Steph's Business Bookshelf Podcast

Steph's Business Bookshelf

Most people don’t have time to read the books they want to. Each week join Steph (@stephsbizbookshelf), a life-long bookworm, as she brings you the lessons from the best non-fiction books she’s read. Steph will share the ‘three big things’ the books taught her, favourite quotes and actions she’s implemented since reading the book. If you have an ever-growing pile of half-read books on your bedside table, this podcast is for you. Steph's Business Bookshelf; doing the reading so you don't have to.

mwp.podcast.all.episodes

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? If you liked this, you might like my twice-monthly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading, and listening to, next. Click here to subscribe. About the book It’s hard to give up on the feeling that the life you want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward good, better, best. But what happens when the life you hoped for is put on hold indefinitely? Kate Bowler believed that life was a series of unlimited choices, only to find that she was stuck in a cancerous body at age 35. In her instant New York Times bestselling book, No Cure for Being Human, Kate searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of our modern “best life now” advice industry, which offers us exhausting positivity, trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn and out-perform our humanness. With dry wit and unflinching honesty, she grapples with her cancer diagnosis, her ambition, and her faith and searches for some kind of peace with her limitations in a culture that says that anything is possible. In facing down cancer, Kate searches for hope without cheap optimism, and truth with room for mystery. We are as fragile as the day we were born, and we will need each other if we’re going to tell the truth: Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope and despair and everything in between, but there’s no cure for being human. Source: https://katebowler.com/no-cure-for-being-human/ About the author Kate Bowler is a New York Times best-selling author, podcast host, and associate professor of the history of Christianity in North America at Duke University. After being unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at age 35, she wrote the New York Times best-selling memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved), which tells the story of her struggle to understand the personal and intellectual dimensions of the American belief that all tragedies are tests of character. Her TED talk on the subject has received over 9 million views to date, and on her popular podcast, Everything Happens, she talks with people about what they have learned in dark times and why it is so difficult to speak frankly about suffering. Source: https://katebowler.com/no-cure-for-being-human/   Big idea #1 — Your best life now We’re obsessed with living well, optimizing everything, following people like Tony Robbins and those who promise us all the good things that will come from mastering our habits, enhancing our bodies, and that salvation is only a decision away. Kate says that “every year billions of dollars are pumped into a wellness industry defined by the theory that we can be perfected. We can organize ourselves, heal ourselves, budget ourselves, love ourselves, and eat well enough to make ourselves whole.” But of course, none of that is true. And it’s one thing being bombarded with all of those messages on a regular day, but what does that all mean when you’ve had a serious and potentially terminal health diagnosis? When spending time and the idea of productivity take on whole completely different meetings. It’s not really enough to live our best life. We need to think about it in a slightly different way in order to spend time well. And we need to think about the promises made by advertising and marketing and the so-called gurus, in a more suspicious way. Because maybe we can’t live our best life now, because we can’t control everything. Big idea #2 — Unfinished cathedrals Hang gliding, swimming with dolphins, and a world of other experiences have made their way into the experience economy; the things you must do before you die. We put them on bucket lists and it all suggests that life can be successfully completed.It’s much easier to count items than to know what counts. We think that we can master the world by conquering our inner world. But we can’t. Life can’t be completed, no matter what Instagram tells us. And that’s what makes it great. Kate tells a story about a trip to Lisbon, Portugal, and to a cathedral that was never finished. The story goes that the plans for the cathedral construction became so over-complicated that they just stopped and left it ‘beautifully unfinished’, as she said. It was interesting to see different people’s reactions to the cathedral. Kate and her husband thought it was a bit ugly, and bit rough around the edges. But an older man that was there visiting as well was exclaiming at how beautiful it was, which made them see it in a different way. A nice metaphor for life. She talks about the fact that time is a circle, and that ‘we’re trapped between the past that we can’t return to and a future that is uncertain’. And therefore ‘it takes guts and courage to live in this hard space between anticipation and realization’.All of our masterpieces are ridiculous, all of our striving unnecessary, and all of our work unfinished and unfinishable. We do too much, never enough and are done before we’ve even started. And that is better that way. Quite a nice antidote to the overwhelm we put ourselves through on a regular basis around trying to ‘complete’ everything. Big idea #3 — A painful reminder Nobody wants a reminder of how all of us teeter on the edge between life and death on a daily basis. Kate talks about a friend who had a very unwell child who said that she felt like she was ‘everyone’s inspiration, but nobody’s friend’. It’s very hard to maintain some relationships during a long illness or a long, drawn out traumatic experience in life. It’s hard to hear the dramas of everyday life with the same feelings when you’re having to brush over your stories about scans, tests, results you’re waiting on, and specialist appointments. She talks about the bubbling resentment that that comes with hearing people were getting upset about ruining some clothes in the wash by putting something of the wrong color in the machine, or their weight loss dramas etc. It’s a very evident show of the different realities that people can live in. But Kate also talks about the hard fact that so much of the clarity and purpose that you can get from suffering quickly slides away. She talks about having to relearn and remember how to live ‘normally’, with all of life’s uncertainty which has just become incredibly clear. It’s not something we like to be reminded of, but none of us know what will happen in a given moment, and some of us have had ‘certain’ futures upended or even erased altogether. This doesn’t mean we can’t exist. It just takes courage in order to do so.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

27 de nov.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? If you liked this, you might like my twice-monthly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading, and listening to, next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on the boards of directors of the Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-Award-winning New England regional theater, Festival Ballet, and chaired the Newport International Film Festival. His speaking typically includes 20 keynotes a year at major conferences, and he has been a visiting faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, Boston College, Tufts, St. John’s, the University of Illinois, the Institute of Management Studies, and the University of Georgia Graduate School of Business. He has held an appointment as adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rhode Island where he taught courses on advanced management and consulting skills to MBA and PhD candidates. He once held the record for selling out the highest priced workshop (on entrepreneurialism) in the then-21-year history of New York City’s Learning Annex. His Ph.D. is in psychology. He has served on the Board of Governors of Harvard University’s Center for Mental Health and the Media. Source: https://alanweiss.com/about-alan-weiss/   About the book The newest thoughts and examples on the best practices and language for successful professional services proposals. This is the contemporary version of the seminal book How to Write A Proposal That’s Accepted Every Time, originally written in 1998 and updated in 2002. Adopt the best global practices Alan has generated for conceptual agreement, options, escalating fees, avoiding the legal department, eliminating cancellations, and much more. He includes information about RFPs (requests for proposals) and retainers. Increase your income by six figures a year without doing anything different — except how you formulate your proposals. Source: https://alanweiss.com/shop/books/paperback/million-dollar-consulting-proposals/   Big idea #1 — Proposals with purpose Your proposal doesn’t do the selling for you. This is the fundamental idea of the book; the proposal isn’t doing anything that you haven’t already done. The sale should really already have been made from the meetings you’ve had, and the relationship you have built with the economic buyer. It’s a summary of what has come before and what has been agreed. There’s a quote in the book that says;A proposal is a summation, not an explanation. It is a summary of the conceptual agreement you’ve reached with your economic buyer and not a negotiating document or an attempt to make a sale. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sending a proposal without having actually ever sold anything, and making the mistake of seeing a proposal as the start of the sales process, rather than the end. Alan says that the things that proposal should do include; summarizing the agreement detailing the objectives, metrics of success, and the value of those objectives being met giving options for levels of value detailing the fees and the terms and conditions Conversely, what the proposal documents shouldn’t do is; be a document for gatekeepers to use on your behalf be vague establish credibility (that should already have been done) include anything that hasn’t already been agreed to be used to build a relationship with a buyer (again, that should already have been done),  be a comparison point for competitors (ie you shouldn’t be in a situation where your proposal was being looked at and compared to another) He says that most people send proposals too early and too often, even sometimes using the number of proposals sent out as a measure of success. Big idea #2 — Know your buyer This isn’t just from an avatar perspective and coming up with your stick figure pretend ‘buyer’ and writing things that they like / feel etc. This is about really building a relationship with the economic buyer; the person who can sign off the purchase order, who can pay the invoice, who can approve the finances involved in working with you. At several points in the book Alan makes some sick burns at HR people (he often refers to them as Hardly Relevant in other talks / podcasts) and emphasizes many times that you should never deal with them. A proposal in the wrong hands, he says, is worse than no proposal at all. So we need to be working directly with our economic buyer. Building a trusted relationship with your economic buyer might take several meetings or interactions, and is not done through a proposal document. He says you know the relationship building is going well when the other person shares undisclosed/non-public information with you and ask your opinion. By working with the buyer you are able to better articulate value, because you know exactly what is important to them, what their objectives are, what outcomes would be valuable to them, and how to talk about those things in their words. He says when gatekeepers are involved (or low-level people, as he often refers to them) that keep you from your buyer, it’s time to ‘blow a hole in the wall’ and find your own way to the economic buyer. He acknowledges this is a bit of a risky approach, and may only work 10% of the time, but that’s better than the 0% which you’re going to get if the gatekeeper keeps you from the economic buyer. Big idea #3 — The nine key components Alan very helpfully in the book provides several templates to use an example proposal, including wording and structures. Some of the wording you might not like, but it gives you a chance to make these your own. There are nine key components to one of his million dollar proposals: Situational appraisal: the context of the problem (keep it short and focused on the problem, don’t include the company history / what they do… your buyer already knows this!) Objectives: the desired business outcome Metrics: how success and/or progress will be measured Value: the impact of meeting the objectives Methodology and options: how the outcomes will be achieved / the levels of value available Timing: key dates / timing estimates / overall timeline Joint accountability: what you will do and what the client needs to commit to, in order to be successful Terms & conditions: legal blurb and payment terms / rates etc Acceptance: how does the client accept the proposal? He says including these sections means easier and clearer conversations every single time, and therefore a better acceptance rate. But only if the work has been done upfront and you’re using proposals to summarize, not sell.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

21 de nov.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? If you liked this, you might like my twice-monthly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading, and listening to, next. Click here to subscribe. About the book Rejections don’t go on your resume, but they are part of every successful person’s career. All of us will apply for jobs that we don’t get and have ambitions that aren’t fulfilled, because that is part of being a working person, part of pushing oneself to the next step professionally. While everyone deserves feel-better stories, women are more likely to ruminate, more likely to overthink rejection until it becomes even more painful-a situation that the women in this collection are determined to change, and in so doing, normalize rejection and encourage others to talk about it. Source: www.amazon.com  About the author Jessica Bacal is director of Reflective and Integrative Practices and of the Narratives Project at Smith College. She leads programs to help students explore identity and find resilience in community. She also teaches a course called Designing Your Path, which guides students to consider questions like: What is your story? Where have you been and where are you going? What matters to you? What skills do you need to pursue what matters? Before her career in higher education, she was an elementary school teacher in New York City, and then a curriculum developer and consultant. She received a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, an MFA in writing from Hunter College, and an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, two children, and two dogs. Source: https://www.jessbacal.com/bio Big idea #1 — Rejection is not the end Fundamentally, the underlying message of this book is that rejection is not the end of anything. It’s not the end of your career, an idea, a business, a project, a book, whatever it is that has been rejected. But so much weight is carried by that word. Even the word rejection, carries so much shame, embarrassment, and ego bruising. And women seem to currently experience this slightly differently to men. And that’s not our fault. There’s a quote in the book that says “rejection can reinforce a message that many of us are receiving all the time, in small ways, that you don’t belong”. Research done at London Business School showed that;“female executives are less likely than their male peers to reapply for jobs in leadership after being turned down. And this isn’t because women are less resilient or persistent, but because they’ve already experienced years of small rejections in work cultures that generally value maleness more. They’ve felt a lack of belonging that leads them to believe that it would be foolish to reapply. And for women of color, rejection at work is often compounded by racism”. So upfront it sets out that this is not a book for women about “fixing the women”. It’s about sharing the experience of rejection by women and what that means, feels like, and looks like for women. And that largely, this is systemic rather than the fault of us as women. There’s also a big piece in realizing that most things, and most people, get rejected at some point. From academic papers, course admissions, funding rounds, and book deals. And it’s not always a reflection of you or your work. Even more importantly, it’s realizing that everyone experiences it, but often it’s kept hidden, it’s our own little shame or embarrassment that we carry with us. Therefore, we all just end up thinking it’s just us experiencing rejection, and just us that isn’t good enough to be accepted for something. Big idea #2 — Go around it Pretty much every story in this book involves having to face and respond to some kind of rejection. It’s feeling the feelings, and using those feelings to still go and do the thing that needs to be done. It’s going around the rejection that results in sometimes a great piece of science, in the example from Angela Duckworth, or a new community and new audience, in the example from Polly Rodriguez, or a new way of working more authentically in Laura Huang’s story. As Elizabeth Bell puts it in the book:“I think I realized in some way that if you don’t get what you want in the way that you want it, you can still have it. You just need to tolerate a different path”. Similarly, Michelle Tea says;“when someone rejects your creative work, it just means that they can’t see a path for it. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.” All of these statements and stories are great reminders as we’re doing our work, putting stuff out there, and being slightly vulnerable by putting ourselves in positions where people can judge or make comment on our work. But these rejections will often force more creative paths, and maybe ones that may even result in an even better outcome, as several of the women in the book suggest was the case from the rejection that they faced. Big idea #3 — Practice rejection The first thing we can do to practice rejection is to ask ourselves ‘what is the worst that can happen, and can I live with that?’, in order to steel ourselves and prepare for being okay with the worst happening (or realizing that the ‘worst’ maybe isn’t even that bad). Rejection is ultimately a muscle, and Caitlin Kirby worked her rejection muscle so much that she actually had enough rejection letters to wear as a skirt to her doctorate dissertation defense. She collected all of the rejection letters that she had whilst doing her doctorate and turned them into a skirt. The comments she got from other students or other doctorate candidates was that they hadn’t realized that every doctorate candidate experiences that level of rejection, and that no one ever talks about how much rejection you have to go through in order to get a doctorate. There’s some exercises in the book about getting better at rejection. One of them is to get 10 no’s . You write down a heap of things that you could ask for, and then go out and ask for them. Yes’s don’t count, you have to get 10 no’s. If you write down 10 things, get five ‘yes’ and five ‘no’, you have to carry on until you get 10 no’s. The ‘no’ is all that counts. The other thing to practice is talking about rejection. So many of the stories in the book touch on women initially feeling like it was just them, but many found a community where they could share formally or informally and help others with their rejection too.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

14 de nov.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book Want to be more creative? Not sure of where to start? You’re not alone. We all have a dysfunctional relationship with creativity. We love it, value it and want more of it but just can’t seem to find the time or resources to give to it. And despite desperate calls for more innovative thinking, the systems and processes that hold most businesses together don’t allow or enable anything like it. This book is for anyone who feels like they have more to give but struggles to get it out. Packed full of powerful, practical and poetic tools, this inspiring and infectious read will help you cut through the barriers that prevent creativity at work while giving you the clarity and confidence to unleash your wild, untamed self-expression into every pocket of your personal and professional life. Source: https://www.mykeldixon.com/store   About the author Mykel Dixon is an award-winning speaker, author, musician and recognised authority of Creativity, Culture and the Human Future of Work. He helps leaders and teams rediscover their natural appetite and aptitude for Creativity with extraordinary success. Through the design and delivery of explosive keynote presentations, immersive team-building activities and transformative talent development programs, Mykel leads a new-wave of entrepreneurial savants showing forward-thinking companies how to reinvent for relevance in a 21st-Century Renaissance. Source: https://www.mykeldixon.com/ Also check out https://www.everydaycreatives.com/   Big idea #1 — Creative, everyday  “The future of work will be written by those with the courage to think, feel, and act more creative every day.” There is a lot in the book that says about how and why we need to access courage in order to access creativity, even in times of uncertainty or discomfort. We don’t need to go into all the reasons why creativity is so important. The writing is on the wall that our more socially, politically, and technically complex world requires a lot more creativity in order to solve the big problems that we are facing and will continue to face. We know that the future of AI and robotics rests on the marriage of human creativity and emotion, with the efficiency and power of technology. Therefore we need to inject creativity into our daily lives; from our emails to our CVs, to how we connect with people, even the shoes we wear, and not just into the big stuff. We can’t access creativity for the big stuff and the big problems if we’re not practicing creativity on a regular basis. Plus it makes life and work a lot more fun as well. This book is all about harnessing those tiny ways and those little things that we can do every single day in order to be more creative; to access our creativity and expand our creative minds. Like every book about creativity, it’s so important not to conflate creativity with artistic talent or artistic skill. Those are two completely different things. Big idea #2 — Reclaim your creative identity In the book Mykel says “No one was born boring. No one had dreams of being a buzzkill. It happens slowly, subtly, insidiously”. You’ve probably heard people say that creativity is a skill and that it can be learned, but it’s really more bout relearning. In a famous study led by George Land, 1,600 five-year-olds were tested for their creativity skills; their creative capacity and their ability to access that creative capacity. At just five years old, 98% of those 1,600 children scored as creative geniuses. Five years later, he tested the same children, at 10 years old only 30% were creative geniuses. He tested them again at 15, by then it was just 12%. Most depressingly, by the time these children were 30 years old, just 2% of them showed the same creative genius potential that 98% of them had done 25 years earlier. It goes to show that creativity is bashed out of us slowly but surely throughout our lives. We are taught that creativity and thinking differently is dangerous, that it will make us misunderstood, or isolated, or poor (or all three) and that it’s safer not to be creative. Mykel says that all the post-it note activities in the world that you might do in your team or in a workshop, won’t help if fundamentally, you believe that you’re not creative, and you don’t reclaim the creativity that you, and all of us, were clearly born with. Mykel breaks it down into six creative identities; The never was creative The used to be creative The kind of sorta creative The love to be creative The natural born creative, and The everyday creative. He says the big difference is courage, the everyday creative is not born with more creativity than anyone else. They’re not innately more creative, but they have practiced and make it a conscious, courageous effort to bring creativity into how they’re living and how they’re working. This doesn’t mean doing anything wild, it just means being intentional. Those identities are not fixed. Just because you may currently identify as ‘used to be creative’, doesn’t mean that you can’t move from that. Something worth reflecting on that and thinking about how you move from one level of creative identity to another. Big idea #3 — Make it your own Mykel gives plenty of space and prompts in the book to create your own creativity manifesto and your value proposition; the what, the, how, and the why to set the scene and set your mindset around what creativity means to you? Why is it that you want to access it? What would the benefits be and what is the value or the benefit to you and the others around you. It’s then up to you to create the principles that make your own version of creativity, because by its very nature, it will look and feel different to everyone. So some examples in the book… wearing a more colorful outfit or some crazy socks or shoes (a safe place to start with everyday creativity) using bright stationary to create some different connections and thinking in your brain (when you pick up your bright pink notebook or your bright orange notebook, you might then think, oh yeah, this is where I write my ideas or come up with great questions) going off script (Mykel used to work in a call center and he was always getting told off for going ‘off script’, but he also was the most successful in the call centre, showing that the output of creativity was celebrated, but the practice of creativity was very much admonished and he got told off a lot for going off script) asking more questions saying yes to different things switching your browser / looking beyond the default settings (one study suggested that people who go beyond the default settings on their computers and use a different browser than the default have a touch of extra creativity in them, because they’re not just going with what they’re given) Mykel centre aligns his emails as a way of bucking convention and making people stop and notice making work work for you, maybe mixing up your meetings reading something different, going somewhere different, or meeting someone different, to give yourself exposure to different ideas. There’s just a few examples of some ideas of everyday creativity in the book, there’s obviously a million others that you can come up with to make it your own. I like to think of these as cheeky little nods to yourself and to others around your way of expressing creativity, which builds up over time. And then before long, you’ll be asking different questions without even having to think about it. And when the moment appears that really matters, you’ll be ready to think in a more creative way, as you’ve worked to become the creative you were born to be.   Let’s connect! LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

7 de nov.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Dorie Clark has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, and was recognized as the #1 Communication Coach in the world by the Marshall Goldsmith Leading Global Coaches Awards. Clark, a consultant and keynote speaker, teaches executive education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School, and she is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Long Game, Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing Youand Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of the Year by Inc. magazine. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, Clark has been described by the New York Times as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives.” A frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, she consults and speaks for clients including Google, Microsoft, and the World Bank. Source: https://dorieclark.com/about/ About the book It’s no secret that we’re pushed to the limit. Today’s professionals feel rushed, overwhelmed, and perennially behind. So we keep our heads down, focused on the next thing, and the next, without a moment to breathe. How can we break out of this endless cycle and create the kind of interesting, meaningful lives we all seek? In The Long Game, Clark shares unique principles and frameworks you can apply to your specific situation, as well as vivid stories from her own career and other professionals’ experiences. Everyone is allotted the same 24 hours — but with the right strategies, you can leverage those hours in more efficient and powerful ways than you ever imagined. It’s never an overnight process, but the long-term payoff is immense: to finally break out of the frenetic day-to-day routine and transform your life and your career. Source: https://dorieclark.com/longgame/ Big idea #1 — Do the right thing This idea has a couple of different meetings. The right thing might be supporting a social movement, an equality position, or a climate change issue, even if there’s a short term cost. Dorie talks about interviewing someone who says of all the CEOs they’ve ever met, not one of them has not supported one of the issues in the public zeitgeist, However, many of them haven’t stood up publicly and supported those things because they’re too worried about the short term commercial or shareholder response to taking a strong position on a particularly tricky subject. This short term thinking stops them doing the right thing and using their power to make a stand. Whereas, by taking a long term perspective and asking what the long term impact of taking a position on one of these issues might be, could yield greater results. The right thing is also about not getting distracted. Doing the right thing is about avoiding shiny object syndrome (we all suffer from it at times) and might involve saying no to things that you do want to do. It’s relatively easy to say no to things we don’t want to do, but saying no to things we do want to do, but are going to distract us and get in the way of the things that we should be doing, is more difficult. It takes courage to be a long term thinker. It takes courage to stand up and say no to things. It takes courage to stand up and have a position on a strong social issue. When you know there might be a short term “negative” impact to doing so. We need to choose what we’re ok being bad at, in order to be a good at the thing that is important. This creates the difference between moving ten individual things an inch each, or one thing a mile. Which very much reminds me of Greg McKeown’s Essentialism concept. Therefore, we need to set the right goals to focus on the right things. This might involve getting the right people in the right room, which can lead to the most unlikely of possibilities happening many months or years down the line — again requiring long term thinking. Big idea #2 — Think in waves Dorie talks about strategic over-indexing, or doubling down really on the things that will give the greatest return on investment into the future. You might want to split your time into heads up time or heads down time. Heads up time is when you’re looking for opportunities, you’re meeting people or going to events, whereas head down time is when you’re in deep work mode and focused on creating. Dorie sets herself three to six months blocks to be either heads up or heads down. The other version of this, is the idea of waves. The four waves that you can be in are; Learning — improving your skills Connecting —going to events, joining groups, or networking Creating — getting work done Reaping — enjoying the benefits of your hard work (holiday anyone?) I liked this idea of doing waves that you can just commit to for a few months at a time, and then switch modes and focus. Great for those of us who find the idea of focusing on one thing at a time a little painful. Big idea #3 — Be patient If there’s really one big idea from this book, it is being patient. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if something’s not working, or if it’s just not working yet. We often hear the glib concept of people giving up just at the point that ‘it’ was going to happen and they were almost at their inflection point, but it’s really hard when you’re in that moment to know whether you’re on a hiding to nothing or just about to hit your stride. Especially if you’re not getting external validation and maybe you’re even getting actively being rejected from things as well. Therefore you need strategic patience. There will be a point of momentum, of exponential growth, and where the compound effect will kick in. Dorie sets out three questions that you can ask yourself if you’re stuck before that tipping point; why am I doing this? how has it worked for others? what do my trusted advisors say? It’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly tweaking our strategies if we are getting stuck or feel like things aren’t working / aren’t going quick enough. Usually this results in us not ever really moving forward, just going round and round in little circles. We also need to start comparing, like for like; not comparing you at three years, to someone else at 20 years into a particular field or pathway that you’re choosing to take. Dorie goes as far to say that it takes a minimum of five years of consistent effort before you start to really see momentum building. All of this requires rethinking failure, looking for different paths to the same desire or the same outcome, and potentially looking at alternative options.  For example, you’re writing a book but then the publishing deal falls through, or your co-author decides that they don’t want to do it anymore — disaster! But maybe not. Using an alternative option and asking yourself how you can leverage what you’ve already done so it’s not wasted would be a useful tactic. In that example you could approach another publisher, try a magazine or publication, turn the content into a series of talks or a course… there are multiple ways to rethink a setback (and might even become a better outcome).   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31 de out.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Highly regarded for his provocative style, James Victore is a graphic designer, art educator and dynamic high in-demand speaker on creativity. He lectures and teaches regularly around the globe, inspiring people to illuminate their individual gifts in order to achieve personal greatness. Raised in upstate New York, James moved to New York City when he was 19 years old and by age 23, after dropping out of two different colleges, he became an apprentice to noted book-jacket designer Paul Bacon. It was with Bacon that Victore found his voice as a designer and he began to take charge of his own education and career as a self-taught artist and designer. Described as “part Darth Vader, part Yoda,” James is widely known for his timely wisdom and impassioned views about design and it’s place in the world. As well as founding his own design studio in 1990, James taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Victore’s posters have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and are in the permanent collections of the Palais du Louvre in Paris, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Design Museum in Zurich, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Source: https://www.jamesvictore.com/about   About the book “Feck” is the creative tool kit that you need in your life. It is about living and creating freely, without the stress of others expectations or even your own thoughts about being perfect. 80 chapters of inspiration and thoughtful practices. Order more copies! You need this book, but so do your co workers or your partner or mom or your college kid, heck, buy one for your boss! Source: https://www.jamesvictore.com/get-inspired   Big idea #1 — Be weird There’s a whole section of this book about being yourself about embracing your childhood weirdness, using creativity, having an opinion, and not fitting in. James uses the analogy of ‘letting your light shine’, like in the gospel song ‘this little light of mine’, but we often don’t do that because it’s both too easy and too hard. We forget how to be creative as we get older and how at some point the weirdness that we have as kids becomes a target rather than an asset. And so the hiding and the morphing into the being the same as everyone else begins.  For most of us, this starts at home (chapter one is actually called ‘your parents were wrong’, a strong way to start any book).We’re often presented with predefined pathways as options of what we can be when we grow up, which is obviously a horrible question to ask anyone, never mind a child. And these offered pathways are usually quite narrow. James says that whatever we want to be, be it an accountant or an artist, or a songwriter or an engineer, you should be yourself, have an opinion, and do it your way.   Big idea #2 — The first rule of business: fun  Without fun, you are merely one of the working dead. Without the fun, all of the hard work will be much more painful, and longevity will be much harder to maintain. Fun allows us to test innovate, make mistakes and stay curious. It allows us to bring our personality into our products and services, which ultimately is what people love. People are drawn to products and services that have some character and some personality to them. This doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. James isn’t painting this overly perfect or overly saccharin view of what life or work will, or should, be like. He talks a lot about quality and skill, there’s a whole section on sharpening the axe and building and maintaining your skillset. He talks about doing the work, even when you don’t feel like it, and the importance of having a plan. But having fun and making yourself happy first makes all of this possible. After all excitement breeds, excitement.   Big idea #3 — Feck Perfuction Nobody’s perfect, even you, and it’s easy to make a myriad of excuses or ‘big buts’ as James calls them to slip into comparisonitis, have shaky boundaries, or underselling ourselves by not asking for enough or by too much self-deprecation. Building solid habits and embracing an action focused approach to work, experimentation, and mistake making means we can make things happen. He mentions a Buddhist parable, that the second arrow comes from our own hands. The first arrow that hits us might be something going wrong; your car breaking down, the train being delayed, someone criticizing you. But the second arrow comes from our own hands; we then berate ourselves, we let that thing that happened to us ruin our whole day or a whole week, rather than just letting it go and choosing to react in a way that’s more productive. We get to choose whether to fire that second arrow into ourselves. James says we need to embrace the flaws. We need to turn them into features or strengths, and let go of the judgment of ourselves and others and get on and make something happen.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

