The Thursday Three Volume 1

One of my favorite parts of building a company is thinking about stuff.

This week I’ve been thinking about ways to freshen my blog content. One idea I had was to introduce a new post I will call The Thursday Three. My goal is to share 3 things I discover each week that I believe will add value to you. I’m leaning toward making this a regular post each week, but still undecided. I would love your feedback.

So here goes. This week’s Thursday Three.

  • The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni. I downloaded this one for my return flight from Chicago yesterday. I’m already half way through. So far it is really good. In the introduction Lencioni says being a team player is at the top of the list of the most valuable qualities a person can have to thrive in the world of work. I am a big Lencioni fan. If you want to improve yourself as a teammate, or take your team to the next level, this book will help.
  • Listen to Me Linda YouTube video. A friend shared this one with me a couple of years ago, and I ran across it again this week. As a leader it resonates. Do you ever feel like you are taking to a wall, finding resistance from those you lead. If so, and you need a laugh, this kid should help.
  • The Tim Ferris Show interview with Seth Godin. Who in the world has the audacity to try and pull off a two hour podcast? Ferris not only tries, he succeeds on this one. I listened to several sections a couple of times. Download it here or on itunes, put on the earbuds and go for a long run or walk. You may not agree with everything you hear, but it will challenge you to think about the way you design your life.

Have a blessed weekend, and remember, your capacity to grow determines your capacity to lead.


The Art of Leadership

Monday night I attended my daughter Katherine’s AP art show. I was blown away by her creativity. I know I’m biased, but her work was amazing!


It was interesting to feel her energy as she explained to me each of her seventeen 3d pieces. Just sixteen hours earlier her energy was different. It was midnight and she was cramming for an important Economics test. Katherine will not be an economist.

As a father I could not care any less about her economics grade. I haven’t asked her about it all year. I have asked her about her art class. I even volunteered to assist her with a project a few weeks ago. I’ve watched, cheered for, and encouraged her almost daily as she has put in hundreds of hours cutting out letters, building mailboxes out of book pages, and repurposing old hardbacks.

When you think about those you lead, have you spent time talking with them about their interests, dreams, and passions? I hope so. Chances are you fall into the trap of expecting everyone to be excited by the things that excite you. Resist. Part of the art of leadership is encouraging people to follow their area of passion.

Who do you need to have a strength conversation with before the end of the week?


Show or Tell?

One of the most challenging places to lead is at home.

If you are a mom or dad, I trust you want what is best for your kids. That being the case, it is easy to default to constantly “reminding” them what they ought to do.

Can I remind YOU of something? … Your kids will follow your example more than they will your advice.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them advice … you should. But your advice better match your life if you expect it to be respected.

By the way, actions speak louder than words at work too.



Do You Need to Go Gentle?

As a leader, I am constantly looking for wisdom to give me an edge. Through the years I have read books, listened to speakers, and attended conferences. In my search, I have found that nothing compares to the wisdom that is available in the book of Proverbs in the Bible.

One of my favorite verses reminds me to choose gentle over harsh. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

A while back I witnessed a disagreement between two men. One of the guys, with a very confrontational tone, was challenging the competence of the other guy. The response of the one being challenged was amazing.

Without being defensive, the second guy simply stated the facts in a very humble way. He even showed remorse and accepted responsibility for his own actions. The result was incredible.

The first guy was caught off guard, and the response caused him to lower his own tone and to back off of his position a bit.

When answering for his actions, the second guy chose to “go gentle.” His humility served him well and a potentially bad situation was totally diffused.

News flash … being harsh never achieves the desired result. Never.

A jerk is a jerk. He may be fooled into thinking he has power because of a position or title, but there is a big difference in being able to fire someone and being able to influence them.

Not only does harshness fail at the office, it also fails at home. If you don’t believe me, go ask your kids.

If you want to be a man or woman of influence, I suggest you “go gentle.”

That does not mean you have to lessen the standards. It just means you don’t have to be a jerk.


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