GRANTED: New book, getting better at learning and reflecting, and the forgotten value of followers
Two years ago, Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband Dave suddenly. After the funeral, she asked me what she could do to help her children through tragedy. We started talking about concrete steps she could take—and ended up writing a book about what we learned.
Option B is about what it takes to build resilience—in ourselves, our children, our workplaces, and our communities. One of my favorite lessons is that moments of joy don’t just bring us happiness; they give us strength. The book comes out April 24:
In the meantime, here are some favorite articles from the past month:
1. How to Learn New Things as an Adult
To remember what you read, don't reread or highlight it. Summarize it and share it with others. (Yes, this is one of the reasons I have a newsletter.)
2. Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)
Reflect on this: people who spent 15 minutes a day reflecting on what they learned performed 23% better in the next 10 days.
3. Not Leadership Material? Good. The World Needs Followers.
If a leader gives a speech and there are no followers to hear it, does it still make a sound? Susan Cain makes a compelling case that universities are overemphasizing leadership—what really matters is excellence and contribution to the community.
4. People Who Speak Multiple Languages Make the Best Employees for One Big Reason
If you’re bilingual, you have more original ideas and make more rational decisions. Hear that, America?
From My Desk:
5. Deep Work: The Secret to Achieving Peak Productivity
Cal Newport grilled me about my work habits. I walked away with one equation from him and one of my own:
Productivity = (time spent) X (intensity of focus)
Creativity = (time spent) X (variety of ideas)
6. What Your Marriage Needs Is... A Meeting
My wife Allison gives brilliant feedback on everything I write. After years of cajoling, I finally convinced her to write something together. Here, we share our least romantic tip for marital bliss.
Finally, if you’re looking to break out of your news bubble, try media startup PolarNews. I had the pleasure of teaching two of the founders in class, and they send a daily email that pairs opposing perspectives on timely topics.