Head in the Cloud

Accountability Productivity Transformation


Key Point: We can’t afford to waste time redoing work. I was reminded of this the hard way last Thursday night. The experience negatively impacted my readers, writing partner/editor, company team members, dinner guests, and me. I was very frustrated and this cascaded to my executive assistant and IT support team as well.

I write my blogs in advance of the night Garrett and I review it and schedule publication. We know it’s important to our readers to receive the blog consistently (every Tuesday and Friday like clockwork). Quite a few of our North American readers make it part of their personal routine to read it first thing the morning it’s published. So it’s important not to miss. It usually takes me 1.5 to two hours to write the draft of one blog. This past week, I wrote blog No. 2 of the week on a Tuesday flight to Toronto. After getting the draft done, I saved it on my device, an iPad Pro. I knew I had meetings all day Thursday and a dinner meeting Thursday night, resulting in a very tight timeframe for Garrett and me to review that night before scheduling publication for Friday 5:00 a.m. PST. As soon as my Thursday all-day meeting ended, I grabbed my iPad and expected to pull up my draft, add a few finishing touches, send to Garrett and head out to my dinner. Easy, peasy.

Surprise… All my company email had completely disappeared off my device. My blog, sitting in a draft folder in outlook, was inaccessible. Two hours later, after heroic efforts by my exceptional assistant and a top notch IT teammate, my email was restored. However, the event permanently wiped out my draft blog with zero recovery options. So two hours late for my dinner meeting and having to do a complete rewrite, well frankly, I lost my energy and practical window to create a new blog. Garrett, his ever creative and resourceful self, wisely chose to write an apology blog and attach a helpful article. You know the rest.

With current advanced cloud based networks like Google’s, the process of digital work is changed forever. I’m writing this blog in my Gmail account, and that is now securely stored in the Google cloud. So what happened last Thursday will not happen to me again. I will never press “save” again and store content in a folder held on servers behind a fire wall and/or on any device. With my drafts in Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, etc, my blog will always be available. All I need to do is grab ANY device, log in and my stuff is always there. There is a remote chance that the Google network could go “down,” but if that happened we’d likely be experiencing some catastrophic “world” event in which having access to my data would likely be a secondary priority.

Cloud based storage and fantastic productivity/communication platforms like Google’s G Suite results in the work experience changing for the better, forever. Accessing content from anywhere there is internet access, on any device, at any time, allows us FREEDOM and CHOICE; two huge contributors to personal happiness. And how we work is being transformed as well. Being able to video connect individuals and groups easily, having multiple people from anywhere working on a single version document, resulting in one version of truth, integrating with search, etc. etc; well the possibilities regarding reinventing work are limited only by our imagination. It is very exciting, and possibilities for 10x work improvement are literally endless.

In my new role as Chief Evangelist, my team and I have the unique opportunity to make Google’s G Suite platform available to 5,000 of the best teammates in the world. Thinking about how these superb workers are going to apply this tool set/platform almost makes me giddy with excitement. The key thing to understand is that this initiative includes superb new technology AND is also first and foremost about being able to contribute and create more effectively, individually and collectively. We will also be able to more seamlessly integrate work into the way we want to live today!! This is BIG and it is TRANSFORMATIVE! Lucky us.

Character Moves:

1. Commit to working and creating with the most modern collaboration, communication and innovation tools/platforms/systems available. In today’s work this means your digital device has platforms like Google’s G Suite and applications like Slack, WhatsApp, Linkedin, etc.

2. Recognize and embrace these modern platforms from the perspective of living with more autonomy, unleashing your creativity, connecting better with others and becoming richer in every way. And as I often say: Do it now because you’re worth it.

Clouds in the Triangle,


P.S. if you need any help learning to use these digital tools /platforms find a 9-year-old like my grandson; they are excellent tutors and fun to hang out with too!!!

One Millennial View: As my Dad knows, I often have to push myself to “do it now.” I can be a world-class procrastinator, and sometimes try to convince myself that I’m magically “more effective” if I’m on a tight deadline (probably B.S.). Thankfully, these easily accessible applications play a huge role in my professional and personal life, and despite any challenges that 2017 might bring, it’s incredible what we have access to. What a time. There’s no excuse not to utilize them.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

‘Collabatrust’ & Speed!

Accountability Collaboration Teamwork


Key Point: I promised you ongoing insights regarding how we need to reimagine leadership based on the accelerants and connective tissue driven by exponential technology. My previous blog underscored three big thoughts. So here is another important premise:

Collaboration moves at the speed of trust! In fact, Dov Seidman (Harvard lawyer, CEO of LRN) argues, “trust is the only legal performance-enhancing drug.” People who do not trust each other need all kinds of rules, regulations, contracts, etc. to create a workable platform. On the other hand, when trust in a culture is high, people spend little or no time questioning another’s intent. They start from the premise that people are working for the greater good and purpose (another reminder why having a clear and compelling purpose matters so much). So if accelerants and connectivity is transforming everything, legacy “trust verification systems” rules, inspection, regulations, etc. in organizations must be disrupted too.