24 de out.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book You may have outgrown a relationship. Your job may no longer excite you. Maybe you look in the mirror and see someone you don’t want to be anymore. You might be so fed up that you’re ready to throw in the towel at work or in a friendship or relationship. Behind the scenes, thousands of smart, capable, amazing people like you feel the exact same way. In There Has To Be More, Rachel shares the methods and tools she created to genuinely grow and build a life that reflects what makes her happy. Source: amazon.com.au   About the author Rachel Service is the CEO of Happiness Concierge and the author of There Has To Be More: The Essential Guide to Personal Growth. After experiencing an aha moment at a Beyonce concert (true story!), with $300 in her bank account, entrepreneur Rachel Service started Happiness Concierge™, the company empowering thousands of people across the globe. Since then, she has saved companies millions by empowering their people, partnered with ASX listed companies, retail banks, universities and government departments and shifted the dial on workplace culture. Rachel’s award-winning approach to personal and professional growth has been featured in the BBC, Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Her TED talk, ‘How to Break Up With Your Public Identity’, was internationally syndicated on the official TED website in 2020. Rachel’s belief is when we create our own version of success, we take control of our life and work. Source: https://www.rachelservice.com/rachel-service   Big idea #1 — The Growth Cycle The main structure of the book is around the growth cycle, Rachel’s on model on how to take your goals and reach them. The five stages of the growth model are… Own it; doing an audit and really checking yourself on what’s really happening, including how you’re getting in your own way at the moment. Find your way back; reflecting on what’s changed and what those trigger points were. What do you want; defining what you want and really being clear on what’s important and what’s not important. Game plan; the people, the actions, the roadblocks, and then prioritizing the goals. Take the first step; acknowledging the small wins, finding little ways to fail, and setting a bit of a commitment to yourself. There’s lots of reflection questions and frameworks throughout the model and book. One I particularly liked was looking at behaviour and communication patterns where we fall into the trap of our own outdated beliefs and how we reinforce them, and therefore ending up going in a bit of a cycle. Which is not particularly useful for actually achieving our goals and breaking some of those patterns and habits and ways of thinking.   Big idea #2 — Choose your people There’s a really strong theme in the book about the people around you and that you surround yourself with and choosing them wisely. Rachel shares that some people might freak out when you make a big change, or when you decide that you’re going to commit to yourself and make and achieve a goal. You might even be concerned trolled, which was a term that I had never heard before, but I really enjoyed as a description. It is when you get a back handed comment or false curiosity from someone when you share your goal or actions with them. Eg;Concern troll: how was your morning?You: Great, I did a fitness class.Concern troll: oh I would never do that of kind of jumping around.You: well, you know, it’s not for everyone. Concern troll: don’t you ever worry about getting injured? That sort of backhanded comments or false curiosity/concern is something that you probably hear, and do, on a regular basis. And I had never thought of it as being a bad thing; just different preferences / opinions. So it was a useful reminder how in some cases, it might make people feel bad or feel like they shouldn’t do the thing because they’ve been concerned trolled. There’s also a useful section in the book so that if you do find you need to edit some relationships, there’s also advice in here around saying no, establishing boundaries, and potentially distancing yourself from certain individuals or certain groups or relationships that aren’t serving you.   Big idea #3 — Reflect, reflect, reflect This is more of an overall theme of the book as there’s a huge amount of questions, practical activities, sections you can fill in, and even an associated workbook that comes with the book. Quite a few of the reflection questions involve looking backwards; thinking back to a time you felt excellent or you felt at your best and then asking yourself what’s changed to get you here, where maybe things aren’t working as well for you, or there’s something a little bit missing. The hardest thing is often knowing what you do want. So the book asks you what you want to; feel or be have  achieve Which is quite a nice way of breaking it down for the little prompts that can help you define what success looks like. And then from there you can set up timelines, stepping stones, habits required, and the people you need around you to actually achieve those things.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

17 de out.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. About the author James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Scientific American, Outside Magazine, BBC, The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, Surfer’s Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. He’s spent the last several years working on a book called Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. It released through Riverhead/Penguin Random House on May 26, 2020 and spent 18 weeks of the New York Times bestseller list in the first year of publication. At home in San Francisco, James runs his 1978 Mercedes-Benz 300D on used cooking oil whenever he can and used to zip around town (correction: breakdown all over town) in a Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar, the first-ever American-made production electric vehicle, which barely ever worked and was later offloaded on some dude with purple suspenders in Eugene, Oregon. Source: https://www.mrjamesnestor.com/about   About the book There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of Sao Paulo. Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe. Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. You will never breathe the same again. Source: https://www.mrjamesnestor.com/#/breath-book/ Big idea #1 —Our changing faces There are over 5,400 known species of mammals, but humans are the only ones with regular misaligned jaws, under and overbites, and snuggled teeth. Evolution isn’t always better, it’s just change. And we are at a point now, and have been for several thousands of years, where we’re passing down these unhealthy and unhelpful deformities to future generations. This change started before homo-sapiens were even sapiens. There’s a full timeline in the book, but over the last hundred of thousands of years, our species changed, we ate different food, which made our brains grow much, much bigger, which in turn meant that they needed more space in our skulls. Our brains stole this space from our sinuses, our airways and our mouths, which then shrunk our faces. You can see this in comparing the skulls of modern homo-sapiens to prehistoric sapiens. By processing and cooking food, even in a very primitive way, we started chewing less, which resulted in our jaws were getting looser, weaker, and changed the shape of our face. Learning to speak dropped our larynx and pushed our tongues back, creating too much space at the back of our throat, meaning that we are the only mammals, and the only sapiens that can choke. We even do that in our sleep; through snoring and sleep apnea. As we evolved, those in colder climates developed long, thin noses, which were able to warm up the cold air before it reached out lungs. Those in warm and humid climates had flatter noses, which is much more efficient for processing that humid air ready to hit the lungs. But look at us now. We are not breathing well, we’re snoring, we stop breathing altogether as we sleep with sleep apnea, and never mind our teeth. These things are all unique deformities of the human race, rather than something that is prevalent in mammals more generally. So our big old brains haven’t been that good for us. Big idea#2 — We’re breathing wrong First things first; mouth breathing is very bad.Mouth breathing, it turns out, changes the physical body and transforms airways all for the worse. Inhaling air through the mouth decreases pressure, which causes the soft tissues in the back of the mouth to become loose and flex inward, creating less space and making breathing more difficult. Therefore mouth breathing begets more mouth breathing. Our small mouths cause our teeth overcrowding, and many other issues. Sleeping with an open mouth makes it even worse, because gravity blocks the airways and therefore that’s when we get snoring and sleep apnea. In the book, James talks about his experiment (which sounds absolutely horrific) where he had his nose blocked up with padding for 10 days, to test exactly what happens when you can only breathe through your mouth. By the end of the experiment, his snoring was 4,800% worse than it was at the beginning of of the experiment, and he was having 25 apnea episodes a night. Some were so bad that he actually dropped below 90% oxygen, which on an ongoing basis can cause all sorts of issues. Some studies show that sleep apnea and snoring (ie poor breathing / mouth breathing at night) lead to things like bed-wetting, ADHD, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancers. The Mayo Clinic now says that chronic insomnia is actually a breathing problem, not a psychological one. One Japanese study, showed that mouth breathing reduces oxygen to the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with ADHD. Another bad breathing habit we have is holding our breath, particularly when we’re maybe sat at our desks at work and having a bit of a stressful day. There was some really interesting research and studies that have been done of indigenous groups of people who are living in a less modernised way, and some of their practices around breathing. Even though these groups of people are in completely different continents, they all had really similar techniques and ways of breathing, which were much more unfettered by some of the modern ways of living that we have. And their dental structures, facial shapes, and respiratory health are much better for it. James talked about one particular Native American group of people who wouldn’t even smile with their mouth open in case some dirty unfiltered air crept into their mouth. They felt so strongly that nose breathing is the clean way to breathe, and mouth breathing was quite a dirty way to breathe because you’re not filtering the air.   Big idea #3 — How to breathe better You may have already gathered the breathing better way is through your nose as a starting point.  (Note: all of the following techniques and ideas are covered more thoroughly in the book and here on James’ website, this is obviously a very high level overview and NOT medical instruction, so don’t do anything silly) At night one option to train yourself to breathe through your nose is to put a little piece of medical tape over your lips, which starts to tease them closed at night. The other thing we can be doing is increasing our lung capacity, there is some quite interesting research into the link between lung capacity and longevity / health. We can increase our lung capacity by taking really long out breaths, and accessing the full lung capacity, rather than just the little, short, shallow breaths. This technique is a used lot by athletes, particularly around better using the exhale. We’ve also become over breathers. In today’s modern age is between 12 and 20 breaths per minute, taking in about half a liter each time, which is almost twice as much as it used to be at the high end of that range. So we can practice slower breathing. Aiming for around 5.5 breaths per minute, practicing fewer inhales and exhales at a smaller volume. Another way of improving our breathing is by chewing more. Now you don’t need to go and start eating bark and sticks like some of our prehistoric ancestors did, but even using gum (particularly chewy gum, rather than the soft squishy ones) will help. It can strengthen our facial bones and jaws and help open up the airways. There’s also various yoga breathing techniques, for example, alternate nasal breathing, and box breathing, which you may be familiar with from yoga or meditation practice. There’s also some quite advanced methods as well, which come with a whole plethora of different warnings and caveats, such as the Wim Hof method, some of which you can not practice if you have heart conditions, are driving, operating heavy machinery, or are anywhere near some water! James’s website contains a whole little video section with some of these techniques that you can practice at home and build your breathing repertoire.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

10 de out.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book The average human lifespan is absurdly, outrageously, insultingly brief: if you live to 80, you have about four thousand weeks on earth. How should we use them best? Of course, nobody needs telling that there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed by our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, the struggle against distraction, and the sense that our attention spans are shrivelling. Yet we rarely make the conscious connection that these problems only trouble us in the first place thanks to the ultimate time-management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks. Four Thousand Weeks is an uplifting, engrossing and deeply realistic exploration of this problem. Rejecting the futile modern obsession with ‘getting everything done,’ it introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life, showing how the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made, as individuals and as a society — and its many revelations will transform the reader’s worldview. Source: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/four-thousand-weeks-9781847924025   About the author OLIVER BURKEMAN is the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking and Help! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done. He wrote a long-running column for the Guardian, This Column Will Change Your Life, and has a devoted following for his writing on productivity, mortality and the power of limits. Source: https://www.oliverburkeman.com/books   Big idea #1 — In the long run, we’re all dead There’s no escaping this fact. But we try to constantly, from measuring everything, hacking our time, choosing convenient options, and practicing every time management trick in the book, we’re constantly trying to control the uncontrollable. But what are we really doing with all this time we’ve hacked and supposedly saved from using the dishwasher, rather than doing the washing up, or getting takeaways or meal boxes, or smoothie-ing all of our different meals so we don’t have to waste time eating or chewing? We’re still being churned in the machine. We’re burnt out, stressed, with a to do list that we’ll never get done. And we’re living for an imaginary time in the future (time which isn’t guaranteed) where we’ll magically have time for all of the things we say we don’t now, despite how important we say these things that we never get round to are to us. We’re also attaching our self-worth to how we spend our time, which is a of a fool’s errand. The system is rigged. We are not machines. Time management is a lie, no list of ‘10 things to do before 7am’ will fix the systemic issues of spending our time on the wrong things, because our idea of being fully optimised and living our best lives is impossible. But this is excellent news because by admitting it we can then let go and can take the first steps to spending our time actually in a better way. Big idea #2 — Finitude and FOMO We need to embrace our insultingly short time on earth and stop trying to do the impossible, which is everything, and controlling our time. But what do we need to do next? Firstly, we need to ditch FOMO. We need to accept that almost everything that happens in the world, we will miss out on. What we need to do after that, is think about procrastinating better, which means saying no to things that we do want to do. In order to be able to spend better time on the things that we really do want to do. This means starting the projects, even though we know they won’t be good enough (because they won’t be) because ultimately we only have one chance to do them. There’s an idea in the book of paying yourself first. To do these things that we say we really want to do, and we want to happen, we need to do those first. We need to make the time in our days a month to do them, and accept the consequences of doing so. It might mean we need to reduce our client workload, or reduce our hours at work, or say no to other things in order to do the things that we say we really want to do, and that are important. This will it be helped if you limit your work in progress. Oliver only allows himself to have three tasks/projects in progress at one time. And he has a one in one out policy on those. Limiting your work in progress means you have to make sure that those three things really are the most important things, no middling priorities allowed. Of course, these priorities may change over time. Some will draw to a natural conclusion and allow for a new one to take its place, others will become less important (or fail) and be replaced by another.  He likens this to the adage of the rocks and the bucket. The problem with that particular anecdote, Oliver argues, is that the teacher turns up with only enough big rocks fit in the bucket in the first place. Whereas in our lives, we are overwhelmed by the opportunities and the possibilities of all the big rocks. There’s a whole beach full of big rocks. The skill is not about fitting them in the bucket, but choosing which big rocks to put in there in the first place. And finally, he says that we should do some things just to feel good. Not everything has to be a means to an end. Big idea #3 — Five questions and ten antidotes In the book Oliver shares five reflective questions to help you decide if you’re living a way that helps you make the most of your four thousand weeks, and ‘ten tools for embracing your finitude’. Here they are: The questions Where in your life or your work are you currently pursuing comfort, when what’s called for is a little discomfort? Are you holding yourself to, and judging yourself by, standards of productivity or performance that are impossible to meet? In what ways have you yet to accept the fact that you are who you are, not the person you think you ought to be? In which areas of life are you still holding back until you feel like you know what you’re doing? How would you spend your life differently if you didn’t care so much about seeing your actions reach fruition?   The tools Adopt a ‘fixed volume’ approach to productivity (ie create better time boundaries to your daily work) Serialise, serialise, serialise (one or two big things at a time) Decide in advance what to fail at Focus on what you’ve already completed, not just on what’s left to complete Consolidate your caring Embrace boring and single-purpose technology Seek out novelty in the mundane Be a ‘researcher’ in relationships Cultivate instantaneous generosity Practice doing nothing  What would you do differently with your time, today, if you knew in your bones that salvation was never coming — that your standards had been unreachable all along, and that you’ll therefore never manage to make time for all you hoped you might?   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3 de out.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   This week, it's time for another quarterly check in on my favourite reads from the last three months. If you missed the first part of the 2021 'best books', you can listen to it here, and the second instalment here. This time I'm talking about... Everyday Creative by Mykel Dixon 4000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman Breath by James Nestor Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath   What are your favourite books of the year so far? Let me know by connecting on: LinkedIn Instagram   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

26 de set.

time.minutes.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Guy Raz is an independent producer who has been described by the New York Times as “one of the most popular podcasters in history.” He’s the founder and CEO of Built-It Productions and the creator and the creative force behind How I Built This. He’s also the former host and co-creator of TED Radio Hour. Guy is also the co-founder of Tinkercast, a children’s media company that produces audio podcasts and educational content for kids. Guy co-created and hosts one of those programs, Wow in the World — the number one kids podcast in English. Together, Guy’s programs are heard by nearly 19 million listeners a month. Source: https://www.npr.org/people/6597623/guy-raz About the book Based on the highly acclaimed NPR podcast, How I Built This with Guy Raz, this book offers priceless insights and inspiration from the world’s top entrepreneurs on how to start, launch, and build a successful venture. Great ideas often come from a simple spark: A soccer player on the New Zealand national team notices all the unused wool his country produces and figures out a way to turn them into shoes (Allbirds). A former Buddhist monk decides the very best way to spread his mindfulness teachings is by launching an app (Headspace). A sandwich cart vendor finds a way to reuse leftover pita bread and turns it into a multimillion-dollar business (Stacy’s Pita Chips).   Award-winning journalist and NPR host Guy Raz has interviewed more than 200 highly successful entrepreneurs to uncover amazing true stories like these. In How I Built This, he shares tips for every entrepreneur’s journey: from the early days of formulating your idea, to raising money and recruiting employees, to fending off competitors, to finally paying yourself a real salary. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business or wondered how trailblazing entrepreneurs made their own dreams a reality. Source: amazon.com  Big idea #1 — Dangerous or just scary? Despite the amazing stories of growth and entrepreneurship in the book, it’s important to see the underlying theme of calculated risk in many of the stories. Very few of the founders went into create the mega brands that they ended up creating. They started with an idea, they started with an audience and they developed, tested and created. They created a following and then they made steps to growth gradually. Of course there’s always exceptions; the people who do make the big, risky leaps. But many of the big leaps in the book are made with a “fully packed parachute”. There’s some risk mitigation that has happened. Some people stayed in that full-time or part-time jobs for a long time after the company was successful. They use their own money rather than borrowing. They started and stayed small until growth sustained their next step; the next product line, the next city, or the next bricks and mortar outlet. Now, of course, there’s always a point where there is an element of risk. And for every Lisa Price (Carol’s Daughter founder) who grew slow and steadily, there’s the Airbnb co-founders sat in their tiny apartment eating noodles every night for dinner. But really, they’re all human, just like you and me. They’re all just normal people who created something and they’ve all just approached it in a different way. Similarly, they all come from different backgrounds, different upbringings, different levels of luck and privilege and being in the right place and the right time, and have things going for them and others against them. But ultimately, it comes down to this:Failing is scary. Wasting your life is dangerous. Big idea #2 — Find a friend Many of the entrepreneurs in the book found a business partner pretty quickly, if they didn’t start with one. This allowed them to spread their particular skills, and tackle different parts of the business. In many cases, someone was the maker and someone else was the marketer. But there was a bit of a recurring theme about the impact on a relationship that a starting a business can have. Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohani, co-founders of Reddit, had been through a hell of a lot by the time they exited after selling to Condé Nast. And by that point, there wasn’t actually much of a business partnership or a friendship left. They hadn’t had the hard conversations. They didn’t set boundaries, discuss roles, and set have the hard talks around decisions. Similarly, Adam and Eric, co-founders of the household cleaning products brand Method, bought totally different skills and styles. One of them was the scientist, the other was the product designer, but they didn’t always approach or appreciate each other’s differences, or see the differences as strengths. After several years, these differences became a point of tension rather than a point of strength. There are heaps of similar stories in the book from couples who started businesses whose relationship then broke down, friends who started businesses but left the business no longer on talking terms.The similarity is that they grew a business together, but in building the business, they forgot to grow their relationship or friendship along the way. Some of them specifically said that looking back they could see it happening They stopped hanging out, they stopped talking, they stopped having fun together, and all the things that made the relationship work initially and in the early days or before starting the business just stopped happening.  Big idea #3 — The side door There’s lots of information in this book about different funding options for a startup, from credit cards to venture capital. But this is really the mechanics of business/startups, which is worth reading if you’re interested in those areas. But the one area I did want to call out is this one around going in through the side door. There’s this chapter specifically dedicated to this, but also you see this theme coming up a few times in the founders stories. Ultimately, the front door is often very crowded, with your competition, gatekeepers, and also with very high barriers. And even in 2021, for some people, unfortunately, the barriers are still even higher. So often, the side door is actually bigger, less guarded and just generally less crowded. One of the side door examples in the book was Peter Rahal, the founder of RX Bars, a paleo energy bar. When Peter started the business he went into Wholefoods (the holy grail of where to sell such a product) and saw box after box, and bar after bar of similar products. The competition was huge and getting a conversation with a buyer from Wholefoods about yet another another sports bar or another energy bar was just going to be impossible. So instead, he thought about who he was really making the product for. And it was people like him; CrossFitters who eat in a paleo way. So that’s how he went on to sell directly into CrossFit gyms/boxes. In this environment he was the only product being sold (so zero competition), and given he was a small business, this niche market was big enough to sustain his business. Plus, these were his people; he understood them and they understood what he was selling. Peter ultimately sold to Kellogg’s for $600 million, which goes to show that starting small does not need to mean you stay small. Side doors could include things like how you position your product, who you sell through, the product itself, or access to funding. There’s plenty of different ways to think about the side door, but the important thing is that you do think about the side door. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

