Getting to the Point | The Exkalibur Newsletter | September 1, 2017

First and foremost, our hearts and prayers go out to our fellow citizens in Texas who are experiencing the unprecedented and horrific result of Hurricane Harvey which has devastated so much of the Lone Star State. It’s also refreshing, in an era of rampant partisanship, to see the heart and soul of our fellow citizens reaching out to provide aid to anyone and everyone, a welcome reminder of the goodness of the American people.

This week, we’re Getting to the Point by emphasizing that for leaders, the Special Forces mantra of leave no man or woman behind applies equally in the workplace. To advance our Leadership mission, we’re excited to remind you about the first Leadership Course from Exkalibur University, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – 7 Remarkably Simple Steps to Earn Respect just around the corner and to encourage you to SAVE THE DATE for our 6th annual Wine Industry Workshop on Tuesday, November 7.

In our Business Brief, we’ll see how important attending a top school is for CEOs, we’ll try to advance the ball in understanding blockchains which many believe will change the world, we’ll learn if you can trademark a color and see what Tim Cook of Apple had to do to earn his incentive compensation.

We’ll Geek Out a little and consider some of the changes coming to YouTube and the latest on one of the centurions protecting us from the hackers. We’ll get an update on Apple’s upcoming release of iOS 11 and then move Around the Web to consider the latest report on our eating habits, the end of an annoying Uber feature, how a robot performed in the top 20% of a university entrance exam, and a few places you can live on the cheap. We’ll also peek into the political landscape to check on the likelihood of success in Afghanistan and the latest review of partisan politics run amok in the U.S.

On a lighter note, you’ll enjoy the humor of this historical marker. You’ll also meet the woman who has memorized all 328 pages of the IKEA catalog and see how poorly Hollywood did with their summer releases. You’ll also get the latest on the big money pouring from the biggest fight of the century (so far) between Mayweather and McGregor and catch the latest novel with a gun-toting heroine from the pen of Mike (M.A.) Lawson.

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Meet IKEA’s Human Catalog!

In This Woman Memorized All 328 Pages of Ikea’s 2018 Catalog and Will Now Be the Brand’s ‘Human Catalog’, meet Yanjaa Wintersoul and be prepared to be awed at her astounding memory feat.

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What Does This Mean to Us as Leaders: Leave No Man or Woman Behind?

Among many things, the Special Forces are famous for this credo.

How does that apply to our leadership?

The Navy SEALS are famous for many things, but one of their credos we often hear about is Leave No Man Behind. (We’ll give them a pass on the single sex reference since women were not allowed in military combat roles until January, 2016.)

What does this mean for YOU as a Leader?

It should be a powerful reminder that it is your responsibility to bring your people along with you.

Jack Welch is credited with this quote which sums it up quite well:

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

People will follow you through the gates of Hell, but you need to make sure you’re leaving no one behind.

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Your Next Step to Becoming a More Effective Leader

I’m excited to announce the first course in the Leadership Development curriculum being launched at Exkalibur University.

On October 2, we will begin our first Leadership course, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – 7 Remarkably Simple Steps to Earn Respect. It’s designed to help you accelerate your Leadership Journey based on this indisputable premise:

“To Become a More Effective Leader you must first Become a Respected Leader.”

The course will include a series of emails over a two-week period as well as THREE LIVE Office Hours sessions where we will dive deeper into some of the subjects you will read about, with a Q&A period each time to answer all of your questions. You can also expect a few special bonuses along the way to supplement the course materials.

After Labor Day week, we will begin to share additional details with you, so keep your eye on your inbox for further information. If you’re already an Exkalibur Subscriber, you’ll receive a super special discount to make it easy for you and your team to enroll in our new Leadership Series and advance your professional development.

I hope we’ll have a chance to talk together in class.

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Do You Need to Attend a Top School to be a CEO?

In Which Colleges Produce the Most CEOs?, there are some interesting stats about the relationship between CEOs and education.

Still Trying to Figure Out this Blockchain Stuff? Me, too.

If you’re still working on coming to grips with blockchains, they’re in the headlines almost daily and as they say … things are gonna change around here.

So, take a look at this next lesson in blockchains, Why Blockchain Will Change Everything. It’s a 5m video that will help you get a handle on what this is about and what’s coming down the road.

Together, we’ll try to figure this baby out.

You Can Patent the Color Yellow? Oh, I Guess Not.

I was amazed to see in Cheerios just lost its bid to trademark the color yellow that General Mills, the makers of Cheerios … which I really like, with banana and brown sugar? Yup … tried to trademark the color yellow?

No surprise here that they lost after 2 years of appeals … but did they really think they’d win? (They’re considering further appeals at this date.)

I was surprised to learn that there is precedent for this:

“Trademarking a color is possible only if a company can prove that most customers instantly equate their product with a signature color. Cadbury secured a trademark for royal purple, Moët Hennessy has exclusive rights to the yellow-orange color (Pantone 137) on their Veuve Cliquot champagne labels, and Coca-Cola has a trademark on ”Coke Red.”

In the eating department, I’ve enjoyed eating at Cracker Barrel on the occasional road trip in the right part of the country, but not so much that I’d make it my life’s work to eat at all 645 of them like the couple featured in Couple completes quest to eat at every Cracker Barrel in USA.

Apple’s Tim Cook Cashes In

But, I’m okay with it because it’s based on incentive compensation that Cook has clearly earned. In Apple CEO Tim Cook Just Got a Huge Payday, he collected 560,000 shares, half of them linked to Apple’s performance.

I’ve written fairly extensively about incentive compensation, and in Does Your Incentive Plan Really Drive Superior Results?, I provide video and slides relating to Apple’s incentive plans and the sound logic on which it is based.

You could do much worse than to develop an incentive plan along these lines. You don’t have to be a public company to do it, so take a look and make sure your incentive plans really work.

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YouTube is Stepping Up Their Game

Several interesting developments at YouTube, where virtually everyone on the planet has watched something.

First, YouTube’s Redesign Makes It Easier To Watch All The Videos, you’ll see a much cleaner look on YouTube.

Secondly for you cord-cutters, you can watch live TV from 40+ channels for $35/month, cancel anytime. It’s not everywhere yet, but it gives you 6 accounts for anyone in your household. Most of the shows still have ads, so that might turn you off, but you might check it out.

Hackers Beware. There ARE Foxes Minding the Chicken Coup.

In Which Wordfence Firewall Rules Are Most Effective?, Wordfence explains the level of attacks on the more than 2 million websites they protect.

Consider this a community service … just to remind you of the rampant hacking that goes on behind the scenes, in increasingly clever ways, so you remain eternally vigilant.

“This is a stacked chart that shows what percentage of attacks each rule blocked, by day. The total number of attacks represented in this chart over the two-month period is 202,765,759. You read that correctly: over two hundred and two million unique attacks across the sites we protect. Wordfence protects over 2 million websites, which is why this number is so high.”

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IOS 11: Some of Your Apps May No Longer Work

As a frequent tester of new apps, I thought this might not turn out so well when I went to see how many apps I own that won’t work on the upcoming iOS 11 release. (You may have already seen if you have iOS 10, that Apple displays a warning message that allows the app to open. No more in iOS 11.)

There are reportedly 200,000+ apps on the App Store that won’t work, which is about 8% of all apps, so it’s likely you may have a few.

Of the 477 apps on my iPad, there are well over 50 apps that soon won’t work. Fortunately, there are very few I can’t live without as most of them are either old apps I should have deleted a long time ago, or are goofy apps that I only looked at for 99¢ and didn’t do much with.

But, there are some I’m concerned about so I hope they get updated soon.

DO THIS to see what you’re facing:

On your IOS devices (iPhone or iPad), go to

Settings > General > About > Applications

If nothing happens when you tap Applications, you’re good to go.

But, if you have any 32-bit apps, they will appear on the next screen. None of those will work with the upcoming iOS 11, so make sure you’re prepared.

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Don’t Pass the Bread Please. Do Pass More Fats & More Fruit.

News … Some old, some new on the food front, drawn from a 7 year study of the eating habits of 135,000 adults in 18 countries in Huge new study casts doubt on conventional wisdom about fat and carbs.

“In a nutshell, a healthy diet based on the PURE results would be rich in fruits, beans, seeds, vegetables, and fats, include dollops of whole grains, and be low in refined carbohydrates and sugars.”

“Cutting back on starch and sugar and adding more fat and more foods from plants, especially bioactive fruits and seeds, is where we should be headed,”

“… among the study participants, those whose diets included three to four servings of fruits and vegetables a day were no more likely to have died as those whose diets included eight or more servings a day”

This Uber Feature Really Ticked Me Off

You too, probably … so I’m happy to report that Uber Is Killing A Feature That Let It Track Users Even After Their Rides Ended.

You may recall that a while back, Uber added a controversial feature that allows it to track riders for up to five minutes after they finish a trip.


Robots Passing College Entrance Exams?

Watch this TED talk, Can a robot pass a university entrance exam?, for this revelation:

“Meet Todai Robot, an AI project that performed in the top 20 percent of students on the entrance exam for the University of Tokyo – without actually understanding a thing. While it’s not matriculating anytime soon, Todai Robot’s success raises alarming questions for the future of human education. How can we help kids learn the things that humans can do better than AI?”

See Ya … and I Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya!

