My Values

You get your values from people and I’m lucky to have met some remarkable people at critical points in my life.

In my twenties, I met Ron Gross. In my thirties, I met Jim Warren, In my forties, I met Sam Pratt. Without these people I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Ron Gross – You can do it

Ron Gross is responsible for coining two phrases that have become part of the English language: “lifelong learning” and “independent scholar.”

He came to one of the speed reading classes I used to give at Columbia University and gave me confidence that I could make a big contribution to the world of learning without having an advanced degree or being affiliated with a university.

This a conversation Ron and I had to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the publishing of his classic book “The independent Scholar’s Handbook.”

Download the MP3 file here

Jim Warren – The best people share what they know

Jim Warren was a personal computer industry pioneer who, among other things, founded the Computer Faire, the first personal computer fair.

After selling that company, Jim has focused his considerable energies on using information technology to make government more transparent.

By Jim’s sharing of the early days of personal computing with me, he helped me develop the confidence that I could have an impact on the then-still-forming medium, the World Wide Web.

This is an excerpt of an interview Jim gave about the early days of the personal computer and how an attitude of sharing and generosity among the early pioneers made its rapid growth possible.

Download the MP3 file here

Sam Pratt – Never, never, never give up

Sam Pratt spearheaded the multi-year effort to prevent the historic Hudson Valley from being turned into a heavy industrial “national sacrifice” zone.

Starting with zero resources and a handful of allies, he confronted a local government news media that was completely bought and sold.

By patiently and accurately telling the story – in person, in print and at public meetings – he transformed his community into a force that was able to repel a $50 million legal, advertising, and public relations onslaught which not only threatened the destruction of not only of a two hundred year old community, but also the environment and economy of the Mid Hudson Valley.

This is a conversation Sam and I had to deconstruct the mechanics of how this historically important battle was won.

Download the MP3 file here


– Ken McCarthy

P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business – and life – with my clients.

If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.

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