Kelly Vohs

I continue to bump into people in our organization who want perfection. It’s hard for them to conceptualize the idea of experimenting. Iterating until we get it right.

It's broken today.

It's not their fault, they don't feel safe.

They don't know it is okay to make mistakes.

They don't want to show vulnerability or weakness.

My fault.


The other day I was sitting in my office. It was early. That is when I am the most productive.

I didn't check email. Just took some time to think. Need to do more of that.

I had an idea to put up some reminders where I can't miss them. Important reminders.

“Who did you thank today?” “Who did you help today?”

When I look straight ahead from my desk I am looking at them.

I know I need a little encouragement. A little inspiration. And a lot of help. I think everyone does. Maybe each of us should see how we can do more of that. I'm going to try.

Thought I'd share. Pass it on.

Sometimes life is as simple as making a choice to Be. Not get. Not work on. Not hope for. Not find time for. Simply choosing to be.


My friend recently signed up for an Ironman. The problem is he can’t swim. For him, it’s rooted in a deep fear of drowning. Terrified. Now, this is a no BS, no excuse guy.

He looks his biggest fear in the face and says: ‘Awe, F*ck It’

Because he understands that fear is something that can be controlled.


I'm lucky to interview a lot of people as part of what I do. Great to hear the stories.

One question that I ask of people going into a senior role is:

“We have spent a lot of time understanding the good parts of you. We all have demons. What are the parts of you that you don’t like? What are the worst parts of you?”

A few answers over years: “My addiction to alcohol” “I don’t spend enough time with my kids” “My arrest for barbiturates”


He was at least 6'3”. Maybe 6'5”. Big guy.

You see he was just laid off. He said, quite sincerely, “I understand, it isn't their fault.” Wow. I wish I could tell him the truth. It is someone's fault. Bad decision somewhere and now he's dealing with it.

He works with his hands. He fixes things. Builds things. He has a family. A young family. He wore a suit. He looked good. You see, he was applying for a new job and getting it was important. He has a wife. A little one. He's 12. He wants desperately to take care of them. You can tell he just wants to do what's right. To be a good father. A good husband. A good human. Now he's out of a job. Only for a week but when you live paycheck to paycheck that is real. My gut tells me he doesn't because he lives beneath his means. But maybe not.


Believe. Anyone that has gone through the Q Course (Special Forces Qualification Course) has heard these words: Just don't quit. It was often said in jest but there is a great deal of truth to it. There are so many times when you are cold, wet, tired (emotionally and physically), hungry, injured (emotionally and physically), and filled with self-doubt.


The #Change Process

  1. Understand Reality (Don't Believe Everything You Think)

  2. Identify Key Players

  3. Collaboratively Decide & Gain Buy In

  4. Execute Change

  5. Implement Mechanism To Remain Based In Reality

Rinse. Repeat.

Leaders aren't responsible for all of the answers...only for all of the decisions.

Take initiative. Be bold. Decide. Enter the danger.

Remember, alone is rarely better.

It’s not clear to me why these two traits seem to be hard for leaders to do well. My gut tells me it all circles back to ego.

Just be who you are. All the time. You won’t be perfect. Show your weaknesses.

Don’t play favorites. You will have people you naturally gravitate too but don’t treat them differently as it relates to information, compensation, or anything else.

Maybe you are afraid they will see you for who you really are…well isn’t that a good thing? Are you afraid that they might realize you don’t know everything? Well, you don’t. They know it. You know it. Stop pretending.

You are responsible as the leader but you aren’t responsible for having all the answers. You are only responsible for all of the decisions.


The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. -G.K. Chesterton

Try it another way:

I will not fear what is in front of me because of the love that is behind me.

Make the mission about love, not fear.

Love what you do.

Love who you do it with.

And always put them first.

Continue Mission.