The Fallacy of the Google Age – Episode 15

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Let’s talk about the first responsibility of a leader. This is Aviv with a new episode of Create New Futures. And today I am focusing on the fallacy of the Google age, and why as leaders, mentors, and parents we all must reflect on the Google fallacy and the conundrum it creates critically.
As a leader, your first responsibility is to lead yourself. You begin with how you develop your thought process, and continue with how you map your learning and your actions. You cannot afford to outsource your self-leadership or to abandon your intuition, judgment, and you cannot afford to contract out the diligent work of your own reflective inquiry and development.

My call to action here today is inviting you to practice mindfulness as a leader and as a parent, to recognize the fallacy of the Google age and to reflect on the learning and knowledge that you will encourage and promote.

Here is a question for you. How many Google searches do you perform on a regular day? Well, during one recent work day, I decided to answer my own question, so I kept count. At the end of the day, I discovered that I had conducted 24 Google searches. I love Google. How can you not love what Google enables us to do? Here is the point though I need to make. Every good development invariably creates unintended consequences. The fallacy of the Google age is one of these consequences. Before we put the laser on this challenge, let me make the broader statement.

Every age brings its technological innovation and progress. Every wave of innovation creates new possibilities and capabilities, which in turn give rise to mistaken beliefs.

For instance, the innovation of antibiotics initially catalyzed the belief that we were about to eradicate all diseases. The fantastic discovery of DNA promoted a deterministic DNA-centric mental model that postulated that people are defined by their DNA. This belief still is prevalent, even though epigeneticists subsequently showed that what gets expressed from our DNA potential is determined by the collective impact of the environment, formative experiences, and behavioral and life style choices.
Furthermore, the deterministic DNA-centric belief fails to recognize the broader significance of the psychological and spiritual dimensions of life such as their power and impact on our health, well-being and on our capacity to respond to opportunities.

When we retrace and reflect on human progress as a species, sometimes we appear to be following the allegorical story of the man next to a street light, searching for the keys he had lost. When asked if he felt he dropped the keys right there next to the street light, he replied, “I’m not sure when or where I lost my keys. Perhaps it was down the street or even on a different street. But it is easier and more convenient to search the area illuminated by the street light.”

As a species, we are a bit like that man. We develop antibiotics and think they will solve all our health issues. We discover DNA, and rush to believe we’ve unlocked the complete secret to life and all its mysteries. Clearly both discoveries represent important developments, and yet neither one of them can answer all the questions and unresolved mysteries or address all of humanity’s health problems.

These examples provide a great segue to reflecting on the Google fallacy, which I should perhaps better name the fallacy of the Google age.

To better appreciate this particular misunderstanding, let’s look at Google’s mission. Google was born back in the late 1990s, when many people believed that all of the world’s knowledge was going to be available on the web. Its founders recognized the opportunity to organize that knowledge and make it widely accessible. Google’s mission statement was and still is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This mission statement was coupled with the company’s vision statement: “to provide access to the world’s information in one click.” These are excellent mission and vision statements because of their clarity. Indeed this mission and vision guided Google’s business effectively to focus on its search engine service because they are concrete and clear.

More broadly, Google’s mission has been viewed and widely represented in the idea of organizing all the world’s knowledge, diluting a little the distinction we must make between information and knowledge.
This meme of organizing all the world’s knowledge was initially developed in the early 20th century by Paul Marie Otlet, a Belgian entrepreneur, considered one the fathers of information science. Otlet wrote numerous essays and two books about how to collect and organize the world’s knowledge. Google was in the right place at the right time to bring this idea to life.

Today we all are the beneficiaries of Google’s service. Indeed most of the world’s information and knowledge is a click away. Where is the problem? What, then, is the Google fallacy?

The fallacy of the Google age is the belief that people are able to access every level of knowledge on any topic or question immediately.

Why is this a fallacy? What’s left out of the equation? What forms of knowledge not captured by the search engine’s algorithms are endangered by mindset propagated by Google’s search prowess?

My premise is that the mental model enabled by Google –which is that everything you want to know is just a click away – is costing people some of the defining markers of our humanness.

