Monthly Archives: August 2012

Intercepting Entropy

Max Depree, leadership author and consultant was asked, ‘what is the most difficult thing he had to work on. He replied, “It’s the interception of entropy.”

Entropy is a term from physics that has something to do with the second law of thermodynamics and the availability of energy.   It speaks to the fact that the universe is winding down.

As it relates to people, here’s a loose definition for ‘personal entropy’: everything that is left to itself has a tendency to deteriorate.  Entropy is a great enemy of the human spirit.

In fact, Depree has made a list of the signs that entropy is advancing:


tension in key relationships,

no time for celebration and rituals

confusing heroes and celebrities

a loss of gratitude

a chronic sense of guilt

and a host of others….

The first step to overcoming personal entropy is to be aware that it’s happening, and then to take massive action against the trend in one’s life.

In Charles Duhigg’s best selling The Power of Habit, he says that humans have habits.  They  need better ones.  Organizations have habits, and they too, need better ones.  Our task, says Duhigg, is to identify the habits that we know are sabotaging our lives, and get rid of them.  And then identify the good habits we need and develop them.  Easier said than done but worth taking a shot at. Don’t you agree!!!

Good to Great Friendships

I enjoyed presenting a talk today to a community of people.  I spoke on one of my favourite subjects—choosing friends wisely and carefully. I actually titled the talk “Relational Oxygen’.

Dr. Wilfred Funk, the dictionary publisher, was asked to list the 10 most expressive words in the English language. Here are four that jumped out at me:

The most revered word — mother

The most beautiful word — love

The most bitter word — alone

The warmest word — FRIENDSHIP

I love the story about the boy who called his dad when he was short on cash.

A young man sat down to write a letter to his dad, hoping to shake some cash out of him: “Dear Dad, I’m 100 miles from home, I’m flat broke and I have no friends, what should I do?” The dad wrote back: “Dear son, make some new friends.”

I think some of us need to make new friends. Better, we need to be good friends.

Here’s a great summary of what it means to be not just a good friend, but a great friend.

A true friend is someone who sees you at your worst but never forgets your best.

A true friend is someone who thinks you’re a little bit more wonderful than you really are.

A true friend is someone you can talk with for hours or be with in complete silence.

A true friend is as happy for your success as you are.

A true friend trusts you enough to say what he really means when talking to you.

A true friend doesn’t try to know more, act smarter, power up, or be your constant teacher.

So let’s all go out there and be a great friend.