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Bill Gates apparently took time out of his busy schedule to guest edit the December 2013 issue of Wired Magazine. In that issue is an article entitled, "This is the Man Bill Gates Thinks you Absolutely Should be Reading." The article opens with the quotation from Gates, “’There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil.’”  Smil is prolific. He has published over 30 books, three of them just this year. Smil’s page on Amazon...
Fear is often a hidden and unconscious emotion, an emotion that is at the root of our inaction and ‘stuckness’ in our careers and personal lives. What we often see on the surface are the symptoms of fear. Those symptoms may manifest in many ways: as anger, grief, physical pain (yes, physical pain), lack of energy and motivation, procrastination, and other negative manifestations. If we look closely at our everyday actions and interactions we can acknowledge areas of discomfort. If we then sit for a while with that discomfort, we...
So often we look to leaders to provide answers to the most challenging problems we face, whether in politics or business. In fact, great leaders are those who instead ask the right questions and engage others to arrive at the best answers together. The media overly promotes a single businessman, politician or sports star as responsible for overall success. As a result, it’s hard to think of Apple without Steve Jobs, J.P. Morgan Chase without Jamie Dimon, and the current Denver Broncos without Payton Manning. We tend to therefore...
One morning last week, I awoke from a strange dream. I don’t recall all the particulars, but it involved a scene where I was living and working with a group of “not-quite-human” creatures made of silicone, integrated circuits and bio-engineered, synthetic flesh. These engineered creatures seemed to have acquired human-like appearances, capabilities, and behaviors; to such an extent that at times it was almost impossible to distinguish them from real “biological” humans.  In this dream, I had developed a close...
As I write this post, I am in Mexico City having just spent the day with a group of mid-career managers facilitating a program about how to have more productive conversations at work. I cannot say for sure what the participants got from today’s session, but I definitely walked away with some food for thought. The fact that today’s workshop, one I have facilitated dozens of times, affected me differently, might have had something to do with a recent interview I heard with Thich Nant Hanh on the NPR program Humankind. Nhat Hanh is a...

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