Ski trips

by Russ on October 17, 2014

“We should go a ski trip because that’s the way we’re going to get to know each other best and create shared memories.”

Is very different than…

“We should go on a ski trip because that’s the way we’re going to get to know each other best and create shared memories. X weekend in January is my first choice and Y weekend in February could work. I looked up some places to stay on Airbnb that would only cost Z dollars. If we book by Q date, we can get a deal on lift tickets.”

Who actually ends up going skiing? The person with a plan. Obviously.

My point, of course, isn’t about skiing. Making recommendations about things that should be done is very different than making suggestions about what should be done and how to do it.

There are plenty of people that know what should be done. Those that actually get the work done, (that should be done), usually come with a suggestion on how to do it. Be suggestive.

Executives, donors, or anyone you’re trying to influence, often will quickly agree that something should be done. What will set you apart is a clear articulation of how something should be done.

If this is a growth area for you, take 45 minutes to read this before your next meeting.


Breaking down 10x thinking

by Russ on October 6, 2014

10x thinking actually involves “zero to one” thinking. If we can go from zero self-driving cars to one self-driving car then we are making significant progress… Claire Hughes Johnson VP Google X, Self-Driving Cars

This statement from Mrs. Johnson at last week’s Google #Atmosphere14 online conference really stuck with me. She described how her team was given a challenge of seeing one self-driving car perform 100,000 autonomous miles around the California area. Once the proof of concept is demonstrated, they can being to work on the problem of scale.

As a change-agent, I’m always thinking about different 10x ideas and how to do things differently. However, Mrs. Johnson offers a helpful reminder that breaking down a big problem into how you go from zero to one is really instructive.

What big idea you have needs to move from zero to one this week?


Processes eat tools for breakfast

September 30, 2014

It’s often said that, “culture beats strategy, any day.” Strong values, a good work ethic and motivated employees will go the distance anyday against someone with a good strategy but without the capacity to execute and inability to stay motivated for the long-haul. I agree. In addition, I’d like to propose a corollary, “processes eat […]

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Seeing is believing

February 24, 2014

For many people, including myself, they need to see something with their own eyes to believe it. Tired of meetings that waste your time? Spend one minute in preparation for each minute you expect the next meeting you’re leading to last. This could be by sending a clear agenda, having pre-meeting conversations, or writing asynchronous […]

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Time and important things

February 19, 2014

Bottom line: We make time for things that are important to us. Runners run. Writers write. Chefs cook. Leaders influence. Readers read. The old adage holds true. If you want to know what’s important to someone, look at their schedule. I’m learning to never say, “I don’t have time.” What that phrase really means is […]

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Communication Refresher

February 12, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a half-day communication training with Michael from Mandel Communications. It was a great refresher on the basics of making sure your audience hears what you want them to hear. Here are my top 5 takeaways. 1. The importance of being listener focused In the first 2 […]

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37 Signals and Simplification

February 10, 2014

37 Signals, one of tech’s darling companies shocked the tech world last week with two big announcements. The summary? 1. They’ll only have one product, Basecamp (online project collaboration software) moving forward. 2. They are changing the company name to Basecamp. (Because that’s generally how people recognize them). As I read the announcement, I found […]

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Figuring out why people aren’t visiting

January 6, 2014

If people aren’t getting to your website is it because: a. You’re wrestling to gain critical mass for a tribe – the content is awesome but no one knows about it (yet)? or b. The content stinks and no one  in the [dwindling] tribe wants to share it? They won’t explicitly tell you but their […]

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Listening for leads

December 19, 2013

You likely hold the solution to someone else’s problem. Two recent personal examples highlight this. 1. I posted on Twitter looking for a project/task collaboration web or mobile app that my wife and I could use. The folks at Azendoo were listening and suggested I give it a try. 2. I posted on Twitter looking for […]

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What’s most important this week?

December 16, 2013

This morning our carpool asked the question of each other, “What’s the most important thing you need to do this week?” The answer to that question is telling of your priorities and mission. 1. Is your answer really what will move the ball forward in your cause? 2. Why not do that thing today, right […]

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