Back in the Shop

Bishop Milton Wright grew up on a farm in Indiana. His wife died of Tuberculosis, leaving the Bishop with their five remaining children (two others died in infancy). Wright read obsessively and cultivated in his kids a desire to learn. Two of his children developed an obsessive fascination with the possibility of human flight. In... Continue Reading →

The necessity of fear

"I would be more courageous if I was less afraid." So we believe. We make things complicated when we don’t want to do them. We analyze as an excuse to avoid. We talk our way out of activity. Delay, we think, will make things easier. If we are waiting to purge fear before becoming brave,... Continue Reading →

(When) things fall apart

When you do anything that has high stakes, something will go wrong. You might get a flat tire on your roadtrip, send the wrong registration link to an important event, or forget a detail that's critical. More than likely, you'll feel terrible. Almost certainly, people will complain. Here's how to respond. Actually, this happened to... Continue Reading →

The Add Drop Date

In a university setting there is something called an add-drop date, the deadline in a semester to drop a class that isn’t going well.  When I worked with engineering students, it was common practice to encourage freshmen calculus students to drop calculus if they are failing so as to now permanently damage their GPA (especially... Continue Reading →

No Rough Drafts

About a year ago, Dustin (an all-time favorite colleague) decided he was done with rough drafts. We were sitting in my office when a potential project came up. If it was going to happen we realized we needed to move fast. Typically, we would have scheduled a meeting that included the necessary parties (this means... Continue Reading →

Skip a step

Opportunity is very UNLIKE winning the lottery. It doesn’t come in a tidal wave. If there is a big public breakthrough, it nearly always follows a series of unseen steps. Step by step you build expertise, gain credibility, gather a following, retain trust, and are gradually positioned as an authority. Success starts by putting one... Continue Reading →

Keep saying the problem

Your organization is a solution to a problem. Your business is pain management. Leaders, your job is to keep talking about the problem. This comes as a surprise to most leaders who want to talk about their solution. For your customers: The person who can most clearly articulate the problem is often trusted with the... Continue Reading →

Four traits of culture’s that scale

Last week I wrote about the challenge of creating scale while maintaining excellence. Scale is the multiplication of excellence. If they want to scale past themselves, leaders must undergo the difficult transition to a new skill set. They must learn to set and direct (and obsess over) their organizational culture. Here are four traits of... Continue Reading →

Boredom’s Cure

All Adventure begins with: yes Boredom is sameness on repeat. We rotate the same outfits, recipes, vacations, and friends. You can probably predict the next dozen weekends by looking at the last dozen. The sneaky solution to boredom is to reject sameness (though, not sane-ness). If you are adventure-minded, you may be able to invent... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