Editorial Results (free)
1. A Few Basics of Conflict Resolution
- Monday, October 14, 2013
As I write this we’ve had another week of ongoing and intense political conflict with no end or compromise in sight. I hope I won't be able to make this statement a week from now.
By definition, a compromise involves an agreement or settlement of a dispute reached by each side making concessions. At this point, I’m not sure what good if any can come from the current political standoff in Washington.
2. The Lesson of the Zax
- Monday, October 7, 2013
As I sit down to write my article this week, all non-essential people working for the federal government are on furlough. All, that is, except for the most non-essential of all government employees – our Washington politicians.
3. The Structural Tension Sales Strategy
- Monday, September 30, 2013
I first ran across the term structural tension in a book called “The Path of Least Resistance” by Robert Fritz. Structural tension has to do with the kind of tension that naturally moves things toward some sort of resolution.
4. Four Kinds of Luck
- Monday, September 23, 2013
There are the four kinds of luck: Good luck, the random kind that you cannot influence. Good luck, the kind you can influence or help create. Bad luck, the random kind you cannot influence. Bad luck, the kind you create. In this article, let’s focus on the second kind of luck, the luck you can influence.
5. Thoughts on Budget Season
- Monday, September 16, 2013
For many of you, it’s that time of year again. It’s the season to complete your budgets. So, what’s the deal with budgets? Is all this budgeting activity worthwhile or not? I honestly don't know. Perhaps the most accurate answer is, maybe.
6. Need for Constant Love
- Monday, September 9, 2013
Sometimes strange things, more accurately strange ideas and events, influence our behavior.
Our central nervous system operates like a tape recorder and constantly records all the day-to-day events of our life. Most of these events are processed by our nervous system and are, in effect, released. When this happens, we let go of the memory and it doesn’t influence our future behavior. However, sometimes the tape recordings get stuck in our mind. When that happens, the memory of the recorded event can be easily triggered in the future and affect our everyday behavior. Sometimes we are aware that a past memory is influencing our behavior, most often we are probably not aware of it.
7. Getting Focused
- Monday, September 2, 2013
Some of my clients tell me they wonder if it’s even possible to get focused nowadays with the constant onslaught of life-distracting things and events. First of all, I think the realistic answer to this question falls in the category of Henry Ford’s famous statement, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
8. Mutually Beneficial Networking
- Monday, August 26, 2013
Many business professionals think of networking as mainly attending events and exchanging business cards. Then you go back to your office and connect on LinkedIn or some similar networking service and wait for the magic to happen. And it rarely does.
9. Creating a Positive Mental Attitude
- Monday, August 19, 2013
Very few people will probably disagree with the idea that developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude is helpful in sports, business and life in general.
Having a positive mental attitude is, of course, no guarantee of success when so many other factors such as skill, effort and perhaps even a little luck so often come into play in any successful endeavor. So let’s not get all rah-rah and proclaim a positive mental attitude the solution to all problems – but let’s not take the opposing viewpoint and declare it a superficial characteristic of shallow people.
10. The Lessons Found in the Traffic Light
- Monday, August 12, 2013
Most traffic lights use a three-color system – red, yellow and green – in an attempt to control the flow of traffic through an intersection. Red, in this case, is the traffic light color that instructs moving vehicles to stop. This seems to be a simple system, and it is simple on the surface.
11. There’s No Such Thing as Time Management
- Monday, August 5, 2013
Yes, I am being a bit nit-picky, but as the title states there is no such thing as time management. Time flows in a forward direction and does not respond to any human attempts to manage it. Therefore, time management strategies are, pardon the pun, a waste of time.
12. A 'Barn Raising' Company Culture
- Monday, July 29, 2013
Let’s think like farmers for a minute. It has often struck me that if you want to develop practical solutions to problems, you should try to think like farmers. That’s because in general farmers are no-nonsense, practical-minded folks. Don’t get me wrong, I like out-of-the-box thinking as much as the next guy. However, there’s a time and a place for all kinds of thinking and when you need to solve a real-world problem quickly, you might want to try thinking like a farmer.
13. Alternative to Gordian-Knot Thinking
- Monday, July 22, 2013
I always liked the so-called Alexandrian solution. In summary, there was a length of rope tied into an unbelievably complex knot in a kingless kingdom located in an area that is considered modern day Turkey. It was called the Gordian knot; named after an ox-cart driving peasant farmer named Gordias.
