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March 2022

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American businesswoman and Information Technology Executive Marissa Mayer who was Google’s employer #20 and former spokeswoman. She served as president and chief executive officer of Yahoo!, from 2012 to 2017. She delivered the speech while she was Google’s Vice President of Search Products and User Experience.

She delivered the commencement speech at Illinois Institute of Technology’s 2009 ceremony on Saturday, May 16, on IIT’s Main Campus.

In The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies, marketing strategist Chet Holmes describes 12 competencies & strategies for doubling sales and business growth. Chet shared tools for marketing, management, and sales mastery.

Key Insights: Pigheaded Discipline and Determination, Dream 100, Education-based marketing, Best neighborhoods sales strategy, Stacked Marketing.

Chet Holmes got his break by working for Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger. Chet doubled the sales of nine divisions under Charlie’s management purview. He shares 12 principles for doubling sales in the Ultimate Sales Machine.

Lululemon is a leadership development company disguised as an apparel brand.

In The Story of Lululemon: Little Black Stretchy Pants, Canadian Entrepreneur Chip Wilson describe the origin story of founding yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica Inc in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Fromhumble beginnings, Lululemon redefined how generation of people trained, exercised and lived.  Little Black Stretchy Pants is a story of goal setting, self-belief, personal re-invention and the roller coaster of building a global brand.

Lululemon was a social experiment to determine if putting people development above profits would yield extraordinary profits. The experiment proved successful.

the-story-of-lululemon-chip-wilson

The book is full of insights, lessons learned, mistakes made, and many quotable quotes. Here are some great quotes from: The Story of Lululemon: Little Black Stretchy Pants by Chip Wilson

 Lululemon was inspired largely by university graduates drawn to this unique, athletic, semi-hippie-like part of the city. I didn’t have enough money or product to rent a regular store location, so I found a space behind an inconspicuous door and up a drab-looking flight of stairs, instead of an inviting street-level storefront.

You’re constantly humbled before the craft.

From The Terminator and Titanic to Avatar, James Cameron has directed some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Now, for the first time in his 40-year career, he opens up about his process. Through behind-the-scenes breakdowns, James shares his approach to developing ideas, storylines, and characters; harnessing technology; and worldbuilding on any budget. Explore the innovation and imagination behind epic moviemaking.

Growing Up

Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1954, James was fascinated by science fiction books and movies from a young age.

He moved to the United States at 17 and initially studied physics at Fullerton Junior College, now Fullerton College, before switching to English and eventually dropping out. A trip to the theater to see George Lucas’s Star Wars reignited his interest in filmmaking; the cinematic experience was so moving that he drove a truck to support his fledgling screenwriting career and spent time studying books on visual effects (VFX) at the library. 

Spent time studying books on visual effects (VFX) at the library. 

Shoemaker: The Untold Story of the British Family Firm that Became a Global Brand, Co-Founder of Reebok Joe Foster describes the remarkable story of how he founded Reebok in 1958 with his late brother Jeff, following their family heritage back to 1895. From humble beginnings , they started from a small factory in Bolton and built a global brand with grit, persistence and focus. Joe’s Grandfather, Joseph W Foster founded J. W. Foster & Sons which pioneered the spiked running shoe and famously made shoes for the Worlds best athletes of the early 20th century, with World records and Olympics Gold Medals.

My story, the Reebok story, is not a standard business tale about how I worked hard, hunched over a shoe last for thirty-five years. Nor is it a linear journey along a well-thought-out path, or a tale of how I risked millions and came out smelling of shiny leather. It is a book about motivation and the importance of gripping onto an opportunity when Lady Luck presents it.

The real test of your resolve for achieving your goals and aspirations lies in how you handle the tough and somewhat messy middle on your path to getting things done. When you first set a goal, especially New Year resolutions, it is set with much pump and enthusiasm. As we all eventually find out around mid-march, staying motivated all year round can be tough and challenging.

The Messy Middle shows up when the going gets tough like they often do, when you don’t feel like getting up from bed, not wanting to go to the gym because of bad weather, not reading the book because you are tired, dropping out of the online course or programming class because it is getting tougher, stopping swim class because you are not really seeing the progress. The Messy Middle can be a good excuse to stop but it is when you need to remember why you started or set the goal in the first place.

Financial journalist and American author Michael Lewis delivered his “Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie” speech at the 2012 Princeton Baccalaureate graduation event. Lewis is a member of Princeton’s Class of 1982. He is the author of Liar’s Poker (1989), Moneyball (2003), The Blind Side (2006), and The Big Short (2010).

Micheal Lewis’ Princeton University’s 2012 Commencement Speech Transcript

The Serenity Prayer is a prayer often attributed to American theologian Reinhold Neibuhr. The prayer has since been adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs. The prayer is one of my favourite prayers to ruminate on during trying times. We live in a world of cacaphonous noise, unending anxiety from a looming, somewhat inevitable world war, a world where whatever can go wrong would eventually go wrong (Murphy’s Law).

Oprah Winfrey referred to Will Smith’s autobiography as “The best memoir I’ve ever read”. In Will, American actor Will Smith takes the reader on a journey about his life, growing up in West Philadelphia, his parental influences, his rapping and acting career. Smith was very vulnerable about his failures (divorce, tax issues), successes (box office chart breaking records and movies).

What you have come to understand as “Will Smith,” the alien-annihilating MC, the bigger-than-life movie star, is largely a construction—a carefully crafted and honed character—designed to protect myself. To hide myself from the world. To hide the coward.

Don’t waste a second of your life. You only have 40,000 days to live. The longer you live, the quicker time goes. To a toddler, 10 minutes feels like 10 years. To a 90-year-old man, 10 days feels like half a second.

In The Story of Lululemon: Little Black Stretchy Pants, Entrepreneur and Founder of yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica, Chip Wilson writes about founding Lululemon, creating company culture, lessons learned, building great corporate governance, working with family members, his thought process and insights he garnered along the way.

Chip is a voracious reader and he recommends loads of business books.

Tara Brach is an American psychologist, author, and proponent of Buddhist meditation. She is a guiding teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C. USA. Tara Brach is one of my favourite meditation teachers, I found her books: Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love that Heals Fear and Shame and Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN; to be very helpful and insightful.

In her work, Brach expands on concepts and ideas such as RAIN, Buddhist meditation, Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion, Loving Kindness, living in trace, Self-Care, Self-Compassion, Self-healing, Self-nurturing, among other life changing topics.

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

We have not wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.

The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.

The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions of the skies,
Are crossed by pathways that appear
As we to higher levels rise.

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator