Why Your Strategy Goes Off the Rails and How to Fix It

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Strategy
Reading time: 2 min.

Most of our time at work we focus on Do: getting done all the stuff that needs to be done.  This is sometimes called Execution. We rightly invest time, energy, and money improving our Do.

Sometimes, we pull back to examine What we should be doing (and why we should do it).  This is sometimes called Strategy. We should focus on making our What better and better.

Too often, though, our Strategy and Execution (our What and Do) go off the rails. Try as we might, the strategy didn’t work as we hoped; what we wanted done didn’t get done. It’s frustrating and exhausting.

Why the struggle? Partly it’s because there are so many market and internal pressures. Partly it’s because keeping everything in check demands lots of willpower. But mostly it’s because our strategies are missing two factors: We and Can.

We: If our strategy isn’t a win for everyone who matters (clients, shareholders, team members, and the community), they will resist. The resistance may be active or passive. To the extent everyone sees our strategy as a win for them, they will jump in.

Can is our head game. If any of us (especially the leaders) have fears, uncertainties, or doubts (most often seen as “Yeah Buts“), our strategies and execution (our What and Do) will suffer. If we have negative judgments/beliefs about ourselves, others, the situation, or the world, our strategies and execution will fall short. The good news is that fixing our head game is simple to do.

To fix our strategies, let’s invest in What We Can Do.


In your corner,


The Problem Isn’t Between You and Me…

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

…or you and them or us and them.


The problem is always over there, on the table in front of us. And you and I and we and they are the ones to solve it.


In your corner,


PS: We can tell we’ve brought the problem between us because of the ensuing drama.

PPS: And yes, it only takes one of us to realize we’ve made this mistake and to change the focus back to the problem, over there, on the table, ready for us to solve it.


Today’s photo care of Pexels.

A Deep Insight

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

It can look like complaint, frustration, withdrawal, fear, defensiveness, anger, worry, guilt, pushing, or avoiding. No matter. If anything has led you to believe that you are separate, above, below, isolated, or disconnected from any and all others, please–please–look again.

The deep-down insight here is that, despite appearances, all of us are intimately connected. We are not only all in this together, we are all this together.


In your corner,


PS: And, despite appearances, we each can experience this deep-down insight first-hand. It usually sneaks up on us and feels a-bit-scary-a-lot-wonderful.

PPS: When we get this, business and life flows so much better.

PPPS: And then we unleash all that creativity, fun, and success we’ve suspected was always there.

PPPPS: Too vague? Too esoteric? Yah, that happens.  A tip: pretend “we are one” is true and see what happens.

PPPPPS: A big part of our job as leaders is to hold this open for others to get, too.


Today’s photo credit: modesrodriguez Cosmos via photopin (license)

Don’t Bother Making Your Case

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1

The best way to make our case is, oddly, not to make our case.

In leading, selling, and influencing, our first temptation is often to pitch. We want to explain to people what we want them to do or believe and why they should agree with us.

But we are all hard-wired to resist, defend, and counter such attempts, either actively or passively. So most of our telling and pitching will fail or at least slow things down.

Instead, let’s first hear them make their case. How do they see things? What’s working and what’s not? What would be great outcomes for them?

Once we’ve acknowledged and confirmed with them what we heard, they will be open to hearing our perspectives and to jointly creating solutions that work for us and them.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: thebarrowboy cc

We Are the Same

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

The sages tell us that we are one, we are all the same, all equally deserving; none of us is better or worse. One advantage of adopting this perspective is that it costs us less. When we see everyone as being just like us, we need not spend all the time and energy defending (from the guilt, the opinions) and differentiating ourselves. We then go about leading our businesses and living our lives with more ease.

Try it.


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: evetsggod cc