Inspiration has never been more accessible. With Instagram and Pinterest, we are flooded with inspirational quotes juxtaposed with a selfie or an epic sunset. This trend spilled over into YouTube, where armies of pretty people are ready to inspire and life-coach you to achieve new heights in life. We are in a Golden Age of inspiration. All this inspiration is so lovely, yet so useless.
Today’s singular American Tale goes something like this: be bold, step out and be you, and your reward is glory and success. It may be the last awesome, inspiring story that our culture knows how to tell. Tragically, this story is rarely true, and it even neglects what it means to be human.
When I look at the richest stories of the people I know best, and the grand stories of people who I wish I knew, there is an undeniable pattern–their life stories are defined by bold decisions. We love to read books and watch movies about bold people making bold decisions, but rarely do we make…
I am afraid that in most meetings, even in high-level meetings, people spend too much time posturing themselves to look cool. It’s different than “looking cool” that we all practiced in high school, but the motivation is the same. We want people to like us and think we matter.
We are all familiar with ecosystems. We learned about them when we were young, and most of us remain curious about ecosystems wherever we go. It’s a fascinating way to observe the world around you. It turns out that an ecosystem is a powerful way to see your company, and your long-term competitive strategy.
We all know that “mind reading” doesn’t work. Life is hard enough as it is, so it’s silly to take on the additional burden of having to decipher one another’s emotions and actions to pick up clues on an unspoken tension.