Articles

What Got You Here Won't Get You There

March 30, 2011

A little bit of success is a dangerous thing. It lulls us into believing that we are savvy and invincible, that what got us to this point will continue to propel us forward.

I learned so many things from this book. Goldsmith is the preeminent executive coach of our time. I learned as much about my craft as an executive coach from reading between the lines as I did from digesting the text.

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Book Cover for The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

February 2, 2011

You can say a lot of things about Steve Jobs. You can quote him, disagree with him, glorify or vilify him. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore him. In his lifetime he has managed to transform four industries. He has radically reinvented the computer, music, movie, and telecommunications industries. I would add, along with a chorus of others, that Jobs and Apple have transformed retail as well.

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Pile of books on a white background

What I Read in 2010

January 4, 2011

2010 was a good year for reading. I read 14 great books (well actually, 13 great books and one that wasn’t so great). The year was filled with a wide variety of insights on coaching, executive development, and building strong organizations.

(A note: I don’t actually “read” non-fiction books. I devour them. I engage with a book as if it’s the backbone of a graduate-level independent-study course and I am preparing for an oral defense. I create a note in Evernote for each chapter. I highlight. I transcribe my highlights into Evernote. I make notes. I memorize. I capture the outline and the best ideas and I interweave them with my own ideas and reactions. I don’t just “read” books. I make them my own and integrate the models and the ideas into the services that I provide for clients. Books are good stuff.)

And now, for the 2010 book list . . . in the order of completion

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Pile of books on a white background

Books Are Back, Baby

January 4, 2010

While there were always plenty of books in the house growing up, I was never a voracious reader. Then, somewhere after college, I got the reading bug. I devoured books — fiction, non-fiction, classics, contemporary — I read them all. I had so much lost ground to make up for. There was one year in my late twenties in which I read fifty books! While I have yet to exceed that high water mark of almost a book a week I continued to read extensively for years.

That is, until Internet came along. My pace of reading dropped to a trickle in the last few years. Between 2004 and 2008 I read less than three books per year, and one year I read only one book. Ouch!

I am proud to report that in 2009 I got my reading mojo back. I read a dozen books this year. I don’t think it is a coincidence that 2009 was also the year that I got a Kindle (even though only half of the books I read were available in Kindle format). In the age of gadgets and electronics, the Kindle has made reading fun again. After almost a decade of wandering aimlessly in the Internet wasteland of too many RSS subscriptions I have rediscovered the depth and quality of well-written books.

Here are the books I read in 2009:

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2009 Quote a Day Calendar

January 1, 2009

I have always loved to collect intangible things. One of my favorites collections consists of opening lines of great novels. Who can forget “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . ” Other greats include “Who is John Galt?” Or “Howard Rork laughed.” My all-time favorite opening line comes from Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides: “My wound is geography.”

But lo, I digress. By far my largest stash of immaterial things are the countless quotes, words of wisdom, poems, and pithy sayings I have collected over the years. I have a library card catalog filled with hand written 3×5 cards with quotes accumulated from the days before computers had entered my life. In the intervening years I have made several vain attempts to catalog my precious to no avail. The first installment came and went in a HyperCard stack that is long gone. A Microsoft Access database of pearls of wisdom sits unused on an old Windows machine somewhere in the house. …

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