A friend of mine owns a bakery and café. Her cupcakes are scrumptious, her Caprese sandwich melts in your mouth. Clients drive miles for one of her macaroons. Her baked goods are legendary; the problem is her facial expressions.
If you’re a teacher, parent or leader, you want your people to be successful. The question you need to ask yourself is, do they know that?
The boss is the unseen participant at every meeting. The boss might not be there in person, but everyone wonders what her reaction will be to the decisions, initiatives or outcomes.
Lack of Noble Purpose erodes morale at work, and it eats into our lives at home, where people drag themselves through the door at night without an ounce of enthusiasm left for loved ones or fun.
If you want to create a great company, invent the next big thing, or produce an amazing work of art, keep your ego out of it. Start with noble purpose, find a problem you want to solve, or people you want to help, and pour your talents into something bigger than yourself.
I’m willing to do it, but I’m not sure he is. It’s the biggest obstacle to making a positive change. We want to know, for sure, that the other guy is all in with good intentions, before we fully invest ourselves.
It’s nice to say customers are the No. 1 priority. But when you create reward system, decision-making policies, and culture that promote the opposite, your employees act accordingly.
Words matter. Sticks and stones may crack up a few bones, but the wrong words in your head will your break your spirit forever.
Science defines culture as “the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc., in an artificial medium containing nutrients.” The same principle applies to business. Culture is the cultivation of the human beliefs swirling and growing in the petri dish labeled: your organization.
When you know what’s important to you, it’s a lot easier to organize the good stuff, and part with the useless junk.
Giving away meaningless trophies doesn’t inspire anyone to new heights of improved performance. Nor does it build self-esteem.
Here’s the noble purpose reframe: Provide real value to your customers, whether you make widgets or water pumps, your job is to improve your customer’s condition. When you make money, and you will because organizations with noble purpose outperform the market, give a portion of your profit to charity.
You don’t get a work life and a home life. You get one life. Don’t waste it trying to achieve balance.
For many years, I worked for a crazy person. Her name is Lisa, and for a decade she was the worst boss I ever had. I confess; I’m recovering overbooked entrepreneur, the terrible boss was me.
The next time you want to make a point, consider using a story. And if you need some extra exaggeration, to make it more interesting, you can borrow some from my family.
Ideas, even good ones, will fail. Companies will be purchased, and sold. Relationships will change. There are two choices, you can wish for what was. Or you can reinvent yourself to deal with what is.
If we continue to reward test scores, we’ll continue to get cheating. But if we decide that we, the American people care passionately about learning, we’ll create a system that inspires our students and teachers to feel the same way.
My friend who is a divorce lawyer says, “Most marriage failures are not the result of infidelity, substance abuse or in-laws. Most marriage failures are the result of selfishness.”
Which circles us back to the leadership question of the day – do you have a noble purpose? Or do you just sell stuff?
Success or failure is never one thing; it’s lots of things.
Life is short. Meaningful human interaction is an excellent way to spend our limited time on this earth.
World travel enlarges people. It’s a big wide world, the more you see of it, the more you appreciate it.
We humans have cast our lot together. Trusting each other is the only way we’re going to get anything done.
Your life is a series of moments. You can enjoy them, or you can wish them away. It’s your choice.
Wouldn’t it be great if your boss had to spend a week doing your job? Or your spouse had to take care of your jobs?
Here’s the thing I’ve learned: funerals matter. When a friend helps you through a funeral, you never forget it.
There are two types of negotiation. The kind where you don’t care what kind of reputation you’re creating, like a hostage negotiation. The other kind of negotiation is when you’re negotiating prices and terms with people that you’re eventually going to have to work with.
The big question — How would I want this handled if I were on the other side? — doesn’t simplify problems, it illuminates their complexity, which is exactly what is required to solve them.
If you ask people what they want for their children, most will tell you that they just want their kids to grow up to be happy.
Personally, and in business, mastering people skills is life’s big difference-maker. It’s not easy, but important skills are rarely intuitive. Mastering the art of winning people over is the difference between being surrounded by support and enthusiasm versus having do everything on your own.
Group relationships are complex. But they’re worth it.
If you’re forced to co-exist with a poison person, don’t make the mistake of letting them inject their venom into your life. They may be the killjoy, but you’re the one inviting them to dinner every night.
If you’ve already abandoned your resolution, or you’re wavering, try reframing it into an intention. You’ll feel better about it, and you can go back to it all year long.
Life is too short to have — or to be — a bad friend. If you see yourself in any of these, it’s not too late to change. And if these remind you of someone you know, you might want to consider an intervention.
When you pause, you breathe, which makes you physically stronger, and you clear your mind, which enables you to think more strategically.
We’ve all known people who touted the merits of their best (perceived) traits without realizing that they carried them to such extremes that people found them off putting.
The 60 percent principle is my new mantra. If I want it, and I’m close to 60 percent confident that I can do it, I’m going for it.
There’s a great scene in the 1980s movie “When Peggy Sue Got Married.” Kathleen Turner’s time travels go back to high school. Already having lived much of her adult life, she confidently tells her math teacher, “Mr. Snelgrove, I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra.”
We’ve been told that when two sides disagree, we’re supposed to compromise, but that never really works.
Kit Yarrow, author of “Gen Buy: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail,” says, “What you learn as a kid kind of becomes your values as an adult, so this generation really knows luxury and quality, and that’s what they want.”
People want to make money. They also want to make a difference. Creating a culture of passion and purpose is how you do both.
Paperwork is bad enough, but when people ask you to fill out their forms with the same information you provided on a previous visit, they’re trying to make their life easier, not yours.
What if you had a team of people whose sole job was to find fault with your thinking? It’s called a Red Team. Used by the CIA, IBM, the Army, news organizations and other businesses, a Red team is a group designed to penetrate your defenses
The lines between work and home may be blurred, but make no mistake, the skills and mindset required in each venue remain distinctly different.
The boss affects every member of the employee’s family. The same is true of teachers. Your spouse’s boss and your kids’ teachers can be a source of joy, or misery, for an entire family.
You’re not the person you were 25 or even two years ago, neither is anyone else. Don’t let assumptions about who a person once was inform the way you interact with them today.
You don’t accomplish big things overnight; you move the needle every day. Sometimes you get the big score and sometime you don’t. Whichever way it turns out moving the needle is always worth the effort.
Running a big organization isn’t easy; I truly empathize with the leaders that made the awful list. But as my grandmother used to say, if you want to fix a problem, the best place to start is with yourself.
Your fears and insecurity don’t exist outside of your own head. Banishing them from your brain isn’t easy, but it leaves space for something more fun and productive.
Life may come at you in frantic endless blips, but don't let the pace of your electronics set the pace for your life.