Leadership + Influence

Moving Forward In a Better Way

If you can’t or won't see the world the way it actually is — both good and evil, both fair and unjust, full of both joy and sorrow — then you can’t move forward in a way that makes it better.

If you can’t or won't dream big enough to see the world in a way it could be, then you'll move forward in bitterness, wondering why nothing ever changes.

If you choose to only view the world in a way that confirms your own biases and comfort zones, you’ll reach the end of your life with years full of movement, but that movement will be akin to having run on a hamster wheel for a lifetime. It's movement, sure, but not movement that ultimately made a difference.

Hope isn't a pollyanna and it doesn't ignore reality. Instead it says, "This is how things are right now but we're going to try a better way."

How you choose to see determines how — and where — you move.

Originally published February 2015

On Loyalty and Deciding Who To Listen To

Too many people confuse loyal people with people who only give 100% positive feedback.

The problem with sycophants is that as soon as popular opinion changes, so does their "loyalty."

The people who are there for you when others would rather gossip, who push you to be better without turning themselves into a doormat, who speak the truth with kindness even if it's not what you want to hear — those are the people worth listening to.

Originally published August 2013

The Stories That Matter

When it comes to the people you work with, what you see is rarely what you get.

I’ll never forget learning over lunch one day that an event professional I collaborated with had been smuggled out of a concentration camp as a baby.

Or being told by a designer during a conference happy hour that she had everything stolen from her family as a child and is now hyper-driven by money and security as a result.

Or knowing that dozens of friends and colleagues lost family members on 9/11.

Everyone has stories you don’t know. Everyone has events that have shaped their lives in profound ways. Whether or not they choose to share them with you is their business.

What is your business is treating everyone as though their stories – whether spoken out loud or not – matter.

Originally published February 2015