A Master Class on Thinking

About a year ago, I and fifteen or so other company leaders participated in a seven-session “master class,” where we talked extensively about what being a “leader” means at our company, and how we tackle the “big questions”.

These sessions, held every two weeks or so, lasted two hours, followed by dinner.

Each session focused on a concept, anchored by one of these books as the jumping off point for our discussions. Each of the books are either classics of philosophy, or soon-to-be classics. All are worth reading.

The conversations were thoughtful, frustrating and always insightful.

The concepts and associated books were

Debate: On Liberty, chapter 2

Stories: Thinking, Fast and Slow, chapters 1, 4-8, 16-18

Design: The Sciences of the Artificial, chapter 5

Focus: Scarcity, Introduction, pages 19-65

Loyalty: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, chapters 1-5, 7, 9

Meritocrarcy: Capital in the Twenty-First Century, pages 11-16, 20-27, 237-304

Rightness: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, chapter 2; Utilitarianism, chapters 1-2

While the master class focused on specific chapters (mainly to limit the amount of reading busy managers needed to do!), I encourage you read the entire book if you can.

If you can arrange a “master class” of your own to discuss with others, I strongly encourage it.