Monthly Archives: September 2015

Learn to Discard

discardThe contrast between “acquiring” and “discarding” is one worth exploring this week. In the pursuit of success, the widely-held assumption is that we must “acquire” – a degree, a title, a role, amount of money, a home, a certain type of car, certain skills, etc. We hold this assumption not because it is true, but because it is reinforced by societal norms. In order to get a degree, for example, there are schools where you can get these. In order to get a title, there is a corporate ladder to climb. In order to get the house of your dreams, there are things to be done to make money to acquire the home. In other words, there is no shortage when it comes to the “acquisition” part of the success journey. But where do you learn to discard? Discard your bad habits, discard negative people or experiences in your life, discard past trauma, or discard things you no longer need? I argue that the ability to “discard” is actually more important, especially as you get older, in the pursuit of success. Continue reading

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Lead by Optimism

optimismMany years ago, I asked one group to carry two 50-pound weights in each hand up a flight of stairs knowing many would be challenged by the physical task and sure enough, we subsequently engaged in all kinds of reasons why the challenge would seem unattainable. I then went to another group of similar skills and proposed the same task but this time, with 100-pound weights. This time however, after about 5 minutes of the same type of despondent dialogue as with the first group, I changed it to 50-pound weights. The second group, assuming they had just gotten a huge break with lesser weights to carry, then proceeded with excitement to a significantly higher completion percentage than the first group. Many psychologists have done this kind of study in the past with almost identical results. What can we learn about leadership from this? Continue reading