1. I remind 8 year olds trying out Volleyball for the first time this very lesson.
ANYTHING you try for the first time is going to be hard, don’t let that discourage you.
Remember, you just need to stay in the game longer than everyone else and you’ll be the default winner. Keep treading water, keep above the water line. Another day alive is another day closer to your goal.
2. In Richard Branson’s “The Virgin Way” he tells a brilliant little story about the Bumblebee. For decades scientists have been stumped by the Bumblebee. When you take into account the size of the body compared to the size of the wing span, the Bumblebee on all accounts should NOT be able to fly. It is a scientific impossibility. Then Branson’s goes on to say that up until this very day, not one scientist has ever been able to explain that to a Bumblebee.
Don’t listen to people who use the word impossible. They live a shallow life and will never reap the rewards of amazing breakthroughs, innovative new ideas and groundbreaking discoveries. To the future on-word we march, into the crazy unknown.
3. Being the best in your industry might sound like a long shot but not to the driven. From Jim Collins’ Good To Great, the “Hedgehog” concept that most visionary companies and people get right is the cross section between; What can you be the best in the world at? What are you deeply passionate about? What drives your economic engine?
Edison was a work horse. He never gave up. Persistence is still one if not the most important attribute if you really want to make it in this world. So what are you going to be the best in the world at?
4. Some people just have that magical personality. If they do it’s because their entire life has been lived in a magical manner. No one is born awesome, people are made awesome. You can be awesome. Your friends can be awesome. It’s a choice just like everything else in your life.
So how are you going to make tonight awesome? (and NO “just showing up” does not make you awesome)
5. Nothing happens the way it is supposed to. Your plan is going to fail. Things are going to change. Don’t focus on building a bullet proof plan, have a big end goal and be very flexible in how you’re going to get there. Don’t be surprised when things go to $&%!, use change as an advantage.
To be safe don’t assume you “deserve” anything. Give more, care more, and don’t expect a lot in return. Giving is a much better feeling than getting anyway. You want to live a life of giving and never try to determine what you deserve from that giving. You will get yours in due time.
6. Sage wisdom. We all are going to face our fair share of insurmountable obstacles, how will you overcome them? It’s not a question of do or do not, it’s a question of when and how long will it take. The wise leaders know to focus on what can be controlled, to ignore what disturbs or limits others and chooses to see the best in others and situations.
Attitude is what will get you over that insurmountable obstacle. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude when you’re tackling a new problem.
7. I’ve coached Volleyball for 6 years now and been teaching at a technology school for 3 years.
I believe every
kid person has a Superpower.
We just need to be more honest with ourselves. If a kid can’t sit still in school and keeps bothering everyone around him, guess what, he doesn’t have a learning disability, his mind works too fast for a classroom. He needs someone to push his thinking and to get him focused on something he cares about.
We need to stop medicating kids who have “problems” learning and start helping kids to learn in different ways than the same old way we’ve been teaching them for the past 200 years.
8. The biggest lie ever told was that we have no control over our fate. Everyday you have control of what you do and overall what you will become. We don’t just exist, we have a purpose. If you don’t know what your purpose is yet you may want to go back and read the last quote on finding your Superpower.
9. When you get “offended” by someone, you’re letting them offend you. If someone is upsetting you, you’re letting them upset you. Think about it long and hard. No one can put us down unless we let them.
10. The book Spark is incredibly smart. You must read it now! It talks a lot about how physical activity is very much linked to our brain. If there is one cure all wonder drug it is exercise. Younger and younger we must go to ensure exercise is a part of a daily routine from when we are children up until we are like the old man on Family Guy who whistles while talking.
11. Actions speak louder than words. The Coward and the Hero are one in the same, only their actions differentiating them. The Hero does what’s not expected, the important things, when no one is around. The Coward talks a big game but when it comes down to it, the Coward doesn’t follow through. For the Coward there is no action, only excuses. If you find yourself hiding behind excuses maybe find a mirror and take a good long hard look at who’s starring back at you and if you can live with the excuses you’re making.
