I don’t get no respect … this maybe why.

Rodney Dangerfield made a pretty good living with his trademark line,  "I don't get no respect.".   He made millions.  He started successful businesses.  His influence launched the careers of several iconic stars.  Here's the funny thing:  many people treated him with no respect offstage. He gave them permission when he told them  that he didn't get respect (even though it was a character).  We give permission to others to do that to us, too. Respect is about helping someone maintain their … [Read more...]

Lead forward.

I've heard that if sharks stop moving they die.  Everything that exists in our world demonstrates movement.  Rocks move.   Even if it's just at the molecular level. The cool thing is that we get to choose how we move.  We get to choose where we move.   Rocks are not so lucky. The word "Produce" comes from the Latin prōdūcere.   It breaks down to 'Pro': Forward and 'Ducere':  To Lead.   When we produce, we lead forward. Leading forward requires movement.  Leading forward requires … [Read more...]

Your baby is so, um, cute….

Everyone thinks their baby is beautiful.  Even that couple who has that kid you think looks like Ernie from Sesame Street.   A pregnant woman's body spends 9 months busy making a baby.   We don't know what that baby looks like until it's born.   We learn how beautiful (or ugly) our baby is after we produce it into the world.  Until the baby is born, we just can't know. The same is true of our ideas.  We can spend months working to make them real.  We won't know if their beautiful, … [Read more...]

Are you busy or are you productive?

I remember the first time I had to send an email out to a 1000 person audience.  I wrote the email.  Then I proofed the email.  Then I tweaked the email.  Then I proofed it.  Then I proofed it again.  Finally, I hit 'Send'.   Off it went. I spent 45 minutes making sure the email was just right after it was already written.  It wasn't.   I realized this after it was sent.   I was busy when I was writing, reading, re-writing and re-reading the email.  I produced the moment I sent the … [Read more...]

Want better? Do better!

This afternoon my wife and I got home after a busy day away.  We've been busy for the last several days.   I noticed that our dogs were becoming more needy.  They wanted more attention.  When we got home this afternoon our dogs were out of their minds.  They were all over us.  They were panting ... Nudging against us.  And being generally annoying. After a few minutes, we realized we haven't paid much attention to the dogs this week.   We haven't taken them on walks.  When we've been home we … [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...]

Ship, Partner

I was standing on top of a 40 foot cliff.  It was my turn to jump.  I hate heights.   My friends were calling for me to jump.  Too late to turn back now.  I launch into a head first dive.  My gut gets that feeling of having a wet towel twisted inside.  Then I hit the water.   Wooooo!   I made it.   If I was alone on that cliff's edge I don't think I would have jumped.  The encouragement, support and, maybe some friendly goading, got me to take the leap ... to take action. I meet with a group … [Read more...]

What’s your enemy?

  Who's ever found themselves working on something only to get to where you say, "Eh, that's good enough!"? When is good enough, good enough? If good is the enemy of great, when is good enough great? When does the pursuit of great become perfectionism that keeps us from delivering? When does Pareto and his insight about peas bring us to our knees as we pursue the good enough of 80% to the great of 90-100% Good may be the enemy of great. But great is the enemy of possible. I read … [Read more...]