19 de set.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. About the book Do you find yourself swamped by everyone landing problems on your desk, for you to solve? Do you wonder why your team members hand over issues for you to sort out, rather than sorting them out themselves? Even issues that you think they should be able to sort out themselves? Are you getting so bogged down in solving other people’s problems that you aren’t getting time to focus on your own work?  If so, The Manager’s Dilemma — How to Empower Your Team’s Problem-Solving is the book for you. This book starts by exploring the manager’s dilemma — be good at problem-solving or focus on developing other people’s problem-solving skills? You will explore how escalation habits contribute to the overload. You will then consider the problem-solving process, discover how to identify at which step a team member might be getting stuck and how to develop and coach them towards empowering their own problem-solving skills. Source: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09FZV3Q8L About the author Irial O’Farrell is endlessly curious by what drives performance in business. She has 10+ years direct management experience, and 20+ years experience of coaching and developing managers and leaders. The Manager’s Dilemma is based on initial direct observations Irial made of behaviours she saw in her own team and how she responded. While mentoring a group of senior managers, she realised they had similar issues within their teams, so she tested her theories with them, which resonated with them. She realised that while managers tend to be very good at problem-solving, they tend to be less good at developing other people’s problem-solving skills, so she designed and delivered a well-received workshop. This book is based on the insights she gained through those workshops. She lives in Dublin with her husband, three kids and two cats. Source: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09FZV3Q8L You can find out more about Irial's work here. Big idea #1 — The Manager’s Dilemma This is the tricky situation you find yourself in when you’re promoted to a manager role, because you’re good at problem solving, but you find yourself solving everyone else’s problems, leaving your little time for your own. This creates a dynamic of dependence and learned helplessness, which Irial talks about throughout the book. She emphasises the fact that the manager’s role is really to empower others, and to let go your need to fix other people’s problems, instead investing that into developing your management skills. Other than being quite stressful, this way of working is also hugely inefficient when the wrong people, spending the wrong amount of time on the wrong problems. It means no one’s getting developed in the right skills, and it can actually diminish trust in teams too. Ideally, you want to get to a point where there’s only three reasons for escalation; True escalation; someone more senior needs to sign off on or input to the task. A sounding board, or where someone genuinely needs some help. Being kept in the loop (which can be done more efficiently). These are obviously three quite broad reasons for escalation, but you would use this framework and tailor them to be more specific to your own needs of the project / team / organisation. Big idea #2 — The eight steps of problem solving I thought this is one of the most useful parts of the book, to see the eight stages of problem solving in a very clear way for you to evaluate where each of your team members gets stuck along the steps (including you as the manager). The eight steps are; Identify and recognise the problem Evaluate the size of the problem Research the cause of the problem Identify potential options Evaluate the potential options Decide on the best solution Implement the best solution Review the outcomes Whilst some of this might feel intuitive, you sometimes identify that a team member isn’t great at problem solving, but it’s hard to break down to exactly what they struggle with. This also gives you an explicit, logical process that your team could work through as a bit of a checklist, and set an expectation of the questions you will ask them if they do come to you.  Big idea #3 — The coaching approach A large chunk of the book is dedicated to the manager having a conversation with her coach about the problem solving problems each of her team are having, and how to approach them. Together they come up with a bit of a plan of action. It’s a bit meta as Trish is having a coaching conversation with her coach, so that she can then go back to her team and coach them. What’s really clear is that questions are at the core of this — both Trish asking questions of herself, the coach asking questions to Trish, and Trish planning the questions to ask the team. Note: this section of the book is written as an exchange between the coach and Irial, almost like a script, which was a useful way of seeing the level of detail that you need to go into when you’re doing this level of coaching with a team member. It can help you to see some of the questions, considerations, perspectives from other people that you may miss if you just dive straight into trying to solve other people’s problems, solving problems. This coaching approach allows for better problem solving, as it allows for input from the team members and to prompt their thinking, rather than giving them the answers. Especially relevant given the context of this challenge. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

12 de set.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? If you liked this, you might like my fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Holly Cardamone is a Melbourne-based author, communications specialist, writer and all round Word Nerd who works with people to tell their story and grow their business using beautiful communications. Through her consultancy, Blue51 Communications, Holly provides specialist communications support and mentoring and business writing services. She writes anything and everything, and almost always with a smile on her face and a coffee within grasp. She’s a water baby, a voracious reader, an almost fearless box jumper (Google it) and is hands down the person you want on your table at a trivia night. Source: https://www.blue51.com.au/my-story/   About the book People in business often have massive creativity, impeccable services and unique ideas, but a lot of business writing is bad. Excruciatingly so. This book is for people who: Feel too close to their work for the objectivity to share their message accurately and effectively in writing. Know that their written words aren’t working as hard as they should. Love what they do but need help to polish their message. Find it really difficult to explain on paper both what they do, and the benefits they could genuinely bring to peoples’ lives. The perfect book for people who are in the business of growing their brand, be it personal or professional, this super-actionable, solutions-focused guide provides motivation and practical support by the bucketload. It’s a funny, fresh and clever guide to communications, writing and branding storytelling. As readable as a novel, it’s packed from introduction to conclusion with ideas, suggestions, tips and strategies to tell your story and grow your business or influence with beautiful communications. Source: https://www.blue51.com.au/shop/tell-your-story/ Big idea #1 — Don’t be boring Early on in the book, Holly looks at some of the common issues in business writing. These include mistakes such as weak structures, introductions that don’t make sense, repetition, sentences that are just too long or too short, passive writing, jargon (bleugh), dense and difficult to read content, a lacks substance, and no call to action. The content in his book will help you overcome many of the common pitfalls that people fall into, as Holly shares how to craft compelling content, which keeps your readers reading. Holly recommends having five different touch points with your audience and that across these, you are consistent, accurate, and compelling. Much of this comes back to knowing your audience and how you want them to feel as a result of your communications. Side point: early on in the book, Holly talks about her experience and how she’s always loved writing as a child/teenager. Before she went to university, her English teacher at school suggested that the best writers have interesting life experiences. Therefore, maybe Holly should go and study something other than English, which was going to give her a pathway to stories. So Holly studied nursing. This isn’t something she necessarily wanted to do, but knew that this was the exposure she needed to a vast range of different people, at incredibly difficult times in their life, and would give her a huge amount of life experience (ie story material) for her future writing. She didn’t just studying nursing, but worked in that field before going back to university later to do a degree in communications and writing, which would then give her the additional chops and skills that she needed to then bring that life experience to life. And to go on to do the other types of writing that she does too. I think this is such an incredible investment to not being boring, and being a better writer. (And also, what great mentorship from that English teacher). Big idea #2 — Make a plan The crux of the book is really about having a tight plan for your communications. And your plan doesn’t need to be complex or overwhelming, it is essentially taking the what you do, and who you do it for, marrying those things together, and then putting it into a content plan. Throughout the book, Holly emphasises the importance of clarity in your writing, Holly also shares the usefulness of having a house style. This improves the consistency of your writing, and stops you having to make decisions all the time. A house style includes things such as whether you capitalise the first letter in your headings and subheadings (this tends to be a more American style) or they are in sentence case, where you only capitalise the first word and then any proper nouns the heading/subheading. A style guide would also include which spelling/dictionary you use (eg British English or American English), deciding which versions of words to use, whether you use hyphens or not, having a consistent format for times, dates, and numbers and your brand pronoun; I or we. The more decisions are covered in your style guide, the more consistent your writing will be, and therefore the more clarity it will have and the easier it will be to write. Big idea #3 — Sort to your structure To write compelling copy, the structure needs to work hard. Holly talks about hooking people in at the beginning, and offers ways to start a piece of writing with impact, be it a quote, a statement, a statistic, or a shocking fact. You need something that is going to encourage people to keep on reading. The middle of your piece of writing is where you make your case, and where you keep your reader reading. It’s the substance, so it’s important to make sure you actually do have some substance in order to write something of substance! And then finally at the end, you need a call to action. This is the ‘so what’, the response you want from your audience, or the link back to you that the piece of content is making. Holly also included some specific structures in the books, such as about pages, bios, emails, and landing pages, but you can use this in really any piece of writing, there’s just some particular nuance for certain contexts. And yes, in the book she does talk about SEO. The most important point here is that it shouldn’t override an interesting of a good piece of writing. We’ve all been to food blogs, for example, where all we want is that damn recipe, but we’ve got to wade through 2000 words about the weather, because people have put the, at their SEO needs above the reader experience. Don’t do that. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5 de set.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital age: Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work!, and Keep Going. He’s also the author of Newspaper Blackout, a collection of poems made by redacting the newspaper with a permanent marker. His books have been translated into dozens of languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide. He’s been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. New York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and sons. Source: https://austinkleon.com/about/ About the book A book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion, Show Your Work! is the followup to my New York Times bestselling guide to creativity, Steal Like An Artist. If Steal was a book about stealing influence from others, Show is about influencing others by letting them steal from you. In ten tight chapters, I lay out ways to think about your work as a never-ending process, how to build an audience by sharing that process, and how to deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world. This book is not just for “creatives”! Whether you’re an artist or an entrepreneur, a student or a teacher, a hobbyist or a professional, it’s time to stop worrying and start sharing. Source: https://austinkleon.com/show-your-work/   Like this episode? You might want to hear the three big ideas from Austin's first book Steal Like An Artist.   Big idea #1 — Show Your Work The idea here is that your work doesn’t have to be done or perfect, or you don’t have to be an expert, in order to share something. Austin shares a quote that says “the real gap is between doing nothing and doing something”. As opposed to the real gap being between being good and great work. Without showing your work, it’s harder to find your own voice, your own style and refining these as they’ve never really been exercised enough. This isn’t about just self promotion, but about being findable by showing your work and being visible. This allows space for opportunities to happen, it allows people to stumble upon your work and find you. You don’t even have to show a finished product. You can share a question you’re pondering, a behind the scenes process, something that didn’t work out, or an idea that’s in progress. And who knows who you might inspire by doing this. This is really how punk started, as people saw others getting up on stage, playing terribly and saying, ‘I want to be terrible on stage too!’, or ‘I can do better than that’, and embracing the DIY way of expression. Importantly, this isn’t just unique to creative projects or creative pursuits. This is absolutely relevant if you’re a thought leader on leadership, or an accountant who’s thinking about the future of financial reporting. Whatever you do, your way of thinking, doing things, operating, is worth sharing in some way, shape or form.   Big idea #2 — Show others how to do it Teaching is a great way to show your work. And sometimes it feels less like self promotion, so it can be a nice gateway into showing your work more often. Showing your work is a gift, but even more so when you teach someone something. Austin encourages us to share our secrets, our techniques, and our operating manuals of how we do what we do. And before you worry about ‘copying’, just because you’ve shared, it doesn’t mean that people will put in the required time / effort / money to copy you. So we should be much less concerned about people copying us, and much more concerned about being invisible. Some experts in the secretive art of barbecue are bucking the traditional trend and embracing this mindset. They’re sharing their secrets and will teach you everything. By doing that, many people are then very happy to pay the $10/$15/$20 to go eat the expert’s food because they realise the time and the effort that has gone into it, having seen the behind the scenes process. This is much more likely than them wanting to do it themselves, or certainly at a commercial level. Austin also says the minute you learn something, you should share it. And we don’t have to be experts in order to share and start teaching things. In fact, amateurs are usually the best place to actually help other amateurs because they don’t have the curse of knowledge. Amateurs can actually be more helpful to another amateur who’s facing the same problem because they’ve experienced that same problem more recently. Teaching is a constant cycle; share, learn, share, learn, share, that we need to make a habit.   Big idea #3 — Show up Austin publishes something daily, and then he shares these daily posts in his excellent weekly newsletter. He is a big proponent of the compound effect or not breaking the chain, doing something daily, which sharpens your thinking and builds momentum, consistency, and improvement. This is not an invitation to become human spam as he calls it. There’s a line between contributing and spamming and Austin suggests that the difference is that contributors will ‘shut up and listen’. They’ll connect with people through sharing their work, and stop to have conversations, rather than just pumping stuff out. Most importantly though is that we shouldn’t quit. Those with long careers stick with it. They roll one project into the next one. They create, they assess, they think what worked well or what didn’t, and roll those lessons into the next project. They ride the highs and the lows, and remain focused on the work in front of them rather than the overwhelming thought of what’s next or the idea of doing this forever. That said, we obviously need to find ways to recover and to restock our creative reserves and brain power through appropriate levels of rest, and also from finding inspiration from other places.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

29 de ago.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. About the author Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. As a researcher for over 20 years, Brackett has focused on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards and accolades for his work in this area. He also consults regularly with corporations, such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into employee training and product design. Most recently, he co-founded Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems on emotional intelligence. Brackett’s mission is to educate the world about the value of emotions and the skills associated with using them wisely. “I want everyone to become an emotion scientist”, he says. “We need to be curious explorers of our own and others’ emotions so they can help us achieve our goals and improve our lives.” Source: https://www.marcbrackett.com/about/about-marc-brackett-ph-d/ About the book The mental wellbeing of children and adults is shockingly poor. Marc Brackett, author of PERMISSION TO FEEL, knows why. And he knows what we can do. This book combines rigour, science, passion and inspiration in equal parts. Too many children and adults are suffering; they are ashamed of their feelings and emotionally unskilled, but they don’t have to be. Marc Brackett’s life mission is to reverse this course, and this book can show you how. Source: amazon.com    Big idea #1 — Be an emotion scientist There is a science to understanding emotion. Yes, some of us may have previously (or may still) think it’s all just the fluffy stuff or it’s nonsense. But with the right skills we can uncover that we can learn to understand and appropriately respond to our own, and other people’s, emotions and see emotions as information. That information when taken with a scientific mindset, gives us something to consider or to analyse, especially noticing when certain emotions arise more than others. Chronic stress impacts learning, processing memory and overall health. So knowing how we feel, and maybe helping others understand how they feel, has bigger implications in life too. And yes, these skills are best learned young, but it’s better late than never. Marc and his late Uncle Marvin tried to bring these skills to schools in the late 90s, but failed. Not because the kids couldn’t handle it or couldn’t have those conversations, but because the teachers (the adults in the room) couldn’t, and wouldn’t see the importance of it. They weren’t equipped to handle their own emotions, and therefore were deeply uncomfortable with having any conversation about emotions with the kids in their classes. Which goes to show that unless the adults in the room, or in society, are equipped with these skills, there’s no hope for the younger generations coming up. Big idea #2 — The five skills of emotional intelligence And these skills sit under the acronym of R U L E R. R — Recognise: recognising in ourselves and others, through verbal and nonverbal cues, what emotion is being felt. U — Understand: understanding those feelings and more importantly, the source of them. L — Label: this requires us to have a better vocabulary in terms of our emotional awareness and being able to label emotions. E — Express: learning to express our emotions in a healthy way that informs others of how we’re feeling and maybe what action/support we need. R — Regulate: regulating your emotions rather than letting them regulate you. By practicing these regularly, you get better at them and may find situations people (and maybe just your general days) easier to deal with. Especially if you practice them in conjunction with in your partner, family unit, or work team. Understanding is probably one of the hardest ones to master, as we need to be able to ask why in the heat of the moment; why is that person, or why am I reacting like this or feeling this way? Which when you’re in the heat of the moment, maybe in a high emotion situation might be hard to do. Labeling might be a good skill to start building, because that we can do it in isolation with a list of emotions and improving our emotional vocabulary from the limited ‘mad, sad, glad’ and recognise more subtle, nuanced emotions. Big idea #3 — bring emotional intelligence home or to work It’s so incredible how much people deeply want, and need, to share their feelings, but yet how much we’re hiding from each other, for fear of ridicule or some kind of repercussion for sharing how we feel. There’s so many examples in the book, particularly teachers and groups of parents, that Marc has run workshops with. Given a chance, they release an outpouring of stress, shame, guilt, and all these other deep emotional states that people just don’t have the opportunity, or feel safe to share in other situations. So along with being an emotion scientist, and using the RULER skills, we can bring emotional intelligence into our homes or workplaces by doing four things. Set yourself up for success by setting some kind of charter, and consistently role modeling, healthy emotional management. The book shares examples of families or school classrooms that have set a charter for how they will treat each other, how they will deal with emotions, the conversations they will have, the language they will use, which sets a consistent baseline for emotions and relationships. And how having these charters, or agreements, helped then later on in conversations when things do get a bit heated. Explore, using the emotion scientist mindset, being a learner, not a knower, and helping others label their emotions, and not trying to fix or minimise how other people are feeling. Strategise, once you know how the other person is feeling, you can help them move forward. This might just actually be by being there for them, or it could be a hug (if appropriate!), or potentially helping them seek some more professional help, if required. Follow up with them a little bit later, ask them how they’re feeling now, help them reflect, and help them to identify any emotional patterns repeating over time as well.   Further listening:Marc Brackett on Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

22 de ago.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author By some accounts, Roy Peter Clark is America’s writing coach, devoted to creating a nation of writers. A PhD in medieval literature, he is widely considered the most influential writing teacher in the rough-and-tumble world of newspaper journalism. With a deep background in traditional media, Clark has illuminated the discussion of writing on the internet. He has gained fame by teaching writing to children and has nurtured Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. He is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. For more than three decades, Clark has taught writing at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Florida, considered among the most prominent such teaching institutions in the world.  Clark has authored or edited nineteen books about writing, reading, language, and journalism. Humorist Dave Barry has said of him: “Roy Peter Clark knows more about writing than anybody I know who is not currently dead.” He plays keyboard in a rock band. He lives with his family in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he has become famously fond of pelicans. Source: https://roypeterclark.com/#about About the book With writers of the digital age in mind, this book looks back on the enduring power of short writing from the beginning of written texts. Looking at both the craft and purposes of short writing — the how and the why — I offer hundreds of examples of the best short writing, from sonnets, proverbs, aphorisms, marginalia, and song lyrics to blog posts, text messages, and tweets. Source: https://roypeterclark.com/books2/#row2   Big idea #1 — Write shortIf you want to write long, begin with writing short. There’s a whole section at the start of the book about how writing short is not necessarily a means to an end in itself. It can actually be a means to other types of writing. It includes a quote from The Notebook author, Umberto Eco that says “it’s everyday writing that inspires the most committed works, not the other way round”. So even if you have ambitions to write a tome, or really long particular type of text, that doesn’t mean that the lessons from this particular type of short writing are irrelevant to you. In fact, a lot of the time it’s that type of writing that will lead to longer, more committed work. In the book, Roy talks a lot about keeping a daybook dedicated to short writing and collecting examples of great short writing. Finding clever writing on the back of your shampoo or cereal. He encourages us to practice writing interesting sentences, to play with haiku, play with Tweets, and find little phrases that punctuate a short sentence.  The book is full of these types of practical activities and prompts that you can pick and choose from next time you’re writing an article, social media post, email, or a speech. The lessons in this book that are applicable to all sorts of writing, and not just writing that is going to stay as writing, but writing that is going to become speech or another type of communication. Most of these activities are things that you wouldn’t necessarily think of doing by yourself, but are the things that are going to stretch your brain to think a little bit cleverly, and more laterally about your writing and the message you’re trying to get across. Big idea #2 — Subtract, subtract, subtract. Roy talks about applying a rule of 75%, or trying to deliver your work in three quarters of the expected length.  He asks you to think about how you feel when someone speaks for just 10 minutes, rather than 20 minutes. You are probably incredibly grateful, particularly if you’re sat in an uncomfortable conference room in an uncomfortable chair. So he invites you to give that gift to your audience too.  You can surprise, and delight, with brevity. The book itself is a beautiful example of writing short. The chapters are short and it feels like the words in there are all so intentional.  By surprising and delighting with brevity, you can make every word feel like it’s meant to be there. There’s no flabbiness to it. Roy talks about the difference between two types of writers; The putter-inners; put everything in and revise and take things out. They’ll start with 500 words and they’re edited back to 300. The taker-outers; take it all out as they’re writing and then add back when they think that things need a little bit extra. They might write 200 words, but take it up to 300 words. There should be an editing process, and in the editing process shouldn’t happen simultaneous to the writing process. Subtraction is not a case of relentless slash and burn, but we do need to consider what doesn’t serve the purpose of the statement, and what needs more space to stand out a little bit more. Professor William Strunk, Jr. is evangelical about ‘omitting needless words’. But we need to be conscious of ‘at what cost’. There comes a point where we take so much out, that we’ve lost a little bit of meaning or impact. Or as E B White said, ‘will leave you with nothing more to say, but time to fill’. There is a fine balance, and there’s no exact rule, but what it should do is encourage you to pause, stop, and think about where does that line of ‘too much / not enough’ sits with your copy that you are writing. Big idea #3 — Think like a poet and an advertiser Poetry comes up regularly in the book, and offers a structure for playing with short writing. The patterns of three, the rhyming couplets and specific forms like the limerick or the haiku force an efficient use of words. Similar to poetry, advertisers have mastered the art of the punchiness. Advertisers have been forced into this by minimal space, which comes at a premium and needing to appeal to the simpler parts of our brains, they reduce things into the three word slogan or the tagline. I’m lovin’ it The real thing Breakfast of champions You can use this by thinking about your own structure, looking at where you can add a compelling, short, first sentence and then follow it up with a similarly short and second sentence as an invitation to keep on reading. This is another element of the book that I really enjoyed, looking at all these different types of writing. Roy shares examples from the greater orators in history, the ones who have written speeches which have gone down in history the ones where key statements, made up of carefully chosen words, are repeated for generations. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill. But then at the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got junky types of advertising slogans. Both memorable, and both using the same concepts, patterns and lessons. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

15 de ago.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg was the founder and director of educational services for The Center for Nonviolent Communication. Growing up in an inner–city Detroit neighborhood Dr. Marshall Rosenberg was confronted daily with various forms of violence. Wanting to explore the causes of violence and what could be done to reduce violence, he chose to study clinical psychology and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1961. In 1966 he was awarded diplomat status in clinical psychology from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology. Nonviolent Communication training evolved from Dr. Rosenberg’s quest to find a way of rapidly disseminating much needed peacemaking skills. The Center for Nonviolent Communication emerged out of work he was doing with civil rights activists in the early 1960’s. During this period he also mediated between rioting students and college administrators and worked to peacefully desegregate public schools in long-segregated regions. Worldwide reactions have been inspiring. Evaluations indicate that this training vastly strengthens the ability to connect compassionately with oneself and others, as well as to resolve differences peacefully. Reports also indicate that the benefit of the training is not only stable over time, but actually increases. Source: https://www.cnvc.org/about/marshall About the book Non-violent Communication is an enlightening look at how peaceful communication can create compassionate connections with family, friends, and other acquaintances, this international bestseller uses stories, examples, and sample dialogues to provide solutions to communication problems both at home and in the workplace. Guidance is provided on identifying and articulating feelings and needs, expressing anger fully, and exploring the power of empathy in order to speak honestly without creating hostility, break patterns of thinking that lead to anger and depression, and communicate compassionately. Practical nonviolent communication skills are partnered with a powerful consciousness and vocabulary that can be applied to personal, professional, and political differences. Included in the new edition is a complete chapter on conflict resolution and mediation. Source: www.amazon.com    Big idea #1-Observe, feel, need, and request The nonviolent communication process is made up of four key stages. Observing concrete actions that affect your wellbeing Knowing how you feel as a result of what you observe. 3. Recognising the needs and the values and the desires that create the feelings that you are feeling. 4. The concrete actions you request in order to enrich your life. Going through this process allows you to express yourself better and notice the needs in others, more empathetically. It also allows more space for compassion, and allows you to reframe situations and feelings in a different way. By noticing the needs of others, more empathetically, you’re able to actually connect with them a little bit more, rather than simply assessing how wrong they are for what they’re saying or doing at the time. Because our analysis of others is often an expression of our own needs or values, not necessarily what the other person is thinking, or what they are needing at the time. Big idea#2 — Responsibility and expression Marshall says that we are particularly dangerous when we deny personal responsibility, and attach our feelings and actions to other people’s or other group’s actions. So essentially if we blame our actions or blame how we feel on what someone else does, we then deny personal responsibility for our own feelings and attach them to other people. There are several examples in the book that include situations like; Blaming the actions of others on how we react; (eg. I hit my child because he ran into the street). So the action of another person has caused your reaction. And we’re blaming them, rather than taking our own responsibility for what we did. Using group pressure (eg. I started smoking because my friends did). Blaming vague impersonal forces on what you do (eg. I cleaned my room because I had to) rather than assuming you have any control over what you choose to do. On the topic of expression, there’s stories in the book of people who have been angry at their partners for decades and decades for not meeting their needs. But having gone through the nonviolent communication training, they realise they’ve never actually made their needs clearly known. Instead, they’ve been stuck in resentment and anger and let these unmet and uncommunicated needs take over and really undermined their relationships. If we do not value our needs, and express them in a healthy way, we can’t expect others to do the same.   Big idea #3-The root of feelings Marshall says that underlying our feelings, are our needs. We need to uncover these in ourselves and others, and we need to listen to what other people are needing, not what they are thinking. One of the techniques he uses for helping to uncover others’ feelings is paraphrasing. In one example in the book, Marshall was doing a bit of coaching or mediation, between a husband and a wife who are not communicating very well.  Husband: “what good does talking to you? You never listen.” Now, if you had received/heard that from your partner, there’s probably a million different things you would respond with, some that are much more helpful than others. With some coaching, what the wife actually came back, using paraphrasing, was this: Wife: “are you feeling unhappy because you need to be heard?” Rather than attacking his position, or asking something that brings the responsibility to her, such as “are you unhappy with me?” she instead came back to that core underlying need. What is the need that is causing that reaction or statement or action from the other person or that statement from the other person? There’s so much nuance here, but the paraphrasing allows for a better conversation. It’s okay to be wrong when guessing the need, because by getting it wrong, you get closer to them helping you uncover the need. And it’s unlikely that you’re going to be right the first time. There’s usually going to be a bit of an uncomfortable exchange between the starting point and getting to that need. Importantly, this conversation isn’t about fixing, which is one of the traps we can fall into, it is about trying to understand the need and then the request or desire. We also need to distinguish between feelings and non feelings. One of the non-feelings examples of the book is: “I feel inadequate as a guitar player” In that statement, you’re assessing your ability as a guitar player rather than clearly expressing your feeling or your need. The actual feeling might be, I feel disappointed in myself as a guitar player, or I feel impatient with myself as a guitar player. It’s important in order to do this well, both with ourselves and with other people, to have a better vocabulary of emotions and be able to spot what is an emotion, and what is not. There’s another couple of examples here when you’re attaching a feeling to other people. We have to distinguish the feeling we have and remove the connection to other people. For example: “I feel unimportant to the people with whom I work” The word unimportant describes how you think others are evaluating you, rather than actually what you’re feeling. Maybe you feel sad or you feel discouraged. Similarly something like: “I feel misunderstood” That is an indication of other people’s level of understanding of you, rather than your own feeling. You might be annoyed or anxious. Words like bullied, cheated, abused, attacked, betrayed all related to our interpretation or judgement of someone else’s thinking or behaviour, rather than our own feeling. It’s such a subtle difference between between the two, and comes back to splitting out our own feelings and taking personal responsibility for them. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

8 de ago.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book We don’t need better speakers. We need more effective leaders. This book isn’t a primer on becoming a better speaker, though if it helps you nail your next presentation that’s great. The real goal is to help you become a more effective leader. In ‘Lead The Room’ you’re invited to think bigger and aim higher than the idea of presentation skills. To think holistically about how you can communicate and connect more effectively. This book will give you the tools to raise your visibility, leverage your leadership platform and lead with more impact at scale. Source: https://shanemhatton.com/   About the author Shane works with organisations to develop remarkable people leaders. The kind that you talk about and remember. Put simply he helps shift people leaders from high potential to high performance and from great to remarkable so that executive leaders can move from transactional to strategic.  His clients tell him that his‘secret sauce’ is the ability to bring clarity to their thinking and simplicity to complexity. Shane is an author, trainer, coach and speaker based out of Melbourne, Australia and works online, onstage and in person. He’s a member of the Forbes Global Coaches Council, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and the author of ‘Lead The Room — Communicate a Message That Counts in Moments That Matter’ (available in all good bookstores). Source: https://shanemhatton.com/ Big idea #1 — Who, what, and when This goes to the idea that a great presentation or great communication is all in the preparation. Shane says “there’s more to leading a room than being a great speaker or delivering a polished presentation”. He shares a couple of examples in the book of where he saw two different speakers at a conference. One of them had a super polished presentation, but the audience looked bored and disengaged. The second presenter, was visibly a little bit nervous, probably less experienced as a presenter, but had everyone leaning in and enraptured by their energy and the engagement. Most of us worry about how to present. We worry about things like ‘what to do with our hands’ and ‘where to stand’ or ‘how to move’, without actually thinking about the who and the what of a presentation or communication. The who is who you are, what’s your reputation, how credible are you? The what is what you say? Is it clear, succinct, and valuable? How is delivering in a way that connects, and using the appropriate medium or the method that connects.   Big idea #2-positioning, messaging and developing This is the core idea and provides the structure of the book. It’s the ‘three big obsessions’ of great communicators. Positioning is all about developing your character, leading your narrative, and building your credibility. This allows you to position yourself as someone who can be trusted in a particular topic. This requires you to manage your reputation, making sure that you’re showing up consistently and being authentic in your values and your behaviours. Messaging is determining your value. Shane describes this as comparing the the ‘boardroom versus the bedroom’ problems that your audience might be worrying about. Boardroom problems might be things like ‘I’m worried about our staff attrition’, or the slightly more surface topics. Whereas the bedroom problems are what you might only admit to your closest confidants. Things like ‘I’m worried that I’m not relevant anymore’, or ‘I’m worried that my job is at risk’. By determining your value, you can make sure that you actually get to the heart of the problem, likely the ‘bedroom’ problems, rather than the surface issues. Then you can define your message, and think about the structure of any presentation or communication that you are putting together.  Finally, developing is the evolution of the craft and getting better at thinking, investing, asking, and failing so that your communication skills and style continues to evolve and develop. Big idea #3 — The flight path For the rough structure of presentation or a communication, Shane uses the analogy of the flight path, or the preparation, takeoff, in-flight, and the landing. The five parts of the flight path are; Attention; getting people’s attention upfront by asking a question, making a statement (maybe a controversial one), or telling a story. Tension; giving people a reason to stay engaged by painting a picture of a vision of the future, or really getting into the pain points people are feeling. Perspective; sharing some stats or some research, or key thoughts on the idea or the topic. Resolution; the ‘what then’ question, or the big idea you’re sharing. Action; what should people do next? What is the one thing that they could go and do as a result of you sharing this particular idea? You can listen to me talking to Shane about learning on his podcast Phone Calls with Clever People, here. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

1 de ago.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book These experiences of overwhelm can be a common part of a normal day or week in our life. Yes, the world can be an overwhelming place. We might have an emotional experience of being overwhelmed. We can experience the ‘too much on’ of workload — too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Or we might feel like we’re submerged under an endless pile of information, reports, books and reading. At other times we can just be plain ‘drowning in’ it from a wicked combination of all three: emotions, workload and information. In today’s world, it’s these three that can be the cause of repeated and unending overwhelm. And it’s not good for us. Burnout and health issues are waiting. We need to find ways to acknowledge our emotions, manage our workload … and filter all of that information. Our overwhelm CAN be outsmarted. Once you get the powerful techniques explained by Lynne Cazaly, you’ll find new ways to make sense of overwhelm, new ways to work, and new ways to cope with information. You’ll be all over overwhelm… it won’t be all over you. Source: https://www.lynnecazaly.com.au/   About the author Lynne Cazaly helps individuals, teams and businesses transition to better ways of thinking and working. Lynne is an international keynote speaker, multi-award winning author and a master facilitator. She is an experienced radio broadcaster, presenter and producer having presented more than 10000 hours on-air. Her background is as a communication specialist, having lectured in under-graduate and post-graduate programs in several of Australia’s Universities and consulting to different industries and sectors on change and transformation. Lynne can help you think better, make sense of information and handle the realities of workplace overwhelm and information overload with her clever hacks and ingenious processes, tools and methods.  Lynne is an experienced board director and chair and an #avgeek, loving everything aviation, helicopters and air traffic control. Source: https://www.lynnecazaly.com.au/   Big idea #1 — The three types of overwhelm. Overwhelmed has become the new busy, a bit of a catch all for when we’re feeling up against it. But we need to get better and dig a little bit deeper to understand the type of overwhelm we’re experiencing, and therefore better be able to create strategies to fix it or overcome it. Lynne suggests that there are three types of overwhelm; Overwhelmed, which is the emotional overwhelm.  Once you’ve identified you can help redefine it by digging in a little bit deeper and find out which emotions are overwhelming and are they positive or negative? We can be overwhelmed in a positive way, with excitement or joy. 2. Overloaded Identifying this means we can redirect our attention to understand how we’re doing it and how else we can do it. 3. Overworked By identifying this, we can redesign the work to take back control of what we, what we’re doing and what we’re working on.   Big idea #2 — Write it down Without oversimplifying or trivialising the overwhelm you might be feeling, a lot of this can be alleviated by writing down everything that’s going on and using this list or this brain dump to make sense of what’s going on. Sense-making is another core theme of this book. By asking the question ‘what’s going on and what do I need to do about it?’ we can move forward.  Because otherwise it’s easy to sink into overwhelm and let it fester without actually doing anything about it. (And let’s face it, often we avoid doing anything about it, because we then would have to do something about it!) Lynne offers some models and frameworks to help sort everything in your brain and actually work out what’s going on. (Note: this reminded me a little bit of a light version of Getting Things Done by David Allen. You can read or listen to my three ideas from that book.) Once everything in your brain is all sorted and out on paper (paper is better,so grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and write everything down) you can then work out, what’s important, what’s junk and what’s someone else’s problem. Lynne shares a great little tip from a lady she used to work with called Patsy (a name which obviously immediately makes me think of Absolutely Fabulous). Patsy always had four folders on her desk and that contained everything she needed to do. The folders were labeled sooner, later sometime and never. A few times a day, Patsy would go through those folders, working her way through the sooner stuff, keeping an eye on what was in the later folder to see if anything needed to move from later into sooner. When she had some extra time, she’d go to sometime and some stuff eventually made it into the never folder (and then straight in the recycling bin from there). You can also obviously use things like the Covey/Eisenhower matrix as well to help organise your brain dump of things into more manageable chunks of how they need to be dealt with, and when they need to be dealt with as well.   Big idea #3 — Where did it go wrong? One of my favourite models in the book is this 2x2 matrix that helps you work out why you got to the stage of overwhelm in the first place, in order to help you avoid it next time.  In the top left-hand corner, it has ‘I created it’. Maybe you just kept on taking more and more work and created your own bed of overwhelm. In the bottom left-hand corner, it says ‘I allowed it’. Maybe you didn’t say no to something and you allowed the overwhelm to happen. In the bottom right corner, you’ve got ‘I ignored it’. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating on this particular thing for a while, and by ignoring it, it’s now become a bit of a problem and you’re overwhelmed by it. Finally, in the top right corner is ‘I outsmarted it’. This is ideally where we want it to be, where we have outsmarted our overwhelmed by putting the strategies in place by saying no, prioritising, asking questions, asking for help, and generally managing it in advance. Going through this process and working out what went wrong in the first place isn’t to beat ourselves up, but it helps to identify what happened and means we can reverse engineer this for future situations. This level of self-awareness will show us how likely we are to fall into overwhelm, know how it feels, how it shows up, so that we can identify in advance next time. Lynne suggests it’s good to build this kind of reflection into the end of our daily routine, not just in those moments where we’re already overwhelmed when it’s probably a bit too late. At the end of the day you can go back and just think about what you’re ignoring, what future overwhelm you might be creating, assess how you’re feeling like and where creeping overwhelm might be lurking, in order to take remedial actions. If you liked this episode, you might also like Ish, also by Lynne Cazaly   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25 de jul.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. About the author Robin Sharma is a globally respected humanitarian who, for over a quarter of a century, has been devoted to helping human beings realize their native gifts. Widely considered one of the top leadership and personal mastery experts and speakers in the world, his clients include NASA, Microsoft, Nike, Unilever, General Electric, FedEx, HP, Starbucks, Oracle, Yale University, PwC, IBM Watson, and the Young Presidents’ Organization. As a presenter, Robin Sharma possesses the rare ability to electrify an audience while delivering uncommonly original and tactical insights that lead to individuals doing their best work, teams providing superb results and organizations becoming unbeatable. His #1 international bestsellers such as The 5AM Club, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and Who Will Cry When You Die? have sold millions of copies in over ninety-two languages and dialects; making him one of the most widely read authors in the world. Source: https://www.robinsharma.com/about-robin About the book  The 5AM Club is Robin Sharma’s masterwork, blending his original insights into legendary leadership, uncommon creativity and exponential productivity with battle-tested tools to help you produce work that allows you to dominate in your field — while you live a life that inspires the world. Source: https://www.robinsharma.com/books Big idea #1 — Incremental changes for big results Ultimately, this is a book about small changes, or one small change in particular, getting up early, being the catalyst for numerous other changes, benefits, and positive results in your life. It’s also a bit of a nod to the compound effect, which if you’ve read anything else on habit building, you’ll know that the impact of the compound effect on habits (both good habits and not so good habits) is significant. There’s a quote in the book that says ‘the smallest of implementations is always worth more than the grandest of intentions’. The important points here are that 1) you have to start, and 2) you have to accept a level of discomfort when changing. There’s several points throughout the book where he talks about the fact that we need to get used to the discomfort we face when trying to implement a new change into our life, be it a new habit, or a way of doing things. And as you’ll see in the next big idea, there are a number of small changes that are suggested in the book which revolve around getting up early being the start of change. Big idea #2–20/20/20 This is the main method in the book. Yes, it’s a list of things to do at a certain time of the day, but it’s really more about the discipline of consistently taking these particular healthy actions. The three elements of 20/20/20 are; (05:00–05:20) Move for 20 minutes (get sweaty, hydrate, breathe to cleanse your early morning cortisol and boost your energy, serotonin and dopamine for the day) (05:20–05:40) Reflect for 20 minutes (journal, meditate, contemplate to practice gratitude, raise your awareness, and set intention for the day) (05:40–06:00) Grow for 20 minutes (read, listen to a podcast, practice a skill, or take a course to build your knowledge and skills) Yes, maybe you want to do more of each of those activities, but see this as your minimum effective dose, and something that’s easy to stick to every day. It’s easy to see that these are all good things to do, and doing them at a quiet undistracted time of the day, with a disciplined routine to them, is the main idea here. These are all activities that might fall by the wayside. We all know that if we wait until later in the day to do them, we’ll either talk ourselves out of them, forget to do them, or just not get round to them. And that can easily happen for days in a row if we don’t build a habit and get them done early. Big idea #3 — Own your story This flows through a few different places throughout the book, as an overall idea of not letting an imperfect past ruin your future. Robin argues that people who do extraordinary things aren’t different or special, they just act differently, and have better habits and systems. But if you tell yourself that you can’t, or you won’t, do something, then likely that will become true. It’s all an inside game. We need to own our story, and be the authors of that particular story or that book that we are, we are creating through our lives. And therefore, we can’t let what has happened previously, influence what happens next. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

18 de jul.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey! I'm taking a two week mid-year break from fresh episodes, so ICYMI, here's a rebroadcast of the most popular episode of 2021 so far (which incidentally is my favourite book of the year... so far). Have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy. In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil. A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective-the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making.   About the author Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Extracts from https://www.penguin.com.au/   IDEA 1 - The best answer won’t be perfect There are countless examples in the book of hard policy, people and political decisions that Obama had to make. And the commonality in all of them was the messiness of getting to an answer. Even things that seem like a no-brainer on the service (free / affordable healthcare for everyone) turned into painful, watered-down versions of the original vision. But, these sacrifices and compromises meant that something moved forward, even if it was a far cry from the dream. In other situations, such as the activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and dealing with the Global Financial Crisis and its impact on America and Americans, all options seemed to balance towards being ‘bad’. But as POTUS, Obama had to find the ‘least bad’ options and make sure the decisions were made on as-good-information as was possible at the time. And of course, balance the public optics of a situation, with the reality of what happens behind the scenes. Obama was especially good at sitting in the ‘grey’. Dealing with ambiguity and being able to hear different sides of an argument, actively seeking out Republican/opposing views, was one of his strengths as a leader. Even so, you could sense the incredible frustration of working with a system that seemed to force the status quo, and squash change or good ideas. This quote summed it up: “I didn’t like the deal. But in what was becoming a pattern, the alternatives were worse.” IDEA 2 - Know your values The book features numerous situations where Obama, when faced with hard decisions, had to come back to his values. The recurring values were; What he had promised whilst campaigning What was true What his friends and family would say (especially his Mum and Grandma) These were also what he judged himself against. There were lots of questions of self-doubt amongst his introspection and reflection; had he been naive and overly hopeful and promised too much? Was there anything else? Had he done enough to push for change for those who needed it most? He actively kept these values front of mind - regularly reading and responding to letters from American residents and paying many visits to the military hospital where wounded soldiers were treated and rehabilitated. On the latter, he was criticised, being told that it would cloud his judgement. He disagreed, saying that if he was going to send more young people to war, he had to be acutely aware of the cost of it. His constant revisiting and evaluation of what was most important served as a yardstick throughout his life, not just his presidency. And it allowed him to critically assess what was wrong and the mistakes made - his own, and America’s.   IDEA 3 - Surround yourself with good people Politics aside, this is really a book about leadership and relationships. A significant part of the book is spent talking about, praising, forgiving, thanking, describing and sometimes, criticising, the people around him. From his family to his early friends and the people he worked with, the descriptions of friendship are personal and human. He also demonstrates the ability to rebuild relationships; having Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton as key members of his administration when the three of them had stood against each other in the Democratic nomination race. (Side note: I felt quite a tinge of sadness when Obama describes the loneliness of his role, especially earlier on during the transition when suddenly people he’d known and worked with for years stopped calling him Barack and started calling him Mr President). Of course, you can’t talk about the people around Barack Obama without mentioning Michelle Obama. He shares his fears about the impact on Michelle, their marriage and the lives of their daughters of him running, and becoming president, questioning the inherent selfishness of it. The pride and respect he has for Michelle in the book is tangible, talking about her health initiatives and work with young people, encouraging them to dream bigger.   “The time chooses you. Either you seize what may turn out to be the only chance you have, or you decide you’re willing to live with the knowledge that the chance has passed you by.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

11 de jul.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   This week, it's time for another quarterly check in on my favourite reads from the last three months. If you missed the first part of the 2021 'best books', you can listen to it here. This time I'm talking about... Turning Right by Kay Bretz (hear more about this book here) Rare Breed by Sonny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger (hear more about this book here) Effortless by Greg McKeown (hear more about this book here) The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy   What are your favourite books of the year so far? Let me know by connecting on: LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

27 de jun.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book A compelling, un-put-downable account of recreational marathon runner Kay Bretz’s transformation into one of the best ultra runners in the world. The reader follows the author during his physical, mental and professional challenges and celebrates his hard-fought wins as he discovers the motivation to succeed, leaving behind his former motivation to avoid failure. It all started by turning right when his entire perspective on what he was capable of started to shift. Turning Right will inspire readers to find their own magic. Source: https://www.amazon.com.au/Turning-Right-Inspire-transform-aspirations/dp/0648980324/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=turning+right&qid=1624142447&sr=8-1 About the author Dr Kay Bretz, a 42-year-old German-Australian, lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his partner Rebecca. Kay is a corporate leader, elite athlete, and explorer. Since childhood, he felt the urge to explore the world. He spent a year in a Scottish boarding school, followed by three years at the University of Seville, Spain. After his Master’s Degree in International Business, he took what he would now call a right turn, and received a Doctorate in European Law. Kay has more than 15 years’ corporate leadership experience across the globe as an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company and as a member of senior leadership teams in major Australian retailers. Source: https://www.amazon.com.au/Turning-Right-Inspire-transform-aspirations/dp/0648980324/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=turning+right&qid=1624142447&sr=8-1   Big idea #1 -Expect the unexpected One of the biggest lessons Kay grappled with was relinquishing control, something he’d used for years as a way of operating and achieving everything he had achieved. But at certain times, this desire for control had also been his downfall. Kay started working with Gavin Freeman after seeing Gavin speak at an event. Gavin’s first lesson to Kay was that he was too planned, something that Kay thought wasn’t even possible, let alone being a bad thing. One of the suggestions that Gavin had to start to wean Kay off of his need to plan everything, was to ask a friend to take him on mystery runs. So Kay asked his friend, Corey (who sounds like someone that everyone needs in their life) to take him on mystery runs. The idea of the mystery runs was Kay wouldn’t know where they were going, how long they were going out for, or what the route was. Making it impossible for him to plan. The first thing Corey did when he came to Kay’s house for the first mystery run, was to turn right at the end of Kay’s garden gate. Something that Kay had never actually done. He had always turned left out of his gate when he went for a run. This was enough to make Kay realize that he really needed to let go of some of his intensive planning. His training to let go of control was tested months later when flying to remote Australia for an ultra-marathon event, and being told that his bag wouldn’t make the flight, due to the small flight being overweight. The meticulous planning that Kay had done to make sure that his clothes, food, and other supplies were packed for the event, was out of the window, and he had to control what he could control. (Kay’s bag actually did make the flight when the crew realised that the passengers were almost all very slim ultra-maraton runners, and therefore the passenger weight was much lower than the typical flight, meaning there was weight for all the bags.) Ultimately, all of this was about recognizing the difference between technical challenges and adaptive challenges. Because ultra-marathon events are really adaptive challenges. Once you’ve got the baseline level of running, it’s really an adaptive challenge — can you react appropriately to the ever-changing situations, and the things that will happen over the multiple days.   Big idea #2 — Manage your mindset A lot of this book is really around a change of mindset and a change of attitude. Some of the self-talk that Kay shares in the book is as relatable as it is brutal. And it was his mindset was what made him, but also what broke him at different times. In Berlin, whilst taking on the Berlin marathon, he felt unwell halfway through and nearly let the fear overcome him. But by practicing some of the techniques he’d been working with Gavin on, he ended up calming himself down and getting back into the rhythm of the race, even achieving a personal best of 2 hours and 44 minutes for the marathon. Later at the Big Red Run, a 250km run through the desert, he had built the self-awareness that allowed him to relax into the run over the multiple days, go with the flow, to trust himself and his methods. He was also able to hear when his ‘whingeing self’ was taking over and being able to work with it, rather than letting it take over, and get himself back into a different mindset and a different frame of self-talk. Big idea #3 — Let go of success One of the fantastic questions that Gavin asked Kay was ‘which part of your personality will you have to let go of in order to step up to the new challenges?’.  Kay’s answer was his identification with success. It was this identification that had made him blow up in the Christchurch race. It held him back, took him over, given him negative self-talk, the need to win, and actually made him quite an unpleasant person to his support crew that were with him. He had this need to be the ‘successful ultra marathon runner’ and therefore couldn’t fail. Chasing this external validation was doing nothing for him. It would only emphasising this ‘need’ to only ever win, or successfully get through these races. The process of overcoming this identity with success also helped him to work through some childhood wounds, and see how ‘being good’ at things had protected him early on as it would maybe help avoid some of the problems at home. Ultimately he knew he needed to change himself, and accept the discomfort and the lows that he’d been avoiding. He realised that, like many of us, a lot of what he was doing was to help him avoid pain or discomfort or uncomfortable feelings. But if he was going to truly be successful and achieve bigger things, discomfort and was part of the deal. So he might as well get good at managing it! Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

20 de jun.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, thanks for listening. Have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book We can all be more creative. John Cleese shows us how. Creativity is usually regarded as a mysterious, rare gift that only a few possess. John Cleese begs to differ, and in this short, immensely practical and often very amusing guide he shows it’s a skill that anyone can acquire. Drawing on his lifelong experience as a writer, he shares his insights into the nature of the creative process, and offers advice on how to get your own inventive juices flowing. Not only does he explain the way your mind works as you search for inspiration, he also shows that, regardless of the task you’ve set yourself, you can learn to be better at coming up with a promising idea, refining it and knowing when you’re ready to act on it. We can all unlock new reserves of creativity within ourselves. John Cleese shows us how. Source: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/creativity-9781786332257 About the author John Cleese was born in 1939 in Weston-Super-Mare. He studied Law at Cambridge University and has enjoyed a successful career in comedy, theatre and film and television. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the HolyGrail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. In the mid-1970s, Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. Later, he co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and former Python colleague Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. He also starred in Clockwise, and has appeared in many other films, including two James Bond films, two Harry Potter films, and the last three Shrek films. Source: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/creativity-9781786332257   Big idea #1 — You can learn to be creative (…but you probably won’t be taught it in school) Creativity is not something that’s discussed much in school, certainly when John Cleese was at school. There, the focus tends to be on grades, logic, on reason, on analysis, and getting the right answer. It was only when he arrived at Cambridge University and he joined Footlights, that he realized that he was actually creative. This came as quite a surprise to him because it was never something he considered previously. But he immersed himself in the creative field of writing in particular, because it was fun, and he liked the people he was doing it with. He was studying to become a lawyer, so pursuing a creative vocation was never something he intended. But because of this experience of joining Footlights, spending time with people he liked, and going through that creative process, he ended up learning to be more creative. He surrounded himself with other people, he tested what made people laugh, and he put himself out there with monthly smoker (open mic) sessions. Big idea #2 — Slow down Early on in his writing career, John noticed this phenomenon of coming up with ideas overnight. He would get stuck on something in the evening, go to bed, wake up and generally have it solved, or at least know the next step to be able to progress and move it forward. He continued to use this particular technique throughout his career, and still does today. Once he lost a whole sketch he’d written down. Much to the annoyance of his co-writer, and he had to rewrite it from memory. When he eventually found the original version, he realized that the rewrite was actually better because he’d mulled on it a little more, he’d slept on it, and the idea had evolved for the better as a result. He references a particular study about creative architects, or what makes some architects more creative than others. One of the trends they found is that the more creative architects will delay decisions for as long as they were allowed, which gave them the time to play and to explore their ideas further. He goes on to talk about how we have to get comfortable with the discomfort of leaving things open and incomplete, in order to make them better. (Something I definitely need to remind myself) This also links to a later idea in the book about getting a second opinion. We should allow time for that extra layer of feedback, and the power of collaboration, to help take your idea to that next level. Again, it adds a little bit more time and forces us to slow down, but it will mean a better outcome in the end. Big idea #3 — Get your panic in early In this little section on getting your panic in early, John talks about the benefit of a bit of panic. It gives you energy, so you might as well use it, and use it early. You can harness that panic to get something down on paper — even if it’s just scrappy notes that are going to go into the bin later — but it creates some much needed momentum that is necessary to move forward. Once you’ve made this first panic-driven move(!), you can feel better about making that first tiny, tiny step, and then get onto the important questions like who you’re writing for, or whatever the context is for what you’re creating. In a separate section in the book, he says that creativity isn’t an emotion, it is a frame of mind. And therefore we need to prepare ourselves to be creative, and not be worried about, or distracted by, other things. So this idea of getting your panic in early, getting all those weird negative, messy feelings out of the way early on in the process, will mean you can move on to the more important things that you actually need to do to create something. ____________________ Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

13 de jun.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book Throughout our decade of aligning leaders, we witnessed an alarming lack of acceptance for unique people and “crazy” ideas that don’t fit the mold. We responded with our book Rare Breed to tear up the rule book and succeed on your own terms. Readers will learn how to resist constant pressure to conform, plus: How being rebellious has the power to move mountains — if you know what you’re rebelling against. How being audacious makes you a visionary — unless it spirals into reckless hubris. How being obsessed creates detailed masterpieces — or dooms you to failure. How being hot-blooded brings fiery ideas to the table — but can also lead to burnout and destruction. Plus, how to be weird, hypnotic, and emotional for maximum impact…and so much more. Source: www.wearemotto.com About the authors Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger are the authors and founders of Rare Breed — a new kind of leadership thinking which takes up arms against conformity and dismantles business-as-usual. Described as “iconoclastic thinkers,” Sunny and Ashleigh dropped out of college to start Motto and not play by the rules. They’ve worked with innovative organizations like Google, Microsoft, and Twentieth Century Fox to build brands and bring Rare Breed thinking to drive change. They’ve been featured in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, The Breakfast Club, and have graced such lists as Inc. 30 Under 30 and GDUSA’s Top 25 People to Watch. Source: www.wearemotto.com Big idea #1 — The traits of a rare breed The book is based around the traits of rare breeds. The people that make things happen, change the course of progress, make a stand and create a difference either to their industry or to the wider world. This is based on the idea that things that make us different, the things that other people consider to be weaknesses or vices, can in fact, be the sources of our greatest strengths. The traits are the virtues, as they call them in the book, are rebellious audacious obsessed hot blooded weird hypnotic, and emotional All of these put together can create change, amazing inventions and innovations, and creations that make a difference in the world. For each of the virtues, there are some kind characteristics that make them up. Rebellion includes things like violating etiquette or righting a great wrong, rebelling against the status quo and societal norms. Being audacious is doing what can’t be done, or at least what others have said can’t be done. You might need to kill your darlings / drive the horses into the sea to achieve these unachievable things, and have a bit of an unusual dream, which others maybe have discounted or thought of as impossible. Obsession is what drives you to put the work in; finding your 4:00 AM time to get up and work. Trying and trying and trying again, and in many ways, falling in love with the extreme grit required for the process of creating something truly great and truly different. Being hot blooded involves saying yes to things that are big and scary and chasing down the passion that it is necessary for you to do what you do. There’s also a concept in this section of pouring hot sauce on your brain, or igniting something in you to get things moving. I loved the section on being weird. It’s choosing the things that make you you, maybe the things that people bullied you for in the past, and turning those quirks into your marketing plan or your message. Being hypnotic is being able to influence others and bring them on board. Creating that magic that people need to see to buy into your idea, particularly if you’re doing something a bit out there and a bit different. Finally, being emotional, which is all about using your feelings and harnessing those in a productive way to care. Big idea #2 — Beware of the dark side Whilst the seven virtues can be incredibly productive, they can help you get things done and create something amazing, but they can also be dangerously destructive. And there is a line where it often will tip from one to the other. The same the thing that helps you create something could also be the thing that burns it down, burns your relationships and burns you out. Here’s the dark sides of each virtue; Rebellion — rebelling for the sake of malice, or in service of yourself, not others. (eg Robin Hood was a good rebel — he fought the system to give to the poor, not to line his own pockets). Audacity —  ignoring the reality of your own limits, or the reality of the world, and being reckless. Obsession — can lead to extreme overwork and stress. It can also terrify others with your unrealistic expectations. Hot blooded — rage or flying off the handle for no good reason, and in a really unproductive way, that becomes dangerous for yourself and those around you. Using this as an excuse for inexcusable behaviour. Weird — doing it for the sake of being weird, and alienating yourself from others in the meantime. This will likely muddy your message, rather than actually making it clearer, or attract others. Hypnotic — manipulating for your own ends, and using the influence you can have over others for negative reasons. Emotional — not being able to regulate those emotions, resulting in high levels of heartbreak, being thin-skinned, and maybe naive in the process. Big idea #3 — The virtues alone won’t do it If you’re reading this and you’re taking these boxes, you might be feeling great. However, possessing the virtues alone is useless if they’re laying dormant. If you’re not putting them to good use and channeling them into something useful (or worse, using them destructively) then you might as well not have them. You might also fall into the trap of thinking you need to be loud, expressive and extroverted to use these virtues, and do something amazing. However, that’s not true. There’s plenty of examples in the book who have people who have quietly used those virtues to make a huge impact. People like Rosa Parks, who had a huge impact in the civil rights movement, by not getting up from her seat on a bus, and leveraging all of these virtues in the process, to create real change. So the virtues alone won’t do it. Go and be exceptional.“Ultimately there’s more to being exceptional than wanting to be.”   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

6 de jun.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Enjoyed this? You might like to subscribe to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. Something different this week on the podcast.⁠ ⁠ I've had a lot of conversations recently with leaders who are struggling to adapt to hybrid working, who are facing challenges in their teams, or who are just feeling overwhelmed.⁠ ⁠ So this week on Steph's Business Bookshelf, I'm sharing three essential books for leaders to read (yes, it was a tough list to whittle down to three).⁠ ⁠ The three are...⁠ ⁠1) Dare to Lead by Brené Brown⁠ 2) The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stanier⁠ 3) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni⁠ ⁠ Yes, I know that's four books. As usual, my podcast, my rules 😉⁠ Listen to me discuss these books in more detail: Dare to Lead The Coaching Habit The Advice Trap The Five Dysfunctions of a Team   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

29 de mai.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   ABOUT THE BOOK As high-achievers, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the path to success is paved with relentless work. That if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink, and overdo. That if we aren’t perpetually exhausted, we’re not doing enough.  Getting ahead doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. No matter what challenges or obstacles we face, there is a better way: instead of pushing ourselves harder, we can find an easier path. Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out.  ABOUT THE AUTHOR Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people and teams break through to the next level — and others don’t. The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. As well as frequently being the #1 Time Management book on Amazon, this book challenges core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success. His writing has appeared or been covered by The New York Times, Fast Company, Fortune, HuffPost, Politico, and Inc. Magazine.  Originally from London, England, McKeown now lives in Calabasas, California with his wife, Anna, and their four children. He did his graduate work at Stanford University. Source: https://gregmckeown.com/ Big idea #1 — Effortless State This is essentially the mindset of effortlessness. And the being of effortlessness; always asking the question, ‘how could this be easy’? Or even taking it further, as Greg does in chapter two, with the question of ‘how could this be fun?’. It’s averting the hurried and distracted and everything-worth-doing-must-be-hard approach to life that we get trapped in. And instead being rested, at peace and focused. The book has a whole section on rest and recovery. And the rule of rest is to never do more than you can recover from in that day or that week. So you should never do more in a day than you can recover from in a day, and never do more in a week that you, then you can recover from that week. This way you achieve sustained effort and consistency, which can be maintained, rather than big sprints, followed by burn out; running hard and then collapsing in a heap, running really hard again and collapsing in another heap. (Admit it, you’ve done it too). This approach might mean stopping while you’ve still got gas in the tank, rather than going to failure every single time. So you’ll need to stop pulling all nighters and instead, stop work at a sensible time each day, which means you can do good work again the next day, and the next day, rather than needing several days to recover. Big idea #2 — Effortless action Effortless action is accomplishing more by trying less. It’s taking those first steps towards whatever it is you’re trying to do, reducing inevitable procrastination and overthinking. The elements of effortless action are defining what needs to happen, and what tiny step needs to happen next. Because we can’t eat the proverbial elephant all at once, we need to take a first little bite. We can then simplify, and think about what could you not do. The simplest steps, or the easiest steps, are the ones you don’t need to take. So start from zero; how could we take out as many steps as possible from this process? There’s some good UX and UI examples of this idea in the book. Next we need to think about how to keep moving and make progress. In the book is the concept of the ‘zero draft’. It’s not even a first draft, it’s a zero draft, it doesn’t count, it is a messy, terrible, rubbish dump of ideas that you write down. It doesn’t even have to be coherent. But by doing this you’ve starting some progress, which in turn helps you to move forward. Big idea #3 — Effortless results This is the ability to achieve and replicate effortless results again and again, through some kind of consistent and maintainable systems. The elements of effortless results include learning; with real focus on learning principles or mindsets and mental models that allow you to make easy decisions over and over again, without having to over analyze everything every single time. The next element is lift, using leverage such as teaching to accelerate your own learning, but also spread knowledge so others can help you achieve the results, or help them achieve their results. The next element is automation, freeing up your brain space and time by using the tools available such as automated transfers to savings accounts, food preparation or delivery, or even your toilet paper subscriptions. Something that you just don’t want (or need) to think about doing every time it needs doing. Next is trust, which Greg talks about as the ‘oil for frictionless relationships’. And then finally in effortless results is prevention. Investing time, maybe some money, up front to avoid something happening later. Especially if that could happen over and over again.     Consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase. Save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser. Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

23 de mai.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Thanks for listening. Please consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase - save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser. You can also say thanks by buying me a coffee.   About the book The unauthorized story of lululemon. This is a book about ordinary people who took an opportunity to be creative, to be innovative, and to maximize their potential. Chip Wilson's part in this story comes from the learnings of thousands of mistakes. He set the culture, business model, quality platform, people development program and then got out of the way. Lululemon's exponential growth, culture, and brand strength has few peers and it is because of those who employees who choose to be great. This book is also about missed opportunity - five years of missed opportunity. Chip was playing to win, while the directors of the company he founded were playing not to lose. About the author Chip Wilson is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, loving husband and a father to five boys. As the founder of Westbeach and yoga-inspired clothing company lululemon athletica, Chip is a globally recognized innovator in the field of technical apparel. He is widely credited with starting the "athleisure" retail category, now a $100-billion-a year global business. At lululemon, Chip was known for his people-before-product leadership approach. He surrounded himself with like-minded individuals; creative, driven, athletic locals with a love for work-life balance inspired by the West Coast. This cohesive culture fueled the innovation and growth of the brand. In 2007, lululemon athletica was taken public and Chip remains its largest individual shareholder and biggest cheerleader. Source: amazon.com   Big idea #1 - See into the future A recurring strength of Chip’s was his ability to spot a trend a few years off. And not just a spot, a trend, but to do something about it. From the move towards baggy shorts for skateboarders, the move to snowboarding from skiing, and the attraction of a different audience with different aesthetic wants, through to a huge movement of yoga and mindfulness, and more technical active wear (or ‘athleisure’ wear) for women. He also saw where those trends were coming from largely from California, so he built connections there, first by supplying those brands into Canada and by by spending time there to better observe and get a feel for what was happening in the particular scenes and subcultures. He was then able to bring these into Canada, knowing that it was only really a matter of time until those trends started to move up north. This ability to see trends in advance, allowed Chip to get ready, get ahead, think deeply, and try things out in the meantime. You can see this in his ‘slow build’ approach – he started slow, particularly with Lululemon, really taking the time to build himself into the community of the demographic that he was looking to attract. By going to yoga himself, spending more time with yogis, and finding out what it was that they wanted and really putting them at the heart of the business and the products. When he had his Westbeach brand and was designing the snowboarding technical apparel, he again, was spending time with the people in that scene to understand them. This was central to his ability to see into the future, hearing what they would want and being able to then extrapolate that into a business.   [PS. Want more book goodness straight to your inbox every fortnight? Subscribe to the bookmark here]   Big idea #2 – Be different on purpose Almost everything about Chip’s businesses had strong purpose, and this made it very clear who it was for (almost to a cult-like effect in Lululemon) and also who it wasn't for. His principles and purpose were clear even early on at Westbeach, he would stop people coming into the store who were smoking. In the eighties, this was quite a big deal because everyone was smoking at the time, but he knew it was not a habit he wanted his brand associated with so wouldn't let people who were smoking into his store. This strength of purpose was also behind the genesis of the bags, the famous Lululemon store bags with their manifesto written all over them. These bags themselves became quite a cult item, and people would use them to take that lunch in or use in their everyday lives, not just to carry their Lululemon goods home from the shop. The words / mantras printed on the bags resonated with the ‘super girl’ market that Lululemon was designed for, showing how much the values of the brand resonated. Purpose also came to life in their technical attire, with an intense focus on quality and details. Women's active wear was a pretty sorry offering in the 90s/00s. Nasty see-through leggings made of cotton, not particularly sweat-proof, and probably a baggy t-shirt, which wasn’t always the most practical for activities like yoga. Typically, men's sportswear had a lot more on offer with a lot more technical elements, and generally was much more fit for purpose. By focusing on their demographics and knowing that there was a better way, meant they could offer something that hadn’t been seen before. And finally, in the business itself there were differences. They offered yoga in the Lululemeon stores, you didn't see Nike or Adidas doing something similar. They also used an education model in the stores for assistants; they weren't called shop assistants / sales assistants, they were called educators, they had a huge amount of autonomy. The store managers had control over the window dressing, store layout, events, and local yoga/wellbeing community engagement. The vertical business model and owning their own manufacturing were unheard of in the industry at that point, but they did it, which allowed them to keep both control and ultimately more margin, because they weren't giving money away to suppliers or third parties. Interestingly, it was a lot of these purpose-led elements of the business and culture that really slipped as private equity took ownership of the business after the IPO. Lululemon were no longer allowed to be as controversial or bold in their ad campaigns, the quality slipped as the focus turned to profit and preservation rather than quality and innovation.   Big idea #3 – Fail, learn, repeat Chip is pretty open in the book about his failures, there's actually whole specific sections dedicated to the various failings and learnings that he had, in particular around the IPO process and experience. And also lessons from Kit and Ace, the business he started with his family after Lululemon. Many of these lessons are around structure and governance. There's a few themes, largely around control and structure, which recur throughout the book. There's also great examples in the book of fail, learn, repeat in the constant innovation and improvement in their thinking. They were taking the offcuts of the pants and turning them into the headbands and other little accessories that you can also buy in Lululemon. Chip was constantly asking himself ‘if I was to compete against Lululemon, what would I do?’ and looking around at the competition, to see where the opportunities to do something different were. Chip was very focused on personal development, and an ongoing quest to avoiding mediocrity. He was allergic to the idea of living an average life, or doing an ‘ok’ job, and he really wanted to avoid that slipping into the company. He put everyone through the Landmark course (which is somewhat controversial in itself) which certainly at the time was a huge investment to put all of his management team through it. But it allowed them to have a common language and common expectation of the level which Lululemon operated on. Again, this is something that changed after the IPO. Chip describes this as the difference between the wanting to win, and wanting not to lose, mentality. When Chip was running the business it was very much around being the best and going out and doing things differently, being a bit controversial at times, in order to make a mark. Whereas the private equity management wanted more of a preservation state. ‘The PR machine’ controlled what could and couldn’t be said (eg Chip’s views on Coke or Pepsi) and they played not to lose; playing it safe rather than doing the things that led to Lululemon's success in the first place, and why they appealed to the people that they did.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

16 de mai.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey! Have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the author Cal is a computer science professor at Georgetown University. In addition to my academic research, he writes about the intersection of digital technology and culture. Cal is particularly interested in our struggle to deploy these tools in ways that support instead of subvert the things we care about in both our personal and professional lives. He’s a New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including, most recently, A World Without Email, Digital Minimalism, and Deep Work. He’s also the creator of The Time-Block Planner. Cal’s books have been published in over 35 languages and has been featured in many major publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Washington Post, and Economist and has a long-running blog Study Hacks. Source: https://www.calnewport.com/about/ About the book Modern knowledge workers communicate constantly. Their days are defined by a relentless barrage of incoming messages and back-and-forth digital conversations–a state of constant, anxious chatter in which nobody can disconnect, and so nobody has the cognitive bandwidth to perform substantive work. The “hyperactive hive mind” workflow has become a productivity disaster, reducing profitability and perhaps even slowing overall economic growth. Equally worrisome, it makes us miserable. Humans are simply not wired for constant digital communication. The knowledge sector’s evolution beyond the hyperactive hive mind is inevitable. The question is not whether a world without email is coming (it is), but whether you’ll be ahead of this trend. If you’re a CEO seeking a competitive edge, an entrepreneur convinced your productivity could be higher, or an employee exhausted by your inbox, A World Without Email will convince you that the time has come for bold changes, and will walk you through exactly how to make them happen. Source: https://www.calnewport.com/about/ Big idea #1 — The hyperactive hive mind This is a term that Cal uses throughout the book as the description of the way that most organisations work and are plugged into constantly. It’s the ongoing conversation, the structured and unstructured messages by email, Slack, Teams, or the many other available channels. They just don’t stop. There’s just a tirade all day of these messages interrupting your ability to work. Various studies have shown that the average worker is checking their email every six minutes(!) on average. Which increases exhaustion and absolutely decreases efficiency. There’s some interesting stats in the book around the psychological impact of all these unread messages. It dates back to our prehistoric brain and it triggers a threat of neglected social obligation; that we’ve got others depending on us and we have failed to do what they need us to do. Possibly therefore putting our place of belonging in danger. In the book, Cal talks about the fact that we are spending more time communicating about tasks than actually doing them. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to how miserable this makes us. And we often work this way in this hyperactive hive mind, this constant battle of email after email, because counter-intuitively, it’s easier. Especially if everyone else is working the same way. But is it really easier given the cost to our productivity, our quality of work, our happiness, and ultimately our health. It’s it’s not great, is it? Big idea #2 — Attention capital Cal argues that we are where industrial manufacturing was in 1900, just on the cusp of the major shifts happening, that changed everything. The point just before production lines and some of the revolutionary processes that were put into place by companies such as Ford, that changed the face of manufacturing.Most organizations remain stuck in the productivity quicksand of the hyperactive hive, mind, workflow, content to focus on tweaks meant to compensate for its worst excesses. At the moment, we’re just making tiny little tweaks, maybe introducing a new tool, but we haven’t actually changed the fundamental way that work is done. We are often just replacing one problem with another (ie using Slack instead of email). Attention capital is creating workflows that optimise the human brain ability to add value to information. Not just to chase our own tails and send and receive more emails. He says that we need to get serious about how we work and really make the most of that attention capital. We need to understand that we work best sequentially, not simultaneously. Therefore, we need to minimise the constant switching between tasks and projects that inevitably happens when we’re working from our inboxes. In the book, Cal regularly references Peter Drucker’s work which talks about how knowledge workers need autonomy. Cal adds to this and says that they also need their workflows managed. He splits the work into two elements; 1) work execution, which requires more autonomy and is where knowledge workers use their brains and skills 2) work flow, which is where you need less autonomy, because is is the structure and coordination of the work He talks about the fact that most organisations have reduced the head count of their support staff and place the responsibilities and tasks back on their knowledge workers. Cal talks about how this has decreased specialisation. You’ve got these specialists knowledge workers, in all different fields and industries, having to also know how to best organise their travel or deal with booking a workshop day, all of which detracts from their ability to do their best work (that they’re likely employed to do). There’s case studies in the book of places who have reversed this and actually increased their support staff head count. They quickly saw productivity and output increase, in a way that offset the cost of employing these extra staff members.    A quick message... Would you consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase? Save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser.   Big idea #3-Focus on the process This comes back to the idea of the workflow, rather than the work execution. We need better systems and processes to work to. There were several examples of companies moving to a more Kanban or card based system (eg Trello or Asana). Set up like notice boards, these systems allow you to focus on one project at a time. The columns might represent projects or different stages of a project. All the information related to that particular task or project is stored in the cards in the board and means that people can just work from there. They can then easily avoid working out of their inbox all the time, being distracted by other projects or messages. There was a couple of examples in the book of people who have moved to that particular format of working in their organisation. They almost never use email, certainly not internally. They still do use it with suppliers and clients, but all of the information for projects is stored in the boards. So internally they can just go to the board, see progress and ask questions, and they’re not constantly emailing to ask for updates etc because it’s all available for team members to see. It’s so important to get them the system right, and the communication right. Again, there’s examples in the book of teams using standup meetings. Rather than endless email updates, companies started to do a simple stand up meeting every couple of days for 10 to 15 minutes with the project team. Key questions are asked answered; what’s happening, what you working on today, what problems do you need help with? This saves hours of emails back and forth getting those updates. You probably have more control to make some of these changes than you think. And it doesn’t always have to be public. For example, you don’t have to put an auto responder on to say ‘I’m only gonna be checking my emails between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM and then 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM’. Side note: Cal said that this became popular after the Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week came out and everyone started doing this, but it put people’s backs up and they tried to find ways around that system, such as calling you, even though the thing might not actually be urgent because they’re just trying to find ways or loopholes around the visible barrier you’ve put up. If you just did that quietly, started checking your email twice a day, stayed out of your inbox the rest of the time, and had some really good blocks of deep work set up to do your work, people wouldn’t probably even notice. There might be a couple of people who are used to you responding immediately, who it might take them a little bit of getting used to, but it probably won’t be as painful or as difficult as you think it might be. And there was a point in the book, which I quite enjoyed, that if you’re good at what you do, you’re allowed those kinds of idiosyncrasies. And people probably won’t even bat an eyelid, if they even notice at all. We certainly shouldn’t be afraid of the inconvenience of change because the benefits of it is so much greater than the way we are working at the moment. You know it’s not working. I know it’s not working. We all know it’s not working, but why are we so resistant to even trying something a little bit different? __________________ Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

