Do you lead by example?

My mentor, Phillip, asked, "Where'd this thing with you putting your hands in the pockets come from?"   I didn't know the answer.   It appeared that I just picked up a habit of sticking my hands in my suit pockets.  And I didn't know why.  A no-no in the world of presenting is hands in pockets. John, the other trainer I was working with said, "I'll take responsibility for that."  It turned out that he has the habit of sticking his hands in suit pockets. The week before I spent 40 hours in … [Read more...]

Leadership is a contact sport

I don't enjoy playing basketball shirts vs skins.   I just don't enjoy sweaty men pressing and bumping into me. It affects my commitment level. I don't play as hard. It's not fair to my team for me to play and not be committed to the contact required of the game.  When shirts are on, I'm in. I'll throw my elbows around with the best of them.  Shirts off, I should walk away. Adam said, "That's not easy." I asked Adam whether being a good leader is easy or hard. He said, "Hard."   One of … [Read more...]

The problem with the perfect plan

I was listening to Car Talk on NPR.  Click and Clack were following up with a caller from an earlier show.  The caller wanted to transport a chicken coop via the highway on a snowmobile trailer.  Click and Clack told him it wouldn't work.  They were right. Chicken Coop guy's perfect plan was changed in real time as they tried to implement it.  They managed to move the coop with the snowmobile trailer.  But not where they needed to move it.  The snowmobile trailer died in town after a valiant … [Read more...]

Would you rather be needed or wanted?

The exercise started.  I was getting up to work the room.   A thought struck me.  "They don't need me."  I was hit with a sense of deflation.  It was a "What's the point?" moment.   I was at Boot Camp.   The irony, or hypocrisy, I'm working at a program built to help people find purpose and meaning.  And I'm struggling with my purpose and meaning.  We're human.  It happens. I spent a few moments looking at the situation.  The conversation with myself went like this:  "You're right.  They … [Read more...]

Find meaning and significance in life

The breeze blew firmly off the lake. We sat. The breeze brushing briskly in our faces. The hot sun bathing us from behind. Our church met at the Lake this weekend. We celebrated the lake's 100th anniversary. Andrew, our Pastor, started speaking. He suggested that we all want to have a life that was meaningful and significant. He was right ... at least to me. I want to have a life filled with meaning and significance. Sometimes I have it. I just finished another Boot Camp. I saw lives … [Read more...]

Stand still or step forward

Do you want to succeed?  Of course you do.  Who doesn't?  Even if you have a fear of success, somewhere inside whispers a voice that yearns for success.  I've tried to suffocate mine with a pillow.  But it keeps talking.  I've come to accept it.  Your definition of success might be different than mine.  You still have a definition of success.  You might as well pursue it. You will screw many things up on your way to succeeding.  If you don't, you probably won't be succeeding.  You might as … [Read more...]

Life is Long. Today is Short.

A  journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tsu A thousand mile walk is about 1,800,000 steps.  Sounds like that would take forever.  I bet it goes by a lot quicker than we'd think.  It goes by one step at a time.  The time will go by whether you take the journey or not.  It all starts with a step. Life is the longest thing you will ever experience in this world.  It goes by quicker than we'd think.  It goes by one day at a time. I want to live the life of a lifetime.  I … [Read more...]

Be smart. Write better.

The screen flashed the report.  It told me that I write at a post-graduate level.  It compared my writing to insurance documents.  I was proud.  I scored high.  No one could follow a single 62 word sentence I wrote.  But the computer told me I was smart.  Truth was I was being dumb.  I made things overly complex to feel smarter. I remember teachers coming to ask me what a word I used meant.  They didn't know the word (It was "Reify").  I thought I was smart.  Truth was I was being dumb.  I … [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...]

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...]