A friend recently introduced me to a book by Oliver Burkeman, 4000 Weeks. The average person lives about 4000 weeks, and the book is about how to make the most of this finite time that is full of unpredictability. My friend enticed me with a story from the book that I’ll share with you – because, as leaders, we are always challenged with “too much to do, and not enough time.” How to prioritize so you have the maximum impact and success? I was captivated and immediately got the book and have started listening to it on my drive to and from work.
The story - and I’m paraphrasing - involves Warren Buffett (coincidentally, Buffett is a man whose opinions I trust, is someone I follow on YouTube, so I was especially interested in this!) talking with his pilot one day, and the conversation went something like this:
Buffett: “what are 20 things you want to do in your life?”
Pilot shared 20 things.
Buffett: of those 20 things, what are the top 5?”
Pilot shared top 5.
Buffett: of those top 5, what is THE most important priority for you?”
Pilot shared the #1 priority.
Buffett: “Your job, now, is to AVOID the other 15. At all costs. Don’t waste time on those priorities; instead, ensure your focus never wavers from those Top 5.”
My initial reaction was, “WHAT? Avoid all these other good things???” The idea, of course, is that we can only be terrific at a limited number of things. Among all the good things we could do, considering all the potential good work that could be done, how can we have the MOST impact? By choosing very carefully what to focus on – and staying away from the other potentially-interesting-but-not-number-one priorities. A limited life makes every decision we make so meaningful.
Efficiency is NOT everything, people. As Burkeman says it, “Rendering yourself more efficient … won’t generally result in the feeling of having ‘enough time’, because, all else being equal, the demands will increase to offset any benefits … You’ll be creating new things to do.”
Something I’m noodling a lot on this week!
See you in the trenches,
In August of 2022, Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (“Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors”) to strengthen and incentivize domestic semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research. This is a tremendous opportunity for Minnesota’s semiconductor industry – which is stronger than you might think. The Act invests $280B over the next 10 years to bolster capacity, catalyze R&D, and create regional high-tech hubs, as well as a bigger, more inclusive STEM workforce. I’m writing about this today because Greater MSP has been building a coalition within Minnesota’s semiconductor industry to ensure these companies are prepared to apply for funds to strengthen Minnesota’s position in this sector. Your Chamber has a small part to play in this as well! If you want to know more if your organization participates in this sector, or should you be interested in career opportunities therein, read on!
Most specifically: the US Department of Commerce will oversee $50B in investments to expand domestic manufacturing of mature and advanced semiconductors. Here in the metro, we have several significant semiconductor manufacturers, the largest of which are Collins Aerospace, Honeywell, Polar Semiconductor, Raytheon Technologies, Seagate Technology, and Skywater Technology.
Why is this important? Semiconductors are essential components in all electronics, powering everything from the chips in our smartphones to our cars to medical devices. They enable the key technologies that drive the future economy and our national security – AI, 5G/6G, microelectronics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, cloud services, directed energy, and more.
According to McKinsey Research, the share of modern semiconductor manufacturing capacity located in the U.S. has eroded from 37% in 1990 to 12% today. At the same time, China has grown to be the world’s second-largest market for semiconductor equipment, behind Taiwan and South Korea. This gap has exposed real vulnerabilities to our economy, national security, and technology leadership position. Here in Minnesota, we have several direct manufacturers and innumerable companies within this supply chain that provide parts and components (the most recognizable of which is DigiKey in Thief River Falls). A consortium will help these companies access funds, expand their work, and introduce this sector to more next-generation leaders.
In addition to Greater MSP’s work, earlier this year the UofM launched a Semiconductor Manufacturing Consortium. This initiative is aimed at upskilling Minnesota’s technical workforce for careers in semiconductor manufacturing.
And your Chamber is proud to be doing our part. To support the talent development needs of this sector, we are creating a “Semiconductor Alley” within our Career Connect Day on October 17, and some of the companies listed above (and more) will be participating!
Here is an informative review of the CHIPS Act provided by McKinsey, with an overview of the funding.
Here is a link to our Career Connect Day on October 17, should you want more information.
Should you be interested in participating in the Greater MSP Semiconductor Consortium, you can reach out directly to Amanda Taylor, Research Director, at email@example.com.
See you in the trenches,
We’re gearing up for this year’s InterCity Leadership Visit. And I hope you’ll consider joining us, Oct 1-3, in Philadelphia. The big question is, “Why?” Your Chamber has been hosting this event in partnership with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber for over 20 years now. Together we bring together CEOs, employers, educators, and government leaders, and travel to a peer city to share and learn best practices. I can’t say enough about the value of these trips. We bring new ideas back to our region, and, perhaps even more valuable, we spend three days together getting to know one another and building stronger relationships within our own region.
Next question: “Why Philadelphia?”
Philadelphia has some really interesting initiatives underway, such as how they’ve developed their downtown, med/tech sectors, and sports complex areas; work around gun violence and public safety in the city; and we’ll be talking economic development, housing, and much more. We’re also planning to visit historic sites together and see a pre-season hockey game in Comcast’s beautifully renovated arena! We hope we can welcome you to one of our nation’s most historic cities as we think about what’s next for our own Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. You can simply register at this link. I very much look forward to spending some quality time together.
See you in the trenches,
Has this summer flown by or what? I blinked and now families are shopping for school supplies already. What happened? I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of intentionality. Being intentional in life, taking ownership of what I want my life to look like. Not letting a summer go by without being better for the time passing. How can we be better equipped for that? John Maxwell says it well: “most people don’t lead their lives; they accept it. We have the opportunity – actually, the responsibility – to take ownership.” And then, last week, as we were talking about our latest YouTube interests, a friend challenged me: “what are you doing to grow, learn, develop yourself? And others?” Hmm… ok… good question.
So I’ve asked myself - how is it that I invest in my intentional growth? I have my own thoughts, and I’ll share others I find powerful:
Yes, time is passing. Yes, growing older is natural; growing better is intentional. Ultimately, it’s on us to make our lives what we want them to be.
See you in the trenches,