I hear that everyone likes ‘tips’ — I’m not talking about tips in a jar– Tips on how to do anything are supposed to be useful to people. But I’m a little bit anti-tips. Here’s why…

Tips are neat tidy packages of info and real learning doesn’t usually happen that way. Real learning comes from getting messy and going down a few different roads and then coming to a clearing where everything makes sense. I’m also little bit anti- ‘elevator pitch’ for the same reason…I prefer to engage with people in a more real way and that takes just a little more time than a 30 second sound bite.

I know we’re a sound-bite culture, or that’s what we’re told, but really I think we’re all looking for meaning and having things make sense. Tips sound like they make sense, but then there’s that ‘chinese food’ effect of feeling empty after we devour them.

I read a great article in Inc. Magazine last night about getting messy and how all of the ‘being organized’ hype doesn’t really lead to great productivity. I love an article like that because it stands up for the truth instead of going along with popular and conventional wisdom. The truth is that a lot of us have messy desks that help us to get things done — and done well. Of course there are those people who are just great at having a tidy desk and that works for them. But let’s face it, a lot of life is messy and that’s okay too, because the real meat of life isn’t always tidy. I think we know, intuitively, when we need to tidy up our lives and our desks to get more of what we want. And I think being real and talking to another human being in a real conversation leads to a great deal more than a 30 second pitch. Sounds like there’s a tip in there somewhere, right?