Recent Blog Articles

“Is This Going to Be on the Test?” - Employee Disengagement - Clear and Open

“Is This Going to Be on the Test?”

“Is this going to be on the test?” a student inevitably asks. The question used to make my blood boil, and I didn’t understand why until years later. It is in many ways the birth of employee disengagement and mediocrity, which plague workplaces, and the world, today. It’s not the student’s fault–they’re having an intuitive…

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How Personal Is Too Personal? - Personal Problems and Business - Clear and Open

How Personal Is Too Personal?

“I can’t talk with my employees about their personal problems.” Usually, when I hear people say this, they’re actually not going personal enough. The result is lost time and money while people talk around personal problems instead of addressing them head-on. There’s a great deal of confusion about what is okay to talk about in…

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Empty Your Cup - Unlearning Dreams - Clear and Open

Empty Your Cup

What is the root of virtually every problem in your world? It’s actually very simple. “The trouble with people is not that they don’t know but that they know so much that ain’t so.”  –Josh Billings, American humorist Ironically this quote is usually attributed to Mark Twain or Will Rogers. What Billings points out so…

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“You Never Buy Me Flowers” - Emotional Needs - Clear and Open

“You Never Buy Me Flowers”

“You never buy me flowers.” A phrase that makes men’s heart’s sink. So the next day, the man buys her flowers. “Gee, thanks,” she says flatly, forcing a smile. Men: that’s when you tell yourself women are unpleasable and irrational. But you’re wrong. You’re just not listening between the lines, and it’s the same thing…

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Customer Service Hell - Clear and Open

Customer Service Hell

Have you been to customer service hell? Of course, you have. It gains more ground in our world every day. Personal responsibility is in decline. There are many facets to good customer service, but there’s one principle that underlies all of them: personal ownership. Good customer service happens when an agent takes personal responsibility for…

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Creating a Safe Environment for Critical Thinking to Flourish - Clear and Open

Creating a Safe Environment for Critical Thinking to Flourish

Critical Thinking Creates Results “I can’t trust my people to make big decisions.” “My employees aren’t engaged.” “No one cares as much as I do.” Coaches and consultants hear these frustrations often. These are symptoms of a complex problem that has a simple solution. Here’s a true story. Evan, an executive in professional services was…

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Responsibility Means Being Serious About Growth - Clear and Open

Five Ways To Recognize Serious Inner Work

“That’s an issue I’m working on.” “I’m a work in progress.” “I do a lot of work on myself.” Sometimes these are statements of responsibility. Sometimes they’re excuses. How do you tell the difference? Popularity of any anything tends to dilute. I’m reminded of the Devil Wears Prada Scene where we’re taught how trends from…

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Dealing With Excuses Doesn't Have To Be Difficult: Here's How - Clear and Open

When Dogs Eat Homework

This article is about dealing with excuses. Don’t have time to read it? Yeah, that’s probably an excuse. C’mon, you’ve got five minutes, especially because: If you spend time dealing with excuses, this article will save you hundreds of hours a year. Also, in this article is a free tool with six simple principles that,…

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Leadership Means Embracing Discomfort No One Else Will - Clear and Open

Turn Toward Discomfort, Turn Toward Leadership

Imagine you’re a personal trainer: you help people get in shape. A new client calls you and tells you their problems: they’re tired a lot, their clothes don’t fit, and they don’t feel comfortable going to the beach because of how they look. You tell them you can help, and schedule the first session. The…

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Family Business Problems Have Real Solutions: Get Clear - Clear and Open

From Inundation To Transformation

2016 was a huge year for my client, Brian, and I want to honor his transformation. Brian and his wife, Kim, own a landscaping and snow removal company. They came to me in July of 2014 with a list of serious problems in their family business. They were both working about eighty hours a week.…

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