Directions can’t replace desire

August 10, 2017

directions can't replace desire

No one changes from a workshop.

Executive coaching, self-help gurus, webinars, and personal development books won’t do the trick either.

These people and processes aren’t “the answer”, they’re guides along your journey.

Transformational growth is fueled by the reason you take the journey: desire.

When the desire to become the person you were born to be grows stronger than any fear or excuse…growth is inevitable.

Desire inspires your choices, your choices drive your actions, and your actions pave the path you travel.

Before mapping out where you want to go…ask why you want to go.

Directions don’t determine destination; desire does.

Print Friendly

Don’t “Do it like this”

August 2, 2017


Growth is an innate human desire.

When we don’t know how to get to where we want to go, it’s tempting to listen to the infomercial-esque solution to our problems:

“Do it like this! It’s fun, easy, and only takes minutes a day!”

It’s an illusion.

We’re not designed to follow one-size-fits-all advice that glamorizes and oversimplifies the task at hand.

Resist the temptation to copy the steps of someone else’s path.

Be an active participant in your self-discovery and don’t limit yourself to the supposed “right” way.

Chart your own course.

Take an inspiring detour.

Give yourself permission to get lost…

Walk your own road.

It’s the journey that changes you; not the destination.


Print Friendly

Reprogram your stress reflex

July 25, 2017

Reprogram your stress reflex

Two of the most common survival techniques when dealing with stress are fight or…

Hey, where did you go?

Over time, this ingrained stress reflex takes its toll on our physical, psychological, and emotional well-being.

Stressors can’t hurt us; our response to them is what causes the damage.

Our goal isn’t to avoid or eradicate stress, it’s to change our relationship with it.

It’s about self-management, not stress-management.

As Shawn Achor says in his TED Talk, the most effective way to have a healthy relationship with stress is to see it as a challenge rather than a threat.

Even when a situation can’t be changed, our mindset can.

Think of a stressor in your life:

  • How could you envision it as a challenge rather than a threat?
  • How might you adjust your response when it happens next time?
  • What preemptive action would help reduce the frequency of its occurrence?

Don’t aim to be stress-free, aim to be free from a stressed response.

It’s the difference between surviving the day-to-day, and thriving in it.

Ready to make the shift?





Print Friendly

Enough with the elevator pitch

July 18, 2017

Enough with the elevator pitch.

The elevator pitch.

Quick! Explain your business as fast as you can before the other person loses interest.

Here’s the problem: It resembles a one-sided dodge ball game. One person hurling information. The other…bombarded…mentally huddled in the corner.

Transform the elevator pitch into elevator catch.

The first step?

Give the ball away.

Instead of throwing information out there, seek insight with questions like:

  • Tell me about what you do.
  • How did you get into that line of work?
  • What do you like most about it?
  • What challenges are you currently facing?

After acquiring perspective, discuss your business in a way that’s relevant to them.

Set yourself apart by breaking the pattern. Stop telling. Start learning.

A shared dialogue is more memorable than a lonesome monologue.

Print Friendly

Words Matter #6: Aim to impact; not impress

July 10, 2017

Words Matter #6




The tethers of our human condition.

Having them is not a choice; the willingness to share them is.

One of the most common hiding places is behind an impeccable business persona.

When communicating at work, resist the temptation to place too much emphasis on polish.

Having the courage to be real strengthens your power to make meaningful and memorable connections.

Perfection is impenetrable. Authenticity is inviting.

Choose power over polish.

Words Matter: Aim to impact; not impress.

Click to check out other topics in the Words Matter Series

Print Friendly

Step away from the keyboard

July 5, 2017

Step away from your keyboard.

Miscommunication is the number-one complaint within work groups.

The underlying culprit?

Choosing to type instead of talk.

Effective communication integrates the trifecta of words, tone, and gestures.

Each time we text or email, we transport a 3-dimensional message through a 1-dimensional vehicle. Pieces get lost along the way.

Texts and emails are meant for information; not conversation.

Opt-out of the illusion that texts and emails should be your primary form of communication. What you gain in efficiency you lose in effectiveness.

Contact with your keyboard will never match contact with your team.

Print Friendly

Nurture your roots

June 26, 2017

Nurture with Shadow

Running through a favorite park, I noticed a number of pine trees had toppled over.

A death sentence from saturated soil and strong winds.

The elements don’t deserve the entire blame though. The pines had a role in their demise.

Shallow roots.

That’s why it’s so rare to see an oak tree on its side.

An oak’s deep roots make the difference between standing firm and crashing to the ground.

Over time, your organization will face its own version of heavy rains and blustery winds.

The best way to remain stable is to ensure you have deep and sturdy roots.

Your marketing strategy, cutting-edge technology, innovative products and services are above ground attributes.

People are your roots.

Nurture your people and they’ll ensure the rest of your business will flourish.

Ignore them and you’ll sap your infrastructure of the passion it depends on to keep it strong.

Print Friendly

The one type of person you can’t reason with

June 19, 2017

reason with

Whether you’re motivated by internal desire or external pressure to tackle an issue, a fundamental truth can’t be ignored:

Relationship precedes resolution.

The one type of person you can’t reason with is the person you don’t take the time to know.

Devoid of a relationship, we’re not as compelled to invest the energy required to resolve conflict.

Digging the foundation of a strong and meaningful relationship is necessary if you want to move from avoiding issues to addressing them.

Knowing your colleagues solely from a professional point-of-view isn’t enough.

Take the initiative to know them as people.

Push yourself past the “Hey, how are you?…Fine, how are you?” existence.

Ask about family, hobbies, a favorite vacation, a significant life achievement, future goals, or what motivates them.

Be curious. Be authentic. Listen intently.

Do the work up front so when inevitable conflicts arise, you’re positioned to resolve the issue, preserve the relationship, and forge a more resilient partnership going forward.

Print Friendly

Words Matter #5: What’s love got to do with it?

June 11, 2017

Words Matter #5

It’s easy to default to cozy phrases like:

  • “I’d love to schedule some time to tell you about our company.”
  • “I’d love to show you our new product.”
  • “I’d love for you to visit our website.”

Perpetuating phrases that don’t have anything to do with your listener gets you nowhere. Instead of telling them what you’d love, find out what they’d love.

Here’s some wisdom that works:

  1. Drop the cliché commentary. Your listener is motivated by your aptitudes; not your platitudes.
  2. Ask questions that uncover what your listener wants, needs, and cares about.
  3. Show how your idea, product, or service aligns with that in a unique and meaningful way. People respond when you can improve what’s going well or solve a problem.

So, what’s love got to do with it?


As long as it’s not about you.

Words matter: Motivate action by focusing on what your listener would love.

Print Friendly

The open door policy is dead

June 5, 2017

the open door policy

It sounds honorable.

Perhaps the words have even come out of your mouth…

“If you need anything, don’t hesitate to come to my office.”

Time passes. Few ever come.

People want your time and attention; what they don’t want is to be the initiator.

The open door policy doesn’t work because engaging leaders aren’t passive.

Get out from behind your desk and connect with the frontline.

Some leaders call it Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) , others call it the Gemba Walk, or Rounding.

It doesn’t matter what you call it. Do it.

March through that open door of yours and enter the lives of people you lead.

Ask. Listen. Affirm. Coach. Encourage. Support.

They’re waiting for you. Will you go?


Print Friendly