Litmus Test: Are You Wasting Your Time?

  We might be deluded in the U.S.  We focus on being the best.  At everything.   And we ignore the results. We aim for exceptionalism ... being the outlier, the best, the far right of the bell curve.  We practice exceptionalism ... choosing exceptions to avoid doing what would make us exceptional. Societies around the globe invest deeply in their leisure.  The investment is the biggest we can make.  Time. It ranges from the daily to the seasonal.   Long walks with others, … [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...]

Is It Time To Overcome This Guilty Pleasure?

      If they say no,  you're justifiably frustrated... It's not your fault we're not doing it.   They didn't give permission.   You tried, right?Seeking permission can just be an escape.   An abdication of responsibility.  A guilty pleasure. If they say "yes" and it goes wrong,  they own the decision.   They should have seen it would not work.  What were they thinking!? If they say "yes" and it does work ... You're brilliant!  And it's a good thing they … [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...]

Want This Year to Be Easier? Read This.

  We scurried out of the house.  We just scored an hour with Jen's parents watching the girls.  A huge sigh of relief for both of us. It was in the 30s outside.  I said, "Let's walk."  Jen said, "It's too cold.  I'll need to get a hat and gloves if we walk."  I shrugged it off.  We hopped in the car and started driving.   I got to the light.  I realized how silly the objection of getting a hat and gloves was.  Walking 20 feet to get hat and gloves wouldn't have been a … [Read more...]

Messy love

  I like order in my home.  Clutter drives me crazy.  Especially other people's clutter. I'm not great at maintaining a clutter free world.  But I do my best.  Well, that's wrong.  If what I do is my best.  My best sucks.  Let's say I make an effort. I am great at being a hypocrite though.  When the little order that exists in my home is disrupted, my boxers get bunched. Last week, I walked out of the bedroom.  Went past the sleeping girls.  Walked past the guest room.  Then to … [Read more...]