What is School For?

Russ Goerend is a bold and generous leader who designs community-driven experiences for high school students exploring what’s next within the Waukee APEX work-based learning program. This is a powerful episode for educators, students, and parents! Inspired by Stop Stealing Dreams, Connect Dots, and How to get into a famous college with Seth Godin, together we ask, what is school for? This is a simple, but important question that has so many answers!

As we embark on 2024, how might we continue to blur lines between the classroom and community? What are more side doors we can open today, that accelerate those ready to build tomorrow? Enjoy!

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Executionist

Nobody cares about your great ideas.
They care how we make ideas happen.

This tribute to action was originally titled execution, but that’s insufficient. To honor such ingenuity, let’s loudly celebrate those who apply action to nudge the world, by calling them executionists.

Executionists appreciate planning, but don’t get stuck in endless brainstorms. They’re not rushing into bad ideas, but they are often the first to tinker. Action-based execution is why the title of my book (and podcast) will remain true. It even grounds the preface of You Don’t Need This Book, which I thought might be neat to highlight here:

There are good reasons why we have so many clichés about talk being cheap. Action is required when it’s time to get things done. Cheers to so many who don’t stop at ideas. Heretics who build when others don’t. Leaders who choose to make a ruckus without permission and in doing so, go beyond the status quo by evolving ideas into reality.

Executionists keep the promise.
Executionists leverage uncertainty.
Executionists perpetually learn by doing.
Executionists connect dots with real skills.
Executionists courageously communicate.
Executionists take time to be detailed oriented.
Executionists stay organized to be efficient.
Executionists add pieces to the puzzle.
Executionists enjoy shifting gears.
Executionists are Serendipitists.

Extra Shot
After three years, decisions were made to spin away from the weekly cadence of my writings. Fresh episodes of YDNTP will continue brewing innovative energy each week and occasional contributions may still land into Roasted Reflections, but these last few writings of 2023 are a closing finale.

Make It Rain

Adam Viet is a baller who connects others and recruits tech talent to support company cultures that sing the songs of significance. Adam is a leader in Des Moines, hosts the Shooters Touch Podcast for basketball coaches, and owns Vociferous – #109 within the Roasted Reflections NFT Collection. Sub in as we shoot hoops and talk sports, hiring talent, RPO/ROD, connection vs. transaction networking, web3, and always staying curious.

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Triangulation

Cross-checking helps determine distance, maneuver around obstacles, and identify missing objects. Alongside the math, a triangulated team diversifies real skills and increases dependability.

With more distinct perspectives, entrepreneurs add synergy that accelerates forward movement and increases confidence when the same problem is attacked from multiple angles. This nimbleness can be leveraged as co-founders also create an invigorating culture that makes each person feel significant. With back-to-back episodes of You Don’t Need This Podcast featuring my two co-founders in FliteBrite, what a wonderful chance to reflect on talented friends who build as one.

Extra Shot
“One’s company, two’s a crowd,
and three’s a party.” -Andy Warhol

If you’re on the prowl for co-founders, consider the value of triangular patterns. Connectors become connected, so show up and be quick to make interesting introductions. Even when the first degree of contact lacks obvious opportunity, remember it’s often the second and third degree of connectivity that delivers more precision. Over time, generosity within an entrepreneurial ecosystem will expand and tighten engaged networks. Instead of forcefully recruiting co-founders, the open-ended activity of a serendipitist will have us colliding with friends we simply haven’t met yet.

When it’s time to build, bonds that formed naturally will support lasting collaboration with people you already respect. That said, established trust is not an excuse to get complacent. From start to finish, be honest and transparent. Every story ends, so invite difficult discussions early and often. Agree on terms, leave space for change, structure the business, maintain an operating agreement to ensure clarity with less tension, and lead by nurturing the power of triangulation.

  • commit to abundant communication
  • invite responsibility, keep the promise
  • remain attentive to details
  • take blame, give credit
  • celebrate in style

Lone wolves can move mountains and rare resources are required with more human capital brewed in, but the expanded capacity and ongoing resilience makes this odyssey worthwhile. When long-term players play long-term games together, the chemical reaction is an affinity toward work that feels like play. Cheers!