Sunday Thoughts and a few Quotes

If we continue toy manage social issues, social issues manage to continue.

Remarkable people use their strengths to strengthen themselves and others.

I believe everyone will, given the opportunity and circumstances, take care of themselves, their family and their community.

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~ Maya Angelou


Update – Still waiting






What are You Waiting For?

I can’t demonstrate emphasis my typing but there are at least 9 different meanings that can be taken by sliding and slurring emphasis from one works or a combination of words.

What are you waiting for? What are you waiting for? What are you waiting for? …

I woke up this morning with a strong waiting which begs a why response. Why am I waiting? Am I afraid? Am I unsure? Is the decision made but I don’t like the direction it leads? Will I be disappointed? Will someone else? Am I procrastinating or being reflective?

Far from the madding crowd, this morning, tucked away in our little retreat it should be easy to work through the options and possibilities but is/has been frustrating. I understand the irony of being anxious and upset about having to wait to discover why I am waiting.

I am not going to let the anxiety force the decision even though that is my modus operandi. I am going to let the choice arise from carrying it for a couple days and trusting that the as yet unimagined will work it’s way through the fog.

In the short term I am going for a run because that always brings me back with an altered perspective.

I am celebrating (almost) waiting today.



Say Yes to What Matters

Say yes to what matters and no to everything else. Now you just need to figure out what matters. We, all of us, can get caught up in accepting new assignments, signing up for new opportunities, and agreeing to help with a project that isn’t on our priority list. Away from our employment, we have permission to only undertake things that fit with our values and will add meaning to our lives and the world we live in. Even then, we can still say no if the opportunity will reduce your time spent in loving and caring relationships, meeting existing commitments or are contrary to our long term goals.

My delusions of grandeur and a propensity to be a self righteous martyr has had me saying yes when my head, heart, agenda recognized that I should say no. I am getting better as I am conscious  of my resources and relationships and how I desire to live a life of meaning and make a living. I can do both but not if I say yes to every request. My 168 hours a week are enough to do remarkable things. If I sleep 50, write for 20, exercise for 10 I still have 88 hours. Coaching and consulting  48, Reading 18, Relationships 22 and now something suffers. I likely start detracting from my personal time, less sleep or less reading or less exercise. If I continue to say yes, my relationships begin to suffer.

For every new thing I say yes to, I should realize that I am saying no to some existing goal or desire. I still find myself over extended on many occasions but the more I practice discerning what matters and saying no to other stuff, the better able I am to add value  to my yes bucket.

Make Today Remarkable, by saying no, just once,




Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time. ~Clayton Christensen

Knowing what your values are creates the base for making meaning in your work and world. Stating your values publicly holds you to account. There will still be struggles; temptations to waver from what you stand for but the spoken and written declaration acts as inspiration and a reminder to be strong.

My Declaration.

I believe that everyone is far more capable than they are given credit for.  That means that as a leader, I need to nurture, provoke and equip all those around me to be the best that they can be. I need to ensure that they have the tools and knowledge to make great decisions and create remarkable results. I must let them know all the awesome stuff they are doing (specifically) and help them understand where they can improve. The environment needs to support autonomy, mastery and purpose. (Daniel Pink) Failure needs to be an option and dissent an expectation. Freedom to explore must be embedded. Transparency creates the open window and provides the oversight.

As A leader I need to allow myself all of the above too. I am far more capable than I give myself credit for.

Make Today Remarkable, by being remarkable,



Believe in your ‘Team’

if you don’t underestimate me, I won’t underestimate you Bob Dylan

How much confidence do you have in the people you work with? Your team? Your family? Do you have doubts about their capabilities? Their skills? Their passion?

Are you demonstrating your confidence in them? Do you have expectations that you regularly check with them and then turn them loose? Do you tell them that you believe in them? Are you proud of their results and effort? – tell them.

Clarity, brevity and repetition are key to helping folks meet expectations.

Be clear, with no grayness, about exactly how we will know when  the expectations have been  met. Not how in the  the details of doing but how in the details of arriving. Give them permission to come to you if they don’t have the tools or information they need but also the permission to figure the details out.

Co-create or have them create a two paragraph(max) treatise of the expectation. Ask for a commitment for them to read the statement once a day or whenever they feel stuck. When they are off expectations the statement should tell them to get back on course. If there is a question of priority, the statement should help reconcile what to do.

