Latest Observations

On Being Liked vs. Getting the Mission Done

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:May 28, 2015
Method:Previous Writings
Captured by:Steven S

An effective leader is rarely judged to be a great leader by his immediate team. That is a judgment passed by a much wider audience and in the light of history. The leader must focus on getting the mission done. If he works hard to be popular or to be thought of as a great leader, he will often pay in the form of an unacceptable trade-off. He may be well liked, but he may not be as well accomplished.

As leaders, we must get the mission done. We do so through people. We need them to be influenced by us, but we do not need them to love everything about us.

On the Essence of Entrepreneurship

Topic:Communication
Posted on:May 27, 2015
Method:Previous Writings
Captured by:Paul C

The essence of entrepreneurship is marketing. The fundamental instinct of the entrepreneur arises from his or her capacity to discern a market. Capital is important and management is important, but the leverage between these two factors is dependent upon the entrepreneur's ability to discover a customer.

On Cataloguing Great Thinkers by Their Life-Course

Topic:Method
Posted on:May 26, 2015
Method:Previous Writings
Captured by:Austin M

It might be helpful to catalogue all of the great thinkers/philosophers, not by their theory but by their life course… One might categorize them by how their life was lived. I have never seen this project undertaken. Yet, it may be more instructive to see how these philosophers “cashed in” their theory, to see who died even pretending to be satisfied. Would we elevate Nietzsche, as a model for our life? I suspect we might admire his thinking, but would we emulate his living?

On the Pursuit of Goals

Topic:Personal
Posted on:May 21, 2015
Method:Previous Writings
Captured by:Flint M

One must be careful not to spend life solely in pursuit. Achievers are wired to pursue. We pursue knowledge, success, holiness and so on. The feeling that we are drawing close to that which we pursue is a kind of narcotic that keeps us moving. However, the urge to pursue can blind us to the value of the present tense.

Life must be lived in the present, and pursuing a goal must somehow be experienced in the present. If one's attention is only on that which one is pursuing, then one's attention cannot be on the experience of the pursuing. The full of impact of living is thus drained away from our present tense experience. I do not want to live to pursue; I want to pursue to live.

On Choosing as Existing

Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:May 20, 2015
Method:Previous Writings
Captured by:Paul C

The hallmark of the rational agent is choice. How can reason be separate from choice? Even the acceptance of a proposition represents choice. We need to delve deeper into the nature of choice. Indeed, for the rational agent, choosing is existing. The present tense is a steady stream of choice.

On Leadership and Appreciation of Your Organization

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:May 19, 2015
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

One of the most important ways that people learn to appreciate your organization is to experience someone else’s.  We do not know how good it is until we have to remember how good it was.

On Marketing and the Importance of Fostering Claims

Topic:Communication
Posted on:May 18, 2015
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Jon P

Too many marketers focus on claims.

A claim is an offensive move that puts the prospect in a defensive posture. Excellent marketing does not put the prospect on the defense. It recruits the prospect to be a proponent, not an opponent.

On Communication and True Profundity

Topic:Communication
Posted on:May 15, 2015
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

It’s important that your profundity (or your seeming profundity) isn’t derived from your obscurity. Some thinkers are just obscure enough to impress the thinkers who can barely understand. Other thinkers are just brilliant enough to make complexity appear simple. The thinker must determine whether or not his work is designed to make himself look brilliant or to make his work be brilliant.

On Communication and the Test of a Story

Topic:Communication
Posted on:May 14, 2015
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The test of a story is not whether it conforms to some critic’s opinion of the rules but, rather, how it impacts those for whom the story was written. 

On Leadership and the Sword vs. the Shovel

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:May 13, 2015
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Paul C

The leader needs to know how to balance his work between the sword and the shovel. With the sword, he is driving revenue, making deals. With the shovel, he is building an organization that institutionalizes revenue growth. If the leader spends all his time with the sword, he forfeits the long term for the sake of the short term. If he spends all his time with the shovel, he forfeits the short term for the sake of the long term. As leaders, we must balance our time between the sword and the shovel. However, one thing is certain; as long as you lead, you must carry the sword. You don’t get to lay it down. You must carry it until the final moment you lay down the final responsibility.