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I feel so sentenced by your words,
I feel so judged and sent away,
Before I go I’ve got to know,
Is that what you mean to say?
Before I rise to my defense,
Before I speak in hurt or fear,
Before I build that wall of words,
Tell me, did I really hear?
Words are windows, or they’re walls,

They sentence us, or set us free.
When I speak and when I hear,
Let the love light shine through me.
There are things I need to say,
Things that mean so much to me,
If my words don’t make me clear,
Will you help me to be free?
If I seemed to put you down,
If you felt I didn’t care,
Try to listen through my words,
To the feelings that we share.

Source: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication) is an approach to nonviolent living developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s.

NVC is based on the assumption that all human beings have capacity for compassion and empathy and that people only resort to violence or behavior harmful to others when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs.

Nonviolent Communication: a way of communicating that leads us to give from the heart.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall Rosenberg:

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

Hellen Keller once said that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.’ Life is a fight for territories; you are either up or down, going through a storm, going to a storm, or leaving a storm. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, no pain, no pain, and anything meaningful in life involves taking calculated risk. Many of us do not take the needed risk because of the uncertainties involved with making a move, but nothing moves until you move.

Here are some great quotes on risk taking:

William Vincent Campbell Jr. (August 31, 1940 – April 18, 2016) was an American businessman and chairman of the board of trustees of Columbia University and chairman of the board of Intuit. He was VP of Marketing and board director for Apple Inc. and CEO for Claris, Intuit, and GO Corporation.

Bill Campbell called “The Coach” as he was coach to some of the brightest minds in silicon valley such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Sundar Pichai at Google, Susan Wojcicki at YouTube, Steve Jobs at Apple, Brad D. Smith at Intuit, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, John Donahoe at eBay, Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo at Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.

To be sure, Alicia Keys (born Alicia Cook) is deeply, relentlessly, naturally talented. That much has been clear to the world since 2001, when her debut album, Songs in A Minor, swept the Grammy Awards. It was obvious to those closest to her long before.

When Alicia was growing up in the notorious Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York, her mother—single, fierce—supplied ample encouragement. By age seven, Alicia had found her muse in the piano, the instrument that would inspire her stage name; soon she was creating original compositions, translating emotion into lyrical syllables and onto musical staffs. Her songs blend R&B, jazz, pop, soul, and classical music into a sound that’s at once familiar and inimitable. The accolades that she’s accumulated speak for themselves: 15 Grammys, seven hit studio albums, four No. 1 singles, more than 42 million records sold worldwide. 

Here are my favourite take aways from viewing Alicia Keys Masterclass Session on Songwriting and Producing:

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” – Tom Landry

Trillion Dollar Coach is a book about Bill Campbell, who was former CEO for Claris, Intuit, and GO Corporation. Bill was former Advertising Executive at J. Walter Thompson, football coach at Colombia University, and executive business coach for Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Sundar Pichai at Google, Susan Wojcicki at YouTube, Steve Jobs at Apple, Brad D. Smith at Intuit, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, John Donahoe at eBay, Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo at Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.

Trillion Dollar Coach is the Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell. The book reveals that to be a great manager, you have to be a great coach. After all, the higher you climb, the more your success depends on making other people successful. By definition, that’s what coaches do.

Based on interviews with over eighty people who knew and loved Bill Campbell, Trillion Dollar Coach explains the Coach’s principles and illustrates them with stories from the many great people and companies with which he worked. The result is a blueprint for forward-thinking business leaders and managers that will help them create higher performing and faster moving cultures, teams, and companies.

“If you disagree with an idea, you should work especially hard to implement it well because that way when it fails you’ll know it was a bad idea. Not bad execution.” — Andy Grove.

Disagree and commit is a management principle which states that individuals are allowed to disagree while a decision is being made, but that once a decision has been made, everybody must commit to it. Disagree and commit is a method of avoiding the consensus trap, in which the lack of consensus leads to inaction.

One of Amazons’ leadership principles is Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit:

“Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.”

In his 2016 Letter to Shareholders, Jeff Bezos writes about “High-Velocity Decision Making”

Day 2 companies make high-quality decisions, but they make high-quality decisions slowly. To keep the energy and dynamism of Day 1, you have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions. Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations. The senior team at Amazon is determined to keep our decision-making velocity high. Speed matters in business – plus a high-velocity decision-making environment is more fun too. We don’t know all the answers, but here are some thoughts.

Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly just making things up as you go along.

American Comedian and Television Host Stephen Colbert delivered a hilarious and inspiring speech to the Northwestern University’s 2011 graduating class. Colbert spoke about following your bliss, living your truth, and becoming a person of service; after the speech, he got a standing ovation from the graduating students.

