Not Alone With Zoey Miller

Key Point: I’ve never personally met Zoey Miller, but I like her. She is the main editor of The Babble Out, and describes herself as, “A woman from next door with problems and joys of her everyday life. I know that the more I give, the more I’ll be given, so this blog is firstly for helping more and more people, couples and singles and hopefully it will do good to me, too. We wanted The Babble Out to be different. As such, we don’t talk about problems in general and end up with the most popular answer. Instead, we share our real-life experience, the knowledge we gained and solutions which helped us to make our lives better and happier. We do this even though it may sometimes be hard to read.” 

Miller notes a Fortune magazine figure stating that in 1970,11 percent of people said they were lonely; in 2010 this was 45 percent.

She goes on to say, “I don’t know how this happened, but I want to change it. I’m convinced that solitude is one of the worst feelings in the world. If I can help only one person, then it was worth starting this site.” 

Zoey is an abundant person and her purpose is to change this loneliness trend. She knows giving to others will better her too and understands the value of being real, authentic and vulnerable. Zoey understands how to really help because she’s travelled through her experiences with evolving self-awareness and by extension, well-developed emotional intelligence. 

A recent Zoey blog included a great summary on emotional intelligence (EI). I have blogged about the importance of EI several times. The following includes two elements of emotional intelligence this Babble Out article highlights that I want to emphasize: 

“Controlling Our Emotions:

It is an idea that surprises some of us, but everyone controls their own emotions. How we choose to interpret events decides our emotional reaction to those events.

As an example, let’s say that you’ve worked hard to become very good at making spaghetti sauce, and are proud of this skill. You serve your best effort so far to a group of friends, expecting praise, or at least recognition of this excellent sauce.

But one of your friends makes a suggestion, rather than offering unqualified praise. ‘If you had added just a dash of cayenne and a cup of Chianti, this sauce would be phenomenal.’

You have a choice in how you react, depending entirely upon how you choose to view this suggestion.

My sauce isn’t good enough for them. This will understandably lead to feelings of being rejected or attacked.

They’re trying to help me be even better. This will likely lead to feeling that the friend is on your side, encouraging and helping you.

These would be two very different experiences, based upon the same event. The one that you experience depends entirely on your interpretation. We choose these interpretations every time. Many people choose based upon unthinking habit, others consider the options and make a conscious choice. The ability to intentionally decide how to view events, to steer ