Wandering Into Wisdom

This blog chronicles the knowledge, insight and wisdom I encounter every day as a leadership consultant, executive coach, educator, father, friend and citizen. This site is dedicated to my father, Louis (Jack) Laughlin, who passed on to me an appreciation for wisdom. A special thanks to my friend Isaac Cheifetz, a businessman and journalist, who helped me understand the value of blogs and encouraged me to write one.

Of The People*

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." 
From V for Vendetta

Maximum Effort*

The body has two modes of generating energy, aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen). Endurance athletes train to increase their body’s ability to deliver oxygen to their muscles. They also train to develop a sense of how far they can push themselves. If they exceed their body’s ability to deliver oxygen their metabolism turns anaerobic and the buildup of lactic acid significantly decreases their performance. The key is to exert the maximum amount of effort without exceeding the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen. This would seem to apply to many other aspects of life.


When we think of the wheel as one of the most important technological advances in history we tend to think of transportation. Wagons, bicycles, cars and trains all ride on the wheels. Other important applications of the wheel are gears and pulleys. Gears allow for the amplification and transmission of force which allowed wind mills and water wheels to do work. Pulleys allow for a small amount of force to be amplified to a much greater force. Many ancient building projects depended on this technology and large sailing vessels would be impossible to handle without pulleys to turn the rudder and control the sails.

Eat Right*

According the World Health Organization 1.2 billion adults are overweight and 800 million are undernourished. This means that one third of the world’s population is not eating a healthy amount of food.


EQ is defined as the ability to identify, assess and manage the emotions of one's self, others and groups.

The Payoff*

Craigslist is a website for classified ads that has reached $100 million in annual revenue. As amazing as that may seem, national revenues for classified ads in newspapers have dropped by $10 billion in the last eight years. If we assume that Craigslist took 10% of those revenues, some speculate it’s significantly more, that would account for $1 billion of those losses. Since Craigslist’s annual revenues are only $100 million that’s a 90% decrease in cost. It’s one of the best examples of doing more with less on the Internet. It’s also a major headache for the newspaper industry.


Freemium is the term Fred Wilson gave to the business model used by many software and cloudware companies like MusicMatch and LinkedIn. "Give your service away for free, possibly ad supported but maybe not, acquire a lot of customers very efficiently through word of mouth, referral networks, organic search marketing, etc., then offer premium priced value added services or an enhanced version of your service to your customer base."

Good Ideas*

When I began my marketing career one of the first axioms I heard was, “Good ideas can come from anywhere.” Not long after struggling to find good ideas to drive our business I reworded that axiom to state, “Good ideas have to come from somewhere.” The first axiom insinuates that good ideas will appear without planning and effort. The second axiom recognizes that good ideas are the product of clearly defined insights and hard work.


Some experts suspected that Saddam Hussein resisted attempts to prove Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction because he was afraid it would invite an attack by Iran. He admitted as much during his interrogation. How often, in our own daily lives, do we misinterpret the posturing and actions of others because we assume it is directed toward us?