Slow & Steady (#366)

Never in my life before the age of 22 was I called an overachiever. I graduated in the 50th percentile of my high school class. In college, the prestigious summer internships I wanted didn’t consider me, so I worked at a bank’s internal temp agency for two summers, doing pretty remedial work. Then as a college senior, I didn’t get a job offer from any of my top choices for my first employer, and plastered the many rejection letters on my dorm wall in a collection with my roommates. But now, almost 25 years later, things turned out okay. I …

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Overly Confident (#365)

In 1999, researchers David Dunning and Justin Kruger published a landmark study that revealed an unconscious cognitive bias now known as the Dunning Kruger effect. The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a situation where a person’s lack of knowledge or skill in a certain area causes them to overestimate their own competence or ability in that same field. A classic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect is the case of McArthur Wheeler. In 1995, Wheeler attempted to rob two banks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after covering his face in lemon juice. Wheeler genuinely believed the juice would make him invisible to security cameras—during his …

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More & Less (#364)

A few weeks back, I wrote about how many organizations are experiencing a paradigm shift that’s changed their focus from growth to sustainability and profitability. After years of throwing money at every problem and opportunity, leaders are suddenly forced to take a step back and consider objectively what is working and not working on their teams and in their organizations. This means evaluating people, projects, and products that are either not achieving the necessary outcomes, are depleting critical resources, or are causing the organization to lose focus. And, in many cases, the decisions have significant effects on people in the …

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Making Millions (#363)

When it comes to long-term planning, I always like to have a few BHAGs, or big hairy audacious goals, in progress at any given time. Delayed gratification is a lost art in today’s world, but given that one of my core values is long-term orientation, I find it rewarding to chase down a BHAG. And there is something about the sound of one million that makes it an ideal target. A few weeks back, my Elevate Podcast hit 1,000,000 downloads. This achievement, which puts the show in the top one percent of all podcasts, is something I first put on …

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