You’re the boss, so you have all the answers. Right? Yeah, not so much.

I sure try to show confidence in my leadership roles, but that only works up to a point. Inside, I feel a variety of emotions, both positive and negative. Occasionally even cluelessness.

You know what? The people I’m with know that too. They know that we’re all just doing the best we can – hopefully succeeding more than failing.

So if we’re all just making it up as we go along, why do we seek out confidence? Because it’s about our desire for control and stability. If I don’t feel in control, then I’ll seek out others who look like they are. Even though I know that’s partially an illusion.

How should leaders deal with this? The key is honesty.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get to the point where you’re honest with your people? Where you could say that you’re proceeding on the basis of partial data and educated guesses?

Yes, that opens up vulnerability. But it also creates trust that you’re telling people the real story, not hiding information.

What’s the next step you want to take on showing that kind of honesty?

Recently we had some devastating fires whip through some small towns between Boulder and Denver, Colorado. Nothing could be done with the high winds we had that day, and a thousand families lost everything they own.

And yet, we are grateful for the limited loss of life. And millions of dollars were contributed by the community within a couple of days to help these folks get through the toughest times of their lives.

What do we learn for our businesses?

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I’ve noticed that beauty often comes in attention to the details. The kitchen utensil that does its job perfectly every time. The keyboard that I use constantly. The location of the shift lever in my car. The layout of the website that just makes sense.

It’s kind of crazy, yes, but these things matter a great deal.

But how do you keep this design sense from becoming all-consuming? Because we can spend WAY too much time obsessing about stuff that really doesn’t matter that much.

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Today I’m speaking from my heart to your heart. Because we’re all more focused and productive when we bring our heart into our work.

But we struggle to describe how that works. We tend to more strongly relate to the logical, unemotional part of business: income, job tasks, and so on. And that’s fine, but terribly incomplete.

The part which draws you in, and keeps you engaged, is mostly emotional.

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The traditional wisdom is that businesses are best run with unemotional logic and analysis. And there indeed is a place for that, but it misses the elements that engage customers, partners and employees.

There’s a place for passion, purpose and story. To have your soul shine forth.

About five years ago, Simon Sinek introduced us to a concept he called “Start With Why.” Check out his TED Talk if you haven’t seen it.

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What does “entrepreneur” mean to you? It’s probably as simple as someone who launches a new company.

Fair enough. But it’s a lot more interesting than that.

As I’ll be discussing at the Soulful Entrepreneur Summit in January 2022, being an entrepreneur is really a mindset which can serve anyone.

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I’m honored to be speaking for the Soulful Entrepreneur Summit in January 2022. I’ll be part of a panel on day 3, focusing on Soulful Messaging.

But what does it mean to be soulful? Sounds a bit woo-woo, right?

My approach is to help clients bring together the heart of their business and their own personal passion. In a small company, this is what sustains you to do the hard work, week after week, year after year.

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How much do you trust those you do business with?

I’ve talked a lot about delivering to expectations, but this is something different. This is about trust and integrity.

The fact is that society only functions well when people are able to trust each other. Not only on a transactional level, but also at the personal relationship level. Let me give you an example.

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I’ve been taking some training recently on a tool which helps distinguish the different types of thinking and action we all have. There are a lot of different assessment models out there in the coaching world, and this one uses a model of five archetypes.

In our discussion today, I was pondering how these different innate preferences tend to exacerbate conflicts and misunderstandings.

It seems that we all want others to think like we do! It’s logical, right?

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We usually talk about selling products to customers. We deliver something of value, they give us money in return, and everyone’s happy.

But it’s not ever that simple, because we’re human. The exchange of value is actually pretty complicated, and doesn’t happen all at once.

That’s why I’ve been using the phrase “being of service.” Because it hints at the deeper human connection which is taking place.

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