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  • Thomas Tull, founder of Tulco and former CEO of Legendary Entertainment shares valuable lessons on learning from our own mistakes, asking difficult questions, and protecting our intellectual curiosity.

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  • Sheila Heen, two time NY Times best selling author, consultant, and lecturer at Harvard Law School, makes the tough talks easier by breaking down the three layers that make up every difficult conversation

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  • DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg talks data privacy, protecting yourself online and shares his favorite mental models for clearer thinking.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Daniel Gross, former Y Combinator partner and current founder of Pioneer, discusses how we can make our success less about luck, the powerful role we play in the lives of others, and the valuable lessons he learned about leadership.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • On this episode, Scott Page, 5x Author and Professor of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan explains the power mental models have in how we view the world, discover creative solutions and solve complex problems.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Basecamp CEO and co-founder Jason Fried gives us a peek behind the scenes of his company and discusses his philosophy on doing great work, making a positive difference, and learning to breathe in the fast paced culture of today’s workplace.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Billionaire investor, author and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Howard Marks discusses risk assessment, how to think different than the crowd, and the three mighty dares that separate the successful from the also-rans.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Parenting expert and multiple best-selling author Dr. Laura Markham breaks down the three keys to successful discipline, how to properly model emotions and conflict resolution, and the coveted recipe for raising happy, resilient kids.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Speaker, author and radio journalist Celeste Headlee has had decades of experience fine tuning the recipe for engaging and rewarding conversation. She shares some tips to help us instantly improve our conversational skills and meaningfully connect with others.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital discusses how to unearth the unexplored ideas that will reshape our future. We also talk parenting, decision making, and which generation has the best rap.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Former NHL player turned mining executive Brent Gilchrist joins me to share the lessons he learned in the trenches of professional hockey. We discuss leadership, hard work, and what it takes to win as a team.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Author, educator, and hedge fund advisor, Adam Robinson returns for part 2 of our fascinating discussion. We talk chess, AI, handicapping horse races, and the secret to learning that nobody is teaching.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Author, educator, and hedge fund advisor, Adam Robinson shares powerful lessons on winning the game of life. He teaches us how to learn, how to fail, and his three secrets of happiness and success.

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  • Television personality, activist, mother, and wife to Canada’s Prime Minister, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau discusses her battle with eating disorders, why nature and art play such a huge role in her life and what unites us as people.

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  • Dan Kluger, award winning chef and owner of NYC’s Loring Place joins me on the podcast to reveal what really happens behind the scenes of a bustling restaurant, why every detail of your craft matters, and how to create the perfect experience for every guest.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Parenting expert and best selling author Barbara Coloroso shares her three foundational principles of child-rearing, how to get kids to be accountable for their actions, and what we can do as parents to raise confident, happy children.

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    This interview is unlike any we’ve done so far on The Knowledge Project. We’re talking parenting with one of the foremost experts in the field, Barbara Coloroso. Her work was introduced to me by the mother of one of my son’s friends, (possibly as a hint towards my parenting), and once I started reading her books, I knew I had to get her on the show.

    Her style is spunky, hard-nosed and compassionate all at the same time. And the qualities that her methods instill in children, mirror those that I want for my own kids — kindness, accountability, curiosity, and self-reliance to name a few. I’ll admit, as a father of two boys, I had selfish motivations to get Barbara one on one, and hopefully get the inside track on how to master this parenting thing.

    If you’re a parent, uncle, aunt, or interact with children in any way, you won’t want to miss this captivating interview.

    Here are a few highlights from our discussion:

    I came up with three basic tenets. One, kids are worth it. I believe they're worth our time, energy and resources to help them become all they can become. Second, I won't treat them in a way I, myself, would not want to be treated. And third, it must leave my dignity and the child's dignity intact.

    I felt that bribes and threats, rewards and punishments, which by the way, have become an insidious part of our culture, really interfere with raising an ethical human being. I want a child who will stand up for values and against injustices when it costs them, not when they're getting rewarded for being good because it's all about getting caught.

    Praise-dependent, reward-dependent children make wonderful henchmen for bullies. They will do the bully's bidding because they want whatever reward that bully is dangling in front of them.

    If you make a mistake, it's a very simple formula. Simple doesn't make it easy. With a mistake, you own it, you fix it, you learn from it and you move on.

    We want assertive lines, not aggressive or passive. Our climate today of adult discourse doesn't help our kids at all, with these virulent attacks and dehumanization of another human being, which is what verbal bullying does. So we need to walk our talk and talk our walk.

    Discipline is not something we do to a child. It's something we do with a child. Punishment's adult-oriented. It's imposed from without. It arouses resentment and teaches kids to respond out of fear, or fight back, or flee. Discipline, on the other hand, means to give life to a child's learning.

    If it's not life threatening, morally threatening, or unhealthy, let it go. Let them experience the consequences.

