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...]

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...]

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...]

The Best Question To Ask If You Want Make A Difference

I emailed Jim requesting access to the financials for my project.  This was the 3rd request in 2 months.   He responded with "Your already supposed have access.  But I'm not the expert about this."  I was frustrated.  I would not have asked for access if I had not already tried.  He offered no value in his response. I could have left it at that.  I didn't.  I replied to him saying, "I can't see the site.  Can you let me know who I can talk who is the expert?"  Two minutes later I received an … [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...]