The Rule of the Exception

  I just wrote an email of encouragement to my wife, Jen.  We started this habit 8 years ago.  Once a week, on Wednesday, we email each other encouragement.   There's enough encouragement to make a book. The encouragement is a great way for us to refocus on what we like about each other, love about each other and want for each other.  It's a great way ... until that day that's too busy.  Those times when I say to myself, I can't right now ... I'll get to it later.  The days when I lay … [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...]

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...]

What Could You Achieve With Crushing Authority?

  Rob started telling me about the cool stuff he was producing at work.  His team is building things that would cost millions to buy.  I was impressed with what his team accomplished.  I asked him his secret. His team saw problems.  They created solutions.  Rob's job was easy.  Just say "Yes." No one told them to do it.  They just did it.  Rob let them.  More than that... he encouraged them. Rob didn't try to manage his people (or their tasks).  He led his people and their … [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...]

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...]