If we want to introduce a social platform and tools to drive greater collaboration, we better make sure high levels of trust underscore the ability of people to super collaborate. And the key to building trust is executing what we commit to, guided by very clear and understood values! Both big and little things matter. For example, if a leadership declares a “people first” strategy, the big decisions related to how people are at the front of decisions made establish the foundation of trust. It’s the hundreds of little things, often referred to as “moments of truth,” every day, which confirms trust.

Character Moves:

  1. Evaluate how much you work and live in an environment of total trust.
  2. In a world that is relying more and more on harnessing speed for advantage, what are you doing to create more trust?

“Collabatrust” in the Triangle,


One Millennial View: John Resig of theChive (an extremely successful entertainment site/charity/e-commerce/media outlet), says he only hires people he would like to get a beer with. He prefers that trait over credentials. And he also encourages his team to invite a new employee out each night of the week after they’re welcomed on the team. He says if after the first month, you’re no longer getting invited out, then you’ve done something wrong and you’re probably not a good fit. That method may not work for all companies, but trust me when I say that I can see how that really works for them.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis


Cognitive Diversity and Jumping Off the Log

Collaboration Organizational culture Respect


Key Point: Harnessing cognitive diversity, unleashing creativity and acting on it in the workplace, is every bit as important and transformative as embracing breakthrough digital technology. And as I emphasized in our previous blog, networks and the subsequent connectivity alters everything. So in this context, advanced human networks in organizations need to burst out like festival fireworks. The best organizations are creating new conditions to do that. The following strategic “people tenants” are, in my opinion, vital to open up the gates of those human networks. 

  1. Commitment to cognitive diversity.

I really appreciate the way Facebook embraces diversity. Regina Dugan is a senior executive leading one of Facebook’s most important “big idea” projects. According to a recent Fast Company article, she’s learned that assembling a diverse group of perspectives is essential to the creative process. I totally agree with her following comment:

“The ultimate goal is cognitive diversity, and cognitive diversity is correlated with identity diversity. That means it’s not just about [getting] women in tech. It’s about broad voices, broad representation. But we can’t step away from the idea that in the workplace, diversity also looks like identity diversity. You have to get to the place where you aren’t made comfortable by the fact that everyone is the same, but rather feel inspired by how different we are. We get better problem-solving that way.”

  1. Confidence to create and always ask “what if?”

Imagine an organization where everyone regardless of job description viewed themselves as creators, scientists, artists, and everything in between. Everyday, people would come to “work” bringing a confident “what if?” mindset, zipping past the daily challenges of resistance, self doubt and procrastination with a compelling need to create and continuously reimagine. When we are in the act of moving and building, we flow and generate energy. And when we create, fear and resistance tends to fall away. 

  1. Getting S!#% done by actually jumping.

There’s an old riddle that says, “Three frogs are sitting on a log. One decides to jump off. How many frogs are left?” The correct answer is “three.” One frog decided to jump, but the implication is that the frog never acted on jumping. Winning organizations are not your typical frog. What if the culture of an enterprise expects solid judgment through mindfulness, and values and rewards the jump (regardless of the landing)?

I want to advance our organization through creating and promoting breakthrough collaborative, networked human systems, embracing cognitive diversity, confident creativity and the courage to act. This generates flow and when people and an organization find this movement toward a greater purpose, something magical happens.

Character Moves:

  1. Evaluate yourself and your team on the three elements above. Do you bring your unique cognitive diversity, respectfully seek it in others, confidently create through relentless “what if?” and do you dare to jump off that log?  

Jumping off in the Triangle 


One Millennial View: I seem to hear reason after reason why it’s best to live in a state of discomfort, where cognitive diversity and “what if’s” also exist. It’s not as “safe” or easy, but the worst skydiving story I’ve ever heard is one where someone decided not to jump and safely landed back in the plane. 

– Garrett

All Shook Up!

Accountability Books Transformation


Key Point: “Are things just getting too damned fast and complex?” That’s a question I hear from people everywhere. Combined with the supernova of exploding technology (underpinned by Moore’s Law), increasingly fast-paced globalization (financial goods and services, information, ideas, innovation) and the unprecedented tremors in our planet’s natural system (climate change, bio-diversity loss, deforestation, geochemical flows), we’ve entered into what Pulitzer Prize winner and NYT best selling author, Thomas Friedman, describes as an “age of accelerations.”

