Posted in Best Practices


The secret of success is to do common things uncommonly well.”

Some companies do uncommon things.

Apple does uncommon things.

Google does uncommon things.

Maybe your company does too.

But if it doesn’t, then join the ranks of Nordstrom, Southwest, FedEx, and so many others.

You don’t need to innovate.

TRY THIS:  Simply, do what you say you’re going to do:

  • when you say you’re going to do it
  • the way you said it would be done
  • the way you’d like it to be done if you were the customer

That’s it!

Posted in Improvement


It’s always tempting to hear an issue that someone is having (or that you’ve identified) and drop right into advice mode.

It is uncommon that the person you’re talking to will hear your advice, understand it, and take immediate action.

Instead of telling the individual what to do, ask at least three questions that will help him or her to look inside themselves for the answer.

TRY THIS: It can be as simple as asking:

  1. What do you think the best solution is?
  2. What options are available for you to make it better?
  3. What’s in your way?

One of two things will happen:

  • They will find an answer and take action.
  • They will admit to themselves that they simply don’t know, and then they’ll be ready for your advice.
Posted in Best Practices, Leadership


Imagine that you were being shadowed for a day by a film crew that was capturing best practices in leadership as part of a televised series.

How differently would you behave? How differently would you appear to the people who are working for you?

TRY THIS: Tomorrow, just assume the cameras are rolling and be that person.

Posted in Goals


I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to render an employee, colleague or friend speechless is to simply ask, “If you could do anything (for work), what would it be?”

Most people have no idea.

Most haven’t really outlined a plan or set a goal, let alone taken action.

Most spend more time planning out their vacation than they do their “career.”

Most get to where they’re going, but not where they want to be.

Where are you heading?

TRY THIS: Write down what you really want to be doing with your time. And take one step toward getting there.

Posted in Improvement

All the Time in the World

In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character was given time, day after day, to become the best possible version of himself.

What do you have to do tomorrow that’s more important?  

Or the day after that?


TRY THIS: Pick one thing that you’d like to improve and stay with it until you get there….then rinse and repeat.  Let me know if you get stuck and I’ll try to help.

Posted in communication, Leadership

That’s Not What I Meant

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” -Henry Ford

It’s easy to use sarcasm to make a point, or take a cheap shot.

As a leader, using sarcasm too often is really showing up small to the people who work for you.

Announcing, “Glad to see you’re on time,” to the person who’s late doesn’t help them; it serves only to embarrass. It’s negative energy and negative communication.

Instead, you might say, “This is the second time that you’ve come in after the hour. Is something going on that I could help with?”

You may find that they do have an issue, one that’s already embarrassing them without your help.

TRY THIS: Have one day without sarcasm. You may not feel as funny, but those around you won’t feel as funny either, or embarrassed, upset, or hurt. And you’ll find that if you stop, so will those around you.

Posted in communication, Empower

Things Go Wrong

Customers who have problems solved have a higher satisfaction rating than customers who never experienced a problem.

The Ritz Carlton allots $2,000 per day for employees to make things right for their customers when things go wrong.

How are you empowering your staff (or yourself) to handle customer problems?

How do you feel dealing with people who work for an organization that lets you down and have no authority to help?

Posted in Leadership


How fast to drive. Which way to go to work.  Where to eat… etc.

Deciding NOT to be a victim of your circumstances; making a positive impact on someone else’s day; seeing the world through the eyes of an optimist and a believer — that’s a conscious decision that requires effort and focus.

It’s the best decision you can make. 

TRY THIS: The moment you have a thought that includes blame, stop. Decide you’re not a victim and consider a path that creates a better outcome for yourself and whoever or whatever you were about to blame.