Clarity First Newsletter, July 20, 2018

Clarity First
A notebook about how we work, and learn, and love and live.

This week I chatted with zen teacher and coach, Marc Lesser. He said something profoundly simple that buoyed me: “We need to do things that are impossible. We are impossible beings.” He’s so right. Our very existence is a miracle. Each and every moment we are alive we choose how we express this wonder. Happy Friday, dear reader. Here in New England it’s a freshly scrubbed summer day, and that makes all seem right.

New Economy

Community-based economics is starting to become a must-have.

“If the current political and economic systems in the United States are corrupt, decaying, or even collapsing, then plugging holes and filling in gaps—no matter how well we are guided by sophisticated logic models showing the wisdom of our interventions—will fail. This means that those stories about so-called alternative forms of economic organization may be more than “feel-good” narratives of community self-determination; in fact, they may be glimpses of another world emerging. In short, if our economic, political, and social systems are changing before our eyes, then community-based economics stops being a nice-to-have and starts becoming a must-have.”
Article: The Economy Is Changing—and So Must We: A New Charge for Nonprofits

User Experience

It’s always the customer’s first time.

“A few months ago I hailed an Uber driven by a guy named Vishwas Aggrawal, who goes by Vish for short. He had a staggering 4.99 rating. 4.99? I couldn’t believe it! I figured he was just a newbie–until I scrolled down and saw that he’d given almost 5,000 rides. How was that possible?”.
Article: 7 Customer Service Lessons from the Best Uber Driver Ever

Group Process

What type of leader are you? Directive? Transformational? Servant?

There is no one best practice when it comes to engaging and managing a team. “Instead, the way you lead a team first depends on your individual strengths, the goals of your organization, and the disposition and competencies of your team members.” This is a good summary to consider and discuss.
Article: 5 Types of Leadership Styles That Influence Business Outcomes

Personal Productivity

Do more of what matters.

“Time and attention are two of the most finite resources in the world. There will be more good opportunities than we realistically have time for. We shouldn’t be quick to pounce on every one of them, because not all will be right for us. If we force ourselves to eliminate our options, we quickly find that only a few things truly matter to us. We would be best served if we ignore distractions and do more of what really matters.”
Article: Warren Buffett’s 5/25 Rule Will Help You Focus On The Things That Really Matter


A copywriter picks some cherries

In an ever over-communicated world, copy, concept, and the idea behind them matter more than ever. Writer, Cole Schafer, is our sommelier today. Look and learn.
Article: 17 Examples of Killer Copywriting.

Design Process

No wonder so many new ideas are dismissed out of hand. 

“The logic we use to understand the world as it is can hinder us when we seek to understand the world as it could be. Anyone who comes up with new ideas for a living will recognize the challenges this truism presents. It means that to get organizational support for something new, the designer needs to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as to the new idea itself.”
Article: Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea


“It’s our way of saying thanks. Actually, it’s our way of saying bend over a little further…”

Advertising, as practiced by most, sucks. George Carlin, the master of mainline truth, explains why in a master class.
Video: George Carlin – Advertising and Bull Shit



Image of the Week

Harmonia Rosales, a 33-year-old artist in Chicago, grew up loving classic paintings.

“This included works such as Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, a piece painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that thousands of people visit each year. Rosales told HuffPost that early exposure to famous paintings such as the Creation ‘helped to define’ her understanding of the world.

“ ‘It was only later when I realized that the frame that was set by the masters excluded so much more than it included,’ she added. ‘What was included was a Eurocentric view of the world, and in this case, the heavens. What was excluded was all the rest of us.’

“She said that realization sparked the conception of her painting, ‘The Creation of God,’ which she posted to Instagram and Twitter last week. The image has since received thousands of likes and shares.”
Article: Artist Reimagines Michelangelo’s ‘Creation’ Painting To Honor Black Women

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Mitch Anthony. I help mission-driven companies use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as powerful tools for transformation. Learn more.

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