Home Notes January 2020 Book Clippings

January 2020 Book Clippings

Beyond entrepreneurship

“Leaders who build great companies seldom suffer from indecision.” 😳

“When all the analysis seems to be in, j mind to say yes or no at once and take my chances”

Ask one simple question: does your gut say no or yes?

Randomly pick and see how you react

“Do first things first—and second things not at all. The alternative is to get nothing done.” - Peter Drucker

NUTS! Southwest Airlines

“It’s not a job; it’s a crusade.”

“The airlines operated as if there were only two market segments: those who could afford to fly and those who couldn’t. When problems arose or costs went up, they would simply raise fares. Southwest, however, believing that it could stimulate a tremendous amount of new travel with low fares and superior service, challenges this assumption from day one.”

“They believed that if they just worked hard enough, that if they just cared enough, the company would pull through.”

“We decided that we needed to make our company absolutely outrageous.”

“We had absolute honest communication with employees.”

Kelleher asked Putnam, “What is the greatest thing you ever did for Southwest Airlines?” Putnam said, “I didn’t implement anything I learned at United.”


Obsession with keeping costs low to maximize profitability

“In order to get an additional 5 percent of the market, some companies increased their costs by 25 percent.”

“The company’s pricing strategy is to keep fares consistently low regardless of what the market will bear.”

“You don’t understand… we’re not competing with other airlines, we’re competing with ground transportation.”

“We’ll train you on whatever it is you have to do, but the one thing Southwest cannot change in people is inherent attitudes.”

“Only self confident people can be simple.” - Jack Welch

Bezos interview

When someone congratulated me on a good quarter those results were fully baked about three years ago

If you’re customer obsessed listening to your customers isn’t enough. You have to show them where you should go.

Never allow yourself to become annoyed.

The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit—a reputation, character.

The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee, and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.

Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity.


To pay attention to nothing, no matter how fleeting, except the logos.

Optimism in adversity - especially illness.

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life - some of which actually happened.” - Twain

“If you are ever tempted to look for outside approval, realize that you have compromised your own integrity. If you need a witness, be your own.”

⁃	Epictetus 

You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life?

Bob Iger

Don’t let humility stop you from leading

How to live like a Roman emperor Feedback and criticism are a gift

As soon as you rise from bed and begin considering each of the tasks ahead, you should ask yourself two questions: 1. What would the consequences be if you acted as a slave to your passions? 2. How would your day differ if you acted more rationally, exhibiting wisdom and self-discipline?

people often engage in habits they consider pleasurable—from social media to crack cocaine—as a way of distracting themselves from or suppressing unpleasant feelings.

he made it clear that his goal was to achieve the utmost joy in his heart and maintain a “cheerful serenity”



Matter: How tiny your share of it Time: How brief and fleeting your allotment of it Fate: How small a role you play in it

“The best revenge is not to be like that.”

I think it’s this: to do (and not to do) what we were designed for.

Don’t worry about how long you’ll go on doing this. A single afternoon is enough.

To live life in peace, immune to all compulsion. Let them scream whatever they want.


The more agitated others became the calmer he grew

Daring in design; cautious in execution

I felt the bigness if it but I am as calm as I am talking to you now


“No, no, my friend. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that. It’s you.”

As you kiss your son good night, says Epictetus, whisper to yourself, “He may be dead in the morning.”

Everything you’re trying to reach you could have right now. If you’d only stop thwarting your own attempts.

Hug the haters

You should be answering every complaint in every channel every time

Respond to positive comments not just negative

Advertising is a tax you pay when you’re poor at retaining customers

Elon Musk Wait But Why

If you were observing all of this in those four years following the PayPal sale, you’d think it was a sad story. A delusional internet millionaire, comically in over his head with a slew of impossible projects, doing everything he could to squander his fortune.

And then, in the most dire hour, everything turned around. First, in September of 2008, SpaceX launched their fourth rocket—and their last one if it didn’t successfully put a payload into orbit—and it succeeded. Perfectly. That was enough for NASA to say “fuck it, let’s give this Musk guy a try,” and it took a gamble, offering SpaceX a $1.6 billion contract to carry out 12 launches for the agency. Runway extended. SpaceX saved. The next day, on Christmas Eve 2008, when Musk scrounged up the last money he could manage to keep Tesla going, Tesla’s investors reluctantly agreed to match his investment. Runway extended. Five months later, things began looking up, and another critical investment came in—$50 million from Daimler. Tesla saved. While 2008 hardly marked the end of the bumps in the road for Musk, the overarching story of the next seven years would be the soaring, earthshaking success of Elon Musk and his companies.

Remembering that you are going to die,” said Jobs, “is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose”),

“the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”). - Zuck

Tesla has long believed that the best way to sell its cars is to get people in them.

Discipline Equals Freedom

Imagine the thousands of warriors who have gone before you, who have stood and faced evil and death. And now imagine you.

When it just doesn’t make any logical sense to go on, that’s when you use your emotion, your anger, your frustration, your fear, to push further, to push you to say one thing: I don’t stop.

Go down swinging. And I’ll tell you: If you fight with all you have, more often than not, you won’t go down at all.

Don’t worry about motivation. Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes. It is unreliable and when you are counting on motivation to get your goals accomplished—you will likely fall short. So. Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.

Ignore and outperform. Yes. While you are over there watching me and talking about me—I’m working. I’m working hard. I’m taking things to the next level. You keep gossiping—I’ll keep working. You keep talking smack—I’ll keep working. You keep chattering about things—I’ll keep working. You keep focusing on what everyone else is doing wrong—I’ll keep focusing on what I can do RIGHT. And when you finally look around at where you are and where I am —you will realize that you have nothing to talk smack about.

Walt Disney

When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say, ‘But why do you want to build an amusement park? They’re so dirty.’ I told her that was just the point; mine wouldn’t be,

Boos don’t block dunks.” – Kobe Bryant

This was what his Benton classmates remembered: Walt Disney drawing. He drew constantly. He drew even though it was not always socially acceptable to draw. “It was kind of sissy for a guy to draw,” Walt Pfeiffer admitted, but that did not deter Walt Disney. He drew and drew well for a boy his age. He drew until it became the primary source of his identification at Benton: Walt Disney, the artist. “Even in our old 7th grade in Miss Beck’s room,” a classmate recalled, “we all knew you’d really be an artist + genius of some kind… when I heard once that you couldn’t draw I sure set them straight. Because even in the 7th grade that’s all you did.”

‘Walter, you’re going to make a career of that, are you?’” - Elias Disney

The Gold Standard

Established a credo that every student knew well

I can’t make any student successful, but I will do everything in my power to make the path simple, free of unnecessary obstacles, and understandable.

Service Values:

I Am Proud to Be Ritz-Carlton 1. I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life. 2. I am always responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests. 3. I am empowered to create unique, memorable, and personal experiences for our guests. 4. I understand my role in achieving the Key Success Factors, embracing Community Footprints, and creating the Ritz-Carlton Mystique. 5. I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve the Ritz-Carlton Experience. 6. I own and immediately resolve guest problems. 7. I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met. 8. I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow. 9. I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me. 10. I am proud of my professional appearance, language, and behavior. 11. I protect the privacy and security of our guests, my fellow employees, and the company’s confidential information and assets. 12. I am responsible for uncompromising levels of cleanliness and creating a safe and accident-free environment. (Copyright © The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)

Black Mamba Mentality

There’s a fine balance between obsessing about your craft and being there for your family. It’s akin to walking a tightrope. Your legs are shaky and you’re trying to find your center. Whenever you lean too far in one direction, you correct your course and end up overleaning in the other direction. So, you correct by leaning the other way again. That’s the dance. You can’t achieve greatness by walking a straight line.

Be Our Guest - The Disney Way

Quality Service means exceeding your guests’ expectations by paying attention to every detail of the delivery of your products and services.

The Quality Service Compass has four main points: guestology, quality standards, delivery systems, and integration. Our service objective—to exceed guest expectations—resides at the center of the compass.

Guestology is what Disney calls the art and science of knowing and understanding customers.

Quality standards serve two purposes: they establish the criteria for actions that are necessary to accomplish the service strategy, and they serve as the measures of Quality Service. At the Disney resorts and parks, there are four quality standards. In order of importance, they are safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency.

The importance of managing the effect of setting on the guest experience can be summed up in two words: Everything speaks.

Integration means quite simply that the three delivery systems are combined and aligned to create a complete operating system.

“We are not trying to entertain the critics,” he would say. “I’ll take my chances with the public.”

“I don’t want you guys sitting behind desks. I want you out in the park, watching what people are doing and finding out how you can make the place more enjoyable for them.”

“Stand in line with the people, and for god’s sake, don’t go off the lot to eat like you guys have been doing. You eat at the park and listen to people!”

“You don’t build it for yourself. You know what people want and you build it for them.”

Disney needs to know how guests feel at any time

Needs, wants, stereotypes and emotions

Over time move from fulfilling needs to anticipating

Stereotypes = expectations

How are you feeling?

What’s the difference between product and service business? Products solve forever. Services solve once.

A purpose lasts at least a century.

Four standards help you prioritize and always hold true

If a person points with two or more fingers or an open palm they probably work at Disney

Company publicist drove up to Frontierland. “What are you doing with a car here in 1860?”

* 	there are three things that will get you hired
* 	A network
* 	Your skills
* 	Being a person worth hiring

* 	Two things you need to be hired
* 	Be a person a company wants to bet on
* 	Get interviews


The Hard Thing About Hard Things

My single biggest improvement as CEO happened on the day I stopped being too positive

“He comes by once a quarter to blow a little sunshine up my ass.”

1.	Trust
2.	More brains working on the hard problems the better
3.	Bad news needs to travel fast. Employees know anyway.

Tell it like it is.

How to lay off right: 1. Get your head right. “Ben is either lying or stupid or both.” 2. Don’t delay. 3. Be clear about why you’re laying off. 4. TRAIN YOUR MANAGERS. Managers must lay off their own people.

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