10thHuman: Best personal development book you’ve read?

credit: pixabay
credit: pixabay

I read. A lot.

In doing so, I hope to gain insight into the wisdom of those who came before us.

I hope to learn new ideas and perspective.

I also read toward the goal of synthesis. I hope that by reading a wide variety of books across multiple disciplines, I can see connections and add value where there are opportunities.

Along these lines, I’d ask, “What’s the best personal development book you’ve ever read?”

I highly recommend Seth Godin’s Linchpin and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

Evolve or fail…

Every threat to the status quo is an opportunity in disguise.“Most CEOs see the future as a continuation of the path that got them to the C-suite and not as an ever evolving jungle.” 
– Jay Samit, Disrupt You! 

This is a lesson for anyone in a position they’ve worked to obtain. In our interconnected, global economy, disruption can occur from anywhere and at any time.

What got you there will not keep you there. 

The only way to stay on top is to continue to innovate.

Use an iterative framework, like the OODA loop, to continually evaluate what your are doing and why.

John Boyd: On uncertainty and preparedness

credit: pixabay
credit: pixabay

“If uncertainty is indeed pervasive, it is imperative for organizations to create the ability to operate comfortably in this condition…”
– Frans P.B. Osinga, on John Boyd 

The 21st century business environment is complex. It is perhaps the most complex business environment to exist in the history of commerce. We have built an infrastructure that supports inter-global commerce. A tribesman of the Masai Mara selling wood carvings can, with a connection to the Internet, connect to consumers in America. The scale and potential of this economy is staggering.

It’s also disruptive in that it defies continued domination of a marketplace by a single idea. Google disrupted Yahoo, Facebook disrupted MySpace. Startups are pulling niche traffic (like sales) from Facebook groups and Craigslist.

Uncertainty is a guiding principle of this globally connected marketplace.

Are you positioned to shift?

10thHuman: Work ethic and the value of work

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“Boy, this job feeds my family and pays my bills. Don’t you ever complain about this job again or you can leave right now.” 

Those words come back to me often, twenty five years after they were spoken. Over the last couple of days, I’ve had a couple of conversations about work ethic and would share a story with you

One of my first jobs was clean up at a construction site. My job was to clean up the debris and scrap lumber, nails, shingles, tiles and sawdust that building homes generates.

I was 14, I believe.

One particularly hot day in Las Vegas, Nevada, I was maybe four hours into a shift and feeling particularly grumbly about having to perform manual labor on this day.

It’s fascinating to me how formative early life lessons are and this day I was about to receive one.

So, being particularly grumbly and fourteen on this day, I thought it would be wise to vocalize this to the gentleman I was working for.

This man, whom I remember to be around the age I am now, who’d spent 20+ years building homes, who’d worked with his hands to provide for his family for two decades, was a good boss…demanding but fair.

Fourteen year old me said something to the effect of how I shouldn’t have to be out in the heat doing this to earn a dollar. I may have said this more than once in the four hours I’d been out there that day.

What I remember quite clearly is when he’d had enough.

“Enough,” he said, sharply (clearly indicating he’d had enough).

He fixed me with his steely gaze and pointed a weathered hand and finger at me.

“Boy, this job feeds my family and pays my bills. Don’t you ever complain about this job again or you can leave right now.”

Each syllable dripped with firmness and a resoluteness that I can hear and see to this day.

He let the silence sit for a moment, as my teenage self struggled with warring emotions and responses.

“Well?” he said, after a moment.

I closed my mouth, bent my back and head to the task at hand and went back to work. In the summer months I worked for him, I said (and thought) not one more word of ingratitude or entitlement.

When the time came to go back to school, he handed me my last check personally.

I thanked him and proceeded to start back toward my bicycle.

As I walked away, I opened the envelope and peered inside. He had doubled my last check.

I turned back to thank him. He was looking at me and as I opened my mouth to say, “Thank you” he waved me silent, gave me a thumbs up and turned to go back to work.

In that lie another life lesson, for another post.

The future of content marketing…

credit: pixabay
credit: pixabay


That is the number of decisions the average consumer is faced with every day (reference The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload).

