Subtracting with Professor Leidy Klotz


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Leidy Klotz is a professor at the University of Virginia, studying how we transform things from how they are to how we want them to be. He co-founded and co-directs the Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative (CBSI) at the University of Virginia. CBSI works to address climate change, systemic inequality, and other issues that combine the understanding of human behavior and the systems that this behavior creates. He has also authored over 80 research articles and has appeared in Nature and Science, The Washington Post, Fast Company and more.

Prior to becoming a professor at University of Virginia, Leidy designed schools in New Jersey and played professional soccer.

His recent book, Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less, released in April 2021, focuses on problem-solving and looks to prove why we overlook subtraction and how we can access its true potential. The book taps into why we add “to-dos” but don’t consider the “stop-doings.”

In this week’s podcast, we talk engineering, subtraction, confidence, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Engineering thought process
  • Subtracting to change something from how it is to how we want it to be
  • Why we add instead of subtract
  • Subtracting in athletic training
  • Without doing less, you can’t do more and are less efficient
  • It takes confidence to do subtract
  • Subtracting is not the same as not adding

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