Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

Why Cant We Be Friends dan skognes motivation blogger speaker authorIf you are a baby boomer or a music aficionado, you remember this song from WAR came out in 1975.  It has a catchy tune and simple lyrics. It begs the question, “Why can’t people get along and actually be friends with one another?”

I have thought long and hard about this and realized that there is no simple answer.  If there was, we would have no more war, no more fighting, no more divorce, no more need for prisons.  Can you imagine a world like that?  I can.

I don’t think it is crazy to envision a world of peace and work towards that goal, albeit a goal that is constantly eluding our grasp.  Why pursue something that is unattainable?  Isn’t that crazy?  Isn’t that absurd?  Well, maybe not.  Maybe it is that we must understand and embrace the frailty of man, and realize that that we all are a work in progress.  Maybe we need to cut each other a little slack.

Our standards should never be lowered to the common denominator of our culture. If we keep dumbing down society to pacify one another, what have we really accomplished?  We have to have basic values that we accept as the foundation upon which we build, and they cannot change without destroying that foundation.

That is why our Constitution and Bill of Rights are so important.  The founding fathers of this country knew that we had to spell out our beliefs clearly in order to have a future free from tyranny.  That is why for me, the Bible is so critical.  It is so much more than a history book.  It is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

Back to the question, “Why can’t we be friends?” While it is rhetorical in one sense, it is worth asking when we encounter those that are our opposites.  We all have people who come into our lives at some point and they push our buttons.  They seem to know how to get under our skin and really irritate us.  It could be a spouse, a child, a co-worker, an ex, a neighbor, or even a stranger on the highway.  The world seems to be filled with irritating people at times.

So, if you are in that place where the world if full of crazy people, is it really everyone else who is crazy, or do we need to look in the mirror.  Now I know what you are thinking, “You don’t know my boss!”  Or, “You have not met my ex!!!”  True, but what if you could actually be friends with those that irritate you?  Is that possible?  Call me crazy, but I think it is.

Here are some steps to being friends with those that irritate you that you might at least consider:

  • Quit dwelling on everything that they do or say that irritates you.  Start looking for something positive in them and dwell on the positive. Nobody is perfect, so quit demanding that from others.
  • Forgive them for whatever they have said or done in the past that pushed your button. Why hold on to something that is just going to become a root of bitterness in you?  Does that even make sense?  Forgive them and move forward for your own sanity as well as for the benefit of both of you.
  • Quit trying to change other people.  You can’t make them love you, respect you, or even be kind to you.  What you CAN do is love THEM, show respect to THEM, and be kind to THEM even if they don’t deserve it. When you are able to do that, you become free indeed.  Whether or not they ever respond is not your problem. You do the right thing and positive things will happen.

There is a proverb that says, “As much as is possible, be at peace with all people.”  The author knew that being friends with everyone is not possible, but it is a worthy goal.  We still have to stand up to evil when we encounter it.  That is a given.  What we can do is to do our part to be peacemakers.  We can be the ones who seek to restore that which was lost or stolen.  In the end, isn’t that more important than holding on to hurt feelings? Isn’t that more important than the need to be right? The lyrics from another song says it all, “Put a little love in your heart.”


Dan Skognes

Thrive or Survive

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Beautiful young woman jumping on  a green meadow with a colored tissueHave you noticed that some people seem to always thrive in life, no matter what they do, and some people just survive, no matter what they do? The secret is that it DOES matter what they do.  It goes back even deeper, it matters what they THINK.

There is an old quote that says, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Either way you are right.” What we say to ourselves has great power over what we end up doing with our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just survive.  I don’t want to just get by.  I want to soar like an eagle. I want to break new records.  I want to go where no man has gone before.  Ok, ok…I sound like an actor on Star Trek.  But seriously, how big is your dream?

Somewhere along the road in life our dreams got squashed.  We put our dreams aside to provide for our family, to get our education, to pay the bills.  But is that the way it has to be?  I don’t think so…in fact, I know so.  Here are some tips to moving drive from survive to thrive:

  • Realize that it all starts with what you believe.  As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
  • If you are in survival mode, ask yourself this question, “What do I need to change to get out of this rut?”  Chances are you did not get in the rut overnight.  You may have been there a long time.  But be willing to change what you are thinking as well as what you are doing.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.
  • If you are hitting a wall and can’t seem to figure out what direction to go, get some help.  Ask successful people for advice.  Don’t get advice from people who are less successful than you are.
  • Surround yourself with people who are positive about life and are truth tellers.  You don’t need “yes men” when you are trying to change the course of your life.
  • People who thrive are focused on their dream. Do what you have to do to focus. Eliminate unnecessary distractions.  Allow yourself time to think and time to dream again.
  • Challenge your thinking by associating with someone who is a visionary.  They need to think bigger than you do for you to be challenged.  Find them and learn the magic of thinking big. Too often we limit ourselves to what we can physically see, touch, or feel.  Don’t trust that alone.  Allow yourself to think outside the comfort zone.
  • Once you challenge your thinking, be willing to step OUTSIDE your comfort zone.  Do things that stretch you as a person and as a professional. If you fear public speaking, take a speaking assignment.  If you are afraid of delegating to others, force yourself to delegate and empower people.  Face what you fear. Greatness is outside of the comfort zone.
  • Find that thing to do in life that you would do even if you had to do it for free.  That is magical and transforms us.  It is like an engine that is running on all cylinders and has great horse power because it is finely tuned. If you don’t find your passion, you will never find your dream.

I hope that you drive from survive to thrive. The time we have on this earth is very short.  Don’t waste it doing something you hate. Don’t settle for a paycheck. Find your dream! Be a world changer!


Dan Skognes

The Key

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

The Key dan skognes motivation blogger speaker author trainer coach consultant

This may be the most important blog I have written, and could very well be the most important blog you ever read.  That is quite a claim, right?  But I am very serious. If I could give you the key to unlock your potential, your destiny, your peace, your joy, your contentment, your love, your very life….you would want to know where that key is and how fast can you get it…right?  Well, I am giving it to you. No strings attached.

What keeps people from having the things I listed above? It is simple when you understand this and profound when you impart it. Forgiveness.  That is the key to unlocking everything. Think about it.  How can you have all that you want and hold on to past hurts?  It is like having the motor open full throttle on a great speed boat, but it is anchored to the dock (your past hurts). It is not going to go anywhere is it?

Real living is forgiving. Real living is FOR GIVING. Do you see that?  Do you get that? OK, you say you understand the need to forgive, and you DO forgive people regularly, BUT…..”I will NEVER forget it!” Or….”I will forgive them, BUT….(you fill in the blank).  It there is a BUT, you have not forgiven them.

You want to know how you have really forgiven someone?

  • You are willing forgive them verbally whether they ask for it or not.
  • You consciously refuse to bring it up to them or to others again.
  • You ask God to bless them! (and MEAN it!)
  • You are willing to re-establish fellowship with them. (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)

I thought I had the concept of forgiveness down. The first two things in the list are hard enough, but moving down to where you will bless them….that took some time and effort on my part…and to actually mean it.  But the last one was the one that made me realize all the people I had really NOT forgiven.  Mentally, I had made the conscious decision to forgive them, but emotionally the wound was still bare and I just did not want to risk being hurt by them anymore.  If you don’t forgive people in your head AND your heart, you are only fooling yourself.

Please don’t take this to the extreme and twist what I am saying. Obviously if someone is in an abusive relationship I am not suggesting they go back to that or risk being physically hurt.  However, what I AM suggesting is that if we have truly forgiven someone, we can be in the same room with them and daggers not come out of our eyes when we look at them.  We can treat them with respect, kindness, and love regardless of how they have treated us. We are willing to risk getting hurt again for the sake of relationship. That is the lesson. That is God’s way. People…if we get this…and I mean really get this…it will transform how we look at and how we treat people.  It will also transform our very lives in a positive way. It is the key that unlocks what we have been searching for.

I did not say using the key would be easy, but I can promise you this one thing: God wants us to have it and to use it.  He gave it to us and showed us how to use it through Jesus.  If we don’t use it, then we don’t understand God.  You can’t claim to know God and follow Him if you don’t forgive others when they wrong you. We have to use this key. It is not an option if you want the things that your heart is yearning for.

I have given you the key, so now it is up to you what you do with it.  If you use it, I can promise you this: You will have an understanding of God that is much deeper than it is now, and you will have relationships restored that you thought were dead. If you want your relationship with God to go through the roof, take this concept and do it.  USE THE KEY. Ask God to help you forgive others.  It may begin by just forgiving yourself…and sometimes, as we all know, that can be the hardest person to forgive.


Dan Skognes

My Way or the Highway

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Long RoadAt some point in our lives we have all probably heard those words or at least it was inferred to us.  Perhaps we have used those very words ourselves in letting someone know “how it is going to be.”

Well, what if there is a better way than giving an ultimatum to someone?  What if instead of a “MY way or the highway” mentality, we had a “Not MY way, but a HIGHER way” mentality?  What would that look like?  How would it work?  Is it even possible?

Consider this: when you give someone an ultimatum of your way or the highway, you have closed your options and if there is any resistance, you have lost the race before you got out of the gate.  Some people will just quietly submarine your idea when your back is turned and plead innocence when confronted.  Others will out flat reject your idea right up front.  Who wins in that scenario? Nobody likes being cornered, and the ultimatum should be the very last line of defense….not the first topic of discussion. (I am not talking about dealing with small kids here. I am talking about teens and adults).

What have you got to gain with a “Not MY way, but a HIGHER way” mentality?

  • You realize that YOU might not have all the answers and actually open yourself up to a better idea than you could have come up with yourself.
  • You keep communications open with other people and keep them engaged in finding a mutually agreeable solution. That is actually what you want in the first place….isn’t it?
  • You get out of the mindset that it is all about YOU and what YOU want.  It NEVER is just all about YOU.  It NEVER is….remember that.  You don’t live on an island by yourself more than likely, so it helps to have healthy interaction with those that work for you, work with you, and that you live with. That will only happen if you have open two-way communications that are mutually respectful.
  • The HIGHER way mentality puts other opinions above your own. It puts their needs above your own.  It puts their fears to rest and their minds to work in finding a solution that everyone can live with.
  • The HIGHER way creates teamwork, inspires loyalty, and increases productivity. Ultimatums fuel disappointment, disengagement, resentment, and chaos in the work force.

Next time you get tempted to lay the law down to someone, take a deep breath and ask yourself if there is not a HIGHER way that could be considered.  You might be pleasantly surprised at how people around you respond to that. Whether it is your family at home or your “family” at work, it is worth it to treat them with kindness, respect, and honor. When we as leaders do that for others, that says a lot about our own emotional intelligence…and it reflects on us in a good way. It sets the tone for the organization, and it that starts at the top of a company, it breeds community and a healthy outcome is inevitable.


Dan Skognes

When God Speaks

Posted in Relationships, Spiritual

When God Speaks dan skognes motivation blogger speakerWhen God speaks to you, do you hear His voice?  The Bible says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). Well, how is it then that we sometimes just can’t hear Him? He is always communicating with us, and yet there are times when God appears to be silent. How can that be? Obviously, if God is continually trying to communicate with us then the problem lies within us and not with God.

I think it can be a number of factors that come into play when it comes to hearing or not hearing God:

  • Sometimes, we are so busy talking that we don’t take time to listen.  It is good to get still and be alone to tune in to God. Make time every day for Him. Find a quiet place free from distractions. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
  • Fasting helps to focus your attention. If you can’t seem to hear God, fast and pray….then take time to listen.
  • I have found that God speaks to me in a variety of ways.  He speaks through my family and friends, through the Bible, through strangers, through preachers, through TV and radio, through nature, and constantly through my spirit.  He amazes me at how many different ways He communicates to us. Be open to hearing God in ways you don’t expect.
  • Sometimes God just whispers to us.  If you are not listening carefully, you will miss it. “The Lord said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19: 11-12)
  • If we willfully disobey Him, then we cannot expect to hear Him. “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does His will.” (John 9:31)
  • Praising God is a great way to prepare your heart to hear Him.  Crank it up and sing like you are on American Idol.  Just a word of warning: If you can’t carry a tune, make sure you are alone in your car and have the windows rolled up.  God will still appreciate it, and if you can’t carry a tune, everyone else will appreciate it as well. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” (Psalm 98:4).   :o )

God does not want us to be kept in the dark.  He wants us to have fellowship with Him.  Here is the key:  Don’t wait till you are in a crisis to have fellowship.  You cannot develop relationship with someone if the only time you talk to them is when you are in a crisis.  God wants to talk with you every day. Make the time to commune with your Creator.  He will not intrude on you or your time.  He is there 24/7, 365 days a year. His line is never busy, and He is always happy to hear from you….whether you are talking to Him about your frustrations or about the blessings you have been given.

There was an acronym I heard years ago regarding prayer: A.C.T.S.  A is for adoration. Tell God how much you love Him. C is for confession.  Confess your transgressions and ask for forgiveness. T is for thanksgiving. Thank God for all of the things He has done and is doing for you. And last but not least, S is for supplication.  Bring all your needs to God. He is our provider. Leave your burdens with Him.  He is more than able to bear the load.

Next time you feel like God is not communicating with you, ask yourself what is hindering you from hearing Him. Find a quiet place and open your Bible. Ask God to speak to you. He will because He is faithful. We just have to learn to listen.


Dan Skognes

Pain Points

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Pain Points dan skognes motivation blogger speakerHave you ever noticed that pain gets your attention very quickly?  Whether it is emotional or physical pain you are dealing with, it does not take long for the body to react to it.  I remember dropping a heavy metal door on my big toe as a young man. I thought I was going to pass out from it.  My toenail turned black and eventually fell off.  It was pretty gross.  Fortunately it grew back.

Emotional pain is not quite as easy to fix. The body does not heal itself from emotional pain.  We actually have to do something that can be extremely hard to do when we have been wounded by someone…we have to forgive them. As old as I am you would think I would have it down pat by now and be able to just forgive and forget when someone wounds me.  Funny thing is, I am coming to understand how hard it is to forgive some things….and yet, I know I must.

The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal.  When you are a trusting person you tend to get wounded more easily than someone who is less emotional.  Some folks just shrug it off and move forward.  That is not so easy to do if you are an emotional thinker. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out “Why?” someone would do something like that to you.

Here are some lessons I have learned about dealing with emotional wounds:

  • Quit dwelling on the “Why?”  You will probably never get a satisfactory answer to it, so let it go.  The “Why?” questions will drive you and everyone around you crazy!  Don’t allow that to happen.  Let it go.
  • Learn to forgive those who have offended you even if they never ask for forgiveness or admit fault.  That has great healing power in and of itself.  You may not be able to forget it, but you don’t have to bring it up again…and you don’t have to dwell on it.  Let it go.
  • The secret to knowing you have forgiven someone is when you can actually bless them.  How in the world do you bless someone who has hurt you deeply (whether it was intentional or not)? Here is the secret to the secret. You can’t do it without understanding and accepting God’s grace and love. He gives us the ability to forgive others because He first forgave us.
  • Emotional wounds heal quicker when you surround yourself with people who are grounded spiritually and emotionally.  I love having friends around me who will let me vent, but they don’t let me park there.  It is like being on a highway with a flat.  You know you have to fix it one way or another and move on….or greater damage could result.

When you find yourself wounded, it is always good to take a hard look at your expectations.  Were they realistic?  Do we allow people the freedom to fail?  Do we expect them to be perfect?

Next time you find yourself recovering from an emotional wound, pray about it. Ask God to help you forgive them and then do the unthinkable…..bless them.  There is great freedom in forgiveness and learning to bless the mess.  Let the healing begin.


Dan Skognes


I Call You Friend

Posted in Relationships, Spiritual

David HullYou are very fortunate if you have a friend that sticks with you for life.  Many “friends” have come and gone, but there is one guy in my life that has been a true friend for over 30 years.  He started out as a client of mine when I was in the medical field.  David Hull was the Material Manager of Mary Shiels Hospital in Dallas, and I was calling on him as a salesman for a local medical supplier.

There was something unique about David.  The first time I called on him it was evident that he was different from most of the customers I had called on.  We just clicked.  We talked a lot about things that really mattered and it was pretty much in this order: God, family, life…..and of course, business.

It became evident to us both that we would be friends.  We started grabbing lunch regularly and Big Al’s BBQ became our favorite restaurant.  Tuesday was rib day, and inevitably one of us would call the other to remind them that it was rib day…and Big Al was calling us.

David has taught me several things that are incredibly important in life:

  1. Keep the Lord first and foremost in all you do.  Love Him with all your heart, and trust Him for all you needs. Sometimes we have to be reminded of that.  Thanks for being my reminder, David.
  2. Our God is a God of mercy and grace.  Even when life blows up in our face, He is there with us, and He is for us. Thanks for helping me through the storms I have been through.
  3. Friendship has to be intentional.  If you want relationship with anyone, you have to work it at, appreciate it, and give of yourself unselfishly. Thanks for being intentional and continually sowing into my life.
  4. What we do for a living does not define who we are.  When we fail at something that does not mean we are a failure.  It means we are human. Thanks for the reminder.
  5. When you love someone, if you really love them, it is unconditional and is not affected when life hands you a curve.  David’s love for his wife is so tender and giving.  I know when she had her stoke, it was not what either one of them wanted or expected…but he has stood by her and loved her through it. Thanks for being an example.
  6. David is a prayer warrior.  I have a few of these in my life, but David and I go way back….so he is the chief warrior when I need prayer. I know when he says that he is going to pray for me, it is not lip service. I know is on his knees right then and there lifting me up…and visa-versa if he has a need…I do the same for him. Thanks for having my back.
  7. Friendship is to be cherished.  Life is tough at times and to have someone like David to talk to, pray with, laugh, and cry…that is priceless. Thanks for sharing life with me.

