RESOURCES

How Much Should You Pay to Learn?

Strategy

In 1942, the British military leaders faced a very difficult choice. The war was going badly, their allies U.S. and Russia were pushing to do something bold, and British leadership didn’t see any good options. The Americans wanted to move quickly to invade France even though their troops were not battle tested. The Russians were getting hammered by the Germans and wanted Britain and the U.S. to start a second front in Europe to relieve the pressure.

The British had developed plans for a smaller invasion (Operation Jubilee) but all their military planners felt the most…

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Learning from the Past to Live a Better Future

Leadership

In the 1999 science fiction comedy, Galaxy Quest, a key plot line revolves around the “Omega 13,” a device allowing the user a 13 second jump to the past to repair a single mistake. When I first watched the movie, I was initially underwhelmed with the benefit offered. How much could you change your life with a 13 second do over? And then I thought about all the harmful accidents that could be prevented or even the opportunity to have never spoken words in anger that seemed to forever change an important relationship.

 

Yet, when most of us think about…

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Our Common Opportunity

Leadership

A favorite question my son likes to ask after we watch a movie is, “which character did you most identify with?” My response is usually based on similarities in age, role, and intent. As I have gotten older, I find myself relating much more to the character serving as a mentor than the younger protagonist making life altering decisions. Being able to see ourselves in the story greatly adds to the enjoyment and engagement of the experience. The inability to relate to the main character can also be a challenge in reading the biography of a historic figure or…

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Preparing for What Is Next

Strategy

Predicting the future is both extremely valuable and practically impossible. The further out you aim your predictions, the more difficult it becomes. So when futurists take a stab at painting a picture fifty or a hundred years in the future, we pay less attention to the specifics and more to the direction and the possibilities. In Mauro Guillen’s book 2030 (published in 2020), he takes a more reasonable time frame of just a decade. Not surprisingly, his book projects today’s technological breakthroughs and demographic certainties and concludes that by 2030 foundations will be laid for a different trajectory.

 

The book…

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The Path of Genius

Leadership

The tease line on the back of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci reads, “He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?” Isaacson applies the same rigorous research to Leonardo’s life that he has to other historic innovators like Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs. When he concludes that Leonardo was one of the few in history to rightfully earn the title of genius, there is little for the reader to dispute as we learn he was so much more just than the creator of the Mona Lisa.

 

However, Isaacson’s goal is not to…

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