Warren Buffett a Giraffe-Inspired Leader Who is Leading Herds

Warren Buffett viewed freight train railroads as our future, and they already have a strong infrastructure in place. US Rail was 144 percent more in 2008 than in 1980. Trains can carry massive amounts of freight and travel 457 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel. If 10 percent of freight moved by truck were moved to rails, the United States would burn one billion fewer gallons of fuel a year. Buffett is betting that the use of freight trains will only continue to grow throughout the twenty-first century.

Buffett is a giraffe-inspired leader who creates smart risks, spending money with thought and concern for more than his company, Berkshire Hathaway. The freight train is the largest investment in the firm’s history, and he likely will be dead when trains become a major part of our country’s transportation and financial success.

Buffett is a renaissance man, fully connected to other humans (like a giraffe connected with other herds vs. lions only with lions).



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Evaluating Emotional Intelligence

This is an article from Harvard Business Review about Evaluating Emotional Intelligence (EI) the idea in practice.

Understanding Emotional Intelligence (EI) Components:

EI Component:  Self-awareness

Definition: Knowing one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values, and goals–and their impact on others.

Hallmarks: Self-confidence, Realistic self-assignment, Self-deprecating sense of humor, and Thirst for constructive criticism.

 Example: A manager knows tight deadlines bring out the worst in him. So he plans his time to get work done well in advance.


EI Component:  Self-regulation

Definition: Controlling or redirecting disruptive emotions and impulses.

Hallmarks: Trustworthiness, Integrity, and Comfort with ambiguity and change.

Example: When a team botches a presentation, its leader resists the urge to scream. Instead, she considers possible reasons for the failure, explains the consequences to her team, and explores solutions with them.


EI Component:  Motivation

Definition: Being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.

Hallmarks:  A passion for the work itself and for new challenges, Unflagging energy to improve, and Optimism in the face of failure.

Example: A portfolio manager at an investment company sees his fund tumble for three consecutive quarters. Major clients defect. Instead of blaming external circumstances, she decides to learn from the experience–and engineers a turnaround.


EI Component:  Empathy

Definition: Considering others’ feeling, especially when making decisions.

Hallmarks:  Expertise in attracting and retaining talent, Ability to develop others, and Sensitivity to cross-cultural differences.

Example: An American consultant and her team pitch a project to a potential client in Japan. Her team interprets the client’s silence as disapproval, and prepares to leave. The consultant reads the client’s body language and senses interest. She continues the meeting, and her team gets the job.


EI Component:  Social Skill

Definition: Managing relationships to move people in desired directions.

Hallmarks:  Effectiveness in leading change, Persuasiveness, Extensive networking, and Expertise in building and leading teams.

Example: A manager wants his company to adopt a better internet strategy. He finds kindred spirits and assembles a de facto team to create a prototype Web site. He persuades allies in other divisions to fund the company’s participation in a relevant convention. His company forms an internet division–and puts him in charge of it.




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This Algorithm is Quickly Clearing Old Marijuana Convictions in San Francisco

The article is written by the author Adele Peters, who is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world’s largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.



Now that weed is legal in California, people with old marijuana arrests can have their records cleared. Code for America, working with the SF District Attorney’s office, built a system to quickly find which people were eligible, and fill out their paperwork for them.

When Proposition 64 legalized marijuana in California, it also meant that people with old marijuana convictions could petition to have those offenses taken off their criminal record or downgraded to lower-level crimes. That process takes time and money and sets up a lot of obstacles for people who may not be able to hire an attorney or take time off work. In San Francisco, the district attorney’s office is helping by going through records itself and doing it very quickly, with the help of an algorithm.

A new machine learning algorithm developed by the nonprofit Code for America can read through charging documents, identify codes for various crimes, and then automatically determine which felony convictions can be downgraded to a misdemeanor (those who also committed violent crimes, for example, can’t have their records downgraded). Then the tool automatically fills out required forms that the district attorney can file with the court.

For those with a criminal record, the changes could have meaningful impacts on their lives. “If you have a felony conviction, or in many cases, if you have a misdemeanor conviction, there are many employers who will not hire you,” says George Gascón, San Francisco district attorney. “There are many landlords that will not allow you to rent or lease a place for them. There are certain types of student loans that you would not qualify because of the felony conviction. So we know that having a felony conviction–for offenses that have been legalized–still holds back a lot of people. Mostly, quite frankly, poor people, and people in communities of color.”

Though rates of marijuana use are similar in black and white populations, nationally, someone who is black is nearly four times as likely to be arrested for possession. In California, until marijuana use was legalized, black people were more than twice as likely to be arrested.

