How to Survive and Thrive in Imperfect Organizations

You’re surrounded by imperfection. Everyone has a handful of strengths and a bucketful of weaknesses.

If strengths smelled like warm cookies and weaknesses smelled like wet dog, everyone would stink.


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Overcome frustration with imperfection by accepting imperfection in yourself AND others.

3 truths about acceptance:

  1. Acceptance isn’t approval.
  2. Acceptance isn’t surrender.
  3. Acceptance is the foundation for influence and improvement.

You can’t antagonize and influence at the same time.

Say it out loud:

I accept my boss.

I accept my organization.

I accept the people on my team.

Four options If you can’t accept your imperfect boss, organization, or team.

  1. Get a new boss.
  2. Get a new team.
  3. Get a new organization.
  4. First, change yourself.


Frustrated people focus on changing others. But success begins when you first change yourself.

Work to change yourself before working to change others.

  • “What should I do?” comes before, “They should.”
  • “How might I change?” comes before, “They need to change.”
  • “What can I learn?” comes before, “I need to teach them.”

Meddle with yourself before you meddle with others.

Reflection questions:

  • You’re frustrated with silos in your organization. What are you allowing that causes or sustains silos?
  • You feel left out of the loop. How are you leaving people out of the loop?
  • A team member irritates you. How might this team member reflect something that needs to change in you?
  • Lack of clear direction at work frustrates you. How might you seek direction?
  • Others are boring. What if you’re boring?

Reflecting on imperfection in others is self-affirming. But self-reflection is where growth begins.

You may be superior to others, but leaders don’t stand aloof.

Today’s projects:

Walk around honoring and respecting the good, even while improving deficiencies.

When irritated, think, “Who do I need to become so I can lead imperfect others?”

How might leaders survive and thrive in imperfect organizations?

Why Some Leaders Stick and Other Leaders Quit..!!

Grit isn’t the reason people endure.

Grit is disappointing because it develops as-you-go, not before you go.


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Grit is irrelevant when you already feel strong, capable, and confident. Difficulty, distress, weakness, and inadequacy make grit relevant.

Gritty leaders press forward in spite of feelings, not because grit makes everything easy.

If you’re looking for easy, get out of leadership.


If grit isn’t developed until you need it, what energizes endurance in the first place?

Attitude – not strength and competence – is the secret of endurance.

Grit isn’t the source of endurance, joy is.

A leader with joy keeps going when she’s exhausted or uncertain. Joy isn’t exception. And grit doesn’t make everything easy.


#1. Responsibility to unfinished work enables leadership joy.

“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears … to an unfinished work will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the why for his existence and will be able to bear almost any how.” Victor Frankl

The defiant joy of leadership is readiness to make things better for others.

#2. Purpose fuels leadership joy.

Service to others expresses purpose and clarifies meaning.

Purpose is discovered in usefulness.

Purpose is found in connection with something outsideyourself.

  • How is your work useful to others?
  • How might you best serve?
  • What pressing need do you most frequently notices? How might you meet that pressing need?
  • How is organizational purpose focused on serving others?

Self-serving purpose creates fear. Other-serving purpose fuels energy.

A leader without purpose sacrifices usefulness on the altar of near-term enjoyment. Why sacrifice for the future if there’s no purpose?

Tip: Meaning comes from feeling useful. When you help people see the usefulness of their work you help them find meaning in work.

What fuels endurance?

How might leaders develop grit in themselves and others?

Added material:

Grit (Duckworth)

7 Ways Top Leaders Develop Grit on Their Team (Inc)

Organizational Grit (HBR)

The Secret to Bringing Out the Best in Others ” Chi’s blog “

Support too little and challenge too much – you kick butt. People are stressed and discouraged.

Challenge too little and support too much – you coddle. People are comfortable and sleepy.

The secret to bringing out the best in others is finding the ‘right’ ratio of challenge to support.


Your challenge-support style sits on a continuum.

The right ratio depends on the person you’re dealing with, not your preference.


You treat people the way you treat yourself.

If you enjoy challenging yourself, you enjoy challenging others.

You judge others through the lens of your challenge-support preference.

High-challenge leaders think high-support people need to toughen up. But leaders who enjoy feeling supported think high-challenge team members are jerks.

Identify your ratio:

Success is about bringing out the best in others.

Seek feedback on your challenge-to-support ratio.

The goal of understanding your challenge-to-support ratio is learning how to maximize human potential.


