The Final Word on Leadership

The last word on leading others hasn’t been written. The absolute best book on leadership out there… isn’t out there.

It turns out there are as many ways to lead as there are leaders and if any leader had all the answers, then people like John Maxwell would have only one book published on the subject, instead of more than 40.

Take your leadership advice with a grain of salt, whether it comes from me or someone rich and famous for writing a lot of ineffective advice. (How do I know it’s ineffective? Because if it was effective, you would not need 40 different books to prove it works.)

All advice on leadership is not bad (in 40 books of trial and error–or 40 blog posts–there has to be at least a few gems, right?). The point is there are many styles and methods to lead. Find one that works for you, and try others now and then.

Baskin-Robbins used to be famous for having 31 flavors of ice cream. They had the right idea and it works the same for leadership. There are many flavors to choose from and you can sample as many as you want. You will find your favorite and least favorite, for sure, but you will not know which is which, until you try each. You might find mixing and matching works best or you might be a die-hard vanilla sort of leader.

Regardless of the additives, though, the core ingredients of leadership–just like the core ingredients of ice cream (milk, ice, sugar)–remain the same. For leaders, the core ingredients are: Listen, think, act… in the right measure. 3 parts listening to the data and people around you, 2 parts thinking about the appropriate action and predictable consequences, and finally 1 part action… because after listening (gathering data) and thinking (planning), taking action is the easy part. It will become obvious and seem instinctive if the rest of the recipe is right.

Listen, think, act… because the opposite never works.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.



Do Your New Hires Know Why They Are Here?

Each day I think of a lesson I have learned in life and then I share it on this blog, in case life did not teach you a lesson today. You can borrow mine.


One of my favorite things in the world is training new hires. I love being the Ambassador to the company culture, watching them learn, and helping them take the next (or sometimes first) step in their career. Maybe my favorite part of training, though, is at the end, when I ask the new hires how I can improve as a trainer.

Of course, I never ask that question directly because people are polite and reluctant to tell you something bad about yourself, especially if you have hiring and firing authority. Instead, I ask them things like, “Looking back at your training so far… if you could, what is one piece of advice you would give to the next group of new hires? What would you want to tell them to help them prepare for a successful training?”

I almost always hear great answers that help me tweak or shape the company culture and training team further. During the last round of training, though, I heard a particular great answer that I thought all leaders could benefit from.

When asked what advice you would give the next group of trainees, one new hire thought about it, and she said, “I would tell them they are here for a reason. Like, ‘we chose you because…’ When I got here, I had to remind myself these people would not have picked me for the job or paid to have me here if they did not believe in me…”

Not only that, but also each new hire was chosen over all the other applicants for the position. They were picked for that specific role because whoever hired them believed them to be the best of the best.

New hires are nervous and anxious–a new job or career is stressful. There is obviously, the stress of whatever came before it (being out of work, working somewhere with a toxic culture, starting a new life, etc.) but there is also the stress of wondering if they have made a good decision. There is the stress of wondering if the company thinks it has made a good decision in hiring them. They may even feel a bit of impostor syndrome (feeling as if you do not deserve your success and soon everyone will figure out you are a fraud–even though you are not).

By sharing her advice for the next round of new hires, that trainee contributed much more than she thought with that sentence.

Now, every new hire will be reminded why they were picked to be on our team, and that we are truly happy to have them there (because we picked them!).



Why Do You Have to Work THERE?

I look back at each day and figure out one life lesson I learned. I share each of those lessons on this blog. Here is today’s lesson…


I used to run a successful sales team. When I moved to Tampa, I had to give up my job and find new work. While in that position, I had to hold back the promotion of one of my managers and risk losing one of the company’s best team members because they did not live in the district they were applying to manage.

Many companies cling to archaic work paradigms, such as physical presence=results, and miss the big picture (which is results=results).

The company could have promoted that manager (the manager did earn a promotion to my position after I moved away). The company could have kept me as well. They simply chose not to. It worked out great for me. I’m not complaining, just making a point:

It is difficult for a company to find extraordinary talent. It is NOT difficult for extraordinary talent to find a company. There is always work for talented people. The only question is whether talented people will choose to work for YOU.

I am happy my situation worked out the way it did–I have another great job now but I never understood why it had to be that way.

This week, I watched another leader nearly pass up an amazing candidate for because the person did not live in the area. I was dumbfounded, but still, I recognize that most leaders think in a very “local” sense. They believe remote work is a privilege to be earned and distributed to those “worthy”. This is exactly backwards in my opinion. The privilege, for a leader, is having the best person possible on their team. Personally, I wouldn’t care if my team members live on the moon as long as they figure out how to do excellent work.

Being location-ambivalent means I have a tremendous advantage over my competitors. I can pull applicants from all over the world, not just the 20 mile radius from the office.

If you think about it, most non-entry level work today is “knowledge work”–reporting, strategy, and communication rather than manual labor–flipping burgers or unloading trucks (Both things which obviously require physical presence).

We have technology to free knowledge-based workers–Skype, Hangouts, Slack, GroupMe, email, FaceTime, SmartSheets, Dropbox, and of course, the phone. For example, I can just as effectively run a sales team in Michigan from Tampa as I could from Michigan. With video chatting, email, instant messaging, collaborative work folders, and screen sharing, everything is at my disposal virtually that was there physically.

Yet we cling to the notion that communication is only effective face to face.

There are many ways to have a stronger, more agile workforce built from a broader talent pool. There are many ways to retain your most talented people while maximizing their freedom and ability to innovate and drive transformation.

Sadly, technology and change is scary to many otherwise excellent leaders.

To me, it is a shame to see a talented person looked over for a leader’s lack of vision, but at least I take heart knowing they will undoubtedly find great work wherever they end up. Luckily, I was able to convince the leader who almost tossed out a great applicant to take a second look. Hopefully, when you are faced with the same quandary, you will think twice, too.



Go First

I share a life lesson I have learned each day. Maybe you can learn from it, too.


In a small fork of the Chassahowitzka river is a series of springs and underwater finger caves through the limestone. The largest requires you to hold your breath for about 30 feet of pulling yourself through the cave (you can’t use arm strokes because the caves are tight).

We stood at the mouth of the first cave–a group of 6–and we were the first visitors for the day (a rare occurrence–the springs are a popular party depot for boaters). The water was crystal clear. The sun was just peeking through the trees. The caves were all ours.

Except… nobody wanted to go first. Caves are scary. Underwater caves are scarier. A couple of us swam down to the entrance. The visibility was spectacular. You could clearly see the cave exit point, but… even 10 feet can be an intimidating and claustrophobic journey through an underwater cave.

It was clear to me no one was going to work up the courage to make the first dive but this was the reason we came–to explore. So I took a deep breath, and plunged in. On the way to the surface, I bumped a rock and scratched my head–it’s a pretty good scratch and it stung all day. (Unfortunately, when you are paddle-boarding, there is no easy way to handle even minor injuries. Saltwater is not gentle on wounds.)

Anyway, after I went, other people followed immediately and suddenly cave diving was no big thing.

Somebody has to be the leader when others, who are otherwise brave, need someone else to show them the way. They want to see someone go first not because they do not think it can be done, but rather so they can imagine how it can be doneI do not think most people are afraid to go first (though they might say they are). I think it is because they are simply not in a creative mindset at the moment.

I left something out of the story which might be important. I was also the person with the least chance of success in the group. I was the oldest, tallest, and biggest one there, so if I could do it, then anyone younger and more limber should have been able to swim those tiny caves as well. By going first, I became an unspoken challenge, and of course, when there is a challenge, people will rise to it.

It cost me an ugly scrape on the head, but by going first, I set the tone of adventure and embracing new experiences for the day. Sometimes you have to go first because if you don’t… no one (has the) will.



How To Be A Leader In 3 Easy Steps

There are probably as many ways of being a leader as there are types of leaders. Here are three tips that work for me.


I have not always been known as a “Gets it done with excellence” person. I used to be mostly referred to as a “He seems like a good kid” person. Over my career, I have built a reputation as a strategic thinker and considerate leader who is fair, earns respect by maintaining a high level of integrity, and delivers results. (Of course, some people think I am an arrogant jerk with a bloated ego but I will never win everyone over… and that’s okay). Here are three things I know have helped me build character and become both a better person and a better leader over the course of my career:

1. Knowledge. Expanding my knowledge by studying the works of great thinkers, philosophers, and artists has easily had the most profound impact on me. The best way I know to do that is through reading. Reading forces me to slow down and think at a pace where I can pause, reflect, and process information in real-time.

The power of books might sound lofty to trashy horror and romance aficionados but I will say it does not really matter what you read as long as what you read challenges what you think about and how you think about it.

If you do not enjoy combing through boring books about entrepreneurship and self-help stories written by great leaders (who are not necessarily great writers), then comic books are great reading material! Learn about leadership by reading about heroes and villains, and thinking through their moral quandaries. Or read books by famous sports coaches if you enjoy sports. Just read something that offers more than a brainless story (those are fine, too, just not for self-development unless you are a very intuitive reader).

2. Humility. It took me a long time to realize I do not have to have all the answers and, in fact, if I think I am the smartest person in the room, then I need to find a different room.

If I am not surrounded by people who are smarter than me and see things I can not see, I have a problem. I am not being challenged, my thinking muscles are not being exercised, and my perceptions are going unquestioned. It feels good to be the top dog but it does not help me stay on top.

To be fair, I never hope to be the dumbest person in the room either because that means I am not contributing value or understanding the people around me.  I also do not have to necessarily surround myself with people who disagree with me. Just because there is disagreement does not mean there is a contribution to intellect.

I want to be around people who see clearer, further, or from different angles and know how to communicate respectfully, with patience, warmth, and by drawing logical conclusions. That way, we all learn to think better, and hopefully be better.

3. Trust. Before I could trust myself to lead others, I had to learn to trust myself. In other words, if I could not rely on myself to do what I said I would do by the time I said I would do it, then how could I expect others to keep their commitments to me?

I developed my “integrity” muscle, as it were, by making and keeping promises to myself. Over and over, if I told myself I would do something (like, say, wake up when my alarm went off without hitting the “snooze” button even once–just get up and go), then I would practice keeping that commitment until I consistently had it right. Over time, I could trust myself to do whatever I agreed to do with myself (like wake up before my alarm clock goes off–I can trust myself to do that now, just by reminding myself to wake up before X time).

The trick, after that, is to keep expanding the trust I have earned with myself, and then eventually, with my commitments to others (until they realize when I say I will do something it is as good as done), and finally by expecting their commitments to me to have equal integrity. No one wants to be less than their best, but until they see and believe they can transform (by watching you go first) they may not realize there is a higher standard to hold themselves to. In other words, lead by example, and expect those you are leading to do the same.


Knowledge, Humility, and Trust help me continue to develop myself and, I assert, are key elements among the most trusted and respected leaders. If you want to grow as a person or as a leader, I recommend starting there. Grab a book, read one page a week if that is all you can commit to now. But make that commitment to yourself and keep it. Then agree to do a little more with yourself. Then expand keeping your commitments with others until they trust your word the way they trust the law of gravity. It never fails them. Then, and only then, ask for that commitment back. Actually, you will probably never have to ask. Everybody tries to be like their hero.

Go. Lead.


How to Set Powerful Goals

Goals are falling out of style but they still have a place in helping teams align.


I am in a weird place with goal-setting. I used to be a huge proponent for goals, but now I am experimenting with eliminating goals from my routine in exchange for principles and values to help guide decisions. Goals can sometimes lead to a never-ending rat race of chasing goals. Nonetheless, I still think setting goals is a useful tool, especially around work, and here is how to do it well.

There are two ways to climb a mountain. The first is to strap on a pair of boots, head toward the top, and hope for the best. The other is to have a map—a planned route and clear direction showing the best, fastest, most likely way to reach the summit.

Goals can be like maps—they help us see the way ahead and plan a path to success. And what happens when you reach the top of a mountain? You feel like a champion and see other mountain tops to climb!

There are five ways to make goals powerful and useful:

1. Goals must exist in reality. This means a goal must exist in both specific Time and specific Space. If you can not measure what you have done by the time you committed to doing it, then how will you know if you achieved it? A goal of meeting Brian at 8:00 for drinks, for example, meets the criteria of specific time–8:00. But where? By contrast, meeting Brian at Zod’s Cafe for coffee meets the specific space criteria–Zod’s Cafe. But when? The more you narrow it down, the better. “Brian, I will meet you outside the doors of Zod’s Cafe Wednesday morning, the 28th, at 8:15am.” Now you have a legitimate goal! On Wednesday morning of the 28th, at 8:15am, you are either waiting for Brian at the doors outside Zod’s or you are not. You hit the goal or you didn’t.