Clearing records can also improve public safety, Gascón says. “There are two major components to reducing the likelihood that people will commit crimes. One is employment and the other one is housing. If you have a steady job and you have housing, you’re less likely to engage in other criminal activity.”

The D.A.’s office can fairly quickly process misdemeanor records, which don’t involve any discretion on the part of the prosecutors–if you have a misdemeanor for marijuana, it can be expunged. But felonies are more complex. It might take a well-trained paralegal 15 minutes to review someone’s criminal history, and that process would need to be repeated across thousands of records. The algorithm can process hundreds of records in a matter of minutes.

Code for America started looking at the issue of expunging criminal records because of another California law, Proposition 47. The law intended to get some low-level offenses reclassified as misdemeanors, but few people were actually getting their records cleared. When the nonprofit started working on the issue in 2016, through a project called Clear My Record, it helped digitize the process,and made changes like sending people notifications by text instead of through the mail. It helped–7,000 people signed up. But “we could see that it really would not scale,” says Code for America founder and executive director Jennifer Pahlka. The team began working on an algorithm to automatically move from rap sheets to completed applications, and that has now been adapted for the San Francisco D.A.’s office.

It’s important, she says, that the technology came out of a lengthy process of understanding what challenges existed in the system. “I think if you look at certain attempts to use technology within complex bureaucratic systems, you’ll very often have people writing a beautiful algorithm, but for a problem that’s the wrong problem,” Pahlka says. “What I’m proud of our team doing is the work to figure out where the real problem is.”

After testing the tool, San Francisco now plans to begin using it, and the team also plans to share it with other district attorneys in the state and in other parts of the country. “This entire system will be put in the public domain so anybody can use it,” says Gascón.


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How Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Toxic People

A 21st-century article below from Dr. Travis Bradberry, Ph.D. who was an award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the co-founder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. 

“Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

“Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

“Most sources of stress at work are easy to identify. If your non-profit is working to land a grant that your organization needs to function, you’re bound to feel stress and likely know how to manage it. It’s the unexpected sources of stress that take you by surprise and harm you the most.

“Recent research from the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it’s negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.

“The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. Talent Smart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize toxic people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep toxic people at bay.

“While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when dealing with toxic people, what follows are twelve of the best. To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.”

They Set Limits (Especially with Complainers)

“Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.

“You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.”

They Don’t Die in the Fight

“Successful people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.”

They Rise Above

“Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

“The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.”

They Stay Aware of Their Emotions

“Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

“Think of it this way—if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with a coworker who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.”

They Establish Boundaries

“This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.

“You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.”

They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy

“When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them.

“While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.”

They Don’t Focus on Problems—Only Solutions

“Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

“When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.”

They Don’t Forget

“Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Successful people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.”

They Squash Negative Self-Talk

“Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.”

They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

“Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re surprised in the hallway by an angry coworker.”

They Get Some Sleep

“I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present.

“A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.”

They Use Their Support System

“It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.”


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An Open Letter to My College-Bound Son During The Age of Disruption

A unique letter (wrote to her child) by Clar Rosso, Executive Vice President-Engagement and Learning Innovation, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Clar Rosso in focused on how work is changing, industries are being disrupted, artificial intelligence is improving, and more tasks are becoming automated, and innovation is increasing.

She also wrote to her son about graduating from high school and heading to college and learning skills such as:

Complex Problem Solving: The future will require you to solve new kinds of problems that may not be well defined.

Emotional Intelligence: Success will require you it identify and manage your emotions and anticipate the emotions of others around the office. Handling your relationships with empathy is key and a skill you’ll be able to develop throughout your career.

Critical Thinking: Objective analysis of facts and issues will be key to exercising your judgment.

Creativity: When you think of creativity, you probably picture an artist, but the kind of creativity I’m talking about is technical creativity, which drives new ideas, theories and technologies.

People Management: Creating a rock star team and getting the most out of them will continue to be valued in the workplace.





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How Compassion Builds Better Companies

LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner wrote a unique article:

“The importance of being compassionate, how it can change your career path, your company, and your life.”

He also wrote aspiring to compassion was helpful: “So I decided to change. I vowed that as long as I’d be responsible for managing other people, I would aspire to manage compassionately. That meant walking a mile in the other person’s shoes; and understanding their hope, their fears, their strengths and their weaknesses.  And it meant doing everything with my power to set them up to be successful.”