Ask team members to place you on the challenge-support line. Are you more supportive or more challenging?

Introduce the project by saying, “Good leaders know how to challenge and support people. Challenge without support is frustrating and discouraging. Support without challenge slows growth.”


What am I doing to help you feel challenged?

What am I doing to help you feel supported?

Draw a circle on the line that indicates the ratio of challenge-to-support that works best for you. (There is no right answer.)

How might I move the line toward a better ratio of challenge-to-support? (Look for behaviors.)


Ask everyone on your team to complete the project in private. Combine results and explore.

Challenge-support tip:

Notice energy. When someone lights up, notice and explore.

“I noticed your energy go up just now. What’s going on for you? How might you bring that energy to your current project?”

What’s your ratio of challenge-to-support?

What ratio works best for the people around you?

Blank support-challenge line:

support challenge white background

The Ultimate Pursuit of Leadership isn’t Success ( Chi’s blog ).

The ultimate pursuit of leadership is humility, not success.

The more I think about humility, the less I know about it. The more I pursue humility, the more it escapes my grasp.

Everything good in leadership begins with humility.


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The 7 seductions of arrogance:

#1. Others need to change before you.

#2. Your life is miserable because of others. Arrogance takes offense quickly, easily, and often.

#3. You know the things others should do. Arrogance listens to answer and solve. Arrogance loves to fix people.

Humility changes itself before working to change others. (You’ll be busy if you focus first on changing yourself.)

#4. Your service exceeds their service. Arrogance keeps score.

Arrogance needs appreciation and respect to keep serving.

#5. Faults in others encourage you to feel superior. Arrogance whispers, “I’m better than,” when others fall short.

Humility enjoys the strength of others and celebrates their success.

Arrogance finds someone who is less capable as a standard of comparison. That leader doesn’t do weekly check-ins. You’re so awesome because you frequently check-in with your team.

#6. Humility is achieved in private.

Humility is always pursued in connection with others. It’s personal, not simply private acts of service. Beware the superiority of serving people you don’t like in impersonal ways. It puffs you up.

#7. The ultimate seduction of arrogance is others need it more than you.

Arrogance justifies itself with the faults of others. The faults of others exempt arrogance from service.


Humility isn’t victimhood. Arrogance feels like a victim when it’s under-appreciated. Arrogance says, “I deserve better.” Feeling like a victim is self-protective arrogance.

Humility has backbone. Arrogance sacrifices values on the altar of status. Humility holds to values when it’s painful, dangerous, and costly.

Humility speaks truth to power because it doesn’t need approval from power.

What do arrogant leaders do?

How might you pursue and practice humility today?

Get Followers On Twitter – Here Are The Best 11 Actionable Tips

get followers on twitterGetting many followers is the dream of a lot of users on Twitter.

The advantages of having a considerable number of targeted followers as an individual or a business cannot be over-emphasized. Many businesses use Twitter as the main driving force of their advertising strategies. More followers on Twitter means improved visibility in your market and increased numbers of potential customers. So, how do you get followers on Twitter?

Understand Your Market Audience

I think this is where most businesses miss it. Some people just follow the trend or follow what everyone else is doing. While it is good to know what your competitors and other businesses in your market are doing, it will do you a whole lot of good to first research your target audience.
To get followers on Twitter, you must understand the psychology surrounding your target audience. This in turn will open your eyes to a lot of ways you can utilize to interact with them.

Post Valuable and Useful Tips

Researching your target audience will help you know what makes them tick – their fears, their aspirations. What they love, what they hate. You can then use this information to your advantage by posting useful information to help them and make their life easier. This works in warming your audience to you. When your followers find your posts valuable they will share with their own followers. This would increase your followers base in the long run.
So to get followers on Twitter, be generous with your tips. Inspire them with valuable posts.

Use a Profile Photo

I regularly come across people on Twitter not using their photo as profile image. Some users will even put the picture of flowers while some leave their profile blank. What kinds of people do that? Newbie or spammers. People who are willing to connect with people will always have their personal photos, especially a headshot, on their profile page. A lot of Twitter users I know will not follow anyone without a photo in their profile.

Complete Your Profile Information

Some people will come to your Twitter page, either through search or through a link, go through your information and start following you when they see something that relates to them. Imagine then if you don’t have your bio properly filled out.
To get followers on Twitter, let users see what you do. Make your bio interesting. If you are a business or you’re promoting a product use a tag line. Include your city name since many people will follow you just by seeing that you are from the same area as them. Twitter doesn’t include users in their search results unless they complete specific information like a username and a full name.

