Category Archives: Our Educated Mind Series

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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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 reasonably 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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Another Holiday Gift From Donald And His Mates…

Prologue to Another Holiday Gift from Donald…

Gotta admit that this blog about another holiday gift from Donald was inspired by some comments I received to my last blog about Donald Trump

So, if you like this latest blog, you should definitely thank those who commented on my last blog. And if you don’t like it, you should definitely blame them. Whatever you do, please don’t blame me! I’m the totally innocent party here—kind of…  🙂

It seems that, by comparing Donald’s approach to life and leadership with that of the iconic Nelson Mandela, I’ve needlessly irritated and upset some of Donald’s most ardent fans. Sorry about that!

daffy_vs_donald copy
Daffy and Donald…

If that’s the bad news, though, the good news is that my blog has also brought out of the shadows some colorful comments from the likes of “Donald Duck,” “Daffy Duck,” “Road Runner” and “Sarah Palin”…  Welcome to my cult, guys…  The Kool-Aid’s on ice…

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Yet Another Leadership Challenge: Respecting Space…

The gamblers…

I couldn’t possibly have made up the story I’m about to share with you. No, my imagination’s just not that good. Still, this story inspired yet another leadership challenge that I thought might resonate with you.

But what made me decide to share this particular true story?

I just couldn’t resist. I’d just finished my last story about my dinner with some buddies and the loves of their lives (their smart phones). I wrote about how dinner began with them totally ignoring me. They were squinting deeply into the screens of the loves of their lives. At that moment, I made a decision: No way was I going to pay for my dinner that evening. No way. Instead, I decided one of my buddies would pay for my dinner. The only question was how I could pull this off?

I knew I had one huge advantage: They were all gamblers…

a-gambler-is-nothing-but-a-man-who-makes-his-living-out-of-hope-quote-1

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A Dinner And Leadership Challenge – How Would You Do?

The dinner story I want to share with you this eve reminded me of an experience I’ve had as I’ve done business around the world…

Whether or not you’ve had the same experience, I hope my story will still resonate and grab you by the throat—if only because it really does offer a gift that’ll help you bring your ideas to life…

So, folks, this is the real deal… And knowing this, you’ve now gotta pay serious attention!

Being present

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Thoughts About Balance…

A life-lesson…

The attached podcast is a short extract from a radio show in which I was asked a question about a life-lesson I might want to pass on to my sons…

Rather than offer a bland vanilla thought about the life-lesson I wanted to pass on—the importance of maintaining balance in life, I decided to offer a story that I thought was both mildly amusing and profound, while also passing on the message I wanted to pass on…

But you can be the judge of how amusing and profound it really was…

sense of humor

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Thoughts About Writing…

Podcast…

This podcast is the rebroadcast of some thoughts about writing that I shared in an conversation with best-selling novelist, Tim Hallinan…

The gift…

What inspired my conversation with Tim was my feeling about how writing skills can really helping us breathe life into our ideas…

As Tim mentions in the podcast, to write clearly requires one to THINK clearly—and to think clearly is surely the very essence of achieving success…

The gift this podcast offers are some tips that you might perhaps want to consider in improving your own writing skills—and the writing skills of those around you…

chalkboard_quotes_twain

Leadership and Ethics: Is Doing Business In Los Angeles Really That Different?

My two questions…

Firstly, do my 1979 answers about doing business in Los Angeles stand the test of time? And, secondly, is doing business in Los Angeles really any different from doing business where you happen to live?

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Some background…

It was mid-1979. After spending some brief time living, working and studying in London, Zurich, Paris and Montreal, I’d just arrived in Los Angeles. If you think this sounds mildly glamorous and interesting, I’m cool with that. The truth is sadly that it was neither…

Soon after I’d joined a fancy Century City law firm, an old English client called me. He was the leader of a large international business with offices all around the world. He said he was thinking of setting up an office here in Los Angeles and that he had a question or two for me. We met and I did my best to answer his questions…

 

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Our Extraordinary Capacity For Self-Delusion…

Leaders and followers beware…

My story today falls into the “I-couldn’t-possibly-have-made-this-up” category…

This is a story about self-delusion. It is about two sides of the coin I’m offering you. On the one side of the coin, we have leaders. On the other side, we have their followers—

  • The leaders want to believe the nonsense they might be sprouting—not because its true, but rather because they’d like it to be true. Their challenge is to find someone with the courage to constructively challenge what they are saying…
  • The followers want to believe their leaders so badly that, in the face of the hubris and self-importance of their leaders, they’re happy and eager to suspend their own common sense and natural curiosity. Their choice is between their self-interest in not challenging their leaders and potentially setting back their careers, on the one hand, and acting as a team member to protect their leaders, on the other,

The question, therefore, is what we can do to protect ourselves from falling into the trap created by the leaders’  hubris and their followers’ passivity?

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“That Inspiration Thing” – From The Good, The Bad And The Ugly… (Podcast)

The gift…

The gift I’m offering is about what inspired me to bring one of my very own ideas and dreams to life… This is actually a true story…

So, what is that gift? 

You gotta take inspiration from wherever
and from whoever you can find it.

einstein

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