Culture & Media
A keen observer, a listener and a reader, Chip Wilson distills his thoughts into valuable truths for the benefit of business culture and development.
Clips of interviews, articles and talks.
Chip Wilson — Building lululemon, the Art of Setting Goals, and the 10 Great Decisions of Your Life
"An entrepreneur is just someone who is too incompetent to work for anyone else."Listen to the Full Podcast
lululemon athletica: Chip Wilson
"With lululemon, I came at it from function and put fashion into it."Listen to the Full Podcast
Good to Great, by Jim Collins
Why this book?
It distinguishes that “good” is the enemy of “great”. It distinguishes what the 5 levels of leaders with a level 5 leader as someone who develops a successor better than they are. Finally, Jim Collins displays the intersection of three circles: 1. What a company is best in the world at 2. What the company is passionate about and 3. What is the economic engine. The greater the overlap of the three circles the better the success of the company.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Why this book?
Like the “Psychology of Achievement”, by Brian Tracy below, “Seven Habits” is a study of the actions all successful people operate under without knowing they are doing it. The Habits are usually learned over a lifetime but knowing this up front is a short-term hack for a life of success. As knowledge of the Habits creates exponential health and happiness the results are a longer, healthier and more fun life.
The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt
Why this book?
This is a fun fiction book and the theory of constraints and is a must read for anyone who manufactures a non digital product. This book provided insights as to how I could use sourcing and production as a competitive tool to manipulate margins. The ideas this book has will be hated by public companies who are incapable of lowering margins to win a long term competitive battle and may be one of the reasons private companies outperform public companies.
The Psychology of Achievement, by Brian Tracy
Why this book?
Like the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen Covey, below, this book is a study of actions of successful people and how they subconsciously operate. The key concepts are why people do and do not set goals and the law of attraction setting out that a person attracts into their sphere the same type of person they are. This is an 8-hour audio that distinguishes integrity, communication, family, philanthropy and religion.
What Chip is Reading Now
Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji's Olympic Dream
As with all Michener novels, he takes us from the inception of Indigenous Peoples to the Spanish rule, to Texas as its own nation.
The Black Prince
A biography of an English Royal during the Hundred Years’ War with France and the Black Death that killed 30% of the humans on earth.
Blame and excuses are how weak people hide from responsibility.
When it comes to goals, people and priorities, I only spend time on my top three.
Choose a life of your own design.
Live life on the courts, not in the stands.
Read, read, read.
If you make decisions based in past experiences, you will get what you have always gotten. Is that what you want?
Mediocrity is chronic inconsistency – Jim Collins
No performance without action.
Smartphones killed the balanced life. Now there is only a life of choice.
If it takes more than two emails, pick up the phone.
People sexually underperform because they are not actually present.
Alcohol and drugs are the sissy way of being in the moment.
Time is precious
Don’t let 10% of the voices on social media sound like 90%
If you are living in choice, there is no such thing as wasted time
The false advertising of fast food companies should make you sick to your stomach.
Save 20 percent and risk the rest – you only have one life
Your brain is a hard drive. Power down to power up and maximize your life.
A leader creates a future that would otherwise not have occurred.
Integrity is not morality. Integrity is doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.
Even a gangster can have integrity.
Find out if you are interesting without alcohol.
Coke, Pepsi and all other pops will be known as the cigarettes of the future (1998)
Good conversation is currency.
Luxury = time + space
Design your future life and goals as though you have amnesia.
Never make lame lunch plans you do not intend to keep.
Hydrate. Caffeinate. Meditate.
Do it right fucking now
Trust your gut – your body is always honest
Gender means nothing, love means everything.
Playing it safe leads to mediocrity, not greatness.
Your brain is designed for survival and reproduction not for living a phenomenal life.
People will subconsciously elevate the underdog and cut the legs off great thinkers to increase the number of people in the middle to reproduce with.
You can choose to override your basic instincts of survival.
Mediocre people have a low tolerance for other peoples’ success.
Mediocre people have a low tolerance for other people’s success
If people compare you to Gandhi, you have not done your job. Our life is to see people go beyond what we hold as iconic.
Without Orville’s first plane, the jet would have never been built. We must start somewhere to develop greatness
To create the next best thing, you may have to leave something you are fully invested in behind.
Sit alone for one hour a week with a pen and a piece of paper. Think big.
Eat more plant food; eat less food manufactured in plants.
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out charge card
For the most part, your present and future are determined by letting go of the past
Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special
Make big decisions as though you are lying on your deathbed. What is really important?
An entrepreneur may be someone too incompetent to work for someone else
What other people think of you is none of your business
Time or choice heals everything
However good or bad a situation is, it will change
Forgive your mother and father
Feeling uninspired? Surround yourself with children
Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it
Time is a non-renewable resource – Kristen Lamb
Coffee is the perfect chaser to water
Juiced fresh local veggies are the next medicine
Surf, ski, skate, smoke, smoked salmon, Greenpeace, Mayor Moonbeam, urban hippies, undercover athletes, lummy mummies, the Grouse Grind, the ‘Couve Cruise, Wreck Beach and the best damn tap water in the world – Vancouver
If you are sweating, you are present and powerful
Travel will show you there are many ways of being right
The many religions tell us there is no single right way, only many right ways
Being an informed cheerleader is different from complaining
Come up with three solutions for every question or challenge
When something goes wrong ask the Japanese 5 WHY’s to get the real answer
Media will create sensation to create hits to sell advertising to feed their families. Find the truth
Train yourself to meditate in one minute. Power down to power up
Time is the most expensive commodity
Don’t let anyone waste your time
The more committed you are to something the more you experience success and happiness
Believe you can, you will
Fear and doubt is a choice just like faith and patience
Give up “looking good”. Everyone subconsciously knows a fake
Respect feels like love
You are responsible for the energy you bring into a space – Jim Bolte
This is not our practice life – Dr. T
Our people don’t want a pat on the back, they want to contribute and be effective
To be of any value as a human being you have to keep growing
Morning burpees are better for you than morning coffee
Salt + butter + high fructose corn syrup = death
Read everything you can; knowledge is the competitive equalizer
If I have over 15 “friends” I am overloading my capacity to be close
My outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much I like myself
Firing someone bad is easy, firing someone good is difficult
Everything in moderation, including mediocrity
I can only love someone else to the extent I love myself
Stretching goals, failing and resetting our goals, prepares us for normal life
Dog urine kills grass but the right amount of urine makes grass grow extraordinarily faster in the circle around the pee. We now know a little DDT may be good to kill cancer. German track athletes smoke after a race. Vaccines work. Perhaps a few cigarettes or a Coke is very good for you in small doses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for the poor or uneducated or those susceptible to addiction
I will never stop working because all I can see is possibility
On my tombstone, I want it to say “all used up” – Werner Erhard
Learn the code of Chip Wilson through 88 unique observations collected over a lifetime that can guide you through the trials and opportunities that life presents you with.
The lululemon manifesto is a useful way to share the company culture with the community. A graphic representation of the brand’s core values, it’s an evolving collection of bold thoughts that allow for real conversations to take place.
In 1998, the manifesto was created in 30 minutes from a collection of life experiences, the readings of the books Good To Great, Habits of Highly Effective People, Psychology of Achievement and the Landmark Forum courses. The Manifesto was the #1 reason people came to work at lululemon which in turn created a solid, cross functioning culture. The Manifesto was so popular that I decided save paper and print it on the side of the first recyclable shopping bags. I believe the combination of a reusable bag and the manifesto created one of the greatest marketing projects of all time.Read the Manifesto
Consider the Hedgehog
In his famous essay, the hedgehog and the fox, Isaiah Berlin divided the world into two animals. Based upon an ancient greek parable, “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”, the hedgehog concept is developed in the book Good to Great, by Jim C. Collins. A simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles,
1) What are you deeply passionate about
2) What you can be the best in the world at
3) What best drives your economic or resource engine.
Transformations from good to great come about by a series of good decisions made consistently with a hedgehog concept, accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time.
|Pillar||Best in the world||Passion||Economic engine|
|HIA||Transformational development||Health & business longevity||Diversifying in areas of high expertise|
|Low tide||Creative office in vancouver; multi-family in Seattle||Designing neighborhoods for the 32-year old muse||Buying the right building, in the right location, at the right price|
|Wilson 5 foundation||Creating what otherwise would not occur||Getting people moving||Simplicity in governance|
|Active private equity||Technical athletic apparel||Athletics||Big bets and focus|
|Passive investments||Finding top private equity funds||2030 diversification strategy||Self-funding private equity in seven years|
|Best in the world||Transformational development|
|Passion||Health & business longevity|
|Economic engine||Diversifying in areas of high expertise|
|Best in the world||Creative office in vancouver; multi-family in Seattle|
|Passion||Designing neighborhoods for the 32-year old muse|
|Economic engine||Buying the right building, in the right location, at the right price|
|Pillar||Wilson 5 foundation|
|Best in the world||Creating what otherwise would not occur|
|Passion||Getting people moving|
|Economic engine||Simplicity in governance|
|Pillar||Active private equity|
|Best in the world||Technical athletic apparel|
|Economic engine||Big bets and focus|
|Best in the world||Finding top private equity funds|
|Passion||2030 diversification strategy|
|Economic engine||Self-funding private equity in seven years|