As the assignments are being completed, check n with the team, about the specific expectations on a regular (at least weekly) basis and reinforce the clear brief statement.

As a leader you get to support the remarkable and capable people on your team. Start today by creating clarity, brevity and repetition in your own life.



Someone will do Something Remarkable

I said in a presentation” Someone in this room will do something remarkable in the next few days and contact me with their story”. ” Do you want me to let you in on their remarkable story?” There was a resounding “yes” and I received permission to send them an email when it occurred. It happened, twice, and I have forwarded the remarkable stories, about the two individuals who stepped up to the challenge, to all the participants.

Are you ready for the challenge? I believe that someone reading this post is going to step into their world and do something remarkable in the next 72 hours (likely in the next 12) and I am asking them to contact me with their story. Not to brag but to encourage. When we see people like us making remarkable differences, it gives us permission to do the same.

There you go – you have a challenge and permission. Who is going to be first?

Make Today Remarkable,




You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear. – Sammy Davis, Jr.

Right Wrong

We always have choices. Some are easy to make but difficult to live with, some are difficult to make but easy to live with. In my experience, when I make a decision to do nothing it invariably comes back to haunt me. When I choose to act, I need to make a choice as to how I act.

There is a small tool that I find helpful. A Decision Tree is really just a process to understand when/how/why and what decision you make. I often jot down notes while working through the process.

Take a local election. Am I going to vote –  if yes go to next step, if no then stop., Am I voting on partisan lines – if no then go to next step, if yes then stop. Am I voting based on research – if no then move to a different question, if yes the go to next step.

You see the tree split into Research and Something Else (maybe Intuition or maybe Self Interest or ..) Doing the research branch, am i looking for policy information or candidate bio? – The branch may split again.

I think my decisions have gotten better by applying a bit of rigor to making them. Give it a try today and let us know what you discover.


A Day for Rebirth

Today is Pentecost in the Christian calendar. For those of us who are part of a church, this is a day of rebirth and renewal. A new order was and is established. Whether you call yourself a follower of Jesus or practice another tradition or declare that you are outside faith communities you can claim this day as a new beginning.

Use today to accept and embrace your calling to make a difference in your world. To declare that you are ready and willing to step into an world of the pursuit of happiness, at times selfish,self centered happiness, and begin a pursuit for meaning.

You can make meaning starting today as you use your strengths to strengthen others. My make it your problem philosophy and practice suggests  that you begin with something small and proximate. Something you see. When flying into San Francisco a few years ago I saw a sign that said “ If you see something say something”. Even though this was a Homeland Security sign, it stuck with  me. If I see something say something, compels me to be observant of the world around me . It challenges me to speak up, in person, to authorities, or directly. It opens me to the world and how I can make a difference in an immediate, relevant and concrete way.

It challenges me to say something, do something, be something that is of service to my world.


Four plus or minus Two

Most of us carry a lot of stuff around in our heads. There is evidence that we can really only manage four important things (plus or minus two) at a time. But we can’t just dump a couple to make room for something new. We need to deal with the issue, idea or inspiration in some way to unlock the space.


If I have said something to someone I care about that was disrespectful and requires an apology, I use up kinetic energy and head space (whether I acknowledge it or not). If I have a deadline that is looming and I am procrastinating – more head space used. A birthday to plan, an appointment at 2, a promise to keep and suddenly there is not room for more. A grocery list is forgotten, a friend is ignored, medication is missed and we chalk it up to old age or forgetfulness.  Maybe it is the ‘No Vacancy”  sign hanging in your head.

I need to clear the recesses  and deal with the space problem by dealing with the issues, ideas, or inspiration. Surprisingly, when you start spring cleaning, you discover some bug space users that have been hiding in the recesses. These are the  emotional baggage that hasn’t been dealt with. Saying sorry or feeling resentment, remembering a friend but not acting on it, carrying a small hurt with you until it has grown to a big deal all take up head space (and heart space). When you do your spring cleaning (really a few times a week clean) watch for the baggage and act on them. The simple act of saying something you need to say or doing something you need to do will release space for something else that is important.

Start dusting your brain and clearing the cobwebs right now.