The Bible talks about a friend that sticks closer than a Brother.  That is you, David. I love you and thank God for that divine appointment over 30 years ago. May the Lord bless and keep you.  May His face shine upon you.  May He guide you in all you do, and return to you a thousand-fold the blessings you have been to me.


Dan Skognes

Cheaters Never Win (in the end)

Posted in Motivational

Cheaters Never Win dan skognes keynotepeople motivation blogger speakerA lot of people are sick and tired of hearing about “Deflategate.” What does it matter in the scheme of things that the Patriots let some air out of some footballs?  Does that REALLY matter? If you are a Patriots fan, my apologies for the following expose’.  I know there are die-hard fans. Regardless of what happens, they are going to be fans.  Other people are just sick of hearing about it. I understand that…at least to a point. However, there are lines that should not be crossed and when someone makes the decision to break the rules, there are consequences for their actions. There are always consequences for our decisions, and we don’t get to choose what they are.

Recently it came to light that the Patriots deflated the balls they used to give their team an edge in the game against the Colts. The question is, why?  Did they not have enough confidence that they could beat the other team without stooping to that?  Really? This is not the first time that Bill Belichick, head coach of the Patriots has come under fire for doing something unethical or illegal.

Remember “Spygate” a few years back when the Patriots were caught spying on the Jets. In 2007, the media couldn’t stop talking about “Spygate. ” The New England Patriots were caught illegally taping sideline defensive signals from New York Jets coaches during the teams’ opening week game. It soon became known that that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had engaged in such activity since 2000, and although the league had only expressly clarified the practice as forbidden in a September 2006 memo, the perception still lingers that New England gained an unfair advantage (i.e. cheated) during the first seven seasons of Belichick’s tenure with the team. That period happened to include three Super Bowl championships and five division titles. Imagine that!

Now we have “Deflategate.” They did not have to cheat to win.  They beat the Colts 45 to 7.  Belichick says he did not know about it.  Brady says he did not know about it.  Really?  Are we to believe that someone randomly deflated the game balls in a critical playoff game which gave the Patriots an edge in the inclement weather and the coach and quarterback were clueless about it?  I don’t think so.  Nothing happens like that without the blessings from above…and I don’t mean God.

Troy Aikman was asked if there was any way that they could not have known, and he said, “Brady knew and Belichick should burn.”  Too harsh?  I think not.  This is another black eye for the Patriots and for Roger Goodell. Aikman said that Goodell’s “ignorance is no excuse” reason was used to bury the Saints in 2012 for “Bountygate.” Sean Peyton was suspended from football for a year!

Let’s see if what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Goodell lost a lot of credibility with the bungling of the Ray Rice fiasco.  Now this test has risen to test his moral compass once again.  Talk about being in the hot-seat.  I would not trade places for anything with Roger Goodell.  Let’s hope he does the right thing, and let’s hope that the Patriots learn the lesson that sooner or later your sins will find you out. When you have to cheat to win, what have you really won? Certainly not the respect of anyone. I think we would all like to put this behind us, but how do you do that when someone continually cheats to win? Is this what professional sports has come to?


Dan Skognes

Does Anyone Give A Rip?

Posted in Relationships, Spiritual

Does Anyone Give A Rip dan skognes keynote people motivation blogger speakerI was at a meeting today where they were talking about the silos that exist between the evangelical churches. Martin Luther King said, “The most segregated day of the week is Sunday.”  Wow.  That is pretty sad, isn’t it?

We have churches that are predominantly white, African-American, Asian, Spanish, or one of numerous other ethnic groups. What is going on here? Are the denomination and ethnic differences so great that we can’t worship together?  Is that what the church really looks like? It made me think.  If the Christians can’t communicate, love one another, and start working together as a “body,” what is going to happen to America?

Well, take a look at Europe if you want to see OUR future.  Churches are closing at an alarming rate because nobody is darkening the doors of the churches in Europe.  Add to that fact that right here in America, the millennial generation has by and large written off the church and “religion.” All I can say is, “Houston, we have a problem,” and the problem is religion!

