Clear the room.  Start with your employees. Your smart, wonderful employees. Get rid of Blake in the corner with his hand in the air and his eyebrows knitted. Heʼs about to give you one more reason why this direction is ill-advised and that direction is fraught with risks. You can see it on his lips already: In a perfect world, we could — And that woman who looks like sheʼs about to swan dive into her laptop...a justification waiting to happen. Mary, Beau, and Surly Joe, the Ph.D. triplets — theyʼll blot out the fluorescent lights with their pendulous MBAʼs if youʼre not careful. Give ‘em lunch money and the afternoon off. Okay, whatʼs left? Furniture? Get rid of it, except for that chair. Now clear your mind until all that is left is the cure for cancer. Food for the hungry. Dignity for the ill. Opportunity for children. Services for the underserved. Whatever the hell got you into this charitable racket in the first place. Now shush yourself out of the room, at least the part of you that believes excuses are excusable. Or that the current state of affairs is currency that is ever worth spending. And now the rest of you — out! Except for your heart. Donʼt worry about the mess. It means youʼre alive. And thatʼs the only part of you we want or need. Because weʼre going to make that heart sing, solve, sell, and seize every last day your organization has left.

Thinking Outside The Soapbox: Installment 1