Common Sense, Not Common

Let’s rename advice to suggestion

Best Disney Keynote Speakers
True dat.


After my leadership keynote, a client told me he made a commitment to learn all the staff member’s names, because he realized not knowing was really poor leadership. Here’s my response:

Advice? Let’s rename it to suggestion, since you haven’t officially asked.

Five years ago i stopped all texting, emails and phone calls while driving. Our Son was ten. i didn’t reveal what i was doing for 90 days.

After three-plus months i asked him, while we were stopped at a red light, “Have you noticed anything different about me?”

He responded with, “Did you get your hair cut?”

We quickly got to the end goal.

He had noticed.

A lot.

By the time he gets his permit, he may not recall me texting and driving. My clear expectation that he never texts while driving will carry so much more weight, because there will be no double standard. People hate double standards. Betting you do. Your staff is no different.

My advice suggestion:

i wouldn’t announce what you are doing. At all. Just do it.

And while you’re doing it, sneak in a bit of casual conversation – getting to know them, but don’t make it seem like an interview or an interrogation. They’ll get suspicious and start talking about you behind your back.

They’re going to talk about you behind your back anyway, but if you do it right (intentionally), the buzz/rumors will be extraordinarily positive.

Go slow, be sincere, and find a million ways to stay motivated.

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Anyone Else Think Like This?

Hey boss, just tell us three things today

Stunning Orlando Summer sunrise


(photo: What if the news was as beautiful as this sunrise?)

Hey boss, just tell us three things today.

  1. What do you want us to stop doing?
  2. What do you need us to start doing?
  3. What are we better at than anyone else in the company (a special gift)?

Ever think like this?

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Nothing makes dreams happen faster than these four things

iPhone iTunes Radio screen shot
Am I wrong?


Tonight a friend retires at age 55.

How will the people gathered there to celebrate feel about her age?

Happy and ecstatic for her?

Bitter or jealous it’s not them?

We can wish and we can hope, but nothing makes dreams come true faster than these four things:

  1. Vision
  2. Focus
  3. Discipline
  4. Patience

How can we know for sure?

Guessing our friend doesn’t know for sure, but she’s willing to move forward anyway, with a disproportionately greater sense of hope than the average.

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It's Not Over Rated

Ten leadership tactics going beyond the work related concept

Chefs de France photo
At work yesterday, but not working (what you see when not working)


Chefs de France photo
At work yesterday: this is what it looks like when actually working

Life lessons we already know:

1. pick your battles
2. forgive endlessly and without condition
3. pray for the poor (poor has many categories unrelated to money)
4. choose your friends wisely
5. control what you can, let go of what you can’t
6. be an example, not a warning
7. compassion
8. peace
9. love
10. know the source of your strength and hold on relentlessly

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Professionally Speaking

Challenge the audience to complete all these leaderships action items

professional speaker jeff noel
Time to roll up our sleeves?


In a few days the opportunity to speak to an audience about leadership will be in front of me. One month ago I was already picturing how it would go. And how to make it better than it has been designed.

At varying points in the class I will challenge the audience to complete all these leaderships action items before they walk out the door:

  1. Have them email a thank you to a colleague, direct report, boss, client, vendor who sent them.
  2. Have them rewrite their email out of office message using thank you and please at least once.
  3. Have them re-record their voice message greeting using thank you and please at least once.
  4. Have them create a minimum ten electronic file folders for email.
  5. Have them purchase a leadership book of their choice on amazon (will recommend Lee Cockerell).
  6. Have them install kindle for free on their smart phone.
  7. Have them install flashlight free app on their smart phone.
  8. Ask them to pledge to not text and drive.
  9. Ask them to pledge to not swear at work.
  10. Have them email a lunch invitation to someone they don’t know but should.
  11. Have them email a lunch invitation to someone they dislike but should not, perhaps someone close to them like their secretary, their peer, or their boss.
  12. Park on the back row and walk from now on.
  13. Pledge to drive the speed limit from now on.
  14. Go for a one minute walk out and one minute walk back and add one minute each day until they walk 15 minutes per day.
  15. Do one push up a day for a week. Add one pushup each week to the daily total. Get to 10 before deciding to quit or keep going.
  16. Start the day on your knees for 10 seconds and simply think about something they are exceptionally grateful for. Insist that this is not prayer time but thinking time and the act of being on their knees tests their comfort zone, that’s all.
  17. Say please and thank you. All the time.

Have never done this. Which is great because most likely the audience will have never done half of what they will be asked to do.

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