Latest Posts

In 1959, Peter Drucker wrote about “knowledge workers”, in his book The Landmarks of Tomorrow.  In 2018, there is still no universally agreed upon definition for the term knowledge worker.  However, examples of knowledge workers are software engineers, project managers, physicians, engineers, scientists, accountants, lawyers, and academics, all workers whose jobs require non-routine …
Read More

Good morning, Team Room – For my friends, family, brothers, sisters, colleagues, and teammates. For six years, Bridget and I have experienced our own transition from national service into the private sector, and have worked with two outstanding military transition organizations in serving others doing the same. It’s a topic of both interest and personal …
Read More

I was just at a two-day planning session with the team at Everfi in Washington DC helping to inform the construction of an anti-bullying course to be called, Honor Code. The course will be deployed to thousands of schools across the United States and Canada sometime in 2018. It’s an …
Read More

Read More

As a veteran of 13 years in U.S military special operations and now working in the “private sector,” three recent articles and phenomena emerging from Silicon Valley caught my attention.  All three articles espouse tactics, themes, and leadership skills that are innovative but are actually over 200 years old.  And …
Read More

VIDEOS

READING LIST

Physical Toughness & Human Performance
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival : On sleep, improving it, and why sugar keeps you awake.
Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes : The real biology of our bodies and how calories affect our physical system, and our chemistry.
Spark Dr. John Ratey : How exercise makes us sharper and more mentally acute – more mentally tough.
Younger Next Year : Because we’re not getting any younger.
The Oxygen Advantage : On breathing and managing breath for optimal performance. One of the most informative and digestible books I’ve read in years on physiology.

Teamwork & Followership
Team of Teams Silverman, McChrystal, and Fussell : A book about operating a network of teams, by my former teammates and boss, Gen Stan McChrystal.
Legacy James Kerr : The story of the New Zealand All Blacks national rugby team, the most winning sports team in history in any sport. Legacy is a quick tour through how the All Blacks think and operate. Every single company and team in the world would do well to mimic some of their thinking.
Courageous Follower Ira Chaleff : Building leaders through teaming first. Don’t rush to leadership until the team understands “followership” and the elements of being a good teammate first.
Leadership
Up the Organization Robert Townsend : A timeless book on an atypical, but personal, way of leading teams! The story of Avis’ turnaround and the team that did it.
How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton Christensen : This book will help you evaluate how you view the people on your team, what’s the purpose of your team, and how you define/direct the team’s resources.
Creativity, Inc. Ed Catmull, President, Pixar/Disney Animations : The Pixar story from Ed Catmull’s perspective. But a much broader conversation about leading a creative organization. This is one of my favorites because many of Ed Catmull’s principles are clearly immutable.
Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat James McDonough
Into the Mouth of the Cat, the Story of Lance Sijan
Psychology / Decision Making / Mental Models
Thinking Fast and Slow Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman explains human intuition, its biases, and its failings. Understanding the biases in the way we see the world should inform our decision modeling and decision making.
Sources of Power Gary Klein : As a contrast to D. Kahneman’s view on System 1 and System 2 thinking, Gary Klein gives us a closer look at temporally constrained or crisis decision making and how (whether we know it or not) essentially choose between our two best options when “in the moment” of deciding quickly. The question for leaders then is how are we developing and training ourselves to have the “best” options available? Are we missing anything here?! A great read.
The Undoing Project Michael Lewis : The life story of Danial Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s research and relationship.
Follow Shane Parrish at the Farnham Street Blog
Mental Toughness / Warrior Mindset

The Road to Character David Brooks : A wonderful book on developing yourself through hardship and difficult circumstances. David Brooks shows how the road to character goes down many paths. He shares a really unique perspective in that we have to pursue a purpose that works for us individually but also how powerful it is in our development to subordinate ourselves to the larger team at times.
Mindset Carol Dweck : Dr. Dweck’s research is focused against the difference between “fixed” and “growth” mindsets, and the language and techniques of both. She shows us the language associated with end-state orientation vs. process orientation. Process orientation and growth mindset being the more optimal.
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why Laurence Gonzales : Warrior mindset in survival situations. What does it take and what does it look like to accept where you are right now, no matter how uncomfortable? How do people survive –both mentally and physically – in such horrendous conditions?
Man’s Search For Meaning Victor Frankl : Of course, the gold standard of a survivor’s mindset.
On Combat Dave Grossman : One of my absolute favorite books on the psychology and physiology of stress, and preparation for crisis environments.
Endurance Alfred Lansing, and Forever on the Mountain. The contrast between these two books together is remarkable. The paradoxes in both style of teamwork and outcomes is a PhD in crisis leadership and decision making.
SHARE

Home