What Can I Do to Improve?

Most of the time we wait for someone to tell us…because that's what we've been taught. Rarely do we take the initiative to ask (our boss, customer, friend/spouse) this question without solicitation…mostly because we're afraid to. Asking the question invites criticism of our work, our world view and what we stand for. Asking suggests that we aren't good enough and that we have issues to correct. Perhaps the questions should be rephrased…how can I help make things better?

As a leader imagine if your front line employees came to you with that sort of initiative. Now imagine what the employee might say if you came to them with the same question…what can we do to help you realize your goals, dreams (different than asking how can we help you improve)?

We're taught that as leaders our job is to get the most out of people…that's management. We're taught to teach, measure and correct…to improve productivity and yield. We're taught that as followers we should do our best to meet standards, fit in and follow the game plan. And if we're not doing so, our bosses will tell us. But what would happen if we moved the waiting game out of the way? What if everyone every once in a while asked themselves (then those around them)…how can I make things better? Imagine how refreshing that would be.


Most people fall into one of two categories. They are either more prone to wait for instructions. Or, they choose to initiate and inspire. Waiting for a road map is easier and seems safer. Unfortunately, it also leaves you in an unenviable position...being indistinguishable. And as a commodity your value is determined by someone else, instead of you. On the other hand, taking a chance by executing an unproven idea or stepping up to solve an interesting problem is tough...and a bit scary. But, that’s leadership. And that’s what separates you from the pack...and creates tremendous value. 

The world has way more followers than we need, leaving plenty of room for those who choose to inspire. I hope you do.

Understanding the People You Lean On

What makes a person tick? What makes their needle spin? What dreams can you help them achieve?

These are the most important questions you can ask someone in an interview (both ways). Without knowing the answer you can’t make the employment relationship anything more than just a job...a transaction, you give me eight hours and I’ll give you $$. And, if it’s just a job, nothing remarkable is going to happen...and eventually you’ll be replaced, out of business, or at best be in a constant struggle to survive.

Heaven on Earth

Sitting here drinking an authentic Mexican Coca Cola (yes, there is a difference) while peering over the top of my Macbook Air at the ocean (I have my priorities)...I came across this little riff from David Wolanski 

I've been working on making changes myself so that mine isn't a colorless cubicle shaped stew pot. Part of it is preparing mentally, and part of it is thinking about how to use the tools at hand to shape something that is my own version of heaven on earth. Bring beauty and encouragement to others. Give of my time talent and treasure to make a heaven here on earth and leave a legacy behind that outlives my time this side of the veil.

Amen...and don't settle for anything less.


Why Your Company's Performance Matters

Your company wants you to perform at the top of your game. When you do, it greatly improves their chances of winning. But, why should you care? What's in it for you?

If you have 3 or so minutes to spare, here are my two cents on the matter...