Saturday Cup of Joe from Detroit

168.

Image for post
Image for post

Great week. How was yours? It’s midsummer or something like that. There was a heat wave…or something. Do you change your approach in the summer? More travel? Less travel? How do you approach cycles or times of the year?

Curious whether you set out your weeks or months or quarters in a specific way. Are you strategic about your time and if so, are you strategic by day, week or month?

Have a wonderful weekend. I’m spending Sunday in Boston with my father going to a Red Sox game (thank you, Jim!). It is exciting to be able to share this and spend time with him. Also, two games in one week — Tigers on Wednesday and Red Sox on Sunday. Pretty lucky.

Hope you have a productive week next week.

***

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
Margaret Atwood

***

Delay deficit. Deficit delay. I’ve been considering the concept of deficit delay. The longer a decision drags out, the more likely inaction becomes. It’s the feeling we’ve all had when we wait and wait to make a decision. The outcome becomes less what-is-it effective. Harder to take action the longer the delay. Delay deficit.

***

Image for post
Image for post

***

A reminder to answer well. Intellectual humility, i.e. being wrong and admitting it, is just as important as being right. Awareness of blind spots. Admitting mistakes. Listening to opposing views. “Here’s the deep lesson to draw from all of this: Much as we might tell ourselves our experience of the world is the truth, our reality will always be an interpretation.”

Since we often underestimate being wrong and overestimate the effects of being wrong, this research is critical to leadership. Be real. Be honest. Be ready to fix when necessary.

***

One stat this week that caught my attention — 40% of homes are owned free and clear — has remained constant for some time. And yet, real estate startups continue to try to solve for financing home equity with alternative funding opportunities. PadSplit — one of a long list of startups in the article — use bedrooms in the home to fund the homeowner. Partial equity. Module, relatedly, allows homeowners to add onto their home. Incremental home improvement.

The bottom line is that tech startups have created new views of value in underutilized assets, including home equity. Homes and home equity actually.

Proptech. In case you haven’t heard. Proptech is a thing. Zillow. Compass (backed by Softbank). Redfin.

These startups are just the most recent iterations. I’ve spoken recently about how the lines are blurring between industries. The song Old Town Road is somehow country, hip hop and pop all at the same time. The lines are blurring.

What can you do about it? How can you use it to your advantage?

***

“A founder creates something from nothing. A CEO manages something that already exists. They’re two totally different jobs, drawing from completely different skills. Not everyone is suited to juggle both roles.” — 100 cups of wisdom.

***

Consider a walk, in the park. This week the CEO of Quicken Loans, Jay Farner, took the entire company to a Detroit Tigers game. A day game, matching t-shirts, peanuts, cold beer. Nature has a way of refreshing and reinvigorating. The sunshine and warmth and all that. It reminded me about how the balance — work, life — includes nature and includes so much more than that.

Image for post
Image for post

How do you incorporate nature into your week?

***

“Sanity in this culture, requires a certain amount of alienation.” — Terence McKenna

***

Biggest small town: Our neighborhood has one of the crown jewels of the city — Sister Pie. How is a bakery part of the fabric of Detroit? Entrepreneurship. Creativity. Community. Inclusivity. Generosity. Lisa is kind to our daughter and welcoming to everyone. Sister Pie is the best. Everyone should get the cookbook and anyone who visits Detroit can expect we’ll take you to Sister Pie.

***

Perception versus reality: Perhaps one of the original topics of Saturday Cup of Joe, if there ever was one, was how our assumptions and perception affect our reality. Perception versus reality. Researchers at MIT have found a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. MIT neuroscientists found “The process of combining prior knowledge with uncertain evidence is known as Bayesian integration and is believed to widely impact our perceptions, thoughts, and actions. Now, it’s possible distinctive brain signals encode these prior beliefs.”

***

Image for post
Image for post

***

Do you think burnout actually costs employers $100B a year? If true, or even half true, now what? What will you do with your business? With your team?

***

Greatness: When you think of greatness many names come to mind. In sports, the list shrinks. In the last 20 years, 2 names (maybe 3) rise to the top. Tiger Woods. Roger Federer. Tom Brady. Tiger and Roger became friends, in part, over their dedication to discipline and excellence. I was drawn to a recent article about Tiger and Roger. As a liberal arts grad, I’ve often found myself in the position to defend generalists over experts. Humanities. Ya know.

It’s true that expertise is often the foot in the door or the lever to move up the ladder, whichever metaphor you prefer. Expertise can not only earn respect but deliver results. At some point of the analysis, however, broader knowledge and understanding of your business and people (whether colleagues or customers) is necessary. Many CEOs rise as experts — finance, legal or marketing, etc. — only to discover that you must be a generalist in the WHOLE business. Many of the best CEOs were a good athlete but not the best, a good student but not the best, a good public speaker but not the best, you get the drift. Understanding the humanities. Understanding people. Understand irrational outcomes is key to leadership and success.

CEOs are generalists. Humans are generalists. The best CEOs are the most human CEOs.

***

Bread. Don’t sleep on bread. Revive it.

***

Firms have three kinds of responsibilities:

“Economically, people count on them to provide value.

Legally, people expect them to follow not just the letter of the law but also its spirit.

Ethically, people want companies to pursue moral ends, through moral means, for moral motives.”

There are for-profit companies. There are non-profit companies. There is a for more than profit company. Soon, there will be a lot more.

Source: Trust crisis by HBR

***

Would you describe America as lawn obsessed? “Surprisingly, the lawn is one of America’s leading ‘crops,’ amounting to at least twice the acreage planted in cotton.” It’s interesting, isn’t it? Lawns. Suburbs with land. Golf course communities.

According to the article, “a single golf course in Tampa, Florida — a state that leads the nation with over a thousand of these emerald green creations — uses 178,800 gallons of water per day, enough to meet the daily water needs of more than twenty-two hundred Americans.”

Before you allow the water usage to cloud your judgment, consider the lawn thing on its own. What’s in a lawn? Now consider lawn care nationwide.

Is it worth it? Why?

***

Free food at the office too tempting to avoid? You are not alone. It’s free. It’s mindless. It’s peer pressure. It’s dopamine.

***

Image for post
Image for post

***

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with — that’s poverty — but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.” ― Victoria Moran

***

Image for post
Image for post

***

Bonus article: The history of the island of Nauru.

Written by

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store