Control Yields Crappy Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

To get things done consistently well with a team, the correct flow or equation is Trust → Honest Discussion → Real Commitment → True Accountability → Desired Results.

If we don’t trust that they will do the work, we will try to get results by demanding, controlling, conniving, or micromanaging. Then the flow will always become Crappy Results ← Excuses ← Grudging Compliance ← Saying Whatever ← Distrust.

We must find a way to start with trust, not control. The good news is that it takes just one person to open up. One trust-building interaction leads to all the rest. Be that one person.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Seabamirum cc

You as Superhero

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

The start of anything worthwhile is a thought. Nothing happens until someone has a thought like, “Hey, this would be cool.”

When you direct your focus to something you want–something that feels good to imagine like a great business result, time with friends, a new possession, or a trip somewhere wonderful–you set in motion everything needed for that something to occur.

When you direct your focus to something you don’t want–this often looks like fear, uncertainty, doubt, worry, anger, or regret–you also set in motion everything needed for that unwanted something to occur.

Did you know you had this superpower?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot cc


Tiny Leap of Faith

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Just after any moment that we catch ourselves feeling bad there is a tiny instant of choice.

It is so small that we often miss it.

In this instant, we get to choose to raise our buzz before acting or to let run our habitual responses to/of fear, uncertainty, doubt, worry, anger, and remorse. Most of these habitual responses are ineffective. We end up using them nonetheless because that’s how habits work; they are unthinkingly chosen. And we get the same ol’ results.

Now that we are aware of it, all that stands between us and great new results is a tiny leap of faith in this wee slice of time.

Leap. Raise your buzz. Enjoy.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: nick fullerton cc


Who We Are Yields Concrete Business Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

We try to define who we are by our roles, titles, duties, traits, accomplishments, and various group memberships. Though these are completely inadequate substitutions, we cling to them and will fight to defend them. Clinging and fighting leads to uncertainty, misery, and politics. They thus waste our time and energy. This form of identity detracts from results.

But there’s another way of understanding identity. We can recall that who we are is ineffable. Like the taste of a strawberry, no words can accurately describe who we are but we can completely sense it and know it.

We leaders get to seek, see, and encourage this sense in others. We can use words. For example, “We are sparks, nay, bolts of endless awareness, attention, discernment, and creativity. Remember?” More powerfully (and potentially less confusingly) we can communicate it with our quiet intention and caring.

We then invite them to play out this sense of who they are on the stage of our common, compelling, concrete work goals. And, as they do, we benefit from great business results and from getting to see and know who we are.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Taku cc

Frustration-Free Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Trying to make things happen is a sure source of frustration. When we see something we don’t want, we tend to want to control things until we get what we do want. Yet we cannot control anything other than our own reactions.

Unexpectedly, avoiding is another source of frustration. Ignoring or trying to keep away what we don’t want is just as controlling as trying to defeat what we don’t want.

Let’s instead dream what we want, feel good about that dream coming to be, then take the very next step we are inspired to take. (Those steps will often be ones where we influence within our current span of influence.)

Frustration-free results tend to follow quickly.

In your corner,



Fools to Think

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

We would be fools to think that our vision of how it should happen is the right, only, or best way.

You know that, of course. No matter how hard we try, some others will think what we are saying is bunk. This is true partly because it is (we can’t know everything), partly because the words we use will be misinterpreted, and partly because others already have their own models and tools that will work, too. When we try to get others to accept our vision of how it should happen, we will see them dig in their heels somehow. And the ensuing friction serves none of us.

Here is what we can do instead. First, let’s confirm that you and I have the same ends in mind. Then:

  • If I am to do the work, ask me for a commitment of what I will get done by when and let me figure out how. Maintain an open offer to help me if I need it. If I am wise, I will ask for your help as I need it. If you see me struggling, find a non-judgmental way to tell me I am.
  • If you are to do the work, I will do the above for you.
  • If we are both to do the work, I may start by asking you how you think we should proceed. I will only share my suggestions when I know that you know that I have understood your approach. You will do the same for my suggestions. And soon, we’ll be on the same page.

These small investments will pay huge dividends in reduced friction and better results.


In your corner,


How to Help Another Get Into Action

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

If you notice that someone is stuck, avoid the temptation to tell them what to do or how to do it. You run a very good chance of creating more delay as they resist (as we all do) being told what to do.

Instead, help them get into action by noticing what’s going on and coaching them with some simple, direct questions.

  1. Notice. State what you see with as little judgment (in words and tone) as possible. “I notice you are stuck in this project.” Wait for their response. Allow them to correct your impression of what you are seeing.
  2. Permission. Get their permission before you proceed. “May I offer some help with that?” Stop if they say no (and most say yes).
  3. Result(s). Ask them to restate their desired results.”What would you like to be true at the end of this project? How will you know you’ve been successful?”
  4. Next step. Have them pick a next, specific, doable step. “Given your desired result(s), what do you suppose is your very next step?” If they say, “I don’t know,” try encouraging them, “I am sure you can come up with a very good answer.” Or ask, “If you did know, what would it be?” If they remain unable to see a next step, ask permission to share a suggestion. Stop if they say no. If they say yes, offer one possible next step that will help move them from where they are to having their desired results.
  5. Follow through. Very important: help them follow through. “By when will you complete this next step? Will you need any help? Would you like a simple check-in? Would you like help when it’s time for the next steps?”


In your corner,


PS: Yes, this works with family members (all types), too. 🙂

Organizational Culture

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Organizations
Reading time: 1 min.

Organizational culture is not made with rules, procedures, processes, and systems. It does not come as a result of publishing your mission, vision, and values. It is not a communication problem, either.

The elements of a great organizational culture include

  1. A clear, compelling, and commonly-understood focus.
  2. The right people, in the right roles, collaborating with win-win, and generating the right results.
  3. A method for exposing obstructive personal and organizational beliefs and assumptions. And a method for replacing those with constructive beliefs.
  4. Practical tools for knowing what could be done and selecting what to do that is in line with the focus and desired results.

While a great organizational culture can happen by chance, you can engineer it in new and existing organizations. You just have to get started.


In your corner,