These conditions are transforming every aspect of modern life. We all know this to be true at some level, yet to get a comprehensive, systemic overview, I urge all of our readers to read or listen to Friedman’s latest book: Thank You For Being Late. When you read about the transformative examples in each area, it kind of blows your mind. 

Additionally, let’s throw the following important and evolving principle into the mix: Once any object is connected, it fundamentally changes the very nature of that object. In 2016, one of the most widely read books by CEO’s was The Seventh Sense by Joshua Cooper Ramo. After reading it, I understand why. This book argues the premise that the spread of networks and constant, ever-faster connections, is creating a new kind of order everywhere. Today, power includes the paradox of being both more concentrated AND distributed than ever before (for example; Google, Facebook, Twitter).  He contends that individuals, organizations, and nations that can appreciate and master the new-networked order will flourish; those that can’t will flounder.  This author, who is on the Board of Amazon, FedEx, etc. is a highly respected advisor to elite leaders around the world, and he underscores that this is a time calling for “seventh sense” thinking—the ability to discern how things connect to other things in nodes and networks, “to look at any object and see the way in which it is changed by connection forever.”

Character Moves:

  1. Join me on a journey to better understand the implications of leading others and ourselves in this environment of transformative accelerants AND disruptive network connectivity. It requires fundamentally reimagined leadership models, new ways of working/living, and different thinking/acting.  The traditional ideas of “change leadership” are outmoded! Throughout 2017 we will explore and together be pioneers of the “new way.”
  2. If leading CEOs are reading Friedman and Ramo, you may want to as well. I certainly am. 

A changed “object” in The Triangle 


One Millennial View: We Millennials are lucky that we’ve never really existed in a time that wasn’t rapidly changing, and we’ve constantly been adapting to new transformative accelerants as they’ve been introduced to us over the past couple decades. This should make “change” a lot more interesting than intimidating. The principle of connectivity, however, is going to turn things on their head for Millennials as well. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Culture Cast: Unpacking Blogs with Podcasts

Organizational culture Personal leadership Podcast


Key Point: Our readers have a relentless appetite for learning and have made our blog a regular part of their continuous learning journey. We are grateful for that. Over the last few years, podcasts (in addition to blogs), have become a rapidly growing and important channel for personal development and entertainment. Subsequently, we have decided to supplement our regular blogs with our podcasts that further “unpack” subject matters introduced in our blogs. Our thousands of readers have expressed much interest in our blog topics. Ideally, they will feel compelled to become regular podcast listeners as well, where these blog subjects will be thoroughly discussed and explored; what we describe as “unpacking.”

Our podcast is called Culture Cast: Conversations on Leadership. To make the podcast more conversational and engaging, I have invited an experienced leader and strategist, Lynette Turner, to join me as a co-host. Lynette (check her out at lynetteturner.com) is a leadership/culture expert with a superb strategic practice focused on 3 “Cs”: Confident. Collaborative. Contributing. 

My readers know that my principle underpinning is the Character Triangle: Self-Accountability, Respect, and Abundance. With these combined elements as a filter and framework, we jointly feel that we can further engage our listeners in vigorously exploring the broad topics of organization culture and leadership.

The stimulant will come from targeted lornerubis.com blogs that have sparked an additional interest in readers and subsequently inspire podcasts where we will dig deeper and unpack more.

Our promise to you is fresh, hard-hitting, practical insights forming the emerging social technology surrounding culture and leadership.

The available five podcasts represent a draft series. We are learning a lot on this journey of producing and publishing. Each episode runs between 25 and 35 minutes, and like all podcasts, you can listen when and where you like. They are now accessible on iTunes as well.

We would love to hear your feedback on these first five podcasts. Your comments will be used to enhance the content and approach for our official launch in February. These podcasts are for you, and we want you to be part of the success of them. 

Garrett and I will continue to publish blogs Tuesday and Fridays as we have for the past five years. And now, Lynette and I hope that our podcast will add an enjoyable listening adventure for your drive home, workout, or wherever you find some time for your important personal leadership development.

Garrett is somewhat of a podcast junkie and shares his millennial view below.

Character Moves:

  1. Lend an ear to one or all of them and let us know what you think.

Visit the Soundcloud channel here for free and easy access to all five available podcasts.

  1. Send as many comments and suggestions as you want regarding content, timing, ideas and anything else you feel is relevant. We’d like you hear from you.

