Running

If you were standing midway around an oval track, and someone said, “Get to the point opposite as fast as possible,” would you run around the track or simply cut across the middle?! If you want to change from who you are today to some improved version, don’t look for gradual transitions or traditional routes, simply become that person. Stop taking the long way around because you think there are some rules in place. There aren’t.


What’s On, What’s Up?

I’m in Adelaide at 5 am Monday morning and I found a channel showing all the NFL games in live action, alternating whenever there is a scoring play or exciting action (it’s Sunday afternoon back home). I wish I could get this on US television! I discovered it by surfing the 40 channels on the system. You never know what you may find when you explore. Change the channel, your music, your dining, your vacations. You’ll never enjoy what you …


Briefly

Practice keeping things simple. Don’t provide “background.” Ask a simple question in one sentence. Respond to a question with brevity. We often confuse complexity, length, and convolution with intelligence. Actually, they are in inverse proportion.


Blasphemy

I have found that audiences are far better served with provocation and by challenging them with new ideas than they are with commiseration, pandering, and “comfort food” (which many presentations resemble). Of course, the speaker must be oriented toward helping others and not self-adulation. If you’re receiving 10s on feedback sheets and standing ovations at every presentation, the odds are that you’re simply not doing a very good job improving others’ lives.


Responses

I don’t know if there are the proverbial “two kinds of people,” but I do know there are two kinds of responses to new ideas: Let me tell you why that won’t work. Let me figure out how I can make this work for me. Guess whom I prefer to be with?


The Meaning of “Work”

When I lived in New Jersey, I would take a Pan Am helicopter from Newark to LaGuardia or Kennedy, fly to Montreal or Toronto, conduct business and sales calls, then return to New York, take the chopper back to Jersey, and drive home in time for a late dinner with my wife. Today, I hear people whining that a buyer is a 3-hour drive away. To quote my Hall of Fame colleague Larry Winget, they call it “work” for a …


OK, I Have A Problem

The best groups I’ve ever formed or facilitated have members who are uniformly comfortable being vulnerable. My wife commented once, while sitting in with the group’s permission, that it was the first such meeting she’d ever attended where no one, once, said, “Yes, but.” Bentley’s ears are very sensitive to thunder. When it occurs, he seeks protection next to me or under my chair or under my desk (not always easy for an 82-pound German Shepherd). He doesn’t try to …


Shut Up and Work

Whenever someone from a client told me that their boss was the problem, I always asked, “So, what do you plan to do about that?” About 90% of the time they told me they were powerless and afraid of being fired, or could never find another job like this, or felt it was simply what to expect in big business. It was never strange to me that their productive colleagues never felt this way. These were the people I always …



True Failure and Success

Some people don’t take action because they believe being seen as slow to act is less negative than acting and being seen as a failure. I view people who act, fail, learn, and then improve as great successes. In fact, that’s the story behind every great success. But I’ve never met a great success who became one by failing to act.