I don’t care a whit about sports, but I’ve been really enjoying The Last Dance, a new documentary series about the rise of the Chicago Bulls. Sportsball aside, the series is just plain great storytelling, about a group of extremely competitive, talented, egotistical, flawed, and driven human beings who came together, won a bunch of championships, made a bunch of money, and had a lasting impact on sports and culture.
There are also a few lessons to learn about scaling teams that apply far beyond basketball.
My favorite story arc so far comes in episode four. It’s the summer of 1989, and the Bulls coach, Doug Collins, is replaced with the new coach, Phil Jackson. Even at this early point in his career, Michael Jordan had established himself as an NBA star. When he got the ball in his hands, Jordan scored–and everybody knew it. …
I’ve been deliberating about what to write this week, and the internal debate has gone longer than I like–which seems like the perfect topic. Let’s do this.
Lately I’ve been working on something very specific in life and work: Shortening the length of the debate-decide-act cycle. Whether I’m deciding what to eat for lunch, whether to hire a candidate, or what school my kid should go to next year, I want to gather info, consider the options, make a call, and move on without getting stuck or stalled along the way.
Being decisive is a key part of being action-oriented. Deliberating too long on decisions is downright debilitating. Decisiveness is a muscle, and life, which involves hundreds of choices on a daily basis, is our gym. …
My grandmother was an extraordinary cook who expressed her love for her family by preparing delicious Italian meals. My grandfather was a dressmaker who worked six days a week. On Sundays, he sat in the living room reading The New York Times, while Grandma was in the kitchen putting pots and pans on the stovetop and thumping utensils on the cutting board while she boiled pasta, fried meatballs, and chopped garlic and basil.
One Sunday, Grandpa asked, “Why do you have to make so much noise in the kitchen?”
“When you don’t do anything, you don’t make any noise,” she replied. …