As a leader, I learned a long time ago that when things go wrong, the blame must always start with me.
Team didn’t get the store open on time? I could have scheduled a different crew. I could have set my expectations more clearly. I could have trained better. I could have brought them in earlier.
Sales don’t match projections? I could have set my projections lower. I could have done more external marketing. I could have improved our service or our quality. Continue reading
What’s your superpower?
Everyone has one. I have many. For instance, when I was a kid I could tell the difference between first-run TV shows and reruns by the audio alone. That is a completely useless superpower, unless the fate of the world depends on whether this is a very special The Facts of Life, or if it’s just a regular one that you’ve already seen.
I used to be a badass.
I had swagger. I viewed myself as, quite possibly, the best damned thing that had ever happened. The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Of course, as is the case with anyone with swagger, I was insecure about my possible inadequacies. I had a low grade fever all the time: a fear that my inflated versions of my own reality would be punctured. The fever sapped my energy. The echoes of my own inner voices reverberated in my head on a constant loop until my ears were ringing.
“Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”
Robert Plant said that, but it just as easily could have been me, except I’m not particularly poetic, and I wasn’t alive in 1971. I’m glad he said it, though. In addition to being one of the greatest songs ever written, it sums up a major tenet of my life’s philosophy more eloquently than I ever could:
Everyone, ultimately, is seeking the same thing: happiness.
There are two divergent paths in life: the path toward money and “success”, and the path toward happiness. You might achieve monetary success through a life dedicated to happiness…that happens all the time. But if you fail, you’ll at least likely be happy and fulfilled.
I love metal. There’s something about the raw energy and the intensity that gets me going. I also enjoy the fun of rolling down the windows of my Prius with Slayer blaring at full volume. Especially at stoplights. In age-restricted neighborhoods. At 3 am.
Five minutes. Five goddamned minutes.
If you took a snapshot of any random five minutes, you’d likely see how freaking awesome he was at his job. How much his team loved him. How “on it” he was. Organized. Clean. Smiles all around.
But no, she came in at the five minutes when the shit had hit the fan. Big boss lady hadn’t been in since July. She’d heard how well everything was going, but her eyes were telling her brain a very different story…in these five minutes.