“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing.  It was here first.”

Mark Twain

A Great American, RIP

Vistage is truly fortunate to have hundreds of subject matter experts who bring their expertise and wisdom to our Members. One of the most prominent was Vistage Speaker Herb Meyer who passed away recently from injuries suffered last year in a cycling accident. 

Before adding his talents to our speaker circuit, Herb’s was vice-chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, and assistant director and  “aide-de-camp” to the CIA’s director, William Casey during the Reagan years. Prior to serving in the CIA, he had been Fortune Magazine’s key writer on the Soviet Union. 
While at the CIA, Herb made the bold prediction, much reviled at the time but soon proven correct, that  the Soviet Union was on the brink of failure. You can read more about this episode and his extraordinary contributions in his obituary in National Review   (Worth the 5 minutes to read.)
Herb helped thousands of Vistage members understand what was happening in the world and what it meant for their business. (Upstate Vistage members last heard him in 2012). His wit, warmth and patriotism were always evident; as was the remarkable humility for someone who had operated so successfully at such a high level. Herb was a much sought after speaker not only for Vistage but for organizations around the world. His son sent me this link of his last speech which I hope you will take time to watch and share with your friends and especially the young people in your life. Recorded last year, it’s one of his best. IF YOU ARE LIKE ME AND HATE WATCHING THE EVENING NEWS because it is opinion based and fact-free, THIS WORLD UPDATE WILL BE THE BEST 50 MINUTES OF THE MONTH OF AUGUST! PROMISE!

The Most Successful Time in Life

Last week I shared an article from the Atlantic  Your Professional Decline is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think:  Here’s How to Make the Most of It.  Several readers wrote me to say that they found the article sobering but also enlightening. The author made the point that success tends to occur more frequently in the young and tapers off over time.
In a recent TED Talk, Dr. Albert-László Barabási shares a summary of research he has done that looks at the distribution of success over a lifetime and what we can do about it. Check out his short  TED presentation  “The Real Relationship Between Your Age and Your Chance of Success (Spoiler alert: there’s hope for success for those of us who are aging, and it requires work!)

Beach Reading

If you’re struggling with which book to take to the beach this summary, check out this offering from Mission.Org  that not only shares the titles of 10 best-selling business books but offers a quick summary of each that will help you decide quickly which to take to the shore with you. Check out 131 Actionable Ideas from Ten Books I Wish I had Read Ages Ago.

Three Dumb Mistakes

Success is always a combination of smarts and luck, and it’s not always clear what role each has played in organizations that make it big. Avoiding mistakes is another name for smarts, and entrepreneur Mark Cuban offers some commentary on the Dumbest Mistakes That Entrepreneurs make.

Econ Recon:

After the End: ITR Economics has long predicted that 2029-2030 would see another Great Depression that would rival that of a century earlier. That’s the bad news; the good news is that ITR Economics CEO Brian Beaulieu sees life after Depression and has a few thoughts about it in his latest blog posting in which he writes it looks to us that the US will continue to be the world’s biggest, brightest engine for economic growth for generations to come  Notice how comparable Brian’s macroeconomic thoughts  are with Herb’s Meyer’s vision for the world and the U.S. economy.