14. Does This Make Sense?
- Monday, July 15, 2013
It appears that as humans we have a “makes sense” switch in our brains. Here is the way it works. First we decide what we think about an issue and take a position on it. Then we run our decision through some sort of mental process to gather information in support of our position. Often, when we first stumble across any evidence that causes us to think, “That makes sense,” we abandon any further exploration, store our position in memory for possible future use and move on to the next thing.
15. Sick or Sane Mind?
- Monday, July 8, 2013
I am fully aware that many people believe a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind. The opposing viewpoint is that a person’s external word is a reflection of their internal world. If the latter is the case, a quick look at many people’s workspace suggests that they are secretly (or more likely not so secretly to those around them) experiencing a tremendous amount of internal chaos and disorder.
16. Training Your Elephant
- Monday, July 1, 2013
Early in his book “Happiness Hypothesis” Jonathan Haidt states that the mind is divided into separate parts that sometimes work against each other. “Like a rider on an elephant, the conscious, reasoning part of the mind has only limited control of what the elephant does.”
17. Happiness As Strategy
- Monday, June 24, 2013
Today, I finished reading the book “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh. Tony is the CEO of Zappos – and Tony is an experimenter extraordinaire! In a nutshell, he seems to be willing to try pretty much anything in his ongoing quest to develop and nurture a culture of happiness creators at Zappos.
18. The Power of Curiosity and Sociability
- Monday, June 17, 2013
Two organizations – the Miami-based One Laptop Per Child Association and the Cambridge, Mass.-based One Laptop Per Child Foundation – are nonprofit entities set up to oversee the creation of affordable educational devices for use in the developing world.
19. Speculating About Modern Workplace
- Monday, June 10, 2013
Anthropology is the study of humankind. Among other things, anthropologists try to figure out how groups of people have worked together throughout history in ways to increase the odds the group will survive and prosper.
20. Part-Time Enlightenment
- Monday, June 3, 2013
I’ve been struggling with some serious philosophical issues lately. For example, I couldn’t remember if we were supposed to wait until after Memorial Day to wear white, or were we supposed to wait until after Labor Day? I tried to look it up on the Internet and discovered that most people don’t really care anymore and you can pretty much wear white anytime you want to. That’s a relief!
21. We Must Stop Meeting Like This
- Monday, May 27, 2013
I’m going to get all literary on you today and make the statement that business meetings remind me of the classic opening sentence of Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
22. The Myth of Rationality
- Monday, May 20, 2013
Do decisive people base their decisions on rational factors or do they often rely on intuition and emotions? According to Jan Halper’s book “Quite Desperation: The Truth About Successful Men,” if the truth were known, most executives rely more on emotional factors when making important decisions.
23. Strategy for Very Familiar Questions
- Monday, May 13, 2013
OK, I was trying to be somewhat nice in the title. This article is really about answering those questions that you have heard hundreds or perhaps thousands of times. Questions that make you think, “If I have to answer that question one more time, I might just go crazy!”
24. Go Ahead, Make Someone’s Day
- Monday, May 6, 2013
Many years ago when I began my career with a national CPA firm I was quickly bombarded with information related to numerous firm policies and procedures. I was told about everything including when to show up for work and which color pencil to use. I’m not kidding about the pencil choosing policy.
25. A Quick, Cheap Fix for Stress
- Monday, April 29, 2013
If you read much about stress, you quickly find out that stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The human stress response, or fight-or-flight system, was designed by Mother Nature to be your friend and help you in times of potential trouble. However, if you read on you also learn that, to state it somewhat bluntly, stress can kill you. So there you go; from not being so bad to … it can kill you. That’s not very confusing is it?
26. Deal With the Stress Before the Mess
- Monday, April 22, 2013
When I get curious, I read a lot. Last week I got very curious about a form of ineffective behavior that seems all too common these days.
The behavior in question relates to ineffective listening habits, especially in situations fraught with stress or other forms of heightened emotions. So, I plowed through four books on the topic last week. Thank goodness for that Evelyn Wood speed-reading course I took 24 years ago.
