20 things I believe in 💎 Issue #59

Plus: what leaders never do and a new perspective on "that" cave rescue.

Happy Friday👋

What’s up?

This week’s exercise of 'Leadership Step by Step' took me to investigate what is the value of beliefs and their influence on behavior, performance, and happiness. You know, all the good stuff leaders want to foster on their teams.

Have you ever heard of the Stonecutter Parable?

A passerby saw three workers cutting stones in a quarry. Though they were doing similar work, one looked unhappy, another looked content, and the third looked overjoyed. The passerby asked them what they were doing.

The unhappy stonecutter replied, “I’m doing what it takes to make a living.”

The content one answered, “I am a stonemason practicing my craft.”

The overjoyed one looked up with a visionary glance and said, “I am building the greatest cathedral in the land.”

I guess the moral of the story is that different beliefs can be right about the same environment and conditions, but have different degrees of effectiveness for those holding them.

I especially liked this quote from the book: “Leading effectively often means working with beliefs more than with facts and logic. What you consider irrefutable facts often turn out to be beliefs.” This is decisive because we need to come to the realization that we can change our beliefs if, for example, we understand that our perception of the environment is not the actual environment. Being afraid of public speaking is a perception of the public and doesn’t reflect the actual public that is probably rooting for our success and most certainly doesn’t want to attack us violently.

This is an eye-opener. How many of our decisions and behaviors are based on these inaccurate beliefs? My guess is way more than we can count, and that is why the exercise this week was about writing “dozens” of our beliefs. So that we could look at them and try to see their effect on our lives and if there was something we could change for our gain.

Well, I was not even close to dozens. I managed 20. I didn’t write those that I felt were not important (which is maybe a mistake, those are probably blind spots), those too personal, or those that I couldn’t identify as beliefs.

Here they are:

  • No one ever wasted time learning.

  • We have the time we need to do what we want if we show up.

  • Complaining (even when justified) makes people worse at life.

  • Taking responsibility (even without reason) makes people better at life.

  • If both of you want to have kids someday, and there are no health reasons against it, you'll probably feel you waited too long once you have them.

  • Some "secrets" of your favorite topics will only reveal themselves when you write about them.

  • Conversations are better when you let people finish what they are saying instead of interrupting with your perfect response.

  • Time is our most precious resource.

  • It's better to waste a day doing nothing than not waste it doing something against our will.

  • Creating, exploring, and loving are the noblest endeavors.

  • Any team can get results, but only with good leadership can it get the best results.

  • Leadership is just the behaviors that keep a team safe and moving towards an objective.

  • Hard problems become easier with the number of walks you take while solving them.

  • Skills that should be taught at school: cooking, writing, public speaking, personal finance, negotiation, and leadership.

  • Always go for that experiment if the worst it can happen is you learn something.

  • The most valuable feedback comes from other’s behaviors that make us uncomfortable. It's probably just them doing something that we are not very good at or something we know we should be doing more.

  • If a given action, in the worst-case scenario, can only affect you it shouldn't be illegal.

  • Restaurants with pictures on the menus are not where you want to eat.

  • We are in the good old times and don’t notice it.

  • I can (always) do better.

And now on to what were the best things I found on the Internet this week.


New to me 💡

Leaders Never Plead | 2 min read

🧭 Leadership is a force multiplier. Everyone involved gets something out of the relationship and ends up in a better place at the end. That’s why the “Leaders Never Plead” mantra resonates so much with me. It’s because if leaders are leading they don’t have the opportunity to plead. The chance for it doesn’t even present itself.

👏 What should leaders do then? “Leaders must find their own convincing voice, not in volume level, but in how they instruct, teach and motivate. The rhythm of their words matters, and they cannot choose phrases that weaken their knowledge base. Begging for those to change instead of telling them how to change demonstrates limited knowledge from the leader, making him/her appear weak.”

"One Day Longer and Those 13 Boys Would Be Dead" | 17 min read

🦸 This is an interview with one of the divers that rescued that football team of Taiwanese young boys in 2018. He had no obligation to travel to the other side of the world and put his own life on the line and yet he went. That’s a hero’s definition right there.

🤿 There’s a lot of emotions throughout the conversation and it’s incredible how claustrophobic you can feel just by reading some descriptions of the rescue on the comfort of your sofa. Stuff like this: “That’s where the most difficult passage began, which had three narrow sections, growing narrower and narrower toward the exit to Chamber 3. This is also the spot where former Thai Navy Seal diver Saman Kunan died on July 5th. Because I had passed through the section more times than Chris, I wanted to signal to him how to best get the kid through. Suddenly, he handed the boy over to me and motioned that I should do it. That was the moment when it got really dicey for me. I suddenly had responsibility for a person’s life. Then I started losing my sense of time and direction.”


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High note ⚡

This issue cover picture comes from here.

Last issue most clicked link was How to Think: The Skill You’ve Never Been Taught.

I hope you enjoyed these last minutes as much as me putting this together.

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Until next week,

Filipe