Micro Management (#181)

This week, my youngest son’s school held their Insect Fair, where students invent their own “insect,” including its backstory.  What was different about this year’s event compared with the previous ones for my other two kids was that the parents never saw the kids’ creations prior to the reveal at the fair.

After seeing far too many projects being turned in that looked like the work of professionals (aka, parents) and not elementary kids, their school transitioned to having all major projects completed in their classroom.

The school has also stopped giving kids homework before 5th grade because teachers were having a hard time figuring out which kids had truly mastered concepts and which hadn’t. Many parents were unwilling to let their kids’ homework be turned in uncorrected and/or with mistakes.

I give a lot of credit to the school for making these changes and for being cognizant of the current micromanaging parental culture that has necessitated it. It’s clearly paying off.

One of the major differences I saw from this year’s student creations was that they were far more colorful, creative and inventive than previous years’ parent-assisted models. The backstories were also far more imaginative.

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Friday Forward started as a note that I sent to my Acceleration Partners team each Friday morning. The goal was to provide inspiration around the concept of improvement and growth. I hoped to encourage our employees to want to achieve more in all areas of their lives, challenge their self-limiting beliefs and realize their true potential.

Soon, employees started sharing these notes with colleagues, friends and family who then reached out asking to be added to the list. As that list grew, I decided to open it up to anyone who wanted to receive the message.

Today, thanks largely to word of mouth, Friday Forward reaches over 100,000 people each week in fifty countries on six continents through e-mail, company intranets and Slack channels. I love hearing the stories of how Friday Forward is motivating teams, inspiring people to take action and apply the different concepts of capacity building, motivation, resilience and gratitude in their work and life. I’d be honored to have you join the community today.

It Will Pass (#180)

I recently heard someone say something to the effect of “If you are really happy or really sad right now, don’t worry, it will pass.” This concept represents interesting philosophical and mathematical principles around regression to the mean and the concept of normalization. Here’s a recent example to explain this a bit more. This week, my wife and I finally replaced a trash compactor in…

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Two Weeks (#179)

Consider this. You’re in a long-term relationship and your partner suddenly comes to you and tells you they’re moving to a new city. With a new partner. In two weeks. How would you react? Most would be upset (to say the least) and want to know why their partner is making this decision. Not to mention, why they hadn’t communicated that they were unhappy in…

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Little Things (#178)

A few months back, I received an e-mail newsletter from a local law firm about an upcoming workshop. Normally, a simple e-mail blast like this would not raise my blood pressure, but I had unsubscribed from this same e-mail several times by this point. The last time I’d received their newsletter I even e-mailed the sender and politely asked to be removed from the list….

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Confirmation Bias (#177)

Last week, I published an article on LinkedIn titled, “Jeff Bezos & Amazon Just Offered Employees $10,000 to Quit. Here’s Why It’s Brilliant.” To my surprise, within 48 hours, it had become one of the top articles on LinkedIn globally, with over 500,000 views and 35,000 engagements. It wasn’t until I read some of the comments that I realized the role confirmation bias was playing….

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Second Chances (#176)

“What would it be like if you were known only for the worst thing you had ever done?” This question was how Cat Hoke, founder of multiple prison reform programs, started a resignation e-mail that she knew would destroy her career but save the Prison Entrepreneur Program (“PEP”) she had helped start in Texas and cared deeply about. For over a decade, Hoke has been…

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Best Intentions (#175)

A few weeks back, I wrote about the “Varsity Blues” scandal in which some very misguided parents were charged with “helping” their children get into elite universities through fraud and bribes. Around that same time, I listened to an almost two-hour long podcast between Tim Ferriss and Lebron James. When Ferriss asked James about his parenting philosophy and his kids, one of whom is an aspiring…

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Winning Position (#174)

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to hear Boston Celtics’ President, Rick Gotham, give a presentation about the organization’s strategy and philosophy on winning. Every professional sports team wants to win, ideally every year, even though they know that’s not realistic or possible. One of the most interesting insights Gotham shared was that the Celtics realize that there is a certain amount of…

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Someone Else (#173)

Consider how many times you have thought, said or heard this statement: ”Someone should do something.” Serial entrepreneur, Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline, uBid and the company that built ticket kiosks in airports, was at a point a few years back where he felt some guilt about his tremendous financial success. Then, one night while he was watching the local news, a story came on…

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Moment of Clarity (#172)

Last year I attended a conference session titled, “Getting Clarity,” led by world-renowned clarity coach, Philip McKernan. Sitting in a circle, our group discussion began with a participant sharing that he’d been struggling with the decision about whether or not to sell his business.  When McKernan asked him if he liked his business, his response was that he hadn’t enjoyed coming to work for years….

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Unlocking Potential (#171)

Last week, I wrote about my incredible experience visiting a maximum-security prison with a group of business leaders. I also shared three lessons that I took away from it. I was touched by the notes I received from people around the world who vulnerably shared their reactions to that post and their personal stories related to incarceration – either through a similar program or with a…

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