Podcasts in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: From Joe Rogan’s famed podcast, to multiple others involving business, sports, comedy, politics, crime… You name it. I have taken a deep dive into the podcasting world over the last year (in fact, as much as I love Spotify and listening to music, daily podcasts have more or less replaced my playlists). I’ve listened to the first group of Culture Cast, and can tell that it has the foundation to evolve into another great addition that will compete with my favorites. Listen for yourself.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

The Personal Equity Investment

Accountability Growth mindset Personal leadership


Key Point: What is the most important investment you’ll ever make? It’s not in real estate, the stock market, or any other material matter. Rather, as most of us intuitively know but sometimes need to be reminded, the most important investment is in our personal selves. I call this “Personal Equity.” By focusing on Personal Equity we want to consciously live with meaning, and part of the desired outcome is to minimize an unnecessary accumulation of regrets related to action or inaction. That is the essence of the “self accountability” value I write about and regular readers know it is one of the three key components of The Character Triangle.

After reading a Business Insider article by Rachel Gillette, where she refers to  a national survey about the regrets of a typical American, I was intrigued what people had to say about this issue. The survey found 13 common sources for regret: romance, family, education, career, finance, parenting, health, “other,” friends, spirituality, community, leisure, and self.  I thought I’d share some regret comments from the article just to stimulate your thinking.

The key to personal equity investing is that while we want to fully live with love and meaning, the integrity of our investment must come from ourselves first. This is very different from being “selfish.”  If we do not sufficiently invest in ourselves first, I believe it is very difficult to authentically and generously give to others.  

Self: Nobody is more worthy of love in the entire universe than you. I wish I had reminded myself of that more… I could’ve saved all of that time where I was trying to please someone else… Money you lose you can always make back. But even five minutes of time lost is gone forever.

Romance: I regret that I never fell in love with someone who was in love with me, when that would have been easy for me to do.

 Children: For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to have kids. But in my younger years, I foolishly assumed that unlike certain accomplishments like a career, the marriage and kids thing would just happen.

 Family/Parents: Sometimes, after a setback, I feel the impulse to call her, and in the second or so that it takes for me to realize she isn’t alive to speak to any longer, I realize how much I still need her.

Education: Post-secondary education is a major investment, like buying a house. It shouldn’t be rushed into, but pursued when you are ready and know what you want to do and what you want to get from it. Yes, if I could go back to my youth I would’ve listened to my soul and began writing screenplays. Who knows what kind of treasures I could’ve given the world if only I had listened to my heart instead of everyone else.

Career: I regret not having had the courage to follow my calling. In my early 20s, I was too nervous to give performing arts a try as a profession, although I was very good at it. I love my current job, but if there is anything above it, it would the career I chose not to try.

Finance: Don’t listen to that voice that says: If you quit this job or lose this income you’ll never find another. You will.

Parenting: Since I am very fortunate to have a kind, caring, and forgiving wife for the past 38+ years, our children turned out OK. But, when we look through pictures of those years, there is something noticeably absent… Me.

Mental Health: Much of the regrets that people accumulate are rooted in poor mental health. There are literally millions of people who live with undiagnosed low-level depression that emerges through their 20s and becomes increasingly severe and debilitating in their 30s. For me, this manifested itself in the form of self-medication with drugs and alcohol initially, followed by ill-fitting career choices. Over time, negativity comes to dominate the internal monologue and you begin to despise and short-change yourself. This can lead to many of the inactions that we later regret. Self-doubt is a spiral of inertia and paralysis.

Physical Health: Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

Friendship: Often (the dying) would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

Charity: The time when I chose not to stop and help a stranger who clearly needed it, justifying my decision with the fact that I was already running late and did not want to take the chance that I would be drawn into something time consuming and filled with drama. The brief look that passed between us has stayed with me.

Loneliness: When I was young, I was both very cocky and very insecure. I thought I knew everything and was terrified that I might actually know nothing. So with too many things in my life, I tended to hack away at them in isolation, instead of asking for help from older, more experienced folks.

Travel: My only regret is not traveling before I was 24. Since then I’ve seen an enormous piece of this earth, but 24 was the most formative year of my life specifically because I travelled, and specifically it set the tone for the rest of my life as a traveller. Had I shifted that up I’d be 5 years ahead of where I am now in matters like confidence, experience, and wisdom, really.

Worry: Over and over, as the 1,200 elders in our Cornell Legacy Project reflected on their lives, I heard versions of ‘I would have spent less time worrying’ and ‘I regret that I worried so much about everything.’ Indeed, from the vantage point of late life, many people felt that if given a single ‘do-over’ in life, they would like to have all the time back they spent fretting anxiously about the future.”

Character Moves:

  1. Do you see yourself in any of these regrets? How many regrets related to INACTION would you like to pile up for your old age summary?
  1. Do more, do it now, WORRY LESS. You’re worth itf. Invest in your personal equity makes you richer in every way.

Fewer inaction regrets in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: Goodness! If that wasn’t sobering, you didn’t read it. As Millennials, the last thing we probably think about is giving a synopsis about something we’ve experienced and likely won’t experience again, but as you read above note: What we do matters, and maybe strive for a more uplifting story when Business Insider surveys you one day. Sheesh. 

– Garrett