Surround Yourself With Smart People Who’ll Argue With You.

One of the single biggest mistakes that one can make is to live in an echo chamber of one’s own opinions and perspectives.

In this tribal world of our current society, it is easy to believe that everything one hears from a specific group is de facto and everything that one sees the opposite tribe espousing is a lie. Life isn’t like that and more often than not there are truths and fallacies in both camps.

In the course of running a business or an organization, one might believe that having a single point of view is the solution. My experience has shown me that the best that one might do is to surround one with disparate perspectives, each carrying unique life experiences that add to the value of what is being shared.

It isn’t always fun to be confronted with opinions that are different than one may presume to be accurate, but it is far more intelligent and carries considerable long-term gains, especially if one is comfortable enough with one’s ego to enable one to put that ego aside in favor of something that is clearly a wiser option.

John Robert Wooden was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row!

I arrived at UCLA a year after John stopped coaching. But his legacy was felt on campus and will continue to be, well into the future.

Let other people speak. Listen to what they have to say. Even if they are from the other tribe. Stop and listen. The worst that happens is you dismiss what was said in your mind. But the best that can happen is perhaps you were wrong and somebody has given you a new and more valuable piece of information from which to navigate your options.

Happy Sunday?

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!