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Kellen Moore

  1. 10 Football Fundies. Kellen’s legendary high school football coach, Tom Moore (Kellen’s dad), gave the same pregame speech before every game, because he understood the importance of fundamentals.
  2. Setback Comeback…the “fundie” that most stuck out to Kellen. There will always be obstacles and challenges. You will make mistakes. The setback will always come. “Setback, comeback” normalizes adversity. But we also create an automatic script for ourselves. We normalize the comeback. What matters most is how we respond to the setback.
  3. Team and Unity. Coach Chris Peterson taught Kellen how to build a team. In the offseason, 50% of team meetings weren’t even about football. They were about unity, bonding, self-improvement, and preparing for life after football. Players were also assigned to small groups and competed against each other in the Bronco Olympics.
  4. Bronco Magic Sheets. The night before a game, Coach Pete would spend maybe 30 seconds talking about the opponent, and then 14 and a half minutes talking about life, using the Bronco Magic Sheets.
  5. “Be here now.” The words from Coach Pete that most stuck with Kellen. Be present and in the moment.
  6. Sports Psychology. Kellen’s injury opened the way for Dak Prescott to lead the Cowboys, which in turned open the door for Kellen to become an NFL Coach. The Cowboys sports psychologist, Chad Bohling, helped Kellen embrace the mental side of the game.
  7. Come Back To Neutral. As we navigate the positive and negative emotions, the goal is to get back to neutral for the next moment, the next play, the next opportunity. Whether we’ve missed or made 10 3’s in a row, the goal is to come back to neutral and shoot the shot the same way.
  8. “Life’s about people and surrounding yourself with great people.” -Kellen Moore

John Beck

  1. Train, prepare, and give energy like it all depends on you, but then accept that not everything is in your control, and let the chips fall where they may.

Liz Wiseman

  1. To make valuable contributions, we need to get over ourselves, and make ourselves useful. Find out what your boss needs and do that thing.
  2. Sometimes you must invite yourself into places where you’re not invited. Just because your presence isn’t planned, doesn’t it mean it’s not going to be welcome.
  3. Learn to separate ourselves from our work so we can more easily take feedback. People can like our work and dislike us, or dislike our work and still like us.
  4. When receiving feedback, it’s important to be aware of the outliers and not give them more attention than they deserve.

Ted Robinson

  1. Make personal connections. Ted cold-called one of the most powerful team owners in professional sports, and it led to Ted’s “biggest break” he’s ever had.
  2. Intent is different than impact. We should care not only about our intent, but also about how our words are received.
  3. Be fearless not reckless. For example, calling Charlie Finley was fearless.
  4. Ted was fearless in accepting an assignment to call giant slalom snowboarding on primetime TV in his first Olympics with just 12 hours notice. And because of his fearlessness, Ted’s been given dozens of other amazing opportunities.

Ivan Maisel

  1. When we lose someone, we can’t stay where they are. Our life must go on. We have to pick up the grief, and what we can of our loved ones, and take it with us. And it may feel like pushing a boulder up a hill forever. But if we don’t keep moving forward, we lose again.
  2. We have to grieve. If we don’t control how grief comes out of our system, it will control us.
  3. Do not judge others for how they grieve.
  4. Grief is love. Grief is the form love takes after we lose someone, and when we’re feeling terrible for losing loved ones, it’s because we loved them so much.
  5. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone who has lost a loved one is a new memory of that person.
  6. There’s no shame in being sick.

Allan Mishra

  1. By remembering that death is coming for us all, we can hopefully make better use of our time, and that includes remembering everything that is right in our lives.
  2. Dr Mishra was lauded for his math, but laughed at for his English, so he decided to write every day for 5 years.
  3. Identify your own peak purpose.

Bronco Mendenhall

  1. Hard is good. And it isn’t kinda good, it’s really good. Mendenhall’s guiding principle at Virginia was “hard things together” which helped bond and unify his team.
  2. Relationships are more important than routines. Even though routines occupy most of our time, relationships are everything.
  3. One of the greatest gifts we can give young people is high expectations with zero compromise. If we remove all obstacles or lower our standards for those we care about, we limit their opportunities for growth and development. Extreme expectations, surrounded by love…that combination is a magical sweet spot to help people become.
  4. Mendenhall is in the pursuit of AND: developing amazing players AND amazing students, with amazing social lives, who give back to the community, all while preparing themselves for the future.
  5. We can never have enough of the things we don’t need.
  6. When we stand at the end our life and examine the moments that truly matter, we’ll see moments where we were intentional about trying hard to help others.
  7. Eternity is the wrong thing to be wrong about.

Greg Wrubell

  1. “What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.” The more you can do, the more you can do.
  2. Learn from others, and then teach others. For nine years, Greg learned the intricacies of play-by-play from Paul James. And even though Greg doubted his own ability to do play-by-play, once he was given the opportunity, he learned that he had already learned how to do the job successfully.
  3. Learn to differentiate the constructive feedback from the destructive feedback. Greg seeks to minimize the presence and mitigate the effects of the destructive feedback, all while seeking out the constructive feedback.

Jimmer Fredette

  1. Control what you can control.
  2. Be true to yourself, both on and off the court.
  3. Don’t take things too seriously.
  4. The goal is to find something that we love to do so much that we want to practice it every single day on our own.

Michael Benson

  1. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions, especially in a society that tries to shed blame when things go wrong.
  2. Protect your reputation by living with integrity, because if we tarnish our reputation, we may never be able to build it back.
  3. The things that we value most in life come through rigor and hard work.
  4. If we’re not willing to put in the work to achieve our potential, we’ll never reach the rewards we’re striving for.
  5. Life is ultimately about the relationships we build and the degree to which we impact others for good. No one is successful on their own. We all depend on each other.

Justin Su'a

  1. If we want to get better answers for ourselves, we need to ask better questions, asking ourselves each day: What we did well? What we learned? and What we’re going to do better tomorrow?
  2. When we’re playing the “What if game” we need to make sure we play it properly, and think about all the positive and incredible “What ifs” that might happen to us.
  3. We need to protect our time, attention, and energy by building systems and routines around these finite resources.

Jeremy Utley

  1. When it comes to creativity, quantity drives quality.
  2. Don’t confuse efficiency with effectiveness. Some of the most creative people of all time famously napped, played the violin, or juggled on a unicycle when they were stuck on a problem. In other words, they were willing to be underemployed.
  3. In the words of Amos Tversky, don’t waste years of your life by not being willing to waste hours.

Don Moore

  1. Think probabilistically. Many of the decisions we make involve uncertainty, so rather than make categorical or binary assessments, we can think in terms of probabilities to improve our decision making.
  2. Second, think probabilistically ahead of time. The six-page memo used by Amazon employees helps them reward well-intended efforts and protects employees from resulting…judging decisions only by the outcome rather than the process used.
  3. Keep track and keep score of our predictions.

Whitney Lundeen

  1. We need to exercise to effectively deal with the stress of life.
  2. Be thoughtful in how we spend our time. By blocking out time each week to complete her urgent important tasks as well as her not urgent important tasks, Whitney has become more productive.
  3. Life is all about relationships. Whitney learned over and again from Sara Blakely that she could play business by her own, more feminine rules, which included carefully choosing the people she works with and treating them like family.

