Swayed By Reality

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

The sages tell us that the formula for creating any outcome is belief->actions->results. This is a leverage formula. We leverage action into results because we know that taking concerted action generates more results than our default, reactive action.

We usually forget the first, more powerful part of the formula. Focused belief generates better actions (and therefore much better results) than our default, habitual beliefs.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that we want to convince someone to change a behavior and that this person has resisted changing in the past. In our habitual beliefs, we may think of this person as hard to deal with, lazy, obstructive, or untalented.

But what if we changed our belief?

Which belief would better support our goal of getting them to change: that they are hard to deal with, for instance, or easy to deal with?

“Ah,” you argue, “you are ignoring reality. What if they really are hard to deal with?”

But that’s the power of this formula. Thinking that they are what we have thought they are leaves little room for something to shift. Choosing to believe something new about them (despite what we have been believing and calling reality) blasts open the door to different actions and results.

The trick is not to be swayed by “reality.”


In your corner,


PS: Of course, this trick works for anything we want, not just in getting others to change.

PPS: A great way to know when an old belief is getting in the way is that it feels bad. Let a bad feeling tell you it’s time to choose a new belief.


Today’s photo credit: Andrew Stawarz Nymans Garden View via photopin (license)

How to Break Out of the Activity Over Results Trap

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 2 min.

It’s very easy for us to fall into the “Activity Over Results” trap. In this trap, we unconsciously judge ourselves and others by how much activity we generate. But, deep down, we much more value achieving desired results. We spend a large amount of our time on lots of low-value activities including most of our email, Slacks, and meetings. We see every day how volumes of these activities fail to deliver the results we want.

Here is one good method to shift things.

First, we commit to weekly and daily review times. We use this time to get atop any messages or notes that may have potential tasks within. We put all those potential tasks into our Not To Do list. Next, we scan our calendar and survey our lists of on-going projects and longer-term goals. Then, if this is our weekly review, we select and write down four big things from our projects, goals, and Not To Do list that we want to accomplish this week. We next select and write down four things we want to accomplish today. Then we start doing those four things.

Will this Review-Plus-Fours approach eliminate the messages and meetings? No. But it returns to us the focus we need. And we will be much more likely to achieve what we want.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Claudio Jofré Larenas cc

Are You Tapping the Fear or the Spark?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1

There is a fear within each of us. Tap it and you’ll get hurried, harried, and short-lived results. Further attempts to mine this source become ever more costly, unpredictable, and ultimately doomed.

There is a spark within each of us. Tap it and you’ll get long-lasting, wonderful results.

Of course, mining sparks is not a panacea. It requires hard work. We must throw out all the leadership tools used to tap fear. In their place we need a compelling clarity of purpose, a commitment to win-win collaboration with all involved, high-buzz thinking, and systems and approaches that support us delivering together that purpose well.

Worth it.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Seth Youngblood cc

Control Yields Crappy Results

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

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 Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

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 Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

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 Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

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

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 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,