Fear is Running Your Career and Your Company



Your efforts to lead, manage, and sell often fail because of people’s fears. The fear may be disguised as resistance, indecision, lack of creativity, poor communication or reluctance to take responsibility. You can work on the symptoms forever, but the big rewards come from dealing with the fundamental fears we all share.

We promise according to our hopes and
perform according to our fears.

– La Rochefoucauld

I painted a lot of houses when I was a teenager. Each season, when school let out, I had to force myself up the ladder again. I didn’t look down, I maintained a white knuckle grip, I kept as much of my body in contact with the ladder as possible. The occasional trips across a plank between ladders were performed sitting down with one hand on the wall. Every sway and breeze was a stomach churning calamity. Some say acrophobia isn’t a fear of heights but a fear of falling and hitting, but that wasn’t true for me. I didn’t think about falling. My body just hated being up there. Over the course of a few days I got more accustomed to being on the ladder and by the end of the summer I even made a few trips across the plank standing up. The fear never went away. I just managed it better. The next season it would be back, full force.

Why would anyone do that to themselves? Why did I tolerate so much discomfort? Why would I place myself in situations which brought up so much fear? The reason, ironically, was Read the rest of this entry »

Resolution Without Reservations



There is great power in a resolution that has no reservations in it — a strong, persistent, tenacious purpose — which burns all bridges behind it and which clears all obstacles from its path and arrives at its goal, no matter how long it may take, no matter what the sacrifice or the cost.








– Orison Sweet Marden






Free Tools to Make 2014 the Year You Planned

The end of one calendar year and the beginning of the next naturally brings reflections on our progress and plans. Apply scientifically proven methods to your goal setting and New Year’s resolutions with these free tools from Top Executive Coach Tony Mayo.

Here’s hoping that, with these tools and some solid coaching, your New Year is actually new and different. Good luck.

The Bank Account



Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!!


Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over, no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.


There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today. Carpe diem!


–Author Unknown

If you know, click here to tell me.



Michel De Montaigne



No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.






Michel de Montaigne

 French humanist essayist 1533-92





Henry Ford



Henry Ford

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.





Henry Ford, 1863-1947






Embrace the Pain



To live is to suffer.

–The Buddha



But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, there must be a in meaning in suffering. … Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

– Viktor Emil Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning



One always finds one’s burden again. … The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.

One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

–Albert Camus
The Myth of Sisyphus



Growth is a Continual Choice



One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.

Abraham Maslow, psychologist



See also The Way of Transformation on this blog.


Planning from the Future



One of the things I’ve noticed as a characteristic of the great [athletic] coaches, is that they start with their commitment to a result first and then they’ve looked at the circumstances they’ve needed to deal with from the perspective of the result.

The people who did not make it into the league of the great coaches were often just as articulate, just as smart but they were focused on the circumstances they needed to deal with and then they looked at the result from the circumstances.

Werner Erhard in conversation with
John Wooden, Red Auerbach,
George Allen, &  Tim Gallwey



See also Managing Yourself (from the future) with Specific Measurable Results, on this blog.



Simple, Wise Guidance from a Billionaire



This short Chicago Booth Convocation speech by Carlyle Group founder William Conway, MBA ’74, is, like Bill himself, straight-forward, humble, wise, and kind. What a great message for new graduates.





A conversation with executive coaching client Ron Dimon. Part 7



Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastThis latest podcast is part seven of a funny and useful conversation between top executive coach Tony Mayo and his longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with useful ideas in this episode including:

  • Put something “at stake”
    • Power of a public promise
  • Integrity under uncertainty
  • Stop grasping, start gaining
    • The power of “giving up”
  • “Hero Managers” attract unreliable employees
  • Don’t be sorry, be successful
    • Recovering from failure
  • Choose your thoughts

Just click here and either listen through your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.

You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.



Will this year be happy for you? Or even “new”?

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.

–Yogi Berra

Happy New Year!

Or so we have been saying. But will it be happy for you? Will it even be all that new? Or is it just the same stuff on a different date? Is 2012 your future or just a rearranged version of your past?

Try this quick exercise. Pretend it is now January 1, 2013. How are you feeling about 2012? Was it a year of satisfaction or disappointment, growth or decay, health or decline, contribution or frustration? One year from today, what will you wish you had done sooner?

Like most of the people I ask, you have probably retired from the “New Read the rest of this entry »

You can’t manage time, so manage your priorities



The most valuable time management skill is recognizing the important tasks and ignoring the rest. I first observed it early in my consulting career, at Arthur Andersen & Co in New York, after a meeting with my manager and our client, the Vice President of a large energy company. After the client left, my manager and I reviewed the meeting and planned our tasks. I mentioned one of the client’s requests from my notes and asked, “How are we going to do this?” I was shocked by his reply, “Don’t worry about that.”

“What do you mean?” I replied, “He specifically asked us to do that.”

“I know, but trust me, It’ll go away.” He was right. That task was never mentioned again and the client was entirely pleased with our work.

Not taking on everything you could do or want to do is the only way to reserve resources for the key activities.



One Page Business Plan



findAspace.com business planI apologize for the length of this letter/speech/memo/blog post. If I had more time it would have been shorter.

That keen insight into effective writing has been attributed to many great communicators, from Virgil to Voltaire. Respect for the reader’s time requires the writer to carefully pare all but the most essential aspects of the message. Editing has the added benefit of helping the writer clarify and sharpen his or her own thinking. If you cannot express the essentials briefly and accurately your confusion and uncertainty will distract and annoy the reader. To write fewer words, think more.

Physicist Richard Feynman, for example, admitted to a colleague that he did not have an adequate understanding of Quantum ElectroDynamics, despite the fact that he had won the Nobel Prize for inventing it.

Feynman’s criterium for understanding was to express it in a lecture comprehensible by a college freshman.


Your business plan is the document that most deserves intense thought and editing to make it concise, persuasive, and motivating. Everyone in your business needs to Read the rest of this entry »

Classic–and Comic–Resistance to Change


Waterless UrinalMaking change in organizations is central to my work. The nature of organizations, however, is to resist change. That’s why we call them organize-ations, not random-izations or adapt-ations,

One common way for organizations to resist innovation and change is for people to collect evidence that any novel tool or procedure is causing problems–even if the problems predate the change.


Waterless Urinals

Craig Hansen, the Army base’s energy engineering technician, decided to retrofit all 740 of his urinals over the objection of local plumbers. “The plumbers felt that these things were a threat to their livelihood,” Hansen says. “They don’t like change.”

Hansen heard a flood of complaints early on: The urinals stank. They were dirty. Where was the flush handle?

In one building, the complaints were so vociferous that Hansen started an investigation. He found that the bathrooms did indeed stink, but the urinals appeared clean. He suspected there was something else going on and decided a little experiment might flush out the problem. He bought a smoke bomb, lit the fuse, dropped it down the main sewer line, and waited. Hansen observed that the sewer vent outside the building was placed directly in front of the structure’s air intake. Smoke flowed out of the vent and was immediately sucked back into the building. He also found a cracked toilet in the women’s rest room that spewed smoke. The urinals, however, emitted nothing. The cartridges were doing their job.

Hansen concluded that the smell had always been there, but people didn’t have anything to blame it on until the new urinals arrived.


Pissing Match:
Is the World Ready for the Waterless Urinal?
WIRED Magazine

Tony Mayo, Top Executive Coach, is located in Reston, Virginia 20190