The shunning

Shun the people who have transgressed against cultural norms. And shun the people who have stood with those people. Shun the people who have a different solution to an urgent problem. Shun the people who didn’t invite you. Shun the people who aren’t shunning the right people. Shun those who have slighted you. And shun…

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Where’s the freakout line?

Giving a talk to three people is easy. No sweat. Giving it to 100 costs you a night’s sleep. Sending an email to six colleagues is normal. Sending a note to a list of 400 is cause for concern. Where, exactly, is the line? Is an audience of 21 different from 24? If you spend…

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Reckless, fearless and generous

I did a live QA and rant today at 10 am NY time. Topic: there’s a difference between reckless, fearless and generous, and once you see it, it’ll help you move forward. You can watch (and chime in) live, or see it once it’s archived (the insta version is only available for 24 hours). You…

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What does it feel like when you say “later”?

What does it sound like when you put something off? All of us have a catalog of voices in our head. We’ve got the one for feeling behind, the one for not feeling good enough, the one we use when we’re trying to avoid a sore spot. There are good reasons to decide to wait…

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Sooner or later, the shark gets jumped

Short-term thinking repeated again and again doesn’t lead to long-term thinking. Rand Fishkin shares a thoughtful analysis about a trend that now affects just about everyone: Google is hoarding more and more traffic. When I worked at Yahoo, there were 183 links on our home page. The stated strategy of the company was to build…

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Ask a busy person

You might know one. The busy person has a bias for action, the ability to ship, and a willingness to contribute more than is required. The busy person is wrong more than most people (if you get up to bat more often, you’re going to have more hits and more strike outs, right?). Those errors…

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Widest common denominator

If you’re creating something where widespread inputs, usage and adoption lead to significant benefits, it’s worth considering who you’re excluding. The curb cut turned out not simply to be a boon for wheelchair users. At low cost, it opened the sidewalk to a significantly larger audience of strollers, delivery people and skateboarders, too. Often, we…

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“What’s their phone number again?”

For more than a decade, I’ve been working with the fine folks at 800 CEO READ (and yes, that’s their phone number, and yes, people have asked me how to reach them.) It’s where I exclusively sell my book What To Do When It’s Your Turn. It’s the place my project ChangeThis is still happily…

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Make a habit/break a habit

If you’re trying to help yourself (or those you serve), the most effective thing you can do is create long-term habits. They become unseen foundations of who we will become. The goal of running a marathon in six weeks is audacious, but it’s not a habit. You might succeed, but with all that pressure, it’s…

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The anatomy of annoying

Pema Chodron’s story has stuck with me for a decade: At a meditation retreat, the guy sitting near her kept making an annoying clicking sound. Again and again, she was jolted from her practice because he kept clicking his tongue. During the break, as she gathered up her courage to tell him that he was…

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