This is the Too Many Trees newsletter, where I share what I’ve been writing and reading in the realm of leadership and personal development. My executive coaching practice is centered around the idea that we are more effective in moving towards our goals when we become more conscious and intentional in focusing our time and attention, and learn how our unconscious patterns are holding us back. If you know somebody that could benefit from my perspective, please forward this to them or let them know they can set up a free intro chat with me.

Slow Down and Connect

July 23, 2023

It's summer!

We are taking a long weekend vacation, and my wife is reminding me that it's time to put the computer and the phone down, and just enjoy this time as a family.

I encourage you to do the same - work is typically slower during the summer as lots of people taking vacations, especially if they have kids on summer break.

If you're on vacation, enjoy it!

Even if you're at home, use the opportunity to reconnect with friends you haven't seen for a while, or reach out to new acquaintances to deepen the relationship. I enjoyed doing both recently.

A decade from now, you won't remember whether you got that project done a week earlier, but you will remember the relationships that defined this time of your life. If you don't believe me, think back ten years ago - do you remember the details of what you were working on?
And now for the normal personal development content…
Stuff happening in my network:
LinkedIn: These are ideas that have helped my clients (or myself), and that I share via LinkedIn to help a wider audience.
  • When are you a human being, rather than a human doing? Most of us spend our time in a constant state of anxiety, feeling we are not where we "need" to be, of constantly feeling the weight of what we "should" or "must" do. It doesn't have to be that way. Being present in a state of flow is both more satisfying and productive, if we can let go of the habits of doing.
  • What does it mean to be authentic? Some people think being authentic means showing up the same way in every situation, because they see people who change their approach as being like sleazy used-car salesmen who say whatever it takes to close the deal. I think being authentic is more about the core values being expressed, even if the form in which they are expressed varies from situation to situation.
Articles that got me to subscribe to the author's newsletter:
  • Puzzle Theory vs. People Theory. I liked this newsletter from the Raw Signal Group (aka Johnathan and Melissa Nightingale) which contrasts the "puzzle theory" that people and problems at work are puzzles to be solved through tricks and cheat codes. People who have this mindset want me to just tell them what to do, not realizing that the real change needs to happen within them. People theory, as they name it, is the idea that work is "a product of the systems of communication, trust, accountability, and division of work that we all participate in building and maintaining". In other words, it's just people, and we have to figure out how to work with different people.
  • Identifying why a startup won't work. Jason Cohen lays out "solving a problem is—perhaps surprisingly—not nearly enough to build a successful company." and offers a flowchart and reasoning to explain the many other factors necessary to build a thriving company. I went on to read most of his other articles as I appreciated his perspective. Here's his newsletter.
  • Cedric Chin's articles on Dell's Capital Expertise and The Skill of Capital as he explores what he is calling the triad of business expertise (supply/operations, demand/strategy, and capital/cashflow). Expertise on supply and demand is well covered in business literature, but expertise in capital is not, and I appreciate his exploration of what that skill looks like with memorable examples. This one's a bit of a cheat, as I'm already a paying member of Cedric's Commoncog site, but I was debating whether to renew and I think this series tips me over into staying.
Thanks for reading! See you in a couple weeks!
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