Saturday Cup of Joe: a lending and tech(ish) newsletter from Detroit

Saturday Cup of Joe #120.

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Friends & Colleagues,

Week 120. Treehugger took on a whole new meaning this week when my team visited an adventure ropes course called Treehugger. I was skeptical of a ropes course to begin with. Not understanding what we’d learn, I was trying to think of ways to avoid the ropes course.

I was unable to avoid the ropes course. We partnered up and I was lucky to be matched with someone that wanted to be as adventurous as I did. Then, the surprise hit. We’d be blindfolded. Not both of us. Just one partner. It was me. I was blindfolded. I ended up on a ropes course, 35 feet off the ground, with a blindfold under my glasses. Yea, you read that right, I didn’t have a place for my glasses and, being in a tree, I just put them back on.

It was a tough experience. Not because the course was tough, but because I had trouble submitting to the construct — blind to the course. Helpless, for the most part. It was hard. Not my favorite.

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Up in the trees, West Bloomfield, MI, USA

At the same time, after we completed the first few challenges I started to feel more confident and proud of what we’d accomplished. Finishing the course, I felt like we’d accomplished something important. Not knowing my partner an hour earlier, I now felt we were bound together. It was exciting and meaningful.

My takeaway from the whole experience was — intent is everything. No matter how complex or serious an activity, by being intentional, it can have value. It’s all about how much you commit.

This week’s theme — commit.

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As seen on Instagram

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Not impossible. Listening to this week with Mick Ebeling of . Yup. Not impossible. The organization takes on the biggest challenges like glasses that allow paralyzed or otherwise handicapped people to design, draw and control a computer or 3D printed limbs for a child victim of a bombing in Sudan. Ebeling was inspiring for all the good work but it was his mindset and corporate culture that really caught my attention.

Before everything was a thing, it was impossible. From eyeglasses to automobiles to space travel, the impossible is merely a point in time and not a condition.

Commit. Invent. Deploy. Iterate.

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Stories from Nevada. Recent readers of Saturday Cup of Joe will know that Atlas Obscura is one of my favorite sites. This week is no exception. (NEH-VAH-DUH, hat tip to Sarah Ferguson). Fascinating view into Nevada and the true West.

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When you learn something, share it.

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What does the “new economy” mean for housing trends? One on hand, . On the other hand, prior to being comfortable in their job and location, many Americans move to try to find their opportunity. In that case, relocation numbers would not reflect employees that moved without a job before finding one. Nevertheless, here is the gist of the article:

About 3.5 million people relocated for a new job last year, according to U.S. census data, a 10% drop from 3.8 million in 2015. The numbers have fluctuated between 2.8 million and 4.5 million since the government started tracking annual job-related relocations in 1999 — but have been trending lower overall, even as the U.S. population grew by nearly 20% over that stretch.

Experts cite a number of factors that in some periods have kept people in one place, including a depressed value for their home or limited job openings. In the current strong economy, real-estate values have rebounded, but that has made housing costs prohibitively high in some regions where jobs are abundant, such as major East and West Coast cities.

If you work in housing or real estate finance, major housing trends are becoming more and more important. After WWII Americans moved to the suburbs in droves. In fact, it was a generational shift and the entire generation agreed, if not in words at least in actions. How quickly could trends reverse? Is it possible that just as quickly as suburbs came online they could become increasingly less popular. Trending down has specific and important trends for home ownership. How is your business responding to slower relocation trends and fewer homes on the market?

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It’s all about what you tell yourself when no one else is listening

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Innovation: I randomly pulled a Peter Drucker book off the shelf and opened it to the page titled “Three Conditions for a Successful Innovation.” 3 conditions for innovation:

1. Innovation is work.

2. To succeed, innovators must build on their strengths

3. Innovation is an effect in economy and society

In my business we have a saying, “innovation is rewarded, execution is worshipped.” Do the hard work. Focus on big trends and then find a way to execute.

Optimize for the upside.

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From WWII to the Wolf of Wall Street to college kids to Middle America, speed leads to productivity which leads to flame out. The myth of speed and productivity persists. Why? . I heard a quote this week that is attributed to Ernest Hemingway — “Do not confuse movement for action.” This is not unlike the difference between speed and productivity. Lean into speed as the speed of the game is the whole ballgame these days but make sure that you avoid actual speed to help you get there.

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Failure: If you work in a tech company of any size, you’ve probably heard “fail fast.” The mantra of modern Silicon Valley the fail fast, fix and redeploy mindset is real. . Check it out.

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Live authentically is easier said than done. Moving toward our true emotions and motivations is as close to our “true self” as possible. Does not seem consistent but nonetheless important. As we get older, perhaps we experience more freedom to be the real us — the freedom to overcome whatever it is that compels us to hide behind a façade and to become more of the true self we see ourselves to be.

Part of being a leader and taking an organization from scratch to completion requires a deep, authentic connection to the team and other leaders. How do you think about authenticity? How do you understand and then reveal your true self?

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Broadway, Detroit, MI, USA. At dusk.

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Well, we got one. Meet Hugo.

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Imagination: . This article imagines how to get away with grand theft auto and probably like 27 other felonies during the classic car show at Pebble Beach.

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Daily Stoic

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Today’s thought: “Things that go unsaid in an organization are a cancer.” I thought about this quote a lot this week. This is true in any true relationship — personal or professional. In the team setting, the assumptions and motivations have to be addressed. Leaders who do not drive the team in a specific direction miss an opportunity to make the team better. Consider how you can build trust and structures in your organization to air all the critical information your people are talking about without addressing. Hopefully this isn’t an issue for your organization. If it is or if you don’t know, consider dramatic ways to address or reset those things that will clear the air and make your organization better.

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Quote: “I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once” -Jennifer Yane

Bonus Content: Everyone likes to say (think?) that they read the opposing view to keep an open mind, but how many of us really do? .

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Summer in Detroit.

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Continued success and continue to answer well,

Written by

Thinker, curious leader, once an attorney…always trying to answer well.

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