Personal and Exponential

Abundance Resources

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Key Point: The Singularity University Canada Summit‘s (currently underway in Toronto, Ontario) mission is to inspire and enable more Canadians to think BIG, take risks to drive global impact for the advancement of humankind. (Singularity U is doing this worldwide, and online).

To kick things off at the summit, one of the world’s most influential leaders and co-founder of Singularity, Peter Diamandis, took the stage to engage the conference community in understanding the difference between linear and exponential thinking. Until recently, most of the growth and change in the world has been comparatively linear. And Diamandis emphasized that the powerful advances in technology are combining to make change exponential. He went on to explain that if one took 30 linear steps forward , the outcome would be travelling a distance of approximately 30 meters across the room. 30 exponential steps however would result in us travelling 1,073,741,824 meters; 26x around the earth. That exponential world is mostly in front of us. If we think the world is changing fast now, hang onto your hats because exponential growth is going to redefine what disruptive even means. Faster, cheaper computing power including but not limited to dramatic change in networks & sensors , synthetic biology, robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality/augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain/cryptocurrency are blowing up (or about to) whole industries. Business models in all industries are under assault. The best of us see this emerging world filled with abundant opportunity. Thoughtful courageous leaders know they have to think in terms of platforms rather than “pipes.” And much more.

So how do you and I navigate through this? I feel strongly that we have to make this very personal and immediate. Don’t wait for someone and/or your organization to “teach you.” I strongly believe that you and I must not sit on the the sidelines until technology and exponential disruptions combine to swarm over us. If we want to participate rather than spectate, it becomes very necessary to get involved NOW.

One of the thought leaders in exponential leadership is Lisa Kay Solomon, the Chair and Managing Directors of Transformational Practices at Singularity University. The following are some very practical, personal things Lisa suggests in this context of active participation in the world of  transformation:

  1. Clip headlines.
  2. Watch trends.
  3. Map uncertainties.
  4. Find patterns.
  5. Go extreme (imagine extreme outcomes).
  6. Extinction (imagine things no longer necessary).
  7. Time Travel (touch the future through experiences).
  8. Visualize (imagine what the future looks like).

We do not have to be technology experts, go out and get computer science degrees, etc. However, I cannot emphasize enough the significance of self-learning and imagining how this technology works independently, and more importantly how they combine as systems to dramatically change our lives.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Commit to experiencing (not just reading about) ALL of the following in action over the next (x) weeks. (You decide pace and order): networks & sensors, synthetic biology, robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality/augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain/cryptocurrency. Play with this technology.
  2. Identify one or more leading commercial entities in each one of these areas. Follow them and learn how they are or will be transforming an industry/market.
  3. Think BIG about this. Picture and put yourself in the middle. Be a player, have courage, make a difference. 

Personal disruption in leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: When I took the Singularity U online course, thinking exponentially makes total sense but I’m thankful for Lisa Kay Solomon’s bullet points on “how to.” Thanks to my curiosity in podcasts, I’ve learned about things like cryptocurrency and synthetic biology (check out CRISPR if you want your mind a little blown), and yeah, the future is quickly going to look a lot different. Thanks to Singularity U’s abundant take, it definitely seems like a world I’d rather be involved in than just observe.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

How Do You View the World?

Abundance

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A globe, sitting on a radiator near a window

Key Point: Do you believe we are living in the most exciting and wonderful time with abundant opportunities in front of us? Or do you think the world is “going to hell” and falling apart? Or perhaps a little of both?

Certainly when we experience horrifying events like the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, it’s difficult not to feel miserable and wonder if things are totally “falling apart.” Thank goodness we do feel pain and become awash in empathy and compassion for all those suffering. We can never allow ourselves to become numb to violence of any kind. Simultaneously, without attempting to minimize these all too frequent atrocities we humans inflict on each other, some thoughtful observers do believe the world is actually getting better. They also think we are in the midst of a drug epidemic: The drug? Negative news. The drug pushers? The media.

