Breakfast Notes #74 (Movements, Hyphenates, Canada)

Breakfast Notes #74 (Movements, Hyphenates, Canada)
Photo by Kenny Eliason / Unsplash

Good morning curious friends,

Here is the 74th serving of the Breakfast Notes.

  • Inciting A Movement. Paul Cobban obsessively focuses on spilling the secrets of successful business transformation. From 2009-2022, he served as the Chief Transformation Officer at one of Singapore’s biggest bank-DBS. I suggest this incisive read to get a sample of his thinking.  Most companies fail to transform themselves because of how they perceive their employees. If you treat your employees as automatons and “ apply industrial-age management techniques to bulldoze the company into change”, you are bound for disappointment. But, if you start with being genuinely intellectually curious and trying to bring the best out of your employees, you can help turn an underperforming bank into stuff Harvard MBAs try to replicate.
  • The Case for Being A Multi-Hyphenate. Known as the Quad Father, Tom Platz was a famous bodybuilder of the 1980s. His greatest critique of modern bodybuilding is that it lacks artistry. Bodybuilders lack the ‘larger than life persona to sell the sport, thus explaining its sharp decline in today’s social media age. In its heyday, bodybuilders could be cast as movie stars. Think Lou Ferrigno, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Steve Reeves. Today, they are unfortunately perceived as meatheads.  He argues that the ideal bodybuilder must be an athlete, actor, diplomat, and businessman. The case can be made that anyone interested in creating art for a living should pursue integrating these four personas into their lives.
  • The Canadian Paradox. Canada is an extremely high-trust society, but it has a very high level of securities fraud. Joe Queenan, the American author, once proclaimed that the most respected fiction writers in Canada are Margaret Atwood and Robertson Davies. Still, no one churns out a body of fiction as consistently high quality as the companies listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange.” But as Dan Davies argues, fraud is a natural phenomenon in a trusting society. Yet, trust is more integral to success than avoiding fraud. As Davies puts it, “Although in the short term, you save your money by checking everything out, in the long term, success goes to those who trust.”

Visualization Of The Week

The Bucks, who owned the NBA's best record during the regular season with 58 wins, became the fourth No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 8 seed in the history of the NBA.

To add insult to injury, they were up 16 points in the game's final quarter.

This was an upset of historic proportions.

Yet, the star of its team, Giannis Antetokounmpo (half basketball star and half Greek Philosopher), took the loss to his chin.

The way he reframed a heartwrenching defeat as crucial "steps to success" while holding himself accountable is, to me, a masterclass in developing a winner's mindset.

Stay Curious,


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