Whatever Next #9: Good people legacy lives on
About people, education, leaders manuals and essays, managing people, and handling negative emotions.
Hi @ll! I hope you’re all safe in these uncertain times. Welcome to my humble newsletter, where I will be sharing different topics that I found interesting.
Opinions and selection of topics are my own.
My apologies because I said in the last newsletter that it would be the only one in August ;-)
As Daisaku Ikeda said, “great people never forget what others have done for them. In fact, having a sense of appreciation makes a person worthy of respect”.
Thanks for reading the newsletter!
💡 Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement
Recently, Sir Ken Robinson passed away. British author, speaker, thinkers50, advisor on education and arts, spoke to audiences worldwide on the creative challenges facing business and education. He was really worried about obsolete education and was a defender of broader knowledge.
Robinson gave three TED talks on the importance of creativity in education. His first talk on schools and creativity published in 2006 remains the most viewed TED talk of all time. Find it below.
Here you could find the complete speech transcript from James Clear’s website. James is the author of the bestseller Atomic Habits.
His legacy is a clear and powerful takedown of the world’s current educational paradigm. He helped us all think more critically about thinking. As Forbes wrote, With Passing Of Education Luminary Sir Ken Robinson, His Call For Creativity Lives On.
🌟 To Be Young, Gifted and Black
While I was finishing the newsletter, the news about the decease of Chadwick Boseman spread on the news and social media. He was diagnosed in 2016, but he didn’t stop working. The outcome was incredible for these years, considering that he was undergoing many surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy.
Black Panther was a staggering cultural phenomenon when it arrived in 2018, the fourth-highest-grossing movie in domestic box-office history. He borrowed these words “To be young, gifted, and black” from a Nina Simone’s song when he gave the speech on the SAG Awards. As Chadwick Boseman explained about the song, “It speaks to the fact that you have the same dreams as other people, you have equal if not more talent at times, but you don’t have the same opportunities.”.
“We all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured. Yet you are young, gifted, and Black. We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. That is what we went to work with every day, because we knew … that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”.
Powerful, isn’t it? This is an excerpt from the speech, but you will find the complete acceptance speech video below.
Quoting The Atlantic publishing about Chad’s passing, Boseman’s legacy will be the incredible body of work he created in just seven years: a catalog of heroic figures similarly frozen in time, to be remembered forever.
👋 Tony Hsieh is leaving Zappos
After 20 years, Tony is leaving Zappos. Since I read his book Delivering Happiness in 2011, I've been interested in Tony, a book that I always recommend. I also wrote a post in my blog about him and his previous entrepreneurship, but I also included another post about the company values influenced by his work at Zappos.
While writing this post, an anecdote came to my mind. Dropship business was 25% of overall sales at Zappos, but 5% weren't fulfilled, and delays provided a bad experience. So following their vision to provide the very best Customer Service, they turned off that part of the business. Maybe by chance, but it worked. Leaders are expected to develop and share a vision, but how many have the courage to commit with its vision like this?
In the current situation, maybe it is necessary for a leadership exchange at Zappos. As I shared in the last newsletter, there are different leadership styles, and depending on the moment, it is necessary to be able to switch. But it also arrives a moment where leaders may be able to step aside and give command to somebody more appropriate given the conditions and the needs of the company.
Recent initiatives like adopting Holacracy, a decentralized management and organizational governance method, didn't work as expected and made leave more than 14% of the company people. And this initiative has been evolving and changing in time.
Who knows where the road will take Tony. It seems that Utah will be his next step and that he is taking a digital detox hiatus. As a serial entrepreneur, I am sure he will be back soon, but for now, enjoy and good luck, Tony!
🤔 The future of learning?
Google has been developing courses and certificates through Coursera for a long time, but now has gone one step further. As Google said in a blog post, college degrees are out of reach for many Americans, so these new career certificates have been developed as a collection of courses designed to help participants get qualifications in high-paying, high-growth job fields without attending university.
