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Quitting for the Win

From Volume 7, Issue 7:“Quitters never win and winners never quit.”
—Vince Lombardi

“Never say never.”
—Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

I tend to differ with Coach Lombardi and agree with Dickens on this one. Quitting is the tactical execution of the strategic positive power of “no”—in order to make a “no” stick, you have to be willing to quit.

Rewriting History

From Volume 7, Issue 7:A father’s entry in a journal found in an attic:
“Wasted the whole day fishing with Jimmy. Didn’t catch a thing.”

Jimmy’s diary entry from the same day:
“Went fishing with my dad. Best day of my life.”

I used this story to make a point with a friend of mine at breakfast this morning and got to thinking. Most of us, including me, aren’t so lucky as to have a journal from our early childhood. But can writing a journal of our memories about our formative years also offer insight into how we came to be who we are?

The stigma of assessments

From Volume 7, Issue 6:At some point in our lives, we either have participated in or we will participate in a behavioral assessment.

Let me be very clear: Behavior assessments such as the DiSC® Profile, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (the assessments representing the nomenclature above) all have tremendous validity. Thousands of people have subjected themselves to them, and their predictive value is rarely questioned.

There’s Another Train. (There Always Is)

From Volume 7, Issue 6:The lore of “success training” is full of stories of knocked-down heroes who somehow summon the gumption to keep getting back up.

Traveling the Unexpected Road

From Volume 7, Issue 5:“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.” —Elwood

What happens next? Jake and Elwood—the Blues Brothers—are forced off their Chicago-bound highway by a huge barricade across the road and the word “DETOUR.”

Generally, we see detours as disruptions in our status quo—changes we didn’t bargain for or plan around. But even when a detour is unavoidable, we have a choice about how we handle it.

What Part of “No” Do We Not Understand?

From Volume 7, Issue 5:When I assembled a group to write The Positive Power of No: How That Little Word You Love to Hate Can Make or Break Your Business back in 2003, I had no idea it would be the foundation of most of the Clarity work I do today.

We had a credo when we were crafting the book: “‘No’ is the foundation of freedom, the cornerstone of clarity, and the icon of integrity.” So why are we so hesitant to pull out that powerful little word? And how you can use it to your advantage?

Life, the Universe, and Everything: The Significance of Our Insignificance

From Volume 7, Issue 4:I’ve always loved watching and listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson, even before he hosted Carl Sagan’s creation, Cosmos. Almost every time I listen to Dr. Tyson, he makes me think about what we “know” (in our Knower/Judger sort of way) to be “right,” and how potentially naïve that knowledge is.

We often define ourselves by the truths we subscribe to—I know, therefore I am. So, faced with the reality that the sum of what we actually know is vanishingly small, how do we make sense of our place in the bigger picture?

Owning Your Onion

From Volume 7, Issue 4:Peeling an onion—it’s a metaphor that is often used to describe an enlightened approach to problem solving. By methodically removing each layer of the onion, you can appreciate the complexities at each level before eventually reaching the core, where you can objectively define the problem. And trust me, getting to know your own personal onion can save you a lot of tears.

Oh, Bother

From Volume 7, Issue 3:Winnie the Pooh could not express the frustrations in his life with true expletives, so when faced with an unmet expectation, he would simply utter, “Oh, bother.” I don’t know what your version of “Oh, bother” is. As I’ve said before, for almost my whole life, mine has been “Goddamn!” (Pooh could never have said that.) A look at how Pooh uses “Oh, bother” is giving me a new perspective on how I can begin to change a habit I really don’t need anymore.

Trust vs. Trust but Verify

From Volume 7, Issue 3:Trust: the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

Trust but verify, Доверяй, но проверяй (doveryai, no proveryai) is actually Russian in origin, although it is remembered as President Ronald Reagan’s modus operandi during the last days of the Cold War.

If I operate on trust but verify, do I trust? Exploring the difference between trust and verification can help you stop wasting time and energy in relationships at work and at home.