You get what you inspect, not what you expect

This is one of the favorite sentence of Kevin Turner, Microsoft COO. And unfortunately, it’s the reality. Due to the law of the path of least resistance, people do not tend to do what is expected, but what is inspected.

Now, there are two ways to approach inspection: coaching and managing. The difference is subtle and critical. Managing is telling people what to do. Coaching is asking people what to do. In the first case, it’s an order. It works well at a certain level and particularly in a military setting. However, orders in the corporate world do not work at all, particularly with millennial.

Keep orders for the military

Orders may work well as well with apprentices, as long as they understand it’s part of the journey and they accept it. Beyond this, giving, or worse barking, orders is a no-no. Coaching may seem to require more work and thinking, but you can look at it from prevention/cure point of view.

If you give and order and this order is not apply, you will need to cure the situation and eventually get rid of the employee, resulting in loss of productivity, energy and money. If you coach, you help the employee/colleague to grow and prevent bad things to happen. You eat healthy to stay fit or you eat junk and get sick. Your choice!

Inspect by coaching

So inspecting by coaching is the way to go. However, coaching may sometimes require tough love and the coach need to move to a mentor position in which he/she gives advice and potentially orders. Coaching is not cajoling. Coaching is helping the other grow by finding the right answer for him or her.

Of course, some people may say that coaching is manipulating, because generally the coach is influencing the coached person. And this is where the fine line is. The coach should not manipulate or influence, otherwise it will rapidly be felt and the coaching will fail. Coaching is not easy but it’s massively rewarding for both parties. It’s definitely a good investment of time and money to get on the bandwagon. I will provide some insights of my coaching practice with my peers in coming posts.

Have a wonderful day and remember, you and yourself are in charge of your present and future!


The one behavior that makes a huge performance difference

Recently published a post entitled The Productivity Secret Behind Bill Gates’s Incredible Success. The title entices you with the idea that Bill’s success is a matter of just a productivity secret, which is, of course, not really true. However, it puts the finger on something that has now been demonstrated numerous times: intensity of focus is a game-changing behavior and increases performance.


For peak performance, the first to get rid of is distraction. Second, you need to concentrate on the one task you have to do. If you’ve ever been totally absorbed in what you do, like coding or painting, or any pleasurable activity, you should have been amazed at how time flies fast and how much you have done. This is the power of dedicating all your energy to one activity and one activity only. Of course our brain and body are multitasking: we breathe without thinking about it, we digest, we do all sorts of things without being conscious about them. However, dedicating our conscious energy to one thing only is what I’m calling monotasking here.


When you are about to do something difficult, you often need to concentrate. This moment of deep thinking allows to focus our mind and energy on what we are about to do. Unfortunately, with all distractions, many people have lost the ability to concentrate and dedicate oneself to deep work. If you are prone to distraction, you may need to start with short period of concentration, like 10 minutes, and increase slowly to be able to sustain an hour or more of deep concentration. Concentration will bring you to the next performance level.

Meditation can help you reach your concentration goal. By bringing back focused monotasking in your daily work, you will soon be amazed at your results!

The only thing you can control is you…

Your Hump Day Success Edge Post #1

Today’s inspiration comes from Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO. During a presentation on Monday, he used this quote: « the only thing you can control is you, the only thing you cannot control is everything else ». When you reflect on this, you realize it’s common sense on one side, but really powerful when you’re interested in learning and growing. Do the Iowa results have an effect on what you do and think? If you’re in politics and your career depends on it, may be. Otherwise? Can you control what Cruz or Clinton will do? Probably not. Even Bill does not control Hillary! Joke aside, focusing on what you can control is the best, if not the only way, of creating a better you.

Of course, you can argue that you can control any kind of machinery, your car or your direct reports, for instance. However, think for a moment. What if something breaks in your machine or car, what if one of your direct reports is sick? Can you still control them? The only thing you can really control is you, you are in charge of your actions and your emotions, and it’s within your power and decision to take control of your actions and emotions. Once you let go what is around you that you have no effect on, you can concentrate on what matters really: becoming a better you, to serve better others!

Your Hump Day Success Edge

You open a newspaper, it’s all about politics, war, and horrors. Between lies from politicians, finance institutions ripping off your savings, and big corporation making billions, it seems the world is going down to the cellar. However, there are millions of individuals who have understood the underlying forces of success, who are living successful lives, and who seem to go through difficulties with ease. This is what I’m interested in. As a successful entrepreneur and professional, I’ve gone through tough days, weeks, months and years, gone through tremendous successes, and leveraged all my experience to continue to strive in whatever I start and do.

I created this blog after the financial crisis of 2008 (if you are still wondering what happened, go and watch The Big Short) because I was fed up of all the negativity that was floating around. Yes, the financial system is rotten. Yes, politicians are corrupted. Yes, we can see the world is killing itself. Or we can be optimistic while not delusional, we can build on positive thoughts and actions, we can put a brick in the wall of the new world. And this is what I want to help people with, through this blog and my new resolution for the year: the hump day success edge.

