Thank You Mr. Beethoven

BeethovenI found the following quote on Terry Walling’s blog from Ludwig van Beethoven:

"I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor.  What I have in my heart must come out, that is why I compose."

How powerful!  Though he couldn’t have known it, Mr. Beethoven has spoken life into me.

What’s in your heart?  Do you think about that?

Tell me about it…

When Winning is Losing

I was listening to "Murder by Numbers" by The Police when I happened upon Seth Godin’s Black, white and grey blog entry.  How ironic is that!  Read his piece and learn…you might be shocked.  Sometimes it can be disheartening to know that some win by nodding yes, while really meaning no.  Fortunately, there is a long run and opportunities are ripe for those of character.

You know what school (belief system in the market place) I attend, so I’ll save some space here. 

Do the right thing…even when it costs you.

Talking Points

In the land of corporate America talking points can be important.  Whether the speaker knows or believes in what they’re saying is another matter altogether.  This announcement from today’s Wall Street Journal illustrates my point.  Don’t get me wrong, maybe they know and believe.  But does anyone really communicate like this?  I guess so…

No matter your age or experience, start speaking what you know and what you believe.  I know it might get you in trouble.   I know some people will think you’re strange for going against the tide.  I also know that every pretender has a date with the "mirror."

Never Underestimate

First, I will confess that I have underestimated Jon Stewart.  I found Ed Batista’s site while looking at Tom Peter’s web presence.  He’s a thoughtful writer, and he helped me see a side of Jon Stewart that I hadn’t looked at before.  One thing not to miss is his wife’s take on what makes for a good commencement speech. 

Everyone should "count the cost" as they proceed through life’s offerings.  Too many find the vacuum still empty after getting what they thought they wanted.  A wise woman once told me that we have one life wrapped in many lifetimes.  Here’s to experimentation! 

What are you doing with your lifetimes?

Do It Yourself

Most of you know how passionate I am about growth, and one way to make growth happen is to get a mentor. 

Fast Company has a great compliment to the traditional mentoring model.  I classify this article as a compliment, because it helps-not replace the traditional mentoring model.  You don’t succeed in the journey alone.  Regardless, as Fast Company states, self-discipline is very important.

Give me your thoughts.

Leadership Atrophy

Let’s say you’re thirty-five and starting to wonder about what’s next.  You have a passion for…you fill in the blank.  Maybe, like this Fortune Article, you’re thinking about the "second act."  You could be early or late in thinking about this…doesn’t matter.

Want to know what will derail your plans?  Leadership atrophy, yes that slow disintegration that is usually attributed to your muscles.  It can happen to our leadership strengths just like it can to our muscles. 

Atrophy, by definition, is a slow over-time process.  Some may say that it happens without the person knowing it.  Regardless, it can be your ruin to let it happen.  Here are some signs to watch for:

  1. You think you’ve arrived.
  2. You use the same approaches/methodologies you used ten years ago.
  3. You don’t have a mentors/advisors in your life.
  4. You’re satisfied.
  5. You talk more than act.

Think about it, how will you be ready for something in the future, if you’re leadership strengths have disintegrated over time?  This is another one of those subtle (and dangerous) impacts affecting influence

Don’t forget, tomorrow is today masked.

Selling in a Changing World

Seth Godn’s June 12th Blog on the death of a sales call speaks volumes about changes in the way people buy.  I’m most fascinated by the fact that some salespeople (if you can call them that) are still trying practice a dying (not that we don’t need salespeople, but we just need changed salespeople) art.  It reminds me of organizations who hire managers that don’t have a clue about leading people.  Giving power to someone who hasn’t spent a minute thinking about what energy that is unleashed by power-good or bad.

Even if you’re not a salesperson, take a step back and look at what you’re doing and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I still relevant?
  2. Is what I’m involved in matter to anyone other than me?
  3. Would people want to hear from me, even if I didn’t work for "Brand X?"
  4. Do I know what my own brand is?
  5. How is the world changed by what I do?

Don’t panic if your answers are not very pretty.  It just means you’re waking up.

Future Forward

I’ve mentioned it before, but is your company (or even you) ready for the coming talent shortage.  Some say by 2010 this will be front and center for corporate America.  This Fast Company Blog is great insight into GE and what’s happening with idea generation. 

Are you ready?  Give me your thoughts.

What’s Left Unsaid

A father watches his son play.  The son is four…the father remembers being a son.  What he remembers is not what was said, but what wasn’t.  This makes a difference.  For you see a boy (girls too) needs to be told certain things as he grows up.  If the child doesn’t hear it, he could become a wanderer. 

I don’t know all the reasons for why a father’s influence is so powerful.  But one thing is for sure it can build up or it can tear down.  In many ways it is subtle, and in others it is overt.  Many fathers, because of their pursuits in money making, power grabbing and countless others, fail to recognize how they are impacting.  Like it or not everyone is a leader…our influence confirms that. 

Here are some things that should be said before too much time has passed:

  1. "I love you."
  2. "I’m proud of you."
  3. "Great job!"
  4. "You matter and you’ll do great things."
  5. "I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me."

Are those words tough to say?  Yes they are, but you must build a habit around them.  If you don’t, your son or daughter will find themselves in adulthood wishing you had.

Running in the Family?


The picture you see is two of my uncles, and a great uncle.  The scene is from the late 1960’s.  My uncles were young and full of vigor.  Did they know it then?  If they did what were the evidences of it? 

Can you be "alive" with all the energy that heaven will allow, and not know it?  Many make claims about the future…a future they have no clue about.  Those same people leave out a key ingredient in influence.  That key ingredient is self-awareness.  A self awareness of the good, the bad and the ugly.  Can you stomach those three?  Or would you prefer something a little less disturbing?  Go for it all!  Leave no stone unturned!  The world is waiting for the real thing.

The "real thing" is what changes our sphere.  People who possess the real thing know where their energy comes.  They also use it.  And they don’t hide behind the trappings of success to prop themselves up.  Give me your thoughts…I want to help.