There is no magic formula to becoming a great leader. Many leaders I’ve seen have learned the right things to do because of the wrong things they’ve done in the past. Myself included.

In this excellent TED Talk by Roselinde Torres, What it takes to be a Great Leader she identifies that “Leadership in the 21st century is defined and evidenced by 3 questions”:

1. Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life?

2. What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network?
“This is about your capacity to develop relationships with people that are very different than you.”

3. Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?

I personally think the third question is the most important and difficult for me as I learn to think more broadly than just the best practices of the last project. Or the last twenty. So I have to identify which practice should be abandoned for increased success.

What about you? Which of those 3 questions is most difficult to answer?


Nuggets of wisdom on the subject of change …

The change process need not be negative. Indeed, when it is, it is rarely or ever successful.
~ Tom Peters
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Viktor E. Frankl
If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.
~ Gail Sheehy
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Some days I am tempted to move the furniture around in the house to effect change. Those are the days that I must listen to Viktor Frankl instead and understand that my challenge to grow and push myself must come from change in me.

So I ask myself, what do I need to change today?
Usually my first answer is my attitude.


The Year Made Up of Days.

Again this morning I read my scribbling on the 3×5 notecard on my desk that I have read every day this year so far:
Everything you will do in this year will come from what you do every day. Your year is made up of days.
~ Chris Brogan.

And then I remind myself that the focused activity must be on the right things to reach the goal, not just busyness spread out over multiple 25 minute Pomodoros that have no real purpose.

I know I have written about that quote at least once already and I’ll likely write on this same subject frequently. You see, I have spent all of my work life with deadlines and quotas and KPI’s to reach, with contract expiration dates and weekly team meetings and one-on-ones with a manager.

Now in this new writing season I am the team and the manager, and I have no contract expirations in view. My current projects do not involve pricing contracts based on accurate aircraft configuration and getting renewal quotes out early enough for the client to renew on time. And I am not selling training classes that might cancel if I can’t find enough customers by Tuesday at 3 pm.

Instead, these writing projects involve words and concepts, truth and bold transparency with deadlines that I have set for myself.

Do you use a time management technique like a 25 minute Pomodoro or how do you keep yourself focused on the day’s goal?

Please share.

The Prayer I Have Never Prayed

So much truth here! Looking up now!

Urban Hallelujah


Last week I was the picture of strong faith.

I must have put a big smile on Gods face, when early in the week I sat in the same diner where I had once questioned God’s plan for my life (You remember the one: where what I lacked in faith, I stuffed my face with mediocre chocolate cake on the corner of 52nd and 8th)

This time however, I sat in the diner praising God between sips of coffee, and thanking Him for all the ways He has shown up for my family this last year. Even solemnly swearing to never allow my faith to ‘slip-up’ like that ever again!

… and surely it wouldn’t,  I was much more seasoned now!

Later in the week, I gave some wise-beyond-my-years encouragement to some friends who were lacking in the ‘faith department,’ and gave them some pointers and a Bible…

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