How Fame Has Ruined the Game of Growth

“Depth of soul can never be measured by the eyes.”

– Author Unknown

Is the depth of soul important as you seek to grow a life and career?  Does fame poison the journey?  Yes, on both fronts.

Depth of soul is non-negotiable, unless you prefer to hang with the shallow crowd.  Besides, who wakes up in the morning looking forward to a day of engaging with the shallow.  Fame can be poisonous if not handled well, and keep in-mind that fame is relative.  If you work in a 3 story building, fame is attainable amongst the group.

In the media (new and old) age we live in we’ve been seduced into believing that fame is something to grasp.  Even those who won’t admit it long for the attention.  Maybe it’s the feeling of false validation that comes when people know “who you are.”  Which, by the way, is such a contradictory idea.

We forget that fame is a cost of doing business and not a barometer of how good we are in the game we play.  Not to mention the trade that occurs in the pursuit.  You can’t have it all.

Here some ways fame has ruined the game of growth:

  • In the old media days you needed to know what you were good at.  Fame in the new media world says; “everyone’s invited”
  • We bought the lie that the famous are as wonderful as an airbrush can create.  We connect without knowing anything about personhood
  • Fame made us long for comfort, which is a mortal blow to a life of growth
  • We didn’t learn from the teacher named rejection
  • Fame convinced us to seek validation from the applause
  • Fame, like money, caused us to become slaves, not masters

The Fog

Had a conversation with my wife last week, indirectly about the fog that comes with life. The conversation was my wife talking and me listening. I learned a lot about her and I learned a lot about myself.

So what about this fog?

In that conversation with my wife, she expressed her unhappiness with the current state of things. Normal. It wasn't about our marriage, but the fog of life. The Circumstances that press against us. Since I've got a good pulse of who's out there, I know you feel me. We concluded once again that life is tough work. Regardless of what you hear from _______, life is tough work.

When she finished and we moved on, I asked myself why I'm often not fazed by the fog thing. All of sudden a rush of memories came over me. I started 40 years backward. Each one checking a box. I came away not just knowing, but understanding.

It is abundantly clear that I have had a life checkered with fog (tragedies, struggles, crossroads, etc.). I'm sure, upon reflection, you might say the same. The point is not about which is better. Even though, in America, many have duped into believing that the best life is the one absent of problems. We act in a manner that says this is true. One thing is clear for me. A good part of my life has been shaped by my fog. I seriously doubt that I would be doing what I do, if it wasn't for those crucibles. I am thankful.

My understanding today is we need to see fog as clear. Real life is found here.

The Right System and The Right Process for Growth

Computer motherboard

I know many who have good intentions.  I'm one of them!  I would love to tell you that's all you need to get to where you want to go.  I don't believe it is.  It is vitally important to have a system and process for the growth you seek.  This is applicable to your business and your personal life.

As you may remember, I embarked on my own 30 day breakthrough plan a couple of months ago.  This is the experience from one of our strategic partners Take Time for Your Life.  I'm happy to say that I was successful in my 30 days.  I am grateful for this.  Here's the even bigger take-away:

I was successful because I was using the RIGHT system and process. 

Many organizations today are perplexed by their lack of success and growth.  Maybe profits are up, but employees are disconnected.  Maybe their losing talent to competitors, even though training is abundant inside and outside of the enterprise.  So what gives?  If the organization doesn't have the right system and process failure is not far behind.

Many people in their personal lives struggle with issues for years.  Jumping from one idea or cure to the next.  They're desperate to find a breakthrough and are sincere in their motivations.  Sadly, it can be difficult to sift through all of the noise.  Again, it's paramount to find the Right system and process to address the big issues.  In this space it's important to be a critical thinker when it comes to who you will spend your time and money on.  I've come to a point where I won't partner with anyone that doesn't have a mission approach to what they do. 

Mission-minded people/organizations need to be paid, they need to market, etc., but the mission is always out front first.  They are TRULY interested in you and not yours (thank you St. Paul).

It's pretty clear that organizations can spend millions (they do) on training, engagement, well-being, process improvement and still find themselves languishing.  People can hire coaches, go to seminars, buy books, and find themselves in the same state as a business. 

The Right system and process is the starting point.  After that, you'll know what to do.

Intimidation or Inspiration

What intimidates you?

What inspires you?

The answer to those two questions will lead to a breakthrough.  If a breakthrough is what you want.  Some do hide in order to not deal with the pain and struggle associated.

The first step in dealing with intimidation is to face it or whom.  Think of it as you closing a chapter for good.  You can be certain that intimidation is a block and will always be a block.  Forget the fear because fear is a false evidence appearing real.  It is a trick to keep you right where you're at.

The first step in dealing with inspiration is finding it or whom and then never letting go.


More Shedding of My Corporate Skin

Sshedding Skin

As I make my way through my 30 Day Breakthrough Plan, I thought I would embrace some more transparency.  Here are some things you might not know about me:


  1. I have been a musician for over 30 years
  2. I have had Type I diabetes for over 20 years
  3. I once stated that working for a bank was the ultimate sell-out
  4. I have been married for 20 years
  5. Miles Davis's music was a constant source of finding my muse when writing my first book
  6. I would do what I do for free
  7. I underestimated the impact of my dad's passing-the good and the bad


What’s Around The Corner


No one really knows what's around the corner-in any respect.  It frustrates us, confounds us and can generally paralyze us if we're not careful.  It's a battle and riddle we all do a dance with.

My core answer has been found in my relationship with God.  Seems fitting since he knows what's around the corner.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't always a pretty picture.  I still have things in my life that I question why he didn't warn about what was awaiting me.  Over time life has met up with a lesson that when first experienced seemed straight from hell.  Funny how that can work.  He knows that even the crushing blow can produce something beautiful.

But what about the stuff we mostly control?  Our career choices, our health choices, our relationship choices.  A wise man once told me that 90% of my life would be determined by the choices I'd make.  That's staggering when you think about it.

So maybe we need to focus on making good choices.  Maybe that has some impact on what's around the corner.

Twisting Fate


I can't remember exactly how many times Thomas Edison failed as he tried to bring his light bulb idea to life.  Was it a hundred failed experiments?  Maybe it was a thousand.  Regardless, he failed multiple times. 

This post really isn't about overcoming failure, though that could be helpful.  I really want to explore the mindset of having a willingness to stumble, a willingness to be the fool, the willingness to launch something most in the herd don't see nor understand.

I think we're way to willing to accept dime-store imitations (you fill in the blank here) when it comes to creative and inspiring leaders.  And by the way, creative and inspiring leaders are the types of leaders with substance and reality backing them up.  I'm not referring to a leader of a three-ring-circus or some executive who pulls out talking points from 5 years ago.

I'm not sure we recognize authentic when we see it.

Preserving your rep. at the expense of something given to you by heaven is foolish.  Your mortgage, 401K, bonuses or a nice fat promotion won't be there for you in the long run.  Those are temporary states that can change in a moment.  We know this to be true, whether we're willing to admit it or not.

Could it be that Edison was not so special?  What if everyone was supposed to pursue an end, even if it meant repeated failure?  What separated Edison from his herd was his willingness to take the step of twisting fate even if he didn't know where it would ultimately lead.  I define twisting fate as someone who acts on faith, realizing that the final product/outcome will resemble a mosaic more than a picture-perfect portrait.

This is hard work that many turn away from.