Words to Live By

Whenever two or more people are working together or talking to each other, whatever happens has been crafted by all involved.  As simple as it sounds, it is a radical departure from how most of us understand our human process.   

Every habit – whether good or bad – was used to initially solve a problem.  Most of our habits continue to be useful.  Some, however, become no longer productive, but we continue to use them anyway.  For example, many of us are taught to be respectful, more specifically, to not interrupt when others are talking.  But if you always wait for a break in the conversation to speak, it might never happen.  As a result you might not express good thoughts or creative solutions that could help solve a problem.  If you don't know how to speak up, how will people know what you know?


Neuroscience research has identified four key principles that when attended to increase retention of new learning resulting in better memory. This is significant for individuals and organizations where learning is critical to success, growth, and development.

The four principles are Attention, Generation, Emotion and Spacing. 

Strategic Planning Rethought

Traditional strategic planning approaches are built on hard, analytical, just-the-facts thinking. Since the mid 1990’s, and as codified by Michael Porter of Harvard University, the gold standard of strategic planning has been “a rational decision-making process focusing on getting the right data, avoiding biases and choosing activities that differentiate a firm from its competitors."

Connecting Strategic and Intimate Interactions: The Need for Balance

In an episode of the once highly popular television program, The West Wing, there is a scene in which the President’s press secretary CJ Craig (played by Allison Janney) holds a conference with the White House press corps.  The exchange starts with CJ presenting a report about the President (played by Martin Sheen) falling off his bicycle and falling again when he tries to remount.  She is open and forthcoming about this event – making it an exchange among fellow journalists - and ends her report by encouraging the reporters to “by all means, have a good time with this one.”  Those present smile or laugh; the mood is warm and friendly.  The interaction is a joining of everyone on a level playing ground.


Optimism is having the courage to try things. It’s stepping into something because we hope it will be a good thing, without knowing what will happen.

We choose an optimistic perspective, one that supports us to bear the uncertainty of life and not automatically respond to unexpected situations with fight or flight. We learn to focus on what is healthy, positive, strong and well developed and not on what is potentially dangerous or potentially wrong.