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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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