That’s the view of futurist, best selling author and co-founder of Singularity University, Peter Diamandis. In his important book “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think,” Diamandis argues that we pay 10x more attention to negative news than positive news. To highlight his argument, the following is a summary of the real trends as outlined in his recent blog (read the entire blog for a complete picture including sources supporting his perspective). He points to the evidence, sourcing data from many credible sources, that the world is advancing and overall things are going in the right direction:

  1. “Global Economy”
    Over the last 200 years, the world’s GDP has *skyrocketed* 100-fold. Humankind has never been more prosperous and productive.
  2. Health
    No matter where in the world you are, mortality rates have dropped precipitously over the last 300 years.
  3. Environment
    The world is getting warmer but without the Montreal Protocol, the planet would have been about 4 degrees warmer by 2050 (…resulting in more extreme weather events like droughts, floods and hurricanes).
  4. Energy
    A key measure of economic growth, living standards and poverty alleviation is access to electricity… More people around the world have access to electricity than ever, and the absolute number of those without access to electricity is dropping (despite population growth).
  5. Food
    Despite the headlines, we’re making steady progress in the realm of food scarcity and hunger… Globally, 18.6 percent of the population was undernourished in 1991; by 2015, it dropped to 10.8 percent.”

So, if we objectively look at the data, we truly live in the most progressive time to be alive. And if your mindset enables you to see problems as opportunities, the future is even brighter than the present.

Leadership Moves:

  1. Embrace an abundant mindset and allow yourself to fully contribute in accelerating the positive trends in the world. Of course, be outraged and take appropriate action in response to human atrocities. At the same time,  consume a perspective of opportunity rather than one of defeat.
  2. Only work on and do things that advance us as human beings. Why invest our precious short time on earth wallowing in what causes hurt or live in fear, hopelessness, and self-proclaimed defeat? Understand the emerging positive power of the technological exponentiality, and how it provides a path to profoundly advancing humankind. Each of us has a role to play. Determine what your’s is.
  3. Take the following online course… It’s free. If you find it valuable, please pass it on. We can accelerate the forward movement of humankind together.

The world trend is our friend in Personal Leadership.

Lorne

One Millennial View: I took this Singularity University course and found it extremely eye-opening. As a journalism major, we were taught in school to be unbiased. But anyone who has worked in media knows that advertisers (where all the money comes from) are often agenda motivated. Plus, filling a 24-hour news cycle is more compelling if you’re scaring the heck out of your audience. Unfortunately, that is truly how cable media survives. Think about seeing a murdered body on the street… That sounds horrifying, right? But, Joe Rogan’s podcast made a point recently that before around 1950, personally seeing people killed in your lifetime was probably a guaranteed thing. Today, it literally makes news if you do. Let’s keep it as simple as that. Yes, we’re living in the best time ever for human beings, despite what your TV/Social Media is telling you.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Expand Our ‘Us’

Abundance

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Key Point: Why are we so afraid? Why do we narrow down our “us” when we feel threatened? Of course, it may be because the threat of losing something to “them” is real, and/or perceived to be the case, even if there is little or no evidence to place blame on identifiable others. This is a serious question for our broadest community; indeed the world. However, to make the boundary of the discussion more manageable, I will focus on the organizations we work in.

Too often, we miss the abundant opportunity to expand our “oneness” in the workplace and get caught up tribal disputes. Hence the detestable word “silos;” a seemingly oversimplified explanation for what’s wrong in organizations today. To tee up our thinking a bit more on this, please reflect on the following quote by Dr. Brandi Kellett who hosts the website: “Expand Your Us.”

