Vertebrae and Values

Work with people who have the same values and expectations around outcomes. When you are out of alignment with your investors, employees and partners it’s like having a bad back that’s in need of a chiropractor. Every movement, whether big or small is painful because the vertebrae are moving in different directions and wasting energy.

Think about it for a second…misalignment is a serious waste of energy when getting from point A to point B. At every turn & blockage you are losing energy, it’s painful and you build up scar tissue.

If you are thinking long term and your partners are thinking short term then why would you ever agree on anything. Apply the same rule to how you treat your customers and vendors. It’ll save you so much time down the line.

Before you pitch an idea make sure you all agree on the definition of a successful outcome. If that’s out of whack then even the brightest idea won’t win. It’s a lot harder to get this right once you’ve agreed to work together, so spending more time upfront picking the right partners will save you a lot of brain damage over the long term.

Simple questions like this will help:

1. Investment horizon timing? (Long term or Short term). How do you define Long Term and Short Term?

2. Define success

3. Is this a one time partnership or do you want to work together again?

4. Define failure




Escape hatches in an argument

“The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face.” – Sidney J. Harris

This is a tip for for dealing with people who have more influence or power. I see this all the time when young and smart people get seduced into an argument with someone about a decisions or calls they’ve made. Sometimes it’s the right decision but the team isn’t on board with the idea because egos have been bruised or the more powerful person doesn’t want to concede to a junior person.

The argument becomes about the principle vs. getting everyone to agree to the plan….remember the latter is what you want to achieve. Instead of proving you are right, give the person an escape hatch to save face and agree with you.



Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home

“For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.” — Vincent Freeman in 1997 Source: Gattaca

Good reminder that we are part of the whole. It makes it easier to relate to someone or something when you understand you relating to yourself!


The freedom to choose

There are so many gems in this Viktor Krankl interview. My father reminded me of it today and it’s worth the 30 minutes if you are looking learn more about about meaning & purpose. It’s a simple message:

He talks about how people react to unchangeable events. When these events are out of our control, it’s how we choose to react determines our happiness.

Don’t forget, you have the freedom to choose how you react to everything and everyone you encounter each day.

Isn’t that great?


The space to pause, breath and choose

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” – Viktor E. Frankl

This advice can be applied in any every day situations like traffic, a long security line at an airport meetings, the dinner table or interacting with colleagues and customers in a high pressure meeting. Every interaction you have with something else is an opportunity to grow and ask yourself how you would like to respond.

If you haven’t already read it. I’d highly recommend reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. It’s worth revisiting every so often for guidance into the meaning of life and why a lesson and opportunity to grow is available everywhere we look.