Culture Is The Game

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Growth, Leading, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.

Lou Gerster
former CEO of IBM
Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? (2002)

Our job as leaders is culture. That is, our job is to constantly steward the idea what value we will pursue, build the team the deliver it, ensure the systems are in place to support that delivery, and have everyone’s predominant focus be on what’s right and what can make it even better.

That’s the whole game.


In your corner,



Today’s image by IQRemix from Canada (FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 – Edmonton) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wise Leaders’ Way to Sustained Happiness, Growth, and Freedom

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Growth, We=All Who Matter
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It’s not market share, innovation, or strategy. It’s not earning per share, EBITDA, or another round of funding. It’s also not left-wing, right-wing, or centrist policies. Though it sounds like Sunday school treacle, we wise leaders know the way to sustained happiness, growth, and freedom. It is to help others achieve sustained happiness, growth, and freedom.



In your corner,


PS: We know it because we’ve experienced the joy and profit of helping others be in any way more joyful and more profitable. If you haven’t yet, trust and try it.


Today’s photo credit: FootMassagez Gift, Birthday, Surpise – Credits to via photopin (license)

A Deep Insight

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Growth, Leading, Organizations, Success, We=All Who Matter
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It can look like complaint, frustration, withdrawal, fear, defensiveness, anger, worry, guilt, pushing, or avoiding. No matter. If anything has led you to believe that you are separate, above, below, isolated, or disconnected from any and all others, please–please–look again.

The deep-down insight here is that, despite appearances, all of us are intimately connected. We are not only all in this together, we are all this together.


In your corner,


PS: And, despite appearances, we each can experience this deep-down insight first-hand. It usually sneaks up on us and feels a-bit-scary-a-lot-wonderful.

PPS: When we get this, business and life flows so much better.

PPPS: And then we unleash all that creativity, fun, and success we’ve suspected was always there.

PPPPS: Too vague? Too esoteric? Yah, that happens.  A tip: pretend “we are one” is true and see what happens.

PPPPPS: A big part of our job as leaders is to hold this open for others to get, too.


Today’s photo credit: modesrodriguez Cosmos via photopin (license)

This Changes Everything

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Growth, Leading, Success, We=All Who Matter
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Two simple thoughts cause most of the pain and dysfunction we see around us. They are, “We are separate,” and, “There is not enough.”

Consider what would happen if people started believing the opposite: “We are one,” and, “There is more than enough.” How would our own lives change? How would all the nasty, divisive, and fearful politics change? What would become of all the injustices? How much better would our companies and institutions run?  What about rage, war, hunger, poverty, and violence?

Would everyone believing in our unity and abundance solve all the problems? Is it even true that we are one and abundant? Perhaps not. But which is more likely to solve our problems, big and small: believing in our isolation and lack or believing in our unity and abundance?

Right. Good. Off you go. Be this change.


In your corner,


PS: Make no mistake: I advocate no political perspectives. To date, all political approaches have spawned from the thoughts of separation and lack. Just read headlines and history to see it.


Today’s photo credit: Oksana cc

5 Business Plan Mistakes to Avoid

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Growth, Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Here are five business plan mistakes. If we can avoid these, we will get the promised benefits of business plans including clarity, alignment, performance, and confidence.

Mistake #1: The plan is the thing. Most of the power of a business plan is not the plan itself. The real value is in the work–the research, conversations, dreaming, and thinking–that we do to write a plan.

Mistake #2: We defer to The (One) Business Plan. Business plans–like every plan–are great for guiding us and are invalid as soon as the ink is dry. Once we start executing on our plan, we get new data and insights that call us to refine our plan. If we stick with the original plan, over time, it’ll let us down. Keep planning. Don’t think, “We need a business plan,” think, “We keep on business planning.”

Mistake #3: Business plans must be precise, accurate, complete, unassailable.  We’ve heard tell of the grand, intense, and detailed business plans that, once produced and presented, sit and gather dust on a shelf. Business plans must guide our days and weeks. Unless you’re putting together a tome to get a bank loan, do just enough work so that you are mostly sure. Make your plan an 80-20-rule, big-picture, one-page thing.

Mistake #4: I don’t need a plan. It’s way to easy to get lost in urgencies and never get where we’re going. Build a plan.

Mistake #5: I write the plans. People who will be accountable for delivering the plan need to have a say in making the plan. Share the burden; involve them; let them improve it.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Camille Rose cc

The Thing About Growth

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Growth, Leading
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This is the thing about growth: our businesses cannot reach beyond our ability to run them. Any lack of business growth is a good sign that we need to grow.

Luckily, we can measure and improve our leadership capacity. We need only a bit of self-trust to get going.

Learn and go grow, good leader.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Xianyi Shen cc