27. Greenleaf on Servant Leadership
- Monday, April 15, 2013
This weekend I took the time to reread Robert K. Greenleaf’s essay titled “The Servant as a Leader.” I thought some of the ideas in the essay were worth sharing with you.
After spending 40 years researching management development, Greenleaf came to the conclusion that the command and control authoritarian leadership style so prevalent in American institutions and organizations was an ineffective way to lead people. He then spent the next 26 years of his life helping people understand the basics of what he referred to as servant leadership. In a nutshell, great leaders are servants first. In fact, being a servant and being seen as a servant by those you lead are keys to greatness.
28. The Anatomy of a Habit
- Monday, April 8, 2013
As humans, we would have a hard time getting through the day without our strongly ingrained habits. But as you know, some habits produce good results, some produce undesirable results.
In the case of workplace habits, it’s a good idea to consider your current inventory of habits and determine the results they are producing. Think about all the daily routines that are driven by your habits. For example, how do you handle incoming emails, phone calls, pieces of paper that flow into your office, meetings, boredom, anxiety and other triggering events with the potential to influence or alter your behavior?
29. Marketing Power of Predictability
- Monday, April 1, 2013
When I was a very young man many, many years ago, I remember being fascinated by the information on the bottom of the McDonald’s hamburgers signage. Of course, I didn’t know about the word signage back then. I just knew McDonald’s had really cool signs with golden arches and big red and white words. The words at the bottom of the sign intrigued me most.
30. A Very Good Question to Ask
- Monday, March 25, 2013
What if you knew the best predictor of future growth for your business? Think about it. If you knew the best predictor, you could look into it, see how you’re doing with regard to it and focus much of your time and energy on it.
31. The Problem With Problem Solving
- Monday, March 18, 2013
Years ago I stumbled across an interesting book titled “The Logic of Failure” by Dietrich Dörner. The main premise of the book is that if you are not careful, the side effects of some solutions will make things worse.
- Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Rotary Club of Memphis East will meet Wednesday, March 13, at noon at The Racquet Club of Memphis, 5111 Sanderlin Ave. Meri Armour, president and CEO of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, will speak. Cost is $17. R.S.V.P. to Lee Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Monday, March 11, 2013
The Memphis Chapter International Association of Administrative Professionals will meet Monday, March 11, at 6 p.m. at Memphis Marriott East, 5795 Poplar Ave. IAAP past president Jane Bratton, executive assistant at Smith & Nephew, will present “The Multi-Manager Admin: Tips for Working for Multiple Executives.” Cost is $22. R.S.V.P. to email@example.com or 752-6213.
34. Toast, Cats and Motivation
- Monday, March 11, 2013
Most people have no problem accepting that it’s possible to receive wireless signals with their computers. However, the fact that similar wireless-like communication occurs between human beings often seems mysterious to the same people. Interestingly, it is a proven fact that humans communicate with each other wirelessly all the time.
- Saturday, March 9, 2013
The Brew Movement Against Multiple Sclerosis will hold the fourth annual Beauty in the Eye of the Beer Holder fundraiser for the Mid South Chapter of the National MS Society Thursday, March 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central Ave. Attendees can sample unique homebrews created for the event, craft beers and microbrews. Tickets are $30. Visit msbrewmovement.org.
36. Serious Consequences
- Monday, March 4, 2013
So you have tried all the subtle ways to get a subordinate to start doing something that needs to be done to make things better in your business, or stop doing something that is causing problems. What do you do now? Maybe it’s time to turn up the intensity a bit. Maybe it’s time for the “serious consequences” conversation.
37. The Last-Second Madness
- Monday, February 25, 2013
Many people in the relatively danger-free world of modern white-collar workers seem to be stressed out these days. Perhaps this is because they are ill-equipped to function in the modern world. I’ve been playing around with mathematics and time to help explain what is going on.
38. The Before and After of Buying
- Monday, February 18, 2013
When you spend several years selling, delivering and supporting a product or service, you naturally learn quite a bit about the logical questions someone should ask when they are contemplating buying the product or service you are selling. For example, if you have sold used cars for more than a decade, odds are you would do an absolutely fantastic job of questioning another used car salesperson and uncovering the most important issues related to a typical used car transaction. With your experience, you may or may not be a great seller of used cars – but I’ll bet you would be a great buyer of used cars. Hopefully, you would be both.
39. Are You 100 Percent Sure of Beliefs?
- Monday, February 11, 2013
Here’s a statement that is worth pondering: Among a group of people, the most successful person is usually the person whose beliefs correspond most closely with reality.
How closely do you think your beliefs correspond with reality? My guess is that about 100 percent of you answered 100 percent to that question. Of course that would mean that some of you are wrong, since there is no way 100 percent of the people in the world believe 100 percent of what you believe.
40. The Story in the Numbers
- Monday, February 4, 2013
I began my career as a CPA with one of the major accounting firms. It was fun for a while, but after a few years I decided the profession was not for me. That’s OK – different strokes for different folks and all that kind of stuff.
41. Goal for a Life Well-Lived
- Monday, January 28, 2013
Lately I’ve talked with several people who were struggling with the question, “What is the goal of life?” Those of you who know me personally might remember that I have a daughter in college. Therefore, you might be thinking I’ve been talking with young students home for the holidays. Nope – most people pondering this question were adults well into their careers.
42. Resolving Resolution Relapse
- Monday, January 21, 2013
For most of you, it’s about that time of the year again. It’s about the time that you have completely abandoned all those New Year’s resolutions you felt so strongly about a few weeks ago. If this is the case, two of the main reasons the resolutions didn’t work out for you are: 1) You forget to define some sort of specific behavior that supports the resolution and/or, 2) You didn’t hang in there and repeat the specific behavior related to the new belief long enough.
43. One Secret of 'The Secret'
- Monday, January 14, 2013
Several years ago a short video went viral and spread the word throughout the land that you could pretty much have anything you want in life, including health, wealth and happiness, if you simply ask the universe for it in the right way. In a nutshell, it was yet another of the periodic Wallace Wattle-like rediscoveries of the power of positive thinking and creative visualization. In this case, the discovery was categorized as a so-called “Secret” that you too could gain access to for the price of the video.
44. Who Serves as Your Truth-Teller?
- Monday, January 7, 2013
My wife and I were recently strolling through a small tourist spot when we happened upon one of those vintage machines that guesses your weight, your age and tells your fortune. According to the instructions, all you had to do was stand very still facing the machine and drop a specified coin in the slot.
45. Getting More Organized
- Monday, December 31, 2012
It’s that time of year. People are thinking about getting more organized. As a consultant who occasionally helps people follow up on such thoughts, I’ve found that your beliefs make all the difference in the world if you want to get organized. Here are five false beliefs and five true beliefs that you must consider if you are serious about getting organized.
46. The Christmas Truce
- Monday, December 24, 2012
Why would a group of people who were literally trying to kill each other one day, joyfully celebrate together the very next day? And, can you learn any lessons from these people that might help you minimize or deal with conflict in your work environment?
47. So What Happened to Auburn?
- Monday, December 17, 2012
For years I have been telling my clients that if you desire or need to change something in your life you basically have three options: You can change something about yourself (the least used, most effective option), you can try to change something about someone else (the most used, least effective option), or you can change something about your environment. With this in mind, I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be a serious Auburn University football fan.
48. Partially Emulating Santa Claus
- Monday, December 10, 2012
So you’ve got this guy who shows up every year wearing a funny outfit, smoking a pipe and apparently fond of consuming mass quantities of milk and cookies. He’s not really what you might consider a great role model for rational and healthy behavior.
49. Become Great by Choice
- Monday, December 3, 2012
There are those who continually improve their knowledge and skills and have accumulated 30 years experience. And then there are those who simply repeat their initial year of experience 30 times, learning very little along the way.
50. Things That Matter
- Monday, November 26, 2012
This morning I read in the news that John Gagliardi, the somewhat maverick coach of the St. John’s “Johnnies” Division III football team, is retiring after 64 years of coaching. In addition to holding the record for coaching longevity, there is one more little thing about Gagliardi that is worth noting. Let’s talk a little about football history.
51. Lessons of the Popcorn Experiment
- Monday, November 19, 2012
“For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.” I ran across that statement a couple of years ago in a book titled “Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath. I love such simple, clarifying statements.
52. Millennials, Merit and Malarkey
- Monday, November 12, 2012
If you’re looking for answers on how to handle millennials, you will not find them in this article. Experts can’t even agree on exactly who to include in this category of young employees now entering the workforce. They generally seem to think of millennials as those born somewhere between the early 1980s and around 2000.
