Self Help

Brave Together - Chris Deaver

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 49 min read

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  • The book challenges conventional views of work, culture, and leadership and provides a roadmap for unleashing potential and building a better future through concepts like the Mirror Test and Hero’s Sacrifice.

  • It is an exhilarating exploration of genuine collaboration where every voice and idea matters.

  • It will transform how you think about teams and then help you become a better leader.

  • The leadership described in the book is about inspiring hearts, unleashing human magic, and building purposeful organizations together.

  • It offers a path to overcoming feelings of isolation and being stuck by embracing brave collaboration, deep empathy, and harnessing the power of co-creation.

  • The strategies provided are clear and effective for managing complex personal and professional stories.

  • The principles of co-creation will become guideposts for the next generation of leaders and cultures.

  • It shows the path to leadership through responsibility, sacrifice, harmony, and freedom of expression.

  • The book will change how you see the world and is required reading for leaders wanting to shape the future in a creative, collaborative way.

  • It is insightful, inspiring, and groundbreaking, and will become the leadership guidebook for our time.

  • The introduction sets up the story of how AirPods became a $24 billion business for Apple through focusing on culture and co-creation.

  • At an Apple event, Tim Cook handed off the spotlight to an engineer named Mary-Ann to talk about the new AirPods Pro, rather than a marketing executive. This showed how Apple’s culture had transformed to working “different together.”

  • The author, Chris, was hired by Apple to help transform their culture as 70% of employees had been there less than 5 years. This started small but grew organically with brave leaders and principles of co-creation.

  • Co-creation at Apple meant including diverse voices from across teams to collectively innovate new products like AirPods through overcoming obstacles together. This led to surprising success.

  • The introduction sets up the book’s focus on how co-creation can supercharge organizational culture and innovation when people work bravely together.

  • The passage discusses the shift away from a culture of individualistic “self-made” success towards one of collaborative, shared success.

  • It recounts Chris’ past journey chasing personal achievements and solo dreams, but realizing he felt empty. He started a nonprofit focused on mentorship and collaboration.

  • Chris joined Disney and Apple, helping transform their cultures to be more collaborative through ideas like Pixar’s “braintrust” model.

  • He met Ian and they discovered the power of co-creation through developing a shared story/world together over many hours of creative work.

  • This validated for them the potential of transcending solo work and shaping the future through being brave together in co-creation.

  • They now advocate for a framework called “Brave Together” to help leaders embrace co-creative ways of working that bring out the best in people’s minds, hearts and spirits through principles of shared flow and collaboration.

So in summary, it discusses moving from an individualistic mindset of success to one centered on being brave together through collaborative, co-creative work that leverages everyone’s full potential.

The passage discusses being stuck in the status quo due to fear, and the importance of feeding one’s creative identity. It tells a personal story about developing an animated TV series concept called Spaceland with a creative partner. They created a full pitch deck and episode outlines but when it came time to present, the partner backed out due to his own fears about studio control. This was devastating at the time but taught valuable lessons - that co-creation is difficult but makes work stronger, and one must find partners who share their vision. While the timing wasn’t right, the author believes Spaceland could still come to life in the future on their own terms. The experience helped unleash his creative spirit and resolve to keep pursuing collaborative projects.

The passage discusses facing fears and being brave, both alone and together. It argues that while being brave alone can achieve success and progress, it is not enough in the long run and has limitations. Braving challenges alone can lead to feelings of pressure, loneliness and emptiness over time.

The key types of fear discussed are fear from others intended to control, self-inflicted fears like failure or inadequacy, and fears related to growth like uncertainty or change. Being brave is about overcoming fears by taking action and confronting challenges.

While being brave alone makes one a “force of nature,” it can also create dilemmas, isolation and burnout. True success and longevity comes from being brave together - building teams, co-creating with others, focusing outward on each other rather than just individual performance. Doing great work together in a sustainable way. The passage advocates for bravery that brings people together rather than separates or isolates individuals over the long run.

The passage talks about how leaders, teams, and companies can fail from within due to a lack of connection and shared purpose among members. It then shares the story of Mohammad Anwar, the CEO of Softway, whose company was on the verge of bankruptcy after many years of success. He had a moment of reflection and realized he needed to change his leadership style from a tough, performance-driven approach to one based on building relationships and a culture of love and trust.

He used something called the “Mirror Test” to gain self-awareness. This involved reflecting on his past failures and future hopes, as well as his present behaviors and routines, to identify areas for improvement. Anwar was able to transform himself and his company’s culture by taking responsibility, gaining forgiveness, empowering employees, and focusing on their experiences rather than just metrics.

The passage advises that the key to overcoming feeling “stuck” is to do the Mirror Test regularly, take action on small changes, learn from reflection, and help empower others. By connecting genuinely with people, focusing on experiences and creativity over control, and embracing empathy, leaders can disrupt cultures of mind control and stagnation to instead foster growth and purpose-driven work. Doing this work of self-reflection and transforming relationships “bravely together” is what allows organizations and individuals to fulfill their potential.

  • Melanie Duffy wanted to build a platform to allow non-designers to create their brand on social media, but lacked resources and faced competition. When pitching her idea in Perth, Australia, she was rejected.

  • Bill Thai was an investor who enjoyed kiteboarding in Australia. He started MaiTai Global with pro kiteboarder Susi Mai to host informal retreats for entrepreneurs and investors.

  • At a MaiTai Global retreat on Necker Island, Melanie pitched Canva, her yearbook builder platform. It wasn’t convincing but she kept attending for years.

  • Bill saw Melanie’s perseverance and connected her with the right people. Canva was reimagined as a design platform for anyone. It has since become a multi-billion dollar company.

  • The story shows how breaking from traditional investing systems and forging human connections through shared experiences like kiteboarding helped lead to Melanie’s success in launching Canva. Persistence and finding the right partners were also keys.

  • The future of work points toward an era of creative work driven by relationships and collaboration rather than hierarchies and top-down management. Creativity and problem-solving through connecting diverse perspectives will be in higher demand as AI faces limitations.

  • Work culture will shift from organization charts to intentionally focusing on building a collaborative culture through work-life blend, horizontal collaboration, co-creation leveraging new technologies, and aligning work with individuals’ passions and purpose.

