Category Archives: abc’s of different work

From the book ‘do work different’ – 26 different ways to re-frame, re-think and dare to grow possibilities in business and life that reflect the true you


ABC Resolution: zenith

year end renewal
rising moon or rising sun
dare what’s possible

Haiku for a New Year by C.A. Lee


What if the end were just the beginning?

Zenith synonyms: acme, altitude, apex, apogee, best, capstone, crescendo, crest, critical mass, crown, culmination, elevation, eminence, fastigium, finale, finish, high moon, high noon, meridian, peak, pinnacle, punch line, rise, summit, tiptop, topper, ultimate, upsurge, vertex

Zenith antonyms: beginning, commencement, opening, generate, get going, give birth to, go ahead, impel, inaugurate, initiate, instigate, introduce, launch, lay foundation for, lead, make active, motivate, occasion, open, originate, produce, set about, set in motion, start, trigger, undertake

This alphabet for different work is not linear. Rise to the top circle and round again as A to Z is work continuum. A continuous journey with no beginning and no end, just incremental steps of accomplishment, passion and play. So pause and reflect from letter to letter, then continue on again. This time, this New Year, let the alphabet fold in on itself and reorder your travel with random anticipation and surprise as your guides.

This time, perhaps, jump first to turn on light bulbs of new ideas; be inspired to open your mind to jelly beans full of flavors; allow your think system to figure out how to untether your work and build business elasticity, creating new work places based upon the value of risk; utilize query as a moving sidewalk to help rotate your business kaleidoscope and see fractal patterns that are a new iteration of You and your work. If you dare to do and dare to be you, whatever letter you choose will start your adventure anew.  Here’s to your future of different work!

resolve to: go beyond

ABC Resolution: You


What if doing different meant believing differently in you?

You are a complex entity. You are infinitely capable of doing more than you think and more than anyone else knows. Finding you means shrugging off the limitations put on you by others. Our man-made, artificial environment has disconnected you from your work, your world and yourself. This separation is, by design, meant to keep you humming like a human cog in a great, business machine.

As a machine part, isolation and insulation control you outputs and hinder your ability to tap into your potential. Deep down inside, you are a You, not a Me. Me is inward facing, centered toward self and exclusionary in thought and deed. You is outward facing, inclusive and open for possibility. Understand you are not alone. You are already connected to the universe in ways just being uncovered.

To discover the real You, first un-dull your six senses. Reach out your limbs and brain sensors and feel the energy around you. Start walking a path you never walked before. See different sights. Meet different people. Hear different music. Touch different things. Savor different flavors. Smell different scents. Say different words. Feel different emotions. Think different thoughts.

Bring all of You to work differently – your humanity, passion, intelligence, creativity, emotion, imagination, kindness, potential, value, worth, hopes and dreams.

resolve to: exist in full

ABC Resolution: eX libris

eX libris

What if the book of different work was the book of You?

Pasted on the inside cover of old books was a bookplate, the ex libris, denoting “from the library of…” Bookplates bore this Latin motto and the owner’s name, accompanied by an image of personal significance. More than a stamp of property, the bookplate implied ownership of the knowledge and wisdom within, proudly representing the act of learning.

We have lost this sense of satisfaction in acquiring knowledge rather than just data. Correspondingly, we have lost this same sense of conscious intent for business. We go after degrees rather than education and jobs and careers rather than fulfilling work. No child dreams of growing up to be an employee. They dream of doing meaningful work that has a sense of purpose, accomplishment and earns a living too.

Meaningful work can be found in any number of places and any number of ways. This work can be done by hand, with machines, tools, indoors, outside, as physical labor and mental exercise. Good personal work can be done for someone or oneself, for profit, non-profit or no profit.

To regain the desire and love for work, start understanding your relationship to work. Make a personal bookplate for your library of work. Design your own eX libris honoring the work you have done and want to do. Then create an image that speaks to you. Put this all together for your unique eX Libris and paste it in the front of all your work books.

resolve to: book work




ABC Resolution: waterwheels


What if you could find what you need in the people around you?

A waterwheel is a device that converts the movement of flowing water into energy. Moving water turns the waterwheel via its paddles. Each dip into the flow scoops up water and drops it onto the next. This action causes the paddle to move until, paddle after paddle, the whole wheel continually turns under its own power.

Gears attached to the water wheel convert this movement into energy to make other things go. Older waterwheels powered such things as flour mills. Newer waterwheels, like giant turbines, generate electrical energy to power just about every machine and tool in our businesses, and lives. Workwheels, like waterwheels, are put in motion by dipping into the flowing waters of a business’ people. Once in motion, the work gears convert people power into energy to make all aspects of the business, from small ideas to big organizational systems, go.

Old waterwheels and workwheels alike were location dependent, situated where free-flowing water was accessible. Today’s workwheels have no such dependency. The energy of people can be found flowing everywhere and accessed anytime and anyplace. The frequency of each dip and the paddle’s size and spacing determines the quantity of energy produced. A variable rate, this is the workwheel’s ROE — Return On Energy. The less often you dip into people’s energy, the slower the conversion of their work into power for growth and innovation. For more power, scoop often and scoop deep.

resolve to: dip into the flow

ABC Resolution: value


What if the things you received were the things you really wanted?

Value is your business litmus test. The little strip of paper that changes color, telling you whether what you produce is just for the money or also for the betterment of your customers and compatriots. The good value of your product or service turns your work litmus paper the correct color. This intrinsic worth drives the vision, mission, goals and accomplishments of the business.

The litmus test for value tells you the importance of something other than its price. This test puts quality over quantity, ranks human benefits over human harm and lets you know whether your intentions are good or if you are making money at someone else’ expense. Good-colored value strips add purpose, guide daily decisions toward beneficial and bring principled intent to the organization and its people. Value is a tangible beyond mere money that can be quantified, measured and acted upon.

You need to fix what you do if you can’t find real, true value in the work you produce, whether for the business yourself and, especially, your customers and clients. For real and long-lasting success, make or give something worth the money, something with more than monetary value. If your business litmus paper is the wrong color, it’s time to reassess, re-imagine and redesign. Only good work brings forth the true color of value.

resolve to: add worth

ABC Resolution: untether


What if you could create your own orbit?

An object in motion stays in motion unless another force is applied. A moving object will maintain its motion in an orbit around a larger mass by the pull of gravity from that object and its own velocity and acceleration. The shape and size of the orbit is determined by the proportional masses of each and inversely proportional to the distance between them. By example, Mercury, with a small mass and close to the Sun, has a smaller orbit. Earth, larger and farther away, has a longer, elliptical orbit. Comets are small in mass, but they are under the influence of other masses. Thus, their orbits enter our solar system less frequently.

There is a popular myth that if people untether from the corporate ship, they will drift away like a planet loose from its sun or an astronaut whose umbilical cord has been cut. But the laws of gravity and motion tell us otherwise. In fact, the laws that govern objects in space also apply to business. Understand these forces and you can make them work for you.

To keep customers, employees, colleagues, consultants, investors, et al orbiting the business, a company has the responsibility to create sufficient mass to keep all objects in motion around it. Too much mass and the objects will get too close, crash and burn. Too little mass and objects with greater mass, such as the competition, will pull them away. Generate a good level, and variety, of mass and all objects will travel freely, under their own velocity and acceleration, in appropriate, productive and engaged orbits.

resolve to: leverage gravity


We all orbit our work and business in some manner. In order to physically untether yourself from your corporate planet or ship and successfully create your own orbit, you must be cognizant of how these universal laws of gravity work in a given situation. The first awareness is Continue reading