Head, heart, hands and hustle

The Rural Educator, O.H. Benson of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, outlined what he thought made a good rural leader:

…the leader must be a four-square individual, trained in head, heart, hands, and hustle, the four H’s rather than the three R’s. A leader must have a head trained to think, plan, and reason, both with the child and his environments, and not be a slave to the mere textbook. He must have a heart trained to be true, kind, and sympathetic, with hands trained to be useful, helpful, and skillful, and with the hustle trained to render ready service, to develop health and vitality, and to furnish a suitable background for a noble purpose.

All you need is four: head, heart, hands, and hustle.

Austin Kleon

Shifting from prevention to promotion

If you’re one of those people who dislikes networking, try shifting to a promotion mindset. So, instead of thinking “I hate pretending to schmooze at work events,” instead think “Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to talk to someone new and interesting.” Concentrate on how the event will help build your skills and improve your knowledge.

Most people have a dominant motivational focus—what psychologists refer to as either a “promotion” or a “prevention” mindset. Those in the former category think primarily about the growth, advancement, and accomplishments that networking can bring them, while those in the latter see it as something they are obligated to take part in for professional reasons.

Harvard Business Review

Don’t ask for permission, come with intent

…when people come to you for orders, or ask your permission to do something, they don’t bring any of their own responsibility to the request. They’re asking you if they can xyz. That puts it on you. They don’t have to fully consider their ask because they still need you to OK it. You’re their door stop just in case. So it’s not about them and what they want to do, it’s about what you are OK with them doing. And even if you OK it, it only happened because you said it could happen. That creates too many dependencies, and — like Marquet — I believe people and teams within an organization should be able to move independently of one another. Fewer dependencies, not more.


In defense of career sabbaticals

It’s the American view that everything has to keep climbing: productivity, profits, even comedy. No time for reflection. No time to contract before another expansion. No time to grow up. No time to fuck up. No time to learn from your mistakes. But that notion goes against nature, which is cyclical. And I hope I’m now beginning a new cycle of energy and creativity. If so, it’ll really be my third career. The first was as a straight comic in the Sixties. The second was as a counterculture performer in the Seventies. The third will be…well, that’s for others to judge.

George Carlin, 1982

As it relates to business, see Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff

Quote via Austin Kleon

Bring your own bot

It might not be too long before knowledge workers invest in artificial intelligence to become more productive, take on more work and save their jobs.

When it arrives, your colleague may become twice as productive and effective as you, and motivated enough to spend his found time cooking up innovations and other clever ways to serve the company’s customers better. He’s a superstar. Can you follow suit fast enough by bringing in your own robot helper? Maybe — but it’s doubtful that everyone in your department can. Will there even still be enough work to go around? If not, the most technically astute are the most likely to keep their jobs.


Art of knowing when to make a decision

Great advice from a former Google executive on making tough decisions quickly. Applicable for all industries and pay grades.

We’re deeply driven by the belief that fast decisions are far better than slow ones, and radically better than no decisions. From day to day, hour to hour, we think about how important each decision is and how much time it’s worth taking.There are decisions that deserve days of debate and analysis, but the vast majority aren’t worth more than 10 minutes.

It’s important to internalize how irreversible, fatal, or non-fatal a decision may be. Very few can’t be undone.


Warren Buffett’s best investment advice

Generally speaking, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold.


I keep a separate personal development account. Each month I deposit a set amount of funds that I use towards books, online courses and betterment.

The Hollywood model and what it means for your career

The marketer’s CMO, Dana Anderson, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year that AORs (agency of record) are “no longer the pathway to Oz for clients or agencies.” She said that digital has “created thousands of new mediums,” so “it is just not possible for one agency to be expert in all these areas.”

…creative agencies were once viewed as the “custodian” for brands. But that notion is getting “circumnavigated” by the “two-way conversation” occurring on social media directly between brands and consumers


Work is making a grand shift towards the Hollywood model. In the not too distant future you’ll see ad hoc teams assembled of different people with parallel skills carrying out large and elaborate problems. They’ll work together for as long as is needed to complete the task then dissolve.

The Hollywood model is far more adaptable for today’s business world. Employees that are proven, reliable and have highly-sought-­after skills will have leverage. Those that don’t have marketable skills will be forced to compete against the robots.

How do you make sure you’re one of the first picked in this new economy? Be curious. Remain teachable. Educate yourself (and not necessarily through a traditional college). Develop your soft skills and communicate clearly. Flex your creative muscles.