He mentioned that to create the right culture, and you create a competitive advantage is another point about the need for compassion. “The flip side is developing a culture with a compassionate ethos. That’s what our leadership team has tried to do at LinkedIn; create a culture where people take the time to understand the other person’s perspective, and not assume nefarious intention; build trust; and align around a shared mission. After nearly 10 years, I still celebrate the fact we can make important decisions in minutes or hours that some companies debate for months. Create the right culture, and you create a competitive advantage.”




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7 Simple Tricks That Will Instantly Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

Learning to do these seven things will help you avoid saying and doing things you later regret.

  1. Pause
  2. Volume
  3. Mute
  4. Record
  5. Rewind
  6. Fast-Forward
  7. Trailer

The article is linked here: https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/7-ways-to-increase-your-emotional-intelligence-starting-right-now.html?cid=hmside2

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Is Your Emotional Intelligence Authentic, or Self-Serving by Ron Carucci in Harvard Business Review

“It’s possible to fake emotional intelligence. Similar to knockoffs of luxury watches or handbags, there are emotions and actions that look like the real thing but really aren’t. With with best intentions, I’ve seen smart leaders charge into sensitive interactions armed with what they believed was a combination of deep empathy, attuned listening, and self-awareness but was, in fact, a way to serve their own emotional needs. It’s important to learn to spot these forgeries, especially if you’re the forger.

“Our ability to express emotional intelligence is sometimes impaired by unacknowledged, unhealthy, emotional needs. If you want to genuinely employ effective emotional intelligence skills, pay attention to the unaddressed scars and voids lurking beneath the surface of your inner emotional landscape. Tend to those honestly and carefully, and you’ll better be able to maintain credibility and strong relationships with others.”

The article’s more information on Harvard Business Review Link: https://hbr.org/2018/05/is-your-emotional-intelligence-authentic-or-self-serving

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How Good Eggs came back from the brink–and plans take on Amazon

How Good Eggs came back from the brink–and plans take on Amazon

“Good Eggs first launched in 2011 as a digital version of a farmer’s market, bringing local produce to customers who didn’t have time to shop in person. By 2015, it was struggling. The company had quickly expanded and then crashed badly, closing its locations in New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and laying off 140 workers. But the San Francisco location stayed open, changed leadership, and worked to solve its problems in just one market.

“The investors saw an opportunity for the company to grow, even in the face of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, which now means competing against free grocery delivery for Prime Members in San Francisco. ‘I think there is a type of customer who wants what they stand for related to food to not be from the largest e-commerce provider in the world,’ says Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark. ‘I think that Whole Foods is already at a scale that makes some of the local work that Good Eggs does impossible . . . it’s a little counterintuitive, but when you get to where you have 1,000 stores, it’s remarkably inefficient to source locally. You can actually be too big to deliver against that value proposition.’

“After initially expanding too quickly, the company hired a new CEO, Bentley Hall in late 2015, and was able to turn the business around. From 2016 to today, the company’s average order size has increased 21%. The company has grown more than four times, even while competitors like Instacart and Amazon have entered the market. The cost of Good Eggs’ offerings are fairly similar to Whole Foods; eggs and dairy prices are slightly lower. Produce, which Good Eggs says it sources to a higher standard, is 4% higher on average. It declined to share specific numbers, but Hall says that Good Eggs is delivering thousands of grocery orders each day.

“When Hall took over as CEO, he says that the biggest shift the company made was to focus on what customers wanted. The team at Good Eggs started offering more products so that it would be possible for someone to buy a full week’s worth of groceries in one place.”

In the Giraffes of Technology book’s Chapter 3, we wrote about dealing with problems in The Cycle of Falls and Rises so that when you fall (with problems) you are still able to rise again as being positive vs negative. Chapter 6 deals with Blending into Communities that helps companies move forward with customers, and Chapter 1 focuses on The Lookout Post that keeps leaders to look forward in the age of science and technology in a broader vision to keep rising vs. falling more.

Fast Company Link: https://www.fastcompany.com/40554143/how-good-eggs-came-back-from-the-brink-and-plans-take-on-amazon

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Review of our book by Better World Books

I recently learned about the review of our book by Better World Books that received it from libraries as a “former library book.” They wrote a unique review of the book attached below in black sentences.

Giraffes of Technology by Dr. Hubert Glover


Giraffes of Technology: The Making of the 21st-Century Leader frames a new model of leadership and vision that is suited to the realities of today’s marketplace and that responds to the complexity of technology and change. Laying out six core concepts in the construct of an empowering metaphor, Giraffes of Technology will stimulate your imagination and open your eyes to new ways of thinking about the opportunities and challenges present in the technologically-driven culture of today.

For more information, visit www.giraffesoftechnology.com.


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