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Reason 1: Information Overload

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“You mentioned that the first reason we don’t do what we know is that we suffer from information overload,” said the author. “We simply have too much knowledge. How does spaced repetition affect that?”

“Good question,” Phil said. “Information overload leads to some real problems. It immobilizes us.”

“That’s painful to hear,” said the author. “I just experienced that very thing recently at a golf school. I’m a golf nut, so I decided to go to a three-day school to improve my game. But I got the opposite result—I got worse.”


“Yes. They taught me too much. When I got back home and tried to play, I was awful. I had paralysis by analysis. I was working on so many things at the same time I became immobilized.”

“I’ve heard about that,” said the entrepreneur. “It must have been discouraging.”

“Given what you know about information overload, what good is it to read one book after another or attend seminar after seminar?” asked the author.

“There’s nothing wrong with reading books and attending seminars,” Murray replied. “These are fundamental learning tools, and we need them. The problem comes when we expose ourselves to new knowledge all the time with no pause for integrating our new know-how and putting it into action. If we continue to expose ourselves this way, we become brain cluttered. This is why so many people are drowning in a sea of information.”

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Albion, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Work is a tremendous testing ground of who you are as a human being. Through the practice of Zen [Buddhism], I help business leaders become open-hearted, compassionate human beings. I want them to develop their intellectual competencies, too, but not be blind to the people side of business. The real work of leadership is to keep both sides in the service of other people.


Three personal characteristics are essential for every successful values-based small business leader. In this chapter, we’ll learn the definitions of these character attributes and the importance of developing and modeling them for the entire organization. They reflect the soft skills necessary for the hard work of building successful relationships—the foundation of the five leadership practices presented in chapters 3 through 7.

When I joined Social Venture Network in 1989, cofounder Josh Mailman asked me how we could bring the corporate social responsibility movement into the world’s business schools. I talked with MBA students and other SVN members, notably social entrepreneur and investor Richard Perl, and after four years of discussions and fund-raising, Students for Responsible Business was born, since renamed Net Impact. 34

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Chapter 17: Establish Real-World Relevance

Horn, Sam Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We’re all in a race for relevance.


It’s not enough for people to agree with you in theory. They must be able to apply what you’re saying in practice. If what you’re sharing doesn’t have real-world relevance for them, why should they pay attention? It’s simply not a high-enough priority.

When I worked with Dr. Joan Fallon of Curemark on her TEDx talk, we knew it was crucial to establish that her topic of autism is not just something that affects a few people, it impacts the majority of people in the United States. That’s why Joan opened with:

How many of you here know someone who has autism? Please raise your hand.

How many of you here know teachers or therapists who work with children who have autism?

How many of you are familiar with the heartbreak and difficulties families encounter when they have a child who has autism?

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Medium 9781605092683

What’s Most Important?

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Debbie began the new week by working on the questions Jeff had given her. She knew she had not done a good job of Seeing the Future. The only future she was pursuing was keeping up with the sales folks and the client needs. While she knew these were important concerns, she recognized that the SERVE model Jeff had described represented a higher level of thinking and a higher level of leadership.

Numerous leaders who were able to See the Future and provide direction came to Debbie’s mind. Many were historical figures: John F. Kennedy and his desire to put a man on the moon; Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream of harmony among people of all racial backgrounds; Mother Teresa and her vision of comfort for the suffering people of India.

As she thought about creating a compelling vision, Debbie remembered one of Jeff’s first presentations after he arrived at the company. In that talk, he stated his belief that their business was not about selling—it was about serving the customers and meeting their needs. Serving? He talks about serving all the time. And now, he’s teaching me that great leaders SERVE. I get the sense he’s sincere about this concept of serving.

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4 The Flying Fish: A New Perspective on Money

Lietaer, Bernard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

To say that a state cannot pursue its aims,
because there is no money, is like saying
that an engineer cannot build roads,
because there are no kilometers.

EZRA POUND, American poet and economic historian

It’s quite common to think of money in terms of its material representations. Although money has taken many forms throughout human history, from shells to zappozats (decorated axes),1 it is not a material object but, rather, is merely represented as such. For instance, if you are stranded alone on a desert island, a thing, say a knife, is still useful as a knife, but a million dollars in whatever form it takes—cash, coins, or debit and credit cards—ceases to be money. It becomes merely paper, metal, or plastic and no longer functions as currency. For any thing to act as money, it requires a community to agree that the particular object is acceptable in an exchange.

That is why our working definition of money is: an agreement, within a community, to use something standardized as a medium of exchange.2

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