For non-English natives, hump day is Wednesday. Why hump day? From, hump day comes from « the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through a tough week ». Therefore, the hump day is the best day of the week, because the weekend gets closer. However, I see this has the pinnacle of the week, the day of hope, of maximum energy. And because I want ultimate success, this is the best day to stop for 15 minutes and reflect on our lives, loves and craft. So this year, I will, every Wednesday, write on what can make each of us more successful in every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Simple no non-sense ideas, easy to execute, and game-changing.

Get ready for the Hump Day Success Edge! Live February 3!

How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: 7 Tips for Having More Productive Discussions by HubSpot

In our professional lives, we may not agree every time with others. Sometimes, we may be right, sometime we are wrong. But overall, it’s not because we disagree that we need to be « disagreeable ». This post from HubSpot goes over 7 tips to agree to disagree without being nasty. Those 7 advices are:

  1. Be mindful of your tone. No need to get angry, your ideas can go their own way by respecting other people’s idea. No need to yell or shout, stay courteous.
  2. Don’t use « you » statements. You do not want to judge the person, but to challenge her ideas. No need to point finger at the other party by using « you ».
  3. Avoid filler words or hesitant phrases. In other words: be brief, be bright, be gone!
  4. Do your research. Want to make a point? Facts, facts, facts. Less stories, more tangible facts.
  5. Don’t get personal. As with point number two, don’t point finger, don’t fill pointed finger at. Stay at idea and fact level.
  6. Be mindful of your body language. You mouth say something, but your body may say the opposite. Align yourself mentally and physically.
  7. Know your non-negotiables. Do not compromise on something you truly believe in, it will bite back later.

This may seem common sense to many people, and yes, it is, but common sense is unfortunately lost this days too frequently. So next time, you disagree and want to find the right decision for both parties, have a look at those seven advices and… good luck!


The ideal decision making process

Day 706 This idea is not mine but Andy Groove’s former CEO of Intel. In his book High Output Management, written in the 80’s, he describes how to create a successful organization and goes through all aspects of management and leadership. For a long time, it has been a model and still is in many aspects, whether you are in manufacturing or not. On all the concepts he describes, the decision-making one is so elegant and simple, it’s the best I came to see. It is described through three steps:

  1. Free discussion. This is probably the most important step. All parties that need to come to a decision need to speak up. They need to provide their concerns and ideas. Free speech is essential and everyone needs to go as deep as possible. Nothing should be left on the table. If the ideas exchange is too shallow, the decision risks to be not that well accepted.
  2. Clear decision. Because the discussion has been to the right depth, consensus is reached with the right balance, having heard all parties.
  3. Full support. Once again, because a consensus has been found and a decision made, all parties need to support the action following the decision. If something has not been said, or things have been left on the table because somebody did not spoke up, it may be necessary to go back to the free discussion step. Pay attention though to not end into an analysis-paralysis infinite loop. Trade-offs have to be made sometimes.

The interesting piece about this process is the first step. Free speech is essential, therefore the leader of the discussion has to ensure all parties are heard and has to establish a trust environment. If trust is not present, some persons may not feel right to speak up, they may fear retaliation if they disagree. The leader does not have to impose his/her idea but let all parties to talk. It may end up by a decision that is at the opposite to what the leader of the discussion thought at the beginning. So be it, if it’s the best consensus found.

I am not sure though all companies or group of leaders are ready for this kind of decision-making process. However, to evolve into a growth mindset, this kind of behavior is essential and will contribute to better decision and a more pleasant work environment. Once again, simple, not easy!

La critique est aisée, l’art est difficile

Jour 699 Après les atroces attentats de Paris et Saint-Denis, tout le monde y est allé de son « y’avait qu’à », « fallait qu’on ». Toutes ces personnes avaient sans doute raison. Peu d’entre elles cependant sont à des postes de responsabilité et ont la main sur des actions qui pourraient changer le cours des choses. Etre dans l’opposition est position facile, être au pouvoir l’est moins. Dire ce qu’il faudrait faire, mais n’avoir aucun pouvoir pour le faire est une posture facile. La critique est aisée, paroles, paroles, paroles comme dit la chanson.

Pourtant, s’il en était un qui aurait pu faire acte de contrition, il ne l’a pas fait, ou alors je l’ai manqué. Les excuses sont la première étape de la remise en question, précédent la décision et l’action. Mais l’art de l’action est difficile, celui de la fuite en avant plus simple. On arrive, on fait un beau discours et on s’en va. Alors oui, la critique est aisée, comme celle diffusée par ce billet me direz-vous. C’est avant tout une réflexion sur la parole et le temps perdus à critiquer ou à diffuser des yaka, faucon. Si cela se fait dans le cadre d’une concertation avec ceux qui peuvent agir, alors cette parole est utile. Si c’est simplement pour passer à la télé, alors c’est de la démagogie, comme l’extrême-droite en a l’habitude.

Le choix de celui qui veut diriger sa vie est celui de l’action. La seule critique utile est celle qui permet de modifier l’action entreprise afin de la rendre meilleure et plus efficace. A condition de pouvoir être acteur de cette action. Se focaliser sur ses actions a un effet incroyablement puissant, pas facile à faire, simple à décider.

Keep asking questions

Day 689. Questions are power! Answers are everywhere and can be found easily, everybody can give them. However, asking insightful, meaningful, and precise questions are a wonderful tool to think and solve issues. I love the parallel between a question and a step. You have a path to walk, you can only do this one step at a time. When you have a problem to solve, you can better find the solution by asking one question at a time. Sometimes, it’s just asking yourself a question, not even talking to somebody else. The sole fact of asking questions makes you think deeper.

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions. – Claude Levi-Strauss

Questions open thinking and constructive discussion. Answers ends thinking. This is why it’s so critical to think more about questions than thinking. For each problem you face, take some time to write down questions and prioritize them. While noting down the questions, you can even take some out to keep only the more insightful ones. As for many things in life, more is never better.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. – Voltaire

Look around you, use your experience. The most interesting persons are generally those who ask questions rather than provide answers and show their knowledge. Two questions for you for today:

  1. What did you learn today?
  2. Did you plan and reached your three goals today?

Have a great one!

L’inspiration vient des hommes en noir…

J 674Jour 674. Non, il ne s’agit pas des pasteurs, des croque-morts ou d’autres corporations dont les membres s’habillent de noir, mais bien des All-Blacks, les vainqueurs de la dernière coupe du monde de Rugby. Le 21 septembre dernier, inspiré par le livre de Jeff Sutherland, Scrum, je faisais du Hakka mon billet du jour. Le 1er novembre dernier, Brunot Millot, PDG du groupe Stor sur l’Ile de la Réunion, faisait de ces hommes en noir le thème de son billet pour établir un parallèle audacieux avec le monde (idéal ?) de l’entreprise. Là où je reprenais les 4 caractéristiques du Hakka, telles que définies par Jeff Sutherland :

  1. Intense focalisation sur l’objectif
  2. Collaboration extrême
  3. Faim d’en découdre
  4. Excitation universelle

Bruno Millot définit 10 qualités propres aux All-Blacks et à l’entreprise :

  1. L’humilité
  2. Le respect de l’autre
  3. La solidarité
  4. Un leader exemplaire et décisif
  5. Une culture forte
  6. La volonté de progresser
  7. Le travail
  8. La discipline
  9. Le courage
  10. La stratégie

Je ne peux que souscrire à cette vision et m’en inspirer tous les jours. J’en ajouterai une autre, plus élusive, mais tellement essentielle, qui découle des précédentes : le bonheur ! Car s’il est difficile à définir, impossible à attraper et sans cesse en mouvement, il est la conséquence directe de la mise en application de ces qualités, à laquelle j’en ajoute une qui permet de dormir l’esprit tranquille : le respect des règles (mentionné par Bruno sous la discipline).

La résistance est l’indication de l’importance

Jour 652. Dans « The War of Art », Steven Pressfield parle de la résistance comme étant un indice de ce qui est important. C’est une sensation que tout le monde ressent un jour ou l’autre. On peut appeler ça la peur, le fait est que c’est une sensation très intime qui vous force à ne pas agir. C’est la manifestation de la « petite voix salope » qui vous conseille de ne surtout pas faire ce que vous devez, qui vous trouve toutes les circonstances atténuantes pour ne pas agir. Depuis que je l’ai découverte, cette idée de résistance dirige nombre de mes actions.

En effet, dès que je ressens cette résistance, c’est pour moi une indication d’importance. C’est la chose que je dois faire. Non que je fasse la chose en question immédiatement. Il m’arrive parfois de repousser au lendemain, ce qui, du coup, va me hanter. Et c’est à partir de là que démarre un de mes autres principes d’action, qui est que même une petite action est préférable à une longue réflexion. Là encore, je ne dis pas qu’il ne faut pas réfléchir, mais quand la résistance pointe son nez, c’est que le temps de l’action est arrivé.

La résistance devient donc la manifestation du besoin d’action. Et celle de l’importance de l’action. Importance pour moi directement. Cela peut impliquer d’autres personnes, d’autres actions, mais cela implique surtout une décision ! Mon expérience m’a généralement démontré une chose importante : plus l’action est faite vite, mieux cela est. En effet, dans le cas où la résistance se manifeste fréquemment sur un problème particulier, plus elle a un impact négatif sur votre moral, à l’image de ces gouttes d’eau qui creusent même la roche la plus dure à force de régularité. En agissant, à l’opposé de ce que voudrait la résistance, vous en supprimez l’effet. Cela parait simple, et pourtant, ce n’est pas toujours facile, mais toujours efficace.

La résistance peut donc devenir votre allié. Et quoi de plus gratifiant que de transformer un ennemi en allié. Cela met fin à cette guerre que chacun mène avec soi-même au quotidien. Et cela nous recentre sur ce qui est important pour nous. Mais au final, cela a un effet encore plus important : cela vous permet de réaliser vos rêves et vos objectifs. En acceptant de danser avec la résistance quelques pas de valses, on avance vers le futur que nous souhaitons, tout en vivant au quotidien.