The epitome of humility

It's amazing how modest and unassuming individuals who have achieved great success can be. They don't exude a sense of arrogance or an air of self importance. Even if you didn't know it, they've accomplished so much. I was watching David Letterman interview Kevin Durant on his program My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with…

A love letter to the entrepreneur

Shoe Dog is the finest business memoir I've read. It's refreshing that the book doesn't try to sanitise or stroke Phil Knight's ego or frame his personal brand in shiny sparkling light. Phil Knight's story is accessible because he tells it in a way that is authentic. You can sense the author's profound humility throughout…

My Daddy can do anything

Father and son 4 years: My Daddy can do anything! 7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot. 8 years: My father does not know quite everything. 12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either. 14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned. 21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of…

What do you truly believe about your products?

I have a hard time reading biographies. There are times when biographies are so self-indulgent to the point that they read like a person's CV in book form. It is however possible to narrate a person's story in a biography without appearing self-absorbed. Phil Knight's Shoe Dog tells the story of Nike's founder in a…

Calling people prospects

Prospects, or addressing potential customers as prospects. Calling potential customers as prospects is always a challenge for me. They are living, breathing people, and they have the potential to become consumers. Calling them prospects seems to dehumanise them, if that makes any sense. There are several business books that encourage you to think about how…

Entrepreneurs are not showy

It is easy to be humble when one is poor. Not so easy to be humble when one is making money. Have a raise? Buy a bigger car! Have a raise? Buy a car! Have you received your bonus? Acquire a home! Have you been promoted? Buy new shoes! Sold your company? Buy a yacht!…

History is one long processional of crazy ideas

As I was reading  Shoe Dog by Phi Knight, he says something interesting: ____________________________________ At twenty-four I did have a Crazy Idea, and somehow, despite being dizzy with existential angst, and fears about the future, and doubts about myself, as all young men and women in their mid-twenties are, I did decide that the world…

What if work was play?

As I'm reading Shoe Dog by Phi Knight, he says something interesting at the beginning, when he's trying to figure out what his life is all about: ________________________________________ As I began to clip off one brisk six-minute mile after another, as the rising sun set fire to the lowest needles of the pines, I asked…

Managing yourself

If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you would quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much of your time as you do, you would fire her. If a company developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under.…

The danger of single stories

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Ted Talk on “The danger of a single story” never ceases to fascinate or inspire me. One thing I've learned from watching it is the danger of people believing they know someone based only on their initial impression or encounter. Here are 5 excerpts from the talk that resonated deeply: Excerpt 1: I…