9 de mai.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

I’m talking about something a little bit different this week, it’s not a book, but an essay. And one that is talked about and referenced regularly on podcasts and in other books.⁠ ⁠ I have quite strong feelings about the fact that more books should be essays. Some of the books I’ve enjoyed the least, would have been very fine essays. But no, they had to go and stretch it beyond its capacity over a mediocre 250 pages.⁠ ⁠ Luckily, Kevin Kelly didn’t do this. He either has more sense, or doesn’t need the money (or both).⁠ You can read the essay right here. About the Author Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first 7 years. His most recent book is The Inevitable, which is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. His other books include the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy, the classic Out of Control, and his summary theory of technology in What Technology Wants. From 1984–1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Catalogs. He co-founded the Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He also founded the popular Cool Tools website in 2003. Source: https://kk.org/biography Also check out Kevin’s blog: https://kk.org/thetechnium/ Big idea #1 — You don’t need millions This is the fundamental idea that you don’t need millions of fans or dollars to do good work and make a living. You just need 1,000 true fans who will pay you say $100 a year for your work, which gives you a very good living of $100,000 per annum. These are your super fans. They will follow you, buy your books. Maybe they even buy the audio book and the hard back. They’ll come to all your workshops, and they’ll drive a hundred miles to see you perform. It’s important to note here that it’s easier to reach or sell to your existing fans, and give them something new, than to find new fans. Of course, you will also have ‘other’ fans who may pay you for your work, but probably less consistently. The numbers aren’t absolute, there’s plenty of examples in the essay where the dollars maybe go up, if you can make more than a hundred dollars profit per fan, and therefore the number of fans go down and vice versa. And if you know that you have an expensive lifestyle and you need $500,000 a year to live on, then you would of course need to redo the maths and work out the numbers based on what you need and what you charge for your work. Big idea #2 — Go direct This essay was originally written in 2008 (back in the dark ages) before lots of the current social media, websites and tools were available, Kevin has updated the essay relatively recently, which is most relevant to going direct to your fans. Kevin says you need to hold the relationship directly with your fans, cut out the middle person of the old models of publishing or stores or labels etc. This is even easier today, and we’re seeing this in everything from music, or book distribution through to beds. Many of the old model intermediaries didn’t have the richness of audience data and relationships that most creators do today. You’ve also got new funding models, for example, Kickstarter. Interestingly, the average Kickstarter campaign gets 241 backers in order to be fully funded, which is a lot less than 1,000 true fans. We’ve also got things like Patreon and even more recently, NFTs (non fungible tokens) which are making creators and artists serious money through the way of distributing the ownership of art. The internet has also meant that more obscure needs can be met for both the creator and the consumer, and matched in a way that wouldn’t have been possible even just 20 years ago. Big idea #3 — The magic in the long tail You may have heard of the long tale in the context of sales numbers for a company, or from an aggregator like Amazon. You’ve got the head, which if you imagined the bar graph of sales, will probably be a small number of big, chunky lines that go up the left hand side. And then the tail, which is everything else. It comes back to the 80/20 rule; 20% of the products might create 80% of the sales. Companies often talk about ‘chopping off the tail’ because maybe the return on the investment isn’t quite there. You might as well put more effort into the top selling products or services. However, this tail is where the magic is for creators, as the area of the tale is often the same or greater than the area of the head, it’s just more distributed. This means that there is more to go around, and you can spread those sales across a lot more people. This is where those more obscure needs and tastes will create tiny, profitable, niches for you to find your 1,000 true fans. It’s worth mentioning that this is not binary. You don’t ‘do the 1,000 true fan thing’ or not. You can mix and match; maybe 50% of your work is funded by the 1,000 true fans with a direct to consumer relationship. But you might also write a book through traditional publisher. And Kevin Kelly shares his own examples of this, where he has self published some work, but he’s also done some books through traditional publishers. He’s crowdfunded projects, but he’s also had projects sponsored. It’s a case of choosing the best approach for your project and fan base. _________________________ Thanks for listening and reading. If you enjoyed this, maybe you’d like to subscribe to the bookmark newsletter. A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2 de mai.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book At last, a book that shows you how to build—design—a life you can thrive in, at any age or stage Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home–at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve. In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise. https://designingyour.life/   About the authors   Bill Burnett is the Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford. He directs the undergraduate and graduate program in design at Stanford, both interdepartmental programs between the Mechanical Engineering department and the Art department. He got his BS and MS in Product Design at Stanford and has worked professionally on a wide variety of projects ranging from award-winning Apple PowerBooks to the original Hasbro Star Wars action figures. He holds a number of mechanical and design patents, and design awards for a variety of products including the first “slate” computer. In addition to his duties at Stanford, he is a on the Board of VOZ (pronounced “VAWS – it means voice in Spanish) a social responsible high fashion startup and advises several Internet start-up companies. Dave Evans is a Lecturer, Product Design Program at Stanford, Management Consultant, and co-founder of Electronic Arts.Having participated in forming the corporate cultures at Apple and EA, Dave decided his best work was in helping organizations build creative environments where people could do great work and love doing it. So he went out on his own; working with start-up teams, corporate executives, non-profit leaders, and countless young adults. They were all asking the same question. “What should I do with my life?” Helping people get traction on that question finally took Dave to Cal and Stanford and continues to be his life’s work. https://designingyour.life/about/   Big idea #1 - You have multiple options This is one of my favourite ideas in the book, and it is the myth-buster of the assumption that there's only one right thing or one right path for us to take, or thing for us to do. The reframe they use in the book is that there isn't just one solution and that's actually a good thing. They ask the question or reframe the question from “what do you want to be when you grow up” into “what, or who, do you want to grow into?”. The very important point is that this is not about a destination, it's about the journey. Your life is not a thing, it is an experience. The fun that comes from designing and enjoying the experience. Once you design something, it creates multiple different futures. And overall, it's about creating a portfolio of opportunities that you can take and explore, and test, and try, and prototype, and then maybe take into action. One of my favourite exercises in the book (and one that caused a good conversation over dinner with myself and my boyfriend) is one where you create multiple different realities, or odysseys, for the next five years of your life. They give three prompts for these potential odysseys: Expanding your current reality: maybe you are still doing what you're doing, but you are doing it in a more senior position or in a different company or in a different country. Or maybe you're doing what you're doing now, but you've achieved something else. You’ve entered the Ironman that you've always wanted to do, or you have travelled to Antarctica. Is what your reality would be if the thing you do doesn't exist anymore. Your industry suddenly disappears, what do you do instead? Money is no object. You’ve got all the money you need, what would your reality look like? What would you do? What would you not do? I think the most important part for this exercise, and for each of these realities you come up with, is what questions does it raise for you?   Big idea #2 - No passion required. You might already know that I'm a big fan of ignoring this whole passion rhetoric that goes around in the world, so I especially enjoyed this idea in the book. Dave and Bill say that passion takes time to develop. It's an output, not an input to life design. Many people have multiple passions. So how do you start to build a life around passion (based on what we’re told we have to do) if you have multiple passions? And just because you have a passion doesn't mean you should actually do it as your job. Equally many people don't know what their passion is, and particularly younger people. So asking these young people, who are maybe only just finishing their studies and haven’t experienced much in life yet, what their passion is and that they should follow that, is not a useful question. The passion advice is unhelpful at best and harmful at worst. Bill and Dave say that you should find your passion through doing; through trying, experimenting, failing, and learning along the way. You don't need to know what your passion is in order to make a first step, or to take a small action in a direction and to see what happens.   Big idea #3 - Try it on (aka Grok it)  It'd be very easy to overanalyse everything if you feel stuck, and look for more and more and more information. But that likely won't help you beyond a certain point. Instead, they say, you need to Grok it. Quick definition: Grok, in case you're wondering, comes from the 1960s, sci-fi classic, Stranger in a Strange Land. It's used to describe a way of knowing that martians/aliens used, and it actually means to understand something so deeply and completely so much so that you feel that you've become one with it. This has entered more common parlance and ‘I grok that’ is similar to, ‘I get that’, but much deeper than that. So, to really understand our potential realities or possible decisions (as in big idea #1), we need to try on (or grok) our realities. To act as if we've made that decision, without any commitment. In the book they talk about living for one to three days as if you’ve made a decision, to see how it feels. You go about your daily life, knowing that you've made a particular decision. Maybe it's that you want to move to New York, you want to change career and become a photographer. Either way, you walk around for a couple of days to see how it feels to ‘try on’ a decision. You don't have to tell other people about it, but when you're cleaning your teeth in the morning, you think, yep. I'm going to be a photographer. I'm going to quit my job, and I'm going to become a photographer. Just see how it feels. The idea of this is to use all of the different knowledge we have in our body and in our brain. To help us make a decision through feeling, because it's probably not just something we can only think about. We need to feel it. It's therefore important that we're not living as ourselves thinking about those options or that decision, but as a person who's already made that decision, there's a bit of a subtle nuance there. You do this for all of the different options, a couple of days at a time, but you do a little bit of a reset in between each of them. You can test the different emotions that are revealed, and see what might need tweaking (or abandoning, or levelling up) from each of the options as you try them on. I think this is such a fun way of getting to do a little bit of play pretend. You might even start looking into different things, just to see how that feels as well. You might then start researching where you might live in New York, because you've made that decision in your mind. You don't necessarily commit to anything, but you act as if you've made the decision and that that is what you're going to do.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25 de abr.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. In this episode I mention a podcast which I've recently recorded with my friend Shane Hatton, all about learning. You can find the links to listen to it here, or search Phone Calls with Clever People on your podcast player.   About the book What if everything you did was your choice, including how you spend your time, how much money you make, with whom you have relationships, and only doing work that aligns with your purpose? Sound hard? It’s as simple as changing the core question you ask yourself. When you want to accomplish something, stop asking, “How can I do this?” Legendary entrepreneur coach Dan Sullivan teaches you to ask instead, “Who can do this for me?” This question at the heart of the Who Not How philosophy may seem simple, but don’t let the lack of complexity fool you. By mastering Who Not How, you will quickly learn how billionaires and successful entrepreneurs like Dan build incredible businesses and personal freedom, along with massive success.   About the authors Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship and has coached more successful entrepreneurs than anyone on the planet. He is the co-founder of Strategic Coach®, the leading entrepreneurial coaching program in the world, and author of more than 50 publications on entrepreneurial success. Over the past 30+ years, Strategic Coach has provided teaching and training to more than 20,000 entrepreneurs. Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and best-selling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work and Personality Isn’t Permanent. His blogs have been read by more than 100 million people and are featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think, and many others. He is a regular contributor to Inc. and Psychology Today and from 2015 to 2018, he was the #1 writer—in the world—on Medium.com. https://whonothow.com/   Big Idea #1 - Who not how  Essentially, this is a book about delegation. Most of us, when faced with a challenge, ask ourselves, how will I do this? Whether it's fixing our website planning meals for the week or booking a trip. But instead of asking how we should really be asking who. Because there is likely someone out there who can do it better, faster with less stress, more scale, and potentially cheaper, than we could do it ourselves. This book itself is actually a who not how project. Benjamin Hardy saw Dan Sullivan speak about this concept at an event and Benjamin decided he wanted to write the book on it. He asked Dan and Dan let him. Having this mindset of who not, how, as a default, allows you to create bigger things than you could do alone and focus on doing other things, which are maybe the things that you are better at. Ultimately, it comes down to putting results above effort and working on tasks where you can get the better outcome, rather than necessarily where you can put the most effort in.   Big idea #2 - Let the who do the how For this to work, you need to let the who do the how. That's why they're there in the first place. You need to get out of their way and give them permission to do what it is that they do best. Your role in the relationship is to set the vision. Dan actually uses something called an ‘impact filter’, this document covers why the particular project or the task is important, what the success criteria would look like, what's at stake, and what could go wrong or any potential problems that might come up. The book suggests looking at your goals for the next 90 days and running a ‘who audit’ over them. Ask yourself who can help you achieve those goals? You could even do this on a weekly, or even a daily basis, using your to-do list and asking yourself who can help you.   PS. Consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase. Save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser.   Big idea #3 - Freedom Freedom is one of the core ideas in the book. The book is structured around the four types of freedom you can access when you use this, who not how approach. The four types of freedom are; Time - if you're not doing something you free up your time to do other things. Money - yes, finding someone else to do those particular things might cost you money but you’re entering a different value exchange, as you’ll free up your time to create more money by focusing on higher value activities Relationship - you can create transformational relationships by being a who to other people, as well and finding good who's for yourself. You can then foster those relationships so that everyone ends up doing the work that is most valuable to them and allows them to operate at their best. Purpose - this allows you to do the bigger things you might want to do in life that maybe won't happen otherwise, because you don't have the skills or the time or the resources to do it. There was a great example of freedom of purpose in the book. A lady called Karen wanted to write her grandmother's biography. This was something that had been on her life to do list for a long time. Her grandmother was an important civil rights activist in the 1920s and actually helped get certain segregation laws changed in the USA. For Karen, this was a really important and very personal project. Karen had started the book, had written some pages but had realised that writing a biography is almost like a full-time job in itself to do it well, especially if you are not an accomplished biographer. Karen had her own very busy job and therefore this biography wasn’t going very far, very fast. Funnily enough, Karen was approached by another person who also wanted to research and write a book about Karen's grandmother. This person was researching African-American civil rights activists and had come across Karen's grandmother's details and wanted Karen's help in writing the book. Karen's initial response was one of threat. She wanted to the one to write the book about her grandmother, and saw this other woman as competition.  However, after conversation with Benjamin, Karen realised that a collaboration with this biographer could actually mean the book got written. And likely to a higher quality, because the other person was an accomplished biographer and had published books previously. She realised that the purpose was sharing her grandmother’s story, not writing the book herself.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

18 de abr.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. About the book Getting rich is not just about luck; happiness is not just a trait we are born with. These aspirations may seem out of reach, but building wealth and being happy are skills we can learn. So what are these skills, and how do we learn them? What are the principles that should guide our efforts? What does progress really look like? The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a collection of Naval’s wisdom and experience from the last ten years, shared as a curation of his most insightful interviews and poignant reflections. This isn’t a how-to book, or a step-by-step gimmick. Instead, through Naval’s own words, you will learn how to walk your own unique path toward a happier, wealthier life.  Sources, links and more information: https://www.navalmanack.com/ About the Authors Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur and Investor. He is founder of Angellist, Epinions, and Vast.com He is an Angel investor in Twitter, Uber, Yammer, and 100+ more. Naval has become widely followed for his thoughts on startups, investing, crypto, wealth, and happiness. Eric Jorgenson is the author of the book. He’s a product Strategist at Zaarly and writer. His business blog, Evergreen, has educated and entertained more than one million readers since 2014. He is also on a quest to create—and eat—the perfect sandwich.   Big idea #1 - Develop mental models These are your foundation. And this foundation is critical.  Naval describes mental models as compact ways to recall your own knowledge and having those solid fundamental truths will allow you to think more clearly, make fewer decisions and therefore act faster. These can be in all different domains; it could be wealth and happiness or health or work or time, whatever it happens to be. But you might have some that actually are fundamental across almost any domain. Side note: wealth is very different to being rich. This is defined in the book. The best way to build mental models is to read, especially from some of the baseline ideas such as science, maths, and philosophy. Particularly science and maths, where there’s generally a true or false, or basic fundamentals such as the laws of physics, etc. And yes, of course there's still things we don't know, but findings the underlying mental models means that you're going to have high quality ideas as a starting point and a solid foundation to build on. Naval actually goes as far as to recommend an hour a day of reading on those particular topics, particularly science, maths, and philosophy. But also says that you should read what you love until you love to read, if you don’t already have a reading habit. The book is filled with these mental models and principles that Naval uses. One of them for example, is that if you can't decide, the answer is no. (Note, this reminds me of Derek Sivers’ work of ‘hell yeah or no’). Similarly, he says, if you can't split between two different decisions, you should take one with the most short-term pain on the basis that things with short-term pain are probably going to have greater long-term benefits. Having that mental model of ‘greater short-term pain = greater long-term benefits’ means that it helps him make decisions faster when he's trying to pick between two different things. You can then overlay this with other basic principles such as compound interest or evolution, and you've then got momentum to start making decisions in a much faster, clearer, and more rational way.   PSST. Consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase. Save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser.   Big idea #2 - find your leverage This runs across the two main topics in the book of wealth and happiness. One of the key ideas he talks about is time. He talks about time in the sense of wealth, and how you're using time to build wealth, and happiness, by having control of your time. So leveraging your time, your brain power, your effort, and essentially working smarte, is the key to wealth and happiness. He says the year he became the most wealthy, he worked the least. This is because he had got to the point where he could maximise his leverage, and he had learned what he needed to leverage to do so. But, what should you leverage for the greatest gains, and how that has changed from previous generations? For Warren buffet, for example, capital was where you could find maximum leverage. But now it's things like code and media and attention. Naval says that this comes down to ‘learning to sell or learning to build’. You need to be able to do one or the other, and if you can do both, that is amazing. With that in mind, he talks about the idea of ‘earning with your mind, not with your time’. So not just trading hours for time, because that does have a ceiling, but the more you can earn with your mind in and reach multiple different people asynchronously, the better. And yes, unsurprisingly, he believes that 40hour work weeks are a relic of the industrial revolution times and need to be left where they belong. There is an important point that underlines all of this. He says that no one is going to value you more than you value yourself… which is a useful reminder.   Big idea #3 - embrace death There is an overwhelming sense of calm perspective in this book and in Naval’s writing. He comes across like someone who has found what works and is just having fun, living life, learning, reflecting, and repeating. Fittingly, at the end of the book, there is a section on acceptance, especially being able to accept the things you can't change (very relevant and useful right now). And a particular, a piece on embracing death. This is all right before the section of the book about taking responsibility for yourself and your own actions and own happiness, so it’s interesting how accepting death, or accepting things you can’t control, will help you take more responsibility. “You're going to die one day. And none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself.” It’s a great way of looking at life more generally, but also particularly at work, because we often do take it a little bit too seriously, don't we? But actually, so little of that is going to matter, and that fact should free us, rather than depress us. Because maybe we can have a bit more fun and maybe there is less risk in failing than we think, because none of it's going to really matter. (I mean, don't do anything really bad, just take things less seriously). Naval is only 47, so it's not like he's coming at this with 90 years or 100 years behind him. I think that is quite inspiring, that you can find that level of acceptance and peace and ability to have fun and enjoy things, without necessarily having lived your whole life to have that perspective.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

11 de abr.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

HEY! It's the Easter long weekend so I'm enjoying a short break and sharing this popular episode from the back catalogue that you may have missed. It's also one of the books I've shared the most over the last ten years - The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. Enjoy...   About the author Russ Harris is a doctor, therapist, father, trainer of health professionals, and author of The Happiness Trap (plus eight other books). Russ started his career as a newly-graduated doctor back in 1989, and soon discovered that most of his patients were expressing a significant degree of dissatisfaction in life; stress, anxiety and unhappiness were widespread. He strongly related to their struggles, because he was experiencing something similar. He just couldn’t understand why he felt this way. Russ had achieved all the goals that society says tells us will make us feel happy. But it wasn’t working. And he wanted to know why. One thing was for sure, simplistic stories that it was all due to an unhappy childhood or too much negative thinking or a chemical imbalance in the brain were definitely not the answer. So Russ set off on a journey to find out a) what makes people unhappy, and b) far more importantly, what creates genuine and lasting happiness. That journey took him down a lot of blind alleys and dead ends. But eventually, it lead him to ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Source: https://thehappinesstrap.com/my-story/   About the book Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioural psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life. The techniques presented in The Happiness Trap will help you to: Reduce stress and worry Handle painful feelings and thoughts more effectively • Break self-defeating habits Overcome insecurity and self-doubt Create a rich, full, and meaningful life Source: https://www.amazon.com/ Links Videos, articles, 8 week course and more from Russ here: https://thehappinesstrap.com/ Liked this one? You might also like the Courage to be Disliked or Everything is F *cked episodes of Steph’s Business Bookshelf.   BIG IDEA 1 (6:37) – Happiness is not the goal. In the book, Russ dispels some myths we have, one of them being that happiness should be our default or natural state. This makes people think that if you’re not feeling happy then you must be defective and therefore to create a positive life you need to reduce any negative feelings. All of these things result in a vicious cycle, because if you’re not happy, you feel defective which makes you even less happy. These stems from thinking that happiness is the natural state that we should all be aiming for. Another myth is that belief that we should all be controlling our feelings, which shouldn’t be the case as that often works against us in practice (see big idea #2). There’s also an argument in the book against positive psychology; about telling ourselves all the positive things all the time and lots of positive affirmations.  This takes a lot of energy and distracts us from what we are really trying to achieve and makes us less present. Once we realise that happiness is not the goal, we will save ourselves a lot of time, energy and angst which we can spend on other things. BIG IDEA 2 (8:19) – Control is not the answer. Control is okay in some situations but not when used excessively or in a situation where it won’t work, because it will stop you from doing what you value. When we try and control our feelings too much, eventually it will all come out… and probably in a fairly unproductive way. It also distracts us and does not solve anything. Trying to control our feelings, telling ourselves other stories instead, trying to rewrite stories in our head towards scenarios that will make us feel a certain way is not helpful and wastes a lot of energy. BIG IDEA 3 (10:16) – Change your story to change your mind. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is all about accepting, seeing and hearing the negative thoughts that pops into your mind. Accepting that a lot of that is a narrative that we have created ourselves. But this isn’t about rewriting a story, simply taking away its power. Russ gives a lot of methods in the book on how to depower a story / voice; from creating a persona for it to turning it into a song.  Some things might not work for you and that’s okay but try some of the suggestions out, adapt them and do what you need to do that makes it stick for you to use it. Another element of ACT is diffusion which is seeing a story and realizing that it’s not reality. For example, when you feel like you’re failing, understanding you’re just actually making mistakes and learning, which is normal. The important thing is depowering the story. Questioning, hearing, experiencing, thinking about the work you are doing and ultimately accepting it as part of life but not letting it take over.  Music By: The Future Is Now – Instrumental Version Song by MARLOE.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram Have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4 de abr.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

A slightly different episode this week as I wrap up the first quarter of 2021 (I know, how did that even happen?!) with a round up of the five best books I've read so far. Some are new books, some are not new books. But there might be something you haven't read yet. What have you read so far this year? Let's connect... LinkedIn Instagram Or follow my reading adventures on Goodreads. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

28 de mar.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe. Consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase. Save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser. Or you can buy me a coffee.   About the book In Thriving Mind. Dr. Jenny Brockis has draws on deep research and 30+ years of helping people solve persistent and serious problems to provide science-based strategies for overcoming them as well as the habits to help avoid them in the future. Walking you through common issues, such as loneliness, stress, relationship breakdown, loss of social connection and mental health issues. Dr. shows us that there are practical ways to alleviate or even banish these difficulties. And to reclaim a sense of meaning and vitality, you might not have felt in years. Whatever your worries, it is important to remember you’re not alone. And that by using the tools and strategies outlined in thriving mind, you can take real scientific steps toward reclaiming your humanity and start doing the things today that will bring a brighter tomorrow. About the author Dr. Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and board certified lifestyle medicine, physician specializing in brain health and mental performance. She works to inspire others to become the best versions of themselves by translating the findings of the nearest science and positive psychology into simple practical tools that enable people to work smarter. Not harder. With three decades experience of working with people, she understands that while intentions may be good, changing behaviors is not always easy. As an international speaker trainer and author of three books, including the best selling smarter, sharper thinking. Jenny is frequently sought after, as a commentator in the media and has many articles published in a variety of magazines and journals. And when she’s not speaking, researching or writing, Dr. Jenny loves to spend her time with her family traveled to new destinations, and continues to challenge her long standing fear of heights. Source: https://www.drjennybrockis.com/ Big idea 1: the mindful keys to happiness The first part of the book is dedicated to happiness. And much of it is actually internal to you. It comes from having a strong sense of purpose of practicing gratitude of having humor, practicing mindfulness, a healthy, positive mindset, and from helping others. It’s an important reminder when you read that particular part of the book around happiness, that the context is around burnout. Jenny talks a lot about her personal experience with burnout, which drove her to end up having her “gap year”, as she calls it. Most of this is caused by work. And it is work that often drives us to think that the next promotion, the next pay rise, the next job, the next thing to buy or the next nice holiday, are the answer to happiness. But it is usually short-lived bursts of happiness that come from those more material, external things. Reading this book shows that really it’s the things that are internal to us, and being able to build practice and habits around those, will give us anti-fragile and resilient happiness, that is able to withstand shocks and external pressure. Big idea 2; eat, move, play, sleep repeat In the second section of the book (thriving) you’ll find the brainy benefits of activities like sleep, healthy food and exercise, and why these are performance enhancing habits and not time detractors, just for soft people who can’t cope with life. Some of the things there in terms of sleep are quite frightening. For example, sleep deprivation increases our risk of, death from, heart disease by 45%. That’s right. 45%. And the even more frightening thing is that most studies around sleep, consider fewer than six hours sleep as the threshold for sleep deprivation or prolonged sleep deprivation. So if you’re getting fewer than six hours sleep on a regular basis, yes you’ll have increased heart disease risk, but that comes after it’s already made you less effective in decisions, impacted your memory, made you more dangerous (particularly if you’re driving), more grumpy, less likable and less likely to make healthy choices. Because sleep deprivation also makes you feel hungrier, and probably hunting for the less nutritious options when you want to satiate that hunger. Beyond sleep, food, and exercise, Jenny also talks about the importance of things like play, getting into nature and music, and the proven benefits of these on your work and your brain function. Big idea 3; be more human. We are wired to connect. We have evolved that way. It is good for us, and it’s sadly often one of the early things to go when we’re feeling tired or stressed or busy, even though we know it will make us feel good. Building trusting relationships, asking for help, helping others and being part of some kind of community (whether that is with friends, with family or from a broader perspective, whatever that that particular word means to you) not only makes us happier and less susceptible to loneliness, but also can make us more effective. Empathy is a big part of these particular types of human connection and empathetic leaders and professionals are often rated as more effective. For example, empathetic doctors are actually less likely to be sued. Now that’s all great, but there is a really important part in this section of the book around humanness, about starting with ourselves. Being kind to ourselves, extending compassion to ourselves and connecting with our own needs and emotions. Because again, stressed and burnt-out people are often not taking good care of themselves. So whilst the big idea is about being more human. We also need to be more ourselves or be more human with ourselves and be kinder to ourselves as well. This is a really good reminder, particularly in 2021, when we’re maybe out of the habits of connecting with some people. Maybe there’s some people we haven’t been able to connect with yet because they’re overseas or interstate, or people we’ve just not had the chance (or not made as much effort) to connect with. Whoever those people are, and wherever they are, it’s a wise reminder to reconsider reconnecting.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

