Book Report: Natural Born Heroes

natural-born-heroes“For most of human history, the art of the hero wasn’t left up to chance; it was a multidisciplinary endeavor devoted to optimal nutrition, physical self-mastery, and mental conditioning. The hero’s skills were studied, practiced, and perfected, then passed along from parent to child and teacher to student. The art of the hero wasn’t about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasn’t an issue. You weren’t supposed to go down for a good cause; the goal was to figure out a way not to go down at all. (Natural Born Heroes)

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Posted in Books, Everything, Sports

Book Report: Mindware

mindware-coverSociety pays dearly for all the experiments it could have conducted but didn’t. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions of crimes have been committed, and billions of dollars have been wasted because people have bulled ahead on their assumptions and created interventions without testing them before they were put into place. (Mindware)

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Posted in Books, Everything, Leadership, Math and Science

Provocation-Based Marketing in Action

“Rather than resign themselves to hearing the standard ‘Sorry, we have no budget for that,’ some vendors—even some very young start-ups—have found a way to reach their customers’ resource owners and motivate them to allocate the necessary funds. Using what we call provocation-based selling, they persuade customers that the solutions they bring to the table are not just nice but essential.”

That’s a quote from In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers, an article written by Philip Lay, Todd Hewlin, and Geoffrey Moore, and published in the Harvard Business Review in March, 2009.

The article – I only read it for the first time a few days ago – reminded me of an exercise/experience I had in early 2017, although I think it’s more accurate to describe my own experience as provocation-based marketing.

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Posted in Marketing

Thinking of a career shift? Here’s how to increase your odds of success…

pexels-photo-66100-arrowEvery so often people ask me for career guidance. I guess I’ve done pretty well charting my own career path, so far at least, and folks want to know the ins and outs.

Well, here’s a shortish post that captures how I usually answer the question.

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Posted in Careers, Everything, Soccer

Book Report: Escape Velocity

escape-velocity-coverWhat if there is some hidden force that is working against your best efforts? What if this force is operating inside your own company, with the full support of your executive team, your board of directors, your investors, and indeed yourself? What if this force is able to mysteriously redirect resource allocation so that it never quite gets deployed against new agendas? That force, I submit, is the pull of the past, most concretely embodied in your prior year’s operating plan.” (Escape Velocity)

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Posted in Books, Everything, Leadership, Management

Book Report: A Higher Loyalty

a-higher-loyalty“In that moment, something hit me: It’s just us. I always thought that in this place there would be somebody better, but it’s just this group of people – including me – trying to figure stuff out. I didn’t mean that as an insult to any of the participants, who were talented people. But we were just people, ordinary people in extraordinary roles in challenging times. I’m not sure what I had expected, but I met the top of the pyramid and it was just us, which was both comforting and a bit frightening.” (A Higher Loyalty)

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Posted in Books, Leadership

Book Report: Microstyle

microstyle-coverSo, how do you pack a lot of meaning into a little message? You don’t. That’s the first lesson of microstyle. A message isn’t a treasure chest full of meaning. It’s more like a key that opens doors. A message starts a mental journey, and meaning is the destination…Keeping this in mind makes you think about how your message fits into a larger picture and points to ideas without expressing them directly. The interaction of message, mind, and context makes meaning happen.” (Microstyle)

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Posted in Advertising, Books, Everything, Marketing

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