Ask, Don’t Tell?

  My friend's team was filled with some ridiculously smart people.  They were smart with technology. They just weren't people smart.  He was telling me about the challenges they had working together. I had lunch with another friend a couple of months ago.  He told me how he had learned to make people be part of the plan.  The people make the plan happen.  They might be inconvenient to work with.  But nothing happens with out them. The team with the smart people struggle mightily … [Read more...]

How much is pain worth?

  He said, "You know how we have to protect the foundation.  Sometime we have to be aggressive."  I was talking to a friend I used to work with.  He worked on a team that had an us vs. them mentality.  It created issues sometimes. They didn't always ask the questions they needed answered when they're customers approached them with a project.  Then their customer would surprise them with a last minute requirement ... one that might have been revealed with the questions that didn't get … [Read more...]

How to have your cake and eat it, too.

I watched the 4 year old boy try to get entire cake from mom.  Like a good mother, she does not allow the 4 year old to have the whole cake.  She offers a bite.  He refuses it.  He wants the entire thing. Think big.  Push boundaries.  Be bold.  Be unreasonable about what you want and what you're willing to do get it. Start by taking a step.  Take the first bite that's there for you.  Then work to get the next one.  You'll get your whole cake if you push hard enough.  It will just take … [Read more...]

How are you making it easier?

I'm beating this horse this week. The girls stopped eating.  We found out their bottles flow rating was too low.  Babies won't work too hard to eat.  They'd rather not eat ... then drive their parent crazy as the scream because they're hungry. We bought them new nipples.  They make it much easier for the girls to eat.  They started eating more than before and 3 times faster. It's easy to get caught up in make the tool or the process 'perfect.'  If it makes people work too hard, they … [Read more...]

What why are you giving?

  I learned recently that babies won't work too hard to eat.  They'll stop eating if their nipple makes them work to get the milk.  We learned this because our girls stopped eating a few weeks ago.  We bought new nipples with higher flow.  They ate faster than ever. Babies don't know that food is worth something.  So they won't work too hard for it.  Show your team why it's worth doing what you're asking to do. Give them a big why.  Or they might just act like babies. … [Read more...]

What’s your nature?

  The girls stopped eating most of their bottles a few weeks ago.  It was like they were on strike.  We asked around and googled for insight.  We learned something. We were using the wrong nipples.  You can buy baby bottle nipples with different flow rates.  You give higher flow rated nipples as the babies grow. Babies would rather not eat than work too hard to eat.  They're not consciously choosing.  They don't have that capability.  It's just in their nature.  They'll under … [Read more...]

Are you putting the pieces of the puzzle together?

  Jen was frustrated with me.  We were talking about something that was on going for two months.  I was giving her bits and pieces.  She asked a question.  I'd go back into something I told her about 4 weeks before and talk about that.  She asked another question.  I fast forward to another conversation we had a week after the conversation that I went back into for the previous question she asked.  Then I came back to the present.  Confusing! Pieces of the puzzle were all over the … [Read more...]

Just tell the story

    Jen looked at me frustratedly.  I sighed deeply, exasperated.  We'd been talking for 10 minutes getting nowhere.  She cried out, "This is going all over the place.  Just tell me what happened!"   Another sigh released from me.  I went to the beginning of the story. Two months ago, I drove over a ditch left uncovered by a construction crew.  It was nighttime.  When the car struck the ditch it surprised the shit out of me as felt the front slam thunderously.   The rims on … [Read more...]

What will you give?

    Will you give yourself permission to be uncomfortable today? Will you give yourself permission to be more than who you were yesterday? Will you give yourself permission to dig a hole for you to get out of tomorrow? Will you give yourself permission to seek that spark of an idea? Will you give yourself permission put your ideas together? Will you give yourself permission to reveal your ideas to the world? Will you give yourself permission to ignore … [Read more...]

Are you asking for permission or wisdom?

Instead of asking 'What do you think I should do?" ask someone "How would you go about doing this?" It moves the person you're asking past the decision whether you should or shouldn't.  It gives them permission to talk about something they might not do themselves.  It gives them permission to imagine a little bit.  This stands a better chance of getting their wisdom and insight. You're not looking for permission - well, you might be ...  but you already have it (we talked about that … [Read more...]