The church as we knew it 20, 30, or 40 years ago is not “relevant” to the younger generation.  They see evangelical Christians as out of touch, biased, narrow-minded, judgmental people that just don’t get it.

Here is the good news.  Some churches are waking up and smelling the coffee.  Movement Day Greater Dallas (which started in New York) is taking the silos down, locking arms with evangelical churches and also with business and political leaders to spread the Gospel and address the social ills that plague our nation.  It is now just about Jesus…and that is the focus.  If you love Jesus, you are my Brother or Sister…period.  How cool is that concept?  Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?  Guess what, the younger generation loves it! They get that!

It should not matter where you live, what you drive, what you do for a living, or the color of your skin.  What matters is, do you love Jesus?  Do you serve Him? That is it, pure and simple.  If you do, we are family.  That freaks a LOT of people out…and I mean people of every color and every denomination!  People say they want equality and unity, but many don’t want to even think about what that looks like or what it might cost THEM. I can see folks rolling over in their graves at the thought.

Well, guess what folks? Heaven is going to be filled with people of all colors, and denominations are not going to matter.  Get over it.  Did they love Jesus?  Was He Lord of their life? That is it!  Those are the only questions that matter.

It is about time that we treat our Christian Brothers and Sisters like family… with love.  We need to be kind, compassionate, respectful, and willing to truly serve one another.  Why is that such a difficult thing to put into practice?  I pray that we will not just be hearers of the Word…but doers.  James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. ” Let’s put our fears and biases aside and love one another just as Christ first loved us. Let’s be intentional.

You want to shake the gates of Hell?  Start doing what the Word of God has commanded us to do.  Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. When we lock arms with other believers (regardless of their denomination or the color of their skin), we will see that we are an army that is unstoppable.  Our mortal enemy will flee before our eyes when we do. I like the thought of that.  How about you?


Dan Skognes


Caught In The Weeds

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Stressed businessman sitting at desk in office being overloadedHave you ever known a visionary person who always seems to be caught up in the weeds, and thus their visions never come to pass or at best are delayed a lot longer than they need to be? Why is it that so many executives get caught in the weeds on a regular basis?  You know what I am referring to, right?  It is when an executive is doing things himself that he should have delegated to one of his managers or subordinates.

This is a big problem for a lot of folks that are in upper management.  When you ask them why they are caught in the weeds, you get answers like:

  • I like keeping on top of things to make sure they get done right.
  • I don’t trust that it will be done in a proper timeframe if I don’t keep tabs on it.
  • Sometimes if you want things done right, you have to do them yourself.

Those all sound good and may have good intentions, but the truth is that fear is the thing that keeps a person in the weeds.  If they can’t trust that the job will get done by someone else, they will constantly find themselves bogged down and doing things that in the end are counter-productive to the organization.

Let me introduce you to the weed whacker.  Every executive needs to understand the value of it and use it regularly.  Here are the benefits of using the weed whacker:

  • When you release yourself from fear, you release yourself and others to become productive.
  • You will be able to concentrate on things you are being paid to do and not saddle yourself with someone else’s job. Why would you want to do a job that someone else is being paid to do? That does not make any sense, does it?
  • You will find that by delegating to others you help them to have greater job satisfaction when they are empowered to make decisions on their own.  Everyone wants to feel valued in their job, but how can they ever feel valued if you are micro-managing them?
  • When you get out of the weeds you will find it a lot easier to soar.  You can’t fly in the weeds.  Getting bogged down in the daily grind will keep you from fulfilling your destiny and cause you great frustration along the way. You fly in the sky…not in the weeds.
  • Failure is to be expected, so don’t have unrealistic expectations of those you delegate to.  Give them guidelines and room to make decisions.  You still hold them accountable and have the mechanism in place to make sure that their decisions are not fatal to the company or to you personally…..but trust them and let them manage. You lead…they manage.

You have to come to the point where you decide to let go of the reins and trust your team.  If you can’t do that, you have two choices. You leave, or they leave.  You can’t have a house divided.  You all have to work together and trust one another or you simply can’t make it in the long run.  Please do everyone a favor and use the weed whacker in your life.  Clear your desk and clear your mind of those things which are not relevant to your job. Learn the power of delegation. Lose the fear and start trusting people. In doing so, you will find the road a lot less bumpy and a lot more rewarding for everyone.


Dan Skognes