Words are powerful! It’s part of the reason I love quotes. A big punch of awesome packed into a little sentence. Words are also helpful in determining intent. Much like body language and tone can convey additional meaning, word choice is equally telling. I received an e-mail today that said:

Hello Dave,

Let’s try and connect later today to discuss.


I’m no Sherlock Holmes but I suspect this person has very little intention of trying to connect with me. It’s like Yoda said:

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

Any time I hear someone say they will “try” and do something, my certainty of a desirable outcome drops by at least 50%. In any leadership role, I’ve considered “try,” to be an immediate red flag. I always ask follow up questions:

  • Can you quantify that for me?
  • How committed are you on scale from 1-5?
  • How hard are you going to try?

Furthermore, vague details/timelines are ripe for confusion and dismissal. “Let’s connect later today.” Who’s going to initiate the connection? When is it going to happen: this morning, this afternoon, this evening?  How are we going to connect? Basically, I interpret that sentence to mean: I’m going to have to hunt this person down until we connect.

So, do you and your team use “committed language?” Here was my response to the sender’s e-mail:

Greetings _______,

I’m looking forward to it! I’ll call you at ###-###-####, within 1 hour to set up a time to meet and review the report. Ideally we can find a 2 hour block within the next 24 hours so we can keep the project on track. Looking forward to talking with you shortly.


Who do you think is more committed to meeting and achieving a desirable outcome? Committed language helps you get more done and effectively communicate your intent and tempo.

I hope this helps you Rise Above!



I came across this quote today and had to share it:

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – Willa A. Foster

Man, doesn’t that ring true? Not just quality at work but in every facet of life. I thought about how Willa’s words might apply to various aspects of life: fitness, time with family, hobbies, etc. There are some many priorities competing for our time and attention but which priorities get a “quality commitment” from us? I immediately though about a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty). Every time we grab something to eat, or a cup of coffee, he is glued to his cell phone. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Clash of Clans…the list goes on. What’s his focus and intention during that time? I’ve been there too, guilty of prioritizing electronic communication over REAL communication. But, is that quality time spent? I would say, NO. This is just one example of where our lack of “high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution,” causes us to fall short of the quality we want in our life and relationships. Where are you lacking quality? How can you fix it?

I’m asking myself the same! ;-).