I’ve blogged about permission marketing and the power of authenticity but I wanted to talk today specifically about what the future of content marketing looks like.

Rachel Strella has a great post up here that talks about three major takeaways. It’s worth the read, for sure.

There’s something I’d highlight today that I think a lot about: quality, authoritative content.

With the massive amount of posts, tweets, blogs, snapchats, instagrams, etc., out there, if you are producing surface level content you are shouting into the void.

I think to make a difference, to be heard, you have to establish yourself as a passionate advocate and student of your niche. Some would say be the ‘expert’, but there’s a finality to that word that I don’t subscribe to personally.

Every day, study your art.

Every day, practice your art.

Every day, share your art.

Become the voice of your art with quality, authoritative content.

10thHuman: Authentic, civil communication

image from pixabay
image from pixabay

Yesterday, I posted about authentic communication. Today, I’ll add on to that by sharing something that speaks to me about civil communication.

The amplified voice seeks obedient action on the part of its hearers and an immediate end to their speech. There is no possibility of conversation with a loudspeaker. – James P. Carse


What a powerful indictment of ‘yelling’ as a method of communication.

What a powerful endorsement of authentic and civil discourse.

10thHuman: The power of authenticity

The effect we have on others-2I’ve long been a proponent of authenticity. Be who you are, speak that power and truth and you cannot go wrong in business or life.

I read a book today called Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility, by James P. Carse. This is not a book about gameplay, not in the least. As I read through it, I found myself taken back to Paulo Coelho’s Warrior of Light, truth be told. The prose, while not lyrical, had the same sense for me as Coelho’s text.

There were a number of profound takeaways but today I share with you two in particular.


When I forsake my genius and speak to you as though you were another, I also speak to you as someone you are not and somewhere you are not. I address you as audience, and do not expect you to respond as the genius you are.

This struck me as quite possibly the most profound statement on authenticity I have ever read. It is an affirmation that when we are authentic, when we speak our truth to others, we are offering respect and acknowledgement of their true self, as well.


To speak, or act, or think originally is to erase the boundary of the self.

When we open ourselves up authentically, when we communicate, we are giving of ourselves to another. We are asking them to consider our words, our communication, and add this to their personal narrative.

I submit to you that if you can establish this rapport, this authentic conversation, new horizons will open to you.

10thHuman: Why businesses need to constantly evaluate their strategies

image from pixabay
image from pixabay

Today, I want to talk about the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

This law states:

…the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process. The increase in entropy accounts for the irreversibility of natural processes, and the asymmetry between future and past.

Why does an organization need to be familiar with this concept?

The short answer is that a business that does not engage in the continual evaluation of their operations becomes isolated from their competition. Their entropy increases.

This requires continual energy input, to mantain that constant level of entropy. You have to do the work, the planning, the execution.

Then, do it again.

Then, do it again.

The strategy that got you to the top will not work to keep you there. 

You will be disrupted, unless you are disruptive.

How do you achieve this state, this disruptive nature, this continual evaluation? Through the use of a consistently applied framework.

10thHuman: Why you should engage in permission marketing

image from pixabay


That is the average number of ads the average consumer sees in a given day. That is 2.083 ads per minute, on average.

How many of those ads do you pay attention to?

How many do you click on?

How many of those ads did you consent to receive?

If you’re like me, the answers are “very few, even less and almost none.”

Permission marketing, according to the MarketingBlogFather Seth Godin, is:

the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.

I would ask you to consider this question:

How do you stand out in a field saturated – utterly saturated – by marketing? 

By asking permission.

You may lose sales to aggressive ad campaigns but I suspect you will build long term loyalty.

10thHuman: Organizations and sustained adaptability

network-1433045_640I’m reading Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal today and would share this with you today, found in the opening pages:

(Organizations) must shift from efficiency to sustained organizational adapatability.

With the speed of disruptive technology today and the tools with with competition can emerge from “nowhere”, organizations cannot be content to maintain. What allowed them to achieve market dominance will not sustain the same.