I don’t want a balanced life. I want an aligned life.
You want the wheels on your car aligned. When the wheels are even a little bit out of alignment, the ride is uncomfortable, the wear on tires and other parts goes up, and the vehicle works less efficiently. When the wheels are critically out of alignment the ride is unbearable, and your safety is at risk.
When things that matter in your business and your life are not in alignment:
there is conflict and discomfort; you, or your business, use more energy than you need to, and . . . → Read More: The One Thing That Matters: Alignment
There is in the human soul a desire for reproducibility. Not reproduction, (we have that for sure!), but a need to reproduce things, perfectly and repeatably.
Traditional MBA programs are built on that desire; on the belief that the behaviours that constitute good management can be learned and repeated in any context. Those programs suggest, by making management a discipline, that if you get the basic skills down, you can manage a retail business or a bank or a restaurant, each with equal success.
The trouble is, it just isn’t true. But it seems that the desire to create . . . → Read More: A System or A Symphony?
Information theory. Physics. Classical music & jazz. Monastic orders. The sciences of the brain and cognition. Statistics and probability.
Each of these disciplines have rules at the heart of them.
So why do I find myself constantly going back there to think and act out of the box? Isn’t getting out of the box, out of the rut, all about breaking the old rules?
No. This is a complete failure of insight. We are not boxed by rules. We are boxed by habits, instincts, and unexamined emotions. One prejudice creates a prison of a box more . . . → Read More: Back to the Middle to Get Outside
Ideas are easy. Consistency is hard.
I think that one of the reasons I return to that epigram so often is because of my music training. The business world has much to learn from the musical world.
In music we keep going back to the fundamentals over and over again. You keep practicing all the time. Inspiration and creativity matter, but if you are a professional, it is your chops that really matter. No one expects to get it right the first time. You make mistakes, but you keep practicing until you don’t make mistakes any more. Yes originality . . . → Read More: Play it Again. And Again. And Again.
One of the joys (and challenges) of being a business coach is that I get paid to tell the truth, especially when no one else will.
Recently I was with a small business client who prided himself on his ability to “pick ‘em” when it came to employees. The client told me that a new employee was having some difficulties performing, but that she would come around. “I’ve got great people instincts, and I think this one is going to work out great.” Sigh. We’ve been here before.
“No.” I said. “You don’t…” And proceeded to remind him of . . . → Read More: Where are Your Blind Spots?
What gives you the right to expect ‘more’ from your employees?
When you provide only the very basics on your side of the relationship as the employer how can you expect more than the very basics from your employees? If all you give me is money, all you get is my hands.
If you want my heart and my head, you’ll have to put yours in there too.
Brett Simons has written another excellent and thoughtful piece. This one explores Enabling Covenantal Relationships. As Brett writes:
“Unless and until you are willing to hold yourself accountable for performing your . . . → Read More: Will You Be Mine? The Employer As Covenant Partner
Saying yes is a frame of mind. It is an approach to life, creativity, and leadership.
Say yes until you have to say no. In everything.
Even in sales, it is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get people into a “yes” mindset by warming them up with questions to which “yes” is the most likely answer:
“Hello, are you having a good day?” [good manners usually have us answering ‘yes’]
“Are you looking for a car today?” [of course, that is why we are on the lot]
“Are you . . . → Read More: Improv in the Cubicles: Yes Let’s!