Mirror, mirror on the wall

We design the book cover of our autobiography.  Our cover tells others the essence of who we aspire to be.  People reflect back what they see on our cover.  Then we become more like what is reflected back to us.  So what we project to others grows in our lives at home and in business. We are all autobiographies.  Our books are written by our actions, our thoughts, our feelings and our beliefs.  Your autobiography is the work in progress that is your life.   Most people won't ever get past the … [Read more...]

Judge a book by it’s cover.

Peter* said to me, "You're courageous and enthusiastic.  Your energy inspired me.  I've accomplished things I wouldn't have started before."   We were performing an exercise providing others with evidence-based encouragement.  I was humbled.  I was honored.  I was confused. I didn't view myself as courageous and enthusiastic.  I didn't think of myself as inspiringly energetic.  I had hardly any interaction with Peter in our 7 weeks working together.   Yet I had this influence on him. Peter … [Read more...]

The Problem with me is…

The problem with me is that I think that there's a problem with me.  I tell myself and others about that problem. And why I can't accomplish what I want to accomplish because of the problem. Where does that leave me?  Trapped ... with a problem and without the accomplishment the problem kept me from achieving. The problem is not with me.  The problem is what I'm saying. I am telling myself what I am not capable of.  I am telling myself that I screwed it up last time ... I'll probably … [Read more...]

S/he’s just not that into you

It's funny how quickly I can turn to torturing someone.  I think that I'm much better about this than I used to be.  I remember when my friend, Bobby*, asked me about the Boot Camp where I work.  He asked, "What is it?"   Six minutes later, he had more glaze on his eyes than a double-dipped bearclaw.  Bobby thought he was pressing a button on the water fountain for a sip.  He didn't realize he was cranking open a fire hydrant.  I didn't realize Bobby was being polite.  Like many people, I love … [Read more...]

WTF! If you don’t show it, they don’t know it.

Jen was standing in my arms crying.  She sobbed, "It was so beautiful.  I couldn't imagine it just going to just anybody on Craigslist." My wife, Jen and I are expecting twins.  We've been amazed at the outpouring of support from others.  Friends have showered us with what was once part of their journey of having babies.  We're so grateful that our friends and acquaintances are so generous in spirit (I apologize for Thank You notes that you haven't seen yet). We were offered a crib.  The … [Read more...]

WTF! Communicate Effectively…

A few weeks ago, I forwarded a Harvard Business Review "Management Tip of the Day" to a friend.    The tip was about ensuring effective communication.  Effective communication often means successful execution.  Poor communication often translates into poor execution.  Effective communication costs a little extra time.  Poor communication costs a lot of money. My friend is gifted at boiling things down to their most essential parts.  He's mastered Einstein's ideal:  make everything as simple … [Read more...]

Leadership Larry David-style

I enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Some people don't.  I love how Larry David says what so many wouldn't.  Yes, it causes trouble sometimes.  But life has trouble sometimes.  Especially in business and relationships. I can spend hours, days or weeks coming up with right way to speak to a situation that's frustrating me.  It creates stress and anxiety for me.  While I'm trying to get things just right, the situation I want to address lingers on.  The longer I spend figuring out how to say what I … [Read more...]

You’ll never know unless you ask.

You're not so smart that you know all the answers.  Those people around you aren't as stupid as you think they are. I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. -Galileo Galilei Start asking questions of those who work for you and around you.  Do the same with those people you live with.   They may surprise you, make you money, or make your life easier.  That would be nice.  Wouldn't it? You'll never know unless you ask...  (Right, Mom?) … [Read more...]

Give back, get more.

Last week I was speaking with my friend, Ben*.  He's a business owner who opened his doors a few weeks ago.  His business is built on high touch, face-to-face sales.  One of his employees asked him if she could start using the Internet and phones to sell.  This would be a BIG change to his business model.   He had many concerns.  Legitimate concerns about things like costs, closing ratios, and the like.  He was trying to come up with all of the answers himself. This happens a lot.  A manager … [Read more...]

Pick up the Ball: A Simple Way to Save Face

I was emailing with a colleague to set up a time to meet.   Then she dropped of the radar.   I wondered what happened ... was it me?  Was there something I said?   After a couple of weeks I was about to follow up with her.  Then I received this email from her: "I’m completely rude. I apologize profusely for not getting back to you. I am so sorry. I think my brain has been swallowed by a hippopotamus or something. Can we try again?" Boy, did she save face.  I was completely disarmed.  I got a … [Read more...]