    I really dislike it when people say, "My teenager's my best friend," I say, "Get a life." They need a mentor. They don't need a friend right now, not you as a friend. Then in adulthood, you can become their friend and you better become a good friend because they do pick out your nursing home.

    We have 105 words for penis, and 125 for breasts, and only one for an ankle. We have to start young teaching kids to use their proper words. I want a little boy to say something like, "My penis feels funny," instead of using all these euphemisms, wee wee, sausage and bacon, or twigs and berries and all the different words that we use.

    Deep caring is not liking somebody. I tell kids, “You do not have to like every kid in this classroom, but you must honor their humanity.” Deep caring is a must to relieve somebody else's suffering, and wishing them well, which by the way, is the antithesis of mean and cruel.

    Listen and Learn

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • In a world that changes at a dizzying rate, effective leaders need to develop the skills to keep up. Developmental coach and author Jennifer Garvey Berger shares 3 habits to ensure continual growth, accelerated learning and deepened relationships of trust.

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    In this fast-paced digital economy, it’s impossible to see the changes that are on the horizon. That makes it difficult for leaders to prepare for what’s ahead. In her best-selling books, Changing on the Job, and Simple Habits for Complex Times, author and developmental coach Jennifer Garvey Berger teaches the skills and habits you can adopt today to make you more agile and adaptable to any scenario.

    During our discussion, we explore some of the methods Jennifer uses to help individuals become better listeners, better learners, and better leaders. There was so much wisdom in this interview that it was difficult to decide what excerpts to share.

    Here’s a small sampling of what you can expect:

    So much of leadership ability is about how other people experience themselves in your presence. A great leader has a presence that makes other people bigger.

    History is filled with leaders, who were told in whispers that there was disaster ahead and who were so certain about their own perspective that they marched into disaster headlong. A curious leader listens to whispers and begins to make sense of them, not necessarily to believe them all, but to know that there's something going on to be attuned to.

    We have the possibility to always be growing. That's a glorious thing. For some people, they're into arrival.

    One of the different questions adult development theory lets us ask is, "Who am I being right now and is that the person I want to be?" You bring that question into your everyday life and it moves you.

    Over time, as we begin to ask different questions, they push out our thinking and feeling and experiencing because so much of what we're doing is the answer to a question. What you wear is the answer to, "What shall I wear today?" Our lives are living out answers to questions we don't notice that we're asking. Asking different questions helps us lead different lives.

    Taking seriously the possibility that somebody else is right and you're wrong requires a mental yoga that you have to remember to do because what your system is going to deliver to you for free from most of our development is when somebody says something that you think is wrong, you just think, "Well, that's wrong." You don't think, "Oh, what am I missing?"

    We tend to be looking for the root cause of something, but in complexity, there's no root cause. There's no root cause of a hurricane, right? There's no root cause of a tsunami. There's no root cause in nature. There are just many forces that interact together to get you a particular effect. Similarly, there's no root cause of trust. There's no root cause of leadership. These are all a series of things that happen together.

    You can't tell the difference in a brain scan between somebody having an opinion and somebody remembering a fact. Our brains think they're the same. So, we have to get really careful with what we think is an opinion and what we think is a fact.

    One of the things I love about complexity is it can change from anywhere, right? You can change a system from anywhere. You don't actually need positional power. So, somebody who's locked in one of those patterns could begin to imagine ways to shift even if I'm just shifting my part of the pattern. What if I decided that the talk I'm going to do outside of meetings is going to be all praise for one another? How does that shift the system around me?

    I am continually surprised by the power of genuine listening. I know it sounds fairly simple, but people who are led by their curiosity and who genuinely listen to the perspectives of others, they learn like crazy.

    Listen and Learn.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • The world-renowned surgeon, writer, and researcher Atul Gawande shares powerful lessons about creating a culture of safe learning, the critical difference between a coach and a mentor, and how to ensure constant improvement in key areas of your personal and professional life.

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    Atul Gawande is one of the most impressive individuals I’ve had the pleasure to interview.

    He’s one of the world’s top surgeons, a researcher, a prolific writer at The New Yorker, a multiple time best-selling author, and a husband and father to boot.

    In this fascinating interview, I’m sure you’ll find that Atul is wise and generous with the lessons he’s learned over a dynamic and accomplished career but also maintains a childlike humility, curiosity and eagerness to learn.

    We cover a lot of ground in our discussion, so here are a few excerpts to give you a taste of what you can expect:

    I like having a lot of irons in the fire. I like being a jack of all trades and finding the edges between things is often where I have something to add. [My ideas] come from digging in deep enough to understand the gap between what we're aspiring for and the reality of what we're doing and then trying to figure out where the bridge is to narrow that wide gap.

    When we all have a piece of care or a piece of a problem, very often none of us can actually see what the outcome is and the owner can't see the function of the system. So then you start finding things like data really matter.

    We've been fantastic at breakthrough innovation and we've had no real understanding of follow-through innovation. I think it's partly that the follow through innovation can seem like it's only about nuts and bolts, instead of about recognizing that there are ways that you can actually influence and have control, some degree of control, with regard to the world around you.

