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Think and Act

Thinkers need doers to get stuff done. Ideas without actions go nowhere. Think, and act. -- doug smith  
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Stay Open to Creative Possibilities

  Stay open to possibilities -- the ones that surprise you may please you the most. -- doug smith

Be Careful Of Promises

Are some life lessons harder on you than others? The hardest of course are those that damage you -- falling victim and learning not to be a victim, getting dominated and either building strength or embracing servitude -- lessons that we don't necessarily choose because they choose us. A lesson that chose me was this: people seldom keep their promises. Even the people I have felt the closest to have broken promises. Even people who swore on legal oaths (and yes, even on a Bible) have broken promises. And, of course, I have broken promises. Hard lessons all.  Why do we break our promises? Because they are so very hard to keep. They bind us. They restrict us. They surrender us to the word and well-being of another or others and as a result it feels as if our own freedom diminishes. We just aren't wired to give that stuff up easily. But we sure do promise it easily. People make promises they have no earthly chance of keeping and often no conscious intention of keeping. That's a

Check Your Directions

Do you ever get lost? Before GPS, I spent way too much time being lost. It wasn't that I was too proud to ask for directions, it's that whenever I did I would get directions that weren't right. Even people who have lived in a place their whole lives can get their directions wrong. Well, what about maps? I find maps more useful, although GPS has definitely spoiled me. But maps can become outdated. Maps can be damaged. And sometimes, maps can even be deceptive. That's a bit like following bad advice: it just gets you lost. Lots of people will give you advice. Lots of well-meaning people will provide you directions with how your life should go and what your work should look like. Whether or not you trust those directions depends largely on your relationship.  Leaders take the time to build relationships. High performance leaders test their assumptions, check their directions, and pay attention to the landscape, because these days things change fast. The right directions ca

Problems or Negotiations?

  Some problems are actually negotiations -- you can't solve them until someone else agrees. High performance leaders spend more time building agreements. -- doug smith

It's Up to You

  What will be missing from the world if you don't create it? That's all the sign you need to go ahead. Put your creative coat on and get moving! -- doug smith

Your Best Teachers?

  Who are your teachers? Do you have a big list, or a little list? My list of teachers is long -- current teachers, people who continue to help me learn, even when they don't know that is what they are doing. Some of my teachers are wonderful people who put smiles on my face. Some of my teachers put a different expression on my face. But they are all my teachers. Some days we learn the most from those who have the most to learn. -- doug smith

A Warning About Tradition

  Are you bumping up against tradition? As leaders we are often breaking barriers. We're constantly knocking down walls. Sometimes, we're stepping on toes. We change things because that's what leaders do but it does matter how we change. Are we graceful, or clumsy? Are we considerate, or brutal? Are we deliberate, or chaotic? Change is necessary because it's where growth happens. Doing that change we can forget about or even demolish tradition. "If it mattered we'd keep it," right? It matters. How we handle tradition tells our team how we will eventually handle each and every one of them. What has been placed there before us has been trusted to us. We can improve it, always. Must we ever destroy it? Seldom. As I write this, I can practically hear my friend and fraternity brother David Spiegel singing "Tradition!" from "Fiddler On The Roof." It has honor. It has value. It has multiple meanings. Ignore tradition and you'll lose stabil