Driving

I’ve driven a lot of exotic cars and I own three at the moment. What I’ve learned along the way is that once you drive them a couple of times, they are simply your cars. There’s always a pleasure for me, and an appreciation of every moment, but the cars become quite natural and familiar, as they should. They’re in my garage, not a museum. The same holds true for any experience. If you just view it from afar, or …


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 …


Some Numbers to Ponder

As of this morning, the average number of followers on Twitter is 208. The average number of friends on Facebook is 338. About 50% of all those on Linkedin have fewer than 500 connections. According to Jonah Berger’s research (the author of Invisible Influence and Contagious, who spoke at one of my events last year) word-of-mouth is by far still THE most important marketing dynamic, and only 7% of it is virtually viral. You read that correctly: All of the rest is personal …


A Modest Plan

Well, it’s December 28 and some of you are feeling guilty that you’re not working very much at the moment. Some of you are trying to “justify” inactivity with the rubric that “no one is around over the holidays.” And some of you just don’t know what to do with yourselves until January 2. I’ll give you an hour’s exercise (and the more honest you are, the shorter it will be). Write down those results and circumstances from this past …


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 …