Are You An Expert Or Just Someone Talking?

I’m weary of people with a string of initials after their names and a ton of self-righteousness in their advice misinforming others that it takes six months of monk-like sabbatical to create an hour’s speech. If you’re truly an expert, you should be able to speak extemporaneously and entertainingly on your topic for an hour, handling questions and using examples. Period. If you need to prepare as though you’re launching a missile to Mars, then you’re self-centered and trying to get …


Land of Opportunity

I was in Washington, DC last week and went for a manicure prior to my Million Dollar Consulting® Convention. The manicurist had an exotic look, and I asked where she was from. She told me, Afghanistan. I have a habit of knowing most of the world capitals, and use that to stimulate conversation. “Kabul?” I asked. “Yes!” she said, and explained how her parents had come here for more opportunity 20 years ago. I returned to the hotel by calling …


Today’s the Day

I meet a lot of people obsessed with planning. They are constantly looking ahead, putting things in place, prepping for the future. I meet other people who are immersed in the past. They replay the mental tapes constantly, examining what they did and should have done. My suggestion is to live in the moment. I’m against neither past introspection nor future visualization, unless they are at the expense of living in the moment. I see people missing what’s right in …


Carpe Diem

It’s natural to fear death. It can arrive with startling swiftness, or with agonizing slowness. But isn’t that all the more reason to enjoy life and thrive every day? I meet people constantly who shrink out of fear with each challenge, each opportunity, each obstacle—each day. They will get to something “another time,” or “today isn’t the right time,” or “there’s no reason to rush this.” Really? It seems as if there’s every reason to rush your enjoyment, rush your …


Jailbreak

I’ve met a lot of people who are afraid to get up in the morning. They’re afraid of the inevitable conflict with their spouse, or of waking up alone. They’re afraid of their boss or afraid of their employees. They’re afraid of making decisions, or of not making decisions, or of making the right decisions and not being able to fulfill them. They worry about having too little business, having too much potential business they may not be able to …


To Whom Do We Listen?

I was asked today how I determined what advice I heed or ignore. Here are my criteria: 1. Unsolicited advice: I disregard all of it, positive and negative, it’s almost always for the sender, not the recipient. The exception is an immediate, verifiable issue: lettuce in my teeth. 2. Solicited advice from experts: I heed the advice of Drucker on strategy, Goldsmith on coaching, my scuba instructor when diving, just as I expect people to heed me on solo consulting. …


Discipline and Success in the Super Bowl

I thought before the game the Seahawks were going to win, and I think they have incredible athletes, well coached. I have nothing but respect for their accomplishments.   But here’s a lesson for all of us. As you watched the sidelines during the game, the Patriots were all business and the Seahawks were pretty full of themselves. The post-touchdown obligatory actions were more vulgar from the Seahawks.   The Patriots were a more mature team, more focused on business. …


N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E.

I’ve mentioned quite often that my respect for someone’s expertise is generally in inverse proportion to the amount of initials after their name, magnified by the obscureness factor. I know what an MBA means, but CRQ-FB8 leaves me seeking a drink. The worst cases of depression after losing a job I’ve encountered are those in which the individual identifies with his or her title, and not contribution. Take away the business card, you take away the identity. Take away the …


El Capitan

Have you been reading about these two guys free climbing the toughest face of El Capitan  in Yosemite Park? “Free climbing” means you use no ropes (except as an emergency in a fall) and climb only using hands and feet in crevices in the rock face. This particular climb is on a rather sheer rock face, with overhangs and some requirements to leap to the next possible indentations in the rock. They often fail in a move, and the safety …