Recent Blog Articles

Solving the Right Problem Helps You Avoid a Lot of Extra Pain

When you go to a doctor, usually you bring symptoms. You’re looking for a diagnosis—and a solution to fit that diagnosis.  Patient: My arm hurts a lot! (symptom) Doctor: When did it start? Patient: Right after I fell out of a tree. Doctor: I see. The x-ray shows it’s broken. (diagnosis)  Patient: Well, I did…

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The Opportunity Cliche - Josef Shapiro - Clear and Open

Creating a “Safe Place” so Critical Thinking Can Flourish

As the 2020 presidential race looms in the not-too-far distance, there will be frequent examples among the candidates in which excuses, deflections, and a general lack of critical thinking will be on display. Unfortunately it isn’t just the politicians that are guilty. If you ask 1,000 people if they can think critically, the majority would…

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Foster Employee Engagement - Clear and Open

The Problem with Good and Evil

Our world of fiction is filled with evil characters who seek to dominate the world, immerse it in darkness, let loose destruction and mayhem, and do other “evil” things. While such stories can be entertaining, they contribute to an already less-than-responsible world and complicate accountability. Here’s how… Most people have good intentions. The majority of…

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Leadership, the Long Strange Trip

I just finished watching “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been,” the newish documentary about The Grateful Dead, and I was stunned by what I learned about the life and untimely death of Jerry Garcia. There are lessons here about leadership, success, and facing one’s shadow that can rock your world (pun intended) if you…

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Excuses, Excuses: Changing the Frame

Last week Dropbox raised their prices. Here’s the announcement. As you read it, ask yourself how honest it is: Hi Josef, Dropbox Plus just got an upgrade. And a new price—starting on May 10, 2020 (that’s your next billing cycle), Dropbox Plus will be $119.88 a year (plus any applicable taxes). The all-new Plus plan…

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There IS Such a Thing as Too Much Responsibility

This is different than you’ve seen from me before. I wanted to share a transcript from one of my more unusual clients. If you enjoy it, please let me know, and I can share more like this. 😉   Peter: Everyone I get close to gets hurt. Josef: Say more. Peter: I constantly have to…

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Your Employees Want a Mentor, Not a Supervisor

I thought I was done with the series I did on The Matrix, but I’m not. That’s what epilogues are for! It’s like a P.S. for writers, and who doesn’t like a good postscript? If you read the series, which started with Part One, you probably appreciate now more than ever that it’s a film…

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Zen And The Matrix Part 5: The Oracle

This is the final installment of my series on The Matrix. Have you seen Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 yet? Neo’s meeting with the Oracle is quite built up, so we share Neo’s disorientation when he walks into a shabby kitchen and meets who looks like a mitten-knitting grandmother when we’re…

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