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Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you're proud of. Gaming goes only so far. In a connection economy, what other people think about you, their expectations of you, the promises they believe you make—this is your brand.
The bestselling novel of 1961 was Allen Drury's Advise and Consent. Millions of people read this 690-page political novel. In 2016, the big sellers were coloring books. Fifteen years ago, cable channels like TLC (the "L" stood for Learning), Bravo and the History Channel (the "History" stood for History) promised to add texture and information to the blighted TV landscape.
It lets us off the hook in many ways. It creates systems and momentum and eliminates many decisions for its members. "I'm just doing my job." "That's the way the system works." Most of all, it gives us a structure to lean against, a way of being in the world without always understanding the big picture or the side effects or the implications of our actions.
Here's the original ad for Coca-Cola: French Wine Coca is indorsed (sic) by over 20,000 of the most learned and scientific medical men in the world . . . . . . Americans are the most nervous people in the world . . . All who are suffering from any nervous complaints we commend to use the wonderful and delightful remedy, French Wine Coca, infallible in curing all who are affli ...
Thirty years ago, Fleischmann and Pons announced that they were able to create fusion at room temperature. Scientists around the world began work in this new field, only to discover that they couldn't replicate the reported results. It turns out that the original researchers hadn't told the truth. Millions of dollars and countless hours were wasted.
If you have to serve chili to 1,000 people, holding back just one bean from each person means you end up with a tidy savings, and almost no one is going to notice. If you run a call center and hire people who make a dollar less an hour, who are less supported, or less trained, or less caring, the impact on each interaction will probably seem pretty small.
Get smarter. Hurry. Learn something new and difficult and valuable. Learn it today and continue learning it tomorrow. Solve interesting problems. Ignaz Semmelweis saw the same problem that others saw. But he took responsibility and solved it (worth a read). Care. More. This takes guts because it means you' ...
Fear runs deep. Fear used to keep our ancestors alive. Fear keeps you from taunting a saber tooth tiger. The thing is, most of us don't have to deal with tigers any longer. But the fear still runs deep. We still feel the same feelings when we face possible failure, but now those feelings revolve around shame.
How long does it take to forget how frightening it was? You fell off your bike and really skinned your knee. How many months or years go by before you're willing to ride a bike again? The stories we tell ourselves are powerful indeed. I got food poisoning as a kid and never again ate at the restaurant that caused it, even after the restaurant went out of business and was rep ...
It's nice to think that the reason that people don't do what you need them to do, or conform to your standards, or make good choices is simply that they don't know enough. After all, if that's the case, all you'll need to do is inform them, loudly and clearly. So, that employee who shows up late: just let her know that being late isn't allowed. Threaten to fire her ...
The efficacy of a technology, a shortcut, a medicine, a tool, a method—you get the idea—is directly related to how difficult it is to obtain. Placebos work because our brain picks up where our belief begins. Without some sort of conscious or subconscious trigger, the placebo effect never kicks in. But when it does, it's astonishingly effective.
When we join an organization and become part of something, collisions happen. Standards change. Sometimes, these tribal affiliations push us to become better versions of ourselves. We take a long-term view, check our selfish impulses and work hard to meet the high standards of those around us. But if we're not careful, we can join a group tha ...
Most of us can agree that picking a great team is one of the best ways to build a successful organization or project.The problem is that we're terrible at it. The NFL Combine is a giant talent show, with a billion dollars on the line. And every year, NFL scouts use the wrong data to pick the wrong players (Tom Brady famously recorded one of the worst scores ever 17 years ago).
We spend a lot of time talking about celebrities and how attractive they are. Paul Newman's blue eyes, how tall is Jake Gyllenhaal, how fast is Usain Bolt... Most of the time, though, our success is based on something we have far more control over: our emotional attractiveness. People who are o ...
Seth Godin's riffs on marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread.