How to Learn a New Language

Very few Americans are bilingual. This is way different than other countries. I’ve delivered workshops in Puerto Rico, Montreal, Poland, China, and Germany. In each of these places, I’ve been able to teach in English to an audience that knows English as a second (or third…or fourth…or fifth language). That’s not a knock on the USA nor is an excessive compliment to Germans, Puerto Ricans, French Canadians, Poles, or Chinese. It simply is. I must say it’s impressive though.

3D Spanish Language Crossword

It’s the language of the person who you desperately need to influence. It’s the language that they are most comfortable speaking and making decisions in. Let me give you an example.

Dave is the CEO of a tech firm. He’s come up through the ranks and is a geek first and leader second. Now that he’s the Top Dog, his subordinates have the challenge of influencing him to do certain things and make certain decisions. Let’s say that his HR VP Fred wants to institute a work/life balance initiative that involves flexible scheduling as well as an on-site daycare facility. Dave’s going to push back on this because as he says, “people are here to work and I’m here to make a profit. They need to work while at work and play when they’re home.”

Does Fred have a chance?

Yes, provided he makes his case while speaking Dave’s language.

Fred needs to position his ideas so that they show a clear, profitable, value-add. Rather than push the fact that people will be happier, he needs to stress that even though the daycare facility will cost X amount, it will save three times that amount in recovered absenteeism from daycare issues. The flex schedule might not have an immediate dollar value, but Fred needs to show how this will cut back on turnover, a figure he needs to identify before he even proposes it.

In other words, Fred needs to speak the language of logical persuasion. It’s Dave’s native tongue.   Sure it would be nice if Dave would simply look through Fred’s lens, but it’s probably not going to happen.

Can you learn to speak a new language? Absolutely. Here’s how:

  1. Identify the person you need to influence.
  2. Study them. Ask people who know them how the person makes decisions.
  3. Identify their language.
  4. Find people in your inner circle who are similarly “wired.”
  5. Work with them to hone your skills.
  6. Finally, bring your proposal, complete with the new language, to the person you have to influence.

This isn’t manipulation. It’s simply using your ability to relate to your own advantage. After all, don’t you appreciate it when people frame things the way you’re comfortable seeing them?

Your challenge this week is to learn at least one new language. Fluency is a major key to your success.

 

How to Develop Your Proxy Power

Rambo:  The Killer Attack Poodle

Rambo: The Killer Attack Poodle

The bravest dog I’ve ever known is a fearless beast appropriately named Rambo. He’s not afraid of anyone and has been known to attack dogs much bigger than him. I actually had to ban Rambo from the dog park when we lived in MD as he had a bad habit of finding the largest dog in the park and chasing it. Actually, most every dog on the planet is bigger than him as he’s a miniature toy poodle.

Rambo is strong and powerful, not because of his size, but because his big adopted brother, a large Rottweiler/Lab mix Sonny steps in when Rambo gets in over his head. His connection to Sonny gives him the power and confidence to be the baddest dog in the park, even though secretly Sonny is the real force.

Proxy power is the type of power you get when you build good relationships with others who have more power, or different power, than you do. It’s not always possible to have all of the available powers by yourself, but if you are deliberate and are willing to go out and establish good relationships by using your personal power, you might be able to tap into others’ power.

How does it work?

You have a proposal you want to get into the CEO’s hands. You have no connection or relationship to the CEO. Because you’re a good networker though, you have managed to build a good relationship with the Finance director who happens to be a golfing buddy of the CEO. You ask your friend to bring up your proposal with the CEO and sure enough, the CEO reads it. You wouldn’t have been able to get this far alone, you simply used your proxy power.

How do I build proxy power?

  1. Get to know as many people as you can in the organization.
  2. Through those connections, build relationships with others in the organization by demonstrating professionalism and a strong work ethic. Let your actions and performance give you the credibility to build those connections.
  3. Take the time to enhance all of your relationships by connecting them to others and by doing what you can to add value to them.
  4. Strategically map out any proposal or initiative by identifying the key decision-makers and then seeing how you’re in proxy power to them or to those who can influence them.

This may seem like playing politics, but honestly politics is simply using power and influence to get what you and your team needs to be successful. You owe it to yourself AND your team.

This week, do an evaluation of your relationships and an inventory of your power. What you lack, work to build whether it’s by yourself or through your relationships.

Nobody ever messed with Rambo at the dog park. Why should you allow anyone to mess with you?

How to Build Your Personal Power

illuminated bulbHave you ever run across someone and immediately decided you don’t like them? It could be the way they look or the way they talk. Sometimes it’s because they remind you of someone you can’t stand. When that happens, there’s zero chance you’ll strike up a conversation with them and absolutely no way you’d do anything nice for them.

Unfortunately, if you’re the hated one, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do to change this. I’m quite sure people have felt this way about me when I teach a workshop. But what if I told you there is a way to make most people genuinely like you? It happens when you can leverage and build your personal power.

People who are liked by others get many benefits.

  • People buy from them.
  • People listen to them.
  • People are influenced by them.
  • People are more apt to do business with them.
  • People show them special favor.
  • People recommend them and their services to others.

The big question is: How can we develop our personal power? Based on my travels and research, here are the 3 biggest ways:

  1. Talk to People about Themselves. If you think about it, most people who engage you in a conversation either spend the time talking about themselves or they listen just enough to have a good response. You’ve heard this one before I’m sure:
  • Person #1: “So how are you today?”
  • Person #2: “Not good, I have an appointment for a colonoscopy tomorrow morning.”
  • Person #1: “Oh my gosh, I had one of those last year and let me tell you, it was the worst experience of my life. First of all I had to do those awful cleansing drinks, then …blah blah blah…”

Maybe it’s done with the best of intentions, but if I’m about to get a colonoscopy, I’m not really interested in your experience.

If you want to have personal power, be sure to talk to people about themselves.

  1. Show Genuine Interest in Other People and What’s Important to Them. Believe it or not, everyone has something they do or are into that’s interesting…at least to them. Spend some time asking questions and being a good listener. You may be amazed at who you meet.

I once had a very nervous flyer sit next to me on a Southwest Airlines flight. She was one of those talkative nervous people so I asked her what she did and it turns out she created artwork from dryer lint. The interesting thing is, the more I listened to her, the calmer she became. As much as I like my quiet time on a flight, I did enjoy the conversation. It’s fascinating to find out how unique people are once you get to know them.

If you want to build personal power, show a genuine interest in other people.

  1. Offer Help and Resources to Them. If you think about it, most of the good breaks you’ve had in life at least partly came through the advice, resources, or connections from someone you know. If it did, then you probably think very highly of that person.

Most people you meet are striving for some sort of success but are probably stuck somewhere along the journey. Your ability to listen to them and offer them a resources, skill, or connection could mean the difference between them giving up or achieving their goal. Many years ago I met a guy named Ron Mueller who was kind enough to show me how to write and publish a book. Before I met him, I, like millions of other people, always dreamed of writing a book. After he showed me how, I did it. In fact, I’ve written 11 books but more importantly, have helped about 10 other authors do the same.

If you want to build personal power, offer help and resources to others.

Personal power is one that can be developed and should be enhanced. By making the conscious choice to be a good listener, a genuine encourager, and a sharer of resources, you’ll be well on your journey to get it. And remember sometimes you’ll get good things coming your way simply because people like you better than the other person!

The Power of Expertise

Hello I Am an Expert Nametag Expertise TagIf you know me, you know that I am always impressed by expertise. I love watching Rick from Pawn Stars reach out to “a guy I know who knows a lot about these things” when asked about the price for some sort of collectable. There’s not only bragging rights when you’re an expert, you’re also considered to be someone who’s powerful.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of having a Fellow named Keppel, in my workshop. The Fellows program at this company is where the most experienced leaders serve the executives in a consulting role. The program leverages their experience and expertise and they serve, in a sense, as a “guru” or one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others.

Keppel was no exception here. In addition to providing sage advice throughout the three-day workshop, he also took me on a guided tour through the engine assembly plant on the Wednesday after class. He walked me step-by-step through the entire process, from the gathering of the parts all the way through the final engine test area where they actually fire up the engines (and toss dead birds in by the way to test them against bird strikes) before delivering them to customers. Keppel knew every single step of the process and I’m convinced he could have stepped in on any stage of the assembly line and worked. I was in awe of the amount of expertise in his head. He is indeed a guru. That’s the power of expertise.

If you can amass expertise power, you immediately command respect. Nobody questioned Keppel as he moved around the plant. I saw the assembly workers essentially move out of the way when he came by – as if the Master was inspecting the work of the apprentices.

Did you know that all of us can become gurus? It just takes a focused commitment to learn more! Seeing Keppel in action just reinforced my commitment to keep learning and experimenting and surveying and writing. It would be wonderful to one day be considered a “management guru”!

What about you? Have you ever considered becoming a guru in your field of expertise? If you ask me, I’d say a company would be stupid to ever lay-off a guru! Building your expertise power involves you learning as much as you can about your field. Read every book you can find on your field. Find yourself a mentor and plant yourself next to them. Take on new challenges and learn from them!

Keppel showed that to me. I’m hoping you’ll join me this week in building it!

The 1-2 Punch for Success

man pushingJust recently teenaged girls were crushed by the news that Zayn Malik was leaving the group One Direction. Hearing that reminded me of an incident that happened a few years ago.

I got home late from a business trip and was met instantly by my then 13-year-old daughter who had a proposition for me: Could I get her tickets to see her favorite band One Direction? Now I had only heard one song by this band but according to Allie, they were absolutely the best. She had photos of them and told me all sorts of important stuff, like which one of the members is left-handed and which on had a paralyzing fear of spoons.

Since the special VIP tickets were $250.00 each and included a backstage pass, that was the preferred option, however for just $40.00 each she could still get good seats. I gave her the standard “let me think about it” response to which she reminded me that tickets went on sale Saturday morning at 10AM and would sell out fast.

Saturday morning she came downstairs early and reminded me that this I needed to decide soon since 10AM was just a few hours away. Since she knew I wanted to go to the gym and had some errands to run, she said she was perfectly willing to be online at 10 sharp with my credit card so that I wouldn’t have to put my day on hold. Oh, did I mention that I would have to accompany her to see One Direction? So that meant we needed two tickets. I finally agreed. She asked me if I was agreeing to the $250.00 VIP tickets or the standard $40.00 ones. It goes without saying that the $250.00 passes were out of the question but she was still grateful. She texted me at 10:05 to tell me we got the tickets.

How did she pull it off? Assertiveness and persistence.

Yes, she’s my daughter and yes my daughters know how to get me to do pretty much whatever they want, but she did it this time like a pro.

What’s the opposite of assertiveness and persistence? Aggressiveness and demanding. One works and the other doesn’t. Do one and you’ll get taken seriously, do the other and you’ll be laughed at.

Assertiveness is stating what you want in a respectful, but no-nonsense tone. Assertiveness doesn’t demand, it states strongly. Aggressiveness demands emotionally with an implied threat if demands aren’t met. It certainly works, but usually with damage done. Be aggressive long enough and you’ll be avoided at all cost.

Persistence is the act of sticking with a request by using different approaches to achieve the desired end-state. There is a fine balance between persistence and annoyance. Persistence is a series of gentle reminders. Done with the right tone and variety, they will achieve their goal. Demanding has the subtlety of a jackhammer. It often works (just as you’d do most anything to shut the noise of a jackhammer off) but results are short-lived and pretty much guarantees that it’s a one-time victory.

People who are aggressive and demanding get what they want, but will never be taken seriously. Using a tactful mix of assertiveness and persistence is the strategy of any successful salesperson or business person. The tools take less emotion, use less fear, and build up confidence. Learned early enough, they are your ticket to success in school, relationships, and in the beginning stages of work life. Applied consistently, they are the building blocks of successful careers.   Ultimately, they’ll send the message that your mature and should be taken seriously. I’ve used them to win business, build networks, and get important people to take my calls and meeting requests.

So in the end I went to see One Direction with Allie. Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and the rest of the lads. The assertiveness and persistence won. But rest assured it doesn’t work with me every time. A few months later I turned down her lengthy proposal (with PowerPoint presentation) for an iPhone. I don’t say “yes” all the time!

What will you do this week to be more assertive and persistent?

 

Career Tips for Young Folks

Businesswoman career conceptWe are inching ever closer to graduation season both in colleges and here in the Mid South. In just a few weeks, excited college and high school seniors will be sitting through graduation ceremonies, excitedly anticipating what comes next for them. My eldest daughter graduates this year from Towson University and has already gone on record as saying she will never again write a paper!

Thinking back to my own high school graduation, I remembered that feeling and the sense of hope and promise. Unfortunately, my moment of career enlightenment was still 15 years away. Between that moment and the day I decided my current career path, I endured plenty of failures, disappointments, bad jobs, horrible bosses, and uncomfortable work environments. Maybe it made me who I am today, but I certainly could have used some good career coaching early in my career!

From what I see, these are the common challenges facing today’s young folks (and I define “young” as ages 16 – 24):

  • High school curriculum that requires a student to choose between a college degree and nothing else.
  • Colleges actively marketing liberal arts degrees that don’t translate into marketable or even transferable skills.
  • High levels of unemployment and a logjam of college grads that are competing for jobs along with seasoned professionals.
  • The rising cost of college educations that translate into massive amounts of student load debt.
  • Pressure from parents and teachers to follow a “traditional” career path.

So what’s a student to do?

In preparation for a move from high school to college to career, I recommend students consider the following:

  • Look at current career fields and talk to professionals in those fields about its future – what is the long-term viability of this field? Where will it go in the future? What should I be learning now to be prepared for the current and future trends?
  • Think about what customers and industries your chosen career path supports. Watch and read the news to see the trends. Right now if your field involves seniors (old people), then you will have about 20+ years of an expanded population to work with. If you’re thinking about the Federal government or a contractor-type job, remember that even after sequestration, you can expect federal budgets to be much smaller, leading to less opportunity.
  • Think MONEY and JOB OPENING first. PASSION LATER. You’re young. Trust me, you’ll have time to do the fun stuff later!
  • Seriously consider STEM degrees. I’ve been beat up before in blogs about this one but if this is where the future jobs are, get in now. You can pursue your passion later once you’ve managed to set up your household and started your investments for retirement.
  • Consider blue-collar trades. As 81 million Baby Boomers are nearing retirement, many of the current tradesmen such as plumbers, carpenters, auto mechanics, electricians, machinists, etc. are retiring too. Learn a trade now and go back to college later to gain the business skills to start your own business.
  • Consider entrepreneurship. Think about what problems plague you and people you know. Can you solve them? Can you make money solving them? If so, maybe that’s your path.
  • Consider relocating. I watched a program a few months ago about the great Dust Bowl that devastated the Midwest during the Great Depression. When the money and the opportunities dried up, people physically moved. If opportunities in your career field don’t exist where you want to live, MOVE!
  • If you do in fact choose a career in teaching, counseling, etc. just realize that your salary will be low. Additionally, if you’re thinking about these fields, remember that many of these positions are state-funded and with most states in significant debt, these positions are being cut frequently.
  • Set a goal and think about the path to get there. Want to be a physician? Consider joining the military and using the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) to have your degree paid for. Yeah you’ll own the military your time, but you’ll get good experience and have NO debt!!!
  • Finally, it’s not to soon to sign up for life insurance and begin investing in your retirement. Social Security won’t be there for you. Unless you want to be a homeless old person, invest now. Life insurance seems like a negative purchase, but if you have a family later and end up dying, you’ll want to make sure your income is replaced so your family won’t suffer economically. It only gets more expensive the older you get. Get in now and lock in a low rate!

This is the kind of advice I wish I got way back in 1982. Now it’s my gift to you. If you’re a student, it’s probably what your parents have said but often I find that kids will listen to strangers first. Consider me that stranger and listen OK?

Leaders vs. Managers: Who Wins?

Leader Model 1I’m preparing a presentation for a leadership conference this week in Nashville.  Not a stretch for me I guess considering I have a graduate degree in Organizational Leadership. The challenge though is to say something unique and yet practical in a field that has been written about ad nauseum.

So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a couple of new models. This is the first one:

The whole premise is that leadership is about getting results. Nothing new here. What I have been wrestling with though is people in my workshops see management and leadership as an either/or undertaking. I think it’s both. Here’s how I define them:

  1. Leader and Manager are simply titles. Pick the one you want and use it. I really don’t care.
  2. Leadership and Management are simply behaviors. Pick the RIGHT one for the situation and use it.
  3. One’s not better than another. They both have a purpose. It’s like saying who’s more important: Grandma or Grandpa. Both are good, but different. It’s always better though when you have both!