21 de mar.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Consider supporting the podcast with your next book purchase. Save the Steph’s Business Bookshelf affiliate stores for Book Depository (Global) or Bookshop.org (US) in your browser. [00:00:00] Welcome back to Steph's Business Bookshelf. And this week's episode; the book Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol. Keep listening to find out why you need to fail more successfully.   Welcome back. I'm your host, Steph Clarke. And as usual, every week. I'll be sharing with you the three big ideas from the best nonfiction books that I've been reading and doing the reading so you don't have to. This week is the book think like a rocket scientist, and I'm going to be sharing with you the three big ideas from this book. It's pretty cold, rainy weekend here in Naarm/Melbourne. So it's a good weekend to be curled up with the book and recording some podcasts and of course drinking some tea. If you're doing something similar this weekend, and maybe even looking at buying some new books, I'd love for you to head over to one of my affiliate stores with Bookshop or Book Depository, depending on which country you're in, to stock up on some new books. It's a great way of [00:01:00] filling up your bookshelves and supporting the podcast at the same time, the links are in the show notes, so you can bookmark those ready for when you are next, stocking up your bookshelf. All right. Let's get into this week's book. Think like a rocket scientist, a little bit about the book. If you haven't heard of it. In this book, a former rocket scientist reveals the habits, ideas, and strategies that will empower you to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible. But fortunately you don't have to be a rocket scientist in order to think like one. In this accessible and practical book, Ozan Varol reveals, nine simple strategies from rocket science that you can use to make your own giant leaps in work and life. Whether it's landing your dream job, accelerating your business, learning a new skill or creating the next breakthrough product. Today thinking like a rocket scientist is a necessity. We all encounter complex and unfamiliar problems in our lives. And those who can tackle these problems without clear guidelines and with the clock ticking, enjoy an extraordinary advantage. Think like a rocket scientist will inspire you to take your [00:02:00] own moonshot and enable you to achieve liftoff. Yes, there we go. There was plenty of rocket related puns in that. A little about wasn't that. And that's taken from Ozan's website; ozanvarol.com. There is a link to that in the show notes. One of the things I found particularly helpful on his website is there are some resources that help to summarize the book and the various chapters. So head over there, if you'd like more information.  Now a little bit about the author. Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist, turned award-winning professor and author. A native of Istanbul, Turkey Ozan grew up in a family of no English speakers, he learned English as a second language and moved to the United States by himself at 17 to attend Cornell university and major in astrophysics. Whilst he was there, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars exploration rovers project that sent two rovers, spirit and opportunity, to Mars. He built stuff that then went on to the red planet and wrote code that snaps photos of the Martian surface. He then [00:03:00] pivoted and went to law school. He graduated first in his class, earning the highest grade point average in his law school's history. He's been called a true original by Adam Grant and dubbed a superhero by Daniel Pink. His work has been described as must read by Susan Cain and featured in the Wall Street Journal Time, BBC, CNN, Washington Post, and more.  And again that was taken from ozanvarol.com. Link is in the show notes.  Alright, let's get into it. The three big ideas I took from the book, think like a rocket scientist by Ozan Varol. Big idea number one is embrace uncertainty. It probably goes without  saying, but there is little point trying to do or create something new if you can't take a little bit of uncertainty. He says in the book that "where certainty ends progress begins". I think that's a great quote. Writing down some of your fears, your uncertainties and the negative outcomes you might think could happen. Doing a bit of a pre-mortem can really help take the edge off of these uncertainties or the things you're worried about. And it also helps you prioritize them. And he talks about [00:04:00] going through this process in various projects that he has worked on. It also allows you to build in the margins of safety and the redundancies to mitigate some of the risks. And even sometimes to realize that maybe  some of them aren't so bad because the results of those things going wrong might not be the end of the world. This extends also into the practice of 'test as you fly and fly as you test', because sometimes it's only through doing, testing and breaking stuff that the uncertainty starts to clear, at least for the next step to take. He also suggests that you start with multiple hypothesis. And this also helps because it creates multiple potential outcomes and options that you can play with. And in some ways, whilst it creates more options, it can, in some ways also reduce uncertainty because you can think, Oh, okay, well, there's multiple different ways that this could happen or multiple different things and outcomes that could happen. So it gives you more to play with. And in some ways less uncertainty. That was big idea number one; embrace uncertainty.  Big idea number two is stretch your thinking [00:05:00] and your comfort. In the book Ozan talks about various different ways that we can stretch our thinking to think more like a rocket scientist. We look for opposites. We look back in history. We test for first principles. We look for alternative uses for existing bits of equipment. We go big. We go small. We play, we find people to disagree with us. Work with new people, change your mind more often and sketch before you create.  The book shares multiple ways to think differently. And some of the activities and intentional things that we can do in order to stretch our thinking and get out of our comfort zone a little bit. These things, and these approaches have all resulted in people finding something new by, by taking them, testing something out. And obviously that you can do that too. They all require though attention and intention. You can't just be like a rocket scientist without doing any of this stuff. All comes from this as the fundamental mindset and principles of being a rocket scientist is stretching your thinking. And there's examples where even at places like NASA, they let stuff get in [00:06:00] the way. Things like bureaucracy or being stuck in ways of thinking and how sometimes it was only when someone new joined a team or asked a wild question or made it bigger suggestion, that problems that had existed for a while became unstuck. One of the things I really enjoyed about the book was the Ozan can share some really different examples of, of thinking like a rocket scientist and be able to share his experience of working on the Mars Rover project and how some of these particular techniques either came to life or were missed and opportunities were missed to think differently, and therefore problems took longer to solve for example. So I really enjoyed his first person experience of using this on a project that isn't something I was aware of. Yeah, I know that it happened, but was unaware of the behind the scenes stuff. So that was really interesting. So that's big idea. Number two, stretch your thinking and your comfort.  Finally big idea. Number three is fail successfully. Now, Ozan actually challenges this fail [00:07:00] fast approach that we hear a lot from the tech world, particularly the Silicon Valley tech world. And he says that sometimes this can miss the point of reflection and learning that is required for failure to actually be useful. So it's no use failing fast if you're not actually learning from that failure. He talks about focusing on the inputs of failure to be able to analyze and make future decisions from that. It's a perfect opportunity to, or perfect prompt for using your curiosity. Similarly, but, but opposite, we should also do the same with success. If it's working, do we actually know why it's working? It's really easy to fall into the trap of success and thinking, Oh, well, everything's going well. So everything's fine, without actually knowing why that is the case. And of course it goes to that saying that we need to fail well. We need to tell people about our failures so that they can also learn from them.  And we also need to help them to feel comfortable to share their own failures too, and creating that psychological safety in a team or an organization. So that failure is an option and failure is done in a really successful way. Now, of course, this also links back [00:08:00] to big idea number one about embracing uncertainty. And making sure that you're linking some of the pre-mortems that you're doing with the postmortems potentially of a failure and being able to link the two and see where those assumptions may have been wrong. So coming back to that first principles, thinking to think, well, what did we assume early on and what was right or wrong about that in order to then fail better or fail more successfully and make a better attempt next time. So that's big idea. Number three, fail successfully.  So there we go, three big ideas from the book think like a rocket scientist, by Ozan Varol. Big idea number one, embrace uncertainty. Big idea number two, stretch your thinking and your comfort. And big idea number three, fail successfully.  Now I quite enjoyed the writing style of this book. It's very accessible. It It's not a particularly heavy read, which is always nice. And it is really useful. I would say that if you have read anything about innovation or more creative thinking, you'll probably find this [00:09:00] book a little basic. So I definitely would recommend it for someone who wants a bit of a one-stop shop on all of the things around creative thinking or thinking differently and innovative thinking. And  , the design thinking type process, this would be a great first book for that, if you've not really read anything or learn anything about that before. But if you're pretty familiar with some of those concepts, I'd say you probably won't learn too much new stuff in here. That said if you're particularly interested in the rocket science elements and Ozan's role in the Mars Rover projects, then yeah, from that perspective, this may be an interesting read for you, but there are probably other books that go into a little bit more depth or more nuanced or different applications of creative or innovative thinking that might be a better next step book for you if you already have some of that information and knowledge already.  So there we go, episode 115. I don't know how we've got that far. That's pretty cool. Isn't it? And the book, think like a rocket scientist. If you enjoyed this episode, I'd love to hear from you as usual. Contact details are all in the show notes. But otherwise until next time.  [00:10:00] Happy reading.   Let’s connect LinkedIn Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

14 de mar.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to subscribe.   About the book Your brand is the stories people share about you when you’re not in the room, and it’s these brand stories that determine if people buy from you, employ you, work for you or invest in you. When the stakes are that high, wouldn’t you want to take control of it? In Magnetic Stories, business storytelling expert Gabrielle Dolan reveals how you too can create and share stories that stick. Learn how to: define and distinguish your brand stand out from the competition implement brand storytelling effectively strengthen your presence online by sharing magnetic stories make your employees and customers your greatest advocates. In a world of inauthentic brands, Magnetic Stories is a must read for anyone who wants their brand to be relatable, believable and create long-term brand loyalty. Source: https://gabrielledolan.com/resources/magnetic-stories/   About the author Gabrielle, prefers to be called Ral – especially by those she has previously met. She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, educator and author, she is also happily married with two lovely teenage daughters that keep her honest. She has an MBA and has also completed studies at Harvard which is arguably to compensate for when she failed final year English. It was while working in a senior leadership role at National Australia Bank that she realised the power of storytelling in effective business communication. Since that epiphany, Gabrielle has found her calling as a global thought leader on authentic leadership and business storytelling. In 2020, her dedication to the industry was recognised when Gabrielle was awarded Communicator of the Year by the International Association of Business Communicators Asia Pacific region. The ultimate expression of her passion for the cause is her Jargon Free Fridays movement jargonfreefridays.com.   Source: https://gabrielledolan.com/about/   Idea 1 – The five types of story In the book, Ral talks about the five different types of story that most businesses need, these are; Creation: how the business started / the story of the founders Culture: how do you do things and bring your values to life? Customer: showcase your customers, their success and their stories Challenge: how have you responded to any internal/external challenges? Community: how have you contributed to the wider world?   Idea 2 – Find the stories that aren’t stories Once you’ve defined and identified the types of stories, you need to go and find them. However, most of the time, people won’t even think of these things as stories – more ‘things that have happened’. Therefore, Gabrielle talks about the process for bringing these stories out of hiding. Through a facilitated process, she gathers people from the organisation and asks bigger questions like ‘tell me about a time when…’ or ‘describe how…’. These questions often create a waterfall of great stories from employees. These can then be collected, refined and the themes found and shared. The process is also powerful for engaging people in the power of stories – especially any sceptics. It can also be an eye opening process when the themes maybe don’t show the values or behaviours you were expecting; potentially revealing a delta between the desired values of the organisation and the real ones.   Idea 3 – Share your stories Your website, short videos, social media, pitch documents, coffee cups* and packaging are just some of the vehicles you can use to share your stories. However, it should be done in a way that is authentic, and forms part of your brand messaging and voice, not just an ‘add on’ to your comms strategy. It’s critical to have the most senior members of the organisation as part of this approach in order to role model and help it stick. This creates a story culture.     Let's connect LinkedIn / Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

7 de mar.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. You can subscribe here.   About the book Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. As an organizational psychologist, Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds–and our own. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, harness the surprising advantages of impostor syndrome, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. Source: adamgrant.net About the author Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and TED speaker who helps people find meaning and motivation at work. Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40. ​He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 5 books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 35 languages: Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves. Adam is the host of WorkLife, a chart-topping TED original podcast. His TED talks on original thinkers and givers and takers have been viewed more than 25 million times. He has more than 3 million followers on social media and features new insights in his free monthly newsletter, GRANTED. Source: adamgrant.net Idea #1 — The prosecutor, the politician and the preacher (aka, be more scientist) This is not career advice, but advice on how to put your message across. Positioning yourself as a prosecutor (trying to prove the other person wrong), politician (seeking to win over the audience’s approval) or preacher (protecting and promoting our beliefs with sermons) mostly fails to influence anyone, and certainly doesn’t help us open our minds. Instead, we need to be more scientist in our ways of thinking. Embrace the joy of being wrong and the fact you now know better, remaining constantly aware of the limits of your own knowledge and understanding and being actively open-minded in our pursuit of the truth. All of this requires an important reframe of our identity: identifying ourselves by our values, rather than our beliefs. Loosening our grip on our beliefs and untangling them from our identity allows us to observe them more objectively, challenge them and change them, without feeling like we’ve fundamentally departed from who we are. Idea #2 — Ask better questions Asking people how, rather than why, is a great way of unlocking limitations of their understanding. When people describe why they believe something (especially when it’s on the extreme), they often commit even more to that belief. By asking them how they would operationalise their views, they will likely quickly realise the limitations of the extremes and start to tame their views. Asking how they originally formed an opinion is also a useful tool. Adam talks about the idea of being a ‘logic bully’, or assaulting people with cold, hard, rational facts. We’ve likely all had situations where we’ve tried this and know that it doesn’t work to change anyone’s mind (usually it makes them resist and hold onto their views even tighter. Before peppering someone with the evidence, ask them the question ‘what evidence would change your mind’. Idea #3 — Rethink your life It’s so easy to get sucked into the tunnel vision of life, wrapping our identity in decisions made in a different time and context — especially with our profession. From a young age, we’re asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ and our careers turn into something we ‘be’ rather than something we ‘do’. In the book Adam says that ‘kids might be better off learning about careers as actions to take rather than as identities to claim.’. He suggests scheduling a twice-yearly life checkup with yourself to assess what you’re learning, how you’re evolving and whether there’s anything that needs a rethink or a course correction. Similarly, setting regular time in your day or week to think, rather than do, and forcing a prompt for constant unlearning and rethinking, rather than getting stuck in the way you always do things and the way you always think of things. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

25 de fev.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

It's bookmark week! Have you signed up to receive your fortnightly book reviews, recommendations and ideas in your inbox? Click here to subscribe.   About the book The only person you need to start and run a highly profitable and sustainable company is you What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale up a new business, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better-and smarter-solution is simply to remain small? Company of One is a refreshing new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth, for any size of business. Not as a freelancer who only gets paid on a per piece basis, and not as an entrepreneurial start-up that wants to scale up as soon as possible, but as a small business that is deliberately committed to staying that way. By staying small, you can have freedom to pursue more meaningful pleasures in life, and avoid the headaches that result from dealing with employees, long meetings, or worrying about expansion. Company of One introduces this unique business strategy and explains how to make it work for you, including how to generate cash flow on an ongoing basis. Source: Penguin Books   About the Author PAUL JARVIS is a veteran of the online tech world, and over the years he has had corporate clients such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Mercedes-Benz, Warner Music and even Shaquille O'Neal. These days, he teaches courses online and does consulting from his home on a remote island off of Vancouver. Source: Google Books   Idea #1 – Start small, define growth, keep learning First, you need to be clear on what a company of one is, and isn’t. The most important thing for a company of one is knowing what constitutes ‘enough’. Enough revenue, enough customers, enough profit. This was demonstrated in the book when Paul met a friend surfing who told him that he’d made enough money to now take the rest of the year off to go climbing. This clarity on ‘enough’ meant the friend’s business fit into his lifestyle. Knowing what is sufficient will aid your decision making and in turn build, and retain, your resilience and autonomy in your business. The overall aim is to become smaller, smarter, more efficient and more resilient. Many companies solve problems by doing MORE. Throwing more money or people at a problem, which generally results in more problems in the long term. A company of one ultimately has small as an end goal, it’s a company that questions growth, rather than chases it. A couple of notes; Freelancers aren’t technically companies of one, although this is a good model to start with. As they are usually still trading their (finite amount of) time for money, this doesn’t provide the efficiencies or resilience required for a company of one. Contrary to the name, a company of one mindset doesn’t have to just apply to companies of one person. The book gives the example of Buffer, which had ~70 employees at the time of the book being written, who have rejected typical start-up style growth goals and work with a mindset of better, not bigger.     Idea #2 - The company of one mindset The question should always be ‘how do I make my company better, not bigger’. It’s a focus on stability, simplicity and independence. This might mean avoiding external funding and favouring internally generated / organic growth when it’s self-sustaining, not just spending in the hope it will fuel growth. There was a painful example in the book of Pets.com who paid $17m for an advertising campaign in 2000, a year they made just $8.8m in revenue. They were over-spending in the hope it would fuel growth. This same mindset also requires rejecting unnecessary overheads such as fancy offices. And only when you find yourself at capacity of work (which will happen at some point), is it the time to consider sourcing additional help. This could be in the shape of employees (if sustainable) or contractors/freelancers. Raising prices is another very effective way of bringing work back to sustainable levels. The bonus of raising your prices is that it forces you to focus on becoming better not bigger, to justify the new prices.   Idea #3 – Be fascinating I love this idea. A company of one is more likely going to be a small fish in a big pond, and therefore needs to stand out. It needs to be more like pistachio ice cream, and less like vanilla ice cream (which often happens as companies grow). Retaining your independence and creative control by staying small, means you can make best use of this approach; identifying what makes you quirky, unique and fascinating and using this to stand out. Amplify these traits in your business and don’t be a ‘one size fits all’ type of business / service / product. “Don’t just ask consumers to pay attention to your business. Instead, start doing the kinds of unique and unusual things that attract attention in order to make your business distinct.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

21 de fev.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the bookmark newsletter? A fortnightly email with book reviews and ideas of what you should be reading next. Click here to sign up.   About the book A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy. In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil. A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective-the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making.   About the author Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Extracts from https://www.penguin.com.au/   IDEA 1 - The best answer won’t be perfect There are countless examples in the book of hard policy, people and political decisions that Obama had to make. And the commonality in all of them was the messiness of getting to an answer. Even things that seem like a no-brainer on the service (free / affordable healthcare for everyone) turned into painful, watered-down versions of the original vision. But, these sacrifices and compromises meant that something moved forward, even if it was a far cry from the dream. In other situations, such as the activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and dealing with the Global Financial Crisis and its impact on America and Americans, all options seemed to balance towards being ‘bad’. But as POTUS, Obama had to find the ‘least bad’ options and make sure the decisions were made on as-good-information as was possible at the time. And of course, balance the public optics of a situation, with the reality of what happens behind the scenes. Obama was especially good at sitting in the ‘grey’. Dealing with ambiguity and being able to hear different sides of an argument, actively seeking out Republican/opposing views, was one of his strengths as a leader. Even so, you could sense the incredible frustration of working with a system that seemed to force the status quo, and squash change or good ideas. This quote summed it up: “I didn’t like the deal. But in what was becoming a pattern, the alternatives were worse.” IDEA 2 - Know your values The book features numerous situations where Obama, when faced with hard decisions, had to come back to his values. The recurring values were; What he had promised whilst campaigning What was true What his friends and family would say (especially his Mum and Grandma) These were also what he judged himself against. There were lots of questions of self-doubt amongst his introspection and reflection; had he been naive and overly hopeful and promised too much? Was there anything else? Had he done enough to push for change for those who needed it most? He actively kept these values front of mind - regularly reading and responding to letters from American residents and paying many visits to the military hospital where wounded soldiers were treated and rehabilitated. On the latter, he was criticised, being told that it would cloud his judgement. He disagreed, saying that if he was going to send more young people to war, he had to be acutely aware of the cost of it. His constant revisiting and evaluation of what was most important served as a yardstick throughout his life, not just his presidency. And it allowed him to critically assess what was wrong and the mistakes made - his own, and America’s.   IDEA 3 - Surround yourself with good people Politics aside, this is really a book about leadership and relationships. A significant part of the book is spent talking about, praising, forgiving, thanking, describing and sometimes, criticising, the people around him. From his family to his early friends and the people he worked with, the descriptions of friendship are personal and human. He also demonstrates the ability to rebuild relationships; having Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton as key members of his administration when the three of them had stood against each other in the Democratic nomination race. (Side note: I felt quite a tinge of sadness when Obama describes the loneliness of his role, especially earlier on during the transition when suddenly people he’d known and worked with for years stopped calling him Barack and started calling him Mr President). Of course, you can’t talk about the people around Barack Obama without mentioning Michelle Obama. He shares his fears about the impact on Michelle, their marriage and the lives of their daughters of him running, and becoming president, questioning the inherent selfishness of it. The pride and respect he has for Michelle in the book is tangible, talking about her health initiatives and work with young people, encouraging them to dream bigger.   “The time chooses you. Either you seize what may turn out to be the only chance you have, or you decide you’re willing to live with the knowledge that the chance has passed you by.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

14 de fev.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey there, if you like this episode, please consider buying your next book from my Book Depository or Bookshop (US) affiliate sites, or buying me a coffee.   About the book "Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years." --Japanese proverb According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai--a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world's longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai--the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect--means that each day is infused with meaning. It's the reason we get up in the morning. It's also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there's no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they've found a real purpose in life--the happiness of always being busy. In researching this book, the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds--one of the world's Blue Zones. Ikigai reveals the secrets to their longevity and happiness: how they eat, how they move, how they work, how they foster collaboration and community, and--their best-kept secret--how they find the ikigai that brings satisfaction to their lives. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own ikigai. Because who doesn't want to find happiness in every day?   About the authors Héctor García is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. He is the author of several books about Japanese culture, including two worldwide bestsellers, A Geek in Japan and Ikigai. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan. Francesc Miralles is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of books about how to live well, together with the novels Love in Small Letters and Wabi-Sabi. Sources: Amazon and Penguin books   Idea #1 - The mindset of longevity Living a long time isn’t just about eating well and staying physically active (although they’re also important elements) the mind has a big influence on our longevity too. One study suggested that two dispositions particularly contribute to a long life: A positive outlook A high degree of emotional awareness Beyond these elements, the book heavily focuses on the idea of finding meaning and purpose, and also connecting with others. These elements come up time and time again with the conversations the authors have with the residents of the Blue Zones. There’s also an interesting note on stress. We all know that high levels of stress are bad for us; it actually damages our DNA, shortening both our telomeres and as a result, our lives. However, a longitudinal study showed that a certain amount of stress is actually good for us. It showed that those who worked until an older age and lead more ‘intense’ lives actually lived longer than those who retired early and had more relaxed lives.   Idea #2 - The meaning of life The book references Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy work, which is focused on helping people find meaning, even when they’re in pain. It’s important to remember that we don’t create meaning, we discover it. And we should hold it lightly, letting it evolve over time. Much of the meaning in our lives comes from other people, and connection and community was a fundamental part of the centenarian’s lives. Being part of a community or volunteer group gave many of them meaning and identity.   Idea #3 - The ten rules for a long life Throughout the authors’ interviews, there were ten clear recurring themes in the advice from the Ogimi residents: Stay active, don’t retire Take it slow Don’t fill your stomach (only eat until you’re 80% full) Surround yourself with good friends Get in shape for your next birthday Smile Reconnect with nature Give thanks Live in the moment Follow your ikigai Easy as that. One of my favourite quotes from the Ogimi residents was this: “There’s no secret to it. The trick is just to live.”   Say hi on LinkedIn or Instagram   You may also enjoy these episodes: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl The Power of Rituals by Casper ter Kuile See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