Brad Smith

  1. Be a learn it all, not a know it all. Its the curiosity quotient that drives success, and whether we’re failing or succeeding, the learn-it-all views everything through the same lens…as an opportunity to learn something new.
  2. “Volunteer for the job that no one else wants.” Brad’s dad gave him that advice when he graduated from college, and by following this simple advice, over and over again, Brad eventually found himself as CEO of a multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley tech company.
  3. No matter what industry we’re in, we’re always in the people business. People will forget what we said, people will forget what we did, but they’ll always remember how we made them feel.

Craig Crossland

  1. Genuine, honest, recognition has almost untold benefits. People want to feel part of a group, but they also want to stand out, and recognizing them for their contributions accomplishes both.
  2. Many of the people we’re surrounded by are self-motivated. So it’s our job to make sure they have enough resources, and then just get out of the way, and recognize them for the great work they’re doing.
  3. Unless you’ve been part of an organization that effectively recognizes people for their contributions, via a weekly newsletter, or some other way, it is so easy to under-appreciate just how valuable recognition can be.
  4. As we try to constantly recognize others for their contributions, we should especially look to recognize those people who are under-appreciated. Everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated, but some people will naturally feel more appreciated than others. So we can get the biggest bang for our buck by showing the “accompanying spouse” and other under-appreciated people, that they deserve the same level of attention, care, and love as everyone else.
  5. When we’re stressed out and panicked, others are likely feeling the same way, so we can help them by projecting an air of calm…by staying cool on the radio, so to speak.

Ron Johnson

  1. Use your imagination to do something that’s never been done before. Ron’s approach to this was to spend 90% of his time doing what he was supposed to do exceptionally well, then spend 10% of his time imagining something that had never been done.
  2. According to Steve Jobs, if you can’t communicate anything you’re trying to do in life in four words or less, you haven’t thought about it hard enough. 
  3. Figure out how to extend the reach of your best people. When people are challenged, they can grow, develop, and thrive.
  4. Don’t just improve. Innovate.

Juliana Schroeder

  1. Most of us tend to be under-social, underestimating how much we can benefit others and ourselves by being just a bit more social. When we’re concerned about being social, we can remember that people tend not to judge our gestures, they just appreciate the kindness. And they also tend to reciprocate in kind.
  2. Taking the time to connect face-to-face with others can greatly improve well-being. Through technology, we’re able to be more connected, yet it also contributes to feelings of disconnection. Technology cannot replace the richness of in-person communication. We need to prioritize face-to-face communication.
  3. Be mindful of how we use technology. While technology has transformed communication, we should be cautious not to use our devices in ways that detract from our well-being. 

Adam Galinksy

  1. Everything is hard at first. Embrace the difficulty of new experiences. It’s natural to encounter difficulties and struggles when attempting something new. However, it’s essential to remember that everyone faces challenges when trying something for the first time. 
  2. Perseverance and practice are key to improving and achieving success.
  3. We need to figure out our own style. There is no one best way to teach, to coach, or to be an attorney. But all the while, we need to find and/or create the situations that will help us thrive.

Jesse Graham

  1. Use a calendar. By scheduling blocks of time, Jesse became more productive and learned to accurately estimate how long it took to complete specific tasks.
  2. Be a good collaborator. By trying to show everyone how smart you are, people aren’t going to want to work with you. But if people do want to work with you, it will be good for your career. 
  3. Question your convictions. Or, in other words, be humble.
  4. Jesse’s research shows that all too often, people who argue and fight ground their beliefs in morality. By focusing on different moral foundations, people can vehemently disagree while feeling like they are morally superior. As Jesse said, moral humility is needed. We should all be open to being wrong about things.

Max Bazerman

  1. Max built his career on collaborating with great people, who have complementary skills, sometimes better than his own, and by not worrying about who got the credit.
  2. Create a life around creating value. 
  3. We should recognize and strive to overcome our imperfections. 
  4. By collaborating with others, and overcoming our own imperfections, we can create more value in the world.

Kimberly Wade-Bezoni

  1. We tend to care a lot more about our present selves than our future selves. This focus on the “now” can hurt us and others, both in the present and future. But by thinking about our own legacy, we can shift our focus to the long term, counteract some of our selfish, present-focused desires, and give our lives meaning.
  2. How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
  3. What would you like to leave behind when you die? 
  4. How would you like your actions, decisions, and behavior to affect future generations in a lasting way?
  5. We don’t get a legacy by having a fleeting, temporary effect focused only on ourselves. To create a legacy, we need to have a positive impact on others.
  6. Just as Alfred Nobel changed the course of humanity by thinking about his legacy, we can change the course of our lives and the lives of others, and extend ourselves into the future, by thinking about our own legacy.

Chris Howard

  1. If we want to achieve anything in life, we need to focus on the task at hand. 
  2. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect, focused practice makes perfect.
  3. As an officer in Afghanistan, Chris learned the importance of attention to detail while traveling from Bagram Airbase to Kabul. By carefully checking all of their gear, and doing it right every time, they were able to literally save lives. 
  4. For Chris, higher education is all about servant leadership and solving complex problems that make society better.
  5. By developing the ability to stay focused and pay attention to detail, we can learn to solve problems that make society better.
  6. “Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory.”

Shane Reese

  1. Working smart is great. But so is working hard. If we gravitate too much to the “work smart” mentality and ignore the importance of hard work and reps, we will not achieve our potential.
  2. Shane really appreciates people who embrace kindness. Just as Sam Smith strived to be kind when he was at his peak, so too should we strive to be kind wherever we are.
  3. Some of Shane’s values may seem old school. But hard work, humility, and kindness are crucial keys to success.

Nicholas Epley

  1. “When in doubt, reach out.” As the saying goes, “When we smile the whole world smiles back at us.” And when we reach out to others, people reciprocate in kind. Simply reaching out to others can have surprisingly positive effects, even in extreme circumstances.
  2. “Talk, don’t type.” When we talk with people, as opposed to texting or emailing them, we sound smarter, more reasonable, more rational, and more human, and it’s also more rewarding psychologically.

Tom Holmoe

  1. Relationships count.
  2. Over and again, Tom has witnessed less talented teams achieve greater success than more talented teams, because of the relationships of the team members.
  3. Know your role.
  4. Tom was always talented, but he wasn’t the most talented player, not even in high school. And when he played for the 49ers he backed up Ronnie Lott. But he knew his role, which included being a great teammate both on and off the field, he accepted his role, and he magnified it. The 49ers didn’t need 53 players that were stars. They needed 53 players that came together as one.

John Busenbark

  1. When we try to mind read other’s expectations for us, we are prone to overreact in ways that don’t help us.
  2. Goalies who try to block a penalty kick would be best served to “basically just stand there” and guard the middle of the net, rather than dive in a random direction. But the expectations that they impute from others can cause them to choose the lower probability defense.
  3. Rather than imputing expectations from others, we should simply listen to what is said and stay focused on those expectations.
  4. Our disfavor towards outgroup members tends to be much strong than our preference for ingroup members. In other words, we don’t just disfavor people who are not like us, we are prone to hate them, specifically when it comes to politics.
  5. By getting to know people who have different views than our own, we realize that they’re not all that different from us, and we become more likely to accept them as they are.

Brian Hanni

  1. Savor every moment.
  2. The 2021-22 Kansas basketball team was considered by many to not even be in the top 5 of Bill Self’s most talented teams, yet Brian found himself in New Orleans, calling the national championship game, and making his famous call at the buzzer: “It’s a banner year for Kansas Basketball” and then right after making that call, getting hugged by Ocahi Obaji, the most outstanding player of the tournament.
  3. “Savor every moment, because tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us.”
  4. The game can be bad, but you can’t be.
  5. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  6. Michael Jordan knew that every time he played a game, someone was there watching him play for the first time, so he wanted to give them a show.
  7. We only get one chance to make a first impression, so bring the energy even if it’s on a podcast with a host you’ve just met for the first time.
  8. Life doesn’t always go according to plan. So never give up. And if we savor every moment, control what we can control, and always bring energy, sometimes, just in the nick of time, it actually all comes together.

