Are You In Danger of Being Understood?

"I don't feel safe," Izzy said. The court appointed agent looked around and told her, "This looks like a pretty safe place to me." Izzy was at her mom's house.  She's at the beginning of a court negotiated recovery like what Tiger Woods is using to clear his record.   Izzy is working through addiction issues.  Her family is working through their issues with her addiction. Safe did not mean safe.  It meant understood -- or not judged.   The problem with being an addict  is that your behaviors … [Read more...]

Can You Get Better By Grace?

T The blood drained from my face.  I felt ashamed. I thought she was texting.   I snarled, "Is that related to what we're working on now?"   Michelle looked up.  Taken aback and off balance, she replied , "I'm taking notes on what you're saying so I can remember later.  I didn't want to take down the presentation I'm projecting to take notes."   I apologized. Michelle said, "It's okay."   "No, it's not," I replied.   I apologized again.   "It's fine."   Again, I said, "No, it's not."   … [Read more...]

Change Is Gonna Come

I read the quote nearly every day.  It dangles at the bottom of his emails.   Each time I read it, I feel a flush of regret of the inertia in the past and present; the dread of a future where the truth of the quote compounds with interest. The quote reads:    "Every day you don’t do something, it makes it less likely that you will ever do something." What gets in the way of the doing something is either a lack of clarity of purpose or a lack of faith.  Some may be uncomfortable with the … [Read more...]

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...]