This may be the longest piece I’ve ever seen Seth Godin write on his blog (usually it’s a paragraph or two), so the subject must have struck a nerve with him.
It’s a good reminder that while the mind-numbing fare is easiest to consume, tackling the deeper material is more fulfilling in the long run. And luckily, there remain plenty of writers publishing terrific material on a regular basis.
This is the early winner in 2017 for most I’ve transcribed from one article to save and read again later.
Reading how a football coach has improved at his job may not seem relevant to other professions, but I found a lot that could be applied to my work. You may find some points that relate to your world too.
Part of my job is analyzing the performance of fast food chains (McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, Taco Bell, etc.), and conventional wisdom has been that minimum wage hikes coming in various states would hurt fast food profit margins due to higher labor costs.
It’s just one datapoint, but interesting to see that in California the minimum wage bumps over the last two years appear to be increasing sales at a rate that would more than offset that labor headwind.
We want to prove ourselves by showing all of the positive ways we’ve made a difference in our work, but often it’s the open admission of failures that can generate the most trust between you and a colleague, boss, or client.
Shane Parrish at Farnam Street uses a short book as a reference to make suggestions about how to complete desired behavioral changes one small step at a time. My favorite quote related to this is Tim Ferriss’s line to “rig the game so you can win.”
Some helpful examples are provided at the bottom of this post of ways to start small in exercising more, increasing how much money you save, and how you can spend your time in a more productive way.
We’ve all enjoyed the emergence of independent sit-down restaurants with cool atmospheres and delicious food. Unfortunately, life is about to get tougher for that industry.
Morgan Housel writes a good piece here on how productive work in our current era may not look like much to outsiders but is increasingly a source of our greatest insights on the job.
Plenty of wisdom from Buffett in this post by professor David Kass, including:
- “If you know who someone’s heroes are, then you will know how they will turn out.”
- “Borrowed money causes more people to go broke than anything else. Charlie Munger has said, smart people ‘go broke from liquor, ladies and leverage.'”
- Advice from Buffett’s partner, Charlie Munger, on taking precautions now to avoid mishaps later: “an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.”
- A good sales tactic: “Some Geico employees have 4 times the productivity of others (selling policies) over the phone. ‘When talking to someone on the phone, put a photo of the person you love most on your desk and talk in the way you would talk to that person.’”
- Don’t become rich twice: “Anyone who has become rich twice is dumb. Why would you risk what you need and have for what you don’t need? If you are already rich, there is no upside to taking on a lot more risk, but there is disgrace on the downside.”
- In reference to bank CEOs who have not responded quickly to problems within their organization (e.g. recent events at Wells Fargo): “One should face up to a problem fast. ‘Get it right, get it fast, get it over.’”
Skim through the rest of the post to find other nuggets you may want to pick up.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly was fired yesterday. This was his 4th year as a head coach in the NFL and the second time he’s been fired (his previous 3-year stint as the Eagles head coach ended last year). This is a good synopsis of his positive impact and his failings at the pro level.
Patrick O’Shaughnessy wrote a great post on how his greatest sources of growth in 2016 came from choosing the most difficult tasks possible, the ones that made him most nervous.