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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Board Development, Binge Listening and the Benefits of Nature: April 2019

March has been a grab bag of projects and travels:

  • several Strengths Finder presentations in person (in Pasadena, CA; Dallas, TX; Santa Barbara, CA and online (in Sarajevo, Bosnia and with online students throughout CA);
  • a workshop presentation on careers in the non-profit sector at a conference in Costa Mesa;
  • ongoing coaching and consulting (via video calls) with clients in Seattle, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Bangkok, and Boise.
Best of all, I squeezed in a 4-day trip to Yosemite! I've included a photo I took at Tunnel View. It simply NEVER disappoints!

Perhaps I am jumping the gun in posting this on March 31 as an April edition , but I could not wait any longer. There is some great stuff here! Enjoy.

The one thing missing from your board of directors — and why it matters. A colleague introduced me to some great resources from MIT's Sloan School of Business. Bookmark it - it provides some great "mental floss." This article in particular reminded me once again how crucial it is to be strategic with whom you bring onto your board.

The Dropout Podcast. I might be a tad late to this party, but I binge listened to all six episodes while I was on a long walk/hike in Yosemite (and finished with my feet up in front of a fireplace at the Ahwahnee Hotel....... yesssss!). It tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. Equal parts fascinating, horrifying, and deeply troubling. But it was like a car accident... I couldn't turn away my attention.

You Spend 5% of Your Day Outside: Try Making it More. Speaking of Yosemite (I'm gloating, I know), here's a reminder (as if we need it!) of the value of being outside. Now that spring has sprung, let's do it! Favorite quote: "Kids in Finland, who have the highest test scores in the world, get 15 minutes of recess for every 45 minutes of class time. And the teachers are like, well, duh, of course we do that. Because otherwise the kids can’t pay attention and can’t sit still." Brilliant.

Just in case you gloss over the reminder to get outside... This next article was actually enlightening: Four physical signs of stress you shouldn’t ignore. I assumed I could name all four signs, but #1 surprised me. Check out the entire article. It only takes 4 minutes to read.

Wise words from John Muir (with another photo from my trip!):
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

Read more at:

Thanks for reading ~ please invite others to check out these articles and view other posts on this site. And send me feedback at Ciao!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Nerds, Networks, Nearness and the Need for Speed - So Many Great Resources for March 2019

I feel like I can't type fast enough to get these written down for you! This is a TREASURE TROVE of super cool resources. Linger on each one - they are outstanding.

40 Things that Google Search Can Do. OK, this BLEW MY MIND!! I have apparently been living under a rock and use Google Search at about 1% capacity... Indeed, I know that the more we use Google the more they acquire information about us, but holy cow there are some great tools here. My current favorite is #12 ("need for speed"). This also falls under the "nerd" category of my title...

Jim Collins — A Rare Interview with a Reclusive Polymath. Here is "nerd" entry #2. I'm not gonna lie, this one is long and Tim Ferris nerds out at several points and nearly loses you. But I am such a huge fan of Jim Collins (haven't we all read Good to Great at some point?) that I stuck it out and I believe it was a great payoff. Listen and learn. I would suggest taking notes so as to not lose track. I just bought Collins' new monograph for Good to Great titled Turning the Flywheel.

Armchair Expert with John Gottman. This is an AMAZINGLY INSIGHTFUL interview with one of the foremost marriage therapists in the country. If you need a little more "nearness" with your significant other, tune in to this one. He especially explores issues around conflict. You can skip the last 40 minutes or so, where Dax Shepherd blathers on with his own commentary.

Research: Men and Women Need Different Kinds of Networks to Succeed. Yep, this speaks to "networks," obviously. I knew this information intuitively and experientially, but it was fascinating to see the research behind this one. Please read this one. It is so important to understand the limitations that women face in the workplace as they seek to advance, and how men understand and experience power. I can confirm all of it.

Assessment: How Well Does Your Team Function? I know, I know there are a ton of these sorts of tools out there, but I find HBR SO trustworthy, so this one jumps to the top of my list... If you decide to have everyone on your team take this assessment, they will receive something called "How Well Does Your Team Function? - Results." If you want to keep the results anonymous, you can have everyone send the results to me and I can collate the group's results. But it would also facilitate group discussion to just have everyone take the test on their own and share the results, if trust and communication are relatively strong. (I'm not entirely sure how this link fits into my title, but I couldn't pass it up! Perhaps "nearness" and "need for speed"?)

I will end with this...
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” 
Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

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