Cadence allows people to walk beside you. Cadence is the alternative to control: the more people you add, the better you need to be at it, so you don’t have to build control. It’s the opportunity to keep joy and ownership at the core of a business.

On Clarity

“I thought I was clear” is something an authority figure will say pretty frequently. What I’ve noticed is that usually the leader/parent is clear on importance, not on action. “I’ve been talking about this…” doesn’t actually move people to do things. “Will you do X action item” or “will you solve this problem by a … Read more

Selling to the wrong customer profile

As soon as you suspect that you didn’t make what you have for the person you’re talking to, you need to let them know. Based on what I’m hearing, I actually don’t think we designed this for you… Here are the reasons you probably won’t like our product/service… If they’re right, they’ll start arguing their … Read more

Delightful responses

It’s not the exact phrasing (“my pleasure,” “delighted to serve”). It’s the intention, the tone, the eye contact, the caring, the posture, the curiosity, the listening.


What would Aristotle do? Listening precedes speaking in Aristotelian rhetoric. This week I asked a business to imagine that Aristotle was their CEO and what that’d do to their operations. I like that question now.

Against open door policies

An “open door policy” is an excuse to believe you’re listening well. Or keep believing you’re getting the truth. Leadership is active, not passive. The door may be open, but it’s bass ackwards on who needs to walk through!

Debates aren’t “won”

I’m a debate coach. It’s bizarre to say that a debate is “won” or “lost”. Even more absurd: “I won that debate.” Because that mistakes the debate! A debate isn’t between two sides. A debate is a proposition, a thesis, a position, and whether or not the audience adopts it or not. Debaters merely connect … Read more

When you’re powerless

I’ve felt powerless in most situations for most of my life. But not in some. Here’s something I noticed: When you’re powerless, seizing power is expected by the powerful, which replicates the powerless feeling (since I don’t want to be the one to seize power) Demanding power is merely using another form of power against … Read more