A Fabulous Tool Named Grammarly

I use Grammarly for proofreading because my mind runs faster than my fingers.

Besides the above tongue and cheek, Grammarly is a fabulous tool I found by accident. The folks at Grammarly reached out to me for a test drive. At first, I thought they were sent by some old english teacher who had been following my every sentence.

I used the online tool in a couple of situations and it performed well. It’s fabulous for the daily writer or the professional who needs to make the best impression possible. My wife asked me whether I could try the free tool in WordPress or Word. That’s an option, I want something as robust as Grammarly. You can sign up for a free trial at their site to see if it’s a fit you.

By the way, it won’t cramp your ability to get your message out. We all know how important a message is.

The Good and Bad of a Title

The good and bad of title is found in the heart of the one who holds it. As things go, titles communicate much. Titles can make you happy, angry, and certainly intimidated. All this relates to the titles humans are given.

So what’s your title and what does it mean to you?

The people who are interested in changing the world are typically unfazed by their titles (given or taken). Think Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Seth Godin, and Harry Connick, Jr. All of those folks have/had titles, but I can’t remember anything about them, except their work and mission. Beautiful! This is the good of a title.

Now the bad goes something like this. “I’m the senior, senior, senior _______ of this and that.” These bold proclamations are typically rooted in deep insecurity and fear. I know because I lived it and I was insecure and I was afraid. Now, the sad irony is found in a world that won’t say a word about the problem. The world typically applauds the “proclaimer.” I wish I could help these folks, but usually these folks are not looking for help, they’re looking to hide.

Consider the remainder of the bad:

  • These types of influencers really don’t like people. They see people as part of the problem. Be it the father, the husband, the old boss, the friend who went missing, and on and on.
  • Often the bad carries a deep need to medicate. This is a searching for something under the sun that will “make it go away.” Never satisfied, they often don’t wake up. I consider myself very lucky.
  • Titles used for bad, block the opportunity for change and growth. I don’t think our business culture really understands this.
  • We’ve confused a title with real substance. We’ve become shallow, and we’ve forgotten what depth feels like.
  • The bad leads to a big mess down the road. We’ve forgotten what down the road looks like.

In the end, there is nothing wrong with titles. The issue is found in the heart and mind…where good and bad are found.

Striving Within a Not-So New Reality

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“I find Zegna, with Gildo at its head, to be extremely open; they desired a collaboration with someone who could challenge their position.” – Stefano Pilati

 

I am a creative, so I get chills from a quote like the above. Mr. Pilati expresses the reality of what must be done in industry and beyond. It really doesn’t matter if you are a creative or not because the idea of challenging, openness and movement forward, is a process for all.

What if I told you that the manual needs to be thrown out? It’s not the foundation, just the manual. All those old rules gone like dust.

The world in which I live changed about ten years ago. It was and is the economy, the government, culture, and the spiritual. I know a few who are navigating in that reality, I know more who are arranging furniture on the Titanic.

Where are you at?

 

What I Need From a Leader

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I have influencers and so do you. So, the following are some traits I need from leaders in my life:

  • Integrity-a worn out word that represents our culture’s desperate desire for someone who is willing to do what’s right, no matter what. This is an area of choice. We choose to have integrity or we choose not to. By-the-way, integrity is not measured in degrees. You either have integrity or you don’t.
  • Creativity-this is not confined to the painter and musician. It’s the person who is engaged and willing to try new things. They also are not afraid of making mistakes or being laughed at.
  • Unimpressed-a trait where the person doesn’t care about titles, office locations or how many letters/words come after their names. I’m ok with the titles, I’m not ok with a leader who needs to wear a title like a name tag.
  • Humility-same as integrity in many ways. It also represents someone who has been hurt, someone who faced down adversity. These are what I call, “been to the edge” leaders.
  • Realism-an ability to dream and yet understand what is in front. A dreamer without realism is often a wanderer. Believe me, I have first-hand experience.
  • Vulnerability-one of the most difficult traits to live out, but essential in building real trust. I’m a work in progress in this regard. I’m glad to meet leaders who are focused on keeping it real and are willing to let me see the losses.
  • Giving-this is not only for charity, it is also related to a mindset. These are people who see other people as gifts from God and are willing to give them a chance.

Who Gave You Permission?

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I’m sure you remember the term, who gave you permission, from grade school. Permission is important. It’s important even if you don’t realize it.

We give permission every day of our lives. Permission to market to us, permission to engage, permission to listen, and so much more. Have you thought about who truly has the right to speak into your life? Who have you given permission in this area? I mean your life.

Who has the authority?

I’m blessed because so many of you have given me permission to speak into your lives. Included in this are my coaching clients and others who seek my input. I firmly believe the reason why this happens is experience. I don’t speak to things I haven’t encountered and grappled with. I would even say, conquered. That process and a mission, gives me authority.

Be careful with who you give permission to. Your journey is far too important to trust to those who want what is yours, versus you. The following are some tips on knowing who deserves a chance to receive your permission:

  • Does the person or entity have the experience to help you? Formal education with a piece of paper is great, but there’s nothing quite like scars from going through the fire you’re going through. You can take a chance on someone who hasn’t, just keep your eyes wide open and no when to call it a day.
  • Are they in a hurry? Anyone that can’t wait for you to process and feel right about the decision, is usually just selling something.
  • Is the product right? Be honest with yourself. Giving permission, just because you think it’s the proper thing to do will usually deliver disappointment. There was a time when I wanted desperately for things to go a certain way. In that process, I bought many a product/service/marketing I believed would deliver the magic. I wasn’t being honest with myself.
  • What’s there response when you explain that you’re not ready yet? This will tell you a lot.
  • Do you know what you want? Certainly, there are many wolves out there. Don’t make it worse by being a wanderer.

What I Love About Entrepreneurs

In a lunch this past week, I rediscovered what I love about entrepreneurs. I observed an entrepreneur (other than myself) in their zone. It was a cool moment for me. Listening to his ideas, listening to the what could be dreamed, listening to what problems could be solved. I felt at home.

More and more, I am embracing the meaning of entrepreneur. Being a risk taker is the difference maker.

We all are entrepreneurs, whether we know it or not.

The Deal on Money

I haven’t dedicated much space here on the subject of money. The deal on money for me is pretty straightforward:

  1. Give 10%, Invest 10% and live on the remaining 80%
  2. Don’t chase money

Number one is a guideline and number two is a non-negotiable.

The deal on money is also about the crazy stuff people will do to get it. And by the way, it applies to the poor and the rich. Equal opportunity stuff in every shape and form. For example, some pro athletes make multi-millions over a short period of time and many will end up broke a few years after retirement. All that chasing for what? Crazy.

Focus on creating great art and work. Money always follows that, sometimes in a wierd way, but eventually it will. Good financial wellbeing is found here.