You can think of Leadership as the use of influence to get things done. Influence is analogous to Steven Seagal – the 1980’s pony-tailed Aikido-using martial arts star. Aikido uses an opponant’s force against themselves. Fight Steven Seagal and you’re liable to find your arm twisted like a pretzel as you charge into him. He uses force against you. Leadership is like that. Influence is drawing people towards you (but if you’re using leadership, you do it nicely!).

Management is the use of power to get things done. It’s analogous to Chuck Norris – the now legendary martial arts figure (Chuck Norris’ mom has a tattoo that says “Son”) who uses Karate to take out a bad guy. You won’t have to look for Chuck Norris. He’s right in front of you raining down kicks and punches. He’s all about brute force. Power is like that. It’s pushing to get things done through people (but if you’re doing management, you do it nicely!).

So what’s the practical application?

  • You have a bunch of employees to motivate. Some need to be pushed, and others pulled.
  • You’re volunteering at your local PTA. Some of the members need to be pulled to get stuff done, others need to be pushed.
  • You have two children. One needs to be pushed to go out and pick up dog crap in the yard. The other in influenced by the need to contribute to the basic tasks of a family.

So you can choose lots of terms can’t you? Management (power, push, Chuck Norris) or Leadership (influence, pull, Steven Seagal). Just be clear on what the outcome is, who needs to get it done, and what your role is in making it all happen.

How to Be More Productive

Time for Productivity Clock Efficiency Working Get Results NowI often get asked what my secrets are for staying productive. Between traveling, teaching, blogging, marketing, speaking, writing, and oh yes, family too, my schedule is pretty packed. In spite of this, I’ve managed to keep all the balls up in the air. This week I thought I’d share my philosophy on time management and also let you know what tools I find most valuable for staying productive.

Philosophy first.

Life is made up of multiple pockets of time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How much you use and how much you waste is up to you. Here are my rules:

  1. Eliminate junk that fills those pockets.
  2. Equip yourself to take advantage of time pockets.
  3. Be more efficient to create more pockets.

Eliminate junk that fills those time pockets.

As my good friend Bruce Johnson says, “You can’t add anything in unless you take something away.” Think about what you do when you have downtime. If you’re like most people, you’ll probably waste more time than you’ll use. Take note of what you do when you’re standing in line, waiting for an appointment, or sitting in traffic. Most people reach for their smartphone and check in on Facebook (yes, even the ones sitting in traffic!). Ask yourself what intrinsic value you’ll get from the activity you do. If it’s junk, begin a systematic approach to eliminate it. Try shutting off the data signal to your phone. You’ll still get calls and texts, just not your social media apps. Keep a book handy with you. Keep a small notebook where you can write down your thoughts or ideas. Use your commute time to either reflect in silence or listen to some audio books.

Equip yourself to take advantage of time pockets.

Since I spend an inordinate amount of time on airplanes or sitting in airports, I’ve learned to always come prepared. Here are some things I recommend.

A light laptop. I have the Macbook Air which has that SSD drive that boots up in 8 seconds. It’s worth the price. Think about how long it takes for your PC to boot up. New tablets and PCs have that SSD. You can work, save, and then quickly shut down or fire up with this.

A mobile hotspot. I have the one from Verizon and it’s great if I’m someplace with no or slow WiFi. It’s also a whole lot more secure. If you have some time to get work done, use it wisely. Don’t let Internet access (or lack thereof) be an excuse.

A good cloud account. I use Dropbox and Google Drive which enables me to access and keep files safe. One I forgot my Macbook on a road trip to Connecticut. I had to buy a cheap PC laptop but with Dropbox, I was able to access the files I needed to teach my workshop.

Good productivity Apps. My favorite is Evernote. It syncs up to the cloud and lets me type out or do audio notes. I often come up with good ideas when I can’t easily write them down. Having Evernote allows me to speak them and access them later. Otherwise I know I’ll forget what I was thinking.

Books or a device that lets you store digital books. I have a Kindle and an iPad Mini with the Kindle App. When I have downtime, I’ll read. It also helps to have my library with me at all times especially if I’m doing a workshop and need to cite a particular concept. What you read is important too. For a list of books I recommend, click HERE.

Be more efficient to create more time pockets.

Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment. Take some simple steps to maximize the productive times. Start with shutting off email. Check it only a couple times a day. Turn off your phone if you need to focus. Find the best place to work. You’ll get more done, more efficiently with the right environment. If you’re an introvert, find a quiet spot or go to a library. If you’re an extravert, go to a busy Panera or Starbucks. Work in your zone when you’re in the zone and you’ll get more done. Make good use of your time. If I’m waiting for a flight at the airport, I can find a table, boot up my Macbook and bang out a blog post. Use downtime to check in with your network…by phone! My good friend Fred Allan makes it a point to call me to check in at least every couple of months. “Malcolm,” he says. “I know you’re busy but I just wanted to call and check in and see how you’re doing.” He’s a great example for all of us!

I don’t profess to be an expert but this is what’s worked well for me. Remember, we all have the same amount of hours in a day. How much you use and how much you waste is all up to you. Take some time this week to evaluate your workday and start making some changes.

Don’t Get Caught Up in a Tree

Mountain Lion prepares to jump from a treeLast week I was flipping through the channels when a hunting show caught my eye. This hunter was with a group of guys up in Colorado looking for mountain lions. The team hit the train on quads with a pack of hunting dogs.   Before long, the dogs caught the scent of a mountain lion and followed it. It didn’t take them long to find the big cat which they quickly chased up a tree. The hunters caught up and saw the mountain lion trapped in the tree. From there it was game over. The hunters calmly assembled their rifles and shot the mountain lion out of the tree.

You may or may not be a hunter and this story might make you sad or angry, but the illustration needs to stick with you.

There’s a real danger in getting yourself to a point in life where there are no options to get out. If that happens, you’ll be as vulnerable as the mountain lion in the tree. At that point, there’s only one result and as it was with the mountain lion, it’s not a good one.

What are some examples of this?

  • You take a job in an isolated small town at the one employer in town. You choose to buy a house there. What will you do if you lose that job?
  • You pay a large sum of money to obtain a certification in a tool or technique hoping it leads to more opportunity. You failed to realize the tool is outdated and that multiple consultants are already using it and finding no opportunities.
  • You hang your company’s future on the current Government contract you have. You’ve made no attempt to explore other markets. Now you’ve lost your contract and have not other prospects in the pipeline.
  • You’re in a home with a massive mortgage, which you will not be able to afford if you lose your job. You refuse to sell it and get something affordable in spite of all signs pointing to this inevitable conclusion.

How can you avoid this?

Don’t move forward without an exit plan in place. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the tree.

Strategies?

  • Surround yourself with people who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you WANT to hear.
  • View your situation objectively, not emotionally.
  • Run through mental scenarios, imagining every possible outcome, good or bad, and develop a list of options and possibilities.

Hope is not a strategy. Planning is key.

What will you do this week to avoid getting caught in the tree?

 

 

Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

grinderThis past few weeks I’ve put in lots of time clearing some trees from around my house. Since my chainsaw has been on the fritz and I didn’t want to wait for bad weather to return, I decided to go “old school” and take them out with an axe.

Knowing that famous quote attributed to Honest Abe made me do the painstaking work of sharpening the axe I used. After finishing, I probably could have shaved with it. It was helpful though because I made quick work of the trees. Digging out the stumps was a whole other story.

Most of us spend a good part of our day solving problems. It’s what we’re hired to do. The question is, how much time are you putting into thinking before you jump in to solve? We’ve been taught to heed the call to “don’t just stand there, DO SOMETHING!”

So why do we do it?   There are several reasons:

  • If we don’t act with urgency, people will think we’re not taking the problem seriously.
  • If we don’t dive in, our boss will think we’re incompetent.
  • There is reward in wearing yourself out for the cause.
  • If we don’t do it, nobody else will.
  • If we don’t do it, somebody else will and steal the credit.

All of these will result in a poor, knee-jerk solution that will simply kick the problem down the road. Maybe we’d be wiser to take the time to think and prepare before just diving in.

Sharpening the axe does two things:

  1. Gives us time to think.
  2. Makes the tool more efficient.

If the principle works so well for cutting trees, why wouldn’t it do just as well (figuratively) for your everyday challenges?

This week, as you are presented with problems, why not…

DON’T just do something, STAND there!

 

I’ll bet the results will be a whole lot better.