One of the great joys of life is passing along a treasured resource for others to enjoy.
Below, you’ll find my favorite links from all over the web, collected right here for you to take a look.
If you find something useful for you, consider passing it along to someone in your life. You’d be amazed at how profound that simple act can be.
Solitude and Leadership. This article isn’t meant to be read just one time. It’s a masterclass in what it takes to lead at the highest levels. We tend to think of the life of a leader as one filled with voices. This article (which was originally a speech) suggests that true leadership requires the exact opposite. Leadership is thinking for yourself and acting upon what you discovered. An all-time article.
Personal Renewal — John Gardner’s heartfelt speech on how to stay vibrant and live a long, meaningful life.
Sam Hinkie’s Resignation Letter. Did the 76ers’ Process work out? Perhaps. This letter was met with loads of criticism in the media. But maybe there is some wisdom in there? Especially this: “A league with 30 intense competitors requires a culture of finding new, better ways to solve repeating problems…To develop truly contrarian views will require a never-ending thirst for better, more diverse inputs.”
Rory Sutherland on The Knowledge Project Podcast. Equal parts brilliant and entertaining. Sutherland is the British friend we all wish we had. His applied knowledge of behavioral economics and the psychological underpinnings of human decision-making is incredible. No matter your field, you’ll learn something from this. If you prefer to read, I recommend this article or this one. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about his book, Alchemy.
The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity. Carlo Cipolla gives us 5 laws, but you’ll only need to remember one: “A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.”
How Not to Be Stupid. Avoiding stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance. There are seven common causes of stupidity, and being able to identify them will make you seem brilliant. You won’t need to let anyone in on your little secret.
CULTURE AND SOCIETY
Coalitional Instincts. Humans self-organize into groups called coalitions. We earn membership into these groups by signaling that we differentially support it compared to rival groups. As a result, groups grow further apart. Think about the American political system while reading this and it will make sense.
Everything is a Remix (YouTube Video). My life got a lot easier when I realized that there’s no such thing as an “original”. In fact, I realized that most “original” ideas are simply old ideas applied in a new context.
Building a DIY Second Brain — Move fast. Stay lean. Work “just-in-time.” Not “just-in-case.” Tiago Forte’s articles changed my view on work and productivity so much that I wanted to give you a way to do it for cheap.
You and Your Research. Drop the modesty. The first step to doing great work is to take a stand that you want to do it. That’s the easy part.
Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule — Makers hate meetings. Managers’ entire days are filled with them. Makers don’t understand managers. Managers don’t understand makers. How can we deal with this to avoid organizational conflict? My application: I try to split my days into maker/manager blocks. As a coach, I lead people. But I also have to make stuff. It’s worked fairly well, and visiting this essay won’t hurt your own efforts.
How to Make Wealth. To get what you want, you need to help others get what they want. If you want to be rich, there are two non-negotiables to get you there: measurement and leverage. The path to riches is timeless, but few people find it. Paul Graham helps you get there.
Personal Moats in the 21st Century. Daniel Gross is one of the most underrated thinkers alive today. This piece is wonderful both for its high-level theme (“You need to build a compounding personal advantage in life”) as well as its practicality. For more Daniel Gross, check out his podcast episodes with Farnam Street or Invest Like the Best.
The Age of the Essay. Writing well will forever be a competitive advantage. But writing well in the real world isn’t about grammar and syntax. Instead, it’s about thoughtfulness and truth. If you want to do this, you’ll need to spend a lot of time searching for the insights nobody else sees.
The Day You Became a Better Writer — Be clear and precise. Keep things simple. Simple means getting rid of extra words. Grab the reader early. Write short sentences. You just learned 80% of the rules of good writing. You’re welcome.
Robert Caro. The 84-year-old author has spent his entire career writing about two of the most powerful men to live in the United States of America: Robert Moses and Lyndon Baines Johnson. While I’d recommend reading all of his books, you can start with this biography of the master biographer himself.
“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” -Steve Jobs