“We live in divided times. Longing for community, or to belong, or perhaps to feel known, we gravitate toward people with whom we share experience and expectation. We find our tribe. Our people. Soon, either intentionally or quite passively, we find ourselves divided into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ We cling to our ‘us,’ (preventing) moving toward ‘them’ with empathy, greeting mistakes with compassion, going to bat for them, fighting their battles. We greet ‘them’ however, with skepticism, defining ‘them’ by their mistakes, assuming the worst, and easily placing them into well-defined stereotypical boxes. Expand Your Us is my effort to confront this divide, to highlight the devastating effects of ‘us and them’ thinking, and to suggest alternatives as we try to form a more perfect union. There is no them, there’s only ‘us?’”

When we are at our best, common purpose and values drive us to “oneness.” The hard work of personal leadership is to deeply converse and discover the shared purpose and values that are most often there, waiting to be both discovered and understood at a personally emotional level. Fortunately, and underlying my true optimism, is that when we dig into the soul of our humanness, there is so much to connect all of us. When we expand our boundaries of understanding, we make room to be inclusive. That’s why every individual in any institution needs to see themselves inside a well understood and articulated organization purpose. It is also why explicit and widely understood values are the first lens to examine and guide each other’s behavior. This is the glue and makes up part of the “us.”

Recognize driving inclusion is what accountable leaders and members do. It’s the hardest of the hard work. It is not being weak minded or paying attention to so called “soft skills.” Rather, it involves relentless forward movement in advancing purpose, values, equity, compassion, fairness and creating abundance. It requires bridges that prevent the toxic acts of promoting division and making what’s wrong with the “world” a matter of “us” against “them.” When that happens, we just keep swapping out so called losers and winners; one time it’s “us,” the next time it’s “them.” In that context, what value does so called “winning” really have? As Dr. Kellett states: “There is no “them,” only “us.” Real leadership finds us there.

Leadership Moves:

  1. When blame and destructive division at any level begins to emerge, consciously and intentionally look to explore how to expand the “us.” Help bridge the gap and positively embrace “them” in a way where the mutually recognized best forward movement belongs to “oneness.”

Expanding our “us” in Leadership,
Lorne

One Millennial View: This is powerful. As time progresses, I believe Millennials are slowly but surely realizing that leaving “safe spaces” and exploring discomforting viewpoints is beneficial. I absolutely encourage it. Yeah, some viewpoints make us feel uncomfortable, but it’ll get worse if we just draw that “us” versus “them” mentality in the sand.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

We’re Back!!

Abundance

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Hi Readers,

Key Point: Garrett and I have really missed sharing our collective voice with you. We took a little break and at the same time recognized it was necessary to refresh the “old” Lornerubis.com website. We had to take the site down, which made our time away a little longer than we planned. So, what’s new with Lornerubis.com?

The legacy site was six years old and outdated in content and functionality. It needed to be modernized in many ways. While we’re still working some minor bugs out, we encourage you to visit the new site and hope you find this route valuable. The site’s searchability has improved significantly, and there is a lot more informative content in addition to the blogs. At the same time, all the blogs we’ve written every week for the past six years are archived for your reference. Our Culture Cast podcasts are there too, (stay tuned for Season 2 starting in late October). Speaking of our podcasts, thank you for responding to our survey and the unanimous support for more. We asked and listened to your suggestions so we will be doing additional topics on leadership, innovation and culture with more real world insights that translate into action. We will be continuously adding new resource content to Lornerubis.com as the site and your interests evolve. And those of you who have subscribed will automatically get the blog emailed Tuesday and Friday mornings (Pacific Time) per usual.

The new theme of the refreshed website is Personal Leadership. It is based on the premise that the gateway to effectively leading others always starts with each of us first. While the Character Triangle consisting of the values of Self-Accountability, Respect and Abundance will always be foundational, the scope of the website content will focus on the full range of material driving transformative leadership and cultural advancement. We hope to challenge, inspire, provoke, enrich, and meaningfully contribute to your personal leadership journey. Like we often state, “You’re worth it!”

Thanks for being part of our community and helping us to continue improving our voice.