  • Leadership will need to evolve beyond a focus on execution, results, and control to embrace principles of transparency, empathy, compassion, and setting clear boundaries against toxic behaviors. This involves leading differently through challenging times.

  • There is a debate around whether the future lies in traditional employment or entrepreneurship. Both models have limitations and breaking points. The key may be allowing elements of entrepreneurship and co-creation within employment to better align work with individual fulfillment and societal impact.

  • Overall, the passage promotes a vision of the future of work being defined by nuclear fusion-like co-creation that harnesses the power of bringing diverse individuals and perspectives together in an inclusive way, as opposed to division and separation. This involves transitioning beyond traditional top-down approaches to truly collaborative models.

  • Social media platforms like Instagram have created a fear of missing out, as people constantly try to gain followers and likes for validation. However, this constant push for attention can feel empty.

  • At the core of many workplace problems is a lack of guiding principles. The meta principles in Brave Together aim to help people be effective change makers by returning to these principles.

  • There is an ongoing debate about the traditional employee-employer model versus entrepreneurship. Both options have benefits but also flaws.

  • A new “co-creator” mindset is proposed that takes the best of both worlds and moves beyond the either-or way of thinking. It focuses on cooperation and teamwork rather than individualism.

  • High-performing “Purple Zones” like Pixar and Nike are studied for how they fostered co-creation through humility, diverse voices, and a shared mission rather than individual recognition.

  • Co-creation is said to unlock greater joy, reduce loneliness, improve leadership, drive business growth, and shift products to better serve customers through more inclusion and cooperation.

  • The real story of TOPGUN is discussed, where teams prioritized horizontal leadership over individual skills, focusing on humility and cooperation rather than ego, to great success in achieving their mission.

  • TOPGUN is the US Navy’s advanced tactical training program for pilots. It emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and sharing knowledge rather than competition or individual accolades. Their motto is “excellence without arrogance.”

  • Graduates go on to teach what they’ve learned to others in the fleet, spreading TOPGUN’s training more widely. This benefits the entire Navy.

  • Breaking down silos and fostering collaboration leads to better performance and outcomes. Studies show the highest performing organizations intentionally bust silos and drive cross-functional teamwork.

  • Meetings are often ineffective because they are one-sided info dumps rather than collaborative discussions. Leaders should reimagine meetings to build connections, inspire creativity, and allow people to co-create together through open conversations focused on shared experiences and visioning the future. This can make remote work feel more engaging and less isolating.

  • Shifting the focus from execution to experience makes meetings more fluid and inspiring. Leaders should lead with questions, check egos at the door, and allow the best ideas to surface regardless of hierarchy. Keeping meetings short and focused on a few well-designed exercises also maintains energy and attention.

  • The passage begins by discussing Nikola Tesla’s attempts to create a perpetual motion machine, which would violate the laws of thermodynamics. Despite being told it was impossible by a professor, Tesla continued iterating designs in his head until he believed he had succeeded.

  • After Tesla’s death, the US government seized his papers out of fear enemies could obtain his secrets. What happened to Tesla’s papers remains mysterious. The passage questions if genius should be kept private or shared with others.

  • An alternative presented is to harness the power of asking great questions and working creatively with others. This “co-creative” approach could produce endless energy through collaboration, rather than reliance on a single person.

  • The passage critiques the modern tendency to rely on “expertise” and centralized authority. In the past, organizations were centralized, but now knowledge workers and experts try to assert dominance. This closes off connection and questions from others.

  • A better model is one of “co-creators” and shared wisdom, where people work together collaboratively rather than experts imposing their views on others. The goal should be connection rather than separation or one person having all the answers.

  • Bad managers believe they always need to have the answers and be the “knowledge handyman.” They react first with answers rather than listening and collaborating.

  • This prevents co-creation and makes others feel like a threat. They cling to their ideas and ego rather than being open to learning.

  • Focusing only on technical knowledge and past experiences can blind managers to new perspectives and ideas from others.

  • Experts may dismiss others and not innovate because they want to defend their expertise.

  • When managers lead with answers rather than questions, it does not foster relationships or empower others. It can kill co-creation before it starts.

  • In contrast, leading with questions and listening without judgment has many benefits. It connects people, makes them feel heard and understood, and empowers them. It also allows managers to be open to changing their views based on new insights from others.

  • Steve Jobs exemplified listening with an openness to change his mind based on better ideas, from wherever they came. This shocked those used to leaders clinging stubbornly to their preconceived notions.

So in summary, the key message is that bad managers lead with answers while better managers lead with open-ended questions, listen without ego, and are willing to adapt their views based on collaborating with others.

The passage introduces six meta principles aimed at providing guidance while allowing for flexibility and individuality. The first principle is “Lead with a Question”, which encourages exploration over definitive answers. It notes the importance of asking the right questions to gain insights and make connections.

It then discusses the value of sharing wisdom with others rather than hoarding knowledge. When leaders share their wisdom through applying knowledge and experiences, it creates opportunities for powerful transformation.

Three “Golden Questions” are presented as examples of questions that can provide direction and enrich interactions. The questions prompt reflection on fulfillment, excitement, and inspiration. They are meant to strengthen relationships and empower others.

The passage shifts to discussing getting out of “survival mode”, where one feels the full weight of struggles. It notes how even heroes face difficult times at the beginning of their journey. An anecdote is shared about a friend named Jessica who struggled with a failing marriage, financial pressures, single parenting and more. She tried different approaches to improve her situation but remained stuck in survival.

In summary, the passage introduces principles focused on questioning over answers, shares wisdom, and examines how to shift out of a survival mindset through recognizing one’s own hero’s journey. It advocates embracing challenges as steps toward transformation.

  • The passage describes someone who has tried various online business ventures and side hustles like selling items on eBay, but nothing has been successful or profitable.

  • She spends money on retail therapy searching for happiness but ends up with things that don’t matter.

  • She feels exhausted from trying different ideas that don’t work out and questions her abilities. She gives in to fear of failure.

  • The passage then lists some common thoughts people have when feeling stuck in survival mode, constantly working to get by with no progress or purpose.

  • It asks if the reader has ever experienced feelings of helplessness, frustration that life seems too hard, comparing their life to perfect lives on social media, feeling disconnected while just getting through each day on autopilot.

