Stop Talking About the Work and Do the Work

A few weeks ago I engaged in one of my secret pleasures: obstacle course racing. This time, I was running with a fantastic women-only team made of first-time participants.  They were awesome, and really in their heads.  Every obstacle we encountered stopped the team in their tracks and shifted them from doing to analyzing, strategizing—squinting at the obstacle, searching for the best way to tackle it. We lost time, and didn’t learn quickly.  By the third or fourth obstacle, I’d had enough.   I see this on stage quite often, and I knew what to do. I grabbed one of …

Know what you want to say, and then listen

There’s a balance.  When we go to writing a thing- to identify the narrative of something there are to two things that need to happen. Step One:  Know what YOU want to say.   Dig in. Commit.  Get really clear because if you’re not clear, your audience won’t be either.  Have the courage to make to tight too.  If it’s a paragraph, it’s too long.  There’s this great practice of the 8 word mission statement.  In your narrative (book, campaign, keynote, video) get it that tight.  And be not shy.  It takes some courage and trust to just put a stake …

The Web We Want- a thing I made with someone

Making is fun, especially when you’re doing it with a creative partner. There’s nothing like co-writing.   This project, for the launch of the New Firefox, was a fantastic exercise in dancing with a creative partner.  Writing became more an act of listening.  Listening to our audience, each other and to our hearts.   Thank you Amelia Mulkey Anderson. Full post about the process is in the works.  For now, enjoy.

Today is a listening day

As storytellers and coaches of storytellers we’re alchemizing and talking and talking and telling (you know, because of the “teller” part of our roles”). Try listening. Stories we create get better the more we listen to our audiences. It’s thing 18. And it doesn’t require explanation. Just shut the hell up.

Making it up- the power of not too much

At the first platform, the train was packed. Stop by stop the crowd dwindled. Soon there was only a handful of us left and beside me sat a man. A man dressed in full camouflage. He sat on the bench near the doors, leaning one elbow and some of his weight on an enormous ruck sack. It was bulging and clearly heavy. It was worn. He sat looking tired but comfortable, like he’d been somewhere and now it was quiet. I could feel the focus in the air as we made up stories about him. All of us, there, silently …