Leadership Excellence

I like smart.

And your business needs smart people. The world does.

It doesn’t need people who are too smart for their own good.

Here are some common smart variations.

Cocky smart. Impatient smart. Clever smart. Devious smart. Precious smart. Smarter-than-you smart.

The too-smart-for-your-own-good kind.

Smart will only get you so far.

We’re impressed. And then, very quickly, we’re tired of being impressed.

Yes, it’s a bitch. If you don’t share your smart you diminish your gifts and short-change your place of employment. If you go on smart-overdrive, you quickly hit the too-smart-for-your-own-good zone.

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Simple little word, isn’t it?

We don’t like it in sentence construction. It signals run-on-sentence hell.

We like it everywhere else.

In the canon of powerful words, AND ranks right up there with YES, NO. As a form of thought construction, AND heralds the opportunity-creating, mind-expanding, value-adding thought.

Do you use the word AND often enough?

It is my job to talk myself into things, not out of them.

I remember this phrase as I chat with my friend Rob Doucet about life’s third acts. We banter about the notion of retirement. Whether retirement is an at all desirable thing.

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Where do you get your lunch?

Mo, the proprietor of the sublime Sozo Sushi in Ft. Lauderdale, asks me as I pay for dinner.

We run down the street to Doris’ Market, I answer. They have a $5.00 lunch special. Sandwich, chips, and a soda.

Doris’ is your classic old Italian market, less than a mile from my firm’s office, right on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Florida.

Yes, there really is a Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Lunch rush at Doris’ Market means you pull a number and wait your turn. Behind the counter, Gilda and Frank and Doreen and Freddie and a whole slew of others hustle to sell deli meats and make the lunch orders while a crowd eagerly waits.

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I like to joke that I get help for everything.

I see a therapist, a coach, a trainer.

My life is better because of their help.

It’s the beauty of getting older. I no longer need to be the best at everything or do it alone.

All of the above are hired help. Every day, life gets better yet when we invite un-hired guidance.

The moment we ask, collaborative energy gets released. Collaborative good will kicks into motion. Helping energy accelerates success. Ours – and that of the person we ask.

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I just spent a marvelous training week with a group of business colleagues in Chicago.

We always explore how we PUSH/PULL.

In my universe, this is code-talk about how we influence a conversation.

PUSH = I send energy to the other person.

PULL = I draw energy from the other person.

But today I invite you to think of how you summon your personal energy, whether there is someone else there or not.

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I saw my dentist this week.

A simple crown adjustment. A minor visit.

Dr. Fishner wasn’t there, so Dr. Schwartz took care of me.

Both are fine dentists. Both are likeable human beings.

And I liked Dr. Schwartz better.

I knew it within seconds. I was startled by this insight because Dr. Fishner is my regular dentist, and I like Dr. Fishner a lot.

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I spent 9 days in Cuba last month.

Many stories to tell.

Yes, I engaged in some of the expected activities. Strolled through Havana Vieja, retracing Ernest Hemingway’s steps. Listened to infectious live music every day. Indulged in a slew of sumptuous meals prepared in the home-grown paladares, beacons of a nascent Cuban entrepreneurialism.

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