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Whose meeting is this? A simple checklist

Can your next meeting (not conversation, not presentation, but meeting) pass this test?

There's one person responsible.

The time allocated matches what's needed, not what the calendar app says.

Everyone invited is someone who needs to be there, and no key party is missing.

There's a default step forward if someone doesn't come.

There's no better way to move this forward than to have this meeting.

The desired outcome is clearly stated. The organizer has described what would have to happen for the meeting to be cancelled or to stop midway. "This is what I want to happen," and if there's a "yes," we're done.

All relevant information, including analysis, is available to all in plenty of time to be reviewed in advance.

If you score a seven, count me in.


[Join us for a Facebook Live at 3 pm today. We'll be discussing mindfulness and making an impact with the remarkable Susan Piver. Also! Application deadline for the next altMBA is next week, April 9th.]

Happy Anniversary

Today's the seventeenth anniversary of the founding of Acumen, a groundbreaking non-profit that's changing the way the world sees poverty (they've already made a difference to 100,000,000 of the poorest people on Earth.). In addition to a great idea and passionate leadership, the secret is obvious–showing up.

Showing up day after day after day.

Today's the first anniversary of Sam joining our team at the altMBA. Sam's secret: Her consistent contribution, showing up day after day after day.

And today, give or take, is the sixteenth anniversary of this blog. Not quite on April Fool's Day a bunch of years ago, but close enough. I feel badly that so many people were fooled by this morning's post, and I'm grateful to those that wrote in with concern. But no, I was making a point, not telling the truth. It turns out that showing up is a great way to find new ideas, and I have no plans on stopping.

It's easy to come to the conclusion that someone's generous or inspired and so they do the work. But it's more likely that doing the work makes you generous or inspired.

Go make your ruckus. See you tomorrow.

I used them all up (a warning to creatives)

When I was 12, I brought 100 comic books with me to summer camp. That's a lot of comic books, an essentially infinite number.

So, if someone wanted to borrow one, I said, "sure."

Within a week, they were all gone. I was comicless for the rest of the summer.

Well, I didn't think it would happen, in fact, I said it would never happen, but now, in April 2018, after so many blog posts, after 18 books, dozens of projects and a bunch of ebooks and videos and podcasts, I'm now completely out of ideas. Big ideas, small ideas, any ideas. All gone. Used up.

I have none left.

I always believed that creativity was generative, that one led to two, that holding back was selfish and foolish. More connection begets more value begets more creation. A virtuous cycle for the ages.

And yet, here I am, sixteen Aprils in a row on this blog so far, and now, finally, zilch. Empty. Nothing even close to a new idea, a generous insight or a whisper of novelty. Nothing to say that might prompt you to do more important work. I don't even know what to make for dinner tonight.

So, be warned.

Apparently, all each of us get is seven or eight thousand ideas. I wish I'd known in advance, perhaps I would have been more circumspect with them. Hoarded them. Watched them more carefully.

There you go. Better be careful not to waste yours.



[PS for those of you not looking at the calendar… happy april]