Josh Kaufman is the author of three bestselling books: The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!, How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be. Josh has been featured as the #1 bestselling author in Business & Money, as ranked by, and his books have sold over a million copies worldwide. Josh’s TEDx talk on The First 20 Hours is one of the top 25 most-viewed TED talks published to date, with over 22 million views on YouTube.

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FORBES recently called WELCOME TO MANAGEMENT, “the best leadership book of 2020.”

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  • Sustaining Excellence =
    • Learn constantly
    • Experiment constantly
    • Obsessive about learning the details, not a cookie cutter approach
  • Rapid Skill Acquisition:
    • Must be specific
    • Break it down: don’t try to do it all at once
    • Do research
    • Practice
    • Deconstruct the skill to its smallest parts
    • Make a pre-commitment – “I’m going to practice this skill for 20 hours no matter what.”
  • Create fast feedback loops for yourself:
    • Keep a daily log of what you do… Meetings, interactions, what was discussed, how you feel, etc.
  • This helps reinforce the importance of paying attention to the small details of what you’re trying to learn
  • If something happens, you can review your notes later
  • Josh has always had “a desire to understand the world around me”
  • Teaching is one of the greatest tools in the world for learning
  • “Management is the act of coordinating a group of people to achieve a goal. Management is not business. Management is not leadership. Management is a supporting function, not a decision making function.”
    • “Leadership = define the goal, account for change.”
  • “Good management =
    • Recruiting – must get good people
    • Communicating well between teams and decision making parts of the business
    • Must create environment of psychological safety
      • Create a productive working environment
    • Planning – Estimating time lines and schedules
    • Measurement
  • Commander’s Intent – “When you are a leader, decision making authority, the least effective thing is for you to make all the ground level decisions.” Push decision making power to the people closest to the action.
  • More quotes from Josh’s work:
  • “You can’t make positive discoveries that make your life better if you never try anything new.”
  • “Every successful business (1) creates or provides something of value that (2) other people want or need (3) at a price they’re willing to pay, in a way that (4) satisfies the purchaser’s needs and expectations and (5) provides the business sufficient revenue to make it worthwhile for the owners to continue operation.
  • “If you rely on finding time to do something, it will never be done. If you want to find time, you must make time.”
  • “The best thing that can happen to a human being is to find a problem, to fall in love with that problem, and to live trying to solve that problem, unless another problem even more lovable appears.”
  • “Every time your customers purchase from you, they’re deciding that they value what you have to offer more than they value anything else their money could buy at that moment.”
  • “The trouble comes when we confuse learning with skill acquisition. If you want to acquire a new skill, you must practice it in context. Learning enhances practice, but it doesn’t replace it. If performance matters, learning alone is never enough.”
  • “Be positive, force yourself to smile.”
  • “Improve by 1% a day, and in just 70 days, you’re twice as good.”
  • “Ideas are cheap—what counts is the ability to translate an idea into reality, which is much more difficult than recognizing a good idea.”
  • “Fear of the unknown will always be with you, no matter what you do. That’s comforting in a way: if there’s nothing you can do to change it, there’s no reason to let it stop you.”


More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership