Thoughts on Life

In a previous article, I shared a little history about the Great Depression of the 1930s and explained why the causes of the depression back then would be unlikely to repeat today. However, in the time that I wrote the article and sent it out to you (perhaps a week lag), new economic data has [...]

In looking at the COVID-19 response globally and here in the United States, I can’t help but remember a concept I learned in calculus class around local versus global minimums and maximums. While I don’t remember any of the math, (my interpretation of) the concept has reappeared repeatedly in my client work and again in [...]

I’m told there’s a saying on Wall Street that goes, “The trend is your friend.” I’m not a banker nor an asset manager, so I can’t vouch for its validity in that context. However, I think that, in a recession, this concept has a lot of value in terms of managing one’s career or business. [...]

I’ve been noticing that there are questions lately about what caused the Great Depression and whether we’re at risk of something similar in 2020. The short answer is: No, I don’t think we’re at risk of another Great Depression. For context, I asked this exact same question in October 2008 at the start of the [...]

In the United States, there’s a big debate going on right now. Epidemiologists urge physical distancing as the best way to avoid catastrophic loss of lives. Economists point out that the cost of shutting down the economy is unprecedented and is heading toward catastrophic economic collapse (which also has enormous human costs). So, who is [...]

The need for effective leadership is especially acute during a major crisis. Today, I wanted to share a framework for how you can lead others in any crisis you may face. My experience with crisis management comes from two perspectives. First, I have helped my CEO clients navigate multiple industry, capital market, and economic crises [...]

I started writing this article a few days ago on March 5th, but I didn’t get to finish it until March 16th. It’s still useful to help make sense of the problem. Living in the Seattle metro area in Washington state, much of my attention has been focused on the coronavirus. With the media, stock [...]

When you’re faced with two options where you know that one option will be good and the other bad, it’s useful to take the time to analyze and determine which one is which. However, many times in your life and career, you’ll face options that are far more ambiguous. Sometimes, the information you’d like to [...]

When I was at Stanford, I took a class on social hierarchies. I remember thinking it was fascinating how social hierarchies influence perceptions of self and others. At the time, I had very little experience with social hierarchies outside of the academic arena. In high school, seniors (fourth-years) were revered and freshman (first-years) were lucky [...]

Over the years, I’ve paid a lot of attention to teaching methods. I’ve done so in my role as a teacher in my work and also as a parent. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the value of learning the fundamentals of any domain. Whether it’s math, how to swing a baseball bat, or [...]

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