Polina Pompliano is studying the world’s most interesting people & companies. She is the Founder & Author of The Profile. Polina is a former writer at  Fortune. Some of the people she’s written a profile on are: Martha Stewart, Keanu Reeves, and The Rock. I am a paid subscriber and love her work.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • Sustained excellence comes from being obsessively curious about what you do… And knowing that failure is part of the process. It’s how you choose to respond that matters. Examples: Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Martha Stewart.
  • The advice she received from David Perell (also a previous podcast guest). He said, “Everything you put into the world is a vehicle for serendipity.” Polina wrote a profile on The Rock. She had no idea he would share it four times on all platforms.
  • Create your own personal board of advisors. Listen to criticism, but only from people who want you to win. Only from people who care about you doing well. Not from trolls online.
  • “Consistency is the best way to earn trust. – Name a relationship in your life where you trust someone who is inconsistent. You can’t. That’s because we don’t trust people — whether it’s in work, business, or relationships — who constantly break their promises. Since I started The Profile three years ago, I have never missed a single week.”
  • Criticism: “I once heard Kat Cole say that one of the biggest lessons she has learned after years of business experience is to put your ego aside and improve from criticism. She said, “Anytime you’re criticized, assume first that it’s correct.” The act of simply considering that a fraction of the criticism may be accurate will keep you learning, unlearning, fixing, and ultimately, gaining respect.”
  • How to Find Ideas: “It’s about being obsessed with the details. A great idea typically masquerades as a question in a friend’s text message, a quote in a documentary, a line in a book, or an observation on a walk.”
  • Creativity: “I can’t get new ideas staring at a blank page. Creativity, for me, requires motion. When you go on a walk, you can turn your world into an idea-generating sensorium, and ideas will spring up from the most unlikely sources. There is one thing that’s absolutely certain about creativity: It’s an active process, not a passive one. The best ideas come when you become curious, aware, interested.”
  • Daniel Ek Makers schedule versus a Managers schedule. This is from Paul Graham. I wrote it about it in my first book, Welcome to Management.
  • Marriage: “In 2013, I asked my great-grandmother what she had learned from 53 years of marriage. She said, “When you’re young and beautiful like we were, falling in love is easy. But you have to fall in love with someone’s soul — because you will get old, but the soul will never change.”
  • “I don’t like to gamble, but if there is one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.” – Beyonce
  • How to attract more luck into your life? – Written by George Mack (published by Polina)
    • Avoid Boring People
    • Have a luck razor
    • Have a Poker mindset
  • Polina desires to help you “improve your content diet.” Instead of binging TV shows and scrolling through random social media, read The Profile.
  • How to be more creative:
    • Take a walk
    • Allow room for serendipity
    • Look at the footnotes of books
  • What Polina learned from James Clear: When he doesn’t read enough, he doesn’t have the ideas to write about. Reading helps generate ideas. Have a stack of books everywhere in your house and office.
  • Why leaders should write?
    • It creates clarity of thought.
      • “I can tell that you’re thinking is sloppy if your writing is sloppy.”
  • Every single word of a post matters. It’s about being precise. Precision is so important when it comes to writing. You have to clearly think it through to create precision with thought and writing.
  • Storytelling – Get rid of the generic, fluffy writing.
    • People enjoy profiles because it takes you inside the mind of a person.
  • Life/Career advice:
    • Don’t tie your identity to something that can be taken away from you.
  • Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle


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