1: The San Antonio Spurs are the most successful team in American sports in the past 25 years, Daniel Coyle writes in The Culture Code.

They’ve won “five championships and a higher percentage of games than the New England Patriots, the St. Louis Cardinals, or any other storied franchise,” he notes.

When asked what was the greatest moment of team cohesion, Spurs players and coaches all agree on one … continue reading

1: Chris Voss has recently joined the FBI’s New York office, he writes in his book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It.

“I want to be a hostage negotiator,” Chris told Amy Bonderow, who ran the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Team in New York.

“Everyone does—got any training?” she asked. 

“No,” Chris said. 

“Any credentials?” 

“Nope,” he answered. 

“Any experience?” she asked. 

“No,” … continue reading

1: Author Steven Kotler thought bravery meant not being afraid. 

“I thought that was how ‘men’ were supposed to feel, or, more specifically, not to feel,” he writes in The Art of the Impossible.

The two words that changed his entire relationship with fear?

“You, too,” spoken by big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton.

Laird was showing Steven how to jump a jet ski off big waves. He promised Steven … continue reading

1: DO THE HARD THING reads the sign above author Steven Kotler‘s desk.

Yes, the phrase is “a great reminder to attack life’s challenges,” but that’s not the point, he writes in The Art of the Impossible.

Its “real function is much smaller: It’s to remind me to do one extra item on my to-do list before I take my first break,” he writes.  

“If my day’s first … continue reading

1: When we reflect on our lives, what are our proudest accomplishments?  Steven Kotler asks in The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer.

“Now think about how hard we worked to accomplish them.  Sure, everybody gets lucky a few times.  There’s always a handful of occasions when you get exactly what you want without having to work very hard to achieve it,” he observes.

“But are those the memories that … continue reading

1: Define problem Analyze problem Recommend solution.

This sequence is the “normal” or “rational” way of communicating, Stephen Denning writes The Secret Language of Leadership. “It’s an appeal to reason—a model that has been the hallowed Western intellectual tradition ever since the ancient Greeks. . . And it works well enough when your aim is merely to pass on information to people who want to hear it.”

But what if … continue reading

1: “It was just the worst meeting you ever went to,” Craig Dunn recalls in Stephen Denning‘s book The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative. 

“We had insults thrown at us. There was a lot of anger and disappointment. People had lost faith in the firm,” he remembers. “And they had good reasons for feeling the way they did. We all had to face the … continue reading

1: Thomas Jefferson’s heart was set on politics.

The problem? He was “born quiet, contemplative, and reserved—purportedly with a speech impediment,” writes Ryan Holiday in The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph. “Compared to the great orators of his time—Patrick Henry, John Wesley, Edmund Burke—he was a terrible public speaker.”

Thomas had two options: he could fight this reality. Or, he could accept … continue reading

1: Imagine it’s Thanksgiving. Sitting in the living room is a grandfather who’s grumbling.  

“He is cranky but the underlying emotion is a sad sense of loneliness from his family never seeing him,” Chris Voss writes in Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.

He’s grumpy because he feels like he never sees the family. And he feels lonely. So he’s expressing his feelings … continue reading