Stephen Colbert’s 2011 Northwestern University Commencement Speech Transcript

Good morning. Thank you president schapiro, and my thanks chairman of the board of trustees william osborn and provost dan linzer-

And thank you, parents! (claps) of course, if you don’t thank them now, you’ll have plenty of time to thank them tomorrow when you move back in with them.

And since it’s father’s day weekend, let’s show some special love to all the dads out there. (claps) do something nice for dad today- like before you introduce your boyfriend, ask him to remove his tongue ring.

And thank you to the class of 2011. (clap)

You are what some have called “The greatest generation”. Not many – but some – so far just me. And I’m counting on you to not make me look like an idiot for saying that. So be great -no pressure.

I am humbled to be standing here with today’s other honorary degree recipients. William schabas, human rights champion. Who is here to invistigate northwestern for cruelly allowing you to graduate into this job market. Doctor barbara liskov – the first woman to earn a p-h-d in computer science – I don’t know how she could concentrate surrounded by all those notoriously sexy male programmers – and opera legend jessye norman, though that’s actually kind of a disappointment- I normally start the speeches by singing schubert’s ave maria, but I dont want to steal anybody’s thunder. So I’m not going to do it today.

And like improv, you cannot win your life.

If you think you are beaten, you are; 
If you think you dare not, you don’t. 
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t, 
It is almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost; 
For out in this world we find
Success begins with a person’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

I am a super fan of Amazon and Amazon Prime for its speed and convenience. I have been an Amazon Prime subscriber for the past three years, and it is a great service that includes same one or two-day delivery and streaming music and video.

With a reported 150 million subscribers worldwide as of January 2020. Amazon Prime is a paid subscription program from Amazon that gives users access to additional services otherwise unavailable or available at a premium to regular Amazon customers.

More than half of US households are members of Amazon Prime, and Amazon delivered ten billion packages in 2018, which is two billion more than the number of people on this planet.

In his recently released book, Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos, Jeff shares some great insights about the launch and risk taking involved with the launch of Amazon Prime:

Launching Amazon Prime

An example of how Bezos innovates and operates was the launch of Amazon Prime, which transformed the way Americans think about how quickly and cheaply they can be gratified by ordering online. One of his board members had been suggesting that Amazon create a loyalty program, similar to what the airlines have with their frequent-flyer programs.

Separately, an Amazon engineer suggested that the company offer free shipping to its most loyal customers. Bezos put the two ideas together and asked his finance team to assess the costs and benefits. “The results were horrifying,” Bezos says with his laugh. But Bezos had a rule, which was to use his heart and his intuition as well as empirical data in making a big decision.

“There has to be risk-taking. You have to have instinct. All the good decisions have to be made that way,” he says. “You do it with a group. You do it with great humility.”

One Way Door

He knew that creating Amazon Prime was what he calls a one-way door: it was a decision difficult to reverse. “We’ve made mistakes, doozies like the Fire Phone and many other things that just didn’t work out. I won’t list all of our failed experiments, but the big winners pay for thousands of failed experiments.”

 He was aware that it would be scary at first because those who signed up for Prime would be the heaviest users of shipping. “What happens when you offer a free all-you-can-eat buffet, who shows up to the buffet first?” he says. “The heavy eaters. It’s scary. It’s, like, oh, my God, did I really say as many prawns as you can eat?” But eventually Amazon Prime led to the combination of a loyalty program and a convenience for customers as well as a huge source of customer data.”

The 2005 Amazon Prime Launch

In 2005, Amazon announced Amazon Prime is a membership service offering free two-day shipping within the contiguous United States on all eligible purchases for an annual fee of $79 (equivalent to $103 in 2019), and discounted one-day shipping rates.

In his 2005 Letter to Shareholders, Jeff Bezos had this to say about Amazon Prime:

In 2005, we launched Amazon Prime. For $79 per year, Prime members get unlimited express two-day shipping for free and upgrade to one-day delivery for just $3.99.

As another example, in 2000 we invited third parties to compete directly against us on our “prime retail real estate”—our product detail pages. Launching a single detail page for both Amazon retail and third-party items seemed risky. Well-meaning people internally and externally worried it would cannibalize Amazon’s retail business, and—as is often the case with consumer-focused innovations—there was no way to prove in advance that it would work.

Amazon Prime Features

Amazon Prime Music

Prime Music is a music streaming service similar to Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and others. It allows access to a library of most of its songs to Amazon Prime members.

Price:  $7.99 per month for Prime members and $9.99 per month for non-Prime members.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is a subscription video-on-demand over-the-top streaming and rental service of Amazon.com, Inc., offered as a standalone service or as part of Amazon’s Prime subscription.

Prime Video additionally offers a content add-on service in the form of channels, called Amazon Channels, or Prime Video Channels, which allow users to subscribe to additional video subscription services from other content providers within Prime Video, such as HBO, StarzPlay, and Shudder.

Prime Reading

Beginning in October 2016, Prime members in the U.S. receive access to a rotating set of Kindle e-books through Prime Reading. The service includes unlimited access to a rotating catalog of ebooks and audiobooks, 1 free pre-release ebook every month from editors’ picks, magazines, articles, and comic books also included.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

Kindle owners with Amazon Prime memberships can choose from thousands of books to read for free once a month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). KOLL is available for readers on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, and Amazon.co.jp. KOLL is different from the Lending for Kindle feature, which allows readers to lend digital books to their friends and family after buying them on the Amazon.com Kindle Store.

Amazon Prime Now

The Prime Now service allows members to have products delivered to them within one hour for a fee of $7.99, or within two hours for no additional fee. 

Prime Now is a service offered by Amazon and available to Prime members in parts of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

Amazon Prime Air

Prime Air is a drone delivery service currently in development by Amazon. The service uses delivery drones to autonomously fly individual packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering.

Amazon Prime Gaming

 Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscribers also get Twitch Prime (now Prime Gaming) at no additional cost. Prime Gaming includes a monthly Twitch channel subscription, tons of awesome content in your favorite games, 5+ PC games every month, and more with your Amazon Prime membership.

Prime Student: 6-month Trial

Fast, free delivery on over 100 million items, unlimited access to Prime movies and TV shows, exclusive deals, and more. Get Free Two-Day Shipping on college essentials including textbooks 

Prime Day

On July 15, 2015, in honor of the website’s 20th anniversary, Amazon first held Prime Day. The event features a large number of sales and promotions that are exclusively available to Amazon Prime subscribers, with Amazon promoting that the first edition would feature “more deals than Black Friday.

Prime Day is an annual deal event exclusively for Prime members, delivering two days of special savings on tons of items.

As an Amazon Prime member, you have access to:

  • Prime Delivery: Fast, FREE delivery on millions of items, including FREE Two-Day Shipping, and FREE Same-Day or One-Day Delivery in select cities.
  • Prime Video: Stream thousands of Movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals
  • Amazon Music: Listen to over two million songs, always ad-free and on-demand
  • Exclusive Deals and offers, just for Prime members and much more.

Amazon Price

  • The membership fee for Amazon Prime is $119 per year or $12.99 per month. 
  • Free Trial: first 30 days of the annual subscription are free, and you can cancel anytime
  • Students can get a generous price break, however. Amazon Student accounts get many of the same Prime benefits, and it’s free for the first six months.

Subscribe to Amazon Prime.

“Smart people are a dime a dozen and often don’t amount to much. What counts is being creative and imaginative. That’s what makes someone a true innovator.” – Walter Isaacson

In Jeff Bezos’s own words, Invent and wander highlights the core principles and philosophy that have guided him in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin. Jeff Bezos is one of my favorite entrepreneurs not only because he is the richest man in the world, but because of his long-term view of business and life.

In this collection of Jeff Bezos’s writings—his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about the world and where the future might take us.

Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos is a very great book that shares the fascinating and inspiring story of Jeff Bezos, how he started Amazon, his obsession to create the most customer-centric company in the world, his core philosophical frameworks such It is always day one, regret minimization, disagree and commit among others.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways from reading, Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos:

“THE TOP PRIORITY OF ANY MANAGER IS THE WELL-BEING AND SUCCESS OF HER PEOPLE.”

In the Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell, the authors shared one of Bil Campbell’s dictates for getting the most out of people; he had developed the manifesto while he was at Intuit and often repeated it practically verbatim to his coachees.

Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep relationships with Silicon Valley visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”- Theodor Seuss Geisel

We are our choices, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We make choices every day that have far-reaching consequences than we can anticipate, the choice of how to spend your time, who to spend your time with it, what to do, our choices determine the quality of our life. A choice to be rich or poor, a choice to be kind or be nasty, a choice to make excuses or take responsibility, a choice to study or watch Netflix.

Here are some great quotes on choices:

Big Things Starts Small

Jeffrey Preston Bezos is an American Internet Entrepreneur, Media Proprietor, and Investor. He is the founder and CEO of multi-national technology company Amazon. According to the Forbes wealth index, Jeff Bezos is the first centi-billionaire and he has been the world’s richest person since 2017 and was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018.

According to Forbes, Bezos is the first person in history to have a net worth exceeding $200 billion. Jeff Bezos is one of my favorite people worldwide for his relentlessness, curiosity, initiative, and sense of adventure. Jeff has a continuous improvement orientation and often finishes his letter to shareholders with “It is always Day One.”

Bezos came across the statistic that the web had been growing by more than 2,300 percent each year. He decided that he wanted to get aboard that rocket, and he came up with the idea of opening a retail store online, sort of a Sears catalogue for the digital age.