How A Rodent Provided My IP

A squirrel was looking at me through the window from a tree this morning, about three floors off the ground. It was perfectly safe from most predators in the evergreen, and fairly sheltered, but it would have to go down on the ground and take some risks in order to eat. A few minutes later, it was gone. The same applies to you and me. If I merely stayed at home I’d eventually exhaust the food supplies and have to …


Royalty and Ancient Ritual

Watching the marvelously-acted “The Crown” on TV, I’m stunned at the protocols of the British royals and I understand why Americans want to watch and savor royalty at a distance, but not at home. I think the same holds true for many organizations. They adhere to almost ancient protocols that have no place in modern times and are merely subsidized without return on investment. Most companies are too “top heavy” with senior management; they funnel customers into a maze of …




Who Cares How It Works?

Understand how your customers apply and use things, not how those things work. My father-in-law was able to stick his head under a car’s hood and fix anything in there that went wrong. But he didn’t drive his car any better than I drove mine, which I took to the dealer for any servicing. You may be adept at using your computer, but you don’t know (I hope) how the innards actually cause typing to become words and email. It …



Gloomy Gus

My late handyman—he was older than I—frequented the same coffee shop that I take the dogs to in the morning. The owner runs a nice place, but he’s always complaining. My handyman gave him the sobriquet, “Gloomy Gus.” If it’s raining it’s bad for business because people will go to a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through, rather than get out of their cars. If it’s sunny it’s bad for business because people will go to the beach. You get the picture: Business …


Who Asked You?

There are trolls and arrogant souls out there who sit back and just send people “feedback,” claiming that responsible people always listen to feedback. Smart people listen to feedback from those they respect and ask, not from strangers, about their business. The problem is that if you don’t have strong self-esteem these slings and arrows can deflate your sails readily. Treat these people as the uninvited interlopers they are, and toss them out. We build statues for creators, not critics. …


Accelerating Your Coaching Process

In the process visual* below, I’ve depicted my approach toward mentoring and coaching which I’ve recommended to my Master Mentors. First: Define and clarify the issue. (“I’m overwhelmed.” What, exactly, dow that mean?) Second: If it’s not really an issue, just a need to talk or someone being needy, discard it. Third: If it’s legitimate but beyond your ability to help resolve, call me. (In other words, ask for help from a higher power!) Fourth: If it’s something new but …


The Benefit of the Doubt

TBOTD is priceless. If people trust you, they forgive errors. I forgave some mediocre service on Emirates because they treat me so well all the rest of the time. But I’d have a hard time forgiving United these days. We can see this is in the huge, unprecedented high negative ratings of both presidential candidates. Whoever is elected will not be receiving the benefit of the doubt from a large portion of the electorate, because they’re not receiving it now (often within …