Can 3 raisins make you a better leader? 💎 Issue #55

Plus: taking better landscape photos and the best rabbit holes on the Internet.

Happy Friday👋

What’s up? 🍇

This week I continued the journey, started last week, of going through the ‘Leadership Step by Step’ book and doing the proposed exercises .

This week’s chapter was all about paying better attention. This might look like a pleonasm, but there’s paying attention to understand what is happening, and on better level, paying attention to understand what is happening means.

Perception, focus, awareness have this two layers, being when we are driving through traffic, when a coworkers explains a difficult decision to us, or when we are trying to process our child’s behavior.

If this sounds like it belongs to the skillset of a good leader you are right. If you can’t pay better attention to your people you won’t know what to provide for them to get where they need to go.

But there’s a way to get better at that and all I needed was 3 raisins.

This exercise starts out weird and goes more or less like this:

Get 3 raisins and, during the next hour, eat them one at a time as if you never seen one before. If your attention drifts from the raisins, return your focus to your sensory experience of the raisins.

I tried to give those raisins the best attention that I could give and here’s a list of things that I discovered in the process:

  1. Raisins are not completely dry, they stick a bit to your fingers.

  2. They are malleable and succulent. You can press them lightly and, after release, they will come back to its original shape.

  3. Very similar to dates in aroma, very sweet.

  4. They are translucid in places, and opaque in others.

  5. Each one is unique in shape, size and texture.

  6. When you put them against light they show that caramel-amber color, aka the delicious color we try to obtain from the Maillard reaction.

  7. Incredible to have three 3 different textures, at least, in something so small: the pulp, the skin, and the seed. Chewy and crunchy are the easiest to feel.

  8. No matter how small, or how mundane, things can still hold secrets and information to reveal if you are wiling to pay a different kind of attention.


New to me 💡

What Makes a Compelling Landscape Photograph? | 7 min read

📷 My favorite kind of photography can use tips like this: “Composition is probably the most powerful tool we have in landscape photography. It involves not only how the image is composed but how it relates to the message we want to relay. Is it an epic mountain scene that calls for a variety of elements or a stark desert landscape that calls for a composition equally stark?” The photo examples inside are also worth the click.

THREAD: The top 0.1% of ideas I’ve stumbled upon on the internet. | 4 min read

📅 Who would have thought that Mozart could be used to make us more productive: “When @rabois meets with a new CEO, he asks to see: 1. Their priorities 2. Their calendar •They rarely ever match. • So simple. So obvious. Rarely ever done. I felt stupid after hearing it. Reminds me of Munger on Mozart being miserable his whole life - because he overspent his income "If Mozart can't get by with this kind of asinine conduct, I don't think you should try." If elite CEOs fail the calendar-priority alignment test, I'm 99% sure we are (I am).”

The Day the Dinosaurs Died – Minute by Minute | 12 min watch

🌋 We heard this story told more than a few times, but this time it gets very vivid and with escalating levels of worseness.


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High note ⚡

Last issue most clicked link was Experimenting With Practical Leadership Development.

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

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Until next week,

Filipe