Convince Anyone

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, What=Compelling Focus
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Want to convince someone to do something that–so far–they have not done?

You can.

Just show the other person how your idea is an absolute win for them (and for you). Of course, you’ll have to start by understanding what makes a win for them.

Tricky? Takes a long time? Perhaps. And I know you can pull it off ; it will be so worth it.


In your corner,


PS: this works for you and your spouse, children (most any age), employees, boss, prospects, customers, friends, parents, other family members, politicians, etc. Give it shot.

Leading Without All The Effort

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Success, Sweetspot, We=All Who Matter
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Last night, my wife hosted a small meeting at our house. The group was gathered to plan an important, impactful event. My role was logistics: help with refreshments, get the kids to bed, etc.

At the end of the evening, the group’s leader thanked me. In fact, I should have thanked him. I got to be part of something exciting where talented and passionate people were working in their SweetSpots. I wanted to help.

The usual ways of getting people to do stuff are full of struggle. The incentives, cajoling, pleas, threats, and politics feel crappy to others and exhaust you. Lose-lose.

When you operate from your SweetSpot, everyone knows it. And the people who matter most to you will want to participate–at least in part–because it feels good. You will be drawing them into their own SweetSpots. And it will feel almost effortless to you. Win-win.

Yeah, I like the second option better, too.


In your corner,


PS: By the way, we are not talking about charisma. A charismatic leader can be in her SweetSpot…or can be trying to cajole, plea, motivate with excitement. You can feel the difference.

What’s In The Way?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Career, Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, Strategy, Success, Sweetspot, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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You can remove obstacles to success once you see them.

This simple diagnostic will uncover most every obstacle. It works for both you and your business. Just answer these questions.

  • What is your clear, compelling (and if we’re taking about your business, your commonly-understood) goal?
  • Who is helping me (us)? How am I (are we) helping them? Do you and they agree you are both winning in this partnership?
  • Do you know you will succeed?
  • Are you pushing yourself (yourselves) hard? Are you avoiding tasks? Are you struggling?

All Play! Let’s try something different today. If you are willing, reply online to this post with your answers to these questions and what you think your answers imply. I’ll look over what you write and reply with some ideas to help. Since you will be posting on a public website, please leave out people’s names and companies’ names.

Go for it!


In your corner,


Double-Dog Dare You NOT to Fight, Complain, Criticize

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Career, Do=Natural flow of action, Good: Your Good Work, Leading, Organizations, Strategy, Success, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
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Do not fight, criticize, or complain about anyone or anything. Doing so has a very odd way of cementing into your business, career, and life whatever it is that you do not like.

And I do not recommend that you just accept whatever you do not like.

Instead, get cleverer. Decide what you would rather see. Then build that.

To your continued success,


Slow Down to Speed Up

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

We need to influence other people’s actions every day.

To do so, we usually try what I call “going faster to speed up.” We tell, suggest, teach, make a case, or argue. Sometimes we’ll use indirect influencing emotions like excitement or guilt. Then we hope that they’ll do what we want sooner than later.

The problem is that these methods actually slow you down. They raise the other person’s defenses and cause resistance. Why?  People always resist being told–directly or indirectly–what to do, how to do it, and how to think. Even if they don’t show it and even if there is trust between you, they will resist.

You can succeed by pushing: doing more and more of the above tactics. And that will not work for very long.

Or you can take the time to do things like

  • Flex to match their communication style.
  • Agree on what is true now in the situation and what you’d like to be true.
  • Seek to understand their perspective, their suggestions, and what would make a win for them.
  • Make requests and negotiate what will be done by when and by whom.

You need not do all of these all the time. As trust builds (which it will) and on less important issues, you can do fewer.

As you slow down, you’ll speed up results now and down the road.


To your continued success,


Why Organizations Fail – Another Symptom

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Organizations, Strategy, Success, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus
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In the previous post, I said that organizations often fail because they are focused on the wrong things.  Symptoms include people arguing over how something gets done, who decides things, and when things get done.

Here is a related symptom of the same problem: protracted arguing over which ideas, projects, strategies, and investments should be chosen.

You can tell a team or organization is focused on the wrong things if you notice they are stuck and

  • arguing about which ideas, strategies etc. are better without first agreeing on how they will evaluate the ideas etc.,
  • unable to select and stick with a strategy,
  • making seemingly random decisions,
  • rejecting certain reasonable ideas out-of-hand, or
  • accepting other reasonable or not-so-reasonable ideas without due consideration.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms recently?  Not to worry, the solution is simple.

Next post: what they need to do instead.

Why Organizations Fail

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Organizations, Strategy, Success, We=All Who Matter
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Organizations often fail because they focus on the wrong things.

When you see any group (leadership team, functional team, sports team, board, entire organization, family, etc.) stuck and

  • bickering,
  • power struggling, or
  • getting lost in the minutiae,

they are likely focused on how something should be done, who does or decides what, and when these things will get done. Though important, focus on these things leads to dysfunction or destruction unless the group first focuses on the right things.

To succeed, any group must first focus then agree on the answers to these three questions:

  • What is true?
  • What do we want to be true?
  • Why?

Then the detailed arguments about how, who, and when can continue because they will make sense in the light of the right context.


To your continued success,


Believe It More Than They Do

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Hiring, Leading, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
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To lead, coach, teach, parent, influence, or sell, you can study lots of techniques. And I recommend you do.

To do these very well, cultivate your belief in others. Develop such a strong belief in each person’s abilities, potential, and future successes–even before you see any evidence–that they begin to believe it, too.


To your continued success,


P.S. If you have trouble imagining that this could work, consider this: What would happen if you believed the opposite? Also, you don’t have to believe something ridiculous. Just believe something that is even a little bit better than what they are now.

Politics is a Symptom

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, Organizations, Success, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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Where you see politics in your workplace, resist the temptation to blame your co-workers. Yes, there are some people who are naturally very political. They foster power struggles, intrigues, backstabbing, and information/asset hoarding. But most of the politics you see at work are symptoms of larger problems. These problems are

  1. a lack of a clear, commonly understood, and compelling direction,
  2. a lack of win-win relationships throughout the organization based on trust, clarity of roles, and accountability,
  3. a lack of effective habits of execution, and
  4. a lack of leadership habits and tools to create the 1-3 above.

If your organization shows symptoms of politics, which of these 4 areas do you have the most influence over right now? Let’s start there.


To your continued success,



The Best and Worst Ways to Describe a Role

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Hiring, Leading, Strategy, Success
Reading time: 2 min.

“Fit” is such an important driver for people and need for organizations. Everyone–from the big boss to the mail room clerk–in every organization–from the largest multi-national to a sole proprietor–needs to understand where she fits and how she contributes to the organization.

The worst way to define a role is with a job description. A job description lists things like tasks or functions performed in the job, who the job reports to, and the skills required to do the job. Job descriptions don’t guide the person in the role because they are hard to recall, follow, and change as time and business needs change. Example: “The job of special assistant to the associate team leader includes drafting, distributing for comment, and publishing the daily TPS reports.”

The best way to define a role is with key accountabilities. Any role can be described in three to five of these sentences that answer the question, “At the end of the year, what will we see to know that this job has been done well?” Roles defined by key accountabilities are simpler to grasp and easier to manage. Example: For a sales person, the key accountabilities might be “Generate at least $20M in revenue for the company this year,” “Support existing clients; 80% of revenue will come from existing clients.”

Try it. Define your role (or one you have to hire for soon) in three-to-five mostly measurable sentences. Then watch how much easier it becomes to do, hire, or manage that role.


To your continued success,


P.S. Do any companies still have mail room clerks?