The Holiday’s Are About More Than Consumption & Gift Giving…

Whether you celebrate or not, the holiday season serves as a not so subtle reminder of a tireless, yet critical idea: friendship.

Friendship is beautiful.

The excitement.

The surprise.

Catching up.

We missed you. We are happy for you. We are so glad that you are here.

The reassurance that what we had still remains and the optimism that it will continue to be sustained.

Friendships are our fuel. They ignite within us, causing mini explosions that satisfy our yearning for safety, belongingness, love, and esteem. When tended to with care and intentionality they aid us in our journey towards self-actualization.

Simply, without them, we wouldn’t exist.

As you enjoy this holiday season, take the time to celebrate your relationships. The connections we have with one another.

They are move valuable, fulfilling, and sustainable than any gift you will receive.

Thought Leaders: Perception vs. Reality

We are all thought leaders, if we choose to be.

It’s a choice that is needed today more than ever.

Modern economic history is comprised of three major economies:

First, there was the agrarian economy, when the bedrock of American production and prosperity was farming.

Next, was the Industrial economy, when people left farms to work in factories.

The last few generations have thrived as a result of the knowledge economy, with know-how and analytics fueling the engine of growth.

However, the days of the knowledge economy are over, as increasingly intelligent machines know and have the capacity to know more than any human mind.

Today, we are at the cusp of the Connection & Ideas economy. In this world connections create value and ideas fuel the engine of growth, as the tried and true methods of the last few generations no longer work.

However, it’s not just any connection, but connections that are meaningful and rooted in generosity.

Not just any idea, but the deliberate exchange of ideas.

In order for this new economy to thrive, each of us must choose to be thought leaders.

We must choose to move and inspire people with innovative ideas.

We must turn ideas into realities that foster meaningful connections.

We need ideas about how to educate and prepare students for the Connection and Idea economy.

Ideas that provide affordable Healthcare at scale, allowing members of our communities to live longer and more connected lives.

Ideas about how to mobilize and enhance the lives of those that have been displaced by technology, re-establishing their connection to the economic engine that they desperately want to help shape.

You have thoughts. You can be a leader. The choice is yours.

The Human Dichotomy: My Three Simple Assumptions

The human dichotomy: are people basically “good” or “bad”?

You’re answer to this question sits at the core of how you lead, manage, and connect with the world.

For me, the answer is a resounding “good”. I believe there are three things to be true of all human beings:

  1. Everyone wants to do a good job
  2. Everyone wants to feel like their opinion matters, or to be heard
  3. Everyone has the capacity to grow, or learn new things

Of course there are circumstances beyond our control that can impact an individual’s ability to fundamentally posses one or all of the criteria I have laid out. However, beyond these extenuating circumstances, I believe these three things to be true of all people.

An individual’s capacity, or strength of desire to attain any of the three criteria will oscillate over time. As such, we must meet people “where they currently are” and seek to provide the resources and conditions that will help them succeed. Clare W. Graves, a professor of psychology and originator of a theory of adult human development, said it best,

Damn it all, a person has a right to be. A person has a right to be what he/she is. He/she shouldn’t have to change to get your work done. Be flexible enough to manage him/her the way he/she needs to be managed for him/her to perform the work, not you.

What are your fundamental assumptions about people? Are the aligned with how you aspire to lead, manage, and connect with the world?