Dolly Parton: “The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.”
Kevin Kelly: When others are doing something similar to what you are, let that activity go because that means you don’t have to do it! If people are stealing your ideas, rippingoff your moves, or knocking off your style, and they are doing it well, thank them. You’ve just learned that this assignment is something you don’t need to do because someone else can do it… Your greatest job is shedding what you don’t have to do.
Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
Jon Acuff: “We’ve felt something big and true but for a million reasons stopped doing it and left it in our past. That’s why finding your calling and your dream is not a first date; it is more often than not a reunion. And if that’s the case, if dreaming is an act of recovery and not an act of discovery, that changes everything.Instead of asking forward-facing questions like “What do I want to do with my life?” we dream backwards and ask, “What have I done in my life that I’ve loved?”
Carl Jung: “I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”
José Ortega y Gasset: “Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.”
Barry Schwartz: “As consumers of goods and services, we should seek to limit our options, not expand them. And as providers of goods and services, we should seek to curate, filter, and manage options so that our customers are liberated by the options we do offer and not tyrannized by them.”
Barry Schwartz: “All human interactions demand judgment and wisdom, and the development of judgment and wisdom demands the freedom to choose, to make mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes. Employees who have the discretion to make choices will be better employees. And beyond that, they will also find more meaning and satisfaction in the work they do. They will be happier, more fulfilled people.”
Jonah Lehrer: “Consider a 2011 study led by researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of Michigan. The scientists measured the success of sixty undergraduates in various fields, from the visual arts to science. They asked the students if they’d ever won a prize at a juried art show or been honored at a science fair. In every single domain, students who had been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder achieved more; their inability to focus turned out to be a creative advantage.”
Steven Johnson: “one of the defining characteristics of the innovators that I profile in the book is the simple fact that most of them have a lot of hobbies. Hobbies have the generative effect of creating new potential connections to expand your main focus at work: either through direct links or through more metaphoric ways of approaching problems from new angles. So yes, there are times at work when you want to shut out the external world and really concentrate on a single problem. But every time you do that you make it harder to discover new openings in the adjacent possible.”
Josh Linkner: “One busy executive schedules “Think Weeks” a few times a year. He goes off into seclusion for a week, loaded with reading material and time to explore his creativity. His staff waits with bated breath to hear about his newest ideas for the business. In fact, some of this company’s most important advances originated during these Think Weeks. His name? The one and only Bill Gates.”
Jeff Jarvis: “…the beta: the unfinished and imperfect product or process that is opened up so customers can offer advice and improvements. Releasing a beta is a public act, an invitation to customers to help complete and improve the product. It is an act of transparency and an admission of humility. It is also an act of generosity and trust, handing over a measure of control to others.”
Theodore Isaac Rubin: “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”
“The philosopher Martin Buber frames it like this: our existence breaks down into just two types of relationships. The first is an I/It relationship, in which you stop seeing people for who they are and you objectify them, losing sight of their humanity. The second type of relationship is an I/Thou relationship, in which you see people for who they truly are, without labels and without boundaries.”
Brené Brown: “Why is vulnerability worth the risk? Vulnerability is indeed at the core of difficult emotions, but it is also the birthplace of love and belonging, joy, creativity and innovation, authenticity, adaptability to change, and accountability—the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”
Brené Brown: “Vulnerability is not weakness; it is our strongest connection to humanity and to each other. Choosing vulnerability means leaning into the full spectrum of emotions—the dark as well as the light—and examining how our feelings affect the way we think and behave. Vulnerability is equal parts courage, mindfulness, and understanding—it’s being “all in”.
Tom Peters: “What will help refresh you is daydreaming. I was reminded about the importance of this by Dov Frohman, a top executive at Intel Israel and godfather of Israel’s high-tech industry. You can guess that this is likely a tough job in a disciplined company. But in his book Leadership the Hard Way, he says that “everything exciting comes from a daydream.” Daydreaming is an effective way of coping with complexity. Every child knows how to daydream, but we lose the capacity for it as adults. Take time out for daydreaming—it’s where you can find the seeds of excellence.”
Henry Clay: “Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.”
Douglas MacArthur: “You are remembered for the rules you break.”
Nancy Duarte: “The enemy of persuasion is obscurity. If you have an important message to get out, it must stand out, not blend in.”
