If You Want to Learn, Start By Unlearning

Adults do not approach learning as a blank slate. We have preconceptions and prior experiences that can hinder as much as help. What we already know can get in the way of what we need to learn. To learn, we often have to unlearn first, then we can relearn.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler


Each year I get a new Moleskine journal to record my ideas, reflections, prayers, and experiences. The pages are blank, with lines, ready to be

Coaching the Positive Impact Scales

After my previous two posts on Positive Impact Scales I was asked how to coach using them. I have seen incredible changes in people and their organizations as they made changes in these four areas: Purpose, Impact, Money, and Ease. Here is my toolkit for increasing Positive Impact.

First, let me overview my 4-step process to coach the Positive Impact Scales.

Want to Tick Off Your Boss? Use Your Smartphone in Meetings

You are in a meeting. Your phone vibrates, you read the message, type a response and set the phone back down. The whole process takes you only 15 seconds. A new study says you’ve just irritated your boss and colleagues.

Lets face it, smartphones are everywhere. Yet, smartphone etiquette has not kept up.

One time, I witnessed a pastor take a call in the middle of teaching a group of people. “Hello? Can I call you back, I’m teaching. Yes, right now. There’s a group here. I’ll call you back.” Ridiculous! Yet, even more mundane phone use causes offense, and you may not realize it.

Last year, a study by USC Marshall School of Business Center and Howard University looked at attitudes toward smartphone usage during meetings. They asked about texting, emailing, and taking a phone call in both formal meetings and informal meetings. The results were surprising.

Do It Now: Change the Toilet Paper Roll and 19 Other Things to Boost Your Productivity

We are really good at putting things off until later. Some things, like changing the toilet paper roll, are better done now. Leaders who Do It Now at work and at home have more focus and greater productivity.

When I posted a photo on Facebook of an empty toilet paper holder and a new roll set on the counter, I received a lot of comments.

What surprised me was how many people defended setting the toilet paper on the counter rather than taking 10 seconds to put it on the holder. It’s a small thing, you might say. But when multiplied throughout the day,

Psychology Tells Us How to Improve Our Planning

We all struggle with our schedules. We don’t get done what we want to. Many things take longer than we expect. And urgent tasks regularly bump out more strategy things. The good news is, psychologists have found two predictable ways that we mess up our planning – and what to do about them.

Psychologists understand our difficulties in planning. They know why we are late to appointments. They know why we make commitments that we later regret.

Here’s what to do about it and how to plan more effectively.

Why Leaders Need To Develop Their Root System

We don’t normally see roots. We see the results of roots – a strong healthy plant and its fruit. A leader’s roots are hidden out of sight but the condition of those roots is clearly evident in the life of the leader. Weak roots make a weak leader.

My neighbor had a 150 foot tall Douglas fir tree that was probably 70 years old. One day, it started dropping all it’s needles. After a couple of weeks it was a naked, sick-looking giant.

The tree died even though it was so strong and healthy for 70 years before. Something had gotten into its roots and weakened them. Without the nutrition and water that flow through the roots, the tree couldn’t survive.

Leaders also have a root system that is

Want To Be Happy? Embrace Your Problems

Too often people find a new job, house, friend, or spouse, only to discover that the problems of the previous one followed them. Happiness comes not by changing the scenery but more often by changing our perspective.

We don’t like pain, dark questions, and life’s tensions. But it is one of life’s great ironies that personal growth and happiness are often a result of journeying through the tough times, not avoiding them. Shortcuts and Band-Aid solutions only repackage and prolong our difficulties.

Improv Techniques To Make You A More Effective Coach

Comedians Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Amy Poehler all perfected their comedy doing improv in Chicago. Recently, I went to JetCity Improv in Seattle to practice with the pros. What I learned helped me to be a more effective coach.

Improvisation is theater without a script. Kind of like coaching, leadership and well, life. I want to share 3 techniques to improve your coaching. By applying these techniques you will have an easier time with releasing control of the conversation, listening, and staying present with clients.