Post Regularly

A young working mom with 2 energetic kids will always appreciate regular tips on balancing home and work. A young entrepreneur will love to see actionable tips that can help grow his business. Posting frequently will help your audience and put them in a position to want to retweet you to their followers which will lead to increased number of followers for you.
But you must be careful here. Avoid overwhelming your followers. A Twitter user receives a lot of messages. What you can do is to spread your posts throughout a day instead of posting too many at a time.
Getting regular content to post daily is not easy. It will require a little sacrifice on your own part. What some people do is to go through blogs and websites in their industry. Doing this regularly will give you ideas of content you can share with your followers.

Communicate With Your Followers

Replying to any of your follower’s query puts you in a good stead in the eyes of your other followers. Some people only reply to their followers through DM. While doing this has its own benefits, replying publicly shows that you are sociable and will endear you to other followers who see your reply. Since they will be more likely to retweet your posts, you can expect an increase in your followers’ count.

Link and Re-tweet Others

What most social media platforms do is to promote a culture of sharing and Twitter is no exception. When you link to others, many will respond in kind. And this applies to re-tweets too. If you want to increase your followers’ count this is something you must not overlook. When others re-tweet your posts they’re literally introducing you to their audience. Re-tweeting and linking to others will surely boost the number of your followers. What you should not do is to ask for a re-tweet. Many people hate that. Just post highly valuable content regularly and you’ll get natural re-tweets.

Over-promotion will cost you followers

Out of all the reasons a Twitter user may decide not to follow or un-follow you the most prominent one is too much promotion. If your Twitter account is just a promotion engine for your latest blogpost, products or services, you should not expect any significant increase in the number of your followers. And worse still, you may see a constant dwindling in the number of your followers. Over-promotion doesn’t have any benefits, it only makes you look like a spammer. Now tell me, who wants to follow a spammer?
Before you promote any service or product, make sure you have given a lot of values. A prominent Twitter user suggests 20 useful posts to one promotional post. You don’t need to adopt that strategy. Just make sure your helpful tweets are much more than your promotions.

To Get followers on Twitter, Follow Others

Learn to follow like-minded users. When you see contents that support the ideas you often post on Twitter, check out the posters and follow them. When you see influential people in your industry, follow them. Though not all these people will follow you back the few that do may re-tweet and introduce you to their followers. This is not ‘aggressive following’ which is frowned upon by most people.

Get Used To Short Posts

Short but useful tweets get the most retweets. If you want your followers to regularly retweet you then you must learn how to churn out short and effective tweets.

Make Your Promotion Work On Autopilot

I’ve also written a guide on how to promote your twitter account on autopilot, without you doing anything apart from setting it up.
The best part? Not only it works for music promotion, but it works perfectly for any kind of promotion imaginable. I highly recommend you to check it out here.

Write down your wishes so it would come true!

