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Cleaning up after a meeting, I asked, “where’s your recycling?”

I wasn’t that surprised to find out they had no recycling bin in that office, so I simply took the can home with me. No big deal.

I wasn’t trying to be “that annoying guy with an agenda”, but trying to move the needle, even fractionally.

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Do you have the whole world figured out? I sure don’t.

There are days when I’m not sure I understand anything.

That’s where it pays to be curious. Like a child.

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I’ve written profiles for about 80 values-driven businesses, and one of them shut down last week. As I think about it, there are probably 7 or 8 which have failed in the last five years.

That’s better than average, actually, as the SBA estimated that 95% of startups don’t survive their first five years. But it’s not a comforting thought.

As someone who is trying to do something special, even world-changing, in your business, why don’t statistics like this cause you to just give up?

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At some point, you reach the end of your knowledge and expertise. You’re feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Especially if you feel you have to be the expert in the room.

The simplest, most powerful way out of this problem is just to … admit it. Tell the others that you’re at the end of what you know and need help.

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There are times when your business is facing the truly big choices.

M&A (mergers & acquisitions) or taking your company public are the events that bring lots of press attention, but for a smaller company there are many more modest examples:

  • Hiring your first employee
  • Putting a management layer in for the first time
  • Retiring from your business
  • Expanding from single-location to multiple-location
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You can do nothing about the past. So business should all be about the future, right?

So why bother looking at stuff we can’t affect? Because of what you can learn from it.

If you think about it, that’s why we track metrics and measures – because of how it informs and supports decisions about the future.

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I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but for me this is a great time to avoid doing hard work. It’s cold. I just got back from vacation. Everybody’s out of the office.

Don’t get me wrong – we all need to have some relaxation and downtime.

But we know that most of these reasons are bogus excuses.

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NO DOUBT YOU SPENT many years in this classroom situation. Sit up. Pay attention. Take notes. Be quiet.

And there will be a test in a few weeks.

I’m not a fan of this model for adult learners like you and me. Why? Because it ignores the fact that the best learning is active collaboration.

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RECENTLY I HAD A CHANCE to speak on a panel about nurturing international and cross-cultural relationships. This is a wonderfully rich topic, because it can get to the core of who we are as humans.

Here’s the deal: I think I’m normal, but everyone else is various shades of weird.

We’re all like that.

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PLANNING IS FANTASTIC, but it has one big problem:

Reality gets in the way.

You go to all this work to create the fully robust plan, to get everyone on board, even to test various scenarios. It’s wonderful! But the plan was put in a binder on the shelf, never to be opened again.

Why is that?

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