Why Adventures in Leadership Land?

Let it go, let it gooooo. Can't hold us back anymore.
There are plenty of leadership resources online. What makes us a special snowflake?
  • Most people talk about being a good leader. We talk about how to avoid being a bad leader.

  • Most people write about solving isolated problems, one-by-one. We write about ripple effects and fusterclucks – the type that sprouts hairy tarantulific legs, tramples all over your carefully-laid plans, and leaves a trail of flaming turds on its way out the door.

  • Most people think forward, plotting a trajectory to their goals. We focus on thinking backward, starting with the end in mind and reverse-engineering possible pathways leading to it.

  • Most people only look at data and academic studies,1 falling for the McNamara Fallacy. We examine the dark oceans of un-knowledge between the brightly-lit islands of (dubious) knowledge by asking “what don’t we know? What aren’t they telling us?”

Some people get 30 years of leadership experience, while others get one year of experience 30 times. We started brain-dumping writing online so we don’t end up in the latter group. We’ve chosen to take the leadership road less traveled – join us!

Why Obsess Over Bad Leadership and Failure?

Because it’s really hard to answer questions like:

  • What is happiness?

  • What is love?

  • What makes a good leader?

  • What does success look like?

  • What is the meaning of life?

In contrast, it’s much easier to figure out what makes you unhappy, unloved, a bad leader, a miserable failure, or dead. We focus on bad leadership and failure because they are easier to define than good leadership and success.

But Merely Avoiding Bad Leadership Makes You Mediocre…Right?

Wrong. By following the “don’t be a bosshole” philosophy, leaders start above-average and continue improving from there. One of our most popular essays explains the counterintuitive reasons why ↓

Finding Expertise in an Expert-Free World

The leadership arena is crowded with “experts” boasting an alphabet soup of credentials after their names. Their listicles circulate on social media, their books have 4.6/5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon, and their TED talks have sixteen gajillion views. But some of them built their fame on shoddy academic research, survivorship bias and cherry-picking, boosting short-term results at the expense of long-term vitality, or over-reducing complex topics to cater to the masses2. Follow advice from a charlatan, and you might find yourself trapped in one of the deserts, swamps, and forests of Leadership Land.

Instead of boasting about our credentials and leadership accomplishments, we’ll take the opposite approach of claiming zero expertise (hence our empty suit logo). This self-imposed limitation forces us to publish content where the truth is self-evident. Our claims must be strong enough to stand on their own two legs; we won’t support them with the crutch of fancy credentials or the halo of social proof. We refuse to say:

Trust me, I’m a _____________

because we don’t automatically trust internet strangers claiming to be experts, and you shouldn’t, either.

Eventually, we want to earn your trust. Until then, we will provide you with content that’s as valid coming from a 5-year-old as it would be from a Fortune 500 CEO or HBS/Wharton professor. After all, it was the child who had the courage to say “the emperor has no clothes!”

Figuring out where to travel in Leadership Land is a tough question, but figuring out where not to go is a no-brainer. As your Leadership Land travel guide, we will focus on the latter.

Know someone who has plateaued by following conventional leadership advice? Convert them to our unorthodox ways!



Gladwell’s “10,000 hour rule” was so over-simplified that it provoked a response from the guy who performed the original research.

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Defining a good leader by what a bad leader is not ⋅ Avoiding failure to ensure that success is a one-way journey, not a round trip.


Getting 30 years of leadership experience (instead of 1 year of experience 30 times) and writing about it.