Lorne

P.S. Special thanks to the great web team at ATB who took this web re-design on as an extra project. This was WAY beyond and added to an already very heavy work load for all of them. You can see their professional work in the design. I cannot express my appreciation adequately.

One Millennial View: I’m absolutely thrilled to be back in the saddle for the new installment of Lornerubis.com. The update looks amazing, and I too would like to thank the efforts of the ATB team that designed the awesome new site. I know we’re both pumped that it’s making a big comeback, especially at a point where Personal Leadership is a topic that’s very important for me to focus on. I look forward to continuing to share a Millennial View with all of our great readers! Thanks for sticking around!

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Principle of Inversion and Anti-Goals

Abundance Be Abundant Productivity Time Management

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Key Point: Let’s learn from Warren Buffett’s business partner, Charlie Munger, and the co-founders of Tiny. First, reflect on these three Munger quotes: “1. A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: Early death, a bad marriage, etc…” “2. It is remarkable how much long-term advantage we have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent…” “3. Problems frequently get easier if you turn them around in reverse. In other words, if you want to help India, the question you should ask is not ‘how can I help India,’ it’s ‘what is doing the worst damage in India and how do I avoid it?

Munger is talking about inversion in the last quote; the idea that problems are best solved when they are reversed. It’s often easier to think about what you don’t want before what you do. My experience is that both people and organizations are out of balance regarding the amount of time spent determining what they want to achieve versus what they’d like to avoid or stop doing. And strategic legacy planning processes often just add stuff up without declaring anti-goals. The outcome becomes lists of stuff to do/measure and are made up of executives’ favorite ideas that reflect compromise more than clear intent. 

I loved the blog by Tiny co-founder, Andrew Wilkinson, where he put Munger’s wisdom into action. In his words:

“So, instead of thinking through what we wanted our perfect day to look like, we thought about the worst day imaginable and how to avoid it. We inverted and came up with what we call Anti-Goals.

Our worst possible day looked like this:

  1. Full of long meetings.
  2. A packed calendar.
  3. Dealing with people we don’t like or trust.
  4. Owing people things/not being in control/obligations.
  5. Having to be at the office.
  6. Travel.
  7. Tired.

Working backwards from there, we made this set of Anti-Goals:

  1. Never schedule an in-person meeting when it can otherwise be accomplished via email or phone (or not at all).
  2. No more than two hours of scheduled time per day.
  3. No business or obligations with people we don’t like—even just a slight bad vibe and it’s a hard no.
  4. Never give up voting control of our businesses, no favors from people who could need something from us (ensure the rule of reciprocity doesn’t kick in).
  5. Work from a cafe across from a beautiful park where we can come and go as we please with nobody to bother us.
  6. Video conference or pay for people to come visit us.
  7. Never schedule morning meetings, sleep in when needed.

Problem solved.

Of course, we still have the odd unavoidable crappy day, but these simple Anti-Goals have made our lives immeasurably better by setting an Anti-Goal instead of a goal. Try it sometime, it’s insanely simple and strangely powerful.”

Character Moves:

  1. Try inversion and anti-goals. As Wilkinson notes, it is a simple yet powerful process. Sometimes to be crystal clear about what you want, the best starting route is to get there through declaring what you don’t want first. I do argue however that establishing BOTH goals and anti-goals are important. The processes are related, but different. Connect them. 
  2. Don’t be become that person that whines about how stupid your schedule is, how crazy hard you’re working, and how everyone/thing else is making you miserable. Be self-accountable and do something about it. Try inversion and anti-goals. It will help you break the cycle and move forward with more control over your situation than you might realize. 

Anti-goals in The Triangle,

Lorne 

One Millennial View: I love Munger and Wilkinson’s quotes and the freedom they’ve allotted themselves with anti-goals. Some Millennials might read this and say, “But, I don’t have the professional control to accomplish my anti-goals.” That could be the case at the moment, but, at least by “setting” anti-goals, you can get a better sense of where you’d like to make your professional life more malleable as you further your career.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis