As I flipped through Fast Company’s February Issue, I was struck by a quote I stumbled upon three-quarters of the way through the magazine: “pressure is a privilege.” The phrase appeared during a group interview that included perspectives from the likes of tennis super star Serena Williams and Nike CEO Mark Parker. In the midst of the conversation, Williams said: “It’s a privilege to be in that situation where you actually have pressure on your shoulders, as opposed to not having that pressure.” This got me thinking. Pressure is polarizing. Many people don’t like it. They are afraid of it. In his book Linchpin, Seth Godin explains that fearlessRead More →

“What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.”   — Peter F. Drucker Whether it is business, athletics, or any other aspect of life, scenarios emerge where we must overcome some type of resistance. I have found the best way to do this is with strong willpower. In an impactful paper from 1998 called “Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource?” authors Roy E Baumeister, Ellen Bratslavsky, Mark Muraven, and Dianne M. Tice conclude humans have limited supply of willpower, and it decreases as it is used. Though there is now evidence challenging thisRead More →

Quick Hit How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg paints a detailed picture of each executive’s experience working at Google. The text covers a lot of topics that are important considerations for all businesses, including: leadership, culture, hiring, communication, product development, and organizational strategy. In the past, I have questioned if Google’s success is derived from its team of “smart creatives” or just a product of its supremely talented founders. The book makes a good case for the former and shares a lot of interesting stories and perspectives from two executives that were at the heart of the company’s epic rise. There are someRead More →

Quick Hit Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is an intense leadership book including principles of leadership the authors learned during their time as US Navy Seals. Each chapter is organized to teach the reader about a specific leadership principle. Chapters are organized into three sections. First, the authors share a relevant story from their military experience that brings to light a specific leadership principle, next they provide a detailed description on the principle, and finally they apply they share a story of how the principle is applied to the business world. I like the way the book is organized and the chapter structureRead More →

Meritocracy is a philosophy that states power should be allocated based on skill and talent. In other words, in a meritocratic society there are winners and losers. Members of society are essentially graded on talent and skill. This principle is attractive at the surface, easy to sell, and can be a great guiding principle to developing work ethic, but there are holes in its execution at the societal level. In his TedTalk, Alain de Button discusses challenges with meritocracy, stating: “The problem is, if you really believe in a society where those who merit to get to the top, get to the top, you’ll also,Read More →