53. Because I Said So
- Monday, November 5, 2012
Persuasion involves providing sound reasons for doing something and getting others to take action on your request. Sales professionals use persuasion to sell products, medical professionals use persuasion to sell healthy lifestyle choices, managers use persuasion to sell ideas, parents use persuasion (but often default to the old standard, “Because I said so!”) to get their children to do things. In other words, most of us frequently find ourselves in situations that call for us to persuade others of something.
54. The Magic Of Mental Images
- Monday, October 29, 2012
As it turns out, it appears that your brain does not know the difference in real or imagined events. That’s why some golfers practice by imagining golf shots, some tennis players practice by imagining tennis shots and other athletes practice by imagining doing whatever their chosen sport requires them to do well. Pretty much the same brain cells fire whether you are doing something or thinking about doing it; and brain cells firing in unison is one way to describe learning.
55. Resolve to Resolve the Unresolved
- Monday, October 22, 2012
So, if you are reasonably conscientious about your health, you probably get dental checkups semi-annually and a general physical exam annually. If all goes well, you catch and treat any little problems before they become big problems. Maybe you should consider establishing a similar routine related to your co-worker relationships.
56. Establishing Orderly Chaos
- Monday, October 15, 2012
Have you ever accidentally, or perhaps purposely, kicked the top off an anthill? If you have, you have some idea of what it would look like if you could visit New York City and somehow magically lift Madison Square Garden and observe what’s going on below it.
57. Are You Better Off?
- Monday, October 8, 2012
Many people are currently asking the question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” More often than not, the people asking this question have some sort of political agenda in mind.
58. Infectious Thinking
- Monday, October 1, 2012
Last Sunday morning while channel surfing through the cacophony of talking head shows, I ran across a very interesting discussion about foreign affairs. The guest was a certain former world political leader who shall remain nameless since, regardless of the wisdom of his utterances, many people would absolutely refuse to listen to due to the fact that he is who he is. I’ll let you figure out who the “is” is in this case. That should not be too difficult since I just gave you a strong hint.
59. Three Elements of Planning
- Monday, September 24, 2012
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II supposedly said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” This sounds like a very practical approach to planning to me and I like Ike’s thinking on this issue.
60. Mysterious Human Connections
- Monday, September 17, 2012
Every day, most of us sit and routinely use computers that are somehow connected to virtually every part of the planet we inhabit. Recently we have viewed events occurring as far away as Mars. And we do all this wirelessly. I suspect most of us do not question it, or even find it all that unusual, that we receive signals over long distances without any connecting wires. In view of this, maybe you won’t find it so unusual that signals also pass between and among human beings interacting with each other.
61. Behave Yourself More Productively
- Monday, September 10, 2012
Let’s talk about a zero-cost strategy that can significantly improve the productivity and job satisfaction of your employees. The strategy involves understanding four major behavior modes referred to as the Stern Parent, Adapted Child, Adult and Natural Child.
62. Declarations, Conversations
- Monday, September 3, 2012
Declarations can change the way we see, hear, interpret and respond to the events in our lives. Words, in the form of declarations, have been used throughout history to change the course taken by entire groups of people.
63. Unflattering News For Some Bosses
- Monday, August 27, 2012
If you were walking along the street and saw $100 bill on the ground, would you pick it up, or would you just walk on by and leave it there? I’m not asking this question to test your ethics. Assume it was dropped on the ground and there is no hope of finding the owner. I’ll bet most of you would pick it up and get a little rush; a feeling that it’s your lucky day. The skill of delegation is similar to that $100 bill lying on the ground, and many of you walk right by it and leave the delegation option untouched every day.
64. Lessons of Lucy And Ethel
- Monday, August 20, 2012
While preparing for a presentation recently, I remembered a scene from an old episode of the 1950s television show “I Love Lucy.” I looked it up on YouTube and sure enough the video clip of the scene is there (you can find it by putting the words “Lucy candy factory” in the search field).
65. Be Careful What You Ask For
- Monday, August 13, 2012
The other day I saw an advertisement for a major company recruiting highly aggressive employees. I feel certain they didn’t really mean that. The choice of words in the ad brings up an important issue regarding the distinction between being assertive and being aggressive. Unfortunately, many people do not seem to understand the distinction. It’s probably not a good idea to hire a group of highly aggressive people. This is one of those cases where you need to be careful what you ask for, because you might just get it.
66. Help Me, Help You
- Monday, August 6, 2012
One of the more memorable lines from the movie “Jerry Maguire” was when Jerry, a sports agent, pleaded with his client, “Help me, help you!” Recently, I conducted a training session with a group of administrative assistants. To prepare for the session, I decided to do some research to find out more about what it’s like to be an administrative assistant. The overall theme of what I learned is well summed up by Jerry Maguire’s line, “Help me, help you!”
67. Assess Job With Mental Report Cards
- Monday, July 30, 2012
When was the last time you received a report card? I suspect most of you would say it’s been a while. However, if you are involved with a business you probably receive a report card everyday. It’s more of a mental report card than a printed report card.
68. Link Between Business And Surgery
- Monday, July 23, 2012
It is my understanding that if you want to master a surgical procedure you follow a relatively simple three-step process: you hear about it, you see it, and you do it. In other words, you might listen to someone deliver a lecture on a particular surgical procedure, then you observe a surgeon performing the procedure, and then you personally perform the procedure. It strikes me that this three-step process needs to be used more often in the business world.
69. Look For Keystone Habits
- Monday, July 16, 2012
I recently bought a hybrid car. After a few weeks of driving the car, I suddenly became aware that my driving habits were changing significantly. You see, the car has a little indicator on the dashboard that constantly monitors the gas mileage. If I drive the car gently, I can get well over 40 miles per gallon in town on the model that I bought. I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but in my case I find myself playing a little game with my car. I drive it as gently as possible in an attempt to increase the gas mileage.
70. Are You Ready for Sully Events?
- Monday, July 9, 2012
At approximately 3:25 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2009, the pilot and co-pilot in command eased their Airbus A320 upward off runway 4 at New York’s LaGuardia airport and, as aviation enthusiasts sometimes say, “Escaped the surly bonds of earth.”
71. Are You Bowling Or Making Music At Work?
- Monday, July 2, 2012
There is a story about a family with a problem child. The situation eventually became so troublesome that the parents decided to take the child to a therapist. After a brief interview, the therapist suggested a few sessions with the entire family. The parents responded by saying, “Why do we all need to attend? He’s the one with the problem!”
72. Nothing Wrong With Occasional Flip-Flopping
- Monday, June 25, 2012
So, I heard today that John Kerry is going to play the role of Mitt Romney in President Barack Obama’s debate preparation sessions. Hearing this made me think of an article I read years ago titled “The Dog Handler” published in Time Magazine.
73. A Simple Question
- Monday, June 18, 2012
Recently I read something that prompted a very simple but important question: Who are the 10 most important people in my business life? Do you know who they are in your life? It’s a simple question, but I realized I didn’t know the answer.
74. The Red Bead Experiment
- Monday, June 11, 2012
What can thousands of red and white beads and a paddle teach us about leadership and management? The short answer is that many leaders are not really leaders and many managers do not really manage.
75. Keep a Grip On Reality
- Monday, June 4, 2012
Business owners who lose touch with reality usually end up going out of business. So let’s chat a bit about reality this week. Among a group of people, the most successful person is usually the one whose viewpoint or image of reality is most closely related to reality. But why would someone’s image of reality deviate from reality in the first place? It’s easy to understand how that can happen if you understand how the brain creates images of reality.
76. Ask Yourself What Would Goethe Do?
- Monday, May 28, 2012
If you take the time to read about the German writer, artist, biologist, physicist, and all-around highly productive guy Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, you will find that he accomplished quite a bit during his 80-plus years on the planet Earth. And since he lived in the late 1700s and early 1800s, he did it all without a cell phone, iPad, Bluetooth, spell check or any of our modern technological conveniences and so-called necessities.
77. One of The Oldest New Problems
- Monday, May 21, 2012
One of the most significant problems I hear about in my consulting practice is: “I never have enough time to get everything done.”
I thought of that comment the other day when I was looking for a solution to one of my problems. Here’s a recap of the steps I took to solve the problem: I jumped on Google and found a chat area on the topic I was exploring.
