Lighting Matches on a Windy 4th of July

I closed the last book. They sat there awkwardly. Some looked at me blankly. Others' minds and bodies wandered off.  Mrs. Bush said, "What do we say?" The class mumbled, "Thank you ... ," not quite in unison or unanimity. "What dooo we saayy?!,"  Mrs. Bush repeated with greater expectations. The kids screamed, "THANK YOU!" I was the "Mystery Reader" for Evie's class. She's one of my twin 4 year olds.  I read 3 books ... two too many for the attention span of ten 4 year olds. They tuned in and … [Read more...]

Are You Leading Learners? Sink or swim

Embed from Getty Images Ellie stood at the side of the pool.  "I want my floaties!"  I told her she wasn't getting her floaties.  I needed her to be brave.  She melted down like a Bomb Pop in the Texas summer sun.  I walked to the edge where she stood.  I encouraged her to just let me hold her in the water.  She got in cautiously. I floated her around, holding her by her bathing suit.  I encouraged her.  She relaxed.  I told her to put her face in the water as she swam.  "No.  I'm … [Read more...]

Today Is A Good Day for No Words

Reid said, "I normally don't have a loss for words."   I replied awkwardly, looking for something to say.   "Today's a good day for no words."  Reid was at the Peace Rally the night before.  He drove out of the parking garage, where one of the snipers was setup, 25 minutes before the assault on the police and protesters began. It's the day after five police officers were killed in Dallas.  My wife, Jen, and I were at the noon prayer vigil at Thanks-giving Square in downtown Dallas.  This is … [Read more...]

Learn This Easy Magic Trick. It’s quick!

  I walked in the door to the office this morning.  Joe, the security guard, waved and smiled.  I caught him in the corner of my eye, over my shoulder.  I turned and waved back.  A smile crossed my face.  I realized this was a ritual that started my day with pleasure.  It was small.  But valued. I stopped, turned around, and walked to Joe.  I opened the glass door to the small reception area where Joe sits.  I told Joe how much I appreciated his wave and smile in the morning.  I … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

The Courage to Live

The other night I met with a man who a friend who connected me with.  We don't know the 'why' behind our connection yet.  We're figuring that out.  He could become a friend, a mentor, a business opportunity...  We'll see. We enjoyed a 3 hour conversation about business, life, and Spirit.  For most of the night, the conversation was spontaneous and authentic.  We were honest and real with one another. At around the two-hour mark, we started talking about the church that Jen and I started in … [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...]