It allows us to get by superficially, it makes us lazy, and it facilitates the loss of reflection and concentration power. We are at risk of abandoning the joys of inner discovery, of striving to resolve unresolved mysteries. And, we are at risk of making mediocrity the new norm. When we relinquish the power of the depth of development knowledge acquired by persistent struggle and personal application, we lose some of our humanity.

Are we raising new generations of digital natives who discover Wikipedia and Google long before they experience the wonder of the outdoors, or learn to climb a tree, swim or ride a bike?

Here are five dimensions and buckets of knowledge that cannot be re-created or explained fully by Google or Wikipedia or any app. Each of these buckets must be accessed by other means and from other sources.

Bucket 1: Experiential knowledge: Can you remember your first outdoor adventure? Running in the open fields, climbing trees, hiking up a mountain to reach an alpine lake; scuba diving to discover the beauty of coral reefs. Can you recall these experiences, and the unbridled joy of engaging the elements? In this case the knowledge source is letting nature teach your body what you can and cannot do.

There is much more in the experiential knowledge category, such as discovering the versatile capabilities of your hands to dismantle and reassemble almost anything, to draw, to knit, to cook, and to fix what’s broken. Could it be that this fallacy we are bringing into focus is putting the adventurous discovery inherent in these activities at risk of disappearing or dramatically weakening? These are questions to reflect on as leaders and as parents.

Consider this: what are the chances of young people today to explore romantic love before they have been cheated out of its natural discovery by the misleading images propagated through all forms of media that are more likely than not to leave most people feeling inadequate? The contents of the experiential knowledge bucket are clearly being threatened by the intensity of this immersive exposure. I am obviously not blaming Google or the media with all the ailments of society and how superficial we have become, I am simply observing what the case is so we can choose as leaders and parents to be alert.

Bucket 2: Character learning and knowledge: My most formative character learning and knowledge at the age of 11 was acquired during the three years I got up every morning at 5 AM for my long distance running practice before school started. This regular and consistent practice taught me about determination, commitment, focus, overcoming pain, and the rewards of hard work. It enabled me to win the Israeli long distance cross country running championship at age 14.

This kind of knowledge cannot be imparted through Wikipedia or Google because it is an interior character knowledge. You have to discover and fashion this formation on the inside, and find out what commitment and determination feel like, to let the struggle steel your mind and instruct your soul.

Bucket 3: Concentrated focus and contemplative discovery: Important breakthroughs in science and in the arts were made possible by people who isolated themselves with a question and were able to mount tremendous focus and concentration on finding its answer. Are we losing this focused concentration with the never-ending noise of devices and digital alerts designed to trigger, to hack and to hook our brains with dopamine reactions?

Discovery through contemplative inquiry always has been central to the human experience. Take it away and you remove more than half of our arts. These natural capacities and processes are at risk too. Why concentrate and contemplate if you can Google search and get an answer in seconds?
Whatever happened to the defiant search for originality? The search engine premise is that all you can ever experience is a derivative and what someone else already felt, experienced and thought. Sure it’s obviously the case in 99% of the human experience, and yet we are interested in the one percent originality and genius that you can bring forward, that one percent that is not searchable on the web.

Bucket 4: Intuitive knowledge: Intuition is central to our humanness, and to our inventive and innovative breakthroughs. The sixth sense, the sense of being guided, the capacity to listen to our inner voice is at risk too. In fact it is at risk twice.

Here is why. First, when you know you can find answers to your questions readily through Google, there is a temptation to cease listening to our intuition, to abandon the courage to seek the instinctive and intuitive guidance inside.

Second, our creative innovation is diminished by extraordinarily persuasive external pressures to fit into existing categories and behavioral and thinking templates.

Socialization is a process that acts a bit like a dog in training. Though some might disagree with this analogy, if you look and compare the two situations, you will find that the protocols of dog training and the rewards for social success follow a similar principle. That realization leaves us wondering, if we are the dogs, then who is the master? The price we pay for taking these risks is the loss of creative intuition.