So in summary, the passage describes someone who has tried and failed at various side businesses and money-making schemes, spends money seeking happiness but ends up empty, feels drained from constant setbacks with no progress, and identifies with feelings of being stuck in a survival mentality with no real purpose or meaningful life.

  • When the author joined Apple in 2015, he observed the company’s culture emphasized secrecy to preserve surprise for product launches. However, this also led to issues like hoarding information, personal agendas, and infighting between teams.

  • New employees, especially engineers, struggled with not knowing who they could share information with or when. As the product ecosystem and technical challenges grew, more collaboration was needed.

  • The author wondered how Apple could address these issues to keep innovating at a high level. He came across an interview where Clayton Christensen expressed concern that Apple’s culture of secrecy could hamper innovation if teams did not collaborate and share knowledge more freely.

  • This inspired the author to explore how Apple could shift its culture from one of secrecy to more open collaboration and knowledge sharing between teams. The core question was how to maintain innovation while fostering a healthier culture where employees felt empowered to work together.

So in summary, the author observes issues with Apple’s secretive culture and is looking for ways to help the company transition to a more collaborative approach that can sustain its high level of innovation into the future.

  • The author reflects on how Apple can continue innovating, referencing Steve Jobs looking in the mirror. They wonder what the “mirror” is for Apple today.

  • They discuss issues that arose during development of the AirPods, with teams working in silos and only converging late in the process, causing friction.

  • This prompts thinking about how teams could collaborate more seamlessly and build relationships. The author partners with others at Apple to explore principles of collaboration inspired by Covey and Catmull.

  • They study collaborative teams at Apple like the “Camera Braintrust” and see open sharing and regular meetings help innovation. Applying this to AirPods leads to better collaboration and the AirPods Pro.

  • The author works to “Collaboration by Design” across Apple, identifying principles like following a vision, early sharing without waiting for perfection, psychological safety, and focus on relationships. This is meant to drive future innovation at Apple.

  • Priya Subramaniam, head of operations at Apple, prioritized giving her team direct, candid information even if it wasn’t perfectly packaged. She valued transparency over perfect presentations.

  • The most innovative Apple teams set frequent cross-functional conversations to share insights, support each other, and give necessary context to advance their work. Sharing ideas leads to better outcomes than guarding ideas.

  • An IDEA program brought cross-functional teams together for rapid prototyping and ideation, strengthening relationships and ideas across Apple.

  • Apple retail focused on serving customers authentically rather than selling, empowering employees and shaping the stores’ experience based on community feedback.

  • Collaboration across teams solved seemingly impossible technical challenges in developing new iPhones. Teams prioritized solving problems over blame.

  • Braintrust meetings across functions helped share knowledge and shape camera technology developments. Building trust takes time but is vital for effective collaboration.

  • Teams found the best solutions by blending perspectives inside trusted circles of sharing and challenging each other constructively.

  • Global teams learned to take smart risks by establishing frameworks to share appropriately while protecting secrecy and navigating cultural differences.

  • The most effective teams acted as aligned units, empowering each other to take risks that advanced their work in breakthrough ways.

  • Being open to others’ ideas, not just advocating one’s own, leads to the best outcomes from collaborative discussions and development.

The summary describes how teams can turn pain into power by focusing on co-creation. It shares the example of Clint Schaff, who led the LA Times Studios team to innovatively turn their failing business model into a profitable podcast business, generating over $10 million.

It then discusses how our brains are wired to perceive most of our daily experiences negatively and focus on losses. This constant exposure to negativity through media and discourse fuels sadness and anger.

The summary then shares a personal story about a nurse, Belle Ang, who experienced the devastating loss of her young son. At her lowest point, her manager connected with her and shared the concept of “turning pain into power.” This simple principle gave her hope and inspiration to overcome her grief and anger, and regain purpose in her life and work.

The key message is that by focusing on gains through co-creation with others, teams can break free from only seeing losses and pain, and instead unlock their shared passion to create positive change even in difficult times. Co-creation provides the strength and momentum to turn pain into power.

The passage describes how pain and loss can be turned into power and positive change through choosing to see gains instead of focusing on losses. It discusses reframing one’s mindset to focus on gratitude for what is good in life rather than dwelling on past hurts.

It then talks about the importance of being coachable to grow from experiences. Michael Jordan’s view of his own best skill being his coachability is cited as an example.

Next, it discusses passion as a state of mind connected to feeling energized and excited by activities, rather than something that is found. Passions can change over time as a person changes.

It tells the story of Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo, who seeks revenge after being wrongly imprisoned. However, after achieving revenge, he feels empty. In a sequel story, Edmond realizes revenge has not given him purpose and dedicates himself to helping others through empowerment and positive change instead of vengeance.

Overall the passage promotes the idea that turning pain into a drive to uplift others through compassion and empowerment, rather than seeking revenge, can lead to purpose and positive change in both oneself and the world. Being coachable and focusing on gratitude and gains are presented as ways to adopt this mindset.

The passage encourages adopting a mindset of creating gains rather than focusing on losses. Some key ideas discussed include:

  • Framing challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, and having a “full benefit” mindset that sees the positives in difficult situations.

  • Pursuing happiness in the present moment rather than waiting for external factors like a promotion or new job. Choosing joy on the current journey.

  • Opening your heart, nurturing gratitude, clearing stressors from your life, and focusing on connecting with others to amplify your impact.

  • Letting go of past grudges and anger, and forgiving others in order to gain peace of mind and quality relationships. Creating gains with the people you care about.

  • Moving on from toxic people or situations that hold you back from your goals. Forgiveness can lead to personal power and transformation.

The overall message encourages shifting one’s mindset from a place of stress or loss to actively seeking gains, opportunities, fulfillment and happy moments along life’s journey through strategies like gratitude, forgiveness and focusing on growth.

  • The passage questions the notion that NBA teams should be built around a single “franchise player” or “rock star”. It argues this often inflates a star player’s ego and leads them to demand more control and influence over team decisions.

  • It cites examples of the Memphis Grizzlies and LA Lakers playing better statistically when their stars Ja Morant and LeBron James were absent due to injuries. This suggests the team dynamic may work better when not centered around a single player.

  • It draws a parallel to the “rock star CEO” model in business, where all focus/resources go to a singular leader who is expected to drive results. The passage questions if this approach truly yields the best outcomes compared to building a strong overall team.

