I grew up in Omaha, but have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1991. When I first arrived here, the biggest Silicon Valley companies were probably Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Oracle…and Apple Computer. Since then, something called “the Internet” has happened, and Bay Area companies (Yahoo, eBay, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Salesforce, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb…and Apple again!) have led those innovations, too.
But what makes Silicon Valley “innovative”? Here are a few articles which illustrate that California in general, and Silicon Valley in particular, continue to creatively push boundaries, in our endless quest for better, faster, cheaper — and happier.
Compassion as a key leadership skill
I remember when yoga was considered weird and funky. Heck, I remember when jogging was considered strange! So I should not be surprised that many people think meditation is silly — until everyone starts doing it, as a way to make their lives better. I’m delighted to see my alma mater being innovative by teaching the importance of mindfulness for leaders. Learn about “Chief Kindness Officers?”
My favorite place in the world
My wife and I recently did a personal retreat at the Esalen Institute, located in gorgeous Big Sur, California. I’ve done seven retreats there over the past decade, ranging in topics from ecstatic Brazilian dance to interpersonal relationships to meditation. All of them have been transformative for me. Some people say the entire “New Age” movement started there. Although it’s easy to laugh at Esalen’s previous nudist hippie setting, a lot of great thinking and breakthrough practices have been developed there, and are still taking place today. Read about “Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul.”
Incredibly fierce competitors…thanks to mindfulness
Many people admire the amazing talent and athleticism of the NBA’s reigning champions. But it’s especially cool to see that one key to their success seems very Californian, as well! Learn how the Golden State Warriors are a lesson in mindfulness, empathy, and cooperation.
Innovations in building happy, peak performance teams
Recently Philip Inghelbrecht, CEO and Co-founder of Tatari, asked me to do a workshop as a team-building exercise for his organization. (Philip was a co-founder of Shazam, a wonderfully innovative media engagement app.)
Afterwards, Philip wrote “Jim’s workshop taught the Tatari team simple, practical ways to reduce our stress, increase our focus, and enjoy our lives more. This was a great use of our time, and highly impactful team building experience.”
“If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.”
[ I sent this post as my regular email newsletter on January 25, 2018.]