The Beatles

The #1 Skill Warren Buffett Says You Need

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I just finished watching a town meeting with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that was taped at Columbia Business School last month. The entire meeting was immensely illuminating, but I was fascinated by one thing Warren Buffett said. Before I get to that, let me say that both Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates were exceedingly optimistic about the future of our country and our economy. [You, at your cynical best: “Yeah, I’d be optimistic too if I were worth $50 ...

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Are You a Leader or a Coward?

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I hate to be the one to point this out, but most of the corporate businesses in America are run by cowards. [You: “Wait a minute, Stainton. I run a corporate business and I’m not a coward!”] Really? You think not? Then answer this question—honestly: What drives most of your decisions? [You: “Well, let’s see. There are many elements: the profitability of the company, the cost/benefit ratio, consumer expectations….”] Bull. It seems to me that most corporate decisions made in ...

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Are You In the “No” Business?

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There’s a little Italian restaurant near my home where I go when—well, when I want to eat Italian food. Duh. So I was there the other evening (because I wanted to eat Italian food), and the hostess was seating an elderly couple. I wasn’t really paying attention, but apparently they asked if they could be seated closer to the window. The hostess very nicely explained that that wasn’t possible, for some reason that I didn’t catch. But the owner, who ...

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Why Are The Beatles Still So Popular?

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With the release of The Beatles: Rock Band game and the remastered Beatles catalog, it’s almost impossible to avoid this new wave of Beatlemania. But why are the Fab Four still so popular, nearly 40 years after their break-up? I think it comes down to three things: the sheer number of Baby Boomers who consider the Beatles to be the soundtrack of their youth (the mob), the fact that the band has achieved legendary, icon-like status (the mythology), and, ultimately, ...

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Ringo’s Drumming Skills, Part 1

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In the wake of the imminent release of the Beatles’ Rock Band and the newly remastered CD’s on September 9th, I’ve been hearing yet again the old adage that Ringo really wasn’t that good of a drummer. There are those who will tell you that his contributions to the Beatles were negligible. As a lifelong drummer myself, I’m here to tell you that Ringo Starr is one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. Don’t believe me?

Imagine  you’re a ...

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Where Will You Be In 5 Years?

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“Where do you see yourself in five years?” That’s a pretty common job interview question. The answer, of course, is “Someplace better than the pathetic job I’m applying for right now.” I was talking about this question recently with a friend of mine who works in Human Resources, and she said that most applicants respond to this question with what she called “lofty, unrealistic goals.” She went on to say, “The truth is, five years really isn’t all that much ...

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A Great Excuse, Ruined

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You know how, when you have a cold, you just don’t feel like doing anything? There’s the coughing, the sniffling, the sore throat—and they all combine to create a mood of general lethargy. Well, welcome to my world! That’s where I’ve been for the past week. And you know what I found out? Having a cold makes a great excuse! “No, I can’t go to that party…I have a cold.” “Sorry, can’t talk on the phone now…I have a cold.” ...

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Are You Playing to Your Strengths?

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Why do we spend so much time focusing on the things we don’t do well? Honestly, we beat ourselves up all the time. It seems that no matter how many things we’re good at, we choose to dwell on the weaknesses:

Alan (despondently): I just can’t hang pictures. Look at these. They’re all crooked. I’m going to kill myself.

Kari: Are you crazy? You’ve won a Nobel Peace Prize, cured swine flu, and you’re currently starring in the ...

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Why You Need More Pain in Your Life

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I attended a workshop yesterday at my local Mac store, and the conversation turned to iPhones. This was pretty inevitable, because we were surrounded by the bloody things; still, it turned out that one attendee, whom I’ll call Cheswick because it’s a funny name, had not yet made the switch. He fully intended to, but said, “I guess I just haven’t reached my pain point with my current provider yet.”

I’ve been thinking about that, and it occurs to me that ...

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Why You Need to See Other People

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I think you need to see other people.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your current relationship, or your current colleagues, or your current friends. I just think you need to see other people. We all do. Because if we keep interacting with the same people—just the same people—we’re going to keep hearing the same points of view, and sameness is the mortal enemy of innovation. Just this morning in Indiana, President Obama said, “The United States led the world’s ...

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