Katy Milkman

  1. When we make it fun to pursue goals, we get further, faster. 
  2. If we dread exercise, but we love listening to podcasts, we can bundle those two activities, which Katy calls temptation bundling, and then we’ll be significantly more likely to exercise.
  3. By becoming a coach or mentor to someone else, we can improve our own performance.
  4. For example, high school students in Florida gave advice on successful study habits to their peers, and in turn the students giving the advice improved their own performance. Plus, it’s rewarding psychologically when we help others by sharing what we know.
  5. Strive to coach and mentor others.

Todd Rogers

  1. How can we write so busy people will read and respond to what we write?
  2. When we make it easier on the reader, they’re three times more likely to engage. Todd helped write an email that was sent to 50,000 people, and by simply using headers every two paragraphs, he tripled engagement. 
  3. Before we ever hit send, do one round of editing with a single goal in mind: Make this easy for the reader. And Todd’s research has found what helps: Fewer words, fewer ideas, fewer requests, common words, effective formatting, and designing for navigation because everyone skims.
  4. The French Philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in 1656, “I am writing you a longer letter only because I did not have time to make it shorter.”

C. Arden Pope III

  1. Don’t get too frustrated when things don’t turn out the way you planned. Arden went from rural farm boy, to a college student on probation, to an economics professor doing groundbreaking research on air pollution…a path that no one could have predicted.
  2. Latch on to the good opportunities that come your way.
  3. Work hard and have integrity.
  4. Be flexible.

Bruce Barry

  1. When we think of ethics, we often think in terms of explicit lying, deception, or corruption, but we probably don’t pay enough attention to the emotional side of ethics. When we engage in emotional deceit, we’re just lying in a different way.
  2. People often compare negotiation to poker. But poker is full of emotional deception, and if we agree that it’s generally unethical to deceive, we should count emotional deception as unethical
  3. Approximately ½ of all children are deceptive by age two, and 80% by age four…and it’s likely due in large part to parents, just like me, unintentionally teaching our children to lie. When we force people to suppress their emotions, we may be cornering them into lies, teaching them emotional deception.
  4. Employers should embrace free speech rather than view it as a threat. Employers are constantly striving to get employees to speak up about workplace problems. However, employees are fearful of retaliation if they do speak up, so they tend not to. If organizations truly want employees to speak up, then employers need to create a culture where employees won’t be punished for sharing their views. 
  5. If people are concerned about getting fired for their civic engagement, this can harm not only the organizations themselves, but also civic society, as people will be less likely to get involved in civic affairs.
  6. Had Bruce just “stayed in his lane,” he would have never had these opportunities. I love Bruce’s advice to, “Think about how you can reinvent yourself.” If you’re completely “happy in the tunnel your in,” then it’s fine to stay in it. But many people look for variety, and reinvention can make both personal and professional life more interesting. 
  7. Remember that reinvention is possible, but sometimes you just have to plunge yourself into it. 

Aaron Beam

  1. Frequent ethical reminders can help us behave more ethically. 
  2. If someone ever includes you in a lie, even if it’s designed to make you feel better, please have the courage to call them out on it. 
  3. Richard was likely sizing up Aaron when he included him in that first lie, and had Aaron had the courage to call out Richard early on, Aaron might never have been part of the fraud.
  4. We should carefully consider what our own definition of success is. We are so often and easily influenced by the people we associate with, and if we haven’t carefully determined how we’re going to measure our own success, we may default into definitions that lead us to sacrifice our ethics.
  5. Aaron never expected to become a convicted felon. But because of the people he was surrounded by and the pressures he gave into, he eventually found himself in prison. 
  6. In the words of St Augustine, “Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.”

Maggie Neale

  1. Ask for what you want. Over and again Maggie asked Stanford for things that she wanted, expecting the answer to be “no” yet over and again she was surprised at the answer.
  2. We tend to underestimate how willing people are to help us, so we should ask for the things we want.  If we don’t ask, we already know we won’t get it. But if we ask, we might be surprised.
  3. Let the data speak. The world is more complex than we appreciate, and our predictions are often wrong, sometimes in the complete opposite direction. But by letting the data speak, we open ourselves up to new ideas and opportunities.
  4. Mentor others. One of the things that kept Maggie energized throughout her career was the relationship she had with her doctoral students. That relationship also led to entirely new fields of research that still pay dividends today.

Lindy Greer

  1. The triangle structure beats the ladder structure. Teams perform best when there is a clear leader, and everyone else on the team is at a relatively flat hierarchical rank. This is in contrast to the ladder hierarchy, where everyone on the team is at a different hierarchical level, or even the inverted triangle, where there are too many cooks in the kitchen. 
  2. The best leaders are able to flex…occasionally flatten the hierarchy for specific tasks or times, but then pop back to the top of the hierarchy. For example, in the military and on the battlefield, there is a clear hierarchy. However, when teams debrief, they leave their ranks at the door…they flatten the hierarchy to encourage everyone to share information. But as they walk back out the door, they pop back to the hierarchical structure.

Eric Bettinger

  1. Learn to be wrong.
  2. Because Eric learned to be wrong, an entire field of research has become infinitely more impactful than his single paper even could have been.
  3. Be humble when you teach. As Eric meets with national and international policy makers, he’s learned that he has a much greater impact when he adopts the mindset of “Let’s work together” rather than “Let me tell you how it’s done.”
  4. By starting with humility, Eric develops partnerships that last for decades. And by humbly working together, Eric’s clients build capacity, and then are able to teach others “tricks on the bike” that even Erik would never expect.
  5. We should be humble, both when we learn and when we teach.

John J. Donohue III

  1. John’s research on the death penalty found that the death penalty was not having a deterrent effect on crime, and it was all too often administered arbitrarily and unfairly.
  2. Research shows that for every eight people executed, one person on death row is exonerated. Given the data John presented and the arguments his team made, the Connecticut Supreme Court abolished the death penalty.
  3. John’s goal of trying to reduce harm also led him to conduct research on gun ownership and crime. But rather than focus on the findings of his research, which are many, John discussed the importance of humility. 
  4. It’s harder to tease out causal relationships than John had at first realized, so it’s important to maintain some humility when we think we know something. For example, researchers believed for decades that red wine improved people’s health. But now it appears that the opposite is true.
  5. Strive to reduce harm, improve things where we can, all while remaining humble in our conclusions.

Jessica Kennedy

  1. Some people are held back in their careers by unconscious bias. But others are held back by overt sexism. Learning to differentiate between the two is crucial, because the solutions to unconscious bias are not the same as the solutions to overt sexism.
  2. Our country is becoming more polarized over important issues, including issues of DEI. However, historically our country was united around the goal of equality of opportunity, specifically for people with similar skills and abilities. By focusing on the areas we agree about, we may be able to return to a place where we work together to create a stable society where everyone can thrive.
  3. Sometimes we should exit situations that are bad for us. But other times we should work together to find common ground.

