Month: December 2014

“You lie in the bed you made. At some point, you change the sheets.” – Michael Carroll

If you want to change the world, not everyone will be happy about it.  Your product will threaten those who think they own your customers.  They will not appreciate losing business.

Still others won’t have the time for you when you really need their help.

Then there are the “institutions” who prefer following bureaucratic rules over choosing to solve the problem they created for you.

And sometimes, you just screw up.

There will be days and even weeks when you lie in your own funk because of all the road blocks placed in your path by others.

The funk goes away when you change your sheets.

Find another way.  Implement plan B, or C or Y but find it.  Hang around people who have solved these problems before.  Apologize to those who you hurt.  Forgive those who hurt you.

Move on!

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

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“The best speakers know enough to be scared… the only difference between the pros and the novices is that the pros have trained the butterflies to fly in formation.” – Edward R. Murrow

…and the only way to train the butterflies is to practice, a lot!

One thing I’ve learned about great jazz improvisors is that even though they are playing “in the moment” and it sounds like they are creating their music spontaneously, it only comes after many, many hours of practice where you develop your ear and your toolbox of technique.

Great pitches rarely happen in the moment.  The second time you give your pitch is better than the first.  So on for the tenth and the twentieth time.

Find opportunities to practice for others.  The more you do that, the more like you are to knock them out when it really counts!

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary and invisible.” – Chris Lehmann

It’s official.  I have more social technology than I can effectively use.  So now I have to have technology to manage the technology and I have to schedule time to manage the technology that manages the technology…

There is always a point where the technology begins to manage us and you have to question if it’s actually providing a return on your investment of time and energy (and dollars!)

It all comes back to understanding your customer or your audience or your tribe.  Then choose the technology that best delivers your value to them.

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Good guys don’t have zombie creatures in the basement” – Dr. Who

Somewhere, sometime, someone figured out that if you want to appear on the cutting edge of hip, high energy, innovative startup leadership, you have to be a foul mouthed jerk.  In fact, jerkism seems to be celebrated in large events and a lot of media.  Perhaps it’s because Level 5 leaders are not the kind that get invited to speak at entrepreneurial conferences.  Perhaps jerks portray the type of take-no-prisoner personality some believe it takes to successfully launch and grow a company.

I paid for a webinar once.  It was branded as a great chance to meet the founder of a super successful social media startup.  The introductions were quick and soon it became a contest between the interviewer and the founder as to who could get in the most f-bombs.

No one likes to work for a jerk.  No ones want’s to be in business with a jerk.  No one really wants to invest in a jerk.

You can be determined, focused and to the point without thumping everyone’s nose with your arrogance.  Express yourself as you see fit but realize you won’t get there by yourself.  Eventually you will have more zombies than you can hide in your basement.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.” – Billy Graham

We talk of vitamins and pain killers.  If you have an idea for a new messaging app to post your selfies, that’s great.  You should go create your tribe and lead them.

But if you could come up with a way to diagnose ebola before symptoms appear, you could change lives across the planet.

We don’t lack good ideas; there are plenty of problems to solve.  What we need is awareness of the problems and innovations to eliminate them.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“When it is dark enough you can see the stars.” – Charles A. Beard

This one came from the great series, “From The Earth To The Moon.”  The series showed the glories and victories of NASA’s journey to the Moon but it also shared the failures, which were numerous.

A corollary is this, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

When you are headed down a path, you have set up all your assumptions and milestones on which you’ve built your hope.  Then you hang on.  This produces all the great stories of loyalty and perseverance.

But sometimes, it takes a total meltdown in order to see new potential.  As long as you head down a certain path, you are focused on what’s in front and not so much on what’s around you.  Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines.  The tasks make us feel like we’re making progress.  Robin Williams in “Dead Poet’s Society” made his students stand on their desk to get a different perspective.

Once a week or once a month, stand on your own desk (whatever that means to you) and take a look around.

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson