Two months before the 9/11 attacks, FBI Special Agent Kenneth Williams noticed suspicious activity in Phoenix, Arizona. He spotted several Arab men taking flying lessons in the Phoenix area. The odd thing was, the men did not want to practice take-offs and landings. Special Agent Williams sent a letter to FBI HQ on July 10, 2001 warning about a possible terrorist mission. The leaders at FBI HQ found the contents of the letter to be so unusual that they opted not to act upon it. The letter was to become the famous “Phoenix Memo”.
And just like that, we’re back here discussing another year in books. It’s been a busy year (aren’t they all) but I’ve made plenty of time for reading.
Two thirds of students at the Harvard Business School have experienced imposter syndrome. 70% of subjects in a separate study have felt it too.
Statistically, most people will endure the imposter experience.
“We accept not to panic when, some years from now, what we are doing today will seem like the worst decision of our lives. Yet we promise not to look around, either, for we accept that there cannot be better options out there. Everyone is always impossible. We are a demented species.”
If someone had offered me a book about cars and space, I would have politely declined. Cars and space don’t tend to fall within the scope of my interests. Fortunately, I didn’t know that Elon Musk, the biography, had strong car and space themes when I added it to cart thinking it would unfold in a standard Silicon Valley profile type of way. Because, as it happens, Elon Musk’s version of cars and space makes for compelling reading. I absolutely loved this book.Continue reading
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Recently I came up with a decidedly terrific answer to this. I’ve since discovered that my idea is not original, so I’ll have to shelve it. But I’ll stick with the same concept because its a good one: social enterprise. For a lottery winner needs a purpose, not a pay check.Continue reading
As children, our parents made up little games to motivate us to complete difficult and mundane tasks.
‘Hop in the car please’ never worked. ‘Race you to the car!’ did. ‘Quiet please’ saw us chatting seconds later. ‘I’ll time you and see if you can stay quiet for 1 hour’ hushed us for half that time.
A few choice words had our 5-year-old selves tackling the simplest of tasks like they were the greatest personal challenges of our lifetime. How so?
‘It pays to be a winner!’
A Navy SEAL officer hurls condescension from the sands of a Southern Californian beach. Across the waves and out to sea, dozens of hopeful young men paddle furiously into the night.
Today’s klass is brought to you by Dead Poets Society via Kendall Jenner.
The other day, thanks to Kendall Jenner’s Instagram feed, I stumbled upon a quote from Dead Poets Society. The quote was a paraphrase of this:
‘So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.’
In the marketplace of ideas, some goods are Freakshakes™, and others are Coca-Cola Life with a side of ‘The Verdict’. This phenomenon is so in business and in politics. Why? Why do some goods, and some policies, work and others don’t? John Kingdon has a theory.