7 de fev.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Are we connected on Instagram? Follow me @stephsbizbookshelf.   About the book Matthew McConaughey has been keeping diaries for 35 years as a way of recording his thoughts and “trying to work out the riddle of life”. These diaries formed this book. As he puts it he “took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.” https://greenlights.com/   About the author Matthew McConaughey is an American actor and producer. He was born in Uvalde, Texas. He is of Irish, Scottish, English, German, and Swedish descent. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (originally studying law, before switching to acting) and got his first big break with the 1993 film Dazed and Confused. He later starred in A Time to Kill (1996) and Amistad (1997), among many others. Named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2005, McConaughey also starred in Mud (2012) and Dallas Buyers Club (2013), which earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. McConaughey came on strong in 2014 with his starring role on the TV series True Detective, a project that propelled him even further on his star trajectory.   He lives with his wife, Camila, and children in Austin, Texas. Sources: Biography.com, wikipedia and imdb    BIG IDEA 1 - CHOOSE YOUR WORDS Matthew learnt at a young age to choose his words carefully. The biggest tellings off he received from his parents were for using two words; ‘can’t’ and ‘hate’. Because they were words that could hurt him. This early lesson stuck with him, he respected language, thought about it carefully and intentionally, and avoiding ‘can’t’ and ‘hate’ became more a value, rather than just a rule. He said in the book “words are momentory, intent is momentous”. His family were quite ‘old testament’ in their parenting, he was also screamed at by his Mum for once answering to ‘Matt’, being told ‘you weren’t named after a doormat’. Again, showing the importance of words (and why the consequences of getting things wrong were high!). This attention to his internal and external language served him well. Removing ‘can’t’ from his vocabulary gave him the grit to try new or bigger things before he may have been ‘ready’ or experienced enough. BIG IDEA 2 - DON’T HALF ASS IT This mentality turned ‘I would if I could’ to ‘I can and I am’. The attitude of not half-assing things lead Matthew to create his own opportunities, putting himself forward for leading roles when he’d been cast as a secondary role (or even a bit-part) and do whatever he did to the best of his ability. This was the advice (well, more of an instruction) his Dad gave him when Matthew called to say that he wanted to switch from studying law, to studying acting. He came back to this advice at several points in his life. From those early days of studying and initial acting roles, through to when he made the decision to stop taking rom-com roles, and wait for more serious acting roles to come up. BIG IDEA 3 - ESCAPE Every few years, Matthew would get the call of the wild and would need to go on an adventure. To escape and reset. He went across America in his van with his dog, Ms Hud. He rode across Europe on motorbikes with his friends. He went to South America for an adventure down the Amazon river and he travelled to Africa, to try and find one of his favourite musicians. Each of these experiences allowed Matthew the time to create some distance between his daily life and time to reflect on his values and what was next. Each trip served almost a transition point between various stages of his life and career, and offered important new perspectives and insights through the experiences he had and the reflections they allowed. It’s an important reminder of how we all need to create these spaces in life - on a micro and macro level.   BONUS IDEA - JOURNAL Hiding in the book was one more big idea - journaling. Matthew is a fantastic storyteller, but the richness of his experiences really came from the fact that he had 35 years of experiences, lessons, fears, pains and realisations written down. Meaning that when he disappeared off to a cabin in the woods to write Greenlights, he had plenty of material to work with. It was a good and timely reminder of the importance of keeping a journal and what you might want to look back on in years to come.   **NOTE TO GREENLIGHTS EBOOK READERS** I read this on my Kindle (one of the older style ones) and unfortunately the ebook hasn’t been formatted for the device - many of the photos / handwritten notes included were illegible on the Kindle. They are readable if you use the Kindle app on your phone or iPad. Also, you may want to consider trying this book as an audiobook and enjoying the stories told by Matthew with added acting ability and in his trademark Texan drawl. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31 de jan.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey you, have you signed up to the fortnightly newsletter ‘the bookmark’ yet? Subscribe for fortnightly book recommendations, reviews, straight to your inbox.   About the book In this book, Derek tells you everything he learned from starting, growing, and selling CD Baby, compressed into an entertaining and useful one-hour read. No secrets held back, Derek shares the biggest mistakes, keys to its success, and the philosophies behind the big decisions. Called “40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur”, it’s 10 years of experience in one hour, designed to be immediately usable for your own business or project. (You can buy the book and support the podcast at the same time by buying through Book Depository (Aus+Global) by clicking HERE or Bookshop (US) HERE.)   About the author Derek has been a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher. He’s a monomaniac, introvert, slow thinker, and loves finding a different point of view. A California native, he now lives in New Zealand.   Some useful links More about Derek here. Read Derek’s book summaries here. Watch his TED talk. Listen to him on the Tim Ferriss podcast   BIG IDEA 1 - START SMALL This is one of the biggest lessons that flows throughout the book. Derek talks about how there is no funding required, no MBA required, no fancy office required just to start your business. The most important thing is that you start. Because he says that most people “wait for the finish line to appear whilst they’re still at the starting line” and never take action. Starting small also means you can 100 percent focus on solving a problem for a customer, which is ultimately the most important thing we should all be doing in our businesses. It also gives a stronger foundation to build from. As if you start small, if you know you can operate at that small level, you are able to leverage and build on this strong base later on. So before you build an empire, teach one person something, cook something for one person, make something for one person, put something out online. Whatever it is you do, start with one person, one customer who has the problem that you solve. There's also strength in having many little customers. Many businesses dream of landing that ‘one big customer’. But he says that having many little customers or clients means the acquisition process is easier and losing a client isn't a catastrophe. You also don't have to make as many compromises, which often those bigger clients or big companies will force you to do, which then is often at the detriment of your other clients or other customers. Starting small means you're also able to maintain creative control. For example, to send quirky order confirmation emails which CDBaby were famous for. You can stay casual. You can embrace that ‘Hell yeah or no’ mentality. You can focus on the little things that make a big difference. One of the quotes I loved in the book was “when you start a business, you get to start a universe where you set all the laws. This is your utopia”. But you can only do that successfully if you start small, if you're only answering to your clients, your customers and to yourself. BIG IDEA 2 - IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER This is where you start to push against conventional wisdom. Derek talks about growth quite a lot in the book and asks the question ‘would your customers really want you to grow?’ Now, of course, they want to you to get to the point where the business is sustainable, where the systems work and everything's slick, but they possibly don't want you to grow too much. That can mean that they become much less important. Maybe as you get bigger, the service would actually decline rather than rather than improve because it gets slower as you deal with more customers. It might also mean that prices go up, too. Derek talks about the decisions that he made for CDBaby always came back to ‘what would the customers want?’ He didn't take the significant amounts of money he was offered by other companies or venture capitalists or investors to invest in the business. And they would always ask, “but don't you want to grow”? And he would say, no. They also pushed conventional wisdom by charging flat rates, not accepting pay to promote offers (so if you were a band with a bit more money, you couldn't pay extra to get your album on the front page of CDBaby) because he thought that was unfair. He offered no fuss returns, even when people would ask for returns or refunds for reasons that maybe weren't particularly reasonable. And in a move that feels quite alien now, he wouldn't let any ads on the website because he intimately knew his customer and that they wouldn’t want it. Because let's face it, when we go to a website, do we ever say ‘oh, brilliant, this website has got loads of ads and I can't click on anything without having to actually try and turn off an ad that keeps moving and I can’t find the X button’. No. Nobody wants that. The litmus test for all decisions Derek made was ‘will this benefit the customers’? So when he was fitting out their early office, and his friends were spending $10,000 on new desks, and he spent $1,000, and it was perfectly adequate, he was really asking, who is that fit out really for? Does it benefit your customers if you have the fanciest furniture? This also means rejecting some of the formalities that other people try and scare you into doing for your business, especially if they add no value. And remember, it's the little things that do make a difference to your customers. Answering the phone in two rings. Coding into their website the time left until 5pm, when they sent the FedEx shipments out of the of the daily orders, so people could see how long they had to put their order in. And little silly things like putting a stick of cinnamon gum in with an order, because a customer had requested it. The quote from the book that sums this up is “even if you want to be big someday, remember that you never need to act like a big, boring company. Over 10 years, it seemed like every time someone raved about how much he loved CDBaby, it was because of one of these fun little human touches”. It's all of these things that you can use to grade yourself. It may not be that you need to always be looking at how much money you're making to actually sense whether you're doing a good job or whether you're doing enough. The little things like putting your customer first, hearing their feedback, seeing what people's experiences are, can be a much better measure of success and how you grade yourself. [[Oh hi, are you enjoying the podcast? If so, you can say thanks and buy me a coffee here]] BIG IDEA 3 - YOU DON’T NEED A PLAN Again, another bit of a conventional wisdom kick here. He argues that it's perfectly OK to roll with it, to keep a focus on helping people and customers today because things change. Derek once wrote to one of his team in the early days of CDBaby, when things were growing and they were doing well. He said, you know what, if we have a thousand artists signed up with us one day and we might need three employees or four employees. Now over time, that email became quite laughable because they grew so far beyond that. They had 85 employees at the point that Derek sold the company. So this is the point, that things change and the things that you think are your plan or your vision may become less relevant over time. You may exceed that. Or you might change course. There's also so many options, all good and all different, and we should stay open to them. There is not one way or one single path. So not having a plan allows you to change and respond when you hear feedback from your customers. Derek says that it's most important to focus on today. To ask who needs you today, rather than getting sucked into what's next or what's five years or ten years down the line. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

24 de jan.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey, have you subscribed to the fortnightly newsletter 'the bookmark'? Sign up here.   ABOUT THE BOOK (By the way, you can buy the book and support the podcast at the same time by buying through Book Depository (Aus+Global) by clicking HERE or Bookshop (US) HERE.) New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath examines how to prevent problems before they happen, drawing on insights from hundreds of interviews with unconventional problem solvers. So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of response. We put out fires. We deal with emergencies. We stay downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problems. Cops chase robbers, and doctors treat patients with chronic diseases, and call-center reps address customer complaints. But crime and chronic disease and customer complaints are preventable! So why do our efforts skew so heavily toward reaction rather than prevention? Upstream explores the psychological forces that push us downstream—including “problem blindness,” which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. And Heath introduces us to the thinkers who have overcome these obstacles and scored massive victories by switching to an upstream mindset, including a online travel website prevented 20 million customer service calls every year by making some simple tweaks to its booking system and a European nation that almost eliminated teenage alcohol and drug abuse by deliberately changing the nation’s culture. About the Author Dan Heath is the co-author, along with his brother Chip, of four New York Times bestsellers: Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments. The Heaths' books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages. Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who are fighting for social good. A graduate of the University of Texas and Harvard Business School, he lives now in Durham, NC.   BIG IDEA 1 - A CULTURE OF DOWNSTREAM The book starts with a story about a river; a couple of guys are sat on the river bank doing some fishing, hanging out, and suddenly a child appears in the river in front of them and is struggling. So one of the guys jumps in and pulls the child out. A few minutes later, another child comes down the river, so they jump back in, pull out the child. And this keeps happening. After a little while, the guys are getting pretty exhausted of pulling these kids out. So one of the guys starts walking up the river. The other guy shouts to him to  ask where he’s going, to which he replies “I'm going to go and find the person who's throwing these kids in the river”. This is such a perfect analogy that most organisations/ countries are dealing with. We are busy saving the kids in the river without actually going and finding out who on earth is throwing them in in the first place. But the other problem is the culture part, as it’s the downstream heroes we celebrate. It's those guys pulling the kids out on the river that get the celebration. They get the parade thrown for them. Those are the ones that we celebrate. This is obviously not to say that those working in those front lines, the firefighters, the paramedics, etc, who are reacting to downstream issues, shouldn't be applauded for what they do. But we're probably over relying on that reactive response to situations that could be prevented. So we see this in our organisations. We see in our lives. We certainly see it in policy and government and public practice. So why don't we do more about it?  BIG IDEA 2 - THE BARRIERS TO UPSTREAM Dan sets out three barriers to upstream thinking.  The first one is problem blindness; if we can't see the problem or we accept it is the inevitable reality of doing that type of business work in the industry of life. We probably won't try to change it because we are blind to the problem. The third barrier is tunnelling, which basically comes from overwhelm. We want to feel like we’re moving forward so we make a bad decision, which then creates a chain of problems and bad decisions. For example,  taking a high interest loan to avoid today's problem, but the impact quickly compounds and creates a bigger problem over time.   [[[Enjoying the podcast? You can thanks and support the podcast (/my book habit) by shouting me a coffee here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stephsbookshelf ]]]   BIG IDEA 3 - THE QUESTIONS TO ASK Dan sets out the questions we need to ask for better upstream thinking. If I was to summarise all of them, it would be the power of collaboration and finding unity. Some of the most amazing challenges that were overcome in the book came from government agencies actively working together on complex problems, like homelessness or domestic violence, on a person by person basis. Some of the questions you should be asking are; How will you unite the right people? How would you change the system? Where can you find a point of leverage? How will you get early warning of the problem? How will you know you're succeeding? How will you avoid doing harm? And who will pay for what does not happen?   That last question is really interesting and very relevant, because for some reason it's often hard to justify proactive spending on things that might not happen. Like extra personal protective equipment in case a pandemic breaks out, or training in case of a hurricane off of the Gulf Coast. The extension of this is that it’s also hard to sometimes prove the link of what did or didn’t happen, with the proactive, upstream, action which took place. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

17 de jan.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Hey! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Bookmark newsletter for your fortnightly book reviews, recommendations and ideas. Click HERE to subscribe. Happy new year! This episode is a relaxed start to the new year with a short chat about books and reading goals. I’ll share a couple of fiction books I’ve read over the break, why I’m *reducing* the number of books I’m planning to read in 2021 and why we need to get back to reading for fun in 2021 (and my anti-challenge #readforfunin21). Let’s go! Steph   Check out this, and past episodes, on the podcast website. Are we connected? Say hi on… LinkedIn Instagram Psst, if you find the podcast valuable, you can now say thanks by buying me a cup of tea! Click here to see how.   Other episodes you might like Best books of 2020 How to build a reading habit See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

10 de jan.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

REBROADCAST – over the December/January break I’m re-sharing two older episodes that are by far the most downloaded episodes of the podcast. If you missed them first time around, this is your perfect chance to catch up. Enjoy! Sign up to the bookmark newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/1119b1358a84/thebookmark   About the Authors Ichiro Kishimi was born in Kyoto, where he still lives, in 1956. He has aspired to become a philosopher since his days in high school. Since 1989, while specialising in Classical Western philosophy, with a special focus on Platonic philosophy, he has researched Adlerian psychology; he writes and lectures on the subject, and provides counselling for “youths” in psychiatric clinics as a certified counsellor and consultant for the Japanese Society of Adlerian Psychology. Fumitake Koga, an award-winning professional writer and author, was born in 1973. He has released numerous bestselling works of business-related and general non-fiction. He encountered Adlerian psychology in his late twenties, and was deeply affected by its conventional wisdom-defying ideas. Thereafter, Koga made numerous visits to Ichiro Kishimi in Kyoto, gleaned from him the essence of Adlerian psychology, and took down the notes for the classical “dialogue format” method of Greek philosophy that is used in this book Source: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/self-help-practical/The-Courage-to-be-Disliked-Ichiro-Kishimi-and-Fumitake-Koga-9781760630492 About the Book In this fable-style book, the core concepts of Adlerian psychology are explored and applied to everyday scenarios. It’s a huge bestseller in Asia, with over 3 million copies sold. The book is all about being the person you really want to be – by being less concerned with the opinions of others, your doubts or your past experiences. As more and more people seem to be paralysed in the limbo-land between their truest self and assumptions of others, this book provides refreshing alternative mindset and views. If you suffer with the need to please others, imposter syndrome, the joy-thief of comparison or a tendency to attribute your current situation to your previous experiences then this will provide a challenging and worthwhile perspective. Buy the book from The Book Depository - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Courage-to-be-Disliked/9781760630492/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Would you like to take better notes from the books you read?  Get your copy of Archley's beautiful book journal, the Book of Books here: https://www.archleys.com/?ref=JamVyS-U4mVR   BIG IDEA 1 (2:56) – Denying determinism. This is the concept of denying trauma – even from awful life events – and recognising your have the choice on how to respond to it.  For instance, just because something bad happened to you it doesn’t mean that your life will be bad as a result of it. We often see this in our own lives, or those around us today, but by denying the idea of determinism, we realize that our past does not determine our future. In some cases, we behave in a certain way to achieve a goal or live according to other people’s view. One of the biggest points shared in this book is that most of us lack the courage to be happy – because it requires change. This is why some people choose to live a miserable or unhappy life because being happy requires challenging changes. BIG IDEA 2 (6:24) – Own your tasks. Each one of us has our own tasks and we should not interfere with other people’s tasks. These three tasks are work, friendship and love. One of the most important ideas here is not looking for or seeking recognition from others – just focusing on your own tasks and our contribution to others/society. If we need other people to interfere with us, recognize us or celebrate our achievement, we are worried about what other people think about us and not who we truly want to be. This idea comes down to freedom, or the courage to be disliked. This is about not needing other people’s recognition, reward or validation to feel like we have contributed. Focus on your own tasks – work, love and friendships. BIG IDEA 3 (7:33) – All problems are all interpersonal relationship problems. Most interpersonal relationship problems (think comparison, jealousy, imposter syndrome, regret etc) are solved by first accepting yourself as you are. When we do not accept ourselves, sometimes this is used as an excuse to dislike or make assumptions about what others think. The great idea here is that you are the only who is worried about you!  If we think about it, when we are only worried about ourselves, we can do more of what we really want to do. One great quote shared in the book is “We cannot alter objective facts but subjective interpretations can be altered as one likes.” Most of the things around us are purely subjective, so if someone does not like something, it’s their opinion and doesn’t matter. The book is very clear that it is not about doing things that would purposely hurt others, but that the subjective opinions of others aren’t as important and defining as we often make them out to be.   Music By: Paper Airplanes By Cody Martin   Let’s Connect   LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steph-clarke   Instagram: @stephsbizbookshelf   Enjoying the show?   Please hit subscribe so you don’t miss an episode and leave a review on iTunes to help others find us.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3 de jan.

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

REBROADCAST - over the December/January break I'm re-sharing two older episodes that are by far the most downloaded episodes of the podcast. If you missed them first time around, this is your perfect chance to catch up. Enjoy! Sign up to the bookmark newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/1119b1358a84/thebookmark   About the Author Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership. Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views. Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie. (Source: https://brenebrown.com/media-kit/) About the Book Dare to Lead is the fifth New York Times bestseller from Brene. In the book she digs into what it means to be human and how at work this fact is (too) often avoided. We regularly settle for comfort over courage and avoid the real conversations that make progress possible. She builds on her previous work on empathy vs sympathy, shame vs guilt and vulnerability vs oversharing to bring them into a leadership and workplace context. Brene shares multiple examples of ‘tough crowds’ she’s worked with from those in military uniforms to those in corporate suits and made the concepts real to them in their organisations. Because ultimately we’re all just people, people, people. Buy the book from The Book Depository - https://www.bookdepository.com/Dare-to-Lead/9781785042140/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Would you like to take better notes from the books you read?  Get your copy of Archley's beautiful book journal, the Book of Books here: https://www.archleys.com/?ref=JamVyS-U4mVR   BIG IDEA 1 (2:32) –  Empathy connects us. A vital part of empathy is curiosity. You don’t have to have to experienced the same exact scenario to be empathetic with someone. Everyone of us has experience so many emotions in our life , whether we are aware of it or not, we’ve all experienced loss, grief, embarrassment, shame or guilt.  Through curiosity we can connect with people. Brene also makes a point that empathy is the antidote of shame because when we become empathetic, we remove shame. BIG IDEA 2 (4:51) – Grounded confidence. This is not being ‘big headed’ but knowing what you are capable of, come back to that, reflect and move forward. It is also self compassion; knowing you are enough and taking away the judgement of yourself. When you have the confidence to know how you feel in a certain situation, then you’ll be able to move forward. Knowing and having confidence in your own values also helps you overcome challenging situations. It’s the awareness of these values that helps you decide how to react in certain situations. When teamed with curiosity and empathy, grounded confidence will help you have better conversations with those around you. BIG IDEA 3 (6:12) – Rumbling with vulnerability. This is about ’embracing the suck’ because there’s no courage without vulnerability. Brene’s work shows that vulnerability is not about gratuitous oversharing but about putting yourself out there in such a way the you may be subject to criticism or challenge.  Which might suck. Opening yourself that allows you to be brave by showing courage; and courage creates more courage. Useful Links Brene’s feedback checklist for more meaningful feedback conversations (and other downloads) The Dare to Lead Hub featuring videos, assessments, resources, recommended reading and plenty of other inspiration to make you a more daring leader.   Music by: Hera ByVis Major Let’s Connect LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steph-clarke Instagram: @stephsbizbookshelf Enjoying the show? Please hit subscribe so you don’t miss an episode and leave a review on iTunes to help others find us. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

dez. de 2020

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Five best books for 2020 Range by David Epstein Listen to the episode: Range by David Epstein: why you need to stop specialising Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/Range/9781509843503/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Listen to the episode: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: How powerful stories can change your life Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/I-Know-Why-Caged-Bird-Sings-Maya-Angelou/9780345514400/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile Listen to the episode: The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile: How wizards and gyms will make you more spiritual Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/I-Know-Why-Caged-Bird-Sings-Maya-Angelou/9780345514400/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Infinite Game by Simon Sinek Listen to the episode: Infinite Game by Simon Sinek: Why playing to win will make you lose Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Infinite-Game/9780241295595/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Listen to the episode: What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami: What you can learn about life from running Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/What-I-Talk-about-When-I-Talk-about-Running/9780307473394/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Five best podcasts for 2020 Tim Ferris Listen to the podcast: https://tim.blog/podcast/ Two of my favourite episodes Brian Koppelman on Making Art, Francis Ford Coppola, Building Momentum, and More (#424) Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify — Habits, Systems and Mental Models for Top Performance (#484) Wind of Change Listen to the series: https://crooked.com/podcast-series/wind-of-change/ Clever Listen to the series: http://www.cleverpodcast.com/ Two of my favourite episodes Ep. 77: Jessica Hische Ep. 119: Lettering Artist Lauren Hom Broken Record Podcast  Listen to the series: https://brokenrecordpodcast.com/ One of my favourite episodes TOM PETTY’S WILDFLOWERS II WITH ADRIA PETTY Murder Ballads Podcast Listen to the series: https://open.spotify.com/show/13uPg0t3QrwppCHTNQ3aRW One of my favourite episodes In The Pines Five other good things I liked in 2020 Two cookbooks Flavour by Yottam Ottolenghi Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/Ottolenghi-FLAVOUR-Yotam-Ottolenghi/9781785038938/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wrigley Buy the book:  https://www.bookdepository.com/Falastin-Cookbook-Sami-Tamimi/9781785038723/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf One fiction book Honeybee by Craig Silvey Buy the book: https://www.bookdepository.com/Honeybee-Craig-Silvey/9781760877224/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Two random things that have got me through Udemy Les Mills On Demand Music By: Is this hip hop by LightBeats Let’s Connect LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steph-clarke Instagram: @stephsbizbookshelf Enjoying the show? Please hit subscribe so you don’t miss an episode and leave a review on iTunes to help others find us. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

dez. de 2020

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short

Sign up to the bookmark newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/1119b1358a84/thebookmark Listen to the full speech here: https://fs.blog/2012/04/david-foster-wallace-this-is-water/    About the Book: This is Water In this rare peek into the personal life of the author of numerous bestselling novels, gain an understanding of David Foster Wallace and how he became the man that he was. Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in This is Water. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace’s electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading. Source: Amazon About the Author David Foster Wallace wrote the acclaimed novels Infinite Jest and The Broom of the System and the story collections Oblivion, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and Girl With Curious Hair. His nonfiction includes the essay collections Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and the full-length work Everything and More.  He died in 2008. Buy the book from The Book Depository - https://www.bookdepository.com/This-Is-Water-David-Foster-Wallace/9780316068222/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf Would you like to take better notes from the books you read?  Get your copy of Archley's beautiful book journal, the Book of Books here: https://www.archleys.com/?ref=JamVyS-U4mVR Source: Amazon   BIG IDEA 1 (4:23) – How to think This is about the things in our life that we don’t often talk about. Liberal arts degrees are often surrounded by the cliche that they teach you ‘how to think not what to think’. David said that we first need to decide what to think about, therefore not being taught about how or what to think. Closed-mindedness drives arrogance and leads to wrong ideas or thoughts. We get to choose what we pay attention to or what to think about, but too much time inside our head is a bad thing. Over analysing things is one of the bad things about liberal arts degree or any kind of higher education, because it often leads to over-intellectualising and getting stuck in your thoughts.   BIG IDEA 2 (6:36) – Things look and feel different to everyone.  We need to ask more questions around why. Why do things look and feel different to everyone? Why is our experience in life different from what other people think and other people’s experience of life? We should also explore where we get our meaning from – the experiences or stories that lead us to believe one things over another. David talks about how we are the center of our own world, everything we’ve ever experienced has us at the centre. When we start putting our life in the center of everyone else’s life, it’s a problem. We need to free ourselves from the thought that we are the center of the actual universe, despite what our experience tells us. We have to have compassion for what other’s reality might be.   BIG IDEA 3 (8:15) – It’s within your power You get to decide. We have to learn to choose what gets our attention and what has meaning to us. We need to choose what we worship, whether it’s power, intellect, beauty or money. These things drive our behaviour and we will never feel satisfied or like we have enough of them, especially ones that diminish over time. Freedom is attention and discipline and the opposite is unconsciousness. Living by the standard set without the awareness of what’s going on. Real education is knowing what’s real. Knowing this is water. Music By: Is this hip hop by LightBeats Let’s Connect LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steph-clarke Instagram: @stephsbizbookshelf Enjoying the show? Please hit subscribe so you don’t miss an episode and leave a review on iTunes to help others find us. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

dez. de 2020

time.minutes.short time.seconds.short