2. Avoid ambiguity. Words like “every” and “always” kill goals. As in, “I will ask every customer to try our widgets” or “I will always try to improve”. As soon as ambiguity enters your goal, it transforms the goal into a wish. Of course you are not going to ask every customer every time about widgets. A customer probably walked in while you were reading this and you forgot to ask. In other words, do not set a goal up for failure. Answer the question, “What will be different than it is now, by what amount between zero and infinity, and by when, exactly?” 


3. Remember, goals are not assigned orders. There should be no additional penalty for not reaching goals (the penalty is not reaching the goal). Many leaders drop the ball here by attempting to provide negative incentives for missing a goal. This is like telling a marathon runner who falls short of the finish line, not only did he lose the race but also you are going to shoot him in the foot. Chances are, he will not be eager to run the next marathon for you.

4. Goals should be a stretch but possible to achieve if everything goes the as planned. There was a time when leaders were being pushed to set unrealistic goals (“Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals” or “BHAGs”). The idea was that teams do not know what they are capable of unless or until they reach for something that seems unreasonable. There is some truth to this, of course. Until you are pushed, you do not know where your limits are. However, you do not start a daily jogging routine by entering the Boston Marathon. First, you have to learn to run to the stop sign at the end of your block and back. Make goals a stretch, but achievable, and then build on successes and work toward larger goals.



5. Goals should be inspiring. This is, admittedly, the toughest part for me. I am not great at creating clever, fun ideas, or games to inspire people (luckily, though, I am good at finding people who love using those creative muscles, and I ask them for help). A goal that inspires the CEO (“Let’s increase revenue 40% by June 15th of next year”) may not inspire the clerk in the mail room even if he or she is necessary to the goal (maybe they are responsible for collection notices being sent each month). The owner of one company I know found a clever way around this. He turned company goal-setting on its head. Rather than him coming up with the next company goals for everyone to chase, he asked every department to create 1-3 goals for the next quarter (and a tracking system to measure their progress) and then he reviewed all the department goals to create the overall company goals to tie them together!



Those are the most effective strategies I use, or have witnessed, to create goals but I am not convinced “goals” as we know them are going to survive in the transforming workforce. I have begun trading goals for values and principles that over-arch all decision-making but, at least for now, I still think goals have a valuable place in our lives. Goals are especially useful for helping bring a new team together or helping an individual start down a desired path.

If you use goals, at least now you know how to use them well.



Replace HR With Plumbers

Today’s Lesson: Choosing your team does not stop at choosing your team.


Here are two ways people are hired:

1. Hire a worker–a professional sought for their expertise, value, and reputation.

“Welcome to Acme Corporation! We have screened a ton of applicants based on their skills, attitudes, and experiences, then narrowed them down to our top choices through a bunch of interviews, and then picked you because we think you are the best of the best! You have expertise in areas where we need help. You have experience successfully doing what we are hoping you will successfully do for us. You have a winning, ‘can-do!’ attitude we hope will fit, and enhance, our existing culture and team!

“Now, here are all the ways we are going to hamper you from doing what we hired you for. This is our rule book–don’t do any of this stuff or wear any of that stuff or share any stuff. These are our politics–be sure not to step on the wrong toes–we all work in fear here! These are our old, out-dated traditions. We hired you to help us move past them (because what we were doing before wasn’t working or else we wouldn’t need you). We are going to ask you for your input but we have no intention of actually challenging or changing any of our old ways–and don’t forget the politics-thing. Anyway, welcome aboard! We value our team and believe in doing the best work possible for our customers (as long as you do not try to shake things up).”

2. Hire a plumber–a professional sought for their expertise, value, and reputation.

“Dude, thank God you’re here! There is water everywhere. We tried turning the valve-thingy and nothing happened. We’ll pay whatever it takes. Just please fix it!”
Which hired professional do you think will generate faster, better results? Is your company hiring workers or plumbers?



Leadership By Committee

Today’s Lesson: Effective leadership does not work if no one is the leader.


“I will let you know if the team is open to (the idea)…” is the reply I received from a coworker responding to a direct instruction from the owner of the company.

I was perplexed. In more than two decades of leading effective teams, I have never seen a blatant refusal to a reasonable work request from the top of the chain. More importantly, the request was for the team to help with training. I have also never seen an effective team (or team leader) reluctant to help their company move forward.