Bucket 5: Development knowledge: This category represents knowledge acquired and fashioned by self-application and by the development it fosters through the refinement of achieving mastery in a given area.

Think about the knowledge acquired by Missy Franklin and by Katie Ladeky in the swimming pool. Think about the knowledge found by Itzhak Perlman through the violin, by Yo-Yo Ma with his cello and by Renée Fleming with her voice.

In the process of achieving mastery in one’s craft, there are million insights into self-awareness, self-management, psychology, preparation, peak performance attunement, overcoming adversity and challenge, resilience and persistence, discordance and inner harmony. These experiences represent what we can call vertical knowledge because it lives and is accessed at different depths. I am talking about knowledge that cannot be acquired by just clicking on a mouse. It is only achieved with 10,000 hours of practice or perhaps 50,000 hours of practice.

I once attended a concert by Mstislav Rostropovich toward the end of his life. As he played the Antonín Dvořák cello concerto, I sensed a distinct feeling in the concert hall that his bow was moving effortlessly by itself. It was as though someone or something had taken over the playing, and Rostropovich was the vessel. This is not “clickable” knowledge. Such a rare form of knowledge and mastery – a pure musical communion manifesting through the cello – can be observed in pioneers and thought leaders in almost every field.

For example, there is development knowledge acquired by a passionate teacher who shows up to class every day with the thought, “Today I might inspire the student who will solve the climate or energy conundrums, or cure cancer or any other major problem, their love and dedication lead them to new and creative ways of teaching. Or consider the entrepreneur who starts a company and leads it from its inception to a thriving enterprise, needing to overcome million obstacles and to reinvent himself and herself along the way. I bet you have rare development knowledge that you fashioned in your professional journey. It extends beyond the information you carry in your head.

What then is the other facet of the Google fallacy?

The thought and the mental model that believe all forms of knowledge can be accessed instantly. We would be wise to realize that certain forms of knowledge require preparation to fashion the “vessel” to be ready to receive and contain the knowledge.

Here is a scenario for your reflection: when you go for a swim in the ocean you put on your swimming gear. When you go snowboarding or when you climb Mount Rainer, you are not likely to show up with the swimming gear. Instead, you will use a snowboard for snowboarding and you will dress well and have the technical equipment you need to summit Mount Rainer.

The same logic applies in the workplace when you inquire into the various fields of knowledge, especially non-academic fields such as leadership, sales, innovation, as well as inquiries related to parenting and relationships. Each of these conversations requires and would be tremendously enhanced by an appropriate set of tools, mental models and frameworks. Of course you can try to summit Mount Rainer with your swimming gear, but it is not certain you will come back alive.

We call ourselves the sapient species. The question is: are we indeed becoming wiser or are we dumbing-down ourselves and losing some of our humanness?

As leaders, mentors and parents, we must explore daily the question of how we can enable experiential knowledge. How do we facilitate character learning and knowledge? How do we inspire knowledge acquired through focused discovery? How do we encourage intuition and development knowledge?

That’s the work of leadership in the effort of fostering and promoting a new more enlightened and capable generations in the future. You cannot afford to outsource your self-leadership and abandon your judgment Click To Tweet Are you a victim of the Google fallacy? Practice mindfulness. Click To Tweet Every good development invariably creates unintended consequences. Click To Tweet What’s the problem with organizing all the world’s knowledge? Click To Tweet Are You or Google, to blame for raising a superficial and lazy generation? Click To Tweet Why is the belief that all knowledge is accessible immediately is by definition delusional? Click To Tweet Are we losing the power of reflection and concentration? #CreateNewFutures Click To Tweet What are the 5 dimensions of knowledge not available on Google or Wikipedia? Click To Tweet What is your character Knowledge? What is your development knowledge? Click To Tweet

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Propensity for Action with Ted Clark – Episode 14

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In this conversation I have the pleasure of speaking with Ted Clark. Ted has 35 years of leadership experience across all aspects of mobile computing. He was the Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Notebook PC division from 2004 to 2012. In this capacity, he was able to deliver 165 million Notebook PC’s and 125 billion dollars in revenue.