And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you achieve it ~~Paulo Coelho from The Alchemist ***** It’s no secret to the people who live inside my bubble, that I’ve been unsettled all summer. That I’m antsy and tackling bones that won’t rest. On the days that I don’t travel for work, I walk through my flowers in the morning so I can catch the sun’s rays on the petals as well as check for dry soil and droopy leaves. It’s necessary and sets the stage for a productive day. My evening ritual takes the same route–but it’s a medicinal meander and I use it to meditate and look for a family of owls who join me sometimes. My eyes land on bees and butterflies as my heart tries to leap through my rib cage to the huge sycamore overlooking my precious space. Each evening, thoughts drift to What am I doing? What is my purpose? Why am I here? I was the daydreamer in my family–the weird kid with a penchant for Grimm’s Fairy Tales and wild horses. Someone with a five-on-the-Richter scale fantasy life held back by responsibility and the closed door of a confessional. All curled up on a couch, reading about other people doing all the things I wanted to do: travel the world, save someone’s life, protect the innocent, scribble pretty passages on parchment pages for other people to read. I’d often be lost in a world of my own, and didn’t require the protection of wool blankets and night lights for me to carry those vivid imaginations into the real world. I knew I’d grow up, and be responsible despite my hankering for the high seas, dragons, and unicorns. I did go to college, secured a great job, and launched a couple of different careers in healthcare. I had resigned myself to process improvement algorithms and CMS quality metrics. Then I started to write. And read. And I started to have dreams again. Stirrings. Passions. Wishes. In your childhood, how many times have you heard one of the following? If you tell your wish before you blow out your candles, it won’t come true Don’t get your hopes up Don’t put all your eggs in one basket Think of a vivid dream you’ve had–either now or in your childhood. Remember how it made your skin tingle because it felt so real. How the hair stood up on the back of your neck or perhaps, how you gasped because you could feel yourself falling and trying to wake up. Maybe you didn’t want to rouse because the dream was so sweet, laced with serenity and clarity. Maybe it was about someone you loved, someone you lost, or that baby sleeping in the room next to you. Perhaps you resisted the flutter of opening eye lids, or like me, would try to go back to sleep to resume the reverie. How often have you smashed your joy because you thought things were going too well? Didn’t dare to wish for something you feared wouldn’t come true. That the shoe was going to fall off the other foot. How many times have you gotten excited about an inspired idea only to have someone you love and respect hack it down with common sense and good intentions? I don’t want you to be disappointed. What if we were to take a different approach? Stand toe to toe with our wishes and dare them not to come true. Smash the critics, release the dandelion seeds, grab the star, and put the DO in just do it. Write down wishes so that they can come true. I’m grateful for my job and the food it puts on the table, but it doesn’t feed my soul like birds and bees and flowers and trees. My heart doesn’t swell with love and awe when I look at a spreadsheet, or hop on an airplane. On average, I read one or two books/week–devouring words like it’s a last meal. For most of the summer, The Alchemist had been buried under Seven Brief Lessons in Physics and The Atomic Weight of Love. More than once, the burnt orange covered beckoned me to open, but I ignored the siren’s call of pretty parchment and opted for words I thought would be easier to grasp. The Great Gatsby Little Women The Old Man and the Sea But, Did you Die? And yet, the book lingered in the spaces between mundane brain fire. What is an alchemist? Who is the story about? Do I know anybody who has read it? I shoved the questions to the side and turned the pages of Thank and Grow Rich and practiced gratitude for thirty days straight. Straight to E-Squared–experiments, revelations, insights from a woman who lives thirty miles from me and travels the world because she willed it to be so. Even then, someone was conspiring to send me a timely message–pre-reads that were a perfect prologue to what came next. The Alchemist moved from the shelf to the on-deck spot in my reading nook. Did I move it there? I don’t remember doing so…perhaps the children from Miss Peregrine’s had been playing in the library. I sit in the library with my husband almost every morning. The birds spray sunflower seeds from the feeders as we watch out the front window and greet the day. He peruses the newspaper while I systematically read the day’s passages from 365 Tao, The Daily Stoic, and Daily Secret. Sometimes, I’ll read a passage out loud, sometimes I’ll snap a picture and text it to a friend who might like the message for that moment. This daily ritual has become more sacred than my yoga practice and more consistent than the walrus-type running that often follows. For weeks, the parchment orange peeked out from under my iPad. When did I buy this? Why haven’t I read it yet? Curiosity made me open to the first page–the shepherd boy and his dream made me stay. I read The Alchemist on two airplane rides–out to Little Rock, AR and then back to Kansas City. I texted my friend midway through, Have you read this? I can’t put it down. Have you met Fatima? She texted back. Her words felt like a promise that somehow I must be on the right path. Paying attention to omens. Watching for signs. Listening to the wind. Imagining that I could send messages to my loved ones via the Levanter. Santiago, the crystal merchant, Fatima, the Alchemist and a sycamore tree. My dreams had returned. The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them. What we put forth, we receive a thousand times over. It’s more than karma, it’s a simple truth and not-so-hidden secret to happiness. We are connected by blood, friendship, experience, tributaries, highways, and faith. The message of love I give to my family is one that reverberates to my neighbors and on down the line. What you do. What you say. What you think. It all matters. WE all matter. No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it. This ramble is not only a tribute to Paulo’s words, but a love letter to you and to anyone who has ever shoved aside the naysayers in pursuit of a dream. Even at fifty, I feel the stirrings as strongly as a young shepherd boy who dropped everything he knew, crossed the desert, and ultimately found his heart’s desire. Tell me, friend, do you know your heart’s desire? Are you chasing it right now? ****** If you’ve read the book, you know why I am so moved. If you haven’t read it, please find me at my Instagram account. For the entire month of August, I am going to be posting a photographic perspective of Santiago’s story in hopes that you’ll feel as inspired, moved, and full of joy as I was. I’m still searching for my Personal Legend and would love some friends for the journey. All quotes from ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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