The Art of Jumping

Posted Saturday, September 08, 2012


Typical coaching question: If you could know that you wouldn't fail, what would you do with your life?

OK—got it? Know your answer? Now what?

Here's the problem with this question, you can't know you won't fail—in fact failure is part of the plan. Failure is how you learn. 

The paralyzed are still paralyzed. It may be helpful for us to come up with the thing we want to do for the world. But that's where the question stops serving us. 

She wants to know. She doesn't want to fail. She decides.  "I'll come up with a plan. A fail-safe plan."

Fail safe plans don't exist. You can't learn to fly on the ground. 

So here is my step-by-step plan for you to do what it is that you want to do with your life.

Step 1: JUMP  Read More »

Surrendering to Imperfection

Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Things are rarely as they seem.

As I looked across the table from this amazing woman just a few days ago—that is the thought that kept knocking around in my head. Her co-workers surely believe that she is on top of things and her supervisors definitely think so as they promote her again and again. There is no doubt that she makes an impact. No doubt that she is worth every penny they are paying her.

On the flip side though—the stuff that matters to her. The stuff for which she would give up her salary and lifestyle to make safe and get in order—is far from perfect. How do we get here? How do we end the insanity.

She offered her strategy during this time—her strategy is to "surrender to imperfection."

Hmmm! That's awesome!

Sorta like the opposite of Lexus' "The relentless pursuit of perfection."   Read More »

Turning 40 Authentically

Posted Tuesday, October 04, 2011



It's 9 days ago. I'm lying face down on a tattoo parlor table. The pain is beyond what I imagined. It's not stopping. I tell myself it will be over soon. Soon is taking quite a while. Each branch of the tree has to be traced and filled in. The leaves need to be added--each leaf another needle. Eventually, I embrace the pain. I stop cringing. I lean into it. It becomes the metaphor for why I'm here--1000 miles from home, alone, getting a tattoo of a tree on my back.

I'm here because my friends loved me and believed in me and sent me to a world class leadership program. I'm alone because I must be, and I'm getting a tree on my back because the tree is the symbol of my true life.

Beauty and pain are inextricably linked. Authenticity--what my new tattoo represents--is not possible without pain.

So, many years ago I set clear intentions for my life:  I want my insides to match my outsides. I want to be real. I want to live authentically. I knew at the time that this was not an easy task. I knew it would cost me things to live out those intentions. Mostly I knew that I would have to drastically change for those intentions to turn into reality.

Today--I turn 40.

  Read More »

Forgetting Everything I Know

Posted Monday, August 01, 2011



So I met someone famous last week. Stacy Allison. She is the first american woman to summit Mt. Everest. I know. Impressive. You have maybe heard the stats—only one in 10 people that attempt Everest, make it to the summit and for every four people that make it to the summit, 1 person dies trying. Yikes. 

Stacy is good friends with one of my friends and the three of us went for a long run together. After I gawked and got over my nervousness, I discovered pretty quickly that Stacy is just as human as I am (surprise) and the three of us had a very pleasant time together talking about the good, bad, and the ugly in our lives.

She gave me a copy of her book as well and I started reading it as soon as I got a chance later that day. I was fascinated with the story of a young girl trying to find her life and stepping into risks again and again.

  Read More »

Bin Laden is Dead! Now What Symbol in YOUR Life Needs to Die?

Posted Monday, May 02, 2011



So, like most of us--I woke up this Monday morning to the news that the man at the top of the US Government's MOST WANTED list is dead. Killed in a raid by Navy Seals in Pakistan.

I listened to the coverage on the radio, read the newspapers, and scoured the internet. I was struck over and over by tremendous emotion that people were feeling about the event. The jubilation in knowing he's dead and in some cases joy that brought grown men to tears. What is it about one man that could create such powerful reactions. I won't pretend to know the depth and breadth of it all but I do have some ideas about it.

Primarily, Osama Bin Laden is a symbol. He is a symbol of the specific brand of hatred he subscribed to towards America and the monstrous actions he planned, funded, and implemented on citizens all over the world. He is a symbol of many of our fears. He is a symbol of much of what we don't understand about the middle east. He is a symbol that reminds us of that horrific day nearly ten years ago when we watched people dying.

For me, Osama is a powerful symbol of a messed up world where violence trumps kindness at nearly every turn.

The entire thing got me thinking though. It got me thinking about the fact that the power of Osama Bin Laden's symbolism was much greater than any power that he really had. The man has been on the run for almost a decade with certainly some positional power in a feared organization but I'm having a hard time thinking of something powerful that he did in the last nine years. In terms of personal freedom--prisoners in US jails have more freedom than he had.

So here's the coaching question that has me pondering what this means to me and you:

What symbol in your life have you given way more power than it really has? What story are you telling yourself about the importance of something that simply isn't true?   Read More »

Saddle Up

Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011



I went on a brewery tour last week and I learned that even (or especially) the most successful people are terrified of failure.

First, a story: I love beer.

My love affair with beer began on a business trip to Germany, I found every pub had their own beer and it was downright amazing. They even drink beer with their breakfast—how cool is that? Also, I had some wonderful friends and co-workers that introduced me to micro-brews that reinforced the idea that there was such a thing as great beer.

Since then, those that know me—know I love beer—and only good beer! So my buddy got me a tickets to the New Glarus Brewery tour and we headed up there last Friday.

It’s an inspiring story. Founded in 1993 by a Master Brewer and his Entrepreneur wife (Daniel and Deborah Carey) with only $40,000 in capital. They have grown rapidly—including 64% in the last three years—all while only selling beer in Wisconsin. As a part of the tour, we got a chance to talk to Dan Carey. He shared some of his vision for the company. He also demonstrated how passionate he was about the brewery and the people working alongside him.

We got a chance to ask him some questions so I asked him a question that I’m pretty sure he hasn’t heard that often from a weekly tour:

“What keeps you up at night?”

He took a deep breath. Then another.   Read More »



Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)


May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management


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