Management is always about tradeoffs. If you want quality, you have to sacrifice time or money. If you want fast, you have to sacrifice quality or money. If you want cheap, you have to sacrifice quality or time.
Leadership is about People
If you push people, you don’t know which way they will go. If you use your power to tell them how to act, you will create a push back.
If you can learn to pull people, they will follow.
Power comes when people freely give you their support.
If you take that power and reflect it all back to them, they give you more. If you use the power for yourself, they give you less power. If you give people back the power that they entrust to you, more and more comes to you. You get to use this power for a Just Cause, something bigger than yourself, a Vision of a better world for all of us.
“Leadership is the most valuable commodity on the planet and it is the rarest commodity we have”
This video is about 4 ways to bring more luck into your life.
We Make our own Luck.
Why do some people lead happy successful lives whilst other face repeated failure and sadness? What enables some people to have successful careers whilst others find themselves stuck in jobs they hate? Can unlucky people do anything to improve their luck?
In the book The Luck Factor, Professor Richard Wiseman (good name for a professor!) shares his research into luck. He has spent over a decade investigating the beliefs and experiences of lucky and unlucky people.
If you think you’re unlucky, that bad luck may be the direct result of you believing you’re unlucky.
The path of the company and the person that takes no little bets, never risks an error, never risks a mistake… is to slowly die and then risk everything on one big “Hail Mary” pass.
What’s the worst life strategy for a person?
and also for a company?
Rely on what has always worked. Cross your fingers that it will remain an effective approach forever.
It is hard to overcome. When something is going well, you enjoy it. It’s hard to spend time on areas that are not flourishing. You have a successful, money making product… all your resources are there…
…and then one day it is not a successful, money making product. Ask anyone at Kodak.
Jeff Bezos is scared of complacency. He knows that Amazon has taken the wind out of many other companies’ money making products and strategies… and that someone somewhere is looking for a way to take down Amazon.
Jim Collins says that there are 3 ways to fail in Innovation. Here’s my video from earlier this year on Jim Collins lesson #6 – Shoot Bullets, then Cannon balls.
Listening to Jeff Bezos recently, he was so clear on the vital need to allow for failure, to actively seek to try new things that are likely to fail… and learn…. as a company and as a person.
Where do you do little tests? As a business? As a person?
This video is about 4 mindsets that we strive for in a Vistage Group Chair, and can also serve to bring out the best in the people around any leader.
The 4 Leadership Mindsets for Growing the people around you are:
A bit more on the word “carefrontation”. It is a fundamental operating agreement in Vistage groups. The word comes from the combination of “Caring” and “Challenge/Confrontation”. These are two of the 4 pillars of Vistage groups.
What does it mean? It means having the patience and non-judgmental approach to first understanding another’s problem from their own perspective; and then the courage to challenge them where there are incoherent aspects to their story.
Examples of Care-frontation:
The assumption is that there is a relationship of trust between you and the other person when you ask these questions… Where there is no relationship of trust, these questions are just rude.
How is your mobile phone usage affecting your relationships with your kids?
What impact is this constant rush having on your health?
What impact does your difficulty in taking this decision have on meeting this years growth goals?
This summer I read “The Penguin History of the World”. “The entire story of human endeavour laid out in all its grandeur and folly, drama and pain in a single authoritative book”.
Conor’s World History in 1 Paragraph
World history 9000BC to Today:
The life of the poor was shit under every civilisation. It was short, dangerous, local, painful and dependant. Greek peasant life was bad under Sparta, Athens, Macedon. Roman peasant life was bad. Indian peasant life was bad under Indian rulers, under Mongol rulers, under British rulers. Chinese peasant life was bad under every empire. Russian peasant life was bad under Mongols, Muscovy Princes, Tsars. There were very few wealthy people. Most of the world has always been very poor. Tax systems extracted everything leaving only enough for peasants to not die. Tax was extracted to pay for palaces, rarely improvements in infrastructure.
8 Lessons from World History
The earliest written records are cave paintings from 65,000 years ago. The earliest written culture is 9000 years ago (7000 BC Sumer & Mesopotamia). (History can only begin when we have written records, otherwise it is just guesswork.)
Civilisation rises and civilisation falls: there have been major losses of technology over the last 17,000 years. (This was something of a surprise to me as I realised that I had an untested assumption that innovations don’t disappear from civilisation).
Geography matters a lot. The physical location and terrain of a nation shapes the people. Ireland, Britain, Japan – island nations.
Agriculture allowed wealth creation. Agriculture allowed population growth and the first wealthy individuals (kings, emperors). A king without wealth will soon not be king.
Fragile: Until 1500AD most empires, kingdoms, cities were only 1 or 2 poor harvests away from collapse.
We need a common enemy An Empire without a common enemy will collapse from internal divisions (Rome, Mongols). A common enemy can create an empire or a nation (Greeks vs Persians, France vs England)
Absolute power is the norm The separation of church and state, and limitations on political power are not common. Absolute monarchy that unites political, military and religious power is extremely common.
Guttenberg changed everything. The availability of the printed word changed how we live more than any other change in history. How will the internet & AI change the next 1000 years?
I like my life: I would prefer to be me than any Pharaoh, King, Emperor, Pope, Tsar of the last 17,000 years. The Sword of Damocles is real. (I would prefer to be king than peasant, but that is a different comparison).
The Penguin History of the World
The entire story of human endeavour laid out in all its grandeur and folly, drama and pain in a single authoritative book.
The founder of Strategic Coach, and one of my favourite podcasters, Dan Sullivan plans to live to 156 years old. It will allow him to see 3 different centuries (19,20,21).
What will it take for him to live that long? He’ll need to eat well. He’ll need to stay physically and mentally fit. He’ll need medicine to come up with some new techniques to extend life…. but more than all of this, he will need a powerful motivation to remain alive.
What gives a powerful motivation to remain alive? In an interview with Peter Diamandis, Dan and Pete shared the perspective that if you have friends, money and purpose: you’ll have a pretty damn good reason to keep on living.
“Second order thinking” is a big part of Paul’s approach. Second order thinking is looking for non-obvious rules that improve decision making, efficiency and quality of life. Check out the Python Paradox for an example 😉
Paul’s Essays that have most Impacted My Approach to Life
I have this blog. It has been going for over 10 years. Above all other benefits, writing blog posts helps me clarify what I think.
I published my first post on 25th January 2009. It was a paragraph from a book I was reading that I thought was valuable advice. I have written ideas on something 1-2 times every week since January 2009. There are 1,025 posts (not including this one).
I also have a youtube channel that today has a much wider audience than my blog, but it is the blog that has helped me get clarity and sharpen my ideas. Writing is the power tool in clarifying your ideas.