PROGRESSION: October 2023
As October comes to a close, I’m excited to share a sneak peek at a project I’m working on. Skip ahead to the Observations section to learn more.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
Books, Articles, etc.
Doc: The Life of Roy Halladay by Todd Zolecki (Book)
One of the best sports books I’ve read. Doc not only tells the story of Roy Halladay’s illustrious baseball career, but his hard-driven youth, his lifelong personal struggles, and his motivation to pass along all he learned before his tragic death in 2017.
Halladay had high expectations when the Blue Jays drafted him as a pitcher in the first round. But he finished the 2000 season with an earned run average of 10.64, the worst ERA in the history of Major League Baseball. The next year he was sent to the minor leagues. And not just one level down, but two levels. Embarrassed and ashamed, Halladay contemplated taking his life. Eventually an inspired former pitching coach encouraged him to change his throwing motion. Humble and willing to try anything, Halladay followed his advice. That single adjustment changed everything and Halladay went on to become one of the best pitchers of his generation, winning two Cy Young awards and becoming the second pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs.
Since reading this book, I’ve thought a lot about Halladay’s quote on hard work: “Men don’t differ in their desire to win, they differ in the price they are willing to pay in order to have a chance to win.”
A Few Laws of Getting Rich by Morgan Housel (Article)
I recently sent this piece to a client whose net worth is set to grow meaningfully in the near future. Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing what that means for him, his family, and those close to him. Whether you consider yourself wealthy or not, or whether you’re aspiring to grow your wealth or not, I highly recommend reading.
Here are a few passages that stand out:
It’s hard to get really depressed until your dreams come true. Once your dreams come true and you realize you feel the same way you did before then you get a feeling of hopelessness. Sometimes what made you successful was worry and anxiety, and you can’t let go of that when you’re rich.
In the words of Matt Damon, “You retard socially and emotionally the moment you become famous. Your experience of the world is never the same.” The same may be true…for those who become wealthy. No one ever treats you the same. And the worst part is that you may not even know it.
Would you rather make $100,000 a year with a spouse who loves you, children who admire you, good friends, good health, and a clear conscience, or make $1,000,000 and have none of those things?
Listen by Scott Galloway (Article)
Listening is a crucial skill and one that doesn’t get enough attention, probably because it’s too obvious. If you want to be better at anything you do, listening is a good place to start. According to Galloway:
“When people seek advice, it often isn’t advice they want, but someone to listen. A good listener — someone who is present, who asks probing questions, who doesn’t use the person’s pain as a starting gun for them to speak — is a balm for anxiety. That’s why a good listener makes a useful partner in problem-solving. The best advice you can give is to listen, which is to tell that person that they matter. Some of the best mentorship moments I’ve experienced, on both sides, have been when the mentor doesn’t offer advice, but expresses affection by focusing solely on you and what you are saying. ”
Interestingly, Galloway is someone I’ve largely tuned out as I found some of his perspectives, particularly on startups, to be inconsistent. Reading this was a good reminder for me to look beyond the source and focus on the content. (Note: I really enjoyed his interview on the My First Million podcast.)
Sneak Peek at My New Book + How You Can Help
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a book that’s set to be published in Feb 2024. The title is The Unconquerable Leader and shares key leadership insights I’ve learned from personal experience and from top execs I’ve coached. I’m confident it will have a big impact and I’d love your help.
As I prep for the book’s launch, I’m forming a team of folks who can help spread the word. Let me know if you’re interested and I’m happy to share details about the launch team as well as a mockup of the cover and the book’s introduction. If you’d like to help, simply hit reply and write “tell me more.”
I’ve found power in regularly expressing gratitude so I’ll continue the habit. I’m grateful for youth sports. There are countless lessons I’ve seen my kids learn from playing sports. This past soccer season was especially rewarding as our youngest—age four—played soccer for the first time. In her first game, she just stood around most of the time looking confused. In the second game, she started to get the hang of things. By her third game, she figured it out and was dribbling and shooting with confidence. Almost every day for the last six weeks she’s asked me if I’d practice with her. She’s learned that practice leads to improvement, and that improving at something you care about is fun. I’m grateful for youth sports.
If you've read anything worth sharing I'd love to hear about it. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.
Oh, and don’t forget to reply with “tell me more” if you’d like to learn more about the book and the how you might help. 🙂
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