Past Articles

Single starfishThe Stranded Starfish has been a passion of mine since December, 2009. The following is an index of past columns, each with a link to the full article.

Title Description
Shared Vocabulary Does your team have simple shared words that represent otherwise complicated concepts?
Martyrdom is Overrated Do you know the heart rate of your team?
Ego Ergo Sum Can you truly be anonymous in your giving?
You don’t say? Do you understand the connotation of some your words you use with your team?
Flag, Forge, Follow-up Is there a good way to capture the knowledge I gain from my reading?
Blue Moon… Are you asking enough questions?
I Love a Good Challenge Is there a right way to challenge your boss?
Hollow Statements Are you giving your team words that mean nothing do to inaction?
What a Coincidence Do you create your own coincidences?
Secret (change) Agent Man Do you know if you are biting off more than you can chew in a new job or is your ego having its way with you?
Mind the Gap Is there really such a thing as “too many notes” in our lives?
The Red Honda Theory Why do I all of a sudden notice something a lot more now than yesterday?
Crossing the Line Why do I need to understand the “bitch line” to maximize my teams’ performance?
It’s like going to Wisconsin What if you are the reason a culture doesn’t improve?
A Wonderfully Simple Principle How do I know if I am in the right job?
Iguanas, Leopards and Humans – Part I How important are first impressions, really?
One in a Million? Was that recent coincidence really that surprising?
The First Laugh is the Deepest Can you explain why something is funny?
Mmmmm, Tacos Do you see others doing the same thing over and over again yet nothing changes – even the results?
Don’t Drop the Baby What separates the masters from the rest of the pack?
Hidden Mickeys Did you ever think deeply about what went into that small favor that someone did for you?
Your Inner Schizophrenic Creative genius or mental illness?
Your Mother Wears Combat Boots How did being the calm one in the argument work out for you?
The Invisible Hand of Motivation Do you really know what is important to each of your employees?
The Audacity of a Magnolia What if your greatest fear was not failure but success?
The Week of Living Consciously Can you give 5 days to living intentionally?
Day 1 – Monday: Story Topping Can’t wait for someone else to finish their boring story so that you can tell yours?
Day 2 – Tuesday: Make the Call What does your phone log say about you and your relationships?
Day 3 – Wednesday: Inopportune Opportunity Did you plan for that coincidence?
Day 4 – Thursday: All You Do Is Crab What if you treated others better than they deserved?
Day 5 – Friday: Mentor, My Mentor Are you up for a mentor or protoge?
Want a Job? What’s the most important thing to know in an interview?
Stuck in the Middle With You Are you under-utilizing the customers that hate your company the most?
What a Waste of Time Where does efficiency lie in a great relationship?
I Was an Accident Is how you see your past keeping you from being your future?
Kill Them With a Performance Review Do you hate your company’s performance review as much as I do?
Stuck in the Middle of the Spin Cycle? What if you weren’t the center of your own universe?
A New Skin The Stranded Starfish gets a new look.
What Do You Do For a Living? How do you answer the question, “What do you do for a living?”
The Fear of Greatness Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination.
Smarter Than The Average Bear Are you rewarding too many of your team members?
The Hallmark Effect Why do we have a special day to appreciate employees?
Just an Average Joe Sometimes you can make a bigger impact on an organization by not being a part of the organization.
Merry Christmas, Steve Gray Can a simple failure to do a favor in the past forever impact the way you react to an opportunity in the future?
For Sufficiently Large Values of 1 Do you have an employee that makes everyone around them better?
It’s Not You, It’s Me – or not What if the performance failure of one of your employees is really your fault?
No Question, It’s Personal Why do we need enemies to rally our troops?
In Memory of a Dear Friend How is it possible that a God who loves us very much would allow someone to take their life at a point that they were starting to reconnect?
Was It Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor? Do you know your quitting point before you even begin the battle?
The Curse of Knowledge Is your intelligence keeping you from the answer?
They Won’t Budge What do you do when your employees are too satisfied with where they are to take the next big step?
Give Me Time To Recognize Your Genius Ever wonder why it took so long for others to get on board with your ideas?
Go Immerse Yourself How can you make the world flatter?
The Challenge of Roosters and Penguins Is it possible to run with someone else’s idea even though you don’t agree?
Three is a Magic Number Is there something better about three people than there is with just two or four?
I Didn’t Know I Knew That When you are asked a critical question, would you sooner trust your genious friend or your first gut instinct?
A Bushel of Corn and a Few Otter Skins Would you treat your team differently if they were all volunteers?
The Illusion of Creative Freedom What if creativitywas about limitations and not about freedom?
For the Love of Kindle Kindle, iPad or book???
Am I Responsible For This Mess? Is asking who is at fault a question about history or the future?
I’m Not Bad – I’m Just Drawn That Way Why there is far more bad behavior from the execs than in the trenches?
The 5 Most Dangerous Questions Has your spouse ever asked you one of these five dangerous questions?
What Sticks? Do you have one of those incidents that everyone seems to remember that you would like them to forget?
