September 15, 2023

Level Up Your Meetings

“Actions speak louder than meetings.”
― Lee Clow

Level 0: No meetings

Level 1: Interruptions instead of meetings

Level 2: Ad-hoc meetings

Level 3: Scheduled meetings

Level 3: Daily standups

Level 4: Project planning meetings

Level 5: After-action reviews

Level 6: Strategic planning meetings

Level ∞: Asynchronous communication

September 08, 2023

Tools and Talent

“We Have The Tools! We Have The Talent!”
― Winston Zeddemore, Ghostbusters

This would be easier if my computer was faster.

I can’t find the right people.

I need a better microphone.

I’m just not good at this.

I wasn’t trained.

I don’t know what to do.


You have everything you need. You have the ability to do whatever it takes. You can develop the skills. You can learn anything.

But that’s not what’s holding you back.

You’re missing the final ingredient: action.

September 01, 2023

Not Today

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
― Confucius

One day, my enemy may win… But not today.

One day, I may fail my family… But not today.

One day, my body may break… But not today.

One day, my mind might falter… But not today.

One day, I might lose control… But not today.

One day, I might lose faith… But not today.

One day, I might give up… But not today.

One day, I may lose hope… But not today.

Today… I am resilient.

Today… I am unbroken.

Today… I am undefeated.

August 25, 2023

Don't Make the Same Mistake Twice

“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.”
― Cicero

You will make mistakes. How you respond is a critical choice.

You can choose to avoid responsibility and blame others, circumstances, or things outside your control.

You can take ownership, honestly assess what happened, and figure out what you could do different next time.

Your response to failure is what determines how much you learn, how much you grow, and how far you go.

August 18, 2023

Inside Out Leadership

“All leadership starts with self-leadership.”
― Nick Wagner

Self-leadership is the foundation of good leadership. It requires commitment to continuous improvement. It requires ongoing personal growth and development. It requires taking ownership, and accepting responsibility for outcomes.

A good leader always looks in the mirror first, and sets the standard with his own actions. He doesn’t let his ego get in the way of growth, and he accepts feedback no matter the source. He doesn’t complain, and he learns from his failures.

Anyone who would lead others must first lead himself.

August 11, 2023

Upgrade Your Competition

“The time your game is most vulnerable is when you’re ahead. Never let up.”
― Rod Laver, Adidas

When I was a kid, I played basketball with a boy who was taller than every other kid in the league. I’ll call him Aaron. With his obvious advantage, he dominated on the court. Well, at least that’s how the season started.

As the season progressed, the story changed. Other kids improved their game, but Aaron seemed to stagnate. He was being out rebounded by kids much shorter than him. His shots were being blocked by boys who only came up to his chin.

It was easy to see what was happening. Aaron hadn’t been challenged at the beginning of the season. He didn’t need to work hard to win. But over time, the other kids worked hard and developed their skills up to and beyond his level. Aaron was still the tallest guy out there, but that advantage on its own wasn’t enough.

To stay competitive, Aaron needed to work on his skill set and put in a lot more effort. Relying solely on his height was insufficient.

Aaron’s story is a fitting analogy for life. If we play down to lesser competition, we’ll stagnate just like Aaron did on the basketball court. It’s not about our advantages or disadvantages. It’s about putting in the effort necessary for continuous improvement.

We have to challenge ourselves and surround ourselves with people who push us to be better. We need to learn, adapt, and constantly expand our skillset. Upgrade your competition, and you’ll upgrade yourself.

August 04, 2023

Say Yes

“Sometimes we receive the power to say yes to life. Then peace enters us and makes us whole.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

You’re overwhelmed. You’re stressed. You have too much on your plate. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

Obviously, you’re bad at saying no. You take on too much and don’t know how to get it under control. If you could learn to say no, everything would improve.

But what if you started saying yes?

What if you figured out how to say yes to all the good things?

Yes to the projects that genuinely excite you, yes to quality time with family and friends, yes to self-care and relaxation, yes to personal growth and learning. As you become comfortable saying yes to these, you’ll naturally start saying no to the things that don’t serve your best interests, be it an overbearing workload, unnecessary commitments, or simply a lack of time. In the process, you’ll learn to prioritize yourself and your needs.

Shift your mindset, and say “Yes” to all the good things in your life.

July 28, 2023

Don't Be Average

“Get to the point where you get allergic to average! You don’t think average!”
― Eric Thomas

You’ll never make it to the next level with an average mindset. Average is for everyone else. Average is the path of fear.

So conquer your fear. Convince yourself that your goals are bigger than fear.

Choose to end your fear.

  • Don’t fear new paths.
  • Don’t fear work.
  • Don’t fear being different.
  • Don’t fear criticism.
  • Don’t fear judgment.
  • Don’t fear taking risks.
  • Don’t fear stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • Don’t fear the unknown.
  • Don’t fear rejection.
  • Don’t fear change.
  • Don’t fear success.
  • Don’t fear being alone.
  • Don’t fear standing up for yourself.
  • Don’t fear starting over.
  • Don’t fear being vulnerable.
  • Don’t fear being misunderstood.
  • Don’t fear making mistakes.
  • Don’t fear asking for help.
  • Don’t fear being imperfect.
  • Don’t fear being yourself.
  • Don’t fear the journey.

Push yourself. Believe in your abilities. Strive for greatness.

Don’t be average.

July 21, 2023

If It's Worth Doing, It's Worth Testing

“First law of Bad Management: If something isn’t working, do more of it.”
― Tom DeMarco

I’m a programmer. I build software. One thing ingrained in me after all these years of software engineering is this: test your work.

Testing can’t just be an afterthought. It’s a crucial step in the process. That’s why good developers embrace concepts like test-driven development or TDD.

And testing isn’t limited to software development. You can apply many of the same concepts throughout your life. Often, all you need to do is specify your expected results and verify them as you go.

Of course, this readily applies to things like diet (step on the scale each week) and exercise (measure strength increases). It applies to less obvious endeavors too. For example:

  • Cooking — Do a trial run of your new recipe with a small group of friends before the big party.
  • Hobbies — Run an experiment and borrow equipment to see if you like that intriguing activity before you “invest” all your money.
  • Raising kids — Ask your older kids for “user feedback” about chores and family activities. They may surprise you with their insight.
  • Public speaking — A/B test opening jokes or witty anecdotes and adjust your speech accordingly.
  • Power outages — Flip off the master breaker and do some edge case testing for minor disaster prep. Just make sure you remember where you put the flashlight.

There are lots more too. Sure, it sounds a bit nerdy, but it’s an integral part of continuous improvement.

If it’s important, test it.

July 14, 2023

Metrics Over Meetings

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
― Peter Drucker

Meetings can be beneficial, but often they disguise a form of micromanaging. Instead of more meetings for progress reports and marching orders, focus on metrics that matter for your business goals. Good metrics showcase what’s working and what isn’t.

When you focus on metrics, you ensure every team member knows what’s expected. There are no grey areas — just clear, quantifiable targets. And using metrics to drive performance lets each team member see how their personal results drive success for the whole team.

Clear metrics also enable your people to track their own performance and make necessary changes independently. This reduces the need for constant supervision and gives your team the freedom to learn, adapt, and excel.

Make your meetings matter, and let the numbers do the talking.