Category Archives: Blog

My first rowing half-marathon

on February 5, 2019 in Blog

I recently interviewed Olympic gold medalist and Crossfit Games champion Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias, whom I met through America’s Cup winner and podcast guest Dawn Riley. Given Anna’s achievements, she’s remarkably down to Earth (as is Dawn). In researching her, I found that last year’s Crossfit Games included a rowing marathon—that is, rowing 42,195 meters. The athletes learn what events they’ll do only hours before competing, so they just had to[…] Keep reading →

Sheepship: the opposite of leadership

on February 2, 2019 in Blog

I met another NYU professor and talked to her about leadership. I told her how many people tell me they want to lead, but when opportunities arrive, they see risk, not opportunity, and fold. Leadership opportunities almost always mean doing what hasn’t been done before, or what people don’t know how to do. If they did, they wouldn’t need a leader. In the abstract, people want to lead. They want[…] Keep reading →

129: Dave Gardner, part 2: “Came to relieve the burden, stayed for the joy”

on February 1, 2019 in Blog

David and I could have talked about growth and how many people think growth is sustainable and non-growth isn’t, which seems based on a system hurtling toward collapse, whereas a steady-state economy and population can be sustainable. Instead we just talked about the fun of riding more and getting outside. He lives in Colorado with hills. What looked like a challenge before starting became part of the joy. The natural[…] Keep reading →

Year 9, day 1 of daily posts

on January 29, 2019 in Blog

I began posting daily to this blog on January 29, 2011, so today marks day 1 of year 9. That’s 3,328 posts over 2,922 days (I double posted on many days, plus transcripts for the podcast get their own posts). Daily posting led to the development of the sidcha concept, which I consider (possibly) my greatest discovery so far, as well as my burpee, cold shower, picking up trash, and[…] Keep reading →

126: Col. Everett Spain, part 2: West Point’s Head of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

on January 28, 2019 in Blog

Would you expect the army to change sooner or later than other institutions—say business, traditional education, or non-profits? Col. Spain committed to using less plastic bottled water for 30 days. He reduced his typical use from 40 bottles to 1. At what cost? It sounds to me like the “cost” was of practicing discipline and selflessness, which sounds positive to me, what leads to long-term change. I suggest listening for[…] Keep reading →

125: Ann-Marie Heidingsfelder, part 2: Balancing priorities

on January 26, 2019 in Blog

I learned a lot in this conversation. That’s a euphemism for it being challenging for me, since my measure of working was different than Ann-Marie’s. You’ll probably hear me struggling to listen and learn her experience and perspective without disagreeing. Part of why I invited her and value our friendship is our different values. Different values mean we balance them differently. Leadership means listening, making people feel understood, and supporting[…] Keep reading →

Why I don’t try to convince

on January 25, 2019 in Blog

“How do you plan to convince him of that?” “I want to convince them to help.” People talk about convincing a lot. Maybe I hear it more since I teach leadership and people link leadership with convincing. I see convincing as nearly the opposite of leadership. I’ve written before how when I hear the word convince, I substitute “provoke debate” for it and find the sentence more accurate. The emotions[…] Keep reading →

Sign up for my weekly newsletter