Don’t say I’ve never done anything for you. Here is Forbes article, Quit Your Job And Live Abroad: 8 Places So Cheap You Might Not Need To Work.

For just over $1,000/month, you might be calling me from Portugal next … or Borneo … or Nicaragua … or ….

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Afghanistan: The Empire Stopper

I’ve maintained for decades … to anyone who would listen … that Afghanistan is where wars go to die. The Soviet Union, for example, invaded in 1979 and limped out in 1989. Britain fought 3 wars there over 80 years, lost tens of thousands of dead and gave up in 1919, granting Afghanistan its independence.

In the The Empire Stopper, you’ll get some historical perspective that sheds light on whether the U.S. renewed effort there is likely to achieve lasting success (whatever that is).

“Wars of the last three ”empires“ to invade Afghanistan coincided with the age of photography, leaving a rich record of their triumphs and failures, and an arresting chronicle of a land that seems to have changed little in the past two centuries.”

Partisan Politics Run Amok

There should be no doubt about how righteous everyone in the U.S. has become over their politics. In my many years of close observation of the political scene, I’ve never seen such anger, distrust and unwillingness to compromise.

I’m sure you’ve noticed it, too, so it will come as no surprise to learn from Our left-right media divide told through Charlottesville how people see things so differently.

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Hollywood’s Summer Schedule Sucked.

We like a good movie as much as anyone … maybe more … but I kinda had a feeling the summer movies weren’t too good … maybe you, too … because I didn’t find any that really caught my eye.

According to The Hollywood Reporter in Hollywood Is About to Post Its Worst Summer Box Office in Recent Memory …

… “it will become become the industry’s biggest year-over-year domestic revenue decline in ”modern times.”

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The Fight of the Decade? It Was All About the Money!

Yeah, I splurged and watched the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight last Saturday night. I knew if my Dad was still with us, we’d be hunkered down for that baby, predicting how long McGregor would last, scoring it in every round.

My Dad was a professional boxer before he became a preacher, and we spent most Friday nights in front of the TV watching the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. I think he’d expect me to watch this fight for him. (Conveniently, that turns out to be a pretty good excuse for splurging.)

The Fight Result

My bets with a few friends turned out quite well. No one thought McGregor would win, but they differed on how and when it would end. I bet it would go at least 8 rounds, a bet everyone took because they were sure Mayweather was, by far, the better fighter.

He is … except for a few mitigating factors which I took into account:

  • Floyd is 40 years old, McGregor only 29.
  • Mayweather hadn’t fought in almost 2 years
  • McGregor is a warrior, a fighter in great shape and wasn’t going down that easily.
  • McGregor also had a height advantage greater than in any of Floyd’s last 5 championship opponents.

McGregor acquitted himself very well for a first-time boxer, losing by a TKO in the 10th round of a 12 round fight.

The Money Flowed … and flowed … and flowed ….

Estimates so far are of a total purse of over $500 million … up to $300 million for Mayweather and $100 million for McGregor. (For the record, I would have stepped in the ring with Floyd for half that .. but, alas, no takers.)

The fight reportedly sold 6.5 millions PPV tickets, although the total amount is hard to compute since the fight was priced differently all over the world. The previous record was Mayweather vs. Pacquiao at 4.6M PPV tickets.

It’s also reported that Las Vegas betting sites took in more money than for the Super Bowl, with many bettors looking for a McGregor upset.

Maybe not ALL about the money … but it was A LOT about the money!

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K-Street by M.A. Lawson (Kay Hamilton #3)

M.A. Lawson is the pen name of Mike Lawson, an established author of the Joe DeMarco series, an excellent series about the unsung aide to the Speaker of the House, who’s always cleaning up the Speaker’s messes … and one of the only protagonists I know who doesn’t carry a gun.

Kay Hamilton is his first female heroine and DOES carry a gun. K-Street is the 3rd book in the series. She’s tough-talking, takes no prisoners and is not easily dissuaded from whatever course she pursues.

“It’s been almost a year since Kay Hamilton was fired from the DEA for going rogue. Since then, she’s been employed by the Callahan Group, a covert intelligence agency based in Washington, D.C. Her job description is as dubious as the people she works for, and the undercover mission that nearly killed her in Viking Bay has Hamilton questioning the legitimacy of her employers.”

“When Hamilton arrives at the Callahan Group’s K Street office to tender her resignation, she unwittingly interrupts a deadly heist during which the robbers have stolen the company safe and left her boss gravely injured. She knows that Thomas Callahan doesn’t keep much cash in the safe—the men must have been after something other than money. But before Callahan slips into a coma, he whispers a name that will lead Kay to an organization even more secretive than the Callahan Group: the NSA.” [Amazon]

As I always suggest, start with the first book in the series, Rosarito Beach.

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