Insatiable desires lead us down a path that may be lonely at the end

The Tantalus of Today by J.S. Pughe, 1897 (public domain — Library of Congress)

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Tantalus had everything going for him.

He was the legendary king of Sipylus, a son of Zeus and Pluto, famous for his immense wealth, like Midas and Croesus.

But, like some people of privilege, too much simply wasn’t enough.

Tantalus was welcomed to Zeus’ table on Mt. Olympus — a great honor…

Leaders need to act in accordance with their values

The Cheat Detected by Edward Bird, 1814 (Sir John Soane’s Museum — CC BY-NC-ND)

The camera ought to be listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

More than the awe-inspiring Great Wall or the mysterious Machu Picchu, cameras have allowed us to capture and easily manipulate the world around us.

As early as 1855 in Paris, at the second world fair, a German photographer demonstrated his ability to retouch the negative of a photograph, thus producing a more desired effect.

This harmless action has evolved into the now-familiar editing features we see in…

Our relationship with books is personal. What about looking at it from the book’s perspective?

The New York Public Library Opened May 23, 1911 by Jim Griffin (public domain — Flickr)

One of the joys of my childhood was visiting our town library.

Week after week, I remember finding my way to favorite sections and shelves, taking favorite books down, and browsing through them.

They greeted me like friends, welcoming me into their pages and embracing me with the warm hug of familiarity. There was a sense of belonging in those books. A sense of comfort.

But on occasion, I’d discover a new friend-a book that the librarian recommended, or one that suggested itself, through the power of the card catalog and the magic of the Dewey Decimal System.

After gently…

Our relationship with time is a personal one.

Detail from The Triumph of History Over Time (Allegory of the Museum Clementinum, ceiling fresco) by Anton Raphael Mengs (public domain — Wikimedia Commons)

Time is a strange thing. Our perception of time is warped (see what I did there?) but we mark it in absolutes.

We can lose track of time when we’re enjoying ourselves, or feel like time is standing still when we’re loathing our surroundings.

“Time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any…

The difference between a good experience and a ‘meh’ experience in a room on Clubhouse is significant, but it’s not hard to achieve.

Clubhouse can best be described as a social audio version of a conference. There are keynote addresses from prominent names, breakout rooms of interactive discussion, and the hallway conversations that just pop up.

If you’re looking to host a room with a mix of speakers and audience, you'll want engagement and a healthy discussion. And the best way to do that is by being a gracious host.

With a few simple tips and some helpful resources, you’ll…

The meteoric rise of Clubhouse is rooted in the history of coffee-houses

What we’re witnessing now on Clubhouse (and other social audio apps) is nothing less than than a compressed version of history.

☕ Coffee-houses began as public places to gather and have discussions about news, politics, and ideas in the Middle East in the 1400s and become an integral part of London life in the late 1600s.

🏛 This gave rise to generations of scientists, politicians, and taste-makers that drove culture.

🎙 Some interactions are lectures, others are debates and discussions. You can show up to be part of a celebrity’s audience, or you can become an active panelist and speaker.

The meteoric rise of Clubhouse is rooted in the history of coffee-houses

Interior of a London Coffee-House by Unknown, c. 1690 (Shared via a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike license, © Trustees of the British Museum)

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the app Clubhouse.

The real-time social audio app has gained steam since launching last year, with a quick rise amid a number of competitors. The technorati were the first to catch on, and it spread from there.

While I joined last August, I found I was overwhelmed with the choices. The notifications were too frequent, I felt out of place without many connections on there…

How an unconventional storyteller pulled off the greatest literary hoax of all time

Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II) by Wassily Kandinsky, 1912 (public domain — Wikimedia Commons)

“We start then, with the Muses, who delight / With song the mighty mind of father Zeus / Within Olympus, telling of things that are, / That will be, and that were, with voices joined / In harmony.” — Hesiod, c. 700 BC

When you’re stuck for an idea, where do you go?

If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, you saw Don Draper, the consummate creative director, try to hammer out his ideas by taking a nap, or leaving his office to head to a matinee at a nearby theater.

Some people choose to listen to music. Others open a…

As a leader, you can effectively dispel uncertainty

At the Roulette Table by Edvard Munch, 1892 (public domain — Wikimedia Commons/Google Art Project)

Can you intimately explain games of chance? That is, can you quote the odds of getting a specific number on a roulette wheel, a roll of the dice in craps, or a hand in poker?

Odds are you understand how each ranks in relation to other options in a particular game-more likely, less likely, etc.-but you can’t explain the exact statistical odds.

When we find ourselves involved in these situations and emotions run high as the stakes grow and fortune continues to smile on us, we stop…

People pay attention to leadership. So leaders should pay attention to what they say.

Cleombrotus Ordered into Banishment by Leonidas II, King of Sparta by Benjamin West, 1768 (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

As a leader, the way you communicate is everything. Words matter.

The words you choose will be scrutinized and analyzed, probably to a degree that makes you uncomfortable. Which means you need to be careful not only about what you say but about how you say it.

Everything communicates, from an arched eyebrow to the things you don’t say. And your communication builds the culture of your organization.

Perhaps you prefer to rule from the top down, and have developed a culture of fear.

If so, the two most powerful words you can say might be “You’re fired.”

In that…

Scott Monty

Strategy, comms & leadership advisor, helping build better leaders, communicators & humans. I value #Integrity & #Decency. Newsletter:

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