What We’re Reading

A few good pieces the Collaborative team came across this week …

Skills

Abundant evidence suggests that the waning of ability in people of high accomplishment is especially brutal psychologically. Consider professional athletes, many of whom struggle profoundly after their sports career ends. Tragic examples abound, involving depression, addiction, or suicide; unhappiness in retired athletes may even be the norm, at least temporarily. A study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology in 2003, which charted the life satisfaction of former Olympic athletes, found that they generally struggled with a low sense of personal control when they first stopped competing.

Raises

Staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more …

In 2014, the average employee is going to earn less than a 1% raise and there is very little that we can do to change management’s decision. But, we can decide whether we want to stay at a company that is going to give us a raise for less than 1%. The average raise an employee receives for leaving is between a 10% to 20% increase in salary.

Retail

For the first time last year, Estée LauderCo.generated more revenue at airports globally than at U.S. department stores, which for decades had been beauty companies’ biggest sales driver … “Very few channels have almost guaranteed traffic,” said Olivier Bottrie, who heads Estée Lauder’s global travel-retail business. “When a department store goes away, it’s not a major catastrophe. But if a major airport went away, it would be a major catastrophe.”

Nice

The thing is, the super-successful people I know are usually nicer, more generous, and generally better mannered. The billionaire jerk portrayed in movies and on TV is mostly a cartoon—an animation of something that isn’t real. I want to think generosity and manners are a signal and cause of success, though I believe they are also a function of other factors. Firstly, billionaires have more to lose. Being a jerk to an Uber driver when you’re the CEO of Uber can and should cost you billions (and it did). Secondly, you take stock of your blessings and have an easier time being less of an asshole. One of the great things about aging is that while I’ve developed certain filters (like pausing before I criticize someone), other filters are coming down. I’ve found it much easier (and more natural) to compliment others.

Tim Cook:

But whether you like it or not, what you build and what you create define who you are.

It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this. But if you’ve built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos. Taking responsibility means having the courage to think things through.

Compounding:

[A former cop] acquired properties for next to nothing—“Nobody wanted them,” he said—and now owns about 1.3 million square feet of buildings and another 385,000 square feet of undeveloped land in Brooklyn, mostly in Red Hook. O’Connell, 77, said he doesn’t track the value of his holdings, but Bloomberg estimates they’re worth at least $400 million.

Have a good weekend.


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