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Never Doubt

There will be plenty of obstacles between you and your goal -- no need to add doubt to the list. Never doubt, work it out. -- doug smith  

Goal Connections

Who have you helped achieve a goal today? What if we could achieve our own goals faster by first helping others to achieve their goals? What if our greatest capacity-builder was to serve? Some of the people who have helped me the most (maybe all?) are people who I was fortunate enough to work with and help. It is NOT a quid pro quo situation -- we don't do favors just to receive favors (oh, I know that some people do but that's not what I recommend here,) we serve because in serving we grow. In serving we expand. In serving we build relationships that are resilient and strong. The payoff is not certain. The payoff is not immediate. But, the payoff is worth it. And, even if it wasn't -- there's no satisfaction quite like that of helping someone else to achieve and important goal. Who can you help to achieve a goal today?  -- doug smith

Find Your Strength

  The most important thing about a problem is what strengths we use to solve it.  Problems always build strengths -- either yours, or the problem's. You decide. Maybe it's an old strength that you can rely on. Maybe it's a muscle you know how to flex. Or, just maybe it's a new strength that you are developing. Keep flexing. -- doug smith

Change and Negotiation

  What do change and negotiation have in common? They are both: Asking people to change Easier planned than executed Subject to opposition  In today's edition of the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation Sunday Minute , James Sebenius provides seven tips on how to handle a big negotiated deal that is falling apart or facing opposition. He states the Amazon decision to back out of an agreement to build a major business center in New York as an example. It seemed like a done-deal, (a meaningful change) and then it fell apart.  Change management efforts also frequently fall apart. That's frustrating and career-impacting for anyone involved in the change. Like a deal gone sour, a failed change project is agonizing. Here are seven tips from the article. I think that they are excellence advice for managing a major negation AND managing a change project: Never take success for granted in a complex, multiparty setting. Stay informed about local opinions regarding the issues invol

The Easy Tree

Twitter can be fun sometimes because you can follow famous people and even respond to their musings. Sometimes, they might even respond to your response, somehow validating an otherwise humble existence. In teaching for decades I've often asked as a warm-up question "what famous person have you met?" and I was initially surprised at how many people have actually met a famous person. Nearly everyone in nearly every room has met or encountered at least one famous person. We're all so close to connection that it's wonderful. One of the famous people I've met (who no doubt will not remember me) is the writer and producer Gennifer Hutchison. We met at a wedding in California. She's closely associated with the TV show "Breaking Bad" which I loved so it was a thrill to meet her.  That's all just me bragging and pretending that it's establishing context for this tweet that I'd like to respond to: What's the tree you climbed as a child

Start with your goal...

  How do you feel when you solve a problem, but you haven't really solved the problem? Some problems can confound us with their resilience, and some problems simply defy a fix. We could blame the problem, but what if it isn't the problem's fault? Be careful about solving a problem until you know what you really want. Start with your goal. -- doug smith

Helpful

Don't you just love it when someone is genuinely helpful? Those rare times when you can tell that they don't have a secondary motive, that they are just being helpful? Great leaders do that a lot. You can see it in their actions, and you can hear it in their talk. What if everything you communicated was meant to be helpful? Wouldn't more people listen? -- doug smith

What about your thinking?

Are you an over-thinker or an under-thinker?   I'm an over-thinker. I'll analyze something all day before deciding sometimes. I enjoy revising things in search of perfection, thinking that there must always be a bit better way to do it. Sometimes there is, but often I end up spinning my wheels. But under-thinking is also dangerous. Impulsive decisions can lead to disaster. "Trusting the universe" can get you lost in the void.  Whether we're thinking too much, or too little, it pays to think about how we are thinking. Are we thinking optimistically? Pessimistically? Positively? Negatively? Critically? I think there is a shortage of critical thinking about what people are thinking, and it's leading them astray. Unexamined conclusions leave the door open to mistakes. We do need to think about our thinking.  If you don't think about your thinking your thinking might fool you. Think about that. -- doug smith

Does Brilliance Seem Rare?

Brilliance seems rare because it often travels in disguise. It hides as hard work. It hides as perseverance. It presents as obsession. It moves with determination and makes its many mistakes all without stopping.  Don't worry about how brilliant you are. Work hard, and the brilliance appears. -- doug smith

Level Up

Thriving leaders play to their level and then level-up. There's always more to learn and there is always room for improvement. Level up. -- doug smith