Please Don’t Leave A Message At The “Beep”

Both Kensington and FileMaker put representatives on the phone within a 90-second wait to help me make adaptations for my new iMacPro. High tech, high touch. Apple  provides 30 minutes of live phone time when you purchase the iMac or the iPhone X. Every business is a relationship business, from Microsoft to Amazon, Boeing to Sears. Some do it well, many do it terribly. I trust Emirates Airlines, they always get the benefit of the doubt, but I wouldn’t walk …


A Day At the Office

The Patriots beat the Titans last night as they should have, one of the very best teams in the league playing a team that is lucky to even have a winning record. New England fans started leaving in the third quarter to beat the traffic and get out of the cold. All this despite the media frenzy trying to create a rift among owner Bob Craft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. That’s what the media do, they try …


Why Did This Happen to Me?

You can’t blame your bad luck. You can’t blame God. Or the Fates. Because it’s usually your fault, and even if it isn’t, you’re still stuck with making it better or right. Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who brought Jackie Robinson to the majors and integrated baseball, said, “Luck is the residue of design.” If you come to me to turn around your bad luck, I can’t help you. I’m not a necromancer. But if you …


The Fault Is NOT In Our Stars

That horrible Amtrak accident, with excessive speed, was almost certainly caused by human error. While I haven’t seen the cause of the Atlanta Airport fire, placing the backup system activation so close to the primary—thereby enabling one event to wreck both of them—was clearly human error. Most of the problems you’ll find in you clients involve human error, either in judgment or performance (attitude or skills). Stop redesigning processes that already work well, and focus on people who are making …


“This Survey Should Only Take About 20 Minutes and We’ll Put You In A Raffle”

Almost every survey I receive I ignore, because they are too long, try to serve too many objectives, and are basically asking me for a favor. I tend to respond when I’m just asked a few questions and I can qualitatively respond, not check someone else’s metrics (boxes). The reward for using my time can’t be some raffle that I’ll never win and I have no proof will even take place. Here’s a good survey: “What did we do best, …


If I Only Had A Brain….

The New York Giants football team, in a horrible slump, has benched Eli Manning, the quarterback, who has previously won two Super Bowls. The Cleveland Browns, who are zero for the 21st Century, keep juggling their lineups and coaches. Does it occur to anyone that long-term problems are the result of poor decisions made by the general management and owners? GE recently forced out their CEO before his tenure would have been up because they were unhappy with performance. They …


Light and Darkness

We have thousands of trees on our property. Some soar toward the sky. Others are stunted by those around them, which block the light. They stay small or they die. Move out of the shadows. Grow toward the light. Remove whatever blocks the light. You are not, like a tree, rooted to your position unless you allow yourself to be. Are you looking to grow dynamically, or just be an involuntary home for squirrels and woodpeckers?


Trying Not to Lose Is Not the Same As Trying to Win

Here’s what happens when you try not to lose: • You readily make concessions. • You are not bold or provocative. • You become highly conservative. • You accept unfair treatment and conditions. • You become nervous and therefore that much more ineffective. Here’s what happens when you try to win: • You are assertive and take prudent risk. • You state your position and support it. • You will make reasonable but not unfair compromise. • You will stress …



Coaching 601

I’ve been coaching for a long time, and I have three immutable principles to guide me: I can’t help anyone who doesn’t want to be helped, and I don’t try. I give you my very best advice. Whether you accept it and act on it is a commentary on you, not me. If there are three options and I suggest the first, but you prefer the second and I think it will work, I will help you. But if you prefer a …