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Wednesday, September 28, 2022


We often perseverate on getting our message (or product or idea) out into the marketplace.

The first stop, however, is internal marketing.

If we fail to convince or persuade our own tribe -- family, house of faith, business, campus, team -- of the importance and efficacy of whatever it is we're trying to promote (whether tangible or intangible), then the likelihood of it gaining traction is minimal.

There are several upsides to marketing "at home" first:

  • Valued team members can help us improve the "product"
  • The internal discourse can help us clean up and tighten the messaging
  • The team members (if we win their support) will likely use their individual networks as force multipliers.
Note #1: The willingness of the internal team to actual "listen" to us is directly proportional to the quality of the relationships we have developed with them.

Note #2: Every conversation, every email, every memo, every exchange is a marketing opportunity. Intentionality is a must.

Happy marketing...

Sunday, September 25, 2022


Who among us does not deal with discouragement? Stuff happens, and usually in multiples. There's no need for me to generate a list of discouragement causers: We can all do that for ourselves, without help.

How can we deal with discouragement? Consider the following...

  • Rest - slow down, watch the sunrise, toast the sunset, listen to some lovely music
  • Reset - change physical positions, change environments, change focal tasks frequently (no more than 90 minutes per)
  • Reflect - reassess, re-prioritize, re-learn (or learn anew)
  • Connect - reach out to those you love and love you back (even if briefly)
  • Celebrate - the stuff gone well, the folks who "show up," the many blessings and people that frequently go unnoticed
  • Serve - somehow meet the needs of another (or others), no matter how small the gesture
  • Move - walk, jog, bike, swim, yoga,...something that gets Mind-Body-Spirit into the action together
  • Pray - connect somehow with the God of your understanding
Any one of those things will help dissolve discouragement. 

Multiple of those strategies is downright liberating. 

ALL of them.........is a force multiplier.

May the FORCE be with you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Leadership is a team sport. 

How can the leader manage the organizational attention, and the team, in order to pursue the Vision and achieve the Goals?
  • Clearly articulate the Vision and Goals in an easily understandable way.
  • Relentlessly keep the Vision and Goals as the focal point of effort.
  • Chunk the work out; all team members must have clearly articulated skin in the game.
  • Calendar regular conversations with team members about their progress.
  • Remove unable or unwilling team members gracefully and quickly. 
Job 1: Focusing the attention of the organization on the Vision and the Goals. 

Job 2: Execution toward Vision and Goals achievement.

Job 2 is harder than Job 1. That's the part where the TEAM has to produce.

Saturday, September 17, 2022


I've held several posts over the years that had the word "Interim" hung in front of the title. 

Sometimes the expectation for interim service is to fix problems, to clean house, or to "burn it down," so the next non-interim will have a cleaner slate to work with. In effect, the interim serves as a hired Gunslinger.

Other times, the interim is hired to calm stormy waters, to heal open wounds, to quietly mend fences. I think of these interim servants as the PeaceMakers.

Frequently, the interim is a person that wants the job without the word "Interim" hung in front of the title. These are the Campaigners, who engage in politicking and coalition building, with an eye on creating the fewest enemies possible during the window of interim service. This the trickiest of all versions of interim-ness. Keeping everyone happy is a very tall order.

Occasionally, a servant leader will don the title of Interim __?__ purely from a heart of service. They agree to help the organization survive, improve, and prosper. They engage in the difficult work of continuous improvement with the long view, in a short-term role. I think of these interim servants as the BetterMakers.

Really, we are all just Interims. We're only visiting this planet for a short period of time. 

I wonder how others will view our service as Interim?

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


We all just want to be more effective as leaders.

As we move and grow and learn and stretch ourselves along the journey to more effectiveness, we sometimes hit potholes in that pathway.

Here are some of the potholes that slow our journey toward betterness:

  • We spend more time talking than listening
  • We forget to notice and acknowledge the good work of those around us
  • We get focused on the little stuff at the expense of the BIG stuff
  • We opt for convoluted/complex systems instead of the most easily navigable
  • We abandon growing others and ourselves due to "time constraints"
Note to self: Dodge the potholes.

Sunday, September 11, 2022


We all influencers others. Except in the rarest of cases most of us desire that our influence has some sort of positive outcomes connected to it. 

While we don't have to possess a "title" to influence others, those in recognized leadership positions are afforded disproportional opportunities to affect positive outcomes, and vibes.

There are some concrete things we can do to make ourselves and the organizations we lead move toward betterness:

  • Focus on the best in others
  • Shift the focus from blaming toward collective resolution
  • Build bridges, not walls
  • Assist with the work, don't take over the work
  • Recognize, acknowledge, and model servant leadership
When we choose to do the opposite of those things, we should not be surprised at the the disharmony that results.

Getting better, every day, on purpose. 

We can.

Sunday, September 4, 2022


Accomplishing our organizational goals rests heavily on a lot of Talking and a lot of Doing.

Some folks in the organization are excellent Talkers. Some are superb at Doing. A precious few are good at both Talking and Doing.

Leaders are wise to assess (sooner rather than later) the skills of team members in this regard. Placing them strategically in roles that optimize their "gifts" is a consequential act of leadership.

A placement hierarchy to consider when assigning roles:

  1. TalkersDoers >> place in positions of leadership responsibility
  2. Doers >> place in positions of operational responsibility
  3. Talkers >> place in positions of some responsibility (if and only if their Talking is aligned to and advances organizational goals)
Note: Talkers whose talk is disruptive, toxic, or distracting should be marginalized or removed, with haste. The damage they do is a tax on the organization.

Thursday, September 1, 2022


Early in my professional career I often told the athletic teams I coached that "Attitudes are contagious."

I believe that more strongly now than I did then (after several decades of observation).

Regardless of our status or role, we most certainly have an impact on the attitude, the perspective, the mindset of others. That impact can enrich and improve their day, and ours. Or it can be an energy deflator. WE get to choose.

My lovely bride of 45 years (Moe) and I often reminded our daughters as we were raising them of the following: "You can be unhappy if you want. Just remember, nobody else cares -- much."

What are some ways we can be contagious in a positive way?

  • Smile - for some reason, or no reason
  • Listen - with real interest
  • Be thankful - and express it
  • Engage - connect with others authentically
  • Care - and show it
  • Serve - to make things better
Force Multiplier: Seek out and hang with others who choose to be happy. 

Everybody wins when we choose to be positively contagious.