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...]

4 Keys to Amaze Your Customer

    Last week, Jen "asked"  me to donate it. The time had come.  I had to say goodbye to my old friend.  The 98 Lincoln.  It had 260,000 miles on it.  And it had a few issues.  Some larger than others.  The Lincoln had sit in front of the house for a month.  I hate to say goodbye. I called the Dallas CAN Academy.  They support education for students who struggle in traditional learning settings.  One way they do this is by taking donated cars. They provided one of the … [Read more...]

What are you making believe?

  A client turned around his shop's performance.  He reshaped his team.  He got them lined up with his plan and his vision. He did it in under 3 months. I asked him how he did it. "By making it believable." I asked him what he meant by that.  He said, "people need to see before they believe.  We're not where we need to be yet.  I'm what they see". A team won't follow a leader unless the leader believes in where their team is going.  People who lead others successfully make the … [Read more...]

Easy to please. Easier to displease.

  My wife, Jen, was exasperated with me.  I don't remember what the back and forth was about.  There are too many times to choose from. "You're so hard to please!" she said. "No, I'm not.  I'm easy to please ... I'm just easier to displease." This is not the best thing to think about myself.   I give power to factors out my control.  Then I feel a reduced sense of power and control in my life.  This leaves me displeased. There are a lot words for this.  I'll call it … [Read more...]

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 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...]

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...]

How do you win the battle of will?

I love feeding my girls.  They're 7 months old.  They don't know what they're doing.  It's a socio-science experiment.  What will they like?  What will they hate?  Will they clamp their mouth shut?  Will Ellie like one thing and Evie another? Jen and I treat every bite like it's fun and tasty.  "Mmmmmm", "Yummmyyyyy", "Yaaaaaaay".   We smile.  We pretend like we're chewing and swallowing. I learned quickly that it's not about them eating the food.  It's about enjoying the experience of … [Read more...]