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Monday, May 30, 2022


A lifetime is too short to learn the craft of leadership. 

As we grow ourselves into more impactful Servant Leaders, there exists some powerful accelerants to the process:

  • Clarity - be absolutely clear about the direction we are heading, about the outcomes we seek. The paths toward that vision will be nuanced, ambiguous, and many. The Direction, however, should never be.
  • Trust - engage in constant trust development, between and among stakeholders (both internal and external). Trust is the currency that is most honored in human interactions, and it comes from transparent alignment of what others see out of us compared with what others hear from us.
  • Learning - growing individually and collectively is absolutely necessary. Our work is not done in isolation, neither can our learning be. Learning is a dance of constant push and pull. If we are not Lead Learners, and if we do not invite others to Learn along with us..............................we have a problem.
  • Engagement - others feel valued by us mostly as result of the way we interact with them. Listening instead of lecturing, Asking instead of telling, Observing instead of directing all send powerful signals that let others know we need their thinking, we cherish their authentic involvement, we covet their engagement.
Leadership is about influence, and it's a two-way street. 

Let's move the Leadership improvement needle a little today. For ourselves, and for those with whom we engage.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022


 For your consideration:

Cynicism = Don't know + don't care + not believing it

Curiosity = Don't know much about it + interested in knowing more

Skepticism = Know a little already + convince me + gonna ask critical questions

Skeptiosity = Curiosity + Skepticism

Cynicism blocks learning.

Curiosity invites learning.

Skepticism calibrates learning.

Skeptiosity accelerates learning.


Sunday, May 22, 2022


Wishing is insufficient.  

Intentions, while more impactful than wishes, are also woefully ineffectual.

Personal or communal or organizational change requires a commitment to habitual alterations of behavior. These behavioral changes in habit will begin to subsequently shape changes in ways of thinking. They gain momentum and "sticking" power as the desired results begin to emerge.

For those of us in leadership positions, not only must we MODEL the desired habits. We should also persistently NOTICE when others embrace those habits. And, if we want those habits to gain traction, we are compelled to consistently and specifically ACKNOWLEDGE -- both in private and in public -- those habitual enactments.

Turning intentions into habits is tough work   >>>   MODEL + NOTICE + ACKNOWLEDGE.

Leadership ain't for sissies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


In organizational and personal life, we often do and say things that are inconsistent with our desired purposes. Too often, we engage in actions that actually run contrary to our purposes. When we participate in actions that are inconsistent with our purposes we are guilty of mindless frittering. Those are activities are, and are perceived by others to be, meaningless.

We see it all the time. Protocols, processes, and procedures are put in place that feed.....................................themselves.....................................NOT the grander and fundamental PURPOSE for which we and/or our organization exists.

As leaders, how can we mitigate PurposeLESS behavior?

Consider this recipe for PurposeFULL behavior:

   1) Clarify the PURPOSE - know, codify, and relentlessly articulate the timeless values we honor and which we intend to exemplify. Make them a consistent mantra.

   2) Assess Alignment - daily and persistently evaluate our actions/words/thoughts against their integrity to that Purpose. Habituate this practice, internally and communally.

   3) Adaptations - minimize and eliminate the "stuff" that is just "stuff" -- that which does not directly contribute to pursuit of our Purpose. Intentionally replace those excisions with PurposeFULL activity/behavior.

Works for us in our personal lives. Works for us in our organizational lives.

PurposeFULL does not happen accidentally.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


Meetings are a necessary part of organizational work.

Unnecessary meetings are one of the most non-productive uses of time in organizational work. If not needed, don't call 'em.

Poorly deployed meetings are one of the most frequent time and energy sucks of organizational work.

Some thoughts about making meetings more productive:

  • Build ALL meeting agendas around the organization's BIG drivers (never more than five of these).
  • Limit agenda items to those BIG drivers and frame them as Action Items and/or Data Analysis and/or Action Planning only (keep informational junk and rat killing' -- stuff that does not apply to the whole team -- OFF the agenda).
  • Set hard start and stop times for meetings and stick to 'em (limiting meetings to one hour is best).
  • Stay out of the weeds and rein in rabbit chasers.
  • Provide agendas to meeting participants ahead of time (for thought and preparation).
  • Be clear about assigned work and due dates for that work (and scatter that work across the team).
Did I say poorly managed meetings are also the most wasteful use of time, team energy, and MONEY in organizational work? If not, I shoulda.

Sunday, May 8, 2022


Planning is tricky work. I learned much about the process as a young athletic coach. As the years passed and my job assignments changed, I learned more and more about effective planning practices.

Here are some of my big takeaways regarding Effective Planning:

  • Direction - Knowing where we want to go and what we want to accomplish comes first. Clarity in the direction is absolutely necessary.
  • LookBack - Reflecting on what we did to get us where we currently are is a non-negotiable. We gotta know how we got here.
  • LookForward - Conversations about concrete actions and steps that can be taken incrementally to move us to our desired outcomes must take place. 
  • Actionability - Writing down, codifying, those actions/steps is necessary. Assigning responsibility to team members for taking those steps must occur. ALL team members should have a responsible role; nobody gets to sit on the bench for the whole game.
  • Monitoring - Collective (not unilateral) monitoring of those actions and steps must occur on a regularly scheduled basis. Just because it's written means nothing; reviewing and monitoring as a team is required.
  • ContinuousImprovement - All plans have weak spots. Conditions change, people change, the WORLD changes. Making constant adjustments toward betterment is the surest sign of life and vitality. Plans that are intractable go in the casket with us.......and our organization.
Happy planning! 

(What? You thought this would be easy?)

Wednesday, May 4, 2022


There's this thing called the 80-20 Principle (aka Pareto Principle). The premise is that 80% of the outcomes are generated by 20% of the inputs (or inputers). 

Another way to think of it is that 20% of our thoughts/mindsets and actions/behaviors drive 80% of our results.

A living and work recipe worth considering:

  1. Decide what is TRULY important to us as desired outcomes.
  2. Name those outcomes clearly.
  3. Assess the amount of thoughts-behaviors-time-effort we invest daily toward achieving those outcomes, and DO MORE OF THEM.
  4. Evaluate the amount of thoughts-behaviors-time-effort we expend daily that does not move us toward those outcomes, and STOP DOING THEM.
That 80-20 thing will take care of itself if we do. 

The DIVIDENDS we realize are the direct downstream result of our decisions along these lines.