Cory Leonard

Archive for August, 2014|Monthly archive page

How Commencement Speeches Go Viral

In ideas on August 16, 2014 at 12:49 am

What makes a good commencement speech? These are some good ones–dissected and broken down by Bruce Feiler, just in time for August graduation ceremonies:

Mr. Saunders said one reason these speeches are so popular today is that they resonate as much with the parents as with the children. “In those ceremonial occasions, everybody pauses,” he said. The parents pause to go, “Wow, I can’t believe my kid is graduating.” The kids pause because they are about to leap into a new situation. “In the same way at a wedding or funeral,” he said, “you take a breath and say, ‘We’re living here.’ And in that pause moment, I think we’re a little more porous.”

via How Commencement Speeches Go Viral –



Leadership Hall of Fame | Richard Barton, technologist

In career, tech on August 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm

If consistency and the ability to produce are the goals, Richard Barton is the king of Silicon Valley–even though he lives in Seattle.

Mr. Barton’s successes have not brought him the multibillion-dollar returns of the latest tech sensations, or the name recognition of some of tech’s leaders. But by producing and investing in a series of successful start-ups, Mr. Barton, 46, has managed to accomplish something few others have done.

“You can name people who are richer than Rich, but you can’t name very many people who have his track record,” said Nick Hanauer, a Seattle venture capitalist who was an early investor in Amazon and is a close friend of Mr. Barton’s. “You will find very few people in this country who have as many times created something from nothing.”

via The Art of ‘Something From Nothing’ –

Lennon and McCartney as Models of Creativity

In ideas on August 3, 2014 at 8:50 pm

How does creativity work? Is the lone genius a myth?

But the Lennon-McCartney story also illustrates the key feature of creativity; it is the joining of the unlike to create harmony. Creativity rarely flows out of an act of complete originality. It is rarely a virgin birth. It is usually the clash of two value systems or traditions, which, in collision, create a transcendent third thing.

Shakespeare combined the Greek honor code (thou shalt avenge the murder of thy father) with the Christian mercy code (thou shalt not kill) to create the torn figure of Hamlet. Picasso combined the traditions of European art with the traditions of African masks. Saul Bellow combined the strictness of the Jewish conscience with the free-floating go-getter-ness of the American drive for success.

Sometimes creativity happens in pairs, duos like Lennon and McCartney who bring clashing worldviews but similar tastes. But sometimes it happens in one person, in someone who contains contradictions and who works furiously to resolve the tensions within.

via The Creative Climate –