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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.

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FROM THE BLOG

Learning about relationships ruins most movies and TV

posted by Joshua on July 3, 2015 in Art, Leadership, Relationships
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My pasts three posts were about how media misrepresents leadership like juvenile fantasies of beating people who disagree with you. If you don’t know how to lead, you might enjoy the drama of the misrepresentations, but you risk retarding your growth.

It’s deeper than just leadership. Movies and TV dramatize and misrepresent nearly all relationships. The more I learn about relationships… Well, for one thing the more my life improves. But the more I learn about relationships, the more those I see in movies and television seem twisted into what will hook people into watching more.

TV shows and movies feel engineered for profit more than expressive works. Relationships outside of TV and movies have nuance, subtlety, and complexity. Most TV shows and movies overload relationships with drama. They’re like Doritos and junk “food” instead of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, which have a lot more flavor, it just doesn’t hit you all at once. They probably affect your appreciation and expectations about regular relationships like Doritos affect your appreciation of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Not every show simplifies and dramatizes its relationships, but finding ones that don’t is hard. Wading through junk shows takes time. The more I learn about relationships, the less I tolerate over-dramatized shows.

The movie American Splendor, about Harvey Pekar, who created one of the first comic books that treated regular life instead of super heroes, has a scene that described how he decided to transform comic books, despite having no experience. He’s talking to a friend, R. Crumb, who already makes comic books:

Pekar: I tried writing some stuff about real life… stuff that the everyman’s got to deal with.

Crumb: These are all about you?

Pekar: Yeah.

Crumb: You’ve turned yourself into a comic hero.

Pekar: Sort of, but there’s no idealized shit. There’s no phony bullshit. This is the real thing, man. You know, ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.

Ordinary life is complex! You don’t need to dramatize it to make it interesting. If you look, it’s already more complex than saving the universe (in comics) or non-stop drama (on TV and in movies).

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This is not leadership. It makes people think it is and that’s part of why we have poor leaders, part 3

posted by Joshua on July 2, 2015 in Leadership, Models, Relationships, Visualization
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“Just do what I say.” “Do it now.” “John, do X. Sally, do Y. I’ll do Z. Then we’ll met and put everything together.” Wouldn’t leadership be easy if we could tell everyone what to do and they’d do it? It never seems to work like that, though, does it? Most people understand that problems[…] Keep reading →

This is not leadership. It makes people think it is and that’s part of why we have poor leaders, part 2

posted by Joshua on July 1, 2015 in Education, Leadership, Stories
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Once in high school some of the popular kids picked on me. It humiliated me. That evening I talked to a friend on the phone who told me that many people in the school felt for me and looked down on them. On the phone, I felt I had their support and started developing an[…] Keep reading →