Best and Brightest … Genius — Esquire

A once-in-a-lifetime game-changing advance
in our field everyone else will follow
— Marshall Goldsmith

Astrophysicist turned new media whiz — NBC

Passionate … confident … — Forbes

You don't just learn theory from
him, you improve your life.
— Inc.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard University, Standford University, Princeton University, MTV, IBM, US Army


I speak, podcast, write, blog daily, teach, and coach. The picture above shows me swimming across the Hudson River, among many personal accomplishments. I live a life of joy, integrity, discipline, and community and empower others to do the same.

I'm friendly and my cooking is to die for, so invite yourself over when you're near Greenwich Village.


Why the Environment Needs Leadership

on February 5, 2018 in, Leadership, Nature

Why the Environment Needs Leadership Leaders know guilt, blame, doom, and gloom don’t work. What works better? Here’s one effective way to lead: Go where the people you want to lead are–emotionally, not necessarily physically. That is, learn what they care about and connect those motivations to the task. Then the task will feel meaningful and purposeful to them. They’ll do it for themselves. They’ll thank you for leading them to work. What doesn’t[…] Keep reading →

The Ethicist: Is It O.K. to Surprise Someone With a Negative Reference?

on February 4, 2018 in Ethicist

My series answering the New York Times’ Ethicist column with an active, leadership approach instead of an analytical, philosophical perspective continues with “Is It O.K. to Surprise Someone With a Negative Reference?” This spring, my assistant decided to pursue medical school and quit her job so she could take prerequisite courses. She asked me if I would provide her with a reference, to which I agreed. Her work was competent,[…] Keep reading →

10 Signs U.S. Universities Are Sabotaging Themselves

on February 3, 2018 in Education,, Leadership

10 Signs U.S. Universities Are Sabotaging Themselves Moody’s downgraded higher education to “negative.” S&P agreed. Finances aren’t the problem. Leadership is. S&P predicted a bleak future for higher education last week. Last month Moody’s downgraded the sector to from “stable” to “negative.” Leaders know financial issues usually aren’t root problems but point to them. Here are 10 signs pointing to problems among American universities independent of finance, from most obvious leading to the broadest and most important. 10. The most[…] Keep reading →

Easy and meaningful? Or pathetic?

on February 2, 2018 in Fitness

The dictionary defines pathetic as Having a capacity to move one to either compassion or pity In this post I’m not using pathetic to mean an insult in its familiar meaning. I mean it as having a capacity to move one to either compassion or pity. How else would you describe these suggestions for New Year’s resolutions in this article, 8 Easy, Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions for Better Health besides[…] Keep reading →

021: Emily Ann Peterson, Conversation 2: Turn Off Your Computer

on February 1, 2018 in Blog

During a book launch, Emily still turned off her computer in a stressful time. Book launches are crazy and people want your time like crazy. She still did it. Despite her defining environmental differently than I expected, her experience was similar. As others found, it’s not what you avoid, it’s what you replace it with. I didn’t hear her describe the experience negatively. Instead I heard her talk about ritual,[…] Keep reading →

020: Joshua Spodek: The Big Picture

on January 31, 2018 in Podcast

I describe the big picture of this podcast. So far I’ve influenced a few people to make modest changes. The big picture for this podcast is systemic change on a national, even global level. I’m not just hoping to achieve it. I have a strategy. It’s different and I expect it to work more than the existing strategies. I describe how you can help.

019: Emily Ann Peterson, Conversation 1: Bare Naked Bravery

on January 30, 2018 in Podcast

I’ve been part of Emily’s community since she interviewed me on her podcast in June. I’ve seen support, growth, openness, and everything you’d expect from a group formed around bare naked bravery. Learning more about her just-released book, Bare Naked Bravery: How to Be Creatively Courageous, I see why I like her methods of developing bravery. They’re based on the same effective techniques I base mine on for developing leadership—active,[…] Keep reading →