177. I’m brain-dead, virtually (Condition #25: caffeine)
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Let’s just get it out of the way: caffeine is one of the world’s great miracles. If you’re not a caffeine consumer, that’s fine: we can still be friends. But, I will never completely get you. For the rest of us, every bit of scientific evidence that I’m aware of suggests that caffein consumption, in moderation,  is both good for us – protecting against cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, some cancers, and more – and also has the potential (in my experience) to make us feel like we have a superpower. Also, seriously, check out the 2021 paper in Nursing Reports by Feng, Wang, Jose, Seo, Feng and Ge that looked at a 15 year dataset of 23,898 adults and found an inverse relationship between moderate caffeine intake and mortality from ALL CAUSES! I won’t say that caffeine makes you immortal…although…. Anyway, let’s bring this to the boardroom. I am pretty sure that one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with a board was when we arrived for our session at 8 in the morning on a Sunday expecting the local coffee shop to be open, only to learn that it was closed until 9:30. We made the stupid mistake of deciding to just push through without coffee for the first 90 minutes. The mistake was most obvious the moment that we got our coffee and the vibe, creativity, and engagement improved by about a million percent. But if we’d taken a step back from the start, we would have known right away that something just wasn’t clicking. Call it an addiction (it is), call it trivial (it isn’t), or dis it any way you like. But don’t try to convince me that caffeine doesn’t matter in the boardroom.

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