Nate Fast

  1. Power paired with competence can lead to overconfidence; but power paired with incompetence can lead to aggression. 
  2. When we’re feeling competent, power can lead to the illusion of control, in which we think we can control things we can’t, such as an election, the lottery, or even the behavior of others, thus making us overconfident. But if we’re incompetent, we’re prone to lash out at others to reinstate our feeling of control.
  3. The key is to be self aware…to not let power go to our head when we’re feeling capable, and not lash out at others when we’re feeling inadequate.
  4. If you want to motivate yourself to expand your network, identify yourself as someone who likes to connect with people.
  5. We need to be careful to not create a world that we don’t want to live in. We are becoming more willing for technology to track us, which can be a good thing in domains where we might feel judged. However, we run the risk of losing our privacy if we allow too much tracking and monitoring. So, we should be thoughtful in how we allow ourselves to be tracked.

Travis Goff

  1. Likability is often undervalued. While it may be better to be respected than liked, it’s often possible to be both respected and liked. 
  2. For Travis, it’s not about trying to be liked for the sake of being liked. But by treating people the right way and doing the right thing, people will often like us.
  3. Be mindful, humble, and appreciative of the opportunities you have, even while striving to achieve more. If we get overly obsessed with ambition and our next step, we may miss some of the opportunities for growth. 
  4. Be likable and mindful.

Gavin Kilduff

  1. To be productive, in the most distractible time in human history, aim for at least two hours of deep focus per day.
  2. To be happy and healthy, connected with others, and even more productive, make sure you play.
  3. Data suggests that by age 27 most people stop having fun in their lives, and fun is the number one thing people miss from their childhood. But by acting younger than we are, we can improve both our physical and psychological health.
  4. Being able to perceive the informal status dynamics in groups and teams can be important to success. By paying attention to who people look to for approval, how loudly people speak, and who people defer to, we can improve our status intelligence.

Sue Ashford

  1. Connect with other people. There is power in connecting with other people, in seeing their perspective, and in generating new ideas. We can get so busy with our work that we don’t take time for significant human connection, so remember the value both for your mental health and productivity, of connecting with other people.
  2. Connect with a place. Be thoughtful about the place you choose to work. For Sue, she has created a place that inspires her, full of carefully chosen pictures, thank you notes, and products she has created. Her chosen place reminds her who she is and what she should be doing. 
  3. Create a routine. By creating routines, we make work and life easier for us. The more we can routinize, the better off we can be because we don’t have to think so hard. Of course we shouldn’t take this too far and eliminate all randomness from our lives. But those who thrive in the gig economy establish routines.
  4. Connect to a purpose. Having a purpose helps us choose work that will maximize our well-being rather than just maximize our income. By having a purpose, we also increase our motivation and inspire ourselves and others. 

Chad Lewis

  1. Embrace being a walk on. Life is hard. It hits you in the face again and again and again. So, we all need to learn how to walk on.
  2. There’s no buying your way on to the team. You can’t fake your way in. You have to earn it.
  3. There’s beauty in earning your peers’ respect, and there’s joy in the hard pioneer journey. In the words of Robert Frost: Life is terrible. There’s no way out. Only through. 
  4. Count your blessings, not your problems, because whatever we count multiplies.

Linda Treviño

  1. Choose your pond carefully. Some people choose to be a big fish in a small pond. But for Linda, she just wanted to be one of the fish, in a really great pond, surrounded by other great fish who could help her learn new things. Such a great perspective.
  2. Let your curiosity guide you. Rather than just focus on one topic for her entire career, Linda was open to diversions, which allowed her to learn new theories, new methods, and step outside of her comfort zone.
  3. Stay close to practitioners. So often, researchers write research papers for other researchers. But by staying close to practitioners, Linda learned that there was a real need for research on ethical leadership. She then met Katherine Nelson and together they wrote a textbook on business ethics, which is now in its eighth edition.
  4. Strive to learn continuously.

Niki Den Nieuwenboer

  1. Don’t always believe what other people say about you. At a young age, Niki was tested and told that she wasn’t smart. She would later learn that she had dyslexia, but she never let that stop her. She eventually earned two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. because she just kept on trying and rejected the labels that others placed on her.
  2. Work your way around whatever norms and expectations might be holding you back. The school environment didn’t fit with how Niki learned, so she had to figure out her own way to still learn and navigate college.
  3. Niki’s parents didn’t let her give up on herself. They taught her that it’s okay to fail. But it’s not okay to not try. Always just try and see, and if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Failure isn’t bad. But you have to at least try. 

Josh Swade

  1. When David Booth won the auction for the Original Rules of Basketball it set the world record for the highest price ever paid for sports memorabilia. And it never would have happened without Josh Swade.
  2. “Nobody gets anything done, unless they’re a little nutty, unless they have great energy, and great enthusiasm.” – Bill Self
  3. If you really, truly feel so strongly about something in your bones, and you’re willing to just put one foot after the next, you never know what might happen. Josh was ridiculous but he didn’t care, and because of it, he was able to win the Rules of Basketball at auction.
  4. Sometimes you need other people to help you get your message across. 
  5. It’s okay to be vulnerable and fly around the country chasing a dream. It’s okay to have fear that you’ll show up to the auction and lose. But the most important thing is to show up. It’s a simple idea, but sadly it stops people from going after their own rules. 
  6. “If you don’t give it everything you have you never know the sheer thrill that is victory or the disappointment that is defeat.” – Josh Swade
  7. Go after your own rules. You don’t have to be anything other than yourself, just give it a shot.

Greg McKeown

  1. One of the simplest, most important questions we can ask ourselves is, “What is essential?”
  2. As we succeed in our lives we have more opportunities, which can distract us from what is essential. We have to learn how to be successful at success.
  3. Hours after Greg’s daughter was born, he left his wife and newborn in the hospital to attend a meeting with a client, making what he called, a fool’s bargain. But Greg learned from that experience that if you don’t prioritize your own life, someone else will.
  4. When we get pulled into the undisciplined pursuit of more, the antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less, the pursuit of the essential.
  5. The word “priority” came into the English language in the 1400s, and it was singular and stayed singular for the next 500 years. But now it’s plural, and nonsensical. How can you have very many, very first, before all other things, things? An essentialist goes back to the first definition, and understands what matters most, and categorizes opportunities as either a “clear yes” or “no.”
  6. Another question we can ask ourselves, once we’ve identified what is essential, is “How can we make this effortless?” In other words, how can we simplify? Rather than start with complexity and try to reduce it, Steve Jobs started from zero and tried to achieve what was essential in a single step.
  7. Reduction in complexity isn’t the same as simplification.
  8. We don’t always achieve more by doing more. We can accomplish a great deal more by being more selective and removing the noise and clutter that complexifys our lives and gets in the way of achieving what we want to achieve.
  9. Life isn’t always about trying to achieve more by doing more, but by doing less, but better.

Nate Meikle

  1. Amplification, endorsing someone’s idea while giving them credit, can boost the status of both the person being amplified and the person amplifying.
  2. The simple technique of amplifying others can boost our own influence and shape discussions. 
  3. Shining a light on others can help us shine too. Amplification is a virtually risk-free way to boost influence and create a positive impact.
  4. I watched a shy, quiet, deferential person instantly boost their status simply by amplifying others. They weren’t coming up with new ideas. They weren’t putting their neck on the line. They were simply shining a light on others, and as a result boosted their own status and influence and helped shape the conversation.
  5. Avoid stealing credit by embracing amplification. Often in sports the mantra is, “It’s amazing how much we can accomplish if we don’t care who gets the credit.” While this approach can develop selflessness, it’s not always the right approach. If we never acknowledge people’s individual contributions, they may feel unappreciated. We also might unintentionally commandeer their idea as our own and steal their credit if don’t acknowledge which people make which contributions.

Bryan Kehl

  1. “Good things come to those who wait.” It might take decades to reap the fruits of our labors. For Bryan, it took 25 years to meet his birth parents. But those good things he waited for are the relationships he now has with his 8 parents and 15 siblings.
  2. Life is about relationships. Too often we chase money, our career, academics, etc., but what really matters is our family (in Bryan’s case, his 8 parents and 15 siblings) and our relationships with others.
  3. To develop relationships with those we love, we need to put in the time going to games, being at barbecues, making those phone calls, and being present.

Nate Pettit

  1. Instead of giving others advice, there is incredible power in the words, “Take your time, say more, go on.”
  2. Thanks to the incredible listening skills of Anat Hurwitz (which she learned from Avi Kluger) Nate had this “crazy, powerful experience” in which said things that were more true than he’d ever said before, and he was able to realize what was really going on inside of him.
  3. In the workplace, we often prioritize presenting skills or even conversing skills over listening skills. But the research shows that of the three types of communication skills, listening skills are the most important, which led Nate to develop a class called, Leading through Listening.
  4. It’s important to listen to others to relate to them, to glean information, and to evaluate that information.
  5. We also listen so that people can hear themselves. People have a remarkable ability to solve their own problems if someone is able and willing to draw those answers out of them through effective listening.
  6. “Truth comes after the pause.” When we exclusively focus on what people are saying, rather than thinking about how to respond, and then when people finish speaking we pause to let people continue, we can use thought to respond instead of memory, which helps us go much deeper, and even say things that catch us off guard.

Paul Gustavson

  1. Bronco Mendenhall, head football Coach at BYU said to Paul, “I heard you’re someone I could learn from.” Twenty years later, they’re still working together.
  2. When thinking about organizational processes, be clear on who “owns” each process/outcome. If everyone owns an outcome, no one does.
  3. Paul learned at a young age that whatever happened at work came home with his parents. So as a child, Paul decided that, for his career, he wanted to create great places for people to work.
  4. Paul moved to Silicon Valley to work with Federico Faggin, the inventor of the microprocessor. That led to work with American Express, AT&T, BHP, BP, Cherokee Nation, Colgate, eBay, Exxon, GE, Hills Pet Nutrition, HPE Financial Services, InTandem Capital Partners, InTek, NASA, National Semiconductor, Paradigm Oral Health, Sizzling Platter, Vivint Smart Home, and Zilog, among others, while accumulating 13 million frequent flyer miles in 42 different countries.
  5. The three strongest facilitators of long term memory are significant emotional experience, music, and a metaphor.
  6. A metaphor is an impeccable test of understanding.
  7. Paul’s favorite story as a youth was David and Goliath. Paul then used that story as a metaphor for his “Five Smooth Stones” framework.
  8. Smooth Stone 1: Strategy is about creating competitive advantage, and the only way to create strategy is by doing similar activities differently or different activities altogether. Doing the same thing as other people, but better, is operational excellence, not strategy.
  9. For Paul, strategy consists of a company’s mission, vision, uniqueness, marketplace positioning (what you say yes to and no to), and a balanced scorecard so you can keep track of how you’re performing.  
  10. For every rule you need an enforcement, and for every enforcement you need an enforcer. However, that’s expensive to organizations. A cheaper approach is to use Guiding Principles. Teach people correct principles, and let them govern themselves.
  11. Smooth Stone 2: Organizations are made of processes, and not all processes are created equal.
  12. Not all work is created equal. Get rid of non value work. Then be clear on what is competitive work and what is business essential & compliance work.
  13. Smooth Stone 3: Organizations are perfectly designed to get the results that they get. If you want different results, change your organizational design.
  14. 5-Stage Leadership Model. Teams move along a predictable path if managed well. At Stage 1, the leader is at the top and directs each team member. At Stage 5, everyone is a leader, and the team self manages. 
  15. Smooth Stone 4: Knowledge is the purest form of competitive advantage.
  16. Discovery x diffusion. If your company is an 8 at discovering knowledge but only a 2 at diffusing knowledge, the impact is 16. However, if your company is an 8 at both discovery and diffusion, the product is 64.
  17. Smooth stone 5: 70% of strategies never get implemented because leaders don’t capture hearts and minds.
  18. Frustration is almost always a result of violated expectations. And most expectations are implicit.
  19. The best predictor of future performance is past performance.
  20. It’s more important to manage our energy than our time.
  21. Given that 80% of what the mind absorbs is visual, companies can use visual management (murals, pictures, paintings, photography, etc.) to effectively communicate the mission, vision, core values, and guiding principles.
  22. There are more opportunities than resources, and focused resources do better than unfocused resources.

Stephen M. R. Covey

  1. You could have two trustworthy people working together, and yet no trust between them, if neither person is willing to extend trust to the other.
  2. To build trust, yes we need to be trustworthy. But by itself, being trustworthy isn’t enough. We also need to be trusting.
  3. I get asked all the time, “Stephen is trust earned? Or is it given?” And my response is, “Yes.”
  4. I work with organizations all over the world. I find that the bigger gap in creating trust in teams is not that people are untrustworthy. Occasionally that’s the issue. But more often it’s that we’re not trusting enough.
  5. The act of trusting another is what unleashes their potential, their talent, their greatness, and it is what creates trust exceptionally fast.
  6. There’s a risk in trusting. But there’s a potentially bigger risk in not trusting.
  7. We create trust by extending trust.
  8. I’ve learned that the key to leadership is to always lead from the inside out. In other words that means, “I go first.” I don’t wait on others to do it. I don’t wait on the systems to change. Or the leader to change. My job as a leader is to go first. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
  9. Treat others according to their potential rather than their behavior. People’s behavior tends to rise or fall to the level of our expectations for them. As Thoreau said, “It’s not what we look at that matters. It’s what we see.”
  10. Think of Michelangelo. When he carved the David, one of the great works of art in the world, he said, “I saw the Angel in the marble. And I carved until I set him free.” Treat others according to their potential, rather than their behavior.

Ryan Hawk

  1. “The greatest determining factor of your long-term success or failure is your who.” When Ryan finally got Jim Collins on the podcast after years of trying, Jim’s advice to Ryan was to focus on his who. According to Jim, the biggest determining factor of our success is our friends, our partner, and our mentor. So before anything else, think about your who.
  2. Those who consistently perform at a high level compared to those who don’t is that they have a bias for action. In the words of Herminia Ibarra, “We learn who we are in practice. Not in theory.” We can learn from watching, but we learn infinitely more by doing.
  3. To be interesting, you need to be interested. If we approach every interaction with others with a genuine intellectual curiosity and we ask questions trying to learn about them and their stories, and if that becomes our default setting, it will make us more interesting.
  4. If we’re focused on long-term, transformational relationships, instead of transactional relationships, we will probably have a good life.
  5. Redwood trees can grow 300 feet tall, yet their roots run just 6 to 12 feet deep. However, their roots run wide, as much as 50 feet in every direction and they enmesh themselves with each other. When there are brutal storms these trees are strong because they have each other. What a great lesson for life. The people who handle adversity well have an amazing “who” just like those Redwood trees. Their roots go wide and enmesh themselves with others and that’s how they stay strong.
  6. “I am attracted to people who take action, who don’t fully have all the answers, who aren’t all the way there yet. But they’re going to get where they’re going. They start before they’re ready, even though they’re probably going to look stupid from time to time. And then they iterate and they get a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better.
  7. “You’ll be better off if your default setting is biased toward actions. It doesn’t mean you don’t think or reflect or have a plan. You should have all those things, but then go do it. And to me, I think that’s been a separator from those who sustain excellence over time versus the ones who don’t is that they have a bias for action.”
  8. Think about those the people who are actually genuinely interested in you. I bet you actually want to see them the next time you’re at the pool or you’re at the soccer game. Compare that to the ones who aren’t interested in you. If you’re being honest, you’re not quite as excited to see people who aren’t as interested in you.
  9. Why was it so fun to be around them? Oh, cause they were genuinely curious. It’s an attractive quality in a person and when I kind of deconstruct those relationships, the people who I’m yearning to see and yearning to meet up with or go have dinner with when I’m in their city. It’s usually because they’re curious people, and interested in others.”
  10. “How do you get a great wife? According to Charlie Munger, you have to deserve a great wife. And I think that’s kind of the case for all relationships.”

