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RECENTLY I’VE BEEN THINKING about some of the principles that ground my life and my business. With some thought, I’ve been able to articulate one that’s pretty fundamental and serves me well.

I’m not the smartest guy around, but I get by. The reason is that I figure most anything can be learned given some focus.

I see that many people seem to really struggle when they run into barriers. I get that. When you’re standing right next to an obstacle, it looks really big. Even insurmountable.

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THERE WAS AN INTERESTING QUESTION on Quora recently, posed by an entrepreneur who is feeling the pressure of competition from large multi-national corporations. It’s very worrisome for him, and he’s struggling to figure out how to compete against those with more resources and shady tactics.

But every advantage has a weakness built in.

When I worked for a huge Fortune 50 company, I saw this exact situation – but from the inside. I was working for a team that was chartered to find new products and services to invest in.

But it was an almost impossible situation.

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DIVERSITY HAS BECOME WATERED DOWN. The honest truth that business in this country has adopted an attitude of “hire a racial minority and we’ll be good.”

I almost don’t even want to use the word any more, but there’s something important I’ve learned. We need to talk about it.

We all gravitate toward people and groups which are similar to us. I think it’s a hardwired aspect of being human, perhaps based on how our primitive ancestors maintained stable communities.

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ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN when you stick to a great mission for years.

I wrote about The ShareLingo Project a couple of years ago, so I was super excited when James Archer contacted me about what’s been happening.  It turns out that he’s just 22 days away from launching his new book about developing programs which build cross-language learning through cross-cultural relationships.

Quick synopsis: ShareLingo brings together small teams of English and Spanish speakers where they learn the foreign language from each other while building personal relationships and deep appreciation for culture.  Feel free to check out that previous article for more of the story.

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Thank you Kyle BroadAMERICANS ARE DISSATISFIED with the direction of morals and values in our country.

Thus proclaimed a recent study that I heard mentioned on the radio.

Here’s the problem, though:  This has been a common complaint, pretty much for the entirety of human history.  It has to do with the innate sense of striving that we have as humans, and frustration that things rarely go as we desire.

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YOU’RE SCARED TO TAKE the next step.

And it’s not even a bet-the-farm situation, where you have to put everything on the line.  This is actually a reasonable decision, but you’re stuck on tradeoffs between different requirements and points of view.

There’s a way to break out of this paralysis.

Scientific researchers run experiments, and huge progress is made.  So let’s do the same thing here.

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ARIANA FRIEDLANDER IS A MISFIT.

In fact, she’s made a business out of it!

I met Ariana a few years ago, and was inspired by her energy and creativity.  But it’s always been a bit of a struggle for me to describe what she does.

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chatterWE ALL HAVE THIS CHATTER going on in our minds all the time.  It’s part of being human.

But not always useful.

The problem is that it’s constantly influencing your attitude and those around you.  It can destroy your effectiveness as a leader.

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cvdl_logo_118x188THE CENTER FOR VALUES-DRIVEN LEADERSHIP has just opened up for applications for the next cohort of their PhD/DBA program.

You might remember that I talked about this program earlier this year when I had a chance to meet the leaders.  It’s exciting because it’s customized specifically for senior executives who are designing their companies around solid, powerful values.

So check out the executive doctoral program in values-driven leadership and apply by November 1 2016.

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cvdl doctorate videoTHIS WEEK I DISCOVERED an exciting new program offered by Benedictine University near Chicago: their Doctoral Program in Values Driven Leadership for Senior Executives.

This is an amazing development.

This is a mature, well-thought-through program for those who are truly serious about leading businesses with deeper values – the same values I talk about here on this blog.

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