Eliminate conflict through stories

I am finishing a book, my last Army boss gave me over a decade ago called “Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant.” Mostly it’s a collection of excerpts from Grant’s journals picked out as a series of leadership vignettes. In one of them, Grant describes Lincoln’s ability to tell stories as far more effective […]

Don’t outsource connecting to technology

I came across a story about a person noticing how guests would tell his Alexa to keep changing music. In the days of manual players if somebody would want to change music, as a host, he would always be asked first, but now with voice commands curtsies seem to have gone out the window. To […]

Stop using labels and start taking action

I remember a commentator being upset about the media using cliches such as “kicking the can down the road” when reporting on the national debt. In his mind, labels like this prevented us from discussing the problem and as such lessened the likelihood of taking action.  Ironically, enough, this is the first time I recall […]

How seeing enemies on the outside points to the enemy on the inside

As I watch the news, I can’t help but notice how the opposite political party is always the enemy.  Isn’t it similar in our relationships? When something doesn’t go our way, don’t we tend to point the finger at another person? Why is that?  Finger-pointing shifts responsibility. When we pass the blame, we get off […]

Relationship investments that don’t scale

I’m currently taking the Start-Up school course. It’s not a huge time commitment, because it’s efficient. The instructors are successful founders who teach the essentials without any fluff.  One particular nugget that intrigued me during this course so far is doing things that don’t scale. For example, in the early days, the Airbnb team would […]

Training the mind to follow the heart

Great leaders see the future and then make a plan to take advantage of the incoming change. For example, Ford successfully implemented assembly lines and Apple tablets. Behind these achievements were leaders who didn’t waiver, took the insults, and allowed their results to speak for themselves. Ironically enough, I remember reading an article mocking the […]

Open up your circle

We are all seeing way too much division these days. Take something as simple as news. I can’t just read what happened. First, I have to pick whether I want to get news from a liberal or conservative lens, for example, CNN or Fox News, and then I get corresponding facts. The vantage points rarely overlap […]

How to measure happiness

As my birthday approached this year, I had a conversation with my wife, which made me realize that I used to dread my birthdays. Why? I felt the pressure to show myself that with each increasing year on this planet, I had an increase in status to prove I’m on the right track. So, for […]

I’m not competing, I’m filling the gap

Most of us learn to compete at a very young age. Sports, school, clubs, to name a few. While some healthy competition is a great teacher, too much makes us go into the rivalry mode by default. I’ve been guilty. For example, sometimes I would say things not to advance the conversation but to show […]

How to experience the exceptional

We have a strong tendency to go along with the status quo or default option. In fact, in the book I’m reading, “Nudge” writes about how whatever the default choices are, many people stick with them. How can we harness this power for good? Interestingly enough, what comes to my mind is Toastmasters. For those […]