78. Johnny Pawn’s Indecision
- Monday, May 14, 2012
When Johnny Pawn (not his real name) was very little, his parents made decisions for him. Since Johnny was just a baby at the time, this was a good thing. They were good-hearted, caring people and only wanted the best for him.
79. How to Avoid Getting Whacked
- Monday, May 7, 2012
I recently read something interesting in a book titled “The Biology of Belief” by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. In the chapter “Growth and Protection,” Dr. Lipton discusses how the human body generates and uses energy. Lipton is a cell biologist and for some reason, his comments about allocating energy to the various growth and protection systems of the body reminded me of the game Whac-A-Mole. Whac-A-Mole is a simple game. Moles constantly pop up through holes and you whack them with a mallet. Unfortunately, there are several holes, many moles and only one mallet.
80. Going From Preaching To Prospecting?
- Monday, April 30, 2012
Two of the most successful sales professionals I have encountered had one thing in common – they were both ordained ministers before they pursued careers in professional sales.
In one case, the former pastor of a small country church generated millions in revenues, and millions in personal commissions, in a single year. Being a curious person, I asked the super-selling reverend to tell me about the secret to his success. I not only wanted to know how he did it, I wanted to know how he made it look so easy. He said, “Come on over to the house tonight, we’ll have supper and I’ll tell you all about it.” For those of you not from the Deep South, “supper” typically refers to the evening meal. A meal that is usually served well before the sun goes down and long before anyone should be eating an evening meal.
81. You Teach What You Allow
- Monday, April 23, 2012
The next time you catch yourself complaining about co-workers’ behavior in the workplace, pause and think, “Am I doing something to teach or encourage those around me to behave in this way?” In general, we teach what we allow.
82. World Changing Starts at Home
- Monday, April 16, 2012
World changing is a fairly common goal among human beings, and I personally think being thought of as a world changer would be pretty cool. When people ask me what I like to do with my time, talent and energy, I could cleverly work being a change agent for the world into the conversation by saying, “I write books, watch some TV, play guitar, change the world, enjoy good meals, and drink a little wine from time to time.” Yes, I think being a world-changer has a good ring to it. It is a nice conversation starter.
83. The History Of Your Behavior
- Monday, April 9, 2012
They say those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I believe this idea applies personally and it is true in your business life. If you want to go to the next level in your career, whatever that means for you, it’s a good idea to explore the history of your behavior and look for significant behavior-shaping people and events. Behavior related to people and events that have so far helped you succeed; and behavior that might be limiting your success.
84. Multiple Right Answers
- Monday, April 2, 2012
My spouse and I had the opportunity to visit a very nice resort on an island in the Caribbean. The resort had many fine restaurants, pools, shops and other recreation areas. It also had a matrix of paths and sidewalks connecting the various facilities.
85. Is It All About The Money?
- Monday, March 26, 2012
Some say money makes the world go around. But in reality, how much does money make the business world go around? And how important is money to the people who make the business world go around?
People like to say, “It’s not what happens to you that matters as much as how you respond to what happens to you.” I think it is a good idea to look at money in a similar way. In other words, money doesn’t matter as much as how you respond to money. You can tell a lot about a person by observing how they respond to compliments, and in similar fashion, money.
86. If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit …
- Monday, March 19, 2012
For many years, I paid little attention to the shoes I bought. I typically purchased name-brand shoes – assuming that within reason, shoes were shoes and that I didn’t need to spend much time and effort on shoe selection.
87. Learning Balance From Kids
- Monday, March 12, 2012
Have you ever seen little kids spin around and around until they get so dizzy they become totally out of balance and fall down? They try to get up a few times and fall down again and again.
When they regain their equilibrium and their ability to stand up, what do they do? They start spinning around and around until they fall down again! Kids laugh and have a great time as they repeatedly spin around, lose their balance and fall. It’s a fun game.
88. Strange Thing About Tough Times
- Monday, March 5, 2012
It was April 2011, the force of the storm was awesome, and the devastation was appalling. Everything in the path of the powerful twisting funnel of wind was almost completely destroyed.
In the aftermath of the violence, the people of the community worked together to pick up the pieces of their lives. Within a few short days, they mourned and buried the dead, cared for the injured, began clearing the debris and rebuilding their homes and businesses.
