Monday, April 30, 2018


I have problems saying no.  Not that I have problems pronouncing it - it is just I often say yes when I really should say no.  The only thing I really have is my time and often saying yes takes that time.  It makes someone else's priority my priority.

Fairly good article in Entrepreneur article on this here.

One of my favourite thinkers and authors is Daniel Pink.  It is worth watching his Ted talk.

I recently read his book – When – the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

His thesis is – “Success has a lot to do with timing”.  He cites many studies that back this thesis up.  He also shares many ideas on how we can improve our timing and hence have more success.

I know from my study of Time Management that knowing your high energy times and spending them on high impact activities can amplify results.  He has a chapter on body rhythms and how to maximize the use of them.  I re-emphasizes what I know.  Use high energy times for high creativity tasks.  Work to create more high energy times (mostly through good sleep habits and exercise).  And use low energy times for “maintenance” tasks.  

He talks about the power of breaks and the power of naps (not yet good on that one).  And of course one of my favourite breaks – taking a walk.

He talks about starting right.  I have been lucky in my life.  I had early success.  That early success has provided momentum for other success.  I wrote an article on the Power of Momentum and believe in it.

He talks about the power of “new beginnings” and gives 86 days each year that are perfect new start dates – your birthday, New Years, Mondays, first day of the month etc.  The real message – create any excuse to start or re-start.  On a similar vein – he talks about the power of the midpoint, mid life, half way through etc.

One interesting technique he spoke about when writing a book – end each writing session with half a sentence.  Makes it easier to start writing again.  I am thinking I will use that technique on my next book.

A photo from Amy Dobbins Photography.  I don't recall giving her permission to take photos of my grandkids. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Stop Selling and Start Leading

My wife, Elizabeth, won (yes she came in first) in her age group in the Boston Marathon Monday.  The day was miserable – cold and wet.  Personally I think this gave the Canadians a small edge since training happened in the cold.  Amazing feat.

On average Elizabeth and I ran 13.1 miles Monday – no wonder I am still tired.


Stop Selling and Start Leading by Kouzes, Posner and Calvert is my most recent read.

When I saw the title, I had wrongly assumed it would talk about marketing as a way to sell – I was wrong.  The book uses the principles of leadership and shows how they help create sales.   It talks about 5 Principles of leadership – Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable others to Act and Encourage the Heart.  It then goes through each principle – explaining what is meant and giving examples of how to apply it.  

As I read, I realize I am good at Inspiring Vision and my natural selling method is to Encourage the Heart (I call it just being yourself or being genuine).  The book is inspiring me to figure out how to get all of Danby thinking along the same lines.

Each chapter ended with summary points (another thing I like in good books)

I dislike the pushy sales type and the book aligned with my values.  No pushy closing tricks.  No deception.

Quotes from the book - "Exemplary leaders understand the power of words and chooses them wisely.” “They imagine that extraordinary feats are possible and that something special can emerge from the ordinary” (Interesting comment on being ordinary.  When I was growing up, my brothers and I decided my father was nothing special (he was not a policeman, a fireman, a heavy equipment driver – just a plain ordinary man.  Of course as I grew older, he became my idol and I realize he was special – not ordinary)  “Leadership is an observable pattern of practices and behaviors, a definable set of skills and abilities."

There is a whole chapter on “Experiment and Take Risks”.  This is not an area I need encouragement on.  If anything, I need more focus.

I particularly liked that the book had short stories illustrating each point.

Easy read (although I am behind in my reading list so it took a few weeks to get to it).  Valid points.