Happy Thanksgiving!


Banish the Biggest Success Drain

I was chatting with someone this week who is not feeling very happy or successful. He shared some of the obstacles he is facing and they are certainly not insignificant, yet I sensed there was something more.

As he recounted situation after situation, his angst, upset, and frustration emanated from a sense that others had deeply disappointed him – really done him wrong. I hesitated for a moment and then finally asked him, “Since you can’t change them, what can you do?”

At first, he continued to complain and blame others, but then something shifted in him. It was a tiny shift. He realized how much power he had given to others – they had so much control over his happiness and success or lack there of. While I don’t believe my friend will change completely overnight, I saw a glimmer of hope in his eye.

My lesson from my friend is one I need to hear again and again: Blaming and complaining does nothing but zap our energy, confidence, and capacity, so why do it. A sense of appreciation (for even one positive thing we see in the other person) expands just about everything good in our lives.

Have a great day,

Feeling Appreciation When It Isn’t Easy

I was chatting with a friend yesterday who is going through a very challenging time. Despite the pain she is experiencing, I was encouraged by her focus, courage, and commitment. Even more, is her ability to see value/benefit in her extremely difficult circumstances and feel appreciation deep in her heart. I admire her for this and more.

A great lesson for each of us.

Have a great day,

The Success Accelerator

I was chatting with a Chicago Booth Executive MBA student this morning who is in the process of making a career change. He is making good progress and one thing really struck me about him. As others are assisting him, he is actively looking for ways to help them. In one situation, he helped an alum (who was helping him) build relationships as she onboarded into a new company.

This student’s approach, based in a authentic generosity of spirit, is accelerating his advancement today and will for years to come. A good lesson for each of us.

Have a great weekend,

The Power of Tiny Decisions

I was chatting with a friend a few months ago who was in the midst of a complex analysis about whether to start another company or jump back into a corporate role. He pulled out his tablet and shared a spreadsheet with me – complete with macros and pivot tables. It was a bit overwhelming.

“With all of this data, are you ready to go?” I asked him. From his expression, he was not. The more we talked, it was clear that his hesitancy came from his belief that a perfect answer (with perfect data) was needed to move ahead. Yet no amount of data felt like it was enough.

My advice to him was this – break down the decision into its components and see which of those components were decision ready. In this way, my friend made a series of tiny decisions that led to the big one. Happy news: he launched a new company that is growing nicely.

Have a great day,

The Spice of Life

With the holidays coming up, I think about parties and gatherings. This brings a smile to most people’s faces, but not to mine. This may sound sad or even pathetic, but do not despair on my behalf. I came to the conclusion a long time ago, that there are many things I am great at (even brilliant at) but parties are not one of them.

So I spend this time of year thanking others for the positively contributing to me and contemplating what is next for me in my life.

I encourage you to celebrate the coming holiday season in ways that warm your heart and inspire your spirit.

Best regards,

The Responsibility of Success

I was with a group of friends last night and one person shared how when he assumed a new and BIG leadership position – he was thrilled and terrified at the same time. While he knew in his heart that he was capable – his head was sending a different message. Doubt, insecurity, and feeling intimidated by others pounded in his brain.

Yet he didn’t give up or stop. Instead, he reminded himself why this role was important to him and how it was incredibly crucial to his organization. My new friend completely won. That doesn’t mean that all of the negative thoughts don’t creep into his mind now and again, it just means that he doesn’t take when so seriously. In the process, he is building up his strength, capacity and a powerful winning streak.

I can’t wait to hear what’s next for him.

Success is wonderful and it is also a responsibility that we can rise to occasion to fulfill.

Have a great day,

Outreach = InReach = Accelerated Success

When I think of outreach, I immediately gravitate towards an image of lots of action going toward others. While this is a good thing, it can also feel unidirectional, overwhelming, and even exhausting.

Recently, I realized why this is: when energy, vitality, and resources are all leaving, it’s hard for a person to recharge.

So here’s my lesson: Outreach = InReach = Accelerated Success. What I mean by this is that:

1. When you are extending yourself to others, think about what you want and need from the interaction. This allows you to give more freely as your own needs are part of the equation.

2. Even if you don’t receive everything you want, be appreciative. It accelerates all of the good stuff.

Have a great day,

Better Than Really Good

I was chatting with my coach, Susan. this week. We debriefed The Success Brain(™) program I did earlier this month. Overall, the program went well. Yet Susan saw a whole variety of things that could make it even better.

While I appreciate feedback, at can be hard to hear if you feel that you did a really good job. However, Susan presented her suggestions directly, persuasively, and compassionately. I know she wants me to be way better than really good – so I am on board.

My lesson – listen to feedback with an open mind and open heart. The benefits of doing so are enormous.

Thanks, Susan!

Have a great weekend,

The Benefit of Challenge

This week has been a bit challenging for me in ways that are hard to explain. Let me put it this way – when another person’s behavior is uncertain, it’s hard for me to stay centered.

That said, there is still benefit in those situations to help me grow, advance, and succeed at greater and greater levels. My responsibility is to find it. I am on a hunt and report with what I find.

Have a great day,