Batia Wiesenfeld

  1. Whenever we make a request of someone, explain why we’re making the request. It signals respect, it helps them feel like we’re being fair, it empowers them to make an even better decision potentially, it gives them meaning, and above all, it makes them more likely to carry out our request.
  2. We might feel like it diminishes our status or power if we have to explain to people “why” we’re asking them to do things. But the opposite is true.
  3. There is power in explaining the “why” to people. Ask New Yorkers on a subway to stand up, and they won’t. Ask them to stand up because we want to sit down, and many more will.
  4. Rather than focus on fair outcomes, focus on fair processes. If we use a fair process, people will tend to accept our decisions, even if it cuts against their favor. And fortunately, following a fair process will most likely lead to a fair outcome.

Dan Siciliano

  1. Imagine that you might be wrong. We’re prone to be overconfident, which can reduce empathy, decrease creativity, and increase stress.
  2. Just because we’ve been right about something in the past doesn’t mean we’ll be right in the future, because all roads, no matter how long, eventually curve.
  3. Be careful of the power of sequential success because every time we’re successful, whether by merit, luck, or both (and we know it’s both most of the time and sometimes just luck), we then have this feeling that the next time we do something it’s going to turn out great, and hence is born the extra energized version of overconfidence.
  4. Saying things like, “I bet neither of us is exactly right” or “I’m willing to change my mind” will likely be received much better than telling someone they’re wrong.
  5. In the words of Mark Twain: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Bob Sutton

  1. Embrace the “Attitude of Wisdom.” Two of the best leaders Bob has ever known, John Hennessy, the former president of Stanford, and David Kelley, the founder of IDEO, have strong opinions but look for signs that they’re wrong.
  2. The best teams engage in constructive conflict. At Pixar, Brad Bird, the director of The Incredibles, and John Walker, the producer of The Incredibles, argued endlessly about everything. But in their words, they worked in loving conflict every day.
  3. There’s a disease Bob sees in successful people: no matter how much fame, money, status, power, or even lovers they have, it’s never enough.
  4. Kurt Vonnegut said to Joseph Heller, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our [billionaire] host, only yesterday, may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?” Joseph responded, “I’ve got something he can never have. The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
  5. Attitude of Wisdom: acting with knowledge, all the while doubting what we know.  Confident but not really sure.
  6. The worst teams engage in personal and emotional conflict. The best teams engage in constructive conflict…they argue as if they’re right, but then listen as if they’re wrong.
  7. When David Kelley reorganized IDEO, he symbolically demonstrated the “Attitude of Wisdom” by shaving his mustache (“It will grow back if I don’t like it.”). He didn’t pretend like he had all the answers and recognized that they could iterate if they needed to.

Elizabeth Morrison

  1. Be proactive. It’s easy for us to be passive…to wait for things to come to us. But when we proactively seek out information, proactively build our network, and proactively volunteer our time, we set ourselves up for success.
  2. Some of us are naturally more proactive than others, but being proactive is a choice.
  3. It’s easy to remain silent when something needs to be said, but there is danger in remaining silent, especially in the presence of injustice, mistreatment, and misconduct.
  4. From a young age, we are socialized to not be a snitch, to not talk back, and to not challenge authority figures. But by paying attention to situational factors and seeking out allies, we can more effectively speak up in the presence of injustice and misconduct.
  5. There’s a distinction between common sense and common practice. Knowing and doing are not the same thing. But Elizabeth has motivated me to be more proactive, especially in the presence of misconduct.

Dave Ulrich

  1. What do you want? This may be the most critical question we face because if we don’t know what we want, somebody will define it for us.
  2. Dave’s client in New York City who was making millions each year needed to be reminded that what he really wanted was a relationship with his son. Knowing what we want gives us certainty in a world of uncertainty.
  3. Who do you serve? If we don’t give back, our lives are essentially meaningless. The research says that service, philanthropy, and giving makes us better, so find someone to mentor, and find people to help. And all the better if our career becomes a calling to make a difference.
  4. How do you build? Are we building an organization that is better than us? Are we part of a system where the collective group comes together to generate organizational success? It can be difficult, and maybe impossible, to make a difference without being part of an organization that is bigger than ourselves.
  5. Where are you? In Genesis, God asks Eve, where are you? For decades Dave thought that was a question about physical location. But 15 years ago Dave saw the question through the lens of the emotional, social, and intellectual. Are you going to change and grow? Are you going to let your mistakes define you? Or are you going to own it, accept it, learn from it, and grow?

Ryan Westwood

  1. When Ryan injured his back, and his daughters saw him passed out on the floor, with his pants down, thinking he was dead, and then later, when the doctor told Ryan that his core was weak, Ryan realized that it wasn’t just his physical core that was weak.
  2. Rather than get surgery to fix his back, Ryan decided to recover through discipline. He started juicing and meditating, and he improved his sleep. What’s also interesting is what Ryan didn’t do. He didn’t just adopt someone else’s program. He experimented to find out what worked for him.
  3. “I want our kids to have big imaginations and dreams. But we have to have the discipline every day to accomplish those big dreams.” – Ryan Westwood
  4. To strengthen his core, Ryan used discipline plus experimentation. He made his good eating habits easy, and his bad eating habits hard, and he tried 20 different ways to meditate before settling on one.

Jeff Strnad

  1. In some sense, the separation of people is an illusion. We have a bigger influence on people than we often appreciate. There are some 10,000 unconscious signals going back and forth between people when we communicate, making us more interconnected than we realize. This leads to the second lesson:
  2. Our impact on one another propagates itself into the future, for either good or bad. Remembering that our behavior impacts the world indefinitely will hopefully help us be kinder and more careful.
  3. Beware of the Jungian shadow. We can so quickly, and unconsciously, attribute negative group identities to others, for example just by living in South San Jose compared to North San Jose. Our group identities can be so powerful and dangerous, so it’s important that we examine them for darkness.
  4. The 2nd law of thermodynamics establishes the concept of entropy, in which everything declines into disorder, including, schools, countries, and even people. But we don’t have to go to a dark place. Acknowledging the eventual death of our ideas, our hopes, and even ourselves, can help us enjoy and appreciate things more, improve our value system, and help us avoid negative group identities.
  5. Stoicism is basically Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) on steroids.

Rob Holmes

  1. History turns on small hinges. As Rob looked at his successes and failures, he observed that brilliance, talent, and grand gestures never outperform small, consistent, persistent efforts.
  2. The little things are the big things. Those who succeed are consistent and persistent in small things in an area they really care about. The tree root will always push up the sidewalk if you give it enough time.
  3. Don’t try to go it alone. If we’re depending only on the knowledge in our own head, we’re limiting ourselves. For Rob that meant adding a business partner to provide accountability and someone to share ideas with. We need the filter of other people who can help us weed out the bad ideas and fertilize the good ones.
  4. ”What we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” Thomas Paine

Luke Babbitt

  1. Do fun, exciting things early in life where you can make a name for yourself, independent of your upbringing. For Luke, that meant being a Top Gun pilot, flying single seat F/A-18s, which he described as being in a wrestling match, while driving a race car, and playing a video game, all at the same time.
  2. Flying fighter jets meant Luke developed self-reliance and confidence as he learned to land the $70 million aircraft on a tiny dot in the middle of the ocean, while his performance was broadcast on every TV on the ship.
  3. Leaving the military, at the top of his game, to attend Stanford Law School was humbling, and taught Luke the value of interacting with people who think differently than him. Specifically, Luke learned the value of not rushing decisions, and slowing down his decision-making process when possible.
  4. When choosing a career, solve for the thing you’re interested in. Prioritize passion over paycheck.
  5. When other service members started talking about Goldman Sachs, Luke had never heard of the firm before. But he soon realized Goldman was full of interesting, smart people, in a dynamic field. By joining Goldman, and later founding Jordan Park, Luke was able to work with some of the smartest, most accomplished entrepreneurs of the last 20 years.
  6. As Yogi Berra said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” But Luke’s approach to his career was a pretty good bet. Take risks when young, learn from others along the way, and don’t just take a job for the money, but rather prioritize interest and excitement.

Annie Duke

  1. Quitting isn’t a bad thing. With whatever we’re doing, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t love it” or “I loved it, but I no longer do” or “I still love it, but I think there might be this other thing that I love more.”
  2. All decisions are probabilistic, so it’s important to continually sample. Try a bunch of stuff, figure out what you like, and then keep trying a bunch of stuff.
  3. It’s hard for us to leave paths without feeling like we’ve failed. Luckily for Annie, she was forced to try other things when she got sick during her PhD program. And then sampling poker led her to becoming a world champion. Then she realized she liked writing books, giving talks, and running a foundation.
  4. Just because something survives a fact check doesn’t mean it’s true…true in the sense that it’s the right model of the facts. If the stock market drops 3,000 points in one day, people might say it’s the largest drop in history. But that would only be true in terms of total points, not true in terms of percentage.
  5. Given that every decision we make is a forecast, the quality of our decisions are only as good as the way that we’ve modeled the information that is inputted into the forecast.
  6. Annie has developed two questions that are fantastic for modeling facts:  “Out of how many?” and “In comparison to what?” By asking ourselves these two questions we will improve our models and make Annie happy.

Todd Rogers

  1. Less is more. Be brief if we want people to read what we write. People skim, and 99% of people are more likely to read short text compared to long text. Plus, brevity is kinder to the reader.
  2. Design for how people read. We read headers, we jump around, we go as fast as possible. So, use headers, bold words, and bullet points to make it easy for people to get main ideas quickly.
  3. To write so people read what we write, use the AI model which has been trained on Todd’s principles. Run your text through his model at
  4. Think addition by subtraction. We improve our writing by subtracting unnecessary words and sentences rather than adding more.
  5. Readers are skittish. If you use big, uncommon words, they may run away and never come back.
  6. Subtraction neglect: ask people to improve something, and the vast majority of the time they will add things. People too often fail to think that they can improve by removing and subtracting.

Steve Young

  1. You throw an interception, you’re embarrassed because 80k people plus your teammates witnessed it. And you didn’t mean for it to happen. But don’t explain the mitigating circumstances. Just take accountability.
  2. After throwing a pick, my teammates couldn’t care less about why. What they needed to hear from me is that I screwed up, but we’re still going to go win the game.
  3. When we screw up there’s always a way to mitigate it. It’s probably true that circumstances were bad. But fundamentally, the truest truth is that we screwed up.
  4. Find the truest truth. And then own it. Have the humility, discipline, and maturity to recognize the truest truth, and then go fix it.
  5. Look for places where you can have the truest amount of accountability.
  6. If I could teach my children one thing, it would be to have the humility and awareness to see when they’ve screwed up. And then go fix it with discipline and honor.
  7. So much in our society is about ducking, dodging, avoiding, and working around. But the most beautiful, bountiful, abundant places in my life have come when I’ve owned the truest truth of responsibility and accountability and then gone and fixed it.
  8. Screw ups are those wonderful moments of opportunity. Don’t let them go by, let alone try to duck them. Take them on, and let’s go learn and grow.
  9. When I screwed up, and then took accountability, rather than talked mitigation, it created a cascade of accountability on the team. You could see the energy. “Let’s go. I won’t screw up again. Let’s go win the game.”
  10. Watch the losing quarterback after a football game when the media ask, “What happened?” And then listen to see if the QB mitigates or accounts. The great players, who don’t lose very often, speak in words of accountability.
  11. People say, “How do you be a great leader?” This is how: Show humility and vulnerability when you screw up. And then own it and go fix it.
  12. When Steve was new on the 49ers (and in Joe Montana’s shadow) he threw a bad ball in practice, and one of his teammates said loudly, “You suck.” Ronnie Lott stopped practice and confronted the player and said, “When my father was raising me, he told me he had my back no matter what. Same goes for Steve. I’ve got his back.” This changed everything for Steve.
  13. “If it’s true on the football field, it’s true everywhere.”
  14. Ronnie Lott taught Steve that competition is sacred ground. When there are winners and losers, you have to have respect at all times for your opponents…for their opportunity to learn and grow.
  15. I’m at the light. I was late. I had to hustle. The guy in front wasn’t going. I almost honked. But then thought, we’re in this together. And at the next light, we’re sitting next to each other, and I was like hey bro. We got a good, peaceful situation here.
  16. To see others and seek their healing, their goodness, their wellness, and if I make that my North star, life gets pretty good. We can’t save people. But we can heal them.
  17. A janitor at an inner-city school said to the security guard each day, “Hey, great to see you!” When the guard died, his wife shared a letter with the janitor. The letter, from the guard, said “I just want to thank you. You made a difference in my life, because every day I started with a great sense of spirit and camaraderie and love.” The janitor was shocked. All he had done was say “hey” every morning.

Rich Diviney

  1. Being in charge and being a leader are two separate things. The former is a position; the latter is a behavior.
  2. We don’t get to self-designate ourselves as leaders. Other people decide whether we are someone they want to follow, and they do so based on the way we behave.
  3. “If you call yourself a leader, and you look back and there’s no one following you, I’ve got bad news for you.”
  4. “I was always in charge of something in the Navy. But whether or not I was a leader depended on how I was behaving and what the people in my span of care thought of me.”
  5. “There have been people who outrank me hierarchically, and I wouldn’t follow them anywhere. And meanwhile there’s someone over there by the water cooler who has no hierarchical rank whatsoever. And I would follow that person to hell and back because of the way they behave.”
  6. You can manage and supervise people, but no one likes to be supervised. They want to follow a leader.
  7. One of the most important leadership behaviors is accountability. I own my decisions. And I own the consequences thereof, whether good or bad.
  8. As a leader, you can always delegate responsibility, but you can never delegate accountability.
  9. Rich was commanding officer of a NAVY seal squadron and had delegated the responsibility of the jump to a new jump master. As a result, they missed the mark badly. But Rich owned the results, even though he had delegated the responsibility of the jump.
  10. When we take accountability, we increase our control. When we blame others, we give up control.
  11. Leaders aren’t born or made, according to Rich. They’re chosen, based on their behaviors. And one of the most important behaviors for leaders is accountability.
  12. Accountability puts us in the driver’s seat, compared to blame, which immediately cedes our position to the back where we give someone else control.

