A lover of wisdom, dedicated to imagining what we can build and achieve together. Founder & Chief Curator |The Museum of Ideas https://www.themuseumofideas.com/

Lake Superior Agates & Leadership

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“Our life has to be our message.” — Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thích Nhất Hạnh reminds us that each of us is a writer — with our life’s message as our greatest story.

As a child, I collected Lake Superior agates that I found in an open field behind my home. A pack of us roamed the Central Minnesota fields in the summertime, building forts, dipping our toes in puddles, and shooing the cows away from our mothers’ dinner gardens.

The agates were a special part of those summer afternoons.

The lines were embedded in them to remind us that time passes. Time was just stuck there in those agates for everyone to see — which made those rocks really special. …

Manager mindsets that leave room for slack

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Efficiency can be beautiful.

It means waste is minimized, energy is maximized, and we achieve things.

Everything has a time and a place, everyone knows where to be, there isn’t extra — there’s just enough.

Things are right-sized.

And things clip along perfectly.

When the Pict woman (pictured above) lived — probably during the late Iron Age — people were excited about advances in efficiency. Back then, it was new iron tools that helped to streamline human life.

As humans, we’re rightfully proud of the gains we’ve made in efficiency, from iron tools to Roomba vacuums.

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. …

Tether Leadership Narratives to ‘We,’ and not ‘I’

The ‘This We Believe’ Series

By Melanie Garson Ph.D. and Shannon Mullen O’Keefe M.A.L.D.

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Let’s be honest. Anytime we make a choice not for ‘I’ — meaning ourselves, individually — we can disadvantage ourselves.

When we step away from the ‘I,’ in decision-making, we can fall quickly into the classic game theory dilemmas: if I disadvantage myself how do I know that I will not be exploited?

This dilemma happens in decisions we make all day long: our electoral choice, our fishing rights, keeping our place in line at the grocery store, and deciding whether to foreclose on homes. The movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life plays a decision-making scenario like this out bluntly in an exchange between Mr. …

Some common definitions, redefined

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What do words mean to you? At the recent Great Wave event, the ethical philosopher Françoise Baylis helped call to mind the power in words when she used this example:

“What if we had a different understanding of what it meant to be wealthy?” she asked. “What if ‘wealth,’ were defined by how much you could give away — constantly gifting — rather than keeping?”

If we sit with her questions for a minute, we realize that a different definition of wealth might make a “ripple.” Her question was a pebble tossed into still water.

When “there is no pebble tossed,” our reality remains unchanged. It might not get worse, but it won’t improve either. …

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Orangutans — the great apes whose babies are cuter than The Mandalorian’s green sidekick — are on the endangered list.

The world wildlife organization reports that ‘a century ago there were probably more than 230,000 orangutans in total, but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated at about 104,700 (endangered) and 7,500 (critically endangered.)’

These orangutans, whose name literally means ‘man of the forest,’ in the Malay language are endangered because their natural forest habitat is threatened.

Not only is the population at large on the endangered list, but a new sub group variety, the Tapanuli Orangutan, is also on the endangered list. Some scientists speculate that this variety of orangutan could be ‘‘discovered,’ and ‘go extinct,’ all within our lifetime.’

by Melanie Garson Ph.D. and Shannon Mullen O’Keefe M.A.L.D.

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In a world in which everything is growing exponentially around us — faster than we can comprehend — a world in which by next year 20 billion devices could be interconnected globally, where are the leaders that show us a vision to navigate this future?

A leadership thinking that is beyond November 3rd, 2020, or even November 3rd, 2024.

A leadership that offers a vision beyond the tit-for-tat spiral of election rhetoric. Something greater than “I’m not him!”

What do we want from our leadership? …

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The House of Beautiful Business(please visit the Journal of Beautiful Business here) — features “business leaders, founders, technologists, artists, philosophers and scientists who think together . . .with an aim to radically change the language, systems, and practices of business and to shape a more positive vision for technology, business, and humanity.”

The House recently hosted an event entitled ‘The Great Wave,’ which was a ‘practical-fantastical, global event,’ which happened to be virtual too.

For me, this wave, was a welcome ride into ‘what can be,’ and an opportunity to learn from business leaders who think expansively about just that… what can be.

Friday, October 9, 2020

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If you don’t have one of Mary Oliver’s books of poetry on your desk I recommend you pick one up. Set it right next to ‘Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass,’ and when you need a pause in your day — in between zooms or socially-distanced-masked meetings — to breathe — pick one of them up and read a poem. . .

“What is there beyond knowing that keeps

calling to me? I can’t

turn in any direction

but it’s there. I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s

silk song, but the…

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The Declaration of Independence in the United States of America outlines the ideals and goals of a people aspiring to a better life.

Humans want to aspire to a better life.

The founding fathers seemed to be on the right track as among the ideals and goals outlined in that Declaration is the ‘pursuit of happiness.’

Happiness — ‘that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile,’ is a worthwhile pursuit.

That feeling that — life is good — is what we can all be united in hoping for — -even for those who may not share our other beliefs. It seems simple enough to agree that we want for ourselves and others to be happy. …

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Teens and adults use different parts of their brains to process what they are feeling.

When teenagers were asked to review the expression on the face of a woman in a photo during one study about the brain the teens identified her look as ‘shocked, surprised, angry,” while the adults correctly identified the expression as ‘fear.’

This was because, the study found, that the teens used their ‘amygdala’ or the region of the brain that defines ‘gut’ reactions, while the adults used their prefrontal cortex which is more about ‘reason and planning.’

It seems that by the time we are adults we’ve experienced enough of life’s inevitable challenges not to leave things up to our amygdala anymore. …

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