The Meaning of “Work”

When I lived in New Jersey, I would take a Pan Am helicopter from Newark to LaGuardia or Kennedy, fly to Montreal or Toronto, conduct business and sales calls, then return to New York, take the chopper back to Jersey, and drive home in time for a late dinner with my wife. Today, I hear people whining that a buyer is a 3-hour drive away. To quote my Hall of Fame colleague Larry Winget, they call it “work” for a …


OK, I Have A Problem

The best groups I’ve ever formed or facilitated have members who are uniformly comfortable being vulnerable. My wife commented once, while sitting in with the group’s permission, that it was the first such meeting she’d ever attended where no one, once, said, “Yes, but.” Bentley’s ears are very sensitive to thunder. When it occurs, he seeks protection next to me or under my chair or under my desk (not always easy for an 82-pound German Shepherd). He doesn’t try to …


Shut Up and Work

Whenever someone from a client told me that their boss was the problem, I always asked, “So, what do you plan to do about that?” About 90% of the time they told me they were powerless and afraid of being fired, or could never find another job like this, or felt it was simply what to expect in big business. It was never strange to me that their productive colleagues never felt this way. These were the people I always …



True Failure and Success

Some people don’t take action because they believe being seen as slow to act is less negative than acting and being seen as a failure. I view people who act, fail, learn, and then improve as great successes. In fact, that’s the story behind every great success. But I’ve never met a great success who became one by failing to act.


What Are You Thinking?

Major league baseball players often place weights on their bats while in the “on deck” circle preparing to go to bat. The philosophy is that the bat will be lighter without the weights, therefore their swing will be faster and better able to hit a fastball. Data analysis showed that there is zero correlation between those using weights and those not using weights in terms of hitting effectiveness, and even those who sometimes use weights and sometimes do not, show …


Learning How to Learn

The problem with higher education today to a large extent is that it is still mired in the prelapsarian mindset of teaching content. In an age of instant investigation via any number of technologies, people are still asked to memorize dates and places and names. Now, I realize a doctor has to know where the kidneys reside, but bear with me. College should teach students how to learn. In the antediluvian days (say, the 50s), content seldom changed. Today it changes by …


Enough Is Enough

Anything taken to an extreme is usually dysfunctional. Barry Goldwater, Republican candidate for president, lost the election by saying things like this: “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” He said that in his convention acceptance speech in 1964. He lost in a landslide. Too much excellent food will cause problems. Too much work, vacation, exercise, entertainment—you name it, is going to cause stress, low productivity, anxiety, physical problems, alienation. Too much “service” in the restaurant causes interruptions, not …


  Good intentions are not synonymous with good advice

  People you trust and who truly may have your best interests in mind are not always capable of providing you with good advice. That’s because they haven’t been in your position. They haven’t experienced what you’re experiencing. And they don’t have your attitude. And they’re not you. Everyone in the stands always knows what play to call, or what pitch to swing at, or how to handle the broom around the stone. (Did you like that one?) But it’s …


You Came to Hear Me Speak, I Didn’t Come Here to Listen to You Speak

A guy came up to me during a session break yesterday to try to nitpick a statistic I use which is unequivocally true. I told him there were two ways to look at it, right and wrong, and I was right and he was wrong. I’m happy to accommodate people who don’t agree with my point of view, or who have tough questions, or even objections. But I have no tolerance for ego needs which demand that someone be heard …