89. ‘If Only’ Answer Is Balance
- Monday, February 27, 2012
A lot of you probably have to manage your fair share of “if only” employees. People who love to constantly and vocally proclaim, “I could do a better job if only I had this, or if only I had that. If only I had more people, or more time, or more money, or more whatever – I could make big things happen around here.”
90. Time For Status Check
- Monday, February 20, 2012
Who knows if it will last, but there are signs that the economy is improving. If the improvement continues, it might be a good time to take a very close look at the status of your key employees.
Of course you should always be doing this, but now more than ever it’s important to do whatever it takes to make sure some of your most valuable assets don’t walk out the door.
91. Sneaky Traffic-Flow Designers
- Monday, February 13, 2012
I don’t know much about traffic-light timing. However, I suspect that a mischievous traffic-flow designer might be having fun at the expense of lead-footed drivers in our fair city.
On one particular stretch of road, the timing of the lights and the inevitable consequences of hastily accelerating and exceeding the speed limit between any two given traffic lights seems way too predictable to be a coincidence.
92. 15 Square Inches to Success
- Monday, February 6, 2012
I decided to lose a few pounds in 2012. It’s not a New Year’s resolution and I’m not in a hurry. I’ve studied the psychology of weight loss enough to understand it’s not a good idea to lose too much weight quickly. Rapid weight loss is often interpreted by your nervous system as starvation. And your nervous system has a plethora of tricks up its sleeve to encourage you to not only eat but to binge eat to respond to such a situation.
93. Learn Success By Responding To Failure
- Monday, January 30, 2012
There is a place of business I enjoy visiting on my trips to another city. The business is always well-stocked with interesting items, the employees are knowledgeable and friendly and the prices are reasonable. All in all, it looks as if they have come up with a pretty good formula for business success.
94. Cookies, History And Business
- Monday, January 23, 2012
Recently, I rekindled my interest in world history to prepare for a new book project. If you reflect on history, things have unfolded much like the events in the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”
95. Draw Line To Prevent Overloading
- Monday, January 16, 2012
What if by simply drawing a line you could reduce the suffering and anguish of thousands and save lives in the process? Wouldn’t you think it was a good idea?
In 1874, seafarer Samuel Plimsoll did just that. Plimsoll found a way to prevent ships from being overloaded and sinking under the weight of excess cargo. Literally thousands of lives were saved because Plimsoll Lines, indicating the maximum vessel load capacity, were painted on the sides of ships. Given today’s overloaded workplaces and lifestyles, we can learn a lot from Plimsoll’s approach. We can learn to draw a line indicating our maximum capacity and prevent the negative effects of personal overloading.
96. Attracting Clients With Clarity
- Monday, January 9, 2012
In my role as a consultant, I occasionally encounter situations where, shall we say, things are not going well for my clients and they want solutions to their problems.
Recently, a client asked me the following interesting question, “If you were asked to give your clients the best advice you could offer in one sentence or less, what would you say to them?” Without thinking much about it, I replied, “Seek and provide clarity.”
97. Gain Peace With Circular View of Time
- Monday, January 2, 2012
Sometimes a slight mental adjustment can make all the difference in the world. For example, how you choose to view the passage of time can lead to significant frustration or ongoing peace of mind.
Unless you consider some of the oddities of quantum physics, there are basically two ways to think about the passage of time. You can adopt a linear view of time (which seems to be most people’s choice) or you can adopt a circular view of time. Allow me to illustrate the difference by using imaginary dominoes.
98. Toss ‘Dented Stereos’ Before 2012 Begins
- Monday, December 26, 2011
It is a great time of year for renewals. Thinking of new things to do, new ways to do old things, recommitting to things undone and so forth and so on. As some say this time of year, “Out with the old, in with the new.”
99. Holidays Perfect Chance To Assess ‘Family Tapes’
- Monday, December 19, 2011
When I was young, neighborhood friends and I would get together to play football, baseball or other games. Often we would play all day, and sometimes we would still be playing when dinnertime rolled around.
100. Hokey Plans Can Be Effective
- Tuesday, December 13, 2011
As Jimmy Buffett said in his song: “What if the hokey pokey is what it really is all about?” Here are three things I like about the hokey pokey: 1. It’s simple. 2. It’s easy to understand. 3. It’s easy to implement.