Conscious capitalism? Impact investing? Shared Value? This movement towards business doing good has been increasing — and B Corp has created a certification for a companies that stringently strive to do “good” for more than just the shareholders.
This idea of doing good for others as well as yourself applies equally to individuals as it does to companies. For me, I have a long history of trying to do good and help people. In the early 90s I was disillusioned with businesses solely driven by profit so I started working for nonprofits. I’m certainly not the first to want to “do some good” or find “meaning in my work,” and the number of people sharing my perspective is growing exponentially. According to Karl Moore’s article in Forbes, a “search for meaning and purpose is on the agendas of most Millennials in the Western World and increasingly in the developing economies.”
Continue reading “B-lab: Using Business as a Force for Good”
How do you level up?
Set your goals? Identify the gaps? Get some training? Find a support group?
All of the above?
I just completed Seth Godin’s altMBA course. It’s a month long program for people wanting to “level up.”
What does that mean? Good question — it’s a tough program to describe. Let’s look at it from a few different angles.
Continue reading “Leveling Up with One Big Step: the altMBA”
Mother Nature is wise and has given us seasons. Not just outdoors, but there are also seasons in life, work, and business:
- WINTER is a time to REGENERATE: sleep, think, contemplate, rest, re-charge, dream, get ready.
- SPRING is a time to CHANGE: act, create chaos, pivot, switch, adapt, move.
- SUMMER is a time to GROW: stretch, extend, strain, go far, push, drive.
It’s a simple concept: a winter of regenerating, a spring of changing, and a summer of growing … then falling back through autumn (the fourth season), to regenerate again.
It’s important not to skip any season. But why?
Continue reading “The Three Seasons of a Start Up”
This story, that I read many years ago, has stayed with me — so much that it is now woven into the fabric of who I am. Good stories are like that. I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know if it’s true. But it might be.
Late one evening, Amy is on a subway, coming home from work. It’s been a long day and she’s tired. The subway car is pretty empty with just a smattering of passengers here and there. At the far end is a father, sitting with his head leaning against the window, his eyes staring straight ahead. He is oblivious to his two boys running rampant through the car. They look to be about eight and ten years old. They are having races down one length of the car, then running back, swinging around the poles, whooping it up. Their jackets are unzipped and sway behind them as they run.
Continue reading “Angry at Strangers? Amy’s Story Might Help”
Imagine going out for dinner with friends, and no one pulls out their phone; or trying to remember that name of Robert Downey Jr.’s most recent film without checking Google (Captain America: Civil War); or sitting on a bus and not having your neighbor talking loudly to his mother. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for using cellphones, google-ing, and calling your mother. But research shows that there is a significant cost of both multi-tasking and being distracted by the phone — cost to brain development, creativity, and happiness.
“Wait, what?” you say. “My brain? My creativity? My happiness? But I can’t get my job done unless I multitask!” It’s time to re-think this.
Career advice is easy to get — maybe too easy because there is too much information and too many people who think they know what’s best for you. So, how do you wade through it all? My straight-forward advice is to pace yourself and complete a thorough process such as these five steps:
- Understand yourself
- Be practical (and budget minded)
- Explore your options
- Be inspired
- Be brave and take a leap
In May of 2016 James Ryan, Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, gave a commencement speech
about asking good questions. While his words were directed at future teachers and leaders in education, they are invaluable to a much broader audience.
His speech includes a reference to Raymond Carver’s poem “Late Fragment.” In just thirty words, Carver beautifully articulates the simple desires that so many of us want at the end of our lives: “to call myself beloved” and “to feel myself beloved on the earth.”
And it is.
Want to get a meeting with someone who you don’t personally know ? Skip the Dear Sir/Madam email– it’s a long shot in this busy world, so a waste of your time. So, what can you do? It’s simpler than you think: write a compelling and flawless email, and follow up.
There are so many reasons why you might want to meet a stranger. If you’re in sales, you hopefully already know how to do outbound cold calls. If you don’t know, there a is a lot of readily available advice on how to sell something.
But what if what you’re selling is YOU? How do you convince someone to share their valuable time?
A friend asked me to help him write his first article on medium.com. So I did my research and read everything I could find on how to write for Medium. I may be oversimplifying, but I think not. My research can be synthesized into three guidelines:
- Keep your writing simple
- Write to a specific audience
- Engage as an author