The art of asking good questions

It’s one thing to have the courage to ask for help, as I mentioned in my last post about Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking. It’s something else again to be able to form a question that actually elicits helpful answers. We’ve been discussing this in my Facebook group, the Clarity Kitchen, and there have been some interesting and insightful comments. …

The Art of Asking: Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking, by musician/writer Amanda Palmer, hit the bookstores just before the holidays last year. Having watched her TED talk months before, I knew I wanted to read the book. I did not expect to have an addition to my Must Read list for business owners. And yet, here we are: this is a Must Read. You don’t have …

Limitation or invitation?

It’s easy to let ourselves and our work be defined by what we believe are our limitations. But those definitions keep us from being who we are and doing what we want to do – and therefore from helping the people who truly need us, who are waiting for us to show up and help them out of the chaos we …

Setting yourself up: failure or success

A week or so ago, I posted this on Facebook: If you know how to set yourself up for failure (and most of us do!), then you also know how to set yourself up for success. In answering the many comments this inspired, I noticed how much the idea surprised people. (It certainly surprised me when I first noticed!) And I …

Taking back “success”

If we don’t define success for ourselves, it will be defined for us. Family, friends, colleagues, our culture and society – our environment. They’ll define it for us, and probably in ways we won’t find easy to live with. When the definition of success feels wrong – too difficult, too busy, too overwhelming, too heavy, too materialistic, or whatever it may …

The view from now

I heard a story on NPR the other day about how the title “president” was chosen for the leader of the United States. It seems that the House of Representatives was concerned to keep the holder of this position from getting too impressed with himself. (I say “himself” since at that time, of course, there was no inkling that we …

Sustainable or endurable?

What does it mean to have a sustainable business? I don’t mean sustainable in the environmental sense. I certainly support environmental sustainability, but I’m thinking about something closer to home, closer to our day-to-day experience of being in business. Personally sustainable. A business that gives us the time and space we need to enjoy our work and also our friends, …

The perils of “how”

Everyone does it. (No, not that. Let’s have a little decorum here, please.) In over 25 years in corporate America, working on  systems analysis, business analysis, and system design, I never saw anyone not do it. And in all my years of self-employment since, I continue to see people doing it. Clients, colleagues, friends … and even myself, every now and then, …