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If you want extraordinary performance, know extraordinary performers.

Joshua earned a PhD in Astrophysics and an MBA, both at Columbia University, where he studied under a Nobel Laureate. He teaches and coaches leadership at Columbia, NYU, and privately. He has founded several companies, one operating globally since 1999, with a half-dozen patents to his name. He competed athletically at a national and world level.

He writes from experience and a scientist’s perspective on creating success professionally and personally – leadership, entrepreneurship, emotions, social skills, influence, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution, perception, motivation, attraction, managing groups and teams, and more.

He has been quoted and profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Fortune, CNN, and the major broadcast networks.

His coaching clients come from McKinsey, Bain, BCG, JP Morgan, Google, and more.

His clients include graduates of Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Dartmouth, Penn, and more.

Esquire Magazine named him “Best and Brightest” in its annual Genius issue.

You can book him as a coach or speaker.

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The smallest effective difference

posted by Joshua on October 24, 2014 in Art, Awareness, Nature
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Once in college, where floor living means shared bathrooms, as I brushed my teeth, a guy walked up to the sink next to me, turned on the water full blast, calmly brushed his teeth as gallons of water flowed out the faucet completely unused, and then, on finishing brushing, turned the water back off.

A lot of people live this way.

I can’t believe people live that way. I mean, I can, but I don’t like thinking that way. Treating the water takes energy, which means burning coal. In some places it means emptying groundwater than might take generations to replace. Living that way means not just using up water. It means using up oil, making unnecessary noise, eating too much, and so on.

Medicine uses the smallest effective dose. Giving more medicine than the patient needs introduces more risk. Fitness has the principle of the smallest effective exercise. Entrepreneurship has its minimum viable product. Design aims for the smallest effective difference. The abstract art paintings below, by abstract expressionist Ad Reinhardt, illustrates the concept, though a computer screen doesn’t do them the justice of seeing them in person. You have to look at them carefully to see their designs.

Ad Reinhardt subtle painting 1
Ad Reinhardt subtle painting 2
Ad Reinhardt subtle painting 3
Ad Reinhardt subtle painting 4
Ad Reinhardt subtle painting 5

I find them subtle and elegant and I try to live my life that way—not necessarily as dark as the paintings, but with that subtlety, nuance, and elegance. Living with subtlety and nuance makes life into art.

Blasting on the water, the stereo, the gas pedal, and so on has no nuance or subtlety. It can be fun sometimes, but there’s no benefit to blasting the faucet when you aren’t even using the water.

Paying attention to nuance makes you pay attention and respect your environment more—not just trees, air, water, etc, but other people. And yourself.

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Successful behavior comes from little tricks more than lofty ideals

posted by Joshua on October 23, 2014 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Exercises, Fitness, Habits, Tips
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There is a one-hundred percent chance I will work out this morning. It’s raining. I’m cold. I’m hungry. I have a lot of work to do. I have emails to catch up on. So many distractions. How do I know I’m going to exercise? Because I put on the lycra shorts I wear when I[…] Keep reading →

Motivation = expectation of success compared to now, research shows

posted by Joshua on October 22, 2014 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Tips
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It’s Friday night. You planned to meet some friends for a night out. You haven’t seen them in a long time and looked forward to it. But this week at work was exhausting. Most weeks like this you’d just want to sit on the couch, relax, and take it easy. You feel like you have[…] Keep reading →