What I’m Crunching — July 2, 2023

Book I’m Reading

I first shared this one on May 28 and have been continuing through it with a senior leader at SonSet Solutions. I’ve enjoyed the time together more because of the honest, transparent back-and-forth with this guy than because of the book. But the book is solid.

This section was especially relevant this week:

Leaders must be vigilant about ensuring that organizational systems communicate a consistent message about the espoused values of the organization. Affirming shared values and building a strong culture that reinforces the values (as evidenced in recruitment and hiring practices, orientation programs, training and development experiences, and promotion decisions) are not to be taken lightly. Recent research indicates that two-thirds of all employees see organizational culture as important to the success of their organization, and among younger employees nearly three-quarters think that’s the case.

Kouzes and Posner, Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It, page 106

Essay I’m Reading

How To Do Great Work (Paul Graham)

Graham is always thoughtful and several of his essays have challenged me deeply. I especially resonated with this section:

What are you excessively curious about — curious to a degree that would bore most other people? That’s what you’re looking for.

Once you’ve found something you’re excessively interested in, the next step is to learn enough about it to get you to one of the frontiers of knowledge. Knowledge expands fractally, and from a distance its edges look smooth, but once you learn enough to get close to one, they turn out to be full of gaps.

The next step is to notice them. This takes some skill, because your brain wants to ignore such gaps in order to make a simpler model of the world. Many discoveries have come from asking questions about things that everyone else took for granted.

If the answers seem strange, so much the better. Great work often has a tincture of strangeness. You see this from painting to math. It would be affected to try to manufacture it, but if it appears, embrace it.

Boldly chase outlier ideas, even if other people aren’t interested in them — in fact, especially if they aren’t. If you’re excited about some possibility that everyone else ignores, and you have enough expertise to say precisely what they’re all overlooking, that’s as good a bet as you’ll find.

Podcast I’m Listening To

One of the biggest global trends is declining fertility rates. Many countries are under the replacement rate of ~2.1 and some are critically below that threshold.

Mohler discusses how The Economist, with their high-profile story on the issue, looks at this crisis through a purely economic lens. Through that lens, the situation is dire. But believers recognize there are even deeper reasons that this trend is concerning.

Secular worldviews and the idol of materialism are increasingly keeping people from having children. This directly violates God’s first mandate for humanity: “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen. 1:27 NIV)

Video I’m Watching

Tweets I’m Reading

If you have feedback for me, if something resonates and you want to see more of it, reply in the comments below. You can also tweet at me on Twitter @the_cody_hall.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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