  • In summary, it challenges the conventional wisdom that NBA or business success depends on having a dominant “rock star” player/leader, arguing the team dynamic may work better when not centered around any single ego or individual. Having a balanced, cooperative team may produce better long-term results.

  • The passage discusses how companies and individuals often mistakenly put too much pressure and focus on a single person to act as the “rock star” and save/lead the organization. This is known as the “rock star curse.”

  • It provides an anecdote about a high school basketball coach who sacrificed their star player who was disruptive to team culture. This showed how removing toxic individuals and focusing on team culture can lead to better outcomes.

  • It argues we should prioritize teams over individuals when assessing success and greatness. The question shouldn’t be “who is the greatest of all time?” but “who is the greatest team of all time?”

  • It then discusses how people struggle with managing their identity and differentiating their authentic self from the roles and images they project. Drawing on theory of impression management, it explains how people take on different identities and behaviors in public “front stage” contexts versus private “backstage” settings.

  • It advocates for aiming for a blended identity rather than trying to constantly balance different roles. This involves prioritizing one’s core values and principles rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

  • It provides advice on understanding one’s identity clearly through self-reflection using concepts like “the mirror test” and being willing to sacrifice superficial concerns to progress towards one’s goals and true self.

In summary, the passage critiques an overreliance on singular leaders and argues for the importance of team culture and understanding one’s authentic identity beyond projected roles and images. It suggests some strategies like self-reflection to gain clearer identity.

The passage describes a “BraveCore Proclamation” that was written to inspire moving beyond ego. It acknowledges that ego can divide people and prioritize the wrong things, like status, competition, and self-image.

The proclamation declares the end of the relationship with ego. It reflects on how ego has caused shallowness, guardedness, anxiety, and distraction from priorities. Ego also blamed others and made people judges of each other on social media.

Going forward, the proclamation commits to trading image for identity, being brave at the core, and moving forward together with others rather than prioritizing self. It advocates for wisdom, empathy, character, sacrifice, and cooperation to achieve a future of no poverty, racism, unity, and peace.

The passage concludes by discussing the concept of the “Hero’s Sacrifice,” how real sacrifice means giving up something of value for a higher purpose, like bettering oneself to help others. It’s about doing more with one’s life or giving up what holds one back. Integrity and humble confidence are also discussed as virtues of the future heroes.

The passage discusses empowering others and leading without ego. It advocates for humble confidence and being willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others. Sacrifice may be difficult at first but develops into a pattern of humility.

Social media can feed the ego by allowing people to broadcast their successes and lives for validation. True success is not defined by showing off to others. Leaders like the Golden State Warriors exemplify ego-free teamwork through high-fiving each other, sharing praise, focusing on fundamentals, and finding joy together in both wins and losses.

Giannis Antetokounmpo demonstrated ego-free leadership after his team’s playoff loss by refusing to see it as a failure, acknowledging both good and bad days in sports. Success is about growing together through both wins and losses, not just winning championships.

Overall the passage encourages empowering others through sacrifice of ego, building unbreakable relationships through humility, and focusing on cooperation and teamwork over individual glory or validation through social media. Leading without ego creates a culture of shared success and growth.

  • The passage references an email sent by a CEO named Garg to staff criticizing them harshly for being “too slow” and comparing them to “dumb dolphins” that get caught in nets. This signals a brutally harsh management style focused on short-term profits.

  • It questions whether Garg’s belief in acting aggressively like a “shark” paid off in terms of results, or if it damaged company culture and morale. It suggests a shark-like approach may not live up to expectations.

  • It then discusses the TV show Shark Tank and how it popularized the idea that success comes from acting aggressively and exploiting opportunities, but questions whether the investors on the show have actually achieved profitable returns or if contestants have a negative experience.

  • It breaks down different criticisms of the shark mentality portrayed on Shark Tank - that the investors don’t always get along, often don’t know much about the businesses, put contestants through an emotionally taxing process with psychiatrists on staff, and some contestants don’t truly want to participate.

  • Overall, it questions the validity of pursuing a ruthless “shark” mentality in business and suggests this approach may be more about propagating an image than achieving real success and healthy relationships. A different approach is needed.

  • Some leaders at Apple after Jobs’s death tried to emulate his earlier rough style, wrongly believing that’s what led to Apple’s success. They acted in arrogant, demanding and even abusive ways toward their teams.

  • However, Jobs went through personal growth and became a more empathetic leader over time. Former Pixar CEO Ed Catmull described observing this positive transformation in Jobs.

  • When some leaders at Apple clung to the earlier rough persona, it created tensions in the culture and harmed relationships. Some acted with excessive pride, mistreating people.

  • The author witnessed certain leaders being obsessed with themselves, dressing people down, berating teams for bad news and even stabbing boxes in anger during meetings.

  • They justified such behavior by claiming it’s what “Steve would do,” not realizing Jobs evolved. The rough early Jobs had been fired from Apple.

  • Other leaders at Apple successfully coupled expertise with compassion, caring deeply about products, processes and people. They built culture through co-creation rather than fear and humiliation.

  • The core tension was between leadership styles fundamentally opposed to what Apple and Jobs later stood for - inclusion and empathy rather than abuse and arrogance. This posed risks to Apple’s culture if not addressed.

  • The passage discusses the culture at Apple and the need to move away from a “Rough Steve” culture that had emerged, characterized by ego and hubris. This was threatening Apple’s future.

  • Apple University was created to develop leaders, but it fell short by not addressing the cultural issues. A new approach was needed to amplify the “Changed Steve” model of more empathetic leadership.

  • The future of Apple depended on building more leaders with this empathetic approach. A plan was developed with key leaders to shift the culture to one centered around “Different Together” - collaboration, compassion, and co-creation across the company.

  • This cultural transition succeeded in transforming Apple’s leadership and enabling deeper collaboration on projects. It became central to Apple’s inclusion, diversity and securing its long-term future. The approach showed it could work to shape culture in any domain.

  • The passage advocates for leaders to become “Future Shapers” using this model of empathetic, collaborative leadership. It provides attributes of effective “dolphin” leadership focused on empowering others, shared purpose, selflessness and co-creation.

The passage discusses the importance of making others the mission rather than focusing solely on oneself. It uses Malala Yousafzai as an example of someone who risked her life fighting for girls’ education even after being shot by the Taliban.

Some key points:

  • Making others the mission gives life more meaning and purpose compared to pursuing selfish goals. It leads to continual growth and impact.

  • It creates endless energy and motivation, as seen in Malala’s relentless advocacy.

  • It allows one to take life to the next level by prioritizing what really matters - serving others.

  • It cultivates compassion through understanding others rather than being self-absorbed. True compassion involves understanding others out of kindness.

  • Living this way brings happiness not just for an hour or day but for a lifetime by positively impacting the world.

  • Examples are given of people like Pualei Lynn who are empowering and lifting up women in their community through mentorship and resources.

Overall the passage encourages focusing outward on others rather than inward on oneself as a way to find fulfillment and truly make a difference in the world. Making others the mission is positioned as a path to a more meaningful and purpose-driven life.

  • The passage describes how Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, was inspired by how his wife Anu cared for their son Zain, who had cerebral palsy. Seeing her deep empathy and focus on Zain’s wellbeing, not her own, impacted Satya profoundly.

  • After Zain’s birth, Satya learned the importance of empathy in his leadership. He led a transformation at Microsoft to make the culture more empathetic, compassionate and people-focused.

  • Zain passed away at a young age but inspired Satya to push technology’s boundaries to be more accessible and supportive of those with disabilities.

  • The experience with Zain shaped Satya’s approach to “Making Others the Mission” - being present and empathetic, focusing on giving rather than receiving, and serving others through leadership.

  • It provides an example of how personal experiences with compassion can influence one’s career and transform an organization’s culture for the better by prioritizing empathy.

  • The author’s facility provided nursing supplies, food and maintenance assistance to a struggling elderly care facility that was closing down due to financial difficulties. This helped relieve the staff for about a week.

  • Two weeks later, the Department of Public Health asked for help transferring the remaining two patients since other facilities had declined them due to insurance issues.

  • At the facility, the author found one remaining elderly patient, a woman in her 70s with no family, pacing anxiously in her room. She had been calling facilities but feeling rejected.

  • The author comforted the woman, telling her not to worry and that they had found a new home for her. They brought her back to their own facility where she was warmly greeted by staff and residents. She felt cared for at the new facility.

So in summary, the author’s facility provided humanitarian assistance to an overburdened elderly care center closing down, and ultimately took in one of the remaining vulnerable patients who had no other options, giving her a sense of community.

  • The passage discusses the transitions from Tier 1 to Tier 2 to Tier 3 mindsets and cultures. Tier 1 is focused on the systemic, industrial past. Tier 2 emphasizes individualism and independence in the present.

  • Tier 3, or co-creative culture, is focused on interdependence and shaping a better future together. It transforms relationships from transactional to transformational.

  • Default cultures that were not intentionally shaped often lead to issues like burnout and the Great Resignation. Leaders must get intentional about culture and prioritize people, experiences, and purpose over profits alone.

  • Co-creative culture shifts the focus from self to being selfless and serving others. Leaders must be brave together with employees to truly transform culture through grassroots collaboration, not just superficial perks. An existential moment calls for meaningful changes beyond the status quo.

So in summary, it discusses the transition to a co-creative, Tier 3 culture as the solution to current workplace problems, with a focus on intentional shaping, interdependence, service, collaboration and bravery between leaders and employees.

The passage discusses how some leaders focus too much on individual “hero” behaviors and keeping employees, rather than prioritizing employee well-being and treating them well. It argues leaders should ask how employees want to feel, be treated, and be inspired.

It uses Pixar as a positive example, noting how their “Braintrust” model of collaboration, ego-free idea sharing, and building on each other’s ideas has spread to companies like Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney productions. This leads to better creative work and more satisfied employees and fans.

The passage advocates for more collaborative, co-creative leadership and culture-building. It argues this unlocks greater potential and abundance than competitive individualism. A real-world leader, Ronell Hugh, is featured for his approach of deep relationships, challenging status quo respectfully, encouraging original voices, and focusing on people over titles or politics. This inspires loyalty and breakthrough innovation from his teams.

The passage talks about the future of credibility and influence being defined by character and principles rather than what people say. It uses Tim Cook standing up for privacy at Apple as an example of strong leadership and credibility.

Some key points:

  • Character matters more than words. Tim Cook risked personal cost by refusing FBI demands for an iPhone backdoor, sticking to his principles of privacy.

  • Credibility comes from how people experience your character, not what you say. Leaders need to stand up for principles even when alone.

  • The future will be shaped by those who embody integrity, respect and compassion through their actions, not just words.

  • Co-creative work is about sharing a positive vision and building partnerships through trust and mutual benefit, not ego or status. Disagreements should elevate all parties.

  • Real influence comes from consistent principles even in hard times, building others up with nothing to gain, and confronting truths respectfully.

So in summary, it advocates for a principles-based approach to credibility and leadership focused on character over rhetoric through co-creative partnerships.

The quote talks about how creativity is essential to our nature as human beings. While structure and rules provide predictability, they can also box us in and limit our creative spirit. People are rejecting rigid companies, leaders, and cultures that diminish creativity.

Creativity, not just knowledge, is what shapes the future. It comes from dreams and envisioning what’s possible, not just studying data. As automation increasingly replaces routine jobs, creativity will be the last human domain that remains. This is good news, as creativity is what humans truly want to do.

The quote argues that leaders of the future must embrace creativity. People seek creative autonomy and need support to take risks and make mistakes as they progress. Imagination, not just rules, creates the future. Creativity will become our “superpower” as AI automates more jobs. The future is about co-creative work between humans and machines, where we provide the creative direction for technologies. In short, creativity is essential to our humanity and will be increasingly valued in the future.

  • The experience of working from home during the pandemic gave many people a new perspective - that their work should fit into their personal life, not the other way around. This was a major mindset shift that will change people forever.

  • People also felt a stronger need for social connection and to contribute to meaningful projects with others for the sake of community, not just career advancement.

  • “Misfits” are those who see the world differently or who the world sees differently. They are change-makers who want to use their talents to build something bigger. However, they are tired of just going through the motions.

  • Misfits question the status quo and want to break from boring, repetitive work. As leaders, they care more about people than rules. Companies often see them as rebels.

  • Misfits have creative, outside-the-box thinking. They may wonder if they are living someone else’s dreams rather than their own.

  • Rather than staying static, we should embrace new perspectives like Joseph Campbell’s view of following our bliss and letting life’s doors open for us.

  • Leaders should seek to understand people, be part of the culture rather than above it, recognize individuals’ strengths and potential, and measure their own contributions to building the culture. Harnessing misfits can spark disruption and innovation.

The passage talks about taking active steps to define one’s situation and shape one’s future, rather than feeling like a victim of circumstances.

It describes how Steve Young, backup quarterback for the 49ers, was feeling depressed and like he would be cut from the team. He talked to Stephen Covey on a plane, who helped shift Young’s perspective by asking how good he thought he could get. This question inspired Young to take action - he started working harder to improve his skills. He changed his mindset from seeing himself as a victim to seeing himself as having a platform to become the best. The next year, Young became the MVP Super Bowl quarterback.

The passage advocates taking ownership of one’s mindset and actions rather than reacting passively to situations. It says we can stop feeling scared and helpless by living intentionally through our principles for the future.

It also briefly describes how Randy Nelson creatively got Steve Jobs’s attention to land a job at NeXT by including unusual items like juggling balls in his application package, defining the situation on his own terms rather than relying on conventional methods.

  • Randy Nelson creatively packaged and shrink-wrapped his resume and résumé materials when applying for a job at NeXT, which was led by Steve Jobs. This unique presentation caught Steve Jobs’ attention and helped Randy land his dream job.

  • Randy went on to have a very successful career in leadership roles at Pixar University and later Apple University. His bold move in creatively defining the job application situation served him well and launched his career.

  • Defining the situation means taking proactive steps to influence outcomes, rather than passively allowing situations to define you. It requires being transparent, communicating early, and addressing problems head on.

  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the healthcare facility where Ian worked had already adopted “Define the Situation” or “DTS” as their mantra. This prepared them well to respond proactively and show leadership during the crisis.

  • Some of the ways they defined the situation included stopping visitations early, implementing video calls between patients and families, and refusing to admit COVID patients to protect the elderly population in their care facility. Their defining actions helped manage outcomes during very challenging times.

  • The county established an emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic and distributed them to healthcare providers. Providers had to file a formal request to receive supplies.

  • The healthcare facility described proactively filled out a requisition form weekly so they had a supply order ready. They sent consistent representatives to pick up orders to build rapport with county personnel. This enabled them to more easily obtain needed supplies when shortages occurred.

  • Through consistent preventative measures like screening, distancing, disinfecting and isolating positive cases, the facility was able to avoid any patient cases for 8 months after the start of the pandemic. However, they did experience an outbreak on Christmas Day 2020 where half the patients tested positive. They isolated the outbreak and implemented protocols to avoid hospitalizations or deaths.

  • Investigators later visited, curious how the facility avoided cases given the surrounding hotspots. The key difference identified was the cooperative, supportive culture where staff trusted each other and leadership to make decisions jointly based on shared principles like prioritizing patient well-being. Their unity and problem-solving approach helped navigate the pandemic successfully.

  • Responsibility involves thinking and acting for ourselves, choosing transformations over transactions, and sticking to what truly matters.

  • Co-creation is about connecting ideas, people, and ideas with people. It involves bringing out the best in ourselves and others.

  • Defining the situation together in a co-creative way involves shaping experiences and culture intentionally. It’s about creating a brave together culture where people work as a team to inspire one another and move things forward collectively.

  • Co-creative cultures are built on trust and involve shaping experiences people can’t get enough of as they pursue their best work and life together. It’s about shaping a culture people want to be part of.

  • Co-creative leadership means letting go of control, learning from and adapting culture, focusing on human connections through deep listening, looking to inspire even when it’s difficult, and being openly grateful. The goal is influencing culture positively through interconnectedness and partnership.

  • Creating context involves focusing on depth and quality over quantity when creating things with others. It’s about pouring your own perspective and inspiring others through your work.

  • The best stories carry deep meaning and help transform people by showing the power of sacrifice and an earned life. Stories should stir people at a subconscious level by addressing human experiences.

  • To shape an inspiring work life story, explore great books/movies and life experiences to stay inspired and inspiring. Build purpose together with others through sharing stories.

  • Build an inspiring character by showing what you believe through how you lead. Be open to feedback and coach yourself/others to higher levels. Help others, not just promote yourself.

  • See the amazing stories in your own life and team’s lives. Improve scenes/characters and grow closer through co-creation. Sacrifice time for others - be fully present to support them.

  • Discover what others love and make it important to you too. Lead in selfless ways by encouraging rest/family time. Shape purpose together through brave conversations about life.

The key is focusing on depth over quantity when creating with others through stories. truly understanding others’ perspectives to build purpose together in an inspiring way.

Here is a summary of the key points from Figure 14.2 in the passage:

  • It discusses creating context through having an aim, being selective with what you consume, being experiential by seeking diverse perspectives and new experiences, and reflecting on how information applies to your life.

  • Having an aim involves defining your aspirations, inspirations, and motivations. This provides clarity on who you want to be and your target.

  • Being selective means filtering what content you consume to prioritize high-quality material that helps you grow, and taking breaks from information.

  • Being experiential suggests seeking perspectives from diverse people and openness to new experiences, which can expand your understanding and purpose.

  • Reflecting on information helps identify how it can improve your decisions, relationships and goals, and see your role as a consumer, content creator or context creator in experiences.

  • The overall message is about intentionally improving your inputs through having direction, curating what you intake, and gaining new perspectives through diverse experiences and reflection. This helps create meaningful context in your life and leadership.

  • The leaders described their approach as letting the ecosystem grow organically by working together, which would allow it to reach everyone it needs to on its own through the natural connections between different parts.

  • Tim Cook invited Elon Musk to Apple’s headquarters for a walk and conversation after Musk had publicly criticized Apple. This helped resolve the misunderstanding and diffuse tensions, showing how connecting in person can shape outcomes positively.

  • Creating context involves clearly communicating intentions to build better connections between people and understanding different viewpoints. It’s about co-creative leadership and shaping the future together.

  • Giving ideas shape involves challenging assumptions, building on the best ideas, focusing on what energizes people, having open conversations, avoiding ego, and being patient with the messy process of co-creation.

  • Harnessing the power of a shared story can inspire people and achieve culture change by designing the story together and letting it blend with other stories over time. Investing in a shared purpose and voice for the team.

  • The “Magic Point” approach at Disney brought together old and new ideas to converge into the best future solutions, like the MyMagic+ wristband that enhanced the guest experience through seamless planning and interaction.

  • Giving people experiences and feelings they’ll never forget involves exceptional collaborations like Disney working with the creators of Avatar to fully immerse viewers in new worlds.

  • It’s important to take a “Macro View” and focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down in micro problems and tactics. This helps ensure you stay aligned with your core purpose and direction.

  • Sivan Ya’ari learned this lesson when her initial solutions of solar power for villages in Africa didn’t work. She had to step back, observe more deeply, and find the true root cause of issues like lack of clean water and hunger. Her updated solution of using solar power to drill wells had a transformative impact.

  • Many stick with original plans instead of adjusting when needed. Taking an agile, co-creative approach and building the best direction with others unlocks the ability to “Follow True North.”

  • A Macro View grounds you in core themes that have deep meaning and inspire long-term. It’s about becoming the type of leader and treating others in a way that serves your future vision.

  • Habits are good for optimization but can embolden ego if taken too far. The Macro View shifts the focus from tactics and to-do lists to higher-level themes of who you want to become and direction you want to head in.

The passage discusses the difference between being motivated by emotions versus living an inspired life guided by principles. It focuses on four “co-creative patterns” that can help people shape the future together:

  1. The Mirror Test (Responsibility Pattern) - Gaining clarity on one’s real versus ideal self to access new possibilities and take responsibility as a creator.

  2. Hero’s Sacrifice (Humility Pattern) - Choosing humility over learning it through consequences, which allows transformation from one’s “Rough” self to “Changed” future self.

  3. Become the Future (Transformation Pattern) - Embodying one’s principles and mission in daily life to inspire change in others.

  4. Everlasting Themes - Focusing on themes rather than short-term goals to guide self-improvement and connection to deeper purpose over time. Themes can influence long-term patterns and provide constant inspiration.

It encourages defining personal themes or mantras focused on inspiration, practical guidance, and making a positive difference. Some examples of themes used by influential figures are provided. Overall it promotes using co-creative patterns and guiding themes to shape the future in a more principled and collaborative way with others.

Here are the key points about Munger and Howard according to the passage:

  • Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s long-time business partner at Berkshire Hathaway. He takes a cross-disciplinary approach to learning and investing. His principles include loving what you do, becoming wise by reading, mastering principles, and doing the right thing.

  • Bryce Dallas Howard is an accomplished actor and filmmaker. Her principles include learning from others like her father, making meaningful creative work that adds value to society, and sharing inspiring stories about women.

  • Munger and Howard are focused on everlasting themes and first principles rather than external measures of success. They pay attention to an “inner scoreboard” of values rather than an “outer scoreboard” of things outside their control.

  • Their alignment with core principles helps them stay True North in their work and lives despite challenges or pressures from outside.

So in summary, the key commonality is their focus on identifying guiding principles and staying aligned to those principles internally rather than being swayed by external or superficial measures of success.

The passages discuss building strong relationships and positive cultures through principles of love, trust, and cooperation. Some key points:

  • Happiness comes from love. Parents should follow their children’s interests co-creatively rather than try to live vicariously through them.

  • Building trust with kids in co-creative ways can connect hearts in powerful ways. Kids’ success is their choice, parents can still support them with love.

  • Companies thrive when they invest in culture, making it a place people love. Treat people with dignity and empower diverse teams.

  • Focus on first principles that will remain true over time. Inspire creativity through collaboration and resources.

  • Leaders must care about the employee experience, not just results. Involve teams in cultural themes.

  • Figures like Scott Belsky inspire execution through difficult times by focusing on purpose, empathy, and creative empowerment. Values should advance the mission.

  • In crisis, make principle-based decisions, not just business ones. Have courage in your vision through tough times.

So in summary, the passages discuss how to build strong relationships and positive cultures through principles of love, trust, cooperation, empowerment and focusing on shared purpose and values.

Mandela’s first principles were sacrifice, overcoming hardship, and winning freedom. Earlier in his life he tried militant action and force, but that did not work. During his 27 years imprisoned, he learned forgiveness and became friends with his jailers.

When he was finally freed and became president of South Africa, he applied the principle of forgiveness to the country. Instead of avenging himself and black South Africans against the white minority, he started the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This allowed the country to acknowledge and learn from the injustices of apartheid, but also look to a shared future of compassion and unity.

Mandela inspired South Africa to overcome its divisions through brave sacrifice, forgiveness after hardship, and nonviolent means of winning freedom. His principles helped the country avoid bloodshed and paved the way for a brighter future through reconciliation instead of retaliation.

  • Lead with questions to spark curiosity and allow people to explore new ideas freely. Provide space for people to create, collaborate and help shape the direction. Let the energy in the room guide which ideas to pursue.

  • Celebrate collaborative efforts. See people for their potential and gifts. Recognize creative ideas, unique talents and contributions to culture.

  • Deep empathy means combining passion (“turn pain into power”) and compassion (“make others the mission”). Cultures should focus on how to make people feel empowered and connected rather than just transactional goals.

  • Power cultures with principles like purpose, alignment, integrity and respect. Focus on shared vision and values rather than politics. Inspire people through stories of how principles are lived in the culture.

  • Give people permission to take on challenges and disrupt the status quo. Help them connect across silos to build solutions. Turn “boring” work into creative work where people feel inspired.

  • In the future, creativity will be most important as automation replaces non-creative jobs. Shaping culture involves asking questions, partnering with others, and allowing ideas to emerge from collective energy and collaboration.

Here is a summary of the key points about our work life:

  • Principles and values provide an important foundation and grounding for our work. They anchor our work in what really matters.

  • It is important to create workspaces and environments where people feel safe to be open, share ideas, take risks, and collaborate (referred to as “brave spaces”). This encourages creativity, sharing, empowerment and co-creation.

  • Connecting with others through sharing principles, visions, feedback and ideas in an honest yet respectful way leads to greater alignment and synergies (referred to as building with triangles).

  • Leaders play a role in setting the tone and culture through living principles, inspiring others, fostering growth and empowering employees. But culture is shaped collectively through shared beliefs, passions, artifacts and experiences.

  • Companies are now judged based more on how their employees experience the culture and what customers hear from each other, rather than just marketing messages. An empowering culture where people feel connected to a greater purpose is important.

So in summary, the key themes are having strong foundations, creating empowering environments for open collaboration, connecting with others through sharing of ideas and principles, and the critical role of leadership and collective efforts in consciously shaping an inspiring organizational culture.

The passage discusses how to build a company culture that is co-created by employees and customers rather than centered around just the company brand or individual personal brands. It advocates for a “culture brand” where people feel a sense of belonging and are empowered to contribute authentically.

Key aspects of becoming a “CultureShaper” include co-creative leadership, putting culture first, hiring for potential rather than just skills, embodying shared principles, nurturing cultural artifacts, being willing to disrupt and adapt, empowering teams to solve problems, keeping an open mindset, and envisioning the future culture.

It argues that small actions can build momentum for culture transformation if the right people are activated as catalysts. The passage closes by highlighting Walt Disney as an example of someone who pursued ambitious dreams not alone but by empowering an innovative team to co-create magical experiences.

  • Originally, Walt Disney envisioned EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) as an actual functioning city where people would live and work, with a focus on technology and innovation. However, it eventually became just another Disney theme park.

  • In the 1980s, as Disney’s core animation business was struggling, there were questions about whether Disney would even survive as a company under money-focused executives.

  • Fast forward to a city hall meeting where a frail Steve Jobs speaks about Apple’s need for a new campus as it was growing rapidly in Cupertino. He unveiled plans for the new Apple Park campus, which would be a circular design built around nature with on-site renewable energy.

  • Jobs said Apple Park would inspire innovation and be a place for “teams of misfits to continue changing the world.” It was intended to carry on both Walt Disney’s and Apple’s own legacies of innovation and creative culture.

  • Jobs unveiled this vision despite knowing he would not live to see the completion of Apple Park due to his failing health from pancreatic cancer. The campus was seen as Jobs’ ultimate final Apple product and legacy.

Here is a summary of the acknowledgements in the podcast:

  • The podcast thanks Dave Arcade for his inspiring art and bending minds.

  • It thanks Joel Peterson for infusing enthusiasm into their endeavors at an early stage.

  • It thanks Ryan Woodward for inspiring them with the classic Marvel character-building lens and seeing possibilities.

  • It acknowledges friends from Apple like Randy Nelson, Jaydeep Ranade, Mattia Pascolini, Matthew Costello, Graham Townsend, Lynn Youngs, Priya Balasubramaniam, Jen Edwards, Stacey Smith, Lucky Luckay, Donna Cerny, Caroline Wang, and Tim Cook for their insights, example, leadership, braintrust, embracing the future, challenging culture, co-creation, and steady leadership.

  • It acknowledges friends from VMware like Lauren Schlangen Kalafsky, Michaela McCollin, Betsy Sutter, and Victor Rojas for their partnership, dissatisfaction with status quo, openness, and mastery teaching.

  • It acknowledges friends from Disney like Mahjabeen Rafiuddin, Jeanette Dennis, Emily Empel, Louise Murray, Jon Landau, Kenny Funk, and Imagineers like Ryan Wineinger for their changemaking, painting a big future, bringing the impossible to life, building space for brave conversations, and disruptiveness.

  • It acknowledges friends from Dell like Gideon Hyacinth, Heather Tucker, MaryBeth Mongillo, Allen Bowers, Lisa Graham, Erin Nelson, and Michael Dell for their amazing start, pushing boundaries, joining the movement, enthusiasm, and openness to reinvention.

  • It acknowledges the International Mentoring Network Organization team including Jetmir Hysi for building breakthroughs.

  • It acknowledges friends at Generations Healthcare like Tom Olds for opportunities, leadership, and shaping cultures in healthcare.

Here are summaries of the articles:

  1. The Memphis Grizzlies have continued winning games even without their star player Ja Morant, who has been out with an injury. Their team-first approach and depth have allowed them to step up in Morant’s absence.

  2. Some argue the Los Angeles Lakers have played better basketball without LeBron James this season. While James is one of the best players ever, his absence has allowed other players to shine and the team to find an identity and play more cohesively without depending so much on one superstar.

  3. NBA teams often continue winning at a high clip even when their superstar players are injured or absent. This is because of factors like strong team culture and chemistry, depth of roster, and other stars being able to step up when needed. It shows the value of overall team strength over reliance on any one player.

  4. This video has Michael Jordan discussing his views on which team was the greatest of all time. However, I could not find a publicly available video with this title and text provided.

  5. This book by Erving Goffman from 1959 discusses the various ways people present themselves and their identity in social situations and everyday life.

  6. The article profiles Angela Ahrendts and her strategy and vision for transforming Apple’s retail business. It discusses her views on the importance of experience and community in retail.

  7. The article quotes Warriors coach Steve Kerr praising Stephen Curry for being low-key off the court but a fierce competitor on it, calling it a “powerful combination.”

  8. The article gives insights into the Warriors’ practice regimen and culture under Steve Kerr, including his use of various drills and emphasis on having fun.

  9. This article focuses on the same insights about the Warriors’ practices and culture as the previous one.

  10. The article analyzes Giannis Antetokounmpo’s mindset in responding to his playoff failures and growth as a leader who is able to overcome setbacks.

Here is a summary of the article “BYU Animation Students Discuss Disney’s ‘Soul’“:

The article discusses reactions from BYU animation students to the Pixar film “Soul.” Some of the key points:

  • Students appreciated the film’s exploration of existential questions about life’s purpose and meaning. One student said it made her think more deeply about her career goals and passions.

  • The unique visual style and artistic techniques used to depict the “before” and “after” life were praised. Students said it showed Pixar’s continued innovation in animation.

  • Some felt the film’s messaging about finding inner fulfillment through life experiences rather than career success resonated with them as students still exploring potential careers.

  • The development of the main character Joe was well done in showing how passions can evolve over time based on life experiences. Students said this provided perspective.

  • Overall the film was seen as a thoughtful work of animation that provokes reflection on meaningful topics. Students said it shows how animation can be used as a medium for more philosophical storytelling.

So in summary, the article discusses positive reactions from BYU animation students to the film’s artistic style, storytelling, and ability to inspire reflection on life’s purpose through the medium of animation.

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About Matheus Puppe