Monthly Archives: July 2013

leave people better off than you found them …

“And that’s really the secret to everything, isn’t it?  To be fearless, to go out and try and grab life, no matter what it is, and not wait for good things to wander into the kitchen through the cat door.”
Jason Gay  – Wall Street Journal July 22,2013


Another secret to life is helping others become more of who they really could be.  The secret is leaving another person better off than when you first met them or interacted with them.   Imagine what would happen if companies worked in that same manner.  What would happen if every manager, every employee, every “C” level executive increased the value of everyone they interacted with?   Companies would go beyond great.

Far too many businesses, organizations or entities  are filled  with people who trampled on rather than being built up.   People are  more like a resource, a mineral deposit in which we extract or exploit the value of that resource until it is gone, until there is nothing left, and then we move on.   Recently I encountered a person who did the right thing in their job and then the managers  in the organization decided to make life miserable for the employee so that the individual would choose leaving.    The one act of courage to do the right thing was dismissed and instead of building up the person they were torn down.

This is an appeal to leaders everywhere, what are you doing to add value to the lives of others?   Are you leaving them better off than you when you first met them or interacted with them?

Make that an exercise for today, improve the value of the people you meet and interact with.   Then repeat each day.


1. Say thank-you, genuinely and authentically
2. Let them make a mistake and ask them what they learned
3. Give them more responsibility, show that you trust them.
4. Be open to their words – Listen.

What else can you think of that would add value to those you interact with?

What is stopping you?

start with an intention

“Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.”
Bryant McGill


The genesis of action is an intention, a thought which excites and motivates, a dream in which you believe with your whole heart and being that it is possible.  Have you had such a dream, such a powerful dream that it could not just be contained as a thought, and it had to become more than just a ball of ideas?

The first action on a thought is the one of intention, placing power behind the thought and moving it forward in the cosmos of things that you want to do and putting it first.   When we put attention behind an intention something happens and that something is the emergence of something new, something to be created.   For many the idea of creating something is their higher purpose, their calling, their gift to create something of value to others.

What is amazing is that when there is energy applied to intention and it starts to move you start to move as a person as well.  It can be a time of profound growth and understanding.  The understanding of your own limits, your own ability to create and add purpose to something that already exists encourages personal growth.   Paying attention and giving attention to something allows something to come into being, to be started and finished and that provides a sense of accomplishment, success and significance.

When intention moves to attention the result is no tension.  When intention sits around with nothing to do stress builds up and expectations that aren’t meet create anxiety.   Paying attention to an intention allows you to move forward reducing stress and anxiety.

Take your intention and do something with it.  Start getting results and start changing how you interact with the world around you.

How do you do it?

1. Create your dream list.   What do you dream about doing?

2. What is the most important thing on that list?

3. What will it take to move that one thing forward?  What resources, what energy, and what obstacle has to be removed?

4. Apply energy, your thought, your time, and your energy to this intention, give it your all.   Be committed to it.  Be passionate about it.  Move it forward and keep inching it forward each day until you are done.

5. Feel your tension decrease as you do something that matters to you.  Feel your confidence increase as you start living your dream.

When do you start?  Now!  Start today.

circles not boxes

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
Noam Chomsky


What does your organization chart look like?   Is it the typical set of boxes showing the relationship in a hierarchical fashion?   Most organizations are structured with a top down command and control organization.  Even though some of those organizations would profess empowered leadership models there is still the idea that someone is subordinate to another.  The subordinate relationship will  reduce the ability for everyone to contribute their absolute best.

The new leadership model will be a set of interlinked circles much like that of a Venn diagram.   This model doesn’t use subordinate relationship to accomplish work.   It uses a model of collaboration to bring out the best of each person.

What happens when there is greater collaboration between all roles in the organization?   Communication improves, it gets faster, it vibrates with ideas, and is more rich.  Gone is the worry of saying something and not having it matter.   Greater collaboration leads to greater wins for the organization and for everyone in the organization.

Moving away from the traditional structures will allow organizations to move more quickly, extract the best ideas, and increase total involvement.  That is in essence the idea of enabling people to contribute.   Empowerment with action is enablement and that is what it will take to for organizations and individuals to make a larger contribution.

The collaborative leadership model is based on relationships rather than authority (positional authority).   The model will enhance organizational performance and contribute to faster implementation of change with in the structure.   The challenge is breaking free from the ways of the past to embrace something new.   The same change authors have to embrace this model and create an impetus for a new way of doing business.  Those that do embrace a collaborative model will thrive and out perform those that don’t.

How do you create such a large change?   Start with small groups, build the model, test it and watch it work.     Think about ways you can create a more collaborative environment and then implement.

ask for the unreasonable

“Most men either compromise or drop their greatest talents and start running after, what they perceive to be, a more reasonable success, and somewhere in between they end up with a discontented settlement. Safety is indeed stability, but it is not progression.” 
― Criss Jami


 Consider what would  happen if you did something that was outside your comfort zone.   What would you ask for?   What would you want?

What stops many people is the fear of someone saying “No” to a request.  Just the thought that someone might say “no” stops the question from being asked.   The only place that the request was unreasonable was in the mind of a reasonable person.    We won’t get what we don’t ask for.

Think about something you want to accomplish, have or be.   What question would you ask and who would you ask that question to?    What would happen if you got the answer you wanted?   What would you really do?

Progress is made by making unreasonable requests.   What request do you want to make?   What will it take for you to make it?