Getting to the Point | The Exkalibur Newsletter | June 2, 2017

This week we’re Getting to the Point with some helpful advice from the business world along with some fascinating tidbits from the music, tech, media, military and scientific arenas. Be sure you don’t miss our Announcement about an important change in our Publication Schedule.

On an upbeat note, make sure you Do This by reminiscing with me about what Rolling Stone named as the #1 Greatest Album of All Time. Continue your nostalgia tour with a look at our Featured Article which considers the 101 years of the Indy 500 and, most importantly, the 5 Powerful Leadership Lessons you can take from it.

In our Business Brief, you’ll find the CEOs Reading List and the Key to HR Success. You’ll also learn why Amazon is opening book stores and what the acknowledged leading expert is saying about Internet Trends. You don’t want to miss more iOS tips for your iPhone and iPad in our From the Apple Tree segment … and you shouldn’t miss the latest updates on how to apologize for your mistakes (and how not to) which is covered in the From the Library segment.

Our Around the Web segment is also chock-full of goodies. You’ll read about why you trust you favorite media but not mine and about skyscrapers made of wood. You’ll also understand how a whale can weigh 300,000 pounds when you see how many hot dogs we eat. In the “it’s about time department”, you’ll meet a few of the first women graduates of the U.S. Army Infantry School.

A quick roundup in the Wide World of Sports takes a look at the NBA Championships underway and the passage of a baseball legend. In addition to the lessons from the Indy 500 I mentioned in the Featured Article, a little Humor from the golf world snuck in here, too.

You can also relax with some great binge-watching options in our What I’m Watching segment, a good movie you’ve probably never heard of in Movies or with Dennis Lehane’s latest novel described in our What I’m Reading – Fiction segment.

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – #1

Today is 50th Anniversary of release of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in the US.

It was #1 in the U.S. for 15 weeks, the eighth studio album from the Beatles. As of 2011, iSgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band albumt has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.

Professor Kevin J. Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, described it as

“the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded”

In 2003, the Library of Congress placed Sgt. Pepper in the National Recording Registry, and in the same year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #1 in its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

You’ll also like the 90 minute special on PBS devoted to the revolutionary change in the music business following the release of this album.

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The Wednesday Blog Post Will Stay … but ….

No change there. We will keep sharing information to help you Become a More Effective Leader in our Wednesday blog post, so no worries.

Many of you have also told us that you’re always pressed for time in the middle of the week and then forget to get back to the Wednesday blog post. We all know from there how easily it slides below the fold in our email client where it may never be seen again.

So, starting next week, in Getting to the Point, this Friday newsletter, we’re going to tell you about the Featured Article just as we have been every week, but we will no longer be sending you an email on Wednesday morning.

For those of you who are extremely diligent, you’ll still find it on our blog at every Wednesday morning, but now in Getting to the Point, you’ll have a reference to everything we publish during the week.

We will still send out our Monday Quote of the Week, which so many enjoy. It will also be included in our What They Said segment every Friday in Getting to the Point.

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5 Powerful Leadership Lessons from the Indianapolis 500

For over 50+ years, I have listened to … and starting with the first live, same-day telecast in 1971 … watched the Indianapolis 500 which occurs every year on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

I am not a car guy. I know virtually nothing about cars – I can pump the gas, change the oil … oops, I mean add the oil … and probably change a tire in an emergency – but nothing else.

One reason I watch is that it’s pure Americana. In so many ways, it’s America at its purest … if only for that moment frozen in time.

But, there are Powerful Lessons for Leaders Embedded in that Race

In 5 Powerful Leadership Lessons from the Indianapolis 500, you’ll find 5 of the most powerful lessons every leader must know. These lessons are so indelibly imprinted on this race that even without any knowledge of racing, like me, the lessons will vividly stand out.

If you want to Become a More Effective Leader, see what these leaders do to prepare 365 days/year for a race that barely lasts 3 hours.

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Are You Quick To Admit When You’re Wrong?

Despite your best intentions and efforts, it is inevitable:

At some point in your life, you will be wrong … well, maybe not me and thee … but everyone else for sure.

If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll find it helpful to understand the term cognitive dissonance, which you will after reading Why It’s So Hard to Admit You’re Wrong.

After admitting your mistake, the apology that should follow may seem like the easiest part …

… but it’s often more flawed than the mistake itself.

Chief Executive reveals, in “Profusely Sorry” Airline CEO Goes High-Visibility Following Year of Apology Botches, that apologizing is still a widespread problem, describing a few of the most recent episodes in the airline industry.

In The 6 Powerful Benefits of Admitting Your Mistakes, I also focus more on the admission than the apology, but I’ve also discussed in detail The Single Word That Dooms Every Apology.