    For most of human history, for like 99.99% of it, our world was governed largely by ignorance. We did not know the diseases that could afflict the human body or understand them, let alone what to do about them. We didn't understand how societies rose and fell. We didn't understand how economics worked, even in the most basic components.

    Even if we were to come to a complete understanding of all the laws of the universe, we won't be able to understand all of the interconnections and all of the particularities and how they all interconnect. We're always making our best prediction and effort to be able to drive that, and so grappling, something about that is deeply human.

    In other industries that I've seen that have been able to create that space, you know, engineers on successful teams are able to create, and you can see on teams within the same organization and the same research lab for example, you can see good and bad culture within the teams, but when the leader has made it so people can actually speak up with an equal voice. People from the highest level to the lowest level, they have all been able to contribute, and when that exchange is the way that it occurs, then you know you're there.

    The pedagogical theory is you go to Julliard, you get your 10,000 hours of practice with the violin, and you then head out into the world and you're responsible for the rest of your self-improvement along the way. That model is the primary one in professional life, most musicians, in medicine, in teaching, in business.

    The other model is mostly out of sports and that's the coaching model, and that says, I don't care if you're Roger Federer, you will have blind spots when it comes to your own improvement and you need a coach. Over time I think what we've been learning is the coaching model beats the teaching model, and has significant advantages.

    The fact of rising health care costs is not the problem. What is the problem is, how much of the costs are rising that are not actually connected in any way to value.

    I'm ruthless about prioritization. I just try to do no more than a couple of things at a time. I may do something different in a couple of months so it can make it seem like I'm doing a million things at once, but I'm not actually. I'm only doing one thing at a time.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Today, I interview fellow Ottawan and the founder and CEO of Shopify, Tobi Lütke. In case you’re still new to the internet, Shopify is the largest ecommerce platform that allows people to easily set up online storefronts to sell everything from jewelry to surfing lessons.

    Shopify began as a simple two man operation selling snowboards online, but it became clear rather quickly that it had the potential to grow into much more. Now Shopify employs more than 4,000 people and supports more than 600,000 businesses online. It’s a remarkable story, with a remarkable leader at the helm.

    There was so much I wanted to talk to Tobi about that we hop around quite a bit. Here are a few of the topics we discuss:

    Tobi’s thoughts on how video games helped him prepare to run a company How selling snowboards online slowly transitioned to the creation of one of the biggest tech companies in the world Why Tobi intentionally headquartered Shopify outside of Silicon Valley and how that fits into his overall growth strategy One of the most underrated resources Tobi leans on to mine nuggets of wisdom when trying to get insight or solve a problem The hard and valuable lessons Tobi learned as they scaled from a 2 employee company to a 4,000 employee company What the “Tobi test” is, and how it helps Shopify team members become more adaptable, unified and prepared when things go haywire How employees use the “trust battery” and how it fosters better teamwork, communication, and productivity throughout the company The benefits of hiring employees in a “secondary market” as opposed to a “primary market” and how that contributes to the unique culture at Shopify Tobi’s decision-making process and his philosophy on making quick vs analytic decisions Tobi’s unusual morning routine that gets him in the right mindset to tackle the day His optimistic view of AI and machine learning and how they will impact the way we do things in the future

    And more…

    Whether you’re building a business of your own, want to create a more dynamic and unified culture at work, or just like hearing entrepreneur war stories, this episode will not disappoint.

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    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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  • Today’s guest is Stratechery author and founder Ben Thompson. If you’re an investor in Silicon Valley, work at a tech start-up, or just love to geek out on technology and business analysis, odds are good that Stratechery is on your short list of must-read blogs.

    What started as a side project, quickly ballooned into one of the most influential tech blogs on the web. The New York Times called Stratechery, “one of the most interesting sources of analysis on any subject.”

    I agree.

    In this interview, Ben and I cover a lot of ground. Here are a few of the things we discuss:

    Learn once and for all how to pronounce Stratechery. :) How Ben’s business model was developed and how he massaged it over the years to become what it is today The one metric Ben looks at each day to gauge the health of his business How Ben deals with people who rip off his work and pass it off as their own Ben’s thoughts on pricing, free trials, content and other important aspects of online membership sites How Ben structures his day to churn out such incredible content so consistently How Ben handles being wrong on his site, and his process for screening his work for confirmation bias How the internet has changed the traditional view of supply and demand, and what companies should do about it What Ben would teach an MBA class about internet strategy (if you do any business online, you need to hear this) What it would take for a start-up to overtake Google or Apple, and the vulnerabilities that all companies share, no matter how big or profitable The new era of technology and how companies like Netflix, Airbnb, and Amazon are doing it right (and what you can do in your own business to take full advantage)

    This is one of the most jam-packed interviews I’ve done on the Knowledge Project. Ben’s answers are so thoughtful and informative that you’re going to want to have a notebook handy.

    For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/

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