Proximity of the Joneses

We know we aren’t supposed to try to keep up with the Joneses. That that’s bad. And being enlightened people, we don’t. Because we’re good.

Except when we’re not.

And knowing how and when temptation or envy will strike helps to avoid mistakes.

So know that the Joneses are more threatening when they are close – when they live next door or were/are particularly good friends or are just like you but more successful. Know that these are the characteristics that make the Joneses more threatening.


Leadership Questions

Flipping through an old notebook I came across these questions:

  • What will you make better in the world through your leadership?
  • What is the highest purpose you can imagine for your leadership?

We think we are who we are, but we are constantly evolving. The questions we ask and answer ultimately determine who we become.

Next Vacation

I like looking forward to vacation. It brings me pleasure. I think there’s value in always having a vacation on the calendar.

I coach a lot of people who are too busy to schedule a vacation. They can’t do it before May because every week is already booked. They can’t do it May through August because they know that’s a busy season. September school starts up again. Etc. etc. etc.


Schedule it for February 2014.

Schedule it for 2020.

I don’t care. Just put it on the calendar.

(And if money is an issue today, try a stacation and/or put the next vacation down for when you suspect you’ll have the money for it.)

Happy vs. Satisfied

We too often equate happy and satisfied.

They aren’t the same thing.

You didn’t get the big sale, promotion, or whatever? It’s okay to be unsatisfied, to hunger for more. It’s also okay to be happy at the same time. I’d even say it’s advisable.

To Teach or To Serve, That Is the Question

We all play the role of teacher sometimes – with actual classrooms or with colleagues, our kids, family members, etc.

Where I see people (myself included) get in trouble is when they get into a mode of teaching. I.e., imparting knowledge, providing the path, viewing the learner as a receptacle for knowledge.

Where I see people creating the greatest good is when they serve their learners. I.e., seeking to understand their journey, their desired destination, their vantage, viewing the learner as the owner of their own education.

Mind Like a Sieve

My coaching client explained his mistake of the week. It was the same mistake as the week before. The exact same thing. And we had come up with a strategy to address it. And what did he say when I asked him if he used the strategy?

“What strategy?”

It took him under a week to forget the very thing he had found so important just seven days earlier. Of course, none of us are really that different.

What did you learn last week? Can you remember?

I bet there was something. Something you wanted to hold onto. Something important. (Maybe something I wrote.) But we forget.

Our memories do not correlate with importance.

Value does not predict retention.

Unless we make it so. I used to laugh about my colleagues who had post-its all over their monitors, reminding them of little lessons they picked up in life. But that made sense. They were ensuring that memory and importance actually connected.

Me? I still have a clean desk. And a mind like a sieve.

On Reading the Mundane

My posts are often mundane. I write things you probably already know.

So where’s the value?

There’s a big gap between knowing and practicing. We do what is comfortable, easy, habitual, routine. Even when we know we should do otherwise. Sometimes being told the obvious helps us break those routines and bring what we practice in line with what we know.