An Important Question

How would you answer this question? “If, at the end of the day, you could have more of something than you had when you woke up, what would that be?” When asked a question similar to the one above, Charlie Munger, a billionaire, Vice Chairperson of Berkshire Hathaway and close friend of Warren Buffet, remarked that he would choose to be a little wiser than when he woke up. (Poor Charlie’s Almanack, 2005.)

I have asked several friends and colleagues that question, and their responses varied a great deal, from desiring increased wealth, better health, more patience, greater peace of mind, happiness, etc.

I have thought about it and the above responses a lot. So, after much reflection, here is where I’ve landed. At the end of the day, I would like to go to bed at night being more grateful than I was the day before.

Gratefulness works for me for a couple of reasons. I like its biblical ties: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” It provides an optimistic focal point—seeing what’s good in our lives right now—while creating a channel for the realization of positive expectations in the future.

However you answered the question, “What more would you want in your life,” it would seem to me that the logical corollary to that desire is for you to spend some portion of your day pursuing that objective.

In terms of my choice of gratefulness, it would mean that I would slow down and take more time to appreciate and enjoy all of the things I so frequently take for granted—the little as well as the big things. I would complain less and would, for instance, be more tolerant of the 20-item people in the 6-items-or-less checkout lines. I would be more mindful, see more of the love in others and do more for those in need.

Hopefully, my goal to be more grateful will inspire others to consider the question, “What’s the something else I would like more of in my life?” For me, if feels good when I can say, “Thank God it’s today.”




Proverbs 10:2 (GNT)


Wealth you get by dishonesty will do you no good, but honesty can save your life.



Can't Not Do

Nine Lies About Work:
A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World

Markus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall, HBR Press, 2019

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World is a 2019 Harvard Business Review Press publication, written by Markus Buckingham, well-known author of Access Your Strength, and Ashley Goodall, Vice President of Leadership at CISCO.

If you’re like me, the first thing you want to know when you see the title is what the nine lies are. Here they are:

Lie 1-People care about which company they work for.
Lie 2-The best plan wins.
Lie 3-The best companies cascade goals.
Lie 4-The best people are well-rounded.
Lie 5-People need feedback.
Lie 6-People can reliably rate other people.
Lie 7-People have potential.
Lie 8-Work-life balance matters most.
Lie 9-Leadership is a thing.

It turns out that the word “lie” is a bit of hyperbole. In reality, the “lies” are commonly-held beliefs that are not necessarily validated in experience or research. But do not let that dissuade you from reading the book. It is a book that should be read by anyone interested in organizational performance, culture, and especially the interplay of control and conformity in relation to creative individuality. I especially like their focus on how “the company feels to the people on the ground” and the subsequent attention they gave to those variables that they feel matter the most with respect to employee performance.

One of the insights Buckingham and Goodall share is the fact that the team(s) we are on within a workplace makes a huge difference to our job satisfaction, even to the extent of how long we stay with a company. And it follows that the team leader may be the most significant actor in the corporate drama. This is indeed good advice for those who wish to improve their performance.

Consistent with previous research findings, the authors explain the importance of being able to use our personal strengths every day at work. A quote by Stevie Wonder was shared in this regard. He said, “You will never feel proud of your work if you find no joy within it. Your best work is always joyful work.”

In the authors’ discussion of leadership, they outline many helpful “truths,” including the fact that the best leaders help their followers feel part of the mission, something bigger than themselves. I would agree with their contention. Leaders can change the way we feel about the future.

If you are curious about curiosity this book is for you.

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