People who learn, un-learn, and re-learn bring a competitive advantage to their work: they tend to be current in their field, able to predict trends, and move quickly past conventional wisdom to discover and implement winning ideas. Learning is a key success differentiator that increasingly plays a role in professional advancement. Good thing I have always loved learning!

There are 3 habits I cultivate on my path to lifelong learning:

1.       Curiosity

2.       Commitment

3.       Enthusiasm

Curiosity: When we stay curious we naturally want to grow, learn and explore our world. We seek to question, not confirm, our assumptions.

Habit: asking curious questions, learning new skills, researching new ideas and concepts.

One of the best ways I have been curious this year is with this question: What is the most generous assumption I can make about the action this person has taken? This simple question has allowed me to be a better coach, leader, partner and friend.

Commitment: When our curiosity is wed to a commitment to act, we take steps to learn and grow. We discover more, experience new things, and build relationships with a diverse group of thinkers. Relationships are cultivated with people who have skills and ideas different from our own.

Habit: time. Learning takes time and perseverance.  Devote time to study, read journals, books  and articles, take classes or attend workshops.

This year I have stretched out of my comfort zone to meet and build relationships with people who think, live and act differently than I do, and I am better for it.

Enthusiasm: Contrary to popular opinion, people’s perseverance most highly correlates to their ability to maintain their enthusiasm for the project, not their discipline. It is our enthusiasm that motivates us to learn, grow and perform, not a sense of duty or obligation.

Habit: Cast your own vision. Build a strong picture about what will be true if you continue to act, achieve and succeed.

This year I have focused on the direction of my attention. When I pay attention to what is possible, what I can do, what I can accomplish, what I am able to simply do next, I find myself diving into my days and savoring the moments. When I pay attention to the problem, I run out of gas.

My recipe for success in 2017 is simple:

  • Stay curious.
  • Ask questions.
  • Learn to do something new.
  • Do the next thing: Act!
  • Focus in the possibilities.

What will you learn in 2017 that you do not know today?

What experience will you take on that is new and different for you?

Who will you add to your circle of friends who think and live differently than you do?

Whatever you choose, I wish you great success and happiness in 2017!


The New Year is upon us and, to make 2016 the best year yet, I have a Resolution I recommend to all our clients.  Make new mistakes.  Make new mistakes this year.  Plan for them.  Prepare for them.  Get excited about the possibilities and then go make some new mistakes.  

Why do I recommend that our clients make new mistakes?

Setting an expectation that new mistakes will be made creates the conditions for creativity to occur and innovation to emerge.  Creativity and innovation do not exist in the absence of error.  They only exist in environments where error is allowed.  For creativity and innovation to be constant organizational assets, the first mountain to be climbed is the mountain of mistakes.

So make mistakes.  Lots of them.

Just be sure they are new mistakes.

The difference between an old mistake and a new mistake is that an old mistake begins to set a pattern of bad habits.  We confirm our poor performance when we repeat old mistakes.  We reinforce our ruts.  We design an environment for predictable un-improvement. 

When we repeat old mistakes, the voice in our head says:

·       “Here I am in this mess again!”

·       “I can’t believe this is happening all over again.”

·       “I thought we were past this.”

·       “Didn’t I learn this lesson already?”

New mistakes are different.  New mistakes reveal new terrain being crossed; new ideas being covered; new interpretations being applied.

When we make a new mistake it feels different.  The voice in our head says:

·       “I didn’t expect THAT to happen!”

·       “What was THAT?”

·       “I never expected . . .”

·       “That did not turn out the way I imagined.”

·       “Well, what do I do now?”

We learn something when we make new mistakes.  We grow.  We cover new ground.

Begin 2016 with this resolution at the top of your list:   #1Make New Mistakes.

Make new mistakes this year.  Adopting this leadership perspective delivers you from the mediocrity of safe, same old outlook decision making.  It liberates your creativity and allows you to approach problems with permission to innovate and adapt.  New mistakes deliver you to an environment of excellence where teams thrive, people are at their most engaged, and progress is possible.

Cheers and enjoy your New Year of possibility and progress.  Make new mistakes!