find that with an act of will I can gobble a book in 24 hours. Of
course, I need some concentrated learning time to make that happen. In
the last four days I had two such periods and was able to read these
two books and highly recommend them both: Organizational Survival: Profitable Strategies for a
Sustainable Future by Greg Balestero and Nathalie Udo, and Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by
Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis.
It was a one-two punch. Balestrero and Udo show why sustainabiity is
critical to all business strategy, and any leader that does not make it
central is out of sync with today’s world. They systematically destroy
all myths and obliterate all considerations, so you leave the book with
a sense of both hopefulness and determination to be part of the next
game-changing chapter of history.
Kotler and Diamandis articulate one breakthrough after another until it
is abundantly clear that we are already living in the wondrous future
and there is supreme hope for civilization on every front, from
population growth to education, from poverty to health-care.
Example after footnoted example drive home miracle after miracle at
dizzying speed, but with articulate expression in an extremely coherent
is the era of the Grand Challenge. NextGen leaders at all levels are
taking on the world’s most difficult problems and applying breakthrough
innovations. Just as new technologies emerge, the abillty to scale
their evolution through exponential iteration makes it possible for
them to mature in hyper speed, from crowd-sourcing to nano-replication.
The result is stunning, turning many intractables on their head and
yielding solutions where no one thought it possible.
It’s kind of like the first double-backflip on a motorcycle. From the
beginning of motorcycle sports in the beginning of the 20th century no
one believed a backflip could be done (it was physics) and every dare
devil wanted to do it. Then in 2002 two guys (Metzger and Pastrana) did backflips and the barrier was
broken. Four years later Pastrana did a double back flip.
It’s like we are at that point in history where the impossible has been
done. Someone somewhere has invented a device that can provide energy
to an entire city in a miniature nuclear reactor that is maintenance
free, cannot melt down, and is immune to terrorist sabotage. Like
the first backflip it seemed like it was impossible. Not only was it possible, but now the new improved, mass produced model
is being rolled out and we are about to see zero-cost energy for the
entire planet. There are similar breakthroughs in every sector and
But, of course, we are not there yet. There remains important work to
do and that is why it is so critical that every leader, every agent
dedicates themselves to finding their contribution for the world.
The cool thing is that we now have the tools for impact to be either
global or targeted precisely, whichever brings the most benefit. If you
want to be inspired, pick up these two books and read them both. They
will rock your world.
light despite all of the darkness.