Joe Magee

  1. Where do you want to get your status from? By being part of a high-status organization? Or by doing great work inside your organization. Would you rather have status or influence? Because often, they are mutually exclusive.
  2. Are you optimally distinct…fitting in and standing out? If you don’t fit in, you might not have influence. And if you do fit in, are you providing something uniquely valuable, making the work better for everyone else?
  3. Are there any projects causing you self-doubt? If so, you potentially just found a great source of pride if you complete the project.
  4. By taking on the thing that no one else wants, and turning it into something that’s really important, you increase your influence.

Dave Mayer

  1. How to live a good life: Be good. Feel good. Do good.
  2. To be good, fill our mornings with rocks, the most important, hard things. And then fill in the rest of our day with pebbles and sand.
  3. To feel good, be happy and healthy now. Don’t keep pushing happiness off to the future because it may never come. Every stage of life can be celebrated. And friendships and relationships should also be celebrated along the way.
  4. To do good, think about the three attributes that best describe your role model, and then strive to follow their example. Don’t get so caught up in trying to be goodthat you forget to do good.
  5. As Aristotle said, we can improve our virtues the same way we improve our other habits.
  6. If happiness and meaning are habits, we should prioritize them now, rather than waiting for a day that may not come.
  7. We need to balance self-acceptance with growth. We don’t want to beat ourselves up for not being perfect, but there’s always space to be better.

Steve Leonard

  1. If you take care of people, they’ll take care of you.
  2. It’s sometimes better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, especially when commandeering enemy vehicles.
  3. Don’t use the hammer unless you need to. And you’ll rarely need to.
  4. You can’t lead from under a truck…or from behind a computer monitor.
  5. Remember the 3Bs: be brief, be brilliant, be gone.
  6. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Mike North

  1. Leaders can come from anywhere, because leadership is a behavior, not a position, a verb not a noun.
  2. We can lead by example, by challenging the status quo, by having difficult conversations, or by listening to others. Ultimately, we get to decide what kind of leader we want to be.
  3. Age unnecessarily divides us in many ways, especially given that age is the only universal social category.
  4. We will all join each of ages identities and subgroups if we live long enough. But rather than glue us together, age often divides us, whether its younger people saying, “Okay, boomer” or older people lamenting “kids these days.”
  5. Generational tensions are not new. There are quotes dating back to 800 BC where the older generation complained about the younger generation in the same way we see today.
  6. Although both young and old are discriminated against, sadly young people tend to be viewed most negatively, both from older and younger generations alike.
  7. One way to bridge the generation gap is to recognize that advice given by young people is equally as good as the advice given by old people. Just as leadership can come from anywhere, so too can good advice.
  8. We probably focus too much on chronological age. To better appreciate people, we can view people through other age lenses, such as generation, tenure, and experience.

Matt Abrahams

  1. Public speaking is something that all of us can improve at. And much of it comes down to managing the symptoms and sources of anxiety.
  2. When speaking in public, we can manage the symptoms of anxiety by practicing specific breathing techniques, like taking in deep breaths and then exhaling for twice as long as we inhale.
  3. When speaking in public, we can manage the sources of anxiety by doing something physical, whether it’s walking around, talking with people, or listening to music.
  4. When speaking in public, we can manage our mindset by reminding ourselves that we have value to bring.
  5. When speaking in public, remember that the goal of speaking isn’t perfection but rather connection.
  6. When speaking in public remember that each chance to speak is an opportunity to learn and share, rather than a threat or challenge to fear.
  7. When speaking in public, strive for connection over perfection.

Maurice Schweitzer

  1. We struggle to separate what we know from how we’ve come to know it.
  2. When we think we know something, it’s important to remember the tools and methods we used to learn that information, because that determines how much we do know.
  3. Our environment is censored. We don’t know what we don’t know, and this makes learning difficult. So when we think we know something, remember that our environment is censored.
  4. So often when people lie, they do so for selfish reasons. But some lies are motivated by kindness, and therefore can have a different impact than selfish lies.
  5. Remember that we never truly get to see the counterfactual of our decisions.

Josh Foster

  1. The reader is 30 minutes closer to death after having read your work. What are you going to do with that knowledge?
  2. Knowing that you have a contract with your audience to educate, move, and impress them, never waste their time.
  3. Know that whatever you do, you will make your reader feel something.
  4. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them want to fall in love again, and make them cry again.
  5. Only write what only you can write about. Don’t just write the stories you can tell. Write only stories that only you can tell.
  6. “I want to make you see something and feel it so deeply that you just won’t ever forget it and that you’ll keep thinking about it.”
  7. “A book is like an empathy machine. You get insight into someone else’s brain as you see their choices and their values.”
  8. We should all make art because it meets other people’s needs.
  9. I want someone who cares so deeply about what they’re doing that they give me their best and their weirdest, and that will help me create the next thing for me.
  10. “We all live as if our life is the most important thing on Earth, because it is to us. And therefore the stories that we live are our most important stories.”

Robert Cialdini

  1. To increase influence with people you work with: If you do someone a favor, don’t say, “No problem.” Rather, say “It’s what we do for one another here.”
  2. To increase influence with people you don’t work with: If you do someone a favor, don’t say, “No problem.” Rather, say, “I know that if the situation were reversed, you’d do the same thing.”
  3. To Increase Influence: When you go into a situation with unfamiliar people, be generous with them. They will then like you and be more generous with you.
  4. To Increase Influence: Don’t ask, “Who can most help me here?” Rather ask “Whom can I most help here?” And after you help them, you’ll have an advocate.
  5. When we’re generous with others, two levers of influence apply: liking and reciprocity. They will like us more and will want to return the favor.

Dan Pink

  1. Just get started. So often we want to wait for the perfect time or conditions to do something. But in reality, the best way to find motivation to do things is to just get started.
  2. Acting creates motivation. If you don’t feel like writing, but then you start writing, you will then feel like writing.
  3. Julius Erving: “Being a professional is doing what you love to do, even on the days you don’t feel like doing it.”
  4. “If I decided that I was going to write when I was inspired, I would never write a word.” Instead, I show up in my office, I give myself a word count, and I don’t do anything until I hit that number.
  5. Once I start writing I feel like writing. I wish someone had told me when I was younger that action created motivation. It took me a while to figure that out and put it in practice.
  6. Our intuition reverses the sequence. We think we have to feel a certain way to act, when in fact you can act your way into feelings.
  7. Don’t wait until you feel like doing something to act. Act, and then in most cases, you’ll feel like doing it.
  8. Start with generosity. In almost any interaction you have, lead with generosity. It makes us feel better, and there are also massive returns to us.
  9. If we make our default setting to be generous, we may have to switch off the default for some people, but most people are worthy of our generosity.

Brian Nosek

  1. Reputation is how people perceive us. But integrity is what we get to choose for ourselves.
  2. We can hold ourselves accountable for our integrity, but when we worry about our reputation, we’re prone to get led astray.
  3. If we try to control our reputation, we’re prone to avoid risk (e.g., we don’t do the things we should do because we might make people mad).
  4. If we try to control our reputation, we may deviate from our values in an attempt to keep other people happy.
  5. We undermine ourselves when we prioritize reputation over integrity.
  6. Our long-term reputation will ultimately derive from our integrity.
  7. You can’t control your reputation. You can control your integrity.
  8. Brian was told he was ruining his career. But by focusing on integrity over reputation, Brian and his colleagues revolutionized science.

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