Recent Blog Articles

Zen And The Matrix Part 2: Cypher As Ego-Mind

In part one of this series, I deconstructed the infamous, “There is no spoon” scene from The Matrix to begin our celebration of the film’s twenty year anniversary. Next, I want to examine two important, and opposite choices in the movie that represent aspects of the human psyche: the choice Neo makes to leave the…

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Zen And The Matrix Part 1: You Are Not Your Thoughts

This spring marks the 20th anniversary of the release of The Matrix, one of the most spiritually significant mainstream films of our time. It’s a movie about waking up, and it brilliantly uses some ancient zen wisdom that I thought I’d unpack in a series of articles. Part of the genius of The Matrix is…

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Accountability: What We All Want But Won't Ask For - Clear and Open

Can You Push Someone Further? Can You Be Pushed?

Question: How do you know if you can push your people further? Answer: They will tell you, if you know how to listen. Recently I was messaging with a Clear and Open member, let’s call him Andy. It went like this. This is a good example of the power of asking questions. Josef: “Relook at…

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Have You Just Been Giving (or Receiving) Lip Service?

I grew up in the historic town of Concord, Massachusetts, a couple miles from Thoreau’s Walden pond, the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War, and a dozen other things that would probably bore you as much as they did me as a kid. In third grade, my class took an intrepid field…

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Excuses, Excuses: The Work in Progress

“I’m working on the mustard on my chin. It used to be way worse.” I helped a CEO (let’s call her Jane) of a financial services company identify her over-responsible tendencies and how she caused herself overwhelm. She was spread incredibly thin and wasn’t making time for what was most important. I discovered she had…

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Remove Internal Resistance with Self Love—Not Self Discipline

There are scores of strategies to manage yourself, and I want to talk about the one most often forgotten: self-love. Anyone who has raised children knows that love doesn’t mean giving a person whatever they want. Self-love is no exception. One of the reasons I don’t like the term self-discipline is because it connotes forcing…

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That One Time I Was a Corporate Spy and Got Fired for It

The second time I got fired, it was for corporate espionage. I’ve never told anyone this. In my mid-twenties, a few years before I became a coach, I recruited for high-tech companies in the Bay Area. I mostly hated it. It’s not uncommon practice in that world to “poach” employees from one company and move…

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work-life balance myth

Your Engagement Problem is Worse than You Thought, Part 2

Last week in Part One, I discussed how I realized in the middle of having drinks with a friend that the lack of engagement I’ve been frustrated with in working with some of my clients pretty much exactly mirrors the disengagement levels shown in Gallup’s ongoing study. I’ve been coaching for seventeen years, and I’m…

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Your Engagement Problem is Worse than You Thought, Part 1

When I re-launched my practice in 2016 as Clear and Open, it was in part to focus on engagement. I saw that all business problems come down to this. It’s the deepest root issue that my clients struggle with, and it’s what I’m most passionate about. Since then I’ve noticed I do a lot of…

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