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“On Predicting The Future” & Other Articles from Kevin Jordan

I hope you, your families and friends continue to be well, safe and healthy.

For this week, I have once again endeavored to reduce the seemingly endless stream of coronavirus-related reading and listening. I have included, among other things, articles addressing over-identification with our work and how to stay mentally healthy, why continued upskilling, with a special focus on adaptability to facilitate indispensability, is necessary, the danger in overplaying to our strengths and tips for minimizing complexity. There are a few coronavirus resources that focus on the need for and best ways to facilitate virtual collaboration, which can (and hopefully will) be applied in the post-pandemic world that we are shaping.

This will be my last publication for May as I am taking some time off later this week and next to celebrate turning 29 yet again and spending downtime with the fam (live) and dear friends (virtually). I will pick back up in early June.

As always, happy reading and listening! And please stay safe and look out for your families and your community.

Take good care and enjoy the holiday weekend!


What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity. “While identifying closely with your career isn’t necessarily bad, it makes you vulnerable to a painful identity crisis if you burn out, get laid off, or retire. Individuals in these situations frequently suffer anxiety, depression, and despair. By claiming back some time for yourself and diversifying your activities and relationships, you can build a more balanced and robust identity in line with your values.” 

How to Build a “Psychological First Aid Kit.” “The American Mountain Guides Association published tips on how outdoor professionals can use ‘psychological first aid’ to stay mentally healthy during these challenging times. But the advice is useful for all of us during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.” 

I coached 101 CEOs, founders, VCs and other executives in 2019: These are the biggest takeaways. “If there’s just one thing these incredible people have taught me from the hundreds of sessions this past year, it’s this: Learn to embrace all aspects of your humanity, particularly of your emotions and I guarantee you, if you stick with it, you’ll have everything you ever dreamed of. To me, this is not an empty promise, this is science, clear as day. When we are able to trust, agree and embrace it all, over and over again, we arrive at a place of stillness, with the possibility for powerful action. And that, repeated over time, creates the life we want.” 

How Your Strengths Can Sometimes Become Weaknesses. “Instead of striving to use your strengths more often, aim to use them more wisely.” 

Michael Jordan: N.B.A. Champ, Marketing Legend and … Toxic Worker? “Experts say a difficult superstar is rarely worth the cost to workplace morale. Does the Bulls icon prove them wrong?” 

These days, adaptability is a must-have trait. Here’s how to spot it — and increase it. “Organizations want team members who can take on new responsibilities and acquire new skills as needed in an uncertain world. Not only is it a quality that you should learn to spot so you can hire and retain the right people, but it’s also one that you should build so you can remain indispensable and employable.” 

10 CEO perspectives on upskilling. “Two years’ of interviews with CEOs from around the world reveal how leaders view the effect of technology on their workforces.” 

The Simplicity Principle and why six is the perfect number for better management. “‘Keep it simple‘ and ‘learn from nature’ are positive mantras to live and work by.” 

Business (not) as usual: Tips for strategic virtual collaboration. “In this time of disruption, virtual collaboration sessions can help you to keep working on your most important issues, harness group wisdom and importantly, achieve outcomes that can help deliver. Impartial, skilled facilitation and precise communication will be imperative to effectively bring in relevant voices, solve problems, accelerate decision-making and align outcomes.” 

The Top 20 Business Transformations of the Last Decade. “The takeaway lesson from these mission-changers is clear: In an era of relentless change, a company survives and thrives based not on its size or performance at any given time but on its ability to reposition itself to create a new future, and to leverage a purpose-driven mission to that end. That’s why strategic transformation may be the business leadership imperative of the 21st century.”  

TED Talks/Podcasts

TED Talks Daily: The anti-CEO playbook. “Profit, money, shareholders: these are the priorities of most companies today. But at what cost? In an appeal to corporate leaders worldwide, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya calls for an end to the business playbook of the past — and shares his vision for a new, ‘anti-CEO playbook’ that prioritizes people over profits. ‘This is the difference between profit and true wealth,’ he says.” 

99% Invisible: Cautionary Tales. “Galileo tried to teach us that adding more and more layers to a system intended to avert disaster often makes catastrophe all the more likely. His basic lesson has been ignored in nuclear power plants, financial markets and at the Oscars… all resulting in chaos…In this episode of Cautionary Tales, Tim Harford takes us through all of the poor design choices leading into the infamous La La Land/Moonlight debacle, and how it could have been prevented. 

WorkLife with Adam Grant: How Science Can Fix Remote Work. Remote work was a trend that some companies and gig workers were trying out, even as others resisted. Then the pandemic made it an overnight reality for many of us. This feels like uncharted territory, but there’s already plenty of knowledge on how to do it well. Learn from someone who has done more remote work than almost anyone on the planet—and find out what science says about how to keep your teams cohesive, fight screenout, and build resilience by mentally traveling in time.”  

Blog Posts (excerpt below with links to the full post)

On predicting the future. “All that’s on us is to do our best work. Paying attention to models and the community and the people we serve.” 

A Crisis Can Make You BetterBut Only If You Have This Mindset. “This is your opportunity to develop your own cautious self-confidence. To perceive what others see as negative, as something to be approached rationally, clearly, and, most important, as an opportunity—not as something to fear or bemoan.”  

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

The Many Lives of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ “Since its release, ‘Hallelujah’ has been covered by more than 300 artists and become a staple of TV singing shows. Not bad for a song that Cohen’s own record label hated.” 

The ’90s-era Chicago Bulls were iconic. “So why is the logo such a mystery? The Bulls logo is an icon, too—we just don’t know for sure who made it.” 

The Grapelord of Napa Faces a Threat Worse Than Plague. “For 50 years, Andy Beckstoffer drove up the price of wine. Did the strategy work too well?” 

Berkeley Will Fully Close Its Streets to Create Giant Outdoor Dining Rooms. “Berkeley is moving fast to expand outdoor dining.”

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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