7-12-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Business Adventures

Bill Gates discusses his favorite business book at the Wall Street Journal:

Business Adventures is as much about the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in challenging circumstances as it is about the particulars of one business or another. In that sense, it is still relevant not despite its age but because of it. John Brooks's work is really about human nature, which is why it has stood the test of time. [minor format edits]
If the rest of Gates's review won't cause you to seriously consider the book, perhaps the fact that Warren Buffett first recommended it to him will.

Weekend Reading

"Avoiding conflict on principle can lead to a false and inauthentic relationship where false assumptions will build up on one or both sides." -- Michael Hurd, in "Is All Conflict Bad?" at The Delaware Coast Press

"Retirement shouldn't feel like you're 'playing hooky.'" -- Michael Hurd, in "The Holy Grail of Retirement" at The Delaware Wave

In Further Detail

I have noticed, as Michael Hurd discusses in the second column above, that many people who retire seem to become dissatisfied. I had always assumed that this dissatisfaction was due to a lack of purpose. While this explanation may well be correct, Hurd shows us that it could be wrong, or at least incomplete. Old habits formed during the rat race might still have a hold and need to be changed.

Barring a Rasputin-Like Constitution...

... and maybe even despite one, Johnny "Football" Manziel looks to Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post like he will be a bust as a professional player:
It's going to be really fun to watch Johnny Hungover try to play quarterback in the NFL with nightclub-baked eyes and the shakes. Jonathan Paul Manziel appears to be engaged in a contest within a contest: Can he beat the game? Can a footloose, sleep-deprived carouser take his Saturday night attitude into the NFL and win on Sundays?

What it boils down to is whether juvenile defiance can succeed in a man's league. Manziel insists he can chug champagne from an inflatable swan on his personal vacation time, and treat the NFL like a five-day job, and survive. "I'm not changing for anybody," Manziel has said. He refuses to be cramped by what he obviously considers the NFL's overly grim mold of year-round professionalism. It's the attitude of a summer intern, who swears he'll never wear a suit to work. [link in original]
I'm not sure I'd describe it as "fun" to watch such a train wreck, but Jenkins makes some very astute observations about Manziel's behavior and its impact on his colleagues. That last word may sound odd in the context of sport, but it won't once you read the entire column.


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