Conventional Wisdom: Assume Nothing…

Never-assume-never-expect-just-hope-saying-quotes

A prologue to “Conventional Wisdom”…

I was nervous. It was 8am on the first day of my first job as an attorney in Johannesburg, South Africa. As I arrived in the office manager’s office, he handed me a note. The senior partner wanted me in his office the moment I arrived.

I reacted to the senior partner’s summons as any self-respecting insecure 23-year old new lawyer would have reacted: I freaked out… Could this be the shortest first job in legal or other history, I wondered? Had the senior partner already changed his mind about offering me the job? My anxiety was now spinning totally out of control…

With only unhappy thoughts swirling around my head, I somehow dragged myself up to his executive suite. Breathlessly, I knocked on his door…

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Networking: The Gift Of A Gift…

I smiled as I thought about my first book of short stories for The-Gift-Tree. Why not start, I thought, with a story about networking and the gift of a gift? And that’s what made me smile! Indeed, why not?

Once upon a time…

T’was on a wintry New York afternoon almost 30 years ago. That was when I received the networking advice that would open so many doors for me. This advice would later help me realize some of my dreams. This was the advice I now want to share…

Not only did it also help me launch my first law firm, it would later give birth to this program. Did I then have any idea the difference this would make in my life? No, I had no idea. And I still don’t…

quote-succeeding-in-business-is-all-about-making-connections-richard-branson-84-46-36
Succeeding in business – Richard Branson

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An Icon’s Masterclass…

In the way distant past, I wrote a story about how, in trying to realize our dreams, we  should really take nothing for granted. To make my point, I wrote about how almost everyone who has ever read the story of  David and Goliath has taken it for granted that David, the small shepherder with only a modest slingshot and a few smooth small stones, was the underdog in his epic encounter with the giant, Goliath, with his suit of armor, shield and sharp, shiny, deadly weapons of war.

I wrote about how only David seems to have understood why he never regarded himself as the underdog in that encounter. And, for the reasons I described in that story, we now know he was right. Amusingly, we now know that the only underdog in that encounter was actually Goliath…

As this hopefully percolates furiously in your minds, I’ve another David and Goliath story for you. Like in the biblical tale, you might be tempted to treat the David in my latest story as the underdog in the encounter with his Goliath. But, if you are so tempted, you’d also be quite wrong…

mandela-enemies-quote

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A Dancer’s Tale…

When Gillian Lynne was asked how she became a dancer, a charming and quite delightful tale emerged. Indeed, her answer entranced me. This is her tale.

Gillian Lynne
Dame Gillian Lynne

I also saw the tale as offering yet another example of the ever-present need to challenge conventional wisdom. I saw it as a wonderful example of how challenging conventional wisdom can sometimes help us bring dreams to life…

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A Father’s Gift…

When I first heard this story about a father’s gift to his son, I experienced one of those rare “Ah-Ha!” moments. I hope it’ll have the same effect on you.

This isn’t my story. It’s Richard Feynman’s story. Its about something his father had shared with him when he was very young. Its about something that I’m convinced can help us all realize our dreams…

For those who have never heard of Richard Feynman, we should really talk.

Until we do, I hope that, after reading this, you’ll know just a little more about him…

rockstars

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An Intelligence Test I Failed – Or Did I?

Prologue

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold “two opposed ideas” at the same time—and remain sane… Is this an intelligence test?

I think we’ve all been there, although some of us have found retaining our sanity in this situation a lot more difficult than others!

Fitzgerald – test of intelligence

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An Ethics Question For The Ages…

[This is an updated version of an earlier blog we published]

Why do some folks act unethically?

For me, this is “the-ethics-question-for-the-ages“:

“Just why do people act ethically in some situations, but those same people act unethically in other situations?”

I hate to disappoint you, but the answer ain’t at all clear to me…

Sure, I have some thoughts that I’ll share with you, but if you feel you must excoriate me for not knowing what I’m talking about, go right ahead. After all, who am I to deprive you of a little joy?  🙂

Despite not having a clear answer myself, though, I still find myself asking the question whenever I can.

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The Ethics Test That Many Failed…

How would you do?

For all of your past sins, I thought I’d punish you again with an irresistible ethics test! This is the same test that I published earlier, but I figured I’d give you another shot at passing it…  🙂

Don't be a bystander

The good news is that, if you take it, I promise you’ll pass it with absolute ease. All you’ll need is a moral compass and a pinch of courage to follow it. I’m sure you have both, but, if you don’t, I think we should definitely talk…. Continue reading The Ethics Test That Many Failed…

My Gift To The NFL – And There’s No Need To Thank Me!

An open letter to Commissioner Goodell…

Dear Commissioner,

I’d like to to help you and the NFL out of a fix you’re in… Please consider this as our gift to you…

The gift is about a standard that the rest of the sporting world has set for winners and losers alike. It is about what you say—and what you don’t say—when presenting or receiving your most prestigious trophies and awards.

It is about a standard, incidentally, that applies equally to small children, to Fortune 500 companies and to the NFL—and to everyone in between.

It is about graciousness, respect, sportsmanship and humility…

self-praise

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Decision-Making: A Story About Bushmen, Gorillas, Pumpkins And Architects

heart

 Prologue …

This is a story about bushmen, pumpkins and architects—and gorillas.

Incidentally, did you know that a pumpkin is a fruit? I’ve always thought it was a vegetable, but it seems I was wrong. And what, you might ask, does a pumpkin being fruit have to do with this story? Absolutely nothing!

This is about the power of making a point through a story. It’s about the importance of understanding how people view you as you tell them your story. It’s also about how you view them…

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Thoughts About Knowing What You Are Talking About…

Knowing what you are talking about: Donald Trump and the Pyramids…

So, here’s my question de jour: Is knowing what you are talking about even important? Does it matter?

confuse them

After publishing a recent blog entitled “Thanks, Donald—For The Gift That Keeps Giving,” I was struck by the passion of some of those commenting—particularly when they were complaining about things that weren’t even in my blog!   :-). Perhaps this passion was because of the reference to Donald Trump… (This, incidentally, inspired me to write my latest blog entitled “Another Holiday Gift From Donald And His Mates”…)

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helping to bring dreams to life…