What’s great about these crazy times

What’s great about these crazy times

A shoe factory sends two salesmen to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying: SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NOONE WEARS SHOES The other writes back excitedly: INCREDIBLE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP THEY HAVE NO SHOES In these times of unprecedented global crisis, it’s totally natural to focus […]

How to get feedback wrong

How to get feedback wrong

Years ago, when I was the general manager at a tech company — managing my first, real team — I was doing the annual performance review with one of the project managers.  He was doing an excellent job, and I’d noted that in writing on the form that I handed him, but the CEO and […]

Why you focus on things that aren’t important

Why you focus on things that aren’t important

“Okay, on a scale of 1 to 10,” I asked my client, “with 10 being most important, what would you rate this issue?” We were going in circles as he told me about his frustration with teams that weren’t using certain software the way he thought they should. He thought for a moment: “A three.” […]

The gift and curse of a racing mind

The gift and curse of a racing mind

“What’s your #1 challenge/priority/goal right now?” It’s a question I typically pose to clients and I’m really just looking for a short, two or three sentence answer. Except, more often than not, they launch into a stream of consciousness, bouncing to different topics like a pinball machine, including all kinds of extraneous detail that tells […]

Success is boring

Success is boring

“I’m working as hard as I can, but I always feel behind.”  I hear this a lot from my clients. Maybe you relate. Invariably, when I dig into what they’re actually working on, I find that they’re falling into a common trap: doing too many things and not accomplishing enough. They’re confusing motion with momentum.   Imagine everything you’re working on […]

Is your team driving you crazy?

Is your team driving you crazy?

Do they spend more time arguing instead of focusing on the mission — or being passive aggressive? (Like the company where team members would simply ignore someone when they were standing next to them at their desk with a question.) Ironic isn’t it, you dreamed of the day when you wouldn’t have to be doing […]