Posts in Leadership
employing enthusiasm

Working with/for someone with enthusiasm - changes everything. A project completely changes when the people you work with like what they do.

I work with a lot of personalities -  both inside city government and external to it. They are amazingly talented folks, but those with enthusiasm make it easy and fun. They make the hard work less numbing and more about potential and creativity - for me that's a killer combination.

But here's the thing - enthusiasm doesn't just happen. It isn't something that just occurs when you wake up one day. It's a choice. I'd go so far as to say - it's a skill. One that can be cultivated and developed by making a decision - multiple times each day. Sometimes that choice is an easy one. It's easy for me to be excited about technology partnerships. Sometimes it's not so easy to be enthused about the paperwork and red tape working with those partners might mean.

But employing enthusiasm is an approach that can take your partnerships to the next level. Successful service starts with enthusiasm.

Stories & WE

I've written much about the power of a good story. Most recently in the real story. But yesterday afternoon, the final chapter in The Art of Possibility struck a chord. A rather insistent one.

The power of a great story is the WE. It's not about me or you. But we, the us in between you and me.

If I tell you a story about you (or me) I'm doing it wrong. Or at least not as well as I could be. If you tell me a story and it fails to resonate it's either a case of wrong audience or wrong story - which is essentially the same thing. If you want my buy in it needs to impact me. If I want the story (real or not) to resonate I need to incorporate you in it. Maybe I need you to help me tell it?

How compelling could our stories be if they shared our collective experience - not just yours and mine?

on refunds and joy

It's wonderful to get a refund for the work, the time, the effort or good grace engendered. It feels good, but the way one receives a refund has the potential to generate more joy.

Here's what I've noticed: the miraculous call from no where - say your insurance agent - saying hey! you're getting a refund! Awesome you! doesn't give me much joy. What is says is - hey! you're an afterthought and I messed up my math! Oops. And that's not joy.

Not compared to seeing the refund add up dollar after dollar - knowing that what you do will directly impact the bottom line. When you make a choice you see an impact. While the sudden refund feels like - you've been overcharged and we just noticed - the planned, trackable refund feels more like you're doing something to be rewarded/refunded/recognized for. It seems to me to read: we are mindful, we know you and we want to recognize your effort.

Money is money and a refund is valuable either way... but it means more when you're not an afterthought. Why not seek the joy?