Advice

The key to growth is neither to resist advice nor to accept all advice, but rather to determine to whom to listen for advice. That’s the qualitative determinant. Some idiot said once, “The only thing to do with feedback is to listen to it.” I guess that’s true if your intent in life is to become a ping pong ball. Choose a few people whom you trust and admire, allow yourself to be vulnerable and listen, and turn away all unsolicited feedback, …


Chopper

Many people are quite good at overcoming, circumventing, or simply smashing through obstacles. But all of us, at one time or another, encounter obstacles that we can’t avoid, outmaneuver, or break through. They may be about business, relationships, staying in shape, or whatever, but if we haven’t moved around them in a brief time the likelihood is that we’re not going to do so. That’s when you need the “chopper.” You need a helicopter—assistance from a learned other—who can lift …


Between You and Me

The idea is to raise standards, not lower them to rationalize existing levels of performance. Our local post office once guaranteed postal boxes would be filled by 8 am. Over the years they’ve relaxed the standard to 11 am or later, despite less mail. Instead of trying to meet a metric, they change the metric to reflect their own inefficiency. I’ve seen the same with sales forces and quotas. Once you try to rationalize that “between you and I” is …


I Didn’t Walk In Here and I’m Not Leaving

Here’s a novel approach: Take your calendar and schedule the developmental experiences you need over the next six-to-tweleve months, then work in client engagements and marketing plans around them. Almost all of you do the opposite, trying to fit in development around client demands and meetings. You treat a client request for a date as if it were sent down on stone tablets. That’s insanity, because you need the development to be more effective with all the rest. Why cheat …


End Your Abuse By Denying Your Abuser

It’s time to stop the abuse. It’s time we realized that we’re enabling the abuse, the psychological and emotional trauma, on an almost daily basis. I’m here to help you escape it. You know who you are. SO STOP BEATING YOURSELVES UP! A failed meeting, a rejected proposal, a mediocre speech—these things happen. People will unsubscribe from your newsletters (if they aren’t, then I’m not doing my job). They will critique your writing and speaking. The trolls will attack, because …


Help!

To quote my co-author of Lifestorming, Marshall Goldsmith: If you’ve tried for months to get something done and you haven’t been able to, you need help. There’s no evidence or reasonable expectation that you’re suddenly going to be successful now. Asking for help is one of the most mature, self-confident, effective acts we can engage in. Yet so many believe it’s a sign of weakness or a blow to their fragile egos. It’s your decision. You can “soldier on” unsuccessfully, fooling …


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 …


I’m Terrified that this Won’t Be Terrific

I just wrote an article and mistakenly typed “terrify” instead of terrific. Then I began to wonder about the relationship of these two words given the fortuitous result of my error. “Terrific” once meant “of terror.” We tend to use words such as “terrify” or “terrorize” now. One who does this is a “terrorizer.” Somewhere along the last 800 years or so the meaning of “terrific” was transmogrified from it’s Indo-European roots to today’s usage of “great” or “wonderful.” We …


Personal Strategy

Here is a sequence I find highly effective in coaching top performers: Who do you want to be in a year? (Example: Known as a philanthropist or patron; seen as a thought leader; quoted and cited as an expert.) What do you want to be doing in support of who you want to be? (Writing a book for a commercial publisher; having a board seat on the local Red Cross chapter; teaching as an adjunct professor at the university.) What …


Backbone

When you push a book that’s on a table, the book will move. However, if you push a book that’s resting against a wall, it will not move, no matter how hard you push. With prospects and clients, are you on the table or against the wall? Are you being pushed all over the place until you drop off onto the floor because you’re unwilling to be firm and take a position and push back? Or are you against a …