Shaun White, the 35-year-old godfather of snowboarding made his fifth and final Olympic runs at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics last February. Part of the founding generation of competitive snowboarding, White would be facing athletes ten to twenty years younger than him. Rumors of his retirement were already circulating throughout the winter sports world.
He starts strong with two good runs that put him in contention for a silver medal, but on his final run, after catching massive air, he a...
“You’re being relentless! Can you please stop asking questions so we can just chill for a bit?”
A request my partner, Katy, offered me in the midst of a conversation about our life and relationship.
I was trying to get to the root of something. She just wanted to relax.
I’m not always great at relaxing. But I tried. I settled in. I “chilled.” On we moved.
A few days later, a client wrote me a nice testimonial: “Chris took us through an amazing journey. His relentless curiosity and drive helpe...
“My in-laws arrived for a visit yesterday and my MiL just tested positive for covid. We are searching for a place for them to stay so we can isolate; my 4 y.o. isn’t fully vaccinated yet.”
My friend’s text got my attention. As I tried to help her find a safe place for her in-laws to isolate, it dawned on me that it was one of the half-dozen Covid-related disruptions that I’ve seen in the last few weeks.
Friends who have had vacations interrupted or postponed.
A canceled lunch with a client wh...
“Only the paranoid survive.”
-Andy Grove, Founder and CEO of Intel
In 2020, AMD—a company that was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2014—felled industry giant Intel in a corporate “David and Goliath” showdown. How did this stunning reversal of fortune happen, and what can we learn from it as we try to prepare our companies for unforeseen events that await us in the future?
It’s important to remember that even for the largest companies, perpetual success isn’t guaranteed. Consumer demands are fic...
"Dimmi con chi vai e' ti dirò' chi sei."
("Tell me who you go with and I will tell you who you are.")
The culture of my first company was very left-brained, quantitative, winner-take-all, zero sum—everything was a calculation, anything could be speculated on.
We were traders, so gambling on outcomes was our job, but it influenced our play as well. We would make crazy side-bets in the office on things like which intern could run faster, how long someone could stand on one foot...
As technology improves and communication speeds up, so does the pace of life. Email replaced snail mail, and now messaging apps like Slack can keep us in touch with our work wherever and whenever we are. Instead of having more time for relaxation, we end up trying to be more productive. Work projects seem to go on forever and the “To Do” list never ends.
With so much to accomplish, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important, of why we work in the first place. Is work there to help us generat...
“Brady and Jordan are both considered to be the best athletes in their respective sports. Both have led their teams to multiple championship victories and are superstars in their own right, but they have vastly different leadership styles.”
1989 NBA Playoffs: Game 5
Bulls vs. Cavaliers
The Bulls and the Cavaliers are tied for victories 2-2. Game 5 will decide who goes home and who moves on to the next round. The game is close, with both teams trading the leading position over and over as the ...
My solarpunk vampire story just got accepted into an anthology that pays pro rates. “The Sun Also Rises in Space” will finally see the light of day (unlike the villain, Bojunk Bojanx, who has to hide from the light of day, even when surfing the stars).
The best part? The max word count for the anthology is eight-thousand words. At eight cents a word, that comes out to $640! The Sun Also Rises in Space is only 3,500 words right now, but that is OK because I have a whole other subpl...
As leaders, our job is to determine the “what” and the “why.” When we let our team figure out the “how,” we can create a context where they’re able to perform at their best. Sometimes this can feel risky, but it can give us far better outcomes than we could have expected if we had imposed our way.
Phil Jackson and Dennis Rodman
In the late 90s, Dennis Rodman was one of the top three basketball players on the Chicago Bulls, right behind Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. Known for his ag...
“As leaders, we need to get more comfortable with conflict and make space for disagreements. Messy is a valuable part of the process. Struggles, disagreement, and conflict in the mix creates authentic unity over time. Great work involves struggle.” - Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
I often work with leadership teams on problems that don’t have a fixed answer. Like heroes on a quest, we might know the direction of travel and have a sense of where we’re going, but we don’t know exactl...
Many writers who are new to the publishing game (myself included) make the mistake of believing that they have a publishable draft when what they actually have is a really good start. The thrill of pulling a great idea out of your head and getting it onto the page is incredible.
After dozens of drafts, workshops, and consultations with editors, my vampire solarpunk short story, The Sun Also Rises in Space, is finally ready for publication. My grammar is on point, my plot holes are all filled in, and my villain—Bojunk Bojanx, the star-surfing vampire—is a complex antagonist with the perfect blend of pathos and hatefulness. Plus he has a solar surfboard and some sci-fi sunscreen that keeps him safe from UV rays while he’s riding the electromagnetic waves of the sun.
Some organizations I work with feel like perpetual startups.
They’re constantly moving in new directions, adding new technologies, and inventing new ways of working (I’ll admit that I feel like I’m like this sometimes, too).
It’s not that inventing things or exploring new ideas is bad. Of course not! Imagine a company that could never try or do something new. Over time, those companies go stale and, eventually, they all get a familiar label: bankrupt. However, companies that continually chang...
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the consequences of following rules (and its complement, innovation).
Everywhere you look there are rules and regulations written in BOLD.
PARKED CARS WILL BE TICKETED
USE BY 04/28/2022
But what happens when one breaks the rules? Are the penalties severe and immediate, or are they mild and under-enforced? Is there some level of cost/benefit analysis that can be applied to petty shenaniganry?
My partner seems to innately un...
One of my friends and clients is the founder and CEO of a medium-sized, financially successful tech company. He's kind and witty and down-to-earth, and I like and admire him a lot.
A while back, he was part of a conversation I facilitated about the nature of leadership, particularly when there is great uncertainty in your world.
There were about a dozen participants, and many shared their experiences. At one point, I turned to my friend and asked him if he, as the CEO and chairman of his comp...