What could you stop doing?

This post is reprinted from my weekly try-it e-mail series.  If you like it, sign-up here to have each week’s exercise delivered straight to your inbox.

Have you noticed how easy it is to add something new to your schedule? One more client, one more project, one more meeting. Each new thing on its own seems inconsequential, so in a burst of enthusiasm (or guilt) we say yes.

Then we wonder why we feel so tired all the time.

Normally this is where you would expect a lesson on learning to say “no.” That’s good advice, and we’ll probably cover it one of these weeks, but for now I’m asking you to do something different. Continue reading

Do You Equate Boring with Serious?

Do you believe the only way to become a thought leader in your field is to express yourself in as dry a manner as possible?

Do you use data or graphs your audience won’t be able to read so your opinion seems well-researched?

Do you obfuscate your  meaning with words like obfuscate to make yourself feel smarter?

Do you wonder why you have a hard time bringing outsiders into your fold?

Unless you work in web development, gaming, or some corners of the internet marketing sector, the answer to these questions is most likely yes.  It also explains why if I were to sum up my consulting practice into one sentence it would be:

Stop sapping the awesome out of your inherently amazing work. Continue reading

Prerequisite to Innovation, Creativity and Change

We spend most of our time here talking about you, your dreams for making the world a better place, and the tools you need to make those dreams come true.

After watching this TED Talk video this week I realized I skipped an important step.

Before we can change the world, we must change our definitions of strength and weakness.  And we must start with ourselves.

This is the part of the post where I would normally give you 3-7 ideas for how to make the change we are talking about.

In this case, I think it’s too soon.

Instead, just watch the video.  If you have thoughts you’d like to share, questions or struggles, I’d love to hear them in the comments.  If, like one person I spoke with, you watch the video and can’t find words that capture your reaction, that’s cool too.

Once we’ve all had some time to process I’ll follow up with more posts about vulnerability, what it means for us and our work, and how we might achieve it.

P.S. If you’d like to see more you can watch Brené Brown’s TEDx Houston speech. (The one with the “Breakdown” slide.) here.

3 Selfish Reasons to Be More Generous

With payoffs like these, even Scrooge might see generosity as an investment!

If your mother is anything thing like Lucie Carruthers, she’s been reminding you to be generous and share from the time you learned the word “mine.”

While I’m pretty sure mom reasons for being generous are focused on raising good citizens and creating peace in living rooms, it turns out those same ideas might are also good for your bottom line.

Generosity Is Easy

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything
~Mark Twain

Generous employee and customer policies are like that too. Continue reading

Doing What is Ours to Do

Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during...

Image via Wikipedia

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Nancy Schwartz asked the Nonprofit Blog Carnival community to spend time in January reflecting on our own dreams and how we intend to bring them to fruition.

As is evidenced by my 11th hour submission, I found this assignment daunting.  Who am I to declare the future direction of the not-for-profit sector?  What difference does my work make in the grand scheme of the universe?  How can I solve problems large agencies with million dollar budgets have yet to tackle?

And then I realized–that’s the whole point. Continue reading