Capsule Coaching for All Leaders • PODCAST



Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastA quick message from an executive coach on the most important thing for leaders to learn and two things they must do.

Just click here to listen now or subscribe on your device using Apple’s Tunes, Android, and other podcatchers to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.





For You, It’s a Choice • PODCAST


Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastA quick message from an executive coach on shaking the burden of obligations and picking up the power of choice.

Just click here to listen now or subscribe on your device using Apple’s Tunes, Android, and other podcatchers to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.


Shannon’s Limits: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives



  1. Ignore more.
    • Inbox zero, be damned.
  2. Big picture first. Details later.
  3. Don’t just find a mentor. Allow yourself to be mentored.
    • Be humble enough to listen.
  4. You don’t have to ship everything.
    • Feel free to dabble & play.
      Not everything you make needs to ship. Some things you do for you.
  5. Chaos is okay.
  6. Time is the soil in which great ideas grow.
    • Stick with it & be willing to put it to the side now and then.
  7. Be mindful of with whom you spend time & at what activity.
  8. Money is a means not the end.
    • Good to have. Bad to chase.
  9. Fancy is easy. Simple is hard.
    • Simplification is an art form: it requires a knack for excising everything from a problem except what makes it interesting.
  10. The less marketing you need, the better your idea or product probably is.
    • Don’t oversell to the doubts and indifferent; put your energy into making something you find interesting.
  11. Value freedom over status.
    • Shannon, pursued projects that might have caused others embarrassment, engaged questions that seemed trivial or minor, then managed to wring the breakthroughs out of them.
  12. Don’t look for inspiration. Look for irritation. Then, do the work.

Source: 10,000 Hours With Claude Shannon: How A Genius Thinks, Works, and Lives


Also on this blog, Lessons from Bell Labs’ Heyday



Strong Reviews for Tony’s New Novel


Crimes of Cunning book cover

Someone posted the most amazing review of my book. Not only is the writer not my mother, I’ve never even met him.

Did I laugh out loud? Yes, a lot, but this novel is not pure comedy. There will be many interpretations about the heartbeat of this story because it’s written in such a way that each reader will get hooked in his/her own personal way. I see it as a story of … <click here to read the rest>



Marriott: Happy Employees = Happy Customers

It’s always been the major belief of our company, take good care of your people, they’ll take good care of the customer and the customer will come back.

And we celebrate them. We train them. We teach them. We provide opportunity for them. You’ve got to make your employees happy.

If the employees are happy, they are going to make the customers happy.

–J. W. Marriott, Jr.
 speaking of his father,
the founder of Marriott Hotels

How Bill Marriott’s Putting Employees First Transformed A Family Root Beer Stand Into $14B Hotel Giant by Steve Forbes in Forbes Magazine January 8, 2014 

The Science of the Good Life



See it at AmazonThe founder and driving force of “Positive Psychology” has summarized his lifetime of research in this accessible book for the lay reader. Though padded with the usual flab of today’s nonfiction–refutations of criticisms most readers have never encountered, tangential personal anecdotes, and repetition–the substance of his findings are practical and enlivening. Dr. Seligman even summarizes the components of a life well lived in a mnemonic acronym.

P – E – R – M – A

  1. Positive emotion,
  2. Engagement [A/K/A Flow]
  3. positive Relationships,
  4. Meaning, and
  5. Accomplishment.

I prefer FAMES, if only for the irony, since fame is at best a fleeting and ancillary aspect of a satisfying life.

  1. Flow, escaping the self through challenging activity
  2. Accomplishment & Progress
  3. Meaning, a generative story
  4. Experiencing welcome emotions
  5. Social Support

Details below.


Selected excerpts
A Visionary New Understanding of
Happiness and Well-being
by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.

Atria Books. 2011-04-05
Page numbers from Kindle Edition.
[Tony’s comments in square brackets.]



PREFACE This book will help you flourish. There, I have finally said it. I have spent my professional life avoiding (more…)

Embrace the Pain



To live is to suffer.

–The Buddha



But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, there must be a in meaning in suffering. … Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

— Viktor Emil Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning



One always finds one’s burden again. … The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.

One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

–Albert Camus
The Myth of Sisyphus



Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness



People who are happy but have little to no sense of meaning in their lives have the same [inflammatory response] as people who are responding to and enduring chronic adversity. …


Meaning was defined as an orientation to something bigger than the self.

Happiness was defined by feeling good. …


“Empty positive emotions are about as good for you for as adversity,” says Dr. Fredrickson. …


From the evidence of this study, it seems that feeling good is not enough. People need meaning to thrive. In the words of Carl Jung, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Jung’s wisdom certainly seems to apply to our bodies, if not also to our hearts and our minds.


Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness
by Emily Esfahani Smith
The Atlantic Magazine



Overthinking ushers in a host of adverse consequences



Overthinking ushers in a host of adverse consequences:

It sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negatively biased thinking, impairs a person’s ability to solve problems, saps motivation, and interferes with concentration and initiative. Moreover, although people have a strong sense that they are gaining insight into themselves and their problems during their ruminations, this is rarely the case. What they do gain is a distorted, pessimistic perspective on their lives.

–Sonja Lyubomirsky
The How of Happiness