How should women lead?

“If you want to be a leader you’ve got to think of yourself as a human being, and not as a woman or a man.” ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

‘Man’ and ‘woman’ are fictions of the human imagination. ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ are biological realities based on what chromosomes you’re born with.

Gender is a social construct that changes over time, a myth that a particular culture agrees to. The definition of ‘woman’ in the United States is very different today than it was 200 years ago. The definition of ‘female’ has not changed at all.

“How should women lead?,” is a meaningless, even destructive question.

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More exciting abdominal exercises

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.” ~ Bruce Lee

Yesterday I was asked for more exciting abdominal exercises. Not more effective abdominal exercises, but more exciting ones. After two weeks of training, apparently plank variations get boring.

There are only a few strength movements we practice in the weight room: the squat and hinge (deadlift) for the lower body, and the push and pull for the upper body. Almost everything else we do is some variation of those four movements. Just four movements.

In volleyball, there are only six skills to master.

In diving, there are only six categories of dives to pick from.

And a swimmer can spend years mastering a 50-meter sprint, lasting the length of just one pool.

If the basics are boring, you’re not paying attention.

The best paying jobs of 2017

U.S. News and World Report just published the results of its survey of the best-paying jobs for 2017:

  1. Anesthesiologist
  2. Surgeon
  3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  4. Obstetrician and gynecologist
  5. Orthodontist
  6. Physician
  7. Psychiatrist
  8. Pediatrician
  9. Dentist
  10. Prosthodontist

You can find similar lists for lowest-paying jobs, jobs most in demand, the most rewarding jobs, and the most stressful jobs. But apart from entertainment value, and the advertisements websites can show you on the sidebar while you’re reading, the lists are meaningless.

Job lists are a problem unique to humans. It would not occur to an owl to start hunting lions — that’s just not in its nature.

How to get a high GPA

I recently had a conversation with a head coach at Fredonia whose teams regularly produce one of the highest GPA’s in the athletic department. Last semester it was again the highest, and I asked what he attributes it to.

He said that when a freshman enters his program, she hears about how high her teammates’ GPA’s are. She’s told stories of how many times the team has won the athletic department’s academic award. Then she looks around and thinks, “boy, I’d better step my game up.”

When everyone you spend time with is performing at a high level, you can’t help but keep up.

The author Seth Godin frequently tells the story of the 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels, an international meeting of the most distinguished physicists in the world. Albert Einstein was there, along with Niels Bohr and Marie Curie. In total, 17 of the 29 attendees became Nobel Prize winners, but most didn’t do so until after the conference. They weren’t invited to the conference because they were Nobel Prize winners, they were Nobel Prize winners because they were invited to the conference. Everyone looked around and thought, “boy, I’d better step my game up.”

Again and again, the maxim rings true — you are the average of the people you most associate with.

Passing the fitness test

I don’t think athletes want to pass fitness tests, at least not the ones worth keeping around.

The athletes worth keeping around, the ones that will help change a program, want to be acknowledged for their work. They want you to complete the circle by acknowledging that they strived for something and that they changed because of it. Passing an arbitrary fitness test is nice, but it’s not the point.

The same goes for classroom tests, and the same goes for salary raises. People want to be valued before they want to be rewarded.