So here, the goal is to offer career opportunities with no college degree required. We will consider our new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles. This is huge.
But this wouldn't be serious enough if they had only published some courses. Here, the key is that Google has also established a consortium of over 50 employers who can tap into the certificate program graduates. It includes companies like Walmart, Intel, Bank of America, Best Buy, Hulu, etc.
As the author described in a previous article, Google plans to disrupt the college degree. It may be people skeptical, I am, but since there's a lack of technical people, this solution I am sure that it will have a good acceptance. This reminds me of past job apprentices. What do you think about it?
📚 The execs manuals from a work-life
Trought Julie Zhuo, I found this Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) tweet where he was publishing a guide with his principles and values, an idea he had copied from Luc Levesque (Shopify), who published a blueprint for leaders & managers.
Luc had wrapped them up in this Other leaders’ blueprints page where you could find links to different execs from Slack, Shopify, Spotify, Stripe, and many other well-known companies. Both link and tweeter thread worth keeping an eye.
📝 “How to be strategic” essay included in The Founder List + “Slow Ideas” nomination
I never heard about “The Founder List” before. You could find Instacart’s Max Mullen, Slackoverflow’s Joel Spolsky, etc. As they share on their website, they want to share 15 minute-or-less audio essays from the most prolific leaders in technology, selected by the Founder community, with critical insights on building, designing, & grow startups.
These people selected the essay “How to be strategic” from Julie Zhuo to be included in their list, and also being published in their podcast. The essay is a great article published in medium in 2018, worth the read.
At the same time, Julie nominated “Sharing Slow Ideas” by Atul Gawande, published on The New Yorker in 2013. Atul is a surgeon and writer, but he is also considered a global thinker.
In his publication, Atul analyzes the question of why some innovations spread so rapidly and others so slowly, exploring it as a pattern for many important ideas and innovations that get stopped or slowed down.
This is the starting point, but the article is not about conspiracies. It is about how some big ideas and innovations are great strangers to people. The work for helping people adopt new ideas becomes tedious and advances slowly.
📈 Managing mediocrity, a way to increase diversity
What if I say that "meritocracy is a myth, but mediocrity is alive and well". This is one of the powerful quotes resulting from Dr. Erin Thomas's thread. She is the Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, and Talent Acquisition at Upwork.
Her work has been featured in Fast Company and the New York Times and recognized by Forbes, Human Rights Campaign, etc. Upwork is the leading online talent solution transforming professional staffing, and more than thirty percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork (Airbnb, GE, and Microsoft ).
The thread's goal is to show us that we should recalibrate what average at work looks like, managing mediocrity, and promoting diversity. The thread defends that most of the workers are average, so you could level up team performance with candor, enabling growth, and diversity.
😟 Are you Bottler or brooder?
Susan David is a Ph.D. psychologist, author, management thinkers50, and speaker, with a best-selling book Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life, and a viral TED talk The gift and power of emotional courage.
In this tweeter thread, Susan shared the question, “Are you bottler or brooder?”. This question is about how do we handle negative emotions. Bottling emotions is to push feelings aside while brooding is to get stuck on them. For instance, if you’re a bottler, you would stop thinking about it and focus on work, and if you’re a brooder, you would always be thinking about it without moving on: “Why did this happen to me? Why did I wrong? Why did my boss do this?”.
Which one the good one? The answer is none. Both alienate us from the world around us, and facing the problem directly from the source is the only way to overcome it.
You could follow Susan’s thread to learn more about the topic, and also you could enjoy this interview with Gretchen Rubin, another bestselling author.
This video was shared this week, it was the birthday of Windows 95, and it shows the cool improvised dance from the Microsoft staff starring Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. IMHO, Steve, is a little scary.
But the funny thing is that these two not only were committed dancers on stage, but they also used to play with parody videos. Check this A Night at the Roxbury video.
And I didn’t want to end without making you feel old: Macaulay Culkin turned 40 😱
And… That’s it! If you arrived here, thanks for reading. I hope you like it!
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