To be honest, I am still stunned by the response and have not decided on the best way to address it. I have seen this issue before, from a peer being directed by another peer, and that is understandable because neither person has been designated leader (though it is still rare if the request is reasonable).

There is a problem with “Leadership by Committee”, where every team member believes they have an equal vote on any issue and as equally valuable a vote as anyone else, including C-level leaders and ownership. There are 3 reasons why:

1. Like it or not, all employees are not created equal. The fact is, some employees are better qualified to have a decisive vote on some topics. For example, an engineer who has five years of experience with the company likely has more to offer regarding an engineering problem than an intern in the mail room.

Some people are better at strategic thinking. Some people are better at organizing. Some people are better at being proactive.

Leading by committee where everyone’s opinion is valued equally defaults your organizational strength to the strength of your company’s weakest team members. This subverts the company’s success and increases stagnation and roadblocking rather than innovation and change.

This does not mean we have to agree with every decision a leader makes. It means despite our agreement, we are committed to doing our best to make the leader’s decision work (or we are willing to take a very big, career-level risk to be proven right or wrong).

2. Leaders often have information we may not. I do not know why the President of the United States makes dumb decisions. I assume if a solution seems clear to me (a layperson), then the leader of the free world and all his or her advisers have probably seen or heard a variation of my argument already. The difference might be the President has information I am not privy to, and probably for good reason. I am not qualified to run the nation, but imagine if both the President and I had equal say in the matter!

By the same token, when my boss provides direction that seems counter-intuitive to our goals and he or she can not give me a good explanation why, I must take her at her word.

Granted, sometimes it is simply a bad decision on the leader’s part, but more often it is because they have a crucial piece of information they can not share at the time.

We see this in sports coaching, too. If a coach knows a player favors her left side, and he suspects her opponent is aware of this, he might tell the player to lead with her right side. If she asks why, the coach might only tell her to trust him (because he does not want her wasting energy concentrating on thinking through each play, wasting precious seconds). He just wants her to lead from her right, for now. He can explain the rest later if there is time.

3. The person at the top is there for a reason. Leadership by committee also does not work because not everyone is a leader (or there would be no leaders). If I was as good at creating and running a multi-million dollar organization as the owner of the company I work for, then I would be doing that instead. I would be his competitor instead of his employee.

This does not reflect on my value as a human being in society, only my skill sets within the organization. I might not excel in financial acumen and business development but I may make up for it with aptitudes in communication, change management, and training–great skills to have, but probably not for making decisions affecting the company’s revenue or payroll.

When we deny proper respect and deference to leadership, we are giving in to our own egotism (note: not egoism…which is different). We are assuming skills, experience, and organizational wisdom beyond our ability or role.


Probably the best pop-culture example of leadership I can think of is Captain Picard in the 90’s television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Captain Picard clearly valued each of his team members, but he valued them differently, depending on their skills and contributions. Clearly, his second-in-command (whom he even called his “Number One”) had a stronger vote than other team members, except when the problem fell under somebody else’s purview. For example, he would not accept Number One’s opinion over the ship’s Doctor’s if there was a medical situation.

As often as possible, the captain assembled his core team and listened to their input, but the final leadership decision always rested with him.

Can you imagine if Captain Picard or his Number One issued a directive to fire on an enemy and was met with, “Well, I’ll check with the laser-firing team and see if they are on board with that idea and get back to you…”? The show would have become a sit-com.


Incidentally, I decided to give the employee the benefit of the doubt. I will assume the communication was not intended to be dismissive of authority but rather respectful of the team’s time and needs.

As long as the goal is met, I can live with a miscommunication (even if the other person thinks it was a committee vote).



What Is An Employee Worth To You?

Today’s Lesson: Salary is about more than the lowest common denominator.


Tension was high while we hashed out a salary for a new position. The executives discussed the responsibilities of the position, what other positions in the company were making, whether the work was harder than the work of those being paid potentially less, whether there was enough work to sustain the position, whether this was contract work, whether we should buffer for possible raises, what other people in the same industry (working for other companies) were making, etc…

It was a long meeting and we were balancing somebody’s living wage against what the company could afford. We did not take it lightly. The numbers being thrown out were initially quite low (in my opinion). Some of the team felt the best strategy for pay is to offer the lowest amount the person would be willing to accept (I briefly wondered if they assumed that was how their pay was decided and if they were okay with that).

