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 […]

Why you’re not improving faster

Why you’re not improving faster

Eric Ries, who wrote The Lean Start Up, says “The only way to win is to learn faster than everyone else.” And yet, most people extract less than 5% of the learning from their experience, no matter how naturally intelligent or talented they are. In this video, I break down the three main reasons for this, and […]

Signs that s*#t is rolling uphill too quickly

Signs that s*#t is rolling uphill too quickly

Bruce Lee said, “The successful warrior is the average man, but with laser-like focus.” He should have added: laser-like focus on what’s important. Because, you know what’s most important, don’t you — what actions will move the needle in your project or business. And yet you get caught up in things that are urgent and demanding immediate attention, […]

Uh, boss, I blew the roof off the building

Uh, boss, I blew the roof off the building

Last week, I did a one-day leadership training at a Fintech start up. The team is impressive — a mix of veteran expertise and youthful energy —  and they’ve just secured another round of funding so they’re at a critical inflection point, building out their teams across Europe, South America and Asia. But with the growth, they told me, there’s a […]

Are you fooling yourself?

Are you fooling yourself?

Last weekend, I was up at the RDAC SEAL training program where we take candidates through a rigorous nine-hour workout with all the components of “Hell Week” — obstacle course, boat and log PT, combat swim practice. In addition to mental toughness training, I help the candidates prepare for their SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) interviews.  “I […]

How to get people to do more of what you want

How to get people to do more of what you want

I started studying piano at the age of five. Since then, I’ve taken hundreds of lessons, performed in dozens of master classes and gotten feedback from all kinds of teachers.There’s one that, even though it was 20 years ago, stands out in my memory. My violinist sister and I went to a Russian teacher for […]