Friday, August 06, 2010

We're Moving!

After 6 years at this location, You Already Know This Stuff has a new home!

We've done our first actual branding campaign and have moved platforms, so this blog will be continuing, but just at another location.

So check us out at

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting here. Hard to believe it's been 6 years!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happiness is a Summer Morning in North Dakota!


Sometimes it's just the smallest things that make me happy.

I was taking out the recycling this morning in my jammies (well, the shorts and T-shirt I slept in, which were OK for public, at least in my neighborhood early in the morning, or so I say!) and it occurred to me how happy I was in that moment.

As I loaded up the glass, newspaper and plastic bottles (I know, I'm working on eliminating those bottles, too!), I looked at the eastern sky with the sun coming up and the dew on the grass and the birds chirping away and in that moment, it just didn't seem like life could get much better.

And I noticed that feeling.

That's the key.

Are you aware in any given moment exactly how you are feeling? Do you ever just check in at random times to see?

I wonder what we would notice if we did that more often. What do you think you'd find? More moments of happiness or more moments of frustration, anger, upset, stress?

I found this on a blog this morning (the same place I found the photo above). Makes you think.When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life.

When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when i grew up.
I wrote down "happy."
They told me I didn't understand the assignment
and I told them they didn't understand life.

What are "they" telling you that just doesn't matter anymore? Who are "THEY" anyway?

Feel happy today. Remember what that feels like and recreate it. Anytime. Anyplace.

I know you can do it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Want Something New

OK, I admit it, I'm typically an early adopter. When something new comes out, I want to be one of the first to get it. Whether that's a new book or a new gadget, I want to be a trendsetter.

However, I've begun to rethink that trend, most recently with the launch of the iPad (which I don't have).

I wasn't on the whole iPod kick because when I went to buy my first MP3 player a few years ago, the person at Best Buy told me to avoid Apple products because they suck you in with all the gadgets and upgrades that get you to be dependent upon Apple for the monopoly. Without really thinking about it, I bought an iRiver instead.

So I've been pondering now my decisions over the past few years, and wondering if the decisions have really been mine or if I've actually succumbed to the crowd mentality.

I got the Kindle when Oprah told me to (and I find that I usually do what Oprah tells me) which was good (I do like it), but not so good when, just a couple of months later, Amazon updated and upgraded the Kindle, giving it more bells and whistles for a lower price.

If I'd waited, I maybe could have had a better deal. But I would have missed taking 3 big novels on vacation with me to Hawaii. Sitting on a plane or on a beach with a novel isn't as convenient as the Kindle. And I would have missed the opportunity to be the first of my friends with this new toy.

But the more I think about the reasons for wanting something new, I find most of the time it's because of my desire to provide new information and new learning. I can't help it ... every time I learn something or hear something new, I think about how I can share it with others.

The interesting thing I'm learning is that it's not the new stuff I'm interested in as I think about information; it's actually the old stuff that's the good stuff. My favorite book, Think and Grow Rich, was published in 1937 after 20+ years of research. Nothing new about that. It's the application of that "old" information that feels new to me.

Being an early adopter when it comes to "stuff" isn't as appealing to me as it once was. That's what awareness provides.

But that doesn't mean I'm not eyeing the next generation iPad!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Perfect Sense

I used to want everything I said to make perfect sense to someone else, because I was looking for praise. Awards. Fame. Acceptance.

Really, that's what it came down to. Acceptance. The external "rewards" of making perfect sense, whether on the basketball floor or in a college class or in a corporate job meant I might be OK ... I might not be a freak or a weirdo or abnormal.

So striving for perfect sense made, well, perfect sense.

But as I grow in my own self-awareness, I realize that I don't really want to make "perfect sense." After all, there is no such thing as perfect, which I didn't realize growing up. Perfectionism is a curse until you become aware of what's actually behind the persona of perfectionism: a longing for acceptance, in my case.

I always had crazy, wacky, out-there ideas. As far back as I can remember, I was asking questions no one else was, and wondering why they all "got it" when I wanted more information. Eventually I learned to stop questioning and follow the crowd so I could fit in, as much as a 5'4" 10-year-old can fit in. I wanted desperately to have some companionship with my wacky thought patterns, but since I didn't feel I could share them for fear I'd be chastised, I took what I could get.

How I longed to make "perfect sense" to someone!

And now, many years (and quite a few more inches in height) later, I find that I really don't want to make perfect sense at all. In fact, I want to invite dialogue, which means we all get to learn from each other while asking questions that may challenge that "perfect sense" sense. When all the players in a dialogue feel refreshed and enlivened, that's my definition of a good day's work.

Are you looking for someone to share ideas, brainstorms, dreams, goals with? Are you looking to get some traction toward action? Contact me and let's put our heads together.

You never know when we might discover and create our own "perfect sense."

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

What Does It Take to Start a Movement?

I saw this video (below) on TED, thanks to Debby McKinney on Facebook, and it's really gotten me thinking.

We are so high on leadership these days - and we really need to be. After all, it's enlightened leadership that leads to enlightened results in all areas: business, education, government, churches/spiritual centers.

But what if leaders didn't have followers? Would they still be leaders? Part of me says yes, of course; leadership is a way of being. But maybe it's not the initial leader, but that first follower who has the most impact.

It takes courage - guts, really - to be the first one, the trailblazer. But really, if you're just BEING a leader, does it matter if anyone follows? Perhaps the real courage comes from being that first person to make a decision to follow someone else.

So, when does a pair become a movement? And when does a movement become a mindless mob? One of my mentors says that if you see a crowd of people going in one direction, turn and go the opposite way. If you're following the crowd, you may not be thinking for yourself.

So, what becomes of the collective consciousness that acts in positive, enlightened ways? Is that a possibility? That all who are following are not simply mindless, but have made an informed decision and are following by leading the next person? I believe so. That's what we can learn from this short video from TED.

So have the guts to follow someone you believe in. Or be the lone nut. Either way, you have the potential to change the world!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Awareness: The Pause That Refreshes

I'm thinking this morning about why it seems the people who are already the most aware are the ones who keep learning and growing and those who seem to "need it" the most are those who remain in the dark.

I hear stories all the time about other people who appear to be really lacking in areas like communication skills, compassion, empathy, respect, understanding. Rarely do we have conversations which involve ourselves and the lessons we can take from those others who seem to monopolize many of our waking hours (and sometimes even our restless sleeping hours).

In Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote about those others in the section about "First Who, Then What" when he said that leaders in organizations spend most of their time dealing with people who maybe shouldn't even be on the bus, instead of concentrating on first getting the people off the bus who shouldn't be there, then getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats. Only then should the bus driver decide where to go (not sure I agree with the order of that comment, but that's neither here nor there).

He said that often leaders are spending way more time on the people who probably shouldn't even be on the bus in the first place, thereby neglecting those champions who aren't really getting much positive attention.

Here's another way to explain that. The percentages may be different for different organizations, but let's assume there is 10% of an organization's employees who are wildly loyal and would do anything for the organization, 10% of an organization's employees who can never be pleased no matter what, and 80% of the employees who lie somewhere in the middle and can be swayed either way.

What happens most of the time is that the attention of the managers and supervisors goes to the bottom 10%, or those people who will never come around anyway. So where the attention goes, there goes the 80%. Instead, wouldn't it make more sense to spend more time rewarding and appreciating the behavior we want to attract the 80% in that direction?

This probably comes from our conditioning as little kids. We hear "NO" far more often than we hear "YES" growing up, so it would stand to reason that we spend more time trying to get others to agree with us than we do with those who already do.

Sometimes just coming to a new awareness is what it takes to get us to see things differently. And it seems those new "aha"s are most sustainable when we come to them on our own, instead of when we are pushed or coerced or forced to take them from others, especially others in authority.

So today, just notice something that frustrates or upsets you and pause. Take a deep breath and try to understand why you are upset. What is the message for you in that upset? If that something is actually someone, is there a chance for a different conversation? Might you ask a question instead of give a command? Maybe there's a way to use the three magic words in a conversation: "Help me understand."

Of course, the key is that you recognize the upset. We really do train people how to treat us by the way we show up. If people are giving you clues through their body language, that's probably the best information you can get, since 55% of communication is visual.

The only person you can change is you. But first you have to be aware.


Would you like some help recognizing what's working and what's not working in your organization as far as interpersonal relationships and communication goes? Check out our website at for contact information. We'd love to be your partner in effectiveness!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Chain Reaction ... or Change Reaction?

I had forgotten for a while how much I love blogging, but was reminded of it this morning.

I just re-read a comment to my post here last week from a new blogging buddy, Lou Ann Bennett.

She said in reading my post I had inspired a "change reaction" in her.

I LOVE THAT! Not a chain reaction, which we tend to assume is a negative thing, but a "change reaction" which allowed something positive to happen. I suppose, in the terms we use here in the Fargo Master Mind community, that could be a response rather than a reaction, but maybe we can use it "change reaction" instead of "transformative response" (which sounds kind of stuffy!).

Thanks for that creative insight, Lou Ann. I'm going to use that in my thinking and speaking about change and transformation.

See, isn't blogging wonderful??

The Whack-A-Mole Philosophy

You're familiar with the Whack-A-Mole game, right? This is where you get the hammer out and as a mole pops up, you whack it down, only to find another one popping up from another hole. The idea is to stay ahead of the moles with your trusty hammer.

This is such a great analogy for the way I've been running my business. Well, maybe it's not the most effective analogy, but it is pretty familiar. And since this is my blog and I get to write whatever I want to, I am going to come clean. I'm tired of whacking moles.

I have a master's degree in business management, but I earned that degree while still holding a W-2. It was great and valuable information, but at the time, it was theory. It wouldn't be another three years before I actually left the security of a full-time job that I would have been able to use that valuable information and, pure and simple: I didn't think about all that when I left.

I would never suggest that anyone do what I did when leaving a corporate job. In fact, I'm not even suggesting that anyone do what I did. Corporate jobs are fantastic - and we need fantastic people working there (this is why I created the company I created: to help superstars stay in organizations).

What I know now, five years after creating Bock's Office Transformational Consulting, is that there is no such thing as a solo venture. Or at least not a solo venture that is wildly successful. Even if an organization remains a sole proprietorship in design, there are still many, many people helping, supporting, and applauding.

But what I've noticed for myself is that I've been doing things that are essentially ineffective for the health, vitality and growth of my business. I've been whacking moles.

How has that been working? Why would I think that moles need to be whacked anyway? Maybe the moles need some TLC. Maybe they want to be invited into some dialogue. Maybe they are really just trying to help. Maybe they are reminding me that they need some attention.

So I've taken the first step to getting out of this mole-whacking mentality: I've contacted a virtual assistant who I anticipate will be able to help me organize the moles.

This is a big step. Insight without action makes no difference and, in my experience, lots of insight without lots of action makes for many more moles.

So I'll keep you posted. Stay tuned to hear about the mole updates and also my experience with Sheryl, the VA.

I plan to have lots to share!