Look, people…

  • Break our trust.
  • Come up short.
  • Make promises and don’t keep them.
  • Judge a book by its cover.
  • Have a lapse in judgement.
  • Are biased.
  • Loose their tempers.
  • Refuse to change their minds.
  • Get lost.
  • Misplace their keys.
  • Have personal agendas.
  • Are irrational.
  • Ignore the data.
  • Create urgency.
  • Make emergencies.
  • Lie, cheat, steal.

People make mistakes.

We are people too.

About face

The thing about bad behavior is that we know it’s wrong. But some of us are spending an enormous amount of time thinking of ways to justify it.

So when we see someone jaywalking, we think that it gives us permission.

It doesn’t make it okay though. Its still wrong, even though “everyone is doing it”.

The future holds more possibilities to do work that matters—to make a difference.

With more opportunities and more time on our hands comes more distractions. Making it easier to justify bad behavior.

If there’s one thing that is keeping you from being your best version of yourself, stop it.

Today.

Right now.

This is as good as time as ever to quit the one thing that’s holding you back.

For those who think they’ve strayed too far: It’s not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light coming from above.

Too big to care

Yahoo’s time line:

  • 1998: Yahoo refused to acquire Google for $1 million.
  • 2000: Yahoo’s value peaked at $100 billion.
  • 2002: Yahoo realized they made a huge mistake not acquiring Google and offered $3 billion. Google wanted $5 billion. They weren’t able to make a deal.
  • 2008: Microsoft offered $50 billion to acquire Yahoo. Yahoo rejected their offer.
  • 2016: Verizon is looking to acquiring Yahoo for less than $5 billion. Meanwhile, Google has been valued at $550 billion.

What happened?

You can point to a lot of different things:

  • Mismanagement: There are plenty of people to blame.
  • The economy: The 2000 tech bubble didn’t help.
  • Their identity: Were they a search engine? Did they sell ad space?
  • No innovation: We haven’t seen any new hardware or software for quite some time.

In the end, Yahoo spent too much time thinking about how to fix their company instead of focusing on solving interesting problems for its customers.

It became clear when 500 million accounts were reportedly stolen this year; and there is evidence to suggest that Yahoo knew about this in 2014.

That’s what happens when you lead from behind. Eventually, the world catches up.

But there is a lesson to learn: No organization is too big to stop caring for the people they are serving.

[Bonus lesson: Nothing lasts forever. The Beatles, arguably the biggest rock band of all time, are becoming less relevant each day. If you’re a teenager, can you name one band member?]

Bad call

You’ve done your research, analyzed the data and your ready to present. The facts are undeniable. You’ve built a strong case. It’s some of your finest work.

But the board makes a bad call and goes a different direction.

Sometimes, we don’t get picked.

It’s not the results we were hoping for. But you can learn from this experience.

Work on telling a better story. One that resonates with people.

It took twenty years for Ignaz Semmelweis to convince the medical community to wash their hands.

What a shame that your best work has been put on hold.

But it’s hard to beat the person who never quits.

Doesn’t hurt enough yet

The other day, I saw my neighbor sitting on his porch. As I approached him to say hi, I could hear this awful moaning sound coming from within the house.

Concerned, I asked him what was going on.

He said that his dog was lying on a nail.

So I asked the obvious, “Why doesn’t he just move?”

My neighbor thought about it for a moment. He then replied: “Doesn’t hurt enough yet.”

(Of course, this story didn’t really happen to me.)

Sometimes, we get stuck. We don’t want to move because we’re afraid. And we’re afraid because we think there’s something out there that’s going to be the end of us.

But we’re wrong.

We second guess ourselves because, hey, we’re the ones that got us in this mess in the first place. So we figure as long as we can tolerate this pain, why bother rocking the boat.

That’s the cycle of bad decision-making: You don’t want to make things worse, so you do nothing. By doing nothing, you make things worse.

The obvious decisions seem like the easiest ones to make. Yet, we all know someone who is unwilling to move from a painful situation.

It doesn’t hurt enough yet.