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The Marketer as Philosopher: by Flint McGlaughlin

"Asking 'how' leads to information; asking 'why' leads to wisdom." This is the essence of Dr. Flint McGlaughlin's book, The Marketer as Philosopher.

After twenty five years of asking "why" to a single question and testing his hypotheses using the web as a living laboratory, McGlaughlin has released a collection of his findings. These 40 brief reflections unfold in a series of layers that suggest a new framework and theory of messaging.

For more information, you can visit www.meclabs.com/mapbook

Latest Observations

On the Difference Between Reasons and Causes

Topic:Communication
Posted on:Apr 28, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

There’s a difference in the cognitive zone between the reason and the cause.  All causes are reasons, but not all reasons are causes. Now anyone can argue by changing my meaning and saying that all reasons are causes. But I’m going to stay closer to the essence of the concept. You could say these causes lead to this conclusion, but it’s not quite the same. Causes are more about phenomenon, reasons are more about propositions.

On the Difference Between Simplicity and Ease

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Apr 27, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader must be aware of the difference between simple and easy: Easy relates to a process with a low coefficient of friction. Simple means ‘easily understandable,’ yet it is not, by definition, necessarily easy to execute. “Easy” is generally “simple,” however; “simple” is often not “easy.”

On the Leader Providing an Empowering Framework

Topic:Communication
Posted on:Apr 26, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader has essential task that is often neglected in management literature. She does more than inspire a mission; she develops a model (framework). This model allows the team to conceptualize all the action steps necessary for alignment with the mission. Organizations are complex, a myriad of working parts. Great leaders do more than communicate a mission; they communicate a robust framework that empowers the mission with action.

On Leadership and the Ultimate Power of Beauty

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Apr 24, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The virtues of character are synonymous with the attributes of beauty. Art is most compelling when it is “authentic.” Poetry is most rich when it is “honest.” One speaks of great architecture by referring to its “integrity.” Beauty sets the ultimate standard. Indeed, the attraction of beauty is more powerful than the compulsion of scale. The artful leader must be unwilling to trade beauty for scale.

On Leadership and the Connection between Ideals and Ideas

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Apr 20, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader must carefully understand the connection between ideas and ideals. Your richest ideas will be intrinsically motivated by your most important ideals. Indeed, your value proposition can typically be traced in a direct line from your ideals to your (core) idea.

On Leadership and Moving Out of The Center

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Apr 19, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Leaders must discipline the force of their influence. I’d like to influence lives in a good way, but I don’t want to be too central to anyone’s thinking. Life should be lived from one’s own center. The world is full of leaders who want you to build your world around them. However, no man can serve as a proxy for your soul.

On Art and the Transcendence of Meaning

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Apr 18, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The great musicians rise above the music; they transcend it. They transcend the meaning and they transcend the melody, but those technically proficient musicians, who are centered more in their head than they are in their heart, remain trapped in the music itself. In the same way, the poets remain trapped in the meaning of their words. I suspect the greatest works written come out of a place so deep that the artist, reading their own work, felt like they were reading it for the first time.

On Leadership and the Danger of Transition Zones

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Apr 17, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader must beware of “transition zones”. We are constantly transitioning from an intimate conversation to encouraging speech to investigative analysis, etc. It is difficult to swiftly shift one’s mind from one state to another. Beware, we tend to make some of our most egregious errors in the “transition zone”.

On the Nature of a True Apology

Topic:Communication Topic:Personal
Posted on:Apr 6, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

An apology without contrition is like a contract without a signature; it expresses an intent, but it doesn’t engage the necessary action. Apologies only work at the “heart level”; they are ineffectual at the “head level”. Trying to rationally parse exactly where we are wrong is never satisfying to the other person. You must beware of a partial apology; if it is partial, it is not an apology.  People confuse completely wrong with completely sorry. I may not be wrong in every way, but I must be completely sorry for the way in which I am wrong.

On Leadership and Simplifying Greatness

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Apr 4, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Leaders don’t change an organization simply by doing the extraordinary, they change an organization by redefining the ordinary. Leaders simplify greatness.