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Awareness or action?

Some projects suffer from a lack of awareness. If only more people knew about what you were offering, you’d be fine.

But most projects don’t have that problem, not really.

The problem is that the people who are already aware of it don’t take action.

They don’t sign up.

They don’t engage.

They don’t spread the word.

More focus on action and less on awareness usually pays dividends. It’s more difficult of course, because you need to focus on what you make, how you make it and the change you seek to create.

Horizontal leadership

The first week of business school was pretty miserable for me. I had no idea if the others were feeling as underwater as I was, because I was focused on my own challenges.

And then, a few days into the semester, Chip Conley, a fellow student, put a note in my campus mailbox. To paraphrase, “I’m organizing a five-person brainstorming group, and I’m hoping you can join us.”

Chip wasn’t in charge of anything. Like me, he was one of the youngest students in the class. But he realized that the best way forward was together, so he reached out and changed the lives of four fellow travelers. By assembling a few others, he created magic, possibility and connection.

What can you organize today?

Everything is a compromise

It’s possible to build a car that will never injure the driver, regardless of the severity of the crash.

The thing is, it will be so heavy, it won’t move, and so wide, it won’t fit on the roads.

We compromise every time we engage with the rules of physics.

And it’s possible that the world will line up and give you exactly what you want. Except that other humans never want exactly what you want, and we build that truth into our expectations about what’s possible. We compromise every time we engage with other human beings.

Once we acknowledge that all forward motion involves compromise, we can get to the actual question, “how much?”

How much will we compromise with the realities of physics and humanity on our path to making things better?

Absolutism is a form of hiding. Perfect is the enemy of good.