Service above all

September 24, 2013 — Leave a comment

UCSD alumnus Mark Suster shared some good insights about venture capital and venture capitalists with our UCSD leadership retreat this morning. This earlier post of Mark’s from his “Both Sides of the Table” blog gives you a good idea who we heard from today, and I think you’ll enjoy what he has to say about leadership, entrepreneurship and, yes, venture capitalists:

Lately the topic of leadership & teams has been coming up a lot in my daily life. Some investors are team focused, others market focused, others seems to look for product / market fit. I’m in the team centric sphere so every investment decision I make first & foremost centers on this plane. Only then can I even care about product, market or their nebulous “fit.”


It’s my belief that through exceptional leadership you attract great teams that do more than the sum of the parts. Nearly every company faces its crisis moments and only through the inspiration, focus and dedication of the leadership can you motivate teams to dig in deep and come out the other side stronger.

Continue reading . . . 

Bob Davids has concluded that leadership is the scarcest resource in the world today.”

H/T Leadership Dynamics

Get understanding

August 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Proverbs 4:7

Achieving Excellence

August 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

Vince Lombardi

Good advice from Switch & Shift:

This Leadership Framework Helped Lincoln Save the Union. You Should Try It.


“Leaders are leaders, regardless of their area of endeavor: business, the military, politics, charity, clubs; even family.

The lessons we learn from leaders in one arena are often at least as valuable as those from our own, because of the outside perspective they lend.

Take Abraham Lincoln, for example. To our knowledge, Switch and Shift has few politicians who are readers. But the lessons of this great politician span any field, including business.

There exists a wide consensus that Lincoln was America’s greatest President. He was inspirational, a surprisingly savvy politician, and above all humble (something most leaders in any realm could emulate). But more importantly than any personal characteristics, he got it – he understood how to achieve the mission he was called upon to perform.

How did Lincoln do it? He mastered what I call the ‘Principles-to-Practices Framework’. It goes like this:”

Continue reading . . .

Jessica Jackley, the co-founder of, tells us about her discovery of microfinance and alleviating poverty by creating opportunity around the world through microlending.

(It’s not too late – through July – to register for Doris and Warren Buffett’s Massive Open Online Course “Giving With Purpose“!) 

Register here: Learning By Giving

Leadership is not about you. It’s about everyone else. It’s about everyone you may be fortunate enough in your life to serve, to help, to benefit, to teach, to raise up above yourself.

Greater Than Yourself – The Ultimate Lesson of Leadership by Steve Farber is not a “how to” book about leadership, it’s a “what” book about leadership. Once you’ve learned the ultimate lesson of leadership, the “how to” is just detail. And once you’ve read “Greater Than Yourself” and taken the “GTY” concept to heart, you’ll want to read The Radical Leap Re-Energized: Doing What You Love In the Service of People Who Love What You Do, also by Steve Farber. 

Same author,  two different stories, same theme: Leadership is not about you, it’s about everyone else.


Big Rule #4: Take advice from smart people

(Advice Criteria 101

1. Are they smart?
2. Do they have a conflict of interest?
3. Do they love you?)

See Boone Pickens’ 10 Big Rules.