I Told Him to Get His Head Out of His A**

I was embarrassed when Corey reminded me of some advice I gave him six years ago. My advice was, “I think you should get your head out of your a**.”

He said it was the best advice he’d ever been given.

It took me a moment, but I remembered the conversation on my back deck. He felt buried. Graduation was around the corner.

Things have changed.

Corey graduated, found a great job, married a wonderful woman, and became a father.

Neck deep:

Corey said the advice was a little surprising. He wanted something ‘profound’. But he said it helped him realize that everything was going to be OK. He just needed a chance to breathe.

Maybe you’re neck deep right now.


I coach a leader who wanted my help solving a problem with one of his employees. I looked him in the eye and said, “You’re bigger than this.”

Yes, you have to solve day-to-day problems. But what are you doing to take your leadership to the next level?

The 4 laws of the rope:

#1. Get a view of your current situation. Pull yourself up and look around.

  • Where are you now, compared to where you hoped to be?
  • If things continue as they are, where will you be next week, month, quarter, or year?

#2. Adjust your bearings. With long-term goals in mind, ask:

  • What are your near and middle-term opportunities?
  • What is distracting you from doing what matters most?
  • Where might the current talents and strengths on the team take you?
  • Who might step up, if given the opportunity? 80% ready is ready enough.
  • What tough decision are you putting off?

#3. Lower yourself back down into the weeds and get busy.

#4. Repeat once a week.

Leadership shrinks when all it does is focus on problems.

How might leaders keep one eye on the big picture while dealing with day-to-day challenges?