Would You Like Your Coffee Black and Blue?

A critical trait for success is flexibility.  When I see a Starbucks fanatic who can’t start the day with any other coffee, and/or who brings it into a restaurant to order breakfast there, or into a meeting or someone’s home where coffee is available, I know I’m just staring at an affectation.  And I’m thinking that same person is going to tell a prospect that his or her consulting or coaching model requires seven sequential steps that can’t be changed. …


If You’re Proclaiming Good Health, Why Are You Driving Like A Moron?

I don’t know why, but I’ve started thinking about bumper stickers. It’s rare to find a car with just one. They usually come in multiple postings, ranging from politics to health food, from sports teams to mystical affirmations. It seems to me that the drivers feel obligated to inform the rest of the world of their positions. I think they do so because they feel otherwise powerless. So this is the way they impress themselves on the world. Their only …


Excuse Me, Where’s That Chicken From?

There’s pragmatism, and then there’s taste. When we use FedEx or Google as a verb (FedEx the check) we do so because the Google search mechanism and the FedEx overnight network are better than anything else around. However, when people say “It’s Miller time,” or “Weekends were made for Michelob,” they often then conclude with, “So let’s get a Bud”! The product has to have a unique advantage, not just try to appeal to certain tastes. A blind taste test …


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 …


I Don’t Dance (Don’t Ask Me)

At times you’ll be asked dumb questions. Don’t attempt to honor them (or prolong them) with a rational response. Don’t dance to their music. Point out the absurdity and move on. Examples: • How many firms exactly like ours have you worked with? That’s not the point, the point is that my clients all achieve great success across all industries. • What was your education like? I’m sure like yours, I found it only helped when I applied it to …


Reveille

Do you awake under your own control or someone else’s? I don’t mean the alarm clock, or wake up call, or rooster. I mean, do you wake up with the intent of having a great day mostly under your control, or faced with the burdens of a new day mostly under others’ control? Do your clients, family, friends, venders, and others have demands on you? Do you feel obligations to help or please? Do you feel your time is already …


Work This Out

Does running in the morning improve physical fitness but reduce mental acuity? Immediately after a blizzard, with roads partially cleared but no sidewalks cleared, I find an occasional runner, outfitted in ski gear, and plodding along at a slow trot in heavy shoes. One slip and they’re under the wheels of a passing car. This isn’t fitness, it’s obsession, an addiction to adhering to a discipline despite the adverse consequences on a particular day. 2. In the club level lounge …



The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow (Though Some Will Critique It)

I was listening to the cast recoding of Annie in my car, and they sang “It’s A Hard Luck Life” later followed by the eternally optimistic “Tomorrow.” I long to be with those orphans if my choice were between them and the whining, sniveling crowd who want to bring down the Republic every time a personal interest or preference isn’t met and they don’t believe the rest of us—carrying on with our lives—pay them enough attention. Get over yourselves!


Resolving Isn’t Acting

Let me warn you now, don’t make a resolutions list for the New Year, the failure to meet them causing a depressing February (an already-depressing month). Instead, make a calendar entry for what you intend to do on what dates. Then do it at that time on that date. “Write a book” is an empty resolution. “Write the first half of chapter one on January 10 at 9 am” is a worthwhile, realistic accountability.