Nancy Duarte: “Presentations today are boring because there is nothing interesting happening. They are bland, so interest is lost. Your job as a communicator is to create and resolve tension through contrast. Building highly contrasting elements into communication holds the audience’s attention.”
Rich Fernandez (leads learning and organizational development at eBay):” It is important to point out here that you don’t need to wait for your organization to install programs and content that help you develop practices for improving your well-being and personal excellence. There are several accessible, low-cost tools out there that almost anyone would find useful.
Some recommended resources (that we also use in our organization) are Gallup’s Wellness Finder (with online assessment and tracking tools), Values in Action assessments (available through the Authentic Happiness site at the University of Pennsylvania), the Strengths Essentials suite of tools, and some of the tools and resources offered at The Energy Project.”
Nicholas Carr: “The rise of the telegraph system was far from seamless, however. The infrastructure took many years to be installed, and users often had to struggle with gaps in the network. One of the most maddening of those gaps lay in the heart of Europe. The Belgian line terminated in Brussels, while the German line went only as far as Aachen. Messages had to be transcribed and carried overland across the 77 miles separating the two cities.
But one small company saw a business opportunity in this problem. In 1849, this company bought a flock of carrier pigeons and used them to fly messages between Brussels and Aachen, dramatically reducing transit times. Within a few years, the company had grown to become one of the leading telegraph agencies. Its name was Reuters.
There’s an important lesson here: When a disruptive new technology arrives, the greatest business opportunities often lie not in creating the disruption but in mending it—in figuring out, as Reuters did, a way to use an older, established technology as a bridge to carry customers to the benefits of the emerging technology.”
Seth Godin: “It’s come down to a very simple question, actually, one with only two answers. Are you racing to the top or racing to the bottom? Are you going to become ever more compliant, ever better at fitting in, or are you prepared to commit to standing out and following your own map? Can’t do both. The economy is calling names, and you need to either stand up or sit down. All the rest is commentary.”
George Carlin: “Always do whatever’s next.”
Daniel H. Pink: “Rypple, a startup in Toronto, has developed a suite of social software tools that allow managers and colleagues to provide rich, rapid feedback. For instance, suppose you’ve been working on a project with fifteen people. At the end of the project, you could use Rypple software to ask your colleagues to suggest areas where you might improve your work. Your fourteen teammates could use the software to respond—anonymously—and to offer real-time advice and guidance.”
Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner: “To earn and sustain your credibility, you must ask yourself just one question at the beginning of every day and at the end of every day. In the morning, ask: What am I going to do today to make sure that other people see my commitment to the values and beliefs, vision and mission, projects and initiatives of this organization? How will commitment to the values and beliefs, vision and mission, projects and initiatives of this organization? How will my calendar show it? How will the people I meet with show it? How will my agendas show it? How will the stories I tell show it? How will my rewards and recognitions show it? How will my hires and promotions show it?”
Dr. David Rock: “Neuroscience has helped us discover what really motivates people. The SCARF acronym is a simple way of remembering what these factors are: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness.”
Dr. David Rock: “Now, the important thing to understand is that negative input is much more influential than positive input. Your brain puts more emphasis on minimizing danger than it does on maximizing reward… The best way to mitigate the strength of negative inputs is to create opportunities for reward. Instead of telling a team member what she did wrong, ask her what she would do differently next time. This gives the person a chance to shine.”
Charles Darwin: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
Charlene Li: “To make transparency and risk taking more palatable to risk-averse executives, create what I call “sandbox covenants.” Figure out which risks and failures are acceptable. Clearly define the walls of this sandbox and communicate the rules of engagement within those walls. Also explain what the consequences are—both to individuals and to the company—if people step outside of the sandbox. When people agree to these covenants in advance, there is greater confidence and security in knowing that the risks—and the failures—will be accepted.”
Umair Haque writes in The New Capitalist Manifesto, “In the industrial era, firms sought to differentiate products and services. The name of the game was adding perceived value through more elaborate brands, cleverer slogans, or more gripping ads. Difference, in contrast, is not about how differentiated our stuff is, but [about] whether we can make a difference to people, communities, society, and future generations.”
The sad truth is that every 45 seconds a child dies from Malaria.