Ted has a deep understanding of what it takes to build empowered and flexible teams and win in the hyper-growth technology space. He currently consults companies focused on building a winning market position by helping leadership teams drive execution that delivers results. In this episode, Ted reflects on his leadership learning and what enabled him to achieve with his organization the remarkable success milestones they experienced.

Essential Learning Points:

  • The most difficult thing in the world is to get all the right ingredients in the right place, at the right time.
  • Develop a team that understands and believes in a story and you can become a winning leader.
  • Define where you’re going, have your objectives and strategies in place, then act and course correct along the way.
  • Be as much a part of your team as well as leading your team.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your wins and show appreciation to your team members.
  • You need to have a basic knowledge of what customers want and ask yourself if your product makes sense.
  • Use good judgment, listen to your gut, and don’t launch a product that you feel isn’t good enough.
  • Don’t be afraid to take more risks.
  • What really matters are the people that you are leading.
  • Have open, trusting communication with your team. Encourage free thinking and debate.
  • Develop a propensity for action – fire, ready, and aim. Natural leaders are prepared to take action, good leaders take the right action.
  • Thoughtfully set up your people to succeed; promotion is only half the battle.
  • Be enthusiastic. Find enthusiasm about your work, your team, and be enthusiastic about your life.
Facts quickly fade but stories last forever. Click To Tweet Natural leaders have a propensity for action. Click To Tweet The value of experience is that you know what not to do. Click To Tweet In 10 years, I’ll be waking up enthusiastic, grateful, and ready to learn new things. Click To Tweet You have to be able to laugh at your mistakes even though they’re painful. Click To Tweet Natural leaders are prepared to take action, good leaders take the right action. Click To Tweet
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The Brain Science of Marketing with Daniel Epstein – Episode 13

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Daniel Epstein is a marketing and innovation consultant from Toronto, Canada. He worked for Procter & Gamble for 21 years where he was awarded the Harley Procter Marketers designation in 2007; the highest designation for marketing excellence. He led P&G’s future of marketing and brand building and was responsible for the commercial leadership of some of the most iconic brands at P&G.

As he traveled the world for P&G, he developed a project named, Portraits in Faith, where he interviewed and photographed 450 people of faith in 27 different countries. In this conversation, I explore with Daniel how brain science is shaping the future of marketing, his insights about his time at P&G, and the journey he believes we are all on.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • Why the most effective marketing combines rational conscious messages with nonconscious cues?
  • How do you increase the odds that consumers will purchase from you again?
  • How is the brain wired to prioritize and delegate certain tasks?
  • How Daniel made a course correction and found what he was meant to be doing?
  • You are always better off in an organization where you feel there is a good fit
  • Allow your special gift to come to the foreground
  • “There is no more important job for us as leaders than to put people in the right jobs”
  • The human process is not think–feel–do but rather do–feel–think
  • Your habits and repeated actions are more predictive of your choices than attitudes and intentions
  • We can heal ourselves by helping others heal.You want to heal every part of yourself, you want to retrieve all of who you are, and in so doing you won’t be able but to help heal others
“We can heal ourselves by helping others heal” Daniel Epstein Click To Tweet The most effective marketing combines the rational conscious messages with non-conscious cues. Click To Tweet Marketing has to increase the probability that you’re chosen over a competitor. Click To Tweet “People who have some sense of connectedness to something bigger than themselves are grateful” Daniel Epstein Click To Tweet The brain takes 25% of the body’s energy, and therefore always seeks to shift tasks to habitual system. Click To Tweet “Don't be afraid to have your thinking disrupted” Click To Tweet Habits are more predictive of human choice than attitudes and intentions. Click To Tweet
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Creating Breakthroughs and The 72-Hour Rule – Episode 12

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In this episode we focus on what great learners and leaders do, and on how high performers create breakthroughs. Of all the practices I have been teaching to high performing leaders, the 72-Hour rule is one of the game-changer that enabled more people to accelerate results and create breakthroughs. Here are some of the key points I discuss during this 9-minute podcast:

The 72-hour rule states that if you do not take the first step toward applying a new learning and idea within the first 72 hours, the likelihood that you will implement it quickly approaches zero.

  1. New learnings, new insights, and new knowledge carry an energetic potential for change. I call this energetic potential – the “protein value” of learning.
  1. At the point you receive and experience a new insight, the potency for change is 100%.
  1. As the length of time increases from the exposure to the insight, the potential for change diminishes. Here is a way to look at this mathematically:
  • At the incidence of learning — you have 100% potency for change
  • Three hours lapse – a little dissipated and you have 95%-98% potency
  • 12 hours – the change potency diminished to 90%
  • 24 hours – 85% potency
  • 48 Hours – 75% potency
  • 72 Hours – 51%-60% potency
  1. Below 51%, the energetic potential for change is diluted to the point of ineffectuality. Which practically means that the gravitational pull of current conditions, habits, and the entrenched inertia override and cancel the change energy initiated by the learning and gravitational pull of a new and different future.
  2. The cycle of learning is about instantiating ideas and actualizing possibilities. When it works well, it becomes a virtuous spiral of growth and development. Here is what that cycle looks like:
  • Stage 1 – you receive: you learn a new skill.
  • Stage 2 – you understand: you test the learning to validate and confirm it.
  • Stage 3 – you apply: you put the new skill to use within 72 hours.
  • Stage 4 – you teach and take ownership: you create success with the new skill, which motivates you to continue using the skill, teach it to others and learn more new skills.
  1. The leverage is in the velocity of implementation—how fast you move from idea to development and practice.
  2. Sharing the new information and skill with others through teaching and coaching crystallizes your own learning and enables you to achieve a new level of mastery.
  1. An idea is only as good as its concretizing action. You need to move immediately to augment the potency of change and build the momentum of new results. The “muscle” to practice is the concretizing muscle – it’s the muscle that determines your application velocity and accelerates the movement from idea up through the spiral to implementation.

How will you activate the 72-Hour rule today? Who will you teach and share these ideas with to build the momentous and virtuous cycle of learning breakthroughs?

We are here to enable new growth, and to help create new futures.

We are here to enable new growth, and to help create new futures. Click To Tweet At the point you receive and experience a new insight, the potency for change is 100%. Click To Tweet An idea is only as good as its concretizing action. Click To Tweet Learning is about instantiating ideas and actualizing possibilities. Click To Tweet The leverage is in how fast you move from idea to development and practice. Click To Tweet
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Lead with your Heart, Gut, and Brain with Rohit Tandon – Episode 11

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My guest for this conversation is Rohit Tandon. Rohit is the Senior Vice President and Business Leader of GENPACT Analytics and Research Business where he drives change and influences results by helping clients harness the value of big data and analytical insights. With over 25 years of leadership experience in companies like GE, IBM, and Hewlett Packard, Rohit is able to help companies build clarity of purpose and structure in order to deliver the performance and financial results they seek.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How do you encourage curiosity in the formative years? “Early in life, I became curious to see beyond what I see, to learn to appreciate different points of view, and to find new and better solutions.”
  • hy should you make non-linear carrier moves to develop end-to-end capabilities? What Rohit learned in the few months in advertising is that, “the best idea in the world will die without the storytelling that brings it to life.”
  • What did you learn in the early development of Accenture India? Needing to become a Generalist and address strategy and execution issues is the best preparation for a General Manager role.
  • What is the best learning experience? “At GE I was surrounded by leaders I looked up to and wanted to emulate. This was the best development experience ever.
  • “I only hire to my team people who know more than I do in at least one domain and aspect of our business.”
  • Change is an opportunity. A lot of energy is spent on trying to resist change. That energy is better spent in trying to understand the rationale for the change and then identifying the opportunities in the change.
  • Take more risks. Take more leaps of faith, don’t over analyze. Enjoy what you are doing. It’s your responsibility to create the role. Lead with your heart, gut, and brain.
I am standing on the sum totals of the experiences I’ve had. Click To Tweet Take more risks. Take more leaps of faith, don’t over analyze. Enjoy what you are doing. Click To Tweet The best idea in the world will die without the storytelling that brings it to life. Click To Tweet I make sure that anyone who comes and joins my team knows more than me in at least one or more areas. Click To Tweet I like to look at change as an opportunity. Click To Tweet
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What Is Audacious Leadership with Dan Leahy – Episode 10

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My guest for this conversation is Dan Leahy. Dan is an educator with over 30 years of teaching and consulting experience with a special focus on the emergent capacities of complex adaptive systems.

Dan was the president of LIOS (Leadership Institute Of Seattle) for more than a decade and he is currently the Director of the Seattle campus of Saybrook University where he provides strategic and operational leadership for the campus.

In this conversation with Dan, we explore his calling and his journey with LEOS, why in order to change the world you must begin by changing the conversation, and that moment when a student’s eyes light up with a clarity about his or her sense of purpose.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • Codify the patterns of emergent growth: find the global in the local, identify the universal inside the personal.
  • To change the world, change the conversation. If you are unhappy with the situation, work to reframe it.
  • What is solution focused therapy?
  • How did Dan find his calling of working with people?
  • “The moment when the student eyes light up with a clarity about his sense of purpose felt like connecting with the heart and soul of the work.”
  • “Delivering content became the opportunity to discover the learning in the moment in the room.”
  • “If you are not willing and able to lead this organization whole heartedly, get the hell out of the way so that somebody who is can.”
  • Leadership is finding the courage to take stance and voice your conviction.
  • As a leader, can I confront the issue of the heart? Am I wholehearted?
  • Management helps to maintain the integrity of the DNA of the system and the leadership works to connect to and engage with the larger environment, where the evolution of the system can be found.
  • What kind of leadership is needed now? What is audacious leadership?
  • Tapping into the potential to evolve is audacious.
  • What is fiberglass syndrome in complex systems?
  • Courageous collaboration requires that the individuals involved are courageous.
  • Generative conversations are intentional conversations.
Codify the patterns of emergent growth, find the global in the local. Click To Tweet To change the world, change the conversation. If you are unhappy with the situation, work to reframe it. Click To Tweet The moment when the student eyes light up with a clarity about his sense of purpose… Click To Tweet If you are not willing and able to lead wholeheartedly, get the hell out of the way so that somebody who is can. Click To Tweet Leadership is finding the courage to take stance and voice your conviction Click To Tweet As a leader, can I confront the issue of the heart? Click To Tweet What kind of leadership is needed now? What is audacious leadership? Click To Tweet Tapping into the potential to evolve is audacious. Click To Tweet Generative conversations are intentional conversations. Click To Tweet
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A Tale of Two Lifeguards – Episode 9

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Each of us harbors two characters within. The dedicated part of us goes above and beyond what is required, while the expedient part opts for cutting corners. Every day we get to choose which aspect of our character will show up. That choice can determine our success or failure — and even, in some cases, life or death.

One morning as Sara and I arrived at the beach, we noticed that Mikey, a long-time lifeguard, was collecting the dry seaweed along the water’s edge. He told us the seaweed would be used to shore up a sand dune at the edge of the beach that had been destroyed earlier in the season.
“Why do you do this, Mikey?” asked Sara. “Clearly this task is not part of the lifeguard job description.”

Mikey replied, “I love the beach; it gives me sustenance. I want to protect it and keep its ecosystem healthy so that others can enjoy it too. A couple of mornings each week I engage in a task that contributes to the welfare of the place that I love and that provides me with both livelihood and the love of life.”

The following morning was stormy and windy. The lifeguards had taken refuge in their tower, leaving two fishermen and me alone on the beach. After I dove into the water, I discovered that the yellow flags that define the swimming area and serve as my markers were missing.

I dashed out of the water to the lifeguard tower. “Where are the yellow flags?” I asked.

“No one is here today, so they serve no purpose,” was the dismissive reply from Parker, a new lifeguard.

As I returned to the stormy ocean to continue my swim, Parker’s comment bothered me. I could have dismissed it and moved on. However, a part of my mind is wired to capture the odd moments in life that provide learning and teachable value, then slowly make sense of them until I decipher the picture. This process is similar to the one required to develop pictures in the days when cameras had film. To extract the pictures, the film had to be treated with a chemical that gradually converted the latent images into visible ones (photographs). The process took a little time.

