Adam Grant

How to Be an Original

All significant achievement demands a journey beyond precedent. Adam Grant’s Originals is not so much a map for this journey as a curriculum for explorers, preparing the “reader as explorer” to handle the kinds of terrain they can expect to encounter. The book is like a mosaic, largely made up of tiles constructed in a… Read more » Read more


Try to Praise the Mutilated World

Elaine Scarry writes about how pain “exhausts and displaces all else, until it seems to become the single broad and omnipresent fact of existence.” Pain staggers the imagination, in opposite ways for the sufferer and the bystander. At the end of October, The International Organization for Migration counted the year to date figure that 3,329… Read more » Read more


Stop Being a Ghost!

I’ve been grateful for the many comments I’ve received on the Living Two Stories post about the question of “what to do about not knowing what we want.”  One of the themes that has come up in conversations about the piece relates to authenticity: how to be authentic in the context of work one is… Read more » Read more

Part 6

Beyond “The Dream of Safety”

Leap Before You Look The sense of danger must not disappear: The way is certainly both short and steep, However gradual it looks from here; Look if you like, but you will have to leap. Tough-minded men get mushy in their sleep And break the by-laws any fool can keep; It is not the convention… Read more » Read more

On and Against Striving

On and Against Striving

I have always been someone whose work is mostly about striving. My clients are people trying to achieve something big enough to be beyond their easy reach. My own ambitions have always been to discover, to build, to reach a standard. As a thinker, my subject is about how people and the organizations build can… Read more » Read more

What Work Is

Watching Others go to Work

In a meeting with my friend Jennifer McCrea, she described standing on the subway and experiencing an overwhelming sense of people being captives of their routines and their contexts. Montaigne wrote about a very similar idea, in his late essay “Of husbanding your will”:   Men give themselves for hire.  Their faculties are not for… Read more » Read more