Here’s A High Value Proposition

Thirty years ago we had 1 hour of national news a day.   We had 3 stations to choose from.  We watched either Cronkite, Chancellor or Reasoner at 7pm (East Coast) on ABC, CBS, or NBC.  If you watched TV at 7pm, you were probably watching the news.  Nothing else was on. There was competition between the national news organizations at 7pm.  There weren't many outside competitive threats because the choice was news or news.  The competition that existed drove up quality.   The news outlets … [Read more...]

Is it time for new decision?

Tim made a discovery that can change his life.   It might change your life, too. Tim and his dad own a business together.  A prospect asked Tim's firm if they performed a type of planning service.   Tim thought they could meet the prospect's need.  Tim's father gave him a list of reasons why they couldn't. A life changing observation struck Tim.  "My dad always looks for excuses explaining why something won't work.  He taught me to do the same thing." Tim's a hard charger in many areas … [Read more...]

Perfect is a myth… A simple way to overcome it

I said, "Quality is overrated."   Richard's jaw dropped.  This was heresy to a man of German heritage like Richard.  I took time to explain.  If we wait for perfection to get something out the door, we can wait a long time.  A working prototype comes before the good enough product.  Focus on getting to "It works ... enough"  before striving for perfection. Ernest Hemingway said "The first draft of anything is sh!t." The first draft of anything is a draft completed.  It is a completed piece of … [Read more...]

A simple way to be a better leader – Pt 3

  I squatted down to put Sophie, my 4 year old niece, on the pew.  She sat down.  When she leaned back she cracked her head on the seat back.   It was like a softball hitting a wooden bat. She looked at me quizzically.  The expression asking, "What should I do?"   Her eyes showed she was leaning towards crying.  I had a moment to decide. I'm just starting to get used to being around kids.  God's been giving me practice.  Good thing.  My two new babies will arrive in about 3 … [Read more...]

A simple way to be a better leader – Part 1

In the past few days I saw a simple truth about the language of leadership. Ned and Nancy were trying to get their son to get into the pool.  Their son, Niles, was scared of the water. "Do you want to get in the pool?" asked Ned.  "Do you want to try to stand on the first step?" Niles froze at the decision point.  He was anxious and uneasy.   His answers came non-verbally.  Niles stopped and backed away from the pool's edge.   Parents are leaders.  The leaders were putting the child … [Read more...]

How do you find your way home…

The pastor, Paul's, voice was thrown from the ceiling speakers.  Dave stared into space.  Paul spoke about the power of confession.  The cleansing and healing that comes when we confess to another person.  Dave sat.  A 1000 yard stare.  He looked lost.  Distant.  Like someone who could not see beyond the miles of brokenness that led him to this moment. We never saw Dave before.  We offered Dave something to drink and food to eat.  The state trooper who was taking a break from shadeless shade … [Read more...]

Follow the leader

I walked down the row of cubes.  Someone from my team grabbed me.  "They did it again.", they said.  We had another team that we worked with.  We didn't see eye to eye.  We didn't have mutual respect.  It seemed each team thought the other team was a bunch of idiots.  I got fired up.  I'm insulted the other team.  I'm sure I "should" all over them.  - They should do this, They should do that.  I'm damn certain I cursed.  I'm sure I poured gasoline on the fire.  The fire burned higher.  The … [Read more...]

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...]

Is Something is better than nothing?

We knocked on the door.  Dogs barked.  We stood waiting.  The dogs stopped.  Jen texted Henry to let him know we were at his door.   A minute later his girlfriend opened the door.  It was our first time to meet.  We walked in. Henry was in an explosion last week.  He experienced burns that will take  a while to heal.  He was in the hospital for a couple of days.  He got home today.  A friend of ours called to let us know what happened. We picked some things up for Henry.  We forgot to pick … [Read more...]