How To Say No To Emails, Meetings, Etc.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1

It’s hard to say no to all the emails, meetings, interruptions, and other demands on our time. It is hard, that is, until we commit to something bigger, better, and more important to say yes to.

Yes. It’s that simple.


In your corner,


PS: Easy? Nope. Simple? Yes. Doable? By you!? Of course.

PPS: How to find that something? Look for something compelling. It will use your talents, engage your passions, involve you in problems and opportunities you care about, and leave you well cared for including being well paid. In short, it will feel terrific to imagine and exciting (and perhaps challenging) to pursue.


Today’s photo credit: John&Fish cc

Nothing Is As Powerful As…

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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They say that nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Actually, there is one thing more powerful: a person who has committed herself or himself to a clear, compelling outcome. Committed means, “This will happen. It won’t happen through bull-headedness, force,  or hope. There may be obstacles but no excuses. I will simply see to it, seeing it through until it’s done.” This tends to work really well for things we want.

What do you want, dear leader?


In your corner,


PS: Funny, the original quote is, “On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées.” – Victor Hugo. “We can resist army invasions but not idea invasions.”


Today’s photo credit: bitslammer cc

Semper ad Meliora

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
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If we find ourselves scattered, drained, overwhelmed, or bored, we rather likely have lost track of our mission. Defaulting instead to what we think others expect from us, is it any wonder that we are feeling low?

Make a short list of what do you most want in your work and life. Why is each item important or compelling? How important is each item to you? (Hint: if it’s not a 10 out of 10, why is this on your “most wanted” list?) How would each item improve how you live, your personal happiness, growth, and freedom, and your ability to change things or help others?

Keep iterating your answers to these questions until they are clear and compelling. For now, set aside any concern about how to get what you want. Let yourself feel the excitement of it and watch for “shoulds” that will get in the way.

Once you’ve established your mission, go back and look at how you might start to accomplish each. Notice how things shift from show stoppers to mere problems to solve.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: macop cc

The First Step to Being Powerful in Life and Leadership

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

To be powerful, our first step is learn to tell it apart from force. The difference is difficult to describe but easy to see. We can see it here:

Force is loud, power is always quiet.

Force damages, power aligns.

Force creates losers, power creates only winners.

Force causes mistakes, power corrects them.

Force drains us, power uplifts us.

It’s actually force that does the corrupting.

Force looks quick and inexpensive; it is actually wasteful and costly. Power is efficient.

Force tries to masquerade as power. It arises when we feel powerless or feel the fear of powerlessness.

Force fades, power endures.

Once we can tell power from force, we can build trust, know that we can handle anything, and navigate by curiosity. We can also align ourselves and others with compelling goals, play for win-win or choose not to play, and nurture just the right quantity and scope of systems to support our goals.

Be powerful, good leader.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Anne cc

Just Add And

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

We believe in trade-offs: we can have either freedom or structure, money or doing what we love, short-term profits or long-term sustainability, good looks or good personality, I win or you win, openness or security, low price or good quality, etc.

These apparent dichotomies create intractable problems and limit our health, wealth, and happiness. Yet they are based on not much at all. Who says we can’t have both?

In fact, we can solve many of our problems with one little, powerful word: and.

Instead of saying, for instance, “We can have profit or ensure everyone is well-paid,” we can ask, “How can we be very profitable and make sure everyone is well paid?” This unleashes our creativity and opens possibilities.

Just add and.


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: A Fork In The Road via photopin (license)

What to Do When We See People Struggling, Pushing, Fighting, Complaining, Burning Out, or Leaving.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading, Strategy, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

Every business must have a rhythm for people getting the right things done well together.

The rhythm includes

  • regular, sane, productive meetings,
  • a way to select, do, track, and course-correct strategic projects,
  • communication and accountability norms,
  • role designs that say what results (not tasks) we expect from each person,
  • hiring people who understand and support the rhythm, and
  • an organizational design (how to split up the work, who reports to whom) that supports the goals.

Our job as leaders of both new and existing organizations includes ensuring that this rhythm always evolves to match the age, stage, and size of our organizations, that people know how it all works, and that they work with the rhythm to succeed well, often, and happily.

It’s time to improve the rhythm whenever we see goals missed and people struggling, pushing hard, fighting, complaining, burning out, or leaving. We can tell we are doing this well when the right things consistently get done well, with ease, and we are hitting our goals.


In your corner,


PS: We may think that being the leader means being in charge. That is, we set the direction, make decisions, and delegate. Being in charge is an important part of leadership. Stewarding the rhythm is the other important part. If you prefer doing one part, consider hiring someone to take over the other part.


Today’s photo credit: Lif… cc

This Ought To Do It

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want. – Mark Twain

We often don’t have a clear, compelling, and commonly-understood (by all the people who matter) set of goals for our businesses or our lives. This makes it rather difficult for us to achieve what we most desire. But picking such goals can seem impossible.

The truth is that it’s only confusing. All we need is a place to start. Here’s a pretty perfect place to start: happiness, freedom, and growth for yourself and those you come in contact with.

That ought to do it, ya?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Tom Simpson cc

Picking a Dream

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1

Achieving a dream requires that we first commit whole-heartedly to that dream.

But–oh–we hesitate. We’re afraid that if we pick one dream we’ll either mess it up or miss out on other, better ones that we just don’t know about yet. Hesitation leads to lack of commitment which leads to dreams unfulfilled. Bleah!

Here’s the solution: commit anyway. No commitment to a dream is cast in iron. We can add to it and modify it as we go. Should we stumble or see a better path, we can always course-correct.

Pick and go!


In your corner,


PS: If any dream we are considering promises to lead us somewhere delightful, then that’s the one to commit to.


Today’s photo credit: Lisa Ruokis cc

The Word Passion

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

Ah, the word passion.

Some of us embrace the word. We live out loud. We appreciate all of life. And our greatest wish is for others to enjoy what we enjoy.

Some of us embrace the word and the enthusiasm is only a cover, an artificial burn of energy to avoid connecting with self and others. Sometimes we really need to get quiet and allow.

Some of us avoid the word. We don’t want to act the way we think passionate people act. We think, “Really?!” It’s too, too. For those of us like this, we give permission to use another word or to be quietly passionate.

Some of us avoid the word. We don’t want to feel what passionate people feel. We want a more contained life. For those of us like this we say, “Dear friend, it is absolutely your choice. But realize that, despite your fears, you can have a life that matches your deepest dreams. Yes, really.”


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Sallie The Cape Lady cc