Monthly Archives: April 2014

Make the call

What’s the most important day of the year?

Your birthday.

It’s the annual audit of your people:

  • Who cares about me?
  • Whom do I care about?
  • Who am I?

If you want to be part of the answers to the aforementioned questions, it’s simple:

Make the call.

[Happy Birthday, Nana. Hope you got my voicemail yesterday!]


Have trouble keeping secrets? Simply cannot resist telling someone about the juicy info you just got?

Here’s the secret to keeping it a secret:

Tell someone.

But have that someone be the person who told you the secret.

Saying, “You would not believe…” or “I have to tell you something…” or “Guess what…” seems to feel good no matter whom you say it to.

Yes, I’m suggesting spilling the beans to the person who confided in you.

It may sound strange, but it works.

Tell someone.

Missions and promises

Mission statements describe what you’re trying to do. Your customers appreciate the effort. No doubt.

Promise statements describe what you’re going to do. Your customers appreciate the guarantee. No doubt.

Which is more powerful?

Aren’t promise statements more beneficial for customers? Guarantees instead of goals?

And aren’t promise statements more beneficial for organizations? Clarity instead of confusion?

Promise yourself you’ll figure out your promise statements.


Shrink it

A blank sheet of paper. A messy house. The mountain of email.

That’s not the way to look at it.


  • One sentence.
  • One room.
  • One reply.

That’s how you get stuff done.


What gets your email opened?

The subject.

What gets your email read?

The subject.

What gets your email read again?

The subject.

So, what do you spend most of your time writing?

Advice and buffets

Going to the internet for advice is like going to dinner at a buffet. There are:

  • Lots of choices.
  • Diverse perspectives.
  • Zero costs for getting more.

So, the key is selectivity. And moderation.

Because if you take it all, you might be rolled out on a stretcher.

Especially if you go every day.

Uncomfortable meetings

Who appreciates meetings that have:

  • Gone longer than 30 minutes.
  • People speaking just to hear themselves (not get fired).
  • Time dedicated to reading memos out loud.
  • People IM’ing other attendees.
  • People IM’ing non-attendees.
  • People checking email.
  • No clear objective.

Answer: No one.

The solution?

Standing meetings.

Because having one’s time wasted sucks. But having one’s time wasted while standing is, to most, not acceptable.


It’s just this.

It’s just that.

Using “just” when you write or speak does your subject no justice.

Changing people’s world view

Changing people’s word view is hard. Yes, most people can change. But they’ll only change for a select few.

I could tell a million people to stop eating sugar. But unless they hear it from their spouse, they’re not changing.

So, you wanna change people’s world view?

Preach to the ones who already share your perspective. Spouses, in this example.

Then, and only then, can you change people’s world view.

Not so bad

Some cool things about following your dreams and putting yourself out there:

  • You get lots of love, admiration and appreciation.
  • You get to choose how you want to spend your days.
  • You get gifts and attention from peripheral friends.
  • You laugh.
  • You cry.
  • You think.
  • You go to bed wanting to do it all over again.

It’s a lot like celebrating your birthday.

Not so bad.

[HT to Jimmy V for the laugh, cry, think thing (2:00).]