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Anchor and Hope

I recently dined at a ‘west coast fish house’ in San Francisco called Anchor & Hope. It’s in a renovated turn of the century artist’s warehouse. The food and ambiance were terrific, but the name of the place is what keeps me remembering it. The name, Anchor & Hope, seems to be a really good metaphor for what we often spotlight in this blog – the challenge of breaking free from the weight of the past in order to pursue the possibility of a more valuable future. If we were truly honest with ourselves, many of us would admit that we’re bogged down by the security of the...

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Lincoln’s Way With Words

Have you seen Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s epic movie staring Daniel Day-Lewis? Run don’t walk to your nearest theater. It’s a great film for all the reasons movie critics will tell you. I was particularly pulled in by the way Abraham Lincoln led during such a critical moment in American history. The conditions at the time bear repeating to highlight the intensity of the situation. The country was in crisis. Everything foundational was at stake: The very premise of freedom; the veracity of the Constitution; the geographic make-up of the country; the unity of the people; even the...

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Did you ever wonder where ideas come from? Did you ever wonder how ideas get started? Did you ever wonder why ideas seem to come out of nowhere? Much has been written about creativity and innovation. Even more is written about planning and execution. What about inspiration? Isn’t inspiration where it all begins? Isn’t inspiration at the root of all new ideas, creations, and innovations? Why, then, is inspiration so underestimated and underrated? What about inspiration? Are sources of inspiration random? Can we cultivate inspiration? Is inspiration a special gift or is it something that...

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Failure, Rejection, or Indifference

Which of the following potential outcomes do you believe is most damaging – failure, rejection or indifference? Failure is usually seen as the most damaging outcome. Perhaps it’s because we’ve heard “Failure is not an option” one too many times. Most people are not only ashamed to be wrong, some even have difficulty admitting when they’re wrong. Other people see rejection as most damaging. Perhaps it’s because our culture is all about winning or losing. Nike’s billboard at the Atlanta Olympics read, “You Don’t Win Silver – You Lose Gold”. My view is different. I...

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Belief. A Force Greater than Inertia

What is the only force capable of standing up to inertia? What underlies a great organizational culture? What is the backbone of momentum? I believe that is belief. Some might see the notion of belief as the non-strategic, softer side of business. That couldn’t be more wrong. Belief is the essential ingredient for winning. Look at these three common scenarios. See how belief made the difference. The small-to-medium size organization with high growth potential The large size organization that has lost its way The start-up challenging conventional notions The Small-to-Medium Size...

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