Take some time to consider this subject. It’s fundamental to building intimate relationships and building teams in the workplace.

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More iOS Tips to Keep You in Charge of your iPhone and iPad

Last week, I shared some tips to help you manage your iPhone and/or iPad.

Here are a few more I’ve collected:

  • Type a calculation in the search bar from the home screen and you’re provided with the answer without having to open the calculator app. The search bar is also useful for simple conversions. Type 3 gallons and it will convert to litres. (Works with lots of measurements and currencies.)
  • In Safari long press on the back button (bottom left) to see your history and jump to a previous page.
  • Use Siri to save time accessing specific menus in settings. For example hold down the home button and say “go to wifi settings” and you will be taken directly to that particular screen – useful if you regularly jump on different networks. (This works for lots of app settings too – jump to safari settings or Facebook settings etc.)

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Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions
Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions

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No pictures needed …

Kathy Griffin, an also-ran comedian, has become the Poster Child for the repugnant and abysmal level we’ve reached in our political discourse.

We’ve lost sight of the issues. Activists on both sides seek victory by demonizing leaders from the other side rather than accepting their legitimacy and debating the issues.

Kathy Griffin has shown the world how pathetic this process has become in the United States. Her behavior is abhorrent and inexcusable for an adult with such a callous disregard for human life and the President’s family.

No excuses, Kathy. You don’t get to wave it away with an abject apology.

Public Trust in the Media? Way Low unless it’s Your Fave

“While studies have shown that the public’s trust in the media is extremely low—and even falling—a new report summarized in Fortune, People Distrust the Media in General, but Trust the Media They Like, indicates that responses to these surveys can vary widely depending on how the questions are phrased.

“When people were asked whether the media, generally, was ”very accurate,“ only 17% said that they agreed with the statement. But when respondents were asked about the media sources that they rely on most, twice as many—34%—said they believed they were very accurate.”

The U.S. Army Graduates its first Infantry Women

As you may know, the U.S. Army just graduated its first female infantry recruits, which you can read about in For Army Infantry’s 1st Women, Heavy Packs and the Weight of History.

Maybe this same training mantra could apply to companies?

“Misery is a great equalizer,” one male recruit said with a resigned grin.

(“Wet, tired, hungry and cold: the four pillars of misery the Army has long relied on to help whip recruits into cohesive fighting teams.”)

“She always wanted to join the infantry, despite a ban on women. On her forearm is a tattoo of flowers wrapped around a saying uttered by her single mother, who sometimes had to scrounge for change in the house to pay bills: ‘We’ll find a way'”

+ “They didn’t all make it, but neither do all the male recruits. Of the 32 who showed up at infantry boot camp in February, 44 percent dropped out. For the 148 men in the company, the dropout rate was just 20 percent.”

+ “Commanders say the higher dropout rate among females is in line with other demanding boot camps for military police and combat engineers, which have been open to women for years. In part, they say, it is a consequence of size. A 5-foot–2 woman has to carry the same weight and perform the same tasks as a man who stands a foot taller, and is more likely to be injured.”

Hot Dog Anyone?Hot Dog Anyone? Everyone

During peak hot dog season – from Memorial Day until Labor Day – Americans consume some 7 billion hot dogs or 818 hot dogs every second. (National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)

How Can a Whale Weigh 300,000 Pounds?

Climate change apparently got ’em there … but may not keep them there.

< “… At 300,000 pounds, the blue whale is the heaviest creature to ever exist. But I bet you don’t know why such filter-feeding whales are so big?

Skyscrapers Made Out of Wood? I Ain’t Movin’ In

Skyscapers Made of Wood?

In Get Ready for Skyscrapers Made of Wood. (Yes, Wood), you can see what the architects have up their trees:

“Today, on a site along the Chicago River, architects are exploring a new kind of high-rise structure built entirely from timber. The River Beech Tower is a spindly, beechwood building whose 80 stories cut a blonde silhouette against Chicago’s dark, glassy horizon.

The concept building hasn’t been constructed yet, and may never be. It’s part of an ongoing research project between Cambridge University, architects at Perkins + Will, and engineers at Thornton Tomasetti that aims to answer lingering questions around how, exactly, architects and engineers might bring these massive timber towers to life.”

Zuckerberg Seeks Justice Measures for California

How America Holds Court by Amy Bach
How America Holds Court by Amy Bach

Following her 2009 book, Ordinary Injustice, Amy Bach set off on a multi-year, labor-intensive effort to build a free, public tool that would make the many injustices in the court system a little bit tougher to ignore. Measures for Justice launched … with deep data dives on more than 300 county court systems in Washington, Utah, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida, with plans to expand to 20 states by 2020. It pulls together the data that has traditionally remained hidden in ancient databases and endless Excel spreadsheets.

