Despite your instincts, almost all big change, almost all important organizations, almost all the stuff that matters doesn't get launched big, from the loud place, on the front page of the paper or on the Super Bowl or on a popular blog.
No, the stuff that changes everything starts on the fringe, captures the imagination of a dozen, who bring along colleagues or friends, and then it's a hundred and then...
Make whatever list you want: Twitter, Ki...
They use stopwatches at McDonald's. They know, to the second, how long it should take to make a batch of fries. And they use spreadsheets, too, to whittle the price of each fry down by a hundredth of a cent if they can. They're big and it matters.
Small businesspeople often act like direct marketers. They pick a number and they obsess over it. In direct mail, of course, it's the open rate or the conversion rate. For a freelancer or small business...
Please don't include the phrase, "I'll keep this brief," in your remarks.
Please don't quote Robert Browning or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at us. If less is more, just give us less, not an explanation.
Say what you need to say, then leave. Less is actually more, and the length of your speech or your document has nothing at all to do with your impact or your status.
Are we on the same team? and
What's the right path forward?
Most of time, all we talk about is the path, without having the far more important but much more difficult conversation about agendas, goals and tone.
Is this a matter of respect? Power? Do you come out ahead if I fail? Has someone undercut you? Do we both want the same thing to happen here?
The reason politics in my country is diverging so much from useful governance has nothing to do w...
For fifty years, it was a national disgrace.
Motor cars in the UK often left behind road kill. Hedgehogs would meander across the road and splat.
Today, you hardly see that anymore. One reason is that there are fewer hedgehogs due to suburbanization. The real reason, though, is that slow hedgehogs became former hedgehogs, which meant that they were unable to produce more slow hedgehog kids. The new hedgehogs are fast.
Draw your own organizational...
Transformational leaders don't start by denying the world around them. Instead, they describe a future they'd like to create instead. Denying the truth about relative market share, imperial power or the scientific method helps no one.
Gandhi didn't pretend the British weren't dominating his country, and Feynman didn't challenge Einstein's theory of relativity or the laws of thermodynamics.
It's okay to say, "this is going to be difficult." And it...
It would be great to be picked, to win the random lottery, to have a dream come true.
But when we rely on a wish to get where we want to go, we often sacrifice the effort that might make it more likely that we get what we actually need. Waiting for the prince to show up is a waste of valuable time, and the waiting distracts us from and devalues the hard work we might be doing instead.
If you can influence the outcome, do the work.
If you can't in...
You get what you focus on. Focus on nothing, and you won't get much.
The successful organization can be focused on any of these constituencies (a partial list):
The sales force
the stock market
potential new customers
Many companies are sales-force driven. When the salesforce is happy, the CEO is happy.
Others organizations are driven by the daily (or hourly) stock price. The company is run to ple...