May 31, 2019

Oh, the stories we tell.

Lila’s boss moved to a new city, and Lila was promoted to replace him as Director of Sales Strategy. Once the initial excitement wore off, Lila immediately became stressed. Not only was she on a steep learning curve, but also, she dreaded her company’s weekly executive meetings because, “The other members of the executive team don’t trust me.”

Hmm. How could she be sure of that?

Well, she couldn’t. She made it up. Why?

Lila worked hard for her promotion and thought she was ready for it. But then, she hit a few roadblocks. The job was more difficult than she’d anticipated. Her confidence was shaken because her desired reality (a seamless transition from manager to director) didn’t match her actual reality (big learning curve). So, in her fear of not being enough, she ma...

May 24, 2019

If you’ve learned anything from this blog, or The Unstuck Leader, it’s that as a rule, humans don’t like uncertainty.

Uncertainty is so unpleasant, and in some cases, dangerous, our brains have evolved so we process it as quickly as possible. We do so by drawing from our personal experiences in life. I call it the psychology of been there, done that.

But interestingly, there’s also a physiology of been there, done that.

It turns out, our brains are constantly adapting to our experiences and the context within which they’re formed. Or as neuroscientist Beau Lotto puts it: “The functional structure of your brain is literally a physical manifestation of its past interactions with the world.” That is to say, we are shaped by our experiences not only mentally, but physically through the neural con...

May 17, 2019

Even if you’re not a regular Jeopardy! watcher (as I am), you may have heard some buzz recently about a contestant called James Holzhauer. As of this writing, James has won $1.69 million over the course of only 22 games (an average of $77,000 per game). For reference, Ken Jennings, the winningest Jeopardy! contestant of all time, won $2.5 million over 74 games (an average of $34,000 per game).

So, it would seem, James is doing very well. And some people are not happy about it.  

Just check out these headlines:

Washington Post: Jeopardy! Winner James Holzhauer Keeps Dominating. Does it Matter if He Broke the Game?

CNN: Is James Holzhauer Ruining Jeopardy! for Everyone?

Variety: Why James Holzhauer is Bad for Jeopardy! In which the columnist complains that he is now faced with “…the dreary a...

May 3, 2019

Be it an innie or an outie, I’m sure you have a perfectly lovely bellybutton. I had mine pierced for a time in my twenties. It was fun to look at. Maybe yours is too. The thing about navel gazing though, is that it’s a great way to fall flat on your face.

As it turns out, navel gazing is a very dangerous thing. Especially when it comes to our careers.

When we turn our attention inward, and decline to engage with the world around us, we put ourselves at risk, not only of a painfully stiff neck, but also of becoming uninformed, disconnected, and in the worst cases, completely irrelevant.

Navel gazers prioritize their needs for certainty and significance over truth. When we avoid outside input, we deprive ourselves of information that might cause us to question our knowledge, our beliefs and our...

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