Let’s Make The Future…

Paul Hebert and Doug Shaw…Look Like The Past We Want.

Paul Hebert (that’s him on the left) wrote something on Facebook in the run up to Christmas. I love what he wrote and Paul kindly agreed I could repost it here. Before that…

Thank You

Thanks to each and every one of you who has popped by to read and comment on the blog this year. Thanks to each and every one of you who has shown faith and confidence in me through hiring What Goes Around and investing in Stop Doing Dumb Things. Thanks to each and every one of you who has inspired me. Without people, you’re nothing.

Everything is mixed feelings. So thanks for the anger, thanks for the laughs. Thanks for the hate, thanks for the love.

Happy New Year. 2014 is packed with possibilities, and my hope is that as you discover them – you either act on them, or have the generosity to give them to someone else who will act on them. Proceed until apprehended. Thank you.


When you ask me to share some ideas, or to quote you for some work, please give me feedback. If I’ve made the approach then that’s my choice, my investment. In those instances I’d still appreciate feedback but hey, I started it and you can’t have everything. But if you started it – don’t leave me hanging around, please.

When we work together – please pay me promptly. Me chasing you for money you owe demeans us both. Please don’t make me do that.

When I make a mistake, tell me and give me the chance to put it right. Please.

When someone comes to you with a new idea, when that person is taking a risk – support them. Please.

Don’t be a jerk, at least not too often. Please.

Happy New Year. 2014 is packed with possibilities, and my hope is that as you discover them – you either act on them, or have the generosity to give them to someone else who will act on them. Proceed until apprehended. Please.

Everything I want for Christmas I Can’t Have – by Paul Hebert

My Christmas list is full of things I really, really want but can’t have any more.
I’m not happy with that.

I want…

My kids to be 5 and 7 again so they can do Christmas cookies poorly and still enjoy the process.

To see the kids lose it again when they get that $15 present that absolutely freakin rocks their world (and via their reaction – rocks mine.)

The last 15 years back so I can spend more time with them.

To go back and do more for my wife on Christmas – not spend more- DO more. It really is about the thought.

To reinforce more traditions and be less easy going about letting folks skip out on decorating the tree or the cookies.

To go back and save more money so we could fly home to see our parents (the Grandparents) more often instead of using that as an excuse to stay home.

To decorate the house more – to let the glow of the lights fill not only the yard but my spirit with just a little more holiday cheer.

To have spent more time on charity work than mall shopping.

To be able for my wife to spend Christmas with her parents – she misses them.

To spend more Christmases with my Dad – miss him too.

To go back about 30 years and tell myself to not pick up that cigarette – and I want to go back a year and not be diagnosed with cancer.

I want, I want, I want.
Sounds so selfish doesn’t it?

Compare that to what I have…

A wife who is more a Saint than many who have already been Canonized.

Children that still say they love me at the end of a phone call and still hug me (my 20 year old boy too) when they leave to go back to college.

A house that is warm.

A tree that is decorated.

A wonderfully fattening Christmas dinner in my immediate future.

A CAT scan with the words at the bottom that say… “No evidence of metastatic disease.”

My Mom – my brothers and sisters – my in laws and the nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.

And finally – I have the ability to start doing many of the things I wished I’d had done before.

So… Merry Christmas to everyone who reads this.

Focus on the things you can DO – not the things you haven’t done. That is my Christmas wish this year.

Let’s all be happier, healthier and wiser.

Let’s make the future look like the past we want.

Taking Feedback

Folks talk a lot about the importance of giving feedback, less so about how to take it.

I recently met Neil Denny who’s a smart guy with beautiful eyes (bear with me…), well worth following. Among other things we chatted about:

  • Better conflict leads to better collaboration
  • The importance of being able to show your workings out, not just the answer
  • Being comfortable about not knowing what you are doing, which reminded me of this post

And we spoke about feedback and how to take it. Neil talked about the value of ‘Thank you’ when getting feedback which I’m starting to practice much more. I don’t take positive feedback very well and I need to learn to do it better. After all if someone’s taken the time and effort to feedback to me on a job well done I should be able to thank them and take it in the spirit the feedback is offered.

Neil puts it much better than I can so I’m going to hand the rest of this post over to him:

Best advice I ever got about feedback was to say thank you when receiving it, regardless of whether that feedback is good or (am I allowed to say it?) bad.

Thank you helps us immensely in both situations.

When feedback is good we can get embarrassed, bashful. We get clumsy and splutter out something like “Oh, really, no, it’s nothing, you know, I, er, no, really.” We can risk giving out a message that says “Your feedback is meaningless to me” or “I’m going to dismiss your kind words as irrelevant.”

When feedback is bad then “Thank you” saves us from rushing to defend ourselves which is rarely a good idea. Say thank you even if you do not agree with the feedback. Feedback is not saying “I agree.” Take the feedback and ponder it.

The bad feedback is where we can really learn and stretch ourselves.

I came across a recent unexpected situation where this lesson also helped.

I was delivering a full day session in America last week. During the lunch break a gentleman came up to ask me a question. He got a few words into his question and then interupted himself with this comment;

“Wow, you’ve got beautiful eyes.”

I was panicking. What did he say? Did I hear that right? What do I do with that? What am I supposed to say now? The feedback lesson then popped up in my memory and I responded “Thank you.” Nice and simple. “Now, you were saying…?”

“Thank you” really is your flexible feedback friend.

photo credit

Out Of Office

Whoah! It’s been a blast of a week. Chock full of opportunity, good work and useful fun. Flowful. And so today we’re closed. It’s our UnChristmas lunch – well we couldn’t fit it into December so we’re having it now.

Here’s our out of office message. One of the catchiest tunes I know – Six Days on the Road by Dave Dudley. See ya next week.