12. Such a brilliant piece of advice. NEVER blame yourself for what you’ve created. Yes you’ve probably put a lot in and work hard on it, but really we all get lucky every now and then. If you don’t give up you’re bound to get lucky eventually. Smart entrepreneurs know this and it’s why they stay in the game for much longer than realistically possibly for most people. That’s why they get a life to live that most people would dream of.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Buy this book, you’ll love Ben’s advice.
13. Attitude and reflecting on ones’ self. Don’t worry about your weaknesses, focus on your strengths. Instead of trying to be a “well rounded” individual trying being the best in the world, shit try being the only one in the world who does what you do.
14. Counter-intuitive advice from a young person who’s done some pretty radical things. I’d listen to him. You want to listen to the people who aren’t just regurgitating the past but are making you look at the world in a different light. Swearing in business? Yup, it has it’s place. This topic will be debated about for a long time. The traditionalists will tell you it’s “unprofessional”, “offensive” and “not in good taste”. Fucking squares, nothing “professional” will get you very far these days.
In general can we stop being “offended” by other people? Just live your own life and if you’re actually offended by someone else, you’re the one who needs to change, not them.
15. Highly debated in our office a lot. What part does advertising play in a business? For a startup, none. If you have to tell people about what you’re doing it’s not good enough. If people hear about what you’re a part of and they don’t say something about it, it’s not remarkable, your job isn’t done. You don’t have a business until people are recommending you.
16. When you’re starting a new company you must be looking towards to front edge of the technology curve. If you get your strategy right, time should be on your side. Every day you get a little more valuable, every day you get closer to your goal.
But start a new company based on old technology and the exact opposite is true. Every day you get a little more obsolete.
So how do you tell if you’re on to something big or not? Ask a kid in highschool. They won’t lie to you. If you get their attention you’re probably on to something. That’s the key, most kids aren’t interested in anything at that age (making this the ultimate “cool” test!).
17. Looking down upon yourself isn’t healthy at any time. Stop taking things so personal. If these aspects of business are affecting your personal life then you need a hobby. A sport, a non-profit, a craft, an art form. Something that you can fall back on that you’re great at that will give you confidence and relieve stress.
18. “If our company isn’t good enough to win, then do we need to exist at all?”
What a brilliant question to ask. I think every company should ask this, maybe every year, maybe in every new business you’re entering.
I love how AJ Laffely (CEO, Proctor and Gamble) approaches strategy. He says is only answering two questions; where to play and how to win. If you have a clear idea where to play, winning is going to be much easier. And yes it’s as simple as that, winning.
19. For longest time I thought “strategic plans” were pretty much useless. Now I know for sure that they are. I’m sure at one time they were valuable, but today things change incredibly fast and the quicker you as an organization can adapt, the better. The future will not be run by those with the best strategic plan. It’ll be run by those most willing to adapt to the reality(in general whatever that may be, it’s Darwinism of business).
“Planning is arrogant and inflexible.” That’s the world we live in now. You can’t have a 5 year plan, you’d be lucky to something consistently great for 5 months straight, let alone 5 years. Why do we insist on “strategic planning” and “long term strategic initiatives”? It’s a recipe for disaster.
A “longterm strategic plan” is just jargon for “we have no clue as to what to do in the future so we’re going to fake it and say business as usual, yep“. Because not measuring what they are doing is easy. If they don’t measure the hard things, they don’t have to fix them. That’s easy the easy way out. To sit in mediocrity until you go bankrupt or cease to be funded by the government.
More and more big businesses and not-for-profits need to think like entrepreneurs. Thy things out, learn through experimentation, create iteration after iteration after iteration. We live in a world where you can get away with not having a long term plan as long as you’re willing to perform more experiments than your competition. Experiment more.
20. School doesn’t need to be more like “school”. The world needs community builders and leaders, not mathematicians and scientists (no offence intended you math and science majors).
Can we stop teaching the old world skills and start teaching new world skills? Skills like: dealing with failure, how to listen properly, public speaking, creating presentations that get remembered, problem solving, thinking on your feet, improvising, writing clear and fast, caring for others, teamwork, empathy and the list goes on.
21. How many people do you know talk openly about what their company will be doing in ten years time? Unfortunately these are conversations very few organizations have. Why not though? If you want a wildly amazing future you’re going to have to plan for it. Start by asking the question, what will we be doing in ten years?