Entries by maryanne

Are You Competing with Others or with Yourself?

When my son Thomas was in middle and high school, one of our favorite programs to watch together was “American Ninja Warrior,” (ANW).   Think of the world’s craziest carnival-style obstacle course, where contestants take turns watching each other try to get to the end of each run and hit the buzzer, or more commonly […]

Do You Have What It Takes to be an Intra-preneur?

One of my favorite TED talks is Angela Lee Duckworth’s Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance.   Grit, as Duckworth defines it, is a combination of passion and perseverance over long periods of time, as in years, or even a lifetime. Grit was the strongest predictor of success when compared to other variables ranging from […]

Why Does a Dog Wag Its Tail?

Q: “Why does a dog wag its tail?” A: “Because the dog is smarter than the tail. If the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog.” The notion of “the tail wagging the dog” is an expression that has been around for 150 years, alluding to the idea of something small and seemingly […]

How to Be a Fly on the Wall

Did you ever wish you could be a fly on a wall, undetected but freely able to listen to people’s conversations so you’d know everything that was going on?   The closest I ever came was when I moved to Japan to teach high school English. I was instructed to run an immersion class, all […]

Why Their Story is Better than Yours

One of the most popularly referenced passages from the Bible – which most people don’t realize is from the Bible even when they’re quoting it – is from Mark 6:4, when Jesus said, “…a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, and among his relatives, and in his own household.”   For example: Have you […]

Are You Talking to the Right Person?

One of my favorite American “philosophers” was former New York Yankee catcher and later manager and coach, Yogi Berra.   Aside from being an iconic ball player, he is known for his wonderfully mangled quotes and aphorisms, such as: “Baseball is 90% mental; the other half is physical” “You’d better cut the pizza in four […]

What if everyone thinks you’re wrong?

It may sound weird, but I can’t listen to Maroon 5’s “This Love” without suddenly getting a craving for papas bravas, Spain’s answer to french fries as a go-to bar snack. In the summer of 2004 I had the opportunity to present some research at a conference in Lleida, Spain. Taking advantage of the opportunity, […]

How to Be Clear on What You Want

Only once did I ever meaningfully predict the future. In college I took an American politics class, and that semester also happened to be a presidential election, so a major assignment was to pick a state, use the various systems and formulas we learned about, and try to determine what percentage of the vote each […]

Here’s How to Make Your Own Luck

One thing was certain: I was NOT dressed for a job interview. It was early December, 1994, and I was at the Army-Navy football game at the old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. My brother was a midshipman at the Naval Academy, and I was a senior at American University in DC, so this was a […]

Want Them to Do Your Homework For You?

I have a confession to make. In high school I hated English class. (The irony! I know.) I had a mental block against being forced to read a bunch of boring old books somebody decided I needed to read simply because they were part of a “canon.” Finding out that Charles Dickens got paid by […]