“Earlier this year, awarded Measures for Justice a $1.5 million grant. Today, Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced it is giving $6.5 million to the non-profit to help it expand into California.”

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The CEOs Reading List

If you haven’t completed your summer reading list … and you want to get serious for a moment … and read something different from the great novels I’m always recommending, you’ll get some good ideas from this list, These Are the Books That CEOs Are Reading Right Now.

Employee Experiences: The Key to HR Success

How customers experience your business starts with the employees’ experience. Design thinking helps create an engaging workplace that delights the workforce during the “moments that matter.” That’s the starting point for Deloitte’s insightful article, Reimagine and craft the employee experience.

“Studies have documented a clear statistical relationship between increases in frontline engagement, increases in customer service, and revenue growth. So whether your team is focused on strategy, process transformation, or implementing new technology, applying design thinking to reimagine and craft the employee experience is key to driving sustainable business performance.”

First Amazon Killed Book Stores. Now They’re Opening Them

Amazon book storeDon’t we always say …

“What goes around comes around?

This past week in NYC, Amazon opened its 7th book store.

Is it a good business plan? Some people think so as you’ll see in Fortune’s article, 5 Reasons Amazon Should Keep Opening Brick-and-Mortar Stores.

E-commerce. Smartphones. Gaming. Where’s It All Headed?

You don’t want to miss Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report, a widely read data-filled compendium of where the technology and media industries are headed. You’ll find the highlights in Fortune’s 10 Big Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s Widely-Read Internet Report and the full report here.

You may remember Mary Meeker, a long-time Morgan Stanley analyst and Kleiner Perkins investor, one of the star analysts who were questioned in fraud investigations after the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000 to 2002. She was also one of the lead underwriters for Google’s IPO, and was named “one of the ten smartest people in tech” by Fortune magazine in 2010.

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Binge Watching Galore. What a Crew You’ll Find Here!

FINALLY … House of Cards is back on Netflix for Season 5 and available for binge watching.

It’s a delicious series. Among other features, it highlights one of the strangest marital relationships you’ve ever seen between President Francis Underwood and his wife, Claire. Kevin Spacey, as the President, is a devious, power-hungry player who holds you in rapt attention as you wonder where he will strike next.

If you extend the dysfunction, between the President and First Lady, to an entire family, you’ll not find a more appropriate target than the Rayburn family, front and center in Bloodline, another Netflix binge-watching option now in Season 3.

If you want to put the “fun” back in dys“fun”ction for a single character who would also benefit from some time on the couch, don’t forget Bosch, now in Season 3. It’s the series based on the character of Harry Bosch, the irascible and relentless LA detective featured in the terrific, soon-to-be 24 book series of books by Michael Connelly.

That oughta keep you off the streets for awhile!

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Mud starring Matthew McConaughey

“While exploring a Mississippi River island, Arkansas boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) encounter Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a fugitive who needs their help. Though Mud killed a man in Texas and has bounty hunters on his trail, he is most concerned about reuniting with Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), the love of his life. Ellis, who is suffering the pangs of his first crush, agrees to help Mud. He and Neckbone do all they can to protect Mud and help him reunite with Juniper.”

Mud is a 2012 American coming-of-age drama written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013. The film grossed $32.6 million on a $10 million budget and received critical acclaim almost across the board.

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NBA championships Started Last Night

The Cleveland Cavaliers visited Oracle Arena in Oakland last night and got a rude welcome as the Golden State Warriors took Game #1 by a large margin, 113-91.

With 31 assists and only 4 turnovers, the Warriors tied the lowest number of assists in NBA history and are now 13-0 in the playoffs this year.

See ya on Sunday for Game 2. Go Warriors!

The Passing of My Boyhood Idol, Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning
Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame Pitcher

I was sad to learn of the recent passing of Jim Bunning. Likely unknown to most of you, he was a U.S. Senator from Kentucky … but mostly known to me and my childhood friends, he was a great pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.

I’ve chronicled his No-Hitter at Fenway Park in Boston in 1958 at the very first Major League Baseball game I ever attended … made more remarkable because I lived in Michigan not Boston.

You can read about it in Odds of 2 Monumental Events in Your Life on the Same Date? Incredible!.

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Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane, famous for his books like Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island which were made into movies, has now published his 10th novel, Since We Fell.

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.” Amazon

It takes a little time to get into it but it picks up speed when Rachel discovers what she’s really dealing with. It’s not my favorite Lehane novel, but if you like more psychological tension in your novels, this is for you.

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