Did you know that we all have a part of our mind that works like the “old time” development process? In my book Create New Futures, I describe the three speeds of the mind. I call the middle speed the “pondering” mind, because it develops the “pictures” that gradually become clear as the brain connects the dots among the data that constantly flood our brains.

Your pondering mind knows your interests and helps you solve problems. In my case, my fascination and inquiry relate to the human story at the convergence of learning, discovery, innovation breakthrough, and the human spirit. Thus when I observe successes and failures (my own as well as others’), I forensically decode them to identify what enables people to produce remarkable outcomes, or what blocks them from producing breakthrough results.

Parker’s comment activated my pondering mind. What gradually came into focus was a stark contrast between Mikey’s way of being on the job versus Parker’s. We all have seen the manifestation of these opposing attitudes of dedication and expediency in corporate offices, in hotels and in restaurants. The difference between these two attitudes determines the outcomes you can achieve. Your choice even can be the decisive factor in life or death situations.

Mikey exemplified his dedication character by taking on tasks that are beyond the call of duty. Why? Because he cares. He understands deeply that his actions can shape the ecosystem. Mikey represents the people who show up each day ready to contribute by making a difference in their ecosystems.

Parker, on the other hand, demonstrated his expediency character when he chose to slide by with the minimal amount of work. He showed no respect for the protocols and rituals that are part of his job. It seems that it did not occur to Parker that putting up the yellow flags is about much more than the utilitarian value of the moment.

What caused Parker’s attitude? The absence of attentive care that inspires people to take on extra work. What does it look like when such care is present?

We see it in the rituals of our jobs. For example, a farmer walks the perimeters of the farm to find out what needs fixing. A police officer who walks the street and greets people demonstrates his presence and reassures the neighborhood. A pilot who walks around the aircraft to run his visual checklist does so not because he distrusts the ground crew, but because the ritual itself puts him in the mental frame of attention to details. And we see the care in the nurse who provides comfort to her patients.

These rituals alert people that they are connected to the great traditions of their fellow professionals. They activate the desire to perform at the highest possible standard. People like Mikey choose dedication over expediency, and continual improvement over the erosion of standards.

We all have both lifeguards in us. Every day we get to choose who, and how, we will be. Creating a new future for you and your family, for your team and your business, begins by choosing to go beyond the call of duty, to bring forward your focused presence, love, and dedication to your work and your life. After all, that’s what we are here for: to create new futures by bringing forward care, dedication and love.

Mikey or Parker: who do you choose to be today?

What I’m going to address is a live or die factor. Click To Tweet I never miss my ocean visit. Calm or storm, warm or cold, I have to visit Dr. Ocean. Click To Tweet The pondering mind knows what you’re interested in. Click To Tweet Mikey represents the people that show up for work to make a difference and to create a contribution. Click To Tweet
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What Successful Leaders Do with Paul Werner – Episode 8

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My guest for this conversation is Paul Werner. Paul is a 25-year veteran of the tech industry with successful and proven leadership experience in large and mid-cap technology companies serving global customers. Currently Paul serves as the Vice President of Sales for the Western U.S. at F5 Networks — a security and application delivery company.

In this conversation, Paul shares the essential focus that enables him to produce sustained success. We explore how to create holistic balance when you are leading a competitive Career, and Paul reflects on the attributes of great salespeople, and the leadership philosophy he applies to promote the best in people.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How do you create sustained success? Carving time to rejuvenate is critical to achieving high performance. One way to rejuvenate is to focus on a singular activity that shuts out the noise.
  • “My development came from immersive experience with strong leaders.” Finding strong leaders as mentors can make a huge difference.
  • “Getting to know each member on my team, and connecting at a human level, is how I succeed.”
  • The clues for career development are often right in front of you. In Paul’s case the clue was: “I was doing most of the selling, and the salespeople were making most of the money, and so I realized I should try sales.
  • The most successful salespeople are truly curious, are disciplined and organized. These attributes make great salespeople:
  • ○ Curiosity: inquire deeply to understand
    ○ Discipline: show up organized consistently
    ○ Engagement: Pull on all organizational assets
    ○ Drive: demonstrate innate desire to be successful

