Jim Collins on “The Knowledge Podcast”

Just ran across “The Knowledge Podcast” with Shane Parrish. It’s first episode was in 2015 and there are 68 episodes with lots of interesting people – mostly people I’m reading or listing to in other places. I’ve already listened to 3 more and have added 4-5 more to my “waiting to listen to” list.

In this episode, Jim Collins (author of Good to Great and many other cornerstone business books of our generation / not sure what generation that is actually) talks about luck, leadership, ambition, decision making, what it is for a company to be on a 20 mile march, firing bullets before firing cannonballs and the 2 key components to LEARNING how to be a leader.

Image Source: chiefexecutive.net

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Creative Calling. Book by @chasejarvis

I’ve listened to a few Chase Jarvis Podcasts over the years and the ways he connects with his guest are always real. I’m also a big fan of his Creative Live (CL) app where I learned photography from the ground up – something that I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid – but never understood well enough to be even average.

I don’t know if I would be taking photos if I didn’t run across the Creative Live app. I don’t know if I knew I wanted to take photos. And I didn’t know I needed to read this book. But, I clearly did.

To “get” to this book, I needed to struggle with the “work” of photography. I had a very big misconception of what photography was going to look like for me and it is explained in this quote “the creative gap: it’s the distance between what we see in our mind’s eye — what we want to create — and the work we are actually able to create with our current skill set. It’s a painful disconnect. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap and your work will be as good as your ambitions . . . you’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

I wasn’t thinking of photography as “work” or “a fight” when I started. I should have known better. Since nothing interesting or meaningful for me hasn’t included either a lot of work or a lot of fight (nothing).

This book is about the “work”, the “fight” and the “creation”. It’s about putting in the work and things getting easier and better. it’s way less about talent and way more about work. It is a slow process that builds over time (like Jim Collin’s Flywheel in his book Good to Great).

Next for me is maybe starting to share what I’m creating. Until then, instead of sharing a photo (today), I decided to share this.

Image source: creativelive.com

Peter Drucker’s One Request of Jim Collins (Be Useful)

After their initial meeting (2 days), Peter Drucker asked one thing of Jim Collins. Change your question from how to be successful to how to be useful.

“But I do have a request. That you change your question a little bit. It seems to me you spend a lot of time trying — worrying about if you’re going to survive. Well, you’ll probably survive. And you spend too much time thinking about if you’ll be successful. It’s the wrong question. The question is, “how to be useful?” And that was the last thing he said that day. He just got out of the car, and closed the door, and walked away.

Listen to Jim Collins tell the story on the Tim Ferris Podcast. Starts around 1hour 38minutes in.

Information Consumption Update

I’m Currently reading The Orchid and the Dandelion, which was recommended in a weekly email blast by Susan Cain, author of Quiet (which I read last year).  Insightful research geared towards kids, but just as relevant in looking at the entire family, work and life experiences with different types of people and what makes them tick.
 
Most children—in our families, classrooms, or communities—are more or less like dandelions; they prosper and thrive almost anywhere they are planted. Like dandelions, these are the majority of children whose well-being is all but assured by their constitutional hardiness and strength. There are others, however, who, more like orchids, can wither and fade when unattended by caring support, but who—also like orchids—can become creatures of rare beauty, complexity, and elegance when met with compassion and kindness.
 
I finished reading Turning the Flywheel and Turning Goals into Results by Jim Collins after a number of challenges the last few weeks at work (or “opportunities” I keep telling myself).  
 
No matter how dramatic the end result , building a great enterprise never happens in one fell swoop . There’s no single defining action , no grand program , no one killer innovation , no solitary lucky break , no miracle moment . Rather , the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant , heavy flywheel , turn upon turn , building momentum until a point of breakthrough , and beyond.
 
A catalytic mechanism produced desired results in unpredictable ways.  
 
Articles I read last week: 
 
 
No palace coup can take place without the perception of popular anger at a president.
 
The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary
 
 
the past few years the character of our political division has changed, and this must be noted again.  People are proud of their bitterness now.  Old America used to accept our splits as part of the price of being us – numerous, varied, ornery.  Current America, with its moderating institutions (churches) going down and its dividing institutions (internet) rising, sees our polarization not as something to be healed but a reason for being, something to get up for.  There is a finality to it, a war-to-the-death quality.
 
 
five conditions that support his prediction that we are heading for a New Kind of Civil Ware:
 
  1. entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution;
  2. increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows;
  3. weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary;
  4. a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership; 
  5. the legitimization of violence as the “in” way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes.
 
 
Podcasts I listened to:
 
 
Jack Dorsey is not Mark Zuckerberg.  I’m not sure I agree with where he is coming from or heading but he is listening to his critics (like Tim Pool, who is not a fan) and being as transparent as he can be about the mistakes they are making and how they are trying to solve them.