Blog

GIVING UP WHAT WE LOVE DOING

GIVING UP WHAT WE LOVE DOING

When I arrived as a spotty 18-year-old at my new college, its head was Maurice Bowra, a don famous throughout Oxford for outrageous acts and aggressive wit.  When told an academic rival was sick, his response was “Nothing trivial, I hope?”  It was in this atmosphere I learned to love verbal sparring, the university’s currency of talk, where we would blithely argue that black was white...

Read More

THE 80/20 VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

THE 80/20 VIEW OF THE UNCONSCIOUS

Have you ever had the experience of finding a problem insoluble, giving up, and then having the answer come back to you when you were not thinking about it and least expected it?  Henri Poincaré, the great French mathematician, solved a particular tricky issue, that had eluded him for years, while boarding a bus.  Bertrand Russell reached a philosophical breakthrough when buying a tin of...

Read More

THE 80/20 VIEW OF EGO BOUNDARIES, STRONG LINKS, AND WEAK LINKS

THE 80/20 VIEW OF EGO BOUNDARIES, STRONG LINKS, AND WEAK LINKS

Can you remember the (first) time you fell in love? That’s an example of reaching beyond what psychologists call our “ego boundaries.” We feel at one with our romantic partner and we care for them.

Read More

WHICH WAS THE AMERICAN CENTURY?

WHICH WAS THE AMERICAN CENTURY?

When historians look back, which will they say was the United States’ greatest century? Was it the 18th, when the American Revolution started the trend to modern democracy, abolishing privilege and giving dignity and a voice, eventually, to all citizens? Was it the 19th century, when the American Continent was filled out, oil and gold discovered, and industry became the fountainhead of...

Read More

THE 80/20 VIEW OF ANGER

THE 80/20 VIEW OF ANGER

In the Stone Age, anger was essential for survival – fight or flight. Today, we have the same genetic makeup but for most of us anger does more harm than good. Can the 80/20 principle help us decide what to do about anger? There are two 80/20 axioms that may help. One is that 20 percent of our anger – or much less – gives us 80 percent, maybe more, of the benefit from anger. In fact, since...

Read More

USE DISCIPLES FOR SUCCESS

USE DISCIPLES FOR SUCCESS

Would you like to create a great venture and change the world, without having to do much work? If so, you need disciples. Bruce Henderson created the Boston Consulting Group through a few disciples.  Bill Bain started Bain & Company, another hugely important and successful business – and catalysed an even more valuable firm, Bain Capital – through another handful of disciples. Not only...

Read More