A great way to give thanks…

for the privileges we’ve got is to do important work. Your job, your internet access, your education, your role in a civilized society… all of them are a platform, a chance to do art, a way for you to give back and to honor those that enabled you to get to this point. For every…Read moreRead more

Open conversations (or close them)….

A guy walks into a shop that sells ties. He’s opened the conversation by walking in. Salesman says, “can I help you?” The conversation is now closed. The prospect can politely say, “no thanks, just looking.” Consider the alternative: “That’s a [insert adjective here] tie you’re wearing, sir. Where did you buy it?” Conversation is…Read moreRead more

The difference between management and leadership…

Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their colleagues, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen. Managers want authority….Read moreRead more

Run your own race…

The rear view mirror is one of the most effective motivational tools ever created. There’s no doubt that many people speed up in the face of competition. We ask, “how’d the rest of the class do?” We listen for someone breathing down our necks. And we discover that competition sometimes brings out our best. There’s…Read moreRead more

Getting serious about your org chart…

Manu’s funny brilliance aside, this collection of org charts might help you think hard about why your organization is structured the way it is. Is it because it was built when geography mattered more than it does now? Is it an artifact of a business that had a factory at its center? Does the org…Read moreRead more

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t Mark Zuckerberg…

“Mark Zuckerberg” has become a codeword for the truly gifted exception, the wunderkind freak of nature for whom traditional rules don’t apply. Well, sure, Mark Zuckerberg can drop out of Harvard, but you’re not Mark Zuckerberg… Here’s the thing: Even Mark isn’t Mark Zuckerberg. This notion that there’s a one in a billion alignment of…Read moreRead more

Is your anger killing your art?

It’s rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person.* They can’t occupy the same space, and if your anger moves in, generosity and creativity often move out. It’s difficult to use revenge or animus to fuel great work. Ironically, when you decide to teach someone a lesson they…Read moreRead more

Set the alarm clock the night before..

Situational goal adjustment is a real problem. Don’t set the clock when you’re tired, set it when you are planning your day. Don’t whittle away at your sales goals right after a serious rejection, set them when you’re on a roll. The discipline is in obeying the rule you set when you were in a…Read moreRead more

Easy vs. do-able vs. impossible…

  Often we consider an opportunity based on how easy it is. The problem with this analysis is that if it’s easy, it’s often not worth doing. It’s easy to start a blog, but of course, starting a blog doesn’t really deliver a lot of value. Posting 4,100 blog posts in a row, though, isn’t…Read moreRead more

The overwhelming fear of being wrong…

She didn’t vote because she was afraid her candidate would lose. He complains that the blog is being published too often and doesn’t want to read some of the posts if he’s not going to be able to keep up with all of them. They don’t want to buy insurance for their business because the…Read moreRead more