Start Small

To build momentum on the path to accomplishing great things, first take baby steps. Small wins inspire and motivate you to chase after bigger wins. Even the smallest accomplishment will help validate your path and give you the boost you need to keep going. Small wins are much easier to chase than big wins, so why not start there? Do not bite off more than you can chew at first. Start small, win small. Grow big, win big.


Vision By Numbers

It’s exciting to see the success and growth of an organization through the numbers: sales milestones, unique visitors, engagement statistics and more. It’s very practical and momentous to set metric goals that everyone can reach for and beat. But numbers cannot tell the whole story. And metrics can only inspire a team so far. It takes a portrait of the future painted zealously by leadership to truly inspire. Something greater to work towards. Something to believe in.

The best preachers don’t talk statistics or business. True vision cannot paint by numbers. There are no formulas or metrics for dreams. Speaking abstractly and passionately about a vision for the long-term future can open minds to the possibilities and help your team imagine their way out of the status quo.

Metrics and numbers keep an organization accountable to measurable improvements. Numbers have their place and should be respected. But they only serve to measure movements that already exist. Why not strive to make new movements and invent new metrics? A vision by numbers is not enough. The opportunities are boundless for your organization, but only if the vision you paint for your team allows them to be.

Tell People When They Are Not Meeting Expectations

If someone is failing you in some way, you should not expect them to acknowledge it – they may have no idea. If that person isn’t meeting your expectations, it’s your responsibility to help him or her understand. Overcome your fear of confrontation. Face the person directly and as humbly as possible. Don’t give him or her nasty looks from afar. Don’t talk behind backs. Don’t gossip. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that passive aggressive crap will get you nowhere. If he or she isn’t taking a hint from all of your side-talking or back-talking, it’s your fault for not communicating pointedly. Pull him aside, sit him down and tell him what’s up. You will be surprised how lightly he will take it – if of course you approach him with a genuine respect and understanding. He will give you excuses and you may believe them, but at least he should understand now what you expect. If he doesn’t listen, if you continue to confront him, and if he continues to fail, then the failure will no longer for yours as a manager.

One Year Anniversary

I started blogging one year ago today. I’ve successfully posted every single day since then. 373 entries, nearly 70,000 words and 17,000 unique visitors so far. I have no intention of stopping.

This year, I hope to focus my material and brand this blog. If you have anything you like or don’t like about the direction I’ve taken, please let me know!

Thank you, dear reader, for keeping up with and sharing my posts. This continues to be a wild and fulfilling ride. An extra special thank you to Shirl for proofing my posts and never missing a word! Love you all.

On the Road Again

I’ve packed for 12 hours today and will leave at midnight to make the 1,033 mile journey back to Denver for the last time (at least for a while, if not forever). A nasty snow storm awaits my return; it will be an interesting journey.

The next time you move, I encourage you to do as I have done: lighten the load. Sifting through the things I accumulated over the years was a nostalgic experience, but it was equally relieving to leave a lot behind. It’s time for me to move on, optimize, and focus. Donating, recycling, and gifting the unnecessaries will help you move forward.

Wish me a safe trip. With any luck, the next post will declare my arrival.

Why Before the How

Contemporary business culture moves faster than light. Every day, we’re bombarded with tasks and decisions. We are often forced to dive into problems and projects without context. Managers ask us to do things without explaining why. To protect our job, we do not ask questions. But we really should.

If you believe in what you do, you will perform better. To believe in what you do, you need to understand what you are supposed to believe first. Arbitrary assignments without context make it near impossible to connect with the material. Leaders are responsible for setting the stage, helping you understand why, and inspiring you to deliver.

If your boss fails to inspire you, take a moment to reflect on the tasks you’ve been asked to do. Avoid complacency at all costs. Know the “why” before approaching the “how.” If you cannot figure it out, ask for an explanation. You will do yourself and your company a favor.

Decide When to Grow Up

Growing up is not about age or education; it’s about reaching your next milestone. After college, milestones get fuzzy and unique to each person. For some, marriage is the next logical step. For others, a job promotion. What’s your next logical step? It’s okay if you do not know right now. You’ll know when the time is right.

One thing is certain: you’re the only one who can decide when it’s time to grow up. No one else can decide for you. It’s really rare to be promoted without you asking for it first. You’re the only one who can decide when you’re done paying your dues. Likewise, successful marriages build out of mutual consent – each partner agrees it’s time to take the next step together.

Other people can make suggestions, but only you can put one foot in front of the other.

Pour Out the Glass Half-Empty

Life is never perfect, so always give second chances. But if things continue cruising below par, stop wasting time. Pour out the glass half-empty or fill it up again, but don’t let it sit there. Accept defeat or reverse your situation. If you pour, try not to make a mess. If you want a refill, calculate the effort necessary and decide if a realistic outcome is worth it. Attempting to rekindle the fire can be a risky investment of your time.

Sure, enduring heavy baggage can make you stronger. But dumping weight can make you more agile, able to reach the next milestone quicker.