Lost in Distraction: Do you have blinders on?

  Donald asked me a question.  He's working on a project scheduled to complete in the next 5 weeks.  I started to answer his question.  Then I went on.  I told him about stuff happening in 8, 10, 16 weeks from now.  Don asked a follow-up question ... he was confused.  Don was thinking only in terms of the June project.  I screwed up.  I confused him by showing him a picture broader than he was looking for.   The only thing he cared about was the June project delivery. Don had blinders … [Read more...]

Are you qualified?

  We are all in sales.  Whether it's selling our idea of a great vacation to our wife or selling a Ford Pinto to a bizarre classic car enthusiast. We are all buying something, too.  It can be your 3 year old's proposal to have a cookie before dinner or the ill-advised, 3,000 calorie loaded potato skins at Hooligans. Qualifying is the key to make the most of our time (and effort) for selling and buying. A key goal is to get to 'No' quickly.  So you can know whether the prospect … [Read more...]

This Test Is Pass/Fail. Do You Pass This Test?

I've asked a lot people if they want a more significant and meaningful life.  Every person I ask says 'Yes'. They may be lying.  After all, it's a loaded question.  Who really wants to tell someone, "Eh, I really don't give shit ... I'm good enough."    Or they may be answering from the core of their soul.  Looking at how people live tells me it might be somewhere in between.   Or they just don't know how.  At least not consistently. What about you? How do you qualify yourself?  What … [Read more...]

Brilliance is a Breakthrough

  Think of  people you consider historically brilliant.  People who created dramatic impact on the course of history. How many asked for permission?  Not many.  Why? Brilliance breaks through ... Conventional Wisdom Expertise Reactionary Thinking Bureaucracies Stagnant markets Mediocrity Reasons it "won't work" No No No way No Brilliance doesn't ask.  It becomes. What are you becoming? … [Read more...]

Can you afford ‘No’?

  Hierarchical leadership is a permission machine.  The machine is primed to respond with "No". People's work becomes figuring out how to override the default response ... moving the machine to "Yes".  And then doing it again.  And again.   Working with the mysterious machine to get permission to move things forward. Managers might exist simply to push at the levers ... trying for the right combination to produce a "Yes".    Other managers might exist simply to increase the volume … [Read more...]

Do You Inspire Others? And Why It Matters.

    The opposite of inspiring  is uninspiring.  Brilliant observation, I know. What does being inspiring look like?  Passion, commitment, perseverance. What does being inspiring create in others? Engaged emotions Provoking new thought Motivated behavior What does being uninspiring look like?  Indifferent, undecided, yielding. What does being uninspiring create in others?  One of three things: Nothing ...  if we're lucky.   Being uninspiring becomes … [Read more...]

What We Frequent Becomes Our Frequency

  George, a rebel pastor I know talks about how we talk in terms of, "When I have X (Money, House, Car, Spouse) , then I'll do Y (Start a business, go to school, have a baby) and then I'll be happy."    He turns it on its head.  "When I am happy, then I'll do Y, then I will have X." What we frequent becomes our frequency.  A tuning fork vibrates when it is struck by the frequency its tuned to.  We are like adaptive tuning forks.  We vibrate at the frequency of what we are surrounded … [Read more...]

Want More Success? You’ll Have To Do This 1 Thing

  Will said, "They won't do it!  Have you read Sven's email.  He said 'No.'"   I asked Will, "Have you spoken to them?"   "No." I Instant Message Sven.  I bring up the situation, apologize for any way we miscommunicated in the past, and ask when there'd be a good time to chat.  Sven sent his phone number.  We had a quick conversation  and set up a meeting with a couple of other folks from his team. Sven's "No" turned to "Maybe."   Two more conversations and we got to "Yes." We … [Read more...]

How do you know if it’s too late?

To ... Take more risks.   Begin to exercise.  Eat healthier.  Spend a night together with your family.  Have a beer with a friend.  Ask her out.  Say I'm sorry.   Say I love you.  Buy her flowers.  Cook him a steak.  Buy him flowers.  Cook her a steak.  Manage your boss.  Manage your boss's boss.  Write a thank you note.  Quit your job.  Start a business.  Say hello to strangers.  Throw clay to make a lopsided bowl.  Sing karaoke.  Eat something you don't recognize.  Skydive.  Start a blog. … [Read more...]

There better be an good reason you don’t read this!

  Sometimes I get stuck in traffic.  You, too, huh? I'll start thinking to myself, "There better be an accident up there!"  When I'm really twisted, I think "Somebody better be hurt!". Sometimes the situations different.  Maybe it's bad service at a restaurant.  I let the manager know.  Then I think, "They better knock something off my bill!"  or "I better get dessert for free!"  Like I need a dessert ... "The DVR better record that show!"  "The light better not turn red!"  "The … [Read more...]