Then, two things happened.

First, the owner asked me if we had enough work to keep the new people in this new role busy. I said, “Yes, but initially some weeks will be slower than others. They may have considerable downtime once in a while.”

He said, “Well… wait a second. I don’t want to pay someone for not working! If they are not going to be busy all the time, should we just make them part-time hourly employees? I mean, I don’t want them not doing work and still being paid. Do you think that’s okay?”

I said, “Honestly? I don’t care if they work 2 hours or 200 hours a week if they are delivering the results. Who cares if they work every day, if they are getting their work done and doing it well? Power to them if they are efficient and effective at the same time.”

He thought about that a second and said, “I don’t have anything to say to that. You’re right. Let’s move on.”

The second great moment in the meeting, I think, was prompted by that exchange. The owner’s mindset had shifted.

Each executive threw their final salary number on the table. The owner and I were about $20,000 over everyone else. Back and forth conversation continued until the owner paused the meeting and changed everything with a simple observation.

“Maybe we are asking the wrong question,” he said. “We have been asking, ‘What can we get away with paying them?’ But maybe we should be asking, ‘What is this position worth if they succeed?'”

If he was holding a mic, he could have dropped it right there, and walked off the stage. The conversation was over a few minutes later. We came to a number we were all happy with, felt confident was affordable for the company and showed the potential new hires they are valued and the position is important to us.

When we made the offer the next day, they accepted without hesitation and immediately started planning ideas for their first projects.


I have not always chased the salary I know I could enjoy with a big company (doing easier work) but I rarely regret the trade-off. I have the pleasure of working for smaller companies with big hearts that fight to do the right thing and somehow find success every day. They do not believe in low-balling or acting without integrity. They just do what they think is right and work to make everyone’s lives better. Moments like that make me happy to work for people who care about getting it right instead of people who care about getting away with it.


“But I Don’t Know How…”

Today’s Lesson: I don’t know what I am doing half the time.


I would say about half the time I have no idea what I am doing. That is an odd thing for a company Director to admit, right?

I do not mind embracing my ignorance, though. I do not see it as a fault. In fact, it is one of my great strengths!

I do not know what I am doing half the time because half the time I am learning something I have not done before. Many people see the flimsy curtain of ignorance as a very high and flat iron wall, virtually impossible to scale or penetrate. It is just a curtain, though, to be brushed aside, and there is usually not much standing between us and knowledge.

I am reminded of a lesson a friend’s father taught me when I was a teen. He said, “I do not know how to fix my car. I have no mechanical skills. But I do know it was designed to be fixed if it breaks. It was designed by men who put it together in a logical way to make it work. That means, if I sit down and stare at the problem long enough, I can probably figure out what is supposed to go where and why, and work my way back to the source of the issue. I can figure out almost any problem if I just examine it and think through it long enough, patiently.

That lesson sticks with me. When the owner of our company asked me to put together a flow-chart detailing our hiring process, I had it ready by the next morning. I have never created a flow chart but a quick Google search on “basic flowchart rules” followed by an image search gave me a rough idea. I opened Microsoft Visio for the first time (I was not even sure it was the right program but it was the only one I had not used or knew what it did so I figured it was probably the one I needed for flow charts). I kept in mind the program was designed to help me think logically through building flow charts. In a couple hours, I had what I needed. After examining it, my boss and peers said it was a great flow chart that was helpful and easy to understand! I said, “Thanks. It was my first one.” I do not think anyone believed me.

Of course, “flow chart building” is not normally in my scope of responsibilities but I had no problem learning how to do it and delivering what was needed. I have had to learn other tasks on short notice, such as how to perform effective compensation analyses in other markets, how to use a GoPro camera and Camtasia to create training videos, how to write effective job postings, and that is just a few from the last month! I am becoming known as someone who often delivers results before the people who asked for them are ready for them. “You’re like a genie!”, the owner’s wife told me. “Ask, and we shall receive. I love it and we are very grateful for it!”

I am bragging a little at this point but what I am trying to illustrate is, many of us, when challenged with something new, stop at “But I don’t know how…”

Leaders, I think, are distinguished by having a knack for moving the first word to the end of that thought, and then completing it. “I don’t know how, but… I will find out or find someone who will help.”

I am perfectly comfortable going through life not knowing what I am doing half the time. I find it a better alternative than stopping that thought before the words “half the time”.