Measuring Success

“Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.” ― Milan KunderaThe Unbearable Lightness of Being

damian-lillard-chandler-parsons-nba-playoffs-houston-rockets-portland-trail-blazers1Today I was helping a friend write a job description, and I encountered the term “measurable.”  It was something her organization was asking for, and while I understood the term and intent, I’m not sure that’s the real answer.

Success isn’t about whether you can have “measurable,” it’s about whether you’re accomplishing anything.  I always substitute the term “goal” for measurable and it changes everything.

A measurable is something you can measure, a goal is something you’ve accomplished.  Too often “measurable” is measuring activity, and not accomplishment. It doesn’t matter if you can supply a score to a basketball game without a hoop, it matters whether you score enough points to win.

That’s what goals are about, not measuring activity but measuring accomplishment.

Who’s Creative?

“But there’s a difference between having artistic interests and being psychotic. That’s more than a fine line of differentiation, and I do see that a bit too much.” – Crispin Glover

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I hear so much about creativity, and I see so little of it.

The world seems to be divided into four groups:

  1. Those who think they’re creative and really aren’t.
  2. Those who really are creative.
  3. Those who think they’re not creative.

You can see my point, perhaps.  I believe God blessed everyone with the ability to be creative in some way, and I think many of the people who think they’re creative really aren’t.  They may be good synthesizers, or good connectors, but they don’t really create.  But if you challenge them on it you’ll be surprised at the vehemence of response!

This is the kind of thing you really only admit to yourself in the dark of night when no one else is around.

My experience is the people who go psycho aren’t the truly creative, but those who think they are but really aren’t.  They’ll go to any length to build an argument about how their creativity is the reason an organization is successful.  They take one crayon from the box and deem that this color is creativity and everything else isn’t.  They’ll pound their square version of creativity into the round hole whatever it takes.  And some of us believe it.

But they’re not the people I really want us to think about.  I’m more interested in the people who think they’re not creative because they don’t understand the universal law. Everyone is creative in their own area in their own way.  Your color is in the crayon box if you’ll just look for it!

I’ve seen a lot of people who misinterpret what creativity is, and continue to believe they’re not, and because that’s their belief they become what they think.  They can’t be creative because everyone has always told them they weren’t, or held them back from playing around, or simply reinforced their belief system.

You, my friend, are creative.  I don’t know in what way, and I don’t know how, but you are. God has blessed us all with creativity, not just a chosen few.  If you don’t give up on it, you’ll find your creativity when the opportunity comes along.  As long as you haven’t shut that door.

The Value Of Never Giving Up

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. – Pele, sort of ok “football” player.


I spent some time at the Oregon coast recently, which brought me to the guy on the skim board, in front of our rental.

He, at least I think it was a he, hard to tell with a wet-suit.  But that’s not the point.

In this shot, it looked like he was trying to become one with the ocean.  He leaned over, studied the water, and then stepped off into the waves.

As much as I’d like to make this a story of overcoming adversity, but it’s not.  Time after time he stepped off and lost the board in the first wave.  Good thing he was wearing a wet-suit.

The remarkable thing to watch was how he never gave up.  Time after time he’d step off, not make it, and do it over.  I found myself really respecting his refusal to give up when I knew many people I know would call him a failure.

The problem with being perfect is that that guy is already taken.  There’s only one perfect person, and I’m ok with that.  For the rest of us, we can only accept it.

So whoever you were out there along the Lincoln City beach, a digital high five from all of the rest of us who understand not giving up and applaud your efforts.

How They Listen

In the end, I don’t care how customers listen SiriusXM. I only care if they listen. And so they want to listen on their phone, they want to listen through their Sonos device. They want to listen on their car radio through satellite delivered. They want to listen through their car radio through plug-in their phone and/or using Bluetooth with their phone, does not matter to me. What matters to me is that they listen and that they pay.”- James E. Meyer, CEO, Sirius/XM

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Why is it we confuse content creation with content distribution?  People not listening to the radio as much as they used to?  That’s a content creation challenge.  People using devices that can’t access your content, that’s a distribution issue.

Most of us in radio don’t differentiate between content creation and content distribution. Here’s the sticky side of that issue: once you start creating content specifically for one kind of distribution channel , your creativity suffers, and there’s less interest in what you’re distributing.

Here’s a theory – always concentrate on content creation first.  Compelling content will always find its way to a distribution channel.  Even if you have a plethora of distribution channels, if what you have on them is “ok” you’re going to fail.  The MacBook Air I’m writing this on has more ability to generate content for different distribution channels than existed 50 years ago.  I can create all of the “new media” choices of digital, audio, video and social.

Still, it’s the dreamer sitting in front of the computer, not Steve Jobs’ invention, that creates the compelling content.  As I mentioned recently, we’re too busy tactically to take the time to dream, which is what creates the compelling content.  Without that dreamer, the distribution doesn’t matter.