Beyond meaningless platitudes

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Experts build their business on an idea. If the idea is a platitude, they don’t deserve respect — and they won’t get clients. I am so sick of the aspiring thought leaders on social media sharing platitudes and imagining they are insights. “You must put the customer first.” Oh, now I see. I was putting … Continued

How smart people make a decision

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There’s a misconception that the purpose of experts is to tell you what to do. That’s not right. What they do is help you think. Imagine that you are a person making a momentous decision. You could be the CEO of a large company pondering an acquisition, a consumer deciding whether or not to buy … Continued

Words of wisdom for the Asimov centenary

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Isaac Asimov turned 100 years old yesterday. It’s a shame he didn’t live to see it, because we could use a man like him right now. My admiration for Asimov started when I was very young. I read everything of his that I could get my hands on, since his highly accessible writing made it … Continued

Why making health care decisions is like being a CEO

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I’ve advised CEOs. I’ve stood by the bedside of loved ones and helped make health care decisions. In a lot of ways, it feels like the same thing. In both situations: The decisions are important and have long-lasting consequences. People must often make decisions when they are tired. Competing experts offer conflicting advice. It’s hard … Continued

The powerful letter Baptist pastor Jonathan Carl wrote to Donald Trump

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If you were taking wagers on what I’d write about in this space, sincere praise for a letter from a Baptist minister would seem a very poor bet. Here’s what happened: President Trump got upset with Jonathan Karl of ABC News for reporting on the President’s claim that Alabama was in the path of a … Continued

5 hurdles that distinguish authors from experts

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Some people are awesome at what they do. Other people are just as excellent, but they can write a book about it. Let’s take a close look at what makes the difference. To start, I want you to think about the thing you know that nobody else seems to know, the thing you are passionate … Continued

In which I scoff at influencers

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In the New York Times, Kevin Roose writes “Don’t Scoff at Influencers. They’re Taking Over the World.” Sorry, dude. I’m scoffing. Bigtime. Here’s some of what Roose wrote: [T]he teenagers and 20-somethings who have mastered these platforms [like TikTok] — and who are often dismissed as shallow, preening narcissists by adults who don’t know any … Continued

Strategy vs. tactics

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Strategy generates better, cheaper, more permanent solutions. But it does require thinking a bit . . . I had a problem. There were raccoons in my ceiling. Next to my basement there is an unheated, unfinished space with a dirt floor. They burrowed into this space, squeezed into the ceiling above it, and then migrated … Continued