The Frisbee Rule

Bentley and I try to get some Frisbee in every day. It’s easy for me, I stand in one spot at the top of the yard and he races downhill after the disk (for the analytic among you, in excess of 32 MPH), and then returns it to me. When I’m done exercising my wrist muscles, I call, “Bring it in,” and he heads for the back door and a biscuit (as does Buddy Beagle, knowing if Bentley gets a …


Into the Light

We had to have some major landscaping work done, and the new sod that was put down was a different color from the surrounding yard. “That’s because your existing grass had been in the shade,” said our tree guy, “but now with all the shade gone, the grass will look healthier and more attractive.” Many of us work in someone else’s shade or shadow—a parent, a stronger brand, a thought leader, a loud voice. We need to step out from …


Decision Indecision

Don’t try to help a client with an alternative unless you know the client’s objective. That is, don’t help to chart a course without knowing the destination. Should a management retreat be on site or off site, one day or two days? Who knows? What’s the objective of the retreat? (Maybe it’s the wrong solution altogether.) Don’t launch an alternative even if you do know the objective without considering risk. There is always some amount of risk, albeit it minor …


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. …