Intention Deficit Disorder Ever wrongly project someone’s intentions to describe their actions?
Size Does(n’t) Matter Are you judging your success by your number of reports?
All You Need is… Data Is big data keeping you from finding answer?
Reflections of… All of my columns are the result of someone else’s light.This is a tribute to them.
Have Yourself a Very Tacky Christmas Ever change your mind about a person’s bad actions when you heard why they did it?
I Am Batman Can you make yourself happy just by what you wear?
Hope is More Than a Strategy Ever heard the quote “Hope is not a strategy?”
Oh To Leverage Synergies Why do we even write vision and mission statements anymore?
And Now, the Rest of the Story Do you have enough trust in your team to let them in on the inside story?
Foggy Mountain Breakdown Why does being a leader look so easy when you are second in command?
Heartbreak Hotel Come the day when I decide to leave my job, will anyone be heartbroken?
Bliss Be Damned How can we be comfortable in our ignorance and yet use it to help us grow?
The Best Day of His Life (so far) How can I make someone else’s day special?
Ooh, That Smell What if you had a special place you could go to lift your spirits at work as everyhing else goes to pot?
Dear GI Do you have what it takes to make the sacrifices a soldier does?
Dear Jim What if you got a chance to write the resignation letter you always wanted to write?
Half a Minute Man Is there value in intrigue?
A Nice Game of Chess What do you do if win/win is not possible?
Push Me Pull You What single measure can help you understand if you are successful in your job?
I’m a Big Fat Boogerhead What ever happened to the moderates?
Peace Be With You, Don Hall How do you deal with the loss of a friend that was your nemesis?
Damn Words How is it possible that today can matter when stacked up against all of the incredible successes of your past?
The Little Person Perspective Can you better solve a tough problem by being less of a person?
You Gotta Keep ’em Separated Why do I need to shut-up if I am the one at the board?
I Am the Sandman Is it possible to gain more in another’s eyes by becoming less?
The Story In Our Eyes What if our age were written in a storybook and you couldn’t find yourself in it?
I Double Dog Dare You What if you knew the magic to convincing me of your point?
A Piranha in Your Tank Do you have someone who wants to steal food from the mouths of your children?
Phoning It In Is it possible to have a conference call that doesn’t waste everyone’s time?
“Work From Home” How can you determine if you should have a work from home policy or not?
Let Me Count The Ways Why should I be suspicious of leadership books and articles that have numbers in their title?
Veni Vidi Vici Vito What do you do with the ultra-competitive members of your team?
Unnatural Leadership What is your definition of a leader?
I Knew That What if wisdom isn’t measured by what we know but what we seek?
eMail or eJail Why isn’t anyone reading my emails?
I’m Where?!? Why don’t people understand what I am talking about? I’ve given them all of the details they need.
More is More Is your “more: getting in the way of your “better”?
Squirrel! What if the secret you are waiting for is the one you already know?
A Geekful Thanksgiving What if we had an undo key for life?
Burn Bright, My Friend Why do we notice our shortcomings in others’ successes?
Because I Said So Why do we have a problem with why?
The Insider Do you over-rely on the person with the person that seems to have the pulse of the team?
The Trouble With SMEs Is it possible that knowing too much may make you less likely to get a promotion?
Two Simple Things What if you could improve every single relationship you had with two easy steps?
I Landed Where? What if we really knew the truth about our heroes?
Creating Heroes What if you got to create more heroes in your life?
The Stranded Whale What would you do if they were not starfish on the beach but rather whales?
The Kids’ Table What if what we kept longing for what we had or dreaming of what we want?
Go Surround Yourself With Yourself What if you turned out to be your single biggest influence?
It’s the Time of the Season Why does time seem to pass so quickly as we get older?
I Resolve to Not Resolve Why do most New Year’s resolutions fail and how can you improve the odds?
Selah What if we truly did pause and think about that?
Nice Tool What drives a man to buy an expensive tool when he lacks any real skill?
…and Thanks for All the Fish What if we aren’t all that?
My Biggest Fan What if you really were a fan of someone you know?
The Dream Crusher What if you only did the minimum necessary?
Knot Today What if you had a way to untangle your ball of anxiety?
Quick, Give Me Three… What if you always had three questions at the ready?
Mathematician or Jerk What if we always assumed positive intent?
How Matters What if ‘how’ mattered more than what?
Your Tactics Are All Backfiring What if our attempt to convince others actually makes things worse?
Who Are You? (who who, who who) What if your mental expecatations and givens turned out to be completely wrong?
Breathe In, Breathe Out How is the creation process just like breathing?
Head Full of Doubt What if you purposefully entered the room stupid?
Fail Fast Should Fail Faster Why are so many companies adoptin failing fast when they aren’t equipped to learn?
For the Love of Constraints Instead of thinking outside of the box, what if we made the box smaller?
Let’s Peel That Onion Back What if buzzwords were actually a good tool to use?
How About McDonalds? What if we weren’t afraid to improvise, even recommending a bad idea on purpose?