Each week I comb through Constellation Research's DisrupTV transcripts and videos for insights, news nuggets and items that can provide context on enterprise trends and topics.

What has come from this exercise--aside from a bevy of articles--is a bevy of life and work lessons. DisrupTV at times is one part book club and one part wisdom dispenser with a dash of professional career therapy. To that end, I'm going to start aggregating things from DisrupTV that made me go hmm and may not fit with the daily enterprise tech grind.

Here's the running list:

Mike Hayes, Chief Operating Officer, VMware; Author, Never Enough: A Navy SEAL Commander on Living a Life of Excellence, Agility, and Meaning.

  • "Life is really about people, whether you're in the Seals, White House, Boardroom or any enterprise of any size."
  • "Wisdom is a series of learnings from a bunch of things you wish you could have done differently or wish came out differently."
  • "You're only excellent if you know, you're never excellent enough."
  • I think it's so incredibly important to really think about doing more for others than self. And when you solve hard problems, then you share in the victory and in the win and whether it's life or in business, you share in the economic value that you create.
  • "In the Seals, we could be absolutely up or absolutely down. But what matters the most is relativism because on any team, somebody is always relatively up and somebody else is always relatively down. The person who's relatively up has to reach in to help the person who's relatively down today because tomorrow I'm gonna be the one who's down. In the words of my grandfather, when you are down, the best thing to do is find somebody who else is further down than you are and pull them up."
  • "When somebody succeeds or fails, you can't yet know if they failed. You have to go down the logic tree one more node and say, did you fail and learn? If you failed and learned, then you succeeded."
  • "Agility is like one of those words, like leadership, where everybody's got a different definition and it never sounds quite right because there's always something that's missing. My thoughts about agility are really like the way Seals plan for missions. We go into a mission with a plan, but the plan from the beginning is for that plan to change. What I describe is that there are no playbooks. You have one playbook and it's called the meta playbook, which is the playbook for how to create the playbook in the moment. You can have 100 playbooks and that's not gonna win anything. You need one playbook. It's how do you define the vision, the outcome you want and then the strategy, which is how you're gonna get there. Then the execution."
  • "How do you self-actualize? Do you need to be the one on the stage getting the award or would you rather have one of your people getting recognized? I very, very deeply, would rather have people around me be recognized because their success is my success. And I don't need my name up in lights. And so as soon as you get to the point of your career where you no longer need any sort of credit because you have that confidence that the recognition just doesn't matter that liberates you to really think differently."
  • "I think being intrusive is so important. I've buried about 70 friends and unfortunately many of them have died by suicide. Unfortunately, I've become very comfortable asking people if they've ever considered things like harm to self. Those aren't easy conversations and 99 times out of 100 it's cringy and awkward. But I'll take 99 awkwards for one yes."

David Dodson, Author of The Managers Handbook

  • "The manager's handbook is not about how I ran companies. It happens to be how I wish I had run companies, but it was really the curation of this observation that I made about other managers. The differentiating factors among the people who are great at getting things done and everybody else was really skill based. And there were no exceptions.
  • "I was looking at people like, you know, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, People think they have x-ray vision, and they can see around corners and they're larger than life, but they didn't actually have red capes. They just mastered the basics and then they made sure their organizations mastered the basics."
  • "Call on people in reverse order of seniority. If you really want to pull out the wisdom of the crowd and get the benefit of having everybody in the room together that is one of the like easiest things, you can do."
  • "Walk behind the tractor comes from where I grew up. I grew up in rural Colorado. My dad manufactured farm equipment and you sell farm equipment through farm dealers. He never sold his equipment directly to the end user. He'd follow them home and essentially walk behind the tractor to know what the customers are about."

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, authors of Move Fast & Fix Things


  • "You can accelerate excellence if you learn how to go fast. In accelerating excellence, moving fast and fixing things can go even faster than reckless disruption."


  • "I think speed's bad reputation was confusing people. One of the main lessons of our work is that the most effective leaders know they're solving problems at an accelerated pace, but they're
  • also taking care of their customers and employees and shareholders along the way. We wanted to get the word out because this ethos of moving fast and breaking things is still out there and still influencing the decisions that builders and operators are making."


  • "Create a good enough plan. And a good enough plan is distinct from the perfect plan, which is this fantastical creature that's actually never existed in the wild."
  • "You are more likely to trust me if you experience my authenticity while also experiencing my logic, while also experiencing my empathy. And it's only when you experience all three that you'll have the involuntary reaction of trusting me. And every single time you don't trust me, it will be because of one of those three drivers."
  • "Here are a couple of classic mistakes companies make. They're like, ok, I've done all of the things I'm supposed to, I'm gonna go fast. So now I'm gonna try to be great at everything. Here's what we can guarantee. If you try to be great at everything, you will end up with exhausted mediocrity."


  • "We love middle management as a place to go and learn and diagnose what's not working in the organization. It's a really powerful stakeholder group because they usually have all the information about what's happening. So, it's often the first place that will go."

Lisa Sun, Author of GRAVITAS: The 8 Strengths That Redefine Confidence

  • "Society has defined confidence as a behavior. When someone says we're confident it's standing on a stage, speaking up, being assertive, being in command. And if you look up the word, I, I challenge everyone to go look it up in the Oxford English dictionary. Confidence is an understanding and appreciation of your own abilities. There's nothing about swagger, there's nothing about bravado. This is why sometimes the quietest person in the room is often the one that you're saying that person has gravitas."
  • "In our adolescence, there are six forces that start to hold us back. We start to become self-aware, and we start to doubt ourselves. As adults, confidence actually requires us to make a choice to see the best in ourselves and to channel a mindset that then drives behaviors."
  • "Oftentimes when people tell you to be more confident, they're asking you to be in command or asking you to perform and be extroverted and charismatic. Less than 26% of people in our data set had those two qualities. Does that mean 80% of us aren't allowed to feel good about ourselves? Have we not valued other traits?”
  • “We do undervalue things like achieving and knowing because we expect people to perform in leading and performing. By the way, if we were all leaders and performers, nothing would get done."

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