Doug's Blog
Four Stories a Leader Must Master

Of all the jobs on a leader’s plate these days, perhaps none is more important than sensemaker. We’re all confronted with too much data and too many choices on a daily basis. We see countless potentially-valuable things we could do while only having time for a limited few. We’re so busy that we can’t see…

Doug's Blog
Start Before You Know Where to Start

There’s a moment, when you’re trying to do something big or new, that you realize that logical analysis has taken you as far as it can. It’s never going to convince you to take that final step. Too much still feels uncertain. You realize that if you’re going to take that final step, it’s going to…

Doug's Blog
Don’t Be a Hero

There’s one piece of advice I’ve found all long-term successful risk takers follow. Stay humble. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” No matter what river we stepped in yesterday, today brings different water, different currents, and different conditions—in essence, a different river. The smartest risk takers have…

Doug's Blog
Choosing the Right Focus for Risk Taking

Whether or not we take a risk in a given situation depends, in large part, on where we focus our attention as we weigh the pros and cons. If we focus on the upside of risk taking, we’ll feel pulled to take the risk. If we focus on the downside, we’ll feel pushed not to…

Doug's Blog
What Improv Taught Me About Risk Taking

A few years ago I had lost a bet with a friend and, against my wishes, was accompanying her to an improv workshop as payment. I say against my wishes because to me, improv is the ultimate in anxiety-producing situations. You’re performing before an audience with no preparation, trying to get a laugh. And you’re…

Doug's Blog
Walking the Fine Line Between Genius and Insanity

You have a spark of genius in you. We all do. It’s not the result of you being smarter than everyone else. It’s the result of you being different from everyone else. No one else has walked your path. No one else has your distinctive mix of anxieties, experiments, scars, disasters, and triumphs. No one…

Doug's Blog
Expect Your Communication to Break Down

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. —George Bernard Shaw When it comes to pursuing new ideas, entering new markets, or trying to make any big changes that involve other people, I always tell clients to start with the assumption that their communication is going to break down.…

Doug at HBR
Debriefing: A Simple Tool to Help Your Team Tackle Tough Problems

This article was originally published July 2, 2015 on Harvard Business Review Your team has identified an important goal to hit, challenge to be addressed, or opportunity to be pursued. You call a meeting or two, set objectives, put a plan together, and start to execute. Everything looks good on paper. But then your plan…