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Consultants Collective Corner: Stories Help You Make Sense Of Your Life & Other Articles

The following has been curated by Consultants Collective member executive coach, Kevin Jordan.

This week’s edition has multiple articles and Ted Talks on the power and benefit of continuous learning and development, regardless of the stage of your career. There are also a few perspectives on happiness and gratitude and their applicability to our modern (and often chaotic) professional and personal environments. I am a big fan of all of the TED Talks and podcasts as well, especially the stories and wonder and sunsets podcasts).


If You Want to Get Better at Something, Ask Yourself These Two Questions by Peter Bregman

Learning anything new is, by its nature, uncomfortable. You will need to act in ways that are unfamiliar. Take risks that are new. Try things that, in many cases, will be initially frustrating because they won’t work the first time. You are guaranteed to feel awkward. You will make mistakes. You may be embarrassed or even feel shame, especially if you are used to succeeding a lot.

Harvard Business Review

Competitive advantage with a human dimension: From lifelong learning to lifelong employability by Beth Davies, Connor Diemand-Yauman, and Nick van Dam

As AI-enabled automation advances, organizations should embrace “lifelong employability,” which stretches traditional notions of learning and development and can inspire workers to adapt, more routinely, to the evolving economy.

McKinsey & Company

Why Even New Grads Need to Reskill for the Future by Marc Zao-Sanders and Kelly Palmer

The work-readiness of new grads is a substantial but solvable problem. Graduates need to adopt the mindset, methods, and wealth of technologies now available to determine their career direction and success. And employers can provide a reassuring tailwind, which will create a stronger workforce, and help the bottom line.”

Harvard Business Review

How to Improve Your Memory (Even if You Can’t Find Your Car Keys) by By Adam Grant

Incredible memory capacities are latent inside all of us — we just have to use the right techniques to awaken them.

The New York Times

With Goals, FAST Beats SMART by Donald Sull and Charles Sull

Goals are a powerful tool to drive strategy execution. To harness their potential, leaders must move beyond the conventional wisdom of SMART goals and their entrenched practices. Instead, they need to think in terms of being FAST by having frequent discussions about goals, setting ambitious targets, translating them into specific metrics and milestones, and making them public for everyone to see.

MIT Sloan

How to Be Thankful For Your Life by Changing Just One Word by James Clear

I think it’s important to remind yourself that the things you do each day are not burdens, they are opportunities. So often, the things we view as work are actually the reward…You don’t have to. You get to.


When to Stick with Something — and When to Quit by André Spicer

So when you ask yourself whether to stick with a task or goal, or to let it go, weigh the potential to continue learning and developing incrementally against the costs, dangers, and myopia which can come with stubborn perseverance.

Harvard Business Review

The Cobra Effect

Unintended consequences: life, and economics, are full of them. The cobra effect is a specific kind of unintended consequence that happens when the proposed solution ends up worsening the problem it was intended to solve. It’s not simply a surprise negative result, it’s the opposite of what was intended.


Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test by Jessica McCrory Calarco

Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test: Affluence—not willpower—seems to be what’s behind some kids’ capacity to delay gratification.

The Atlantic

These six millennials make millions. So why do they share a house? by Brittany Meiling

TED Talks/Podcasts

Accelerate Learning to Boost Your Career by Scott Young

Scott Young, who gained fame for teaching himself the four-year MIT computer science curriculum in just 12 months, says that the type of fast, focused learning he employed is possible for all of us…And, in a dynamic, fast-paced business environment that leaves so many of us strapped for time and struggling to keep up, he believes that the ability to quickly develop new knowledge and skills will be a tremendous asset. After researching best practices and experimenting on his own, he has developed a set of principles that any of us can follow to become ‘ultralearners.’

Harvard Business Review

 Why Success Alone Won’t Truly Make You Happy by Justin Kan

Justin Kan, the Twitch/Atrium founder, bluntly lifts a veil on social media self-promotion by sharing how success has an ephemeral return on personal happiness. Countering a common tendency among ambitious individuals to defer their personal happiness until they’ve achieved lofty goals, Justin explains that wellness is something to work towards in the present. He attributes his mental health to both abiding by the tenants of his ‘feeling good’ program and working in his zone of genius.


How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life by Lori Gottlieb

Stories help you make sense of your life — but when these narratives are incomplete or misleading, they can keep you stuck instead of providing clarity. In an actionable talk, psychotherapist and advice columnist Lori Gottlieb shows how to break free from the stories you’ve been telling yourself by becoming your own editor and rewriting your narrative from a different point of view.

TED Talk

Capacity for Wonder and Sunsets by John Green

John Green reviews humanity’s capacity for wonder and sunsets. [This podcast, The Anthropocene Reviewed, is outstanding!]

WNYC Studios

Blog Posts

You Have To Find The Good In People

We have to focus on what we can learn from other people. We have to focus on what is special and unique about them instead of zeroing in on the ways they are not as good as us. We have to be forgiving and patient, kind and appreciative. We have to engage with what they bring to the table, not lament the things they take from it.”

Daily Stoic

Allies and accomplices

To be an ally means that you won’t get in the way, and, if you are able to, you’ll try to help. To become an accomplice, though, means that you’ve risked something, sacrificed something and put yourself on the hook as well.” 

Seth’s Blog

Arts & Culture Corner

The Surfer’s Secret to Happiness by Ellis Avery

The dark mystery of bodily suffering had offered itself to me as a new way to love New York City, and life, all over again. I had accepted it, with joy. Watching the surfers at Bondi Beach, I vowed to do so again when I returned home in the fall, no matter what.

New York Times

What I Learned About Life From Buying a Goat on Craigslist by Ryan Holiday

That was the Way. Nature. The cultivated soil. The growing crops. The satisfaction of good hard work. The poetry of the earth. As it was in the beginning, as it will be forever. I’m lucky enough to say, at least for the present moment, that that is my life. A life laid out before me, not by a Zen master, but by a simple goat.


What’s happening at Deadspin is a travesty by Jeremy Gordon

Whenever a publication shuts down, as has happened more and more over the last few years, it undergoes a public eulogizing by its employees, the friends of its employees, the people who wanted to work there, and most importantly the readers, whose tributes are probably the purest, because they come with no baked-in professional obligations… So I’m going to attempt avoiding gauzy mythologizing and sentimental hyperbole [about] the sports blog Deadspiin, which is not yet dead but hearing its own death rattle under its newest owners’ moronic leadership.

The Outline

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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