Most People

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

Most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth.

– Ranier Maria Rilke

And life waits patiently outside their door, wagging its tail, excited to show them all the delights and possibilities. If only they would be so bold as to step outside their narrow, little corner.

Let’s not be these people.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Ann Fisher cc


How to Build a Truly Compelling Goal

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

Success demands a clear, compelling, and commonly understood vision or goal. Such a goal answers the big question, “Why?” We can probably write a clear goal. And we can include whoever matters as we build it so that the goal is commonly understood. But to make it compelling our goal needs to satisfy these criteria:

  1. It comes from within. A compelling goal is not something we derive from market data or what other people think. It comes from within us, our team, and our organization.
  2. It uses our talents. Our vision or goal must take advantage of what we as a team/organization are good at doing.
  3. It matters. Our goal or vision must resonate with our values or care-abouts.
  4. It meets our needs. If a goal doesn’t generate a valuable return, we will quickly run out of time, energy, and resources to achieve it.
  5. It meets a need for others. Our goal or vision solves a problem for other people or groups of people. And they will need to see that we understand them and the problem before they let us help them.
  6. It is big. Big goals seem scary because we can’t see how to achieve them. And that’s good. We challenge ourselves to find new ways. We learn, grow, feel vitally alive, and have a whale of a time along the way.

In our hearts we know that anything less won’t work.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Denis Hawkins cc


Feeling Rudderless?

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

Achieving anything meaningful requires both a clear desire for something new and a complete acceptance of whatever is happening now.

Anything else leaves us rudderless.


In your corner,


PS: “Complete acceptance” means we do not attack the situation or its proponents. No complaints, no defensiveness, no arguing, no fear, no dwelling.

PPS: And can someone please teach this to the folks in Congress and Parliament? Many thanks.


Today’s photo credit: Benjamin Disinger cc


All Is Nominal

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Anypreneur, Career, Do=Natural flow of action, Good: Your Good Work, Strategy, Success, Sweetspot, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

People who fire rockets like to say, “Conditions are nominal,” when everything is good to go.

Guess what? Conditions are nominal. All the courage you need is already within you. All the resources you need are lined up, waiting for you.

All that remains is for you to decide what you really want to achieve and take the first steps.



In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Steve Jurvetson cc


A Formula for Success

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

We struggle when we try to make things happen through action (or, occasionally, avoiding action) alone. There is a better formula. And it is simple.

  1. Choose what you want. Easy. Yet we can at times be unclear about what we want. Example: “Instead of rushing and fretting, I want to have more time for family, work, friends, and me.”
  2. Choose who and how you need to be in order to have what you want. Harder, at first. But doable. Example: “In order to have more time, I choose to be open and trust that all the things will work out fine.”
  3. Raise your buzz and be what you chose. Easy. Buzz-raising takes us where we want to go.
  4. Act as inspired. Easy and fun. Now we act. Resist the temptation to jump to this step before completing the other three.
  5. Repeat from Step 3 until success. Easy. And see the note below.

In your corner,


PS: Step 2 is the power of this formula.

PPS: When this formula fails us it’s because we forgot Step 5.

PPPS: Why does this work? Because how we are affects our ability to notice opportunities, our performance, and others’ willingness to help.


Today’s photo credit: Joe Sullivan cc


People Problems

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

Most problems are people problems.

Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, & Dennis Carey, HBR, August 2015

Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and conflict. The wrong people in the wrong roles. Politics. Lack of accountability and follow-though. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Poor leadership. Overwhelm. People not evolving as the organization and its markets evolve. Turnover and retirements. Misalignment of goals and rewards. Poor attitude. Lack of respect.

We may want to nail our strategy, goose our sales, drive profits, make plans, build systems and procedures, and generally enjoy success after success. But we so often ignore the source of both success and obstacles to success: all of us.

What to do about it? Be the kinds of leaders who know that most problems are people problems.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: James Cridland cc


How You Fit

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

I don’t know what is the ideal life- and work path for you. But I do know it will use and refine your talents. It will engage you in things you care about. It will leave behind struggle, frustration, fighting, compromise, and sacrifice. And, by providing something of value to some other people, it will be bigger than you. It’s also 100% possible for you, despite any doubts.

If you are not already doing this ideal, it is highly likely that your are doing some of it and can identify the rest.

Though thinking about the obstacles to the ideal may seem the prudent next step, it’s thinking about how wonderful this life is/will be that will lead you quickly in the direction you want to go.


In your corner,


PS: It is always a fine day when we remember how we fit into the puzzle of the universe.


Today’s photo credit: Dave Ginsberg cc

beat up

Learning to Argue

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

Turns out that the best course of action is rarely the one we (first) thought of. To get the most out of them, we need to beat up our ideas. We need to mash them with other people’s ideas, finding the way forward that wouldn’t have occurred to any of us otherwise.

Sadly, though, we tend to take things personally.

We subtly conflate our ideas with our identities. When our ideas get attacked, we feel attacked. Conflict brews but then social norms kick in. We try to be nice to each other and deferential to bosses. We quickly avoid or shut down conflict.

Sometimes we return to a genteel steady state with our colleagues. And sometimes the conflict burns on, hidden. It flares up later in politics, turf battles, or simply as another personal conflict over the next issue.

Through it all, our ideas remain unchallenged, unannealed. Meager, puny little ideas that can’t really help us end up in front. We and our organizations suffer because we can’t argue well.

The solution, of course, is to disconnect our worth from our ideas. We can choose to have our ideas torpedoed, stomped upon, and (horror) even changed. And we can encourage others to do the same. The trick is to explicitly and repeatedly affirm our respect and care (sure, even love) for each other before, during, and after the meetings where we beat up the ideas. Once everyone knows that they are not the target, we can argue well and find the best ways forward.


In your corner,


PS: Another good way to argue: agree on the what and why before the who, how, and when.


Today’s photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/27SzDZ cc