  • If you embrace the fractal idea, where the atomic structure reflects and mirrors the galaxies around, framed in the scripture with the idea that man and woman are made in the image of God, and that As Above, So Below — then if the universe is made of three quarters of unrealized potential then you and I too are only accessing a small part of our potential.
Focus on a singular activity to reset and rejuvenate. Click To Tweet Find your mentors in strong leaders you want to emulate. Click To Tweet To succeed, get to know each member on your team, and connect with them at a human level. Click To Tweet The value is in the relationships. We all need to feel connected. Click To Tweet The most successful sales people are curious, disciplined, organized, and engage all available resources. Click To Tweet A universe made of 3/4 of unrealized potential proposes we too are only expressing a small part of our potential. Click To Tweet
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Curiosity Is a Muscle That Fuels Innovation with Ann-Marie Archer – Episode 7

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Ann-Marie Archer is the Founder and CEO of Archer & Associates, an Executive Search, Leadership Development, and Coaching Services firm that delivers best-in-class, talented candidates for its clients, and helps individuals and organizations achieve their potential.

After 20 years in corporate America, observing and experiencing the tedious and unpredictable hiring process, and gaps in effective leadership, Ann-Marie chose to launch a firm dedicated to potent leadership development, and an authentic and holistic, right fit philosophy.

In this conversation, you will learn why questions are an important part of the discovery process, in both business and with people, why curiosity plays a critical role in candidates going through a company hiring process, and how we as people and leaders can quickly adapt to our rapidly changing world.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How both Ann-Marie and Aviv use conversations as a discovery tool to understanding the strength and weaknesses of others.
  • Why curiosity is critical, and whether it’s a natural talent or a developed skill.
  • What is the ‘not knowing’ zone, and why we need to learn to embrace it.
  • What are the skills Ann-Marie observes with leaders that successfully navigate this rapidly changing world.
  • What are simple questions that get big and meaningful answers.
  • How good questions look towards the future and then lead back into the present.
  • A CV can never show you how someone thinks or shows up when under pressure, but smart questions can bring you important data on how someone will react.
I have made it my life to follow and watch highly curious people. Click To Tweet Curiosity is what fuels innovation. Click To Tweet Find the sense of courage and fearlessness in uncovering what’s going to serve the conversation. Click To Tweet The key for a leader now is knowing the right question. Click To Tweet The future pulls us out of the past, and pulls toward the dream, and what’s possible. Click To Tweet The practical walk and the inner walk go hand in hand. Click To Tweet If we don't start to listen, it eventually gets very quiet. Click To Tweet
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How to Accelerate Your Transformation – Episode 6

How to Accelerate Your Transformation

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In this episode we focus on how to accelerate your transformation by significantly elevating your innovation and creativity. Learn how successful leaders achieve dramatic results while compressing months of work into just a few days. Here are some of the key points I discuss during this 9-minute podcast:

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How you and your team can save six months of precious time and tons of organizational calories.
  • Why it is imperative for you and your team to shift from merely learning new information to internalizing, applying, and teaching it.
  • How miracles occur when you give people an opportunity to shape their own destiny and future.
  • How to avoid the catastrophic impact on your ROI, that breaking the learning cycle triggers.

By applying the insights I discuss to your life, you will achieve dramatically better results and a greater return on your strategy and innovation efforts. What are you waiting for? Accelerate your growth by putting the four stages of learning to work for you today!

Even in the greatest companies ... leaders unnecessarily impede desired results by breaking the learning cycle every… Click To Tweet Accelerate your transformation by achieving results in days rather than in months. Click To Tweet Inspire innovation while compressing months of work into just a few days. Click To Tweet The key to creating breakthroughs is sustained team learning. Click To Tweet Giving people an opportunity to shape their own destiny and future is a game-changer for the business. Click To Tweet The four stages of learning: Receive – Validate – Apply – Share. Click To Tweet
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