece up last week titled “Star / … Continue reading What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?