How Inspiration Works with Vision


I watched this video and thought of how inspiration sometimes comes. 

I told my wife that I wanted to cook her dinner at our home served on white table linen, excellent food and excellent wine.

The video is also representative of how vision connects to inspiration.  If you are inspired by someone, or something, you will be able to see it occurring.  Seeing the outcome living out is essential.

The best sight is the one that comes from your soul to your mind.

A Father’s Lesson

My wife and I were talking about family values a couple of days ago.  Don’t worry, this post has zero to do with politics.  We were discussing what’s most important to us and how it impacts the rearing of our kids.

The conversation was brought on by the reality of how busy many families are today.  Whether its kids in multiple sports, work, extended family obligations or general responsibilities.  Many people are overwhelmed, and not so sure their direction is sound.

As we spoke, it dawned on me how important my time is to my kids.  Time to look them in the eyes, time to smile at the miracle they are, and time to lead.  As tough as it is to live it out, my family is my second most important value.  Consequently, I have said no to many good things in oder to say yes to the best things.

The title of this post is very personal and worth sharing because the subject matter was double confirmed when I read this post (The Brand in the Sand) from Anna Farmery.  Anna has a wonderful blog that many of you may frequent titled The Engaging Brand.

Anna’s relationship with her father has inspired me before, but this story touched me in a way that can only be defined as profound.  You’ll understand after reading her post.  But I hope one day my son and daughter will look back and see me in the same brush strokes that Anna paints of her father.

Prepared to Lead?

Where would we be without the media (Internet, paper, your organization, your boss, etc.)?  Constant messaging about what's important-usually relating to their own selfish motivations.  Wasn't it Hearst who said his organization was in the business of selling newspapers, not reporting the news?  Regardless, you're hearing it everyday.

I mention the above to gage if any of the information we absorb is preparing us to lead.  By now, I would think we know how important leadership is.  Everyone would agree that quality leadership is vital in good times and in the crisis times.  See the U.S. Congress for a great example of how some leaders never get this. 

The problem lies in our reluctance to experience the upfront pain of growing and changing.  For some this happens immediately, for others a little after the event or show is over.

Why do we give up and give in?

Here are some reasons to consider:

  • The microwave oven.  Take your growth and heat for three minutes, on high, and voila instant change.
  • Success.  We think our success says something more than it does.
  • Busy lives.  We say yes to everything and never learn the art of saying the leader's most important word; no.
  • The media has convinced us that by becoming leadership voyeurs, we have all we need.
  • We look for leadership love in all the wrong places.

Making Urgency Real


I received an email today from a publicist at Harvard Business Press wanting to connect about John Kott'er's newest book A Sense of Urgency.  It didn't take me very long to respond, with excitement, about reviewing a copy.  After reading, I will post my thoughts on this blog.

John Kotter is brilliant and thoughtful.  He truly has impacted my thinking over many years. 

The above video provides some clues to how urgency connects to change.

Dream, Believe

The following is a quote from a card given to me some months ago:

    "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream.  Not only plan, but also believe."

    -Anatole France

Ready to Die, Ready to Live

In a speech yesterday I told a group of businesswomen that you're not ready to live until you're ready to die.  Easy for me to say, right?  Well…no.  Seal (see the clip above) has some poetic thoughts on the matter of dying.  But I don't want to stray to far from the meaning of this story.

It wasn't until I got serious about the things I couldn't see (love of family and love of people), that I starting confronting the urgency of this limited time offer call life.  I apply the idea to work too.

The businesswomen yesterday got my meaning.  Those truly passionate about what they do carry a sense of the ending.  People like this believe that the story titled our life has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It clarifies and refines how we approach everything.

If we get close to this idea we might get the following:

  • No more playing around with destructive words and behaviors.
  • No need for the next generation of DVD technology.
  • Dinner with the entire family every night.
  • No more preoccupation with fame and fortune.
  • Embracng the moment with all you connect with.
  • Taking care of our bodies like the gift they are.
  • Seeing people as more valuable than material goods.
  • Taking responsibility for our lives.

Are You Passionate About Your Product or Service?

Giving a speech next week about the death of sales.  I'm looking forward to illustrating the importance of connection and community, over selling.  No more going through the motions, but saying with subtle force "this what I was born to do."

One of the key ways to measure your level of connection and community is your passion level.  Specifically, are you passionate about what you offer the world?  Are you someone who sees the dollars as a byproduct of what makes you come alive?  I find it sad that many organizations start with profit or create a product/service and then think passion is a given.

By the way crises are refiners and purifiers.  The question is whether you are willing to let it play out.

Here some clues to measure your passion:

  • What are you willing to do for free?
  • What are you willing to die (you're not ready to live, until you're ready to die) for?
  • What has shaped your perspective, pain or pleasure?
  • Who follows your lead?
  • Is what your doing worth reproducing?

Take a look at this video to see someone who is very passionate about their craft.