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This is a word I became familiar with when I spoke to developers for Starbucks.  Our request was that they had to be completely transparent with their costs of building our stores.  Over and over I explained this requirement (65 times to be exact) and amazingly every one of them agreed.  This was actually sort of shocking given the field of construction and the inflated numbers I was used to seeing.  But not one of them blinked at the request.  Not that I fully trusted them, but I was impressed that they so willing agreed to let us have full access to all of their costs. This was in 2008 and since then I had pretty much forgotten the concept.

Then a couple of days ago I was on a call with a group I really care about and they asked me to leave the call so they could discuss something amongst themselves.  Suddenly the word “TRANSPARENCY” loomed large and I instantly realized that the concept means everything to me.   It’s really a core belief I have and I believe that unless you are completely honest not only with your co-workers, but more importantly yourself you are never going to be truly successful at the level you desire.  You may make a lot of money at some time, but long term there will be problems.  And this really applies both personally and professionally.

When you are not authentic you will pay the price eventually.  It may be a slow creep or a huge slap in the face, but it will catch up with you.  Professionally it is a common trait in companies today to not tell the employees anything – assume they are stupid and can’t or won’t be able to contribute anything meaningful.  It is why many companies are in trouble today.  Instead of working together they think they have to make all the decisions without any input. 

If you take the time to listen to others you usually will be amazed.  I know when I was negotiating leases I would listen to what they wanted and in almost all cases, what I was willing to give was probably 70% greater than what they ultimately asked for.  It was quite illuminating.  When I was afraid of what they were going to ask for, they ALWAYS asked for far less.  It was incredible.  All the angst was for nothing.  The negotiations weren’t hard.  They required my attention.  My time to listen to exactly what they wanted and give them what I could.  They were always satisfied with that.  None of them expected the world; they wanted a fair deal.  I can do that.  We can all do that. 

Start listening.  Give people what they want and stop feeling like you need to give them the world.  


I survived 2 days without the internet.  I KNOW!  It was like taking away my breath.  I am even more immersed into the internet than I even realized.  Of course I had my phone so I wasn't disconnected.  But I HATE reading emails on my phone I found.  I like to read and file immediately and doing it on the phone is not impossible, but it's a pain.  I also missed the first day of CreativeLive with Lewis Howes - I had to watch the re-broadcast on my iPhone - I was thrilled I got to see the content, but it is nothing like watching on my 27" iMac Monitor.

BTW, does anyone else run their diagnostics over and over even AFTER Comcast says it's a problem?  It was hilarious.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to make sure I couldn't access the internet.  Interestingly my Vonage (Voice Over IP - it doesn't work without the internet) phone service worked just fine.  That was a new one for me.

I lost service right after I uploaded my novel and advertised my availability.  Was it a message?  Comcast was at my house at 7:30 am Saturday morning and I was able to watch the second day of CreativeLive - In fact I am watching Derek Halpern now ( - he is awesome!  I am so thankful to be connected again.  Instead of taking advantage of my free time, I spent more time trying to fix the internet or worrying about all of the things I couldn't work on because of the outage.  I had in fact wanted to re-do my websites on Thursday - funny huh?  I re-formatted almost 50 posts this afternoon - I hope they are better now and I apologize for the crappy fonts I had.  I made the mistake of copying text from Microsoft Word - don't do that unless you have a button that allows the conversion (which I have now).  Text editors are WAY more important than I ever knew.  I should start sharing some of the tips I've been finding over the past couple of months.  I have been working with Joomla on this site and WordPress on a few others.  So many little details that make a HUGE difference.

It's fall in San Jose - rainy too - here's a recent picture:

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