November 13, 2017

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/   Article

Toward cooperation

“It’s tempting to be oppositional. To see the different as the other. To dominate, to win, to move up as others move down (because in the zero sum game that we’ve built around us, that’s the only way).

But a networked world, one based on connection—one held together by the sheerest gossamer—can’t tolerate the tension and pain that bullying and dominance require.

An alternative is with-ness.

The practice of talking so we can be heard, and listening so we can understand.

We’re weaving something every single day, but entropy and fear leads to a raveling that can undo all of it.”


Your lack of motivation does not matter

November 6, 2017

By Peter Economy via inc.com   Article

This Navy SEAL Says Your Lack of Motivation Does Not Matter (but This 1 Thing Does Big Time)

“There is something much bigger at play when it comes to your success than merely being motivated. …

Having spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy–with time spent commanding Task Unit Bruiser at SEAL Team 3–[Jocko] Willink … is the recipient of the black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has been known to tap out 20 Navy SEALs per workout. On top of all that, Willink is also a business founder and bestselling author of the book, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. …

No doubt, with all of this expertise in business, sport, and combat, it would be natural to assume that Willink must be incredibly motivated, right? Actually, he would beg to differ, as he says, ‘Don’t count on motivation; count on discipline.’

Those of us who want to start new projects, wake up early to go to the gym, or even do simple things like schedule a dentist appointment find it difficult to complete, much less start, these tasks. Our reasoning? We don’t feel like doing the work, and do not have the motivation we think is needed. Luckily, motivation may not be necessary at all, and can be highly overrated. In fact, look to the idea of obtaining self-discipline instead.

In an interview with Ferriss, Willink addresses what extreme discipline means for those involved in creative pursuits specifically:

‘I would venture to guess that the biggest reason creative types don’t produce isn’t because they don’t have vision…or talent…in most cases, it’s a lack of discipline.’

No, that does not mean you have to wake up at 4 a.m. to hone your craft. However, according to Willink, this still does not mean we get to oversleep–we must prioritize practicing, as we live in a world where cultivated discipline lasts longer than fickle motivation.

‘The more you practice,’ he says, ‘the better you get, the more freedom you have to create.’ Discipline in any area of your life will increase your skills, productivity, and, he reveals, will ‘set you free.’ Don’t feel like exercising? Don’t feel like starting that business proposal? Trust an expert U.S. Navy SEAL, and remember that your lack of motivation truly does not matter.”

Tough and kind

November 6, 2017

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog   Article

How To Be Tough When You Prefer Being Kind

“Stress increases when leaders can’t bring kind and tough together. Kind without tough makes you a pushover. Tough without kind makes you a jerk. Accountability is candy to some leaders. It’s easy for them to say, ‘No.’ They have no problem holding people’s feet to the fire. But you aren’t one of them.


Some leaders choose kindness and neglect toughness. They bring coffee for the staff. They exchange pleasantries and tell jokes. They’re always affirming. But they avoid tough situations. They can’t say, ‘No.’ Some leaders choose toughness and neglect kindness. They avoid social pleasantries. They stand aloof because it’s easy, safe, and less confusing.

Lead with kindness:

Let kindness be your first step toward people. Don’t begin with toughness. Be pleasant, upbeat, curious, and affirming. But what if some take advantage of kindness? They ask for special exemptions. Worse yet, they grant themselves special privileges. What if the tough side of leadership is hard for you?

How to say no when you prefer saying yes:

You don’t have to choose between kind or tough. Don’t be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

When it’s time to be tough, do it with kindness.

Declare your intentions and say no with kindness.

  1. I want to say yes, but this time I have to say no.
  2. I work to be fair with everyone. I’d love to make an exception, but I can’t.
  3. I wish I could say say yes, but I have to say no.
  4. It’s hard for me to say no, but this time I have to.

Elevate your leadership by bringing kindness and toughness together.”

Don’t decide between yes and no

November 6, 2017

By Jim Schleckser via inc.com   Article

Highly Successful People Don’t Decide Between Yes And No

“When most of us are faced with making a decision – in business or in our personal lives – we tend to frame it within a context of: yes versus no. It’s seems pretty straightforward, right? You ask yourself if you should do it or you shouldn’t and then, whichever way you’re leaning, you make your decision.

… life is short. Not only do we not have enough time for everything we want to do, our lives quickly get cluttered with plenty of other things we don’t really want to do. That’s because we say yes to things too easily. But how can you make more time for the things you are excited about at the expense of those you’re less enthusiastic about?

The key is to reframe how you make your decisions. Rather than using a scale of yes or no, reframe the decision in a way where you either think – Hell yeah! or No. And if it isn’t a Hell Yeah!, it’s a No. …

While the concept of saying no to anything that doesn’t qualify as a Hell yeah! decision may seem simple – it’s also profound. Think about someone who is debating whether they should spend the rest of their life married to someone else. Do you think they should say yes to someone that even gives them a pause of doubt versus a Hell yeah! I want to marry you?

This is also a great tool for making decisions in your business. Whether you’re deciding on whether to hire someone, introduce a new product, or expand into a new geography, your answer should be no, unless it’s an obvious Hell yeah! decision.”

Don’t judge by your strengths

November 6, 2017

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog   Article

How To Stretch People Without Breaking Them

“I asked Mary to talk in front of a group. She texted back, ‘You are kidding, right?’ Later she said, ‘I nearly puked on my desk, when I got your text.’

Don’t judge by your strengths:

Speaking to groups is easy for me. … I could say, ‘Mary, what’s the big deal? Organize your thoughts and get up and talk. I’ll help.’ Mary doesn’t want my help! She doesn’t want to talk in front of groups!  (Mary isn’t her real name.)

Judge people by their strengths, not yours.

  1. People feel misunderstood when you make light of something they struggle to do. It’s arrogant and disrespectful to say, ‘It’s no big deal,’ when it is a big deal.
  2. Remember and respect strengths. Mary is great at organization, follow through, compassion, and one-on-one relationships. If I judge her by her passion for public speaking, she falls short. If I judge her by her strengths, she’s fantastic.
  3. Don’t feel superior because you have strengths others don’t have.
  4. Acknowledge the struggle and stretch people. You might say to Mary, ‘I know it’s hard for you to talk in front of groups. In this case, you’re the best person for the job. Will you do it?’

Stretch people – don’t break them.

Challenge kindly. Respect reluctance. Ask people to do hard things.

A few times a year I ask Mary to say something in public. People respond well to her. I only ask when she’s the best person for the job. It helps that we respect each other.

  1. Make the ask.
  2. Listen to the ‘No’.
  3. Respect the pain. ‘I know it’s hard for you.’
  4. Wait a moment and ask again.
  5. Honor their ‘Yes’. Respect their ‘No’.”

More on taxes than food and clothes combined

October 30, 2017

By  via freebeacon.com   Article

Americans Spent More on Taxes Than Food, Clothes in 2016

“Americans on average spent more of their 2016 income on taxes than they did on food and clothing combined.

The fact was revealed in data released earlier this week by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNS News reported. The data was collected by the Census Bureau.

The BLS numbers show that the average ‘consumer unit’—each financially independent family—spent $10,489 for federal, state, and local taxes compared to spending $1,803 on clothing and $7,203 on food.

The new data also revealed that taxes paid by Americans increased from 2013 to 2016. Personal taxes, on average, went from $7,423 for a consumer unit up to $10,489. That is a 41 percent increase for combined local, state, and federal taxes. …

Despite the amount Americans spend on taxes, the U.S. federal government has run a deficit nearly every fiscal year since 1970. The current national debt is approximately $20 trillion.”

Smarter, faster decisions

October 30, 2017

By Leah Fessler via qz.com   Article

Want to make smarter, faster decisions? Add this third element to your pro-con list

“Pro-con lists can be helpful, no doubt. But they often feel like a zero-sum game—with the extensive costs and benefits canceling each other out. As it turns out, there’s a way to upgrade your pro-con list so that you can make smarter, faster decisions. It involves adding a third element: Mitigations.

… When facing a difficult decision with two or more possible solutions … write exhaustive lists of the potential costs and benefits for each solution. Then … write ‘mitigations’ for each solution. ‘… how to soften, allay, or distribute the risks associated with each of the options’ … this exercise forces you and everyone to think through what it would really be like if that option were selected.’

Basically, mitigations are the compromises a group of people would make if solution A wins, to ensure that people’s concerns over solution A are addressed and that they don’t lose out on all the benefits of solution B. For example, Shklarski told First Round about his team’s debate over whether their professional titles should be changed to indicate seniority, or whether everyone should just be ‘engineers.’

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 1.45.17 PM

Each solution had upsides:

  • Seniority titles provide clarity on CVs, and can help in hiring.
  • Flat-titles promote equality, and diffuse tension and drama between peers.

And downsides:

  • Seniority titles pull rank into technical discussions, and amp ego and politics.
  • Flat-titles invite less recognition, and hurt people’s future marketability, as their CVs are less clear.

Mitigations made the negotiation far less divisive. For example, if the company kept the flat titles, they decided that they would find other ways to recognize and demonstrate employees’ individual contributions. And if they switched to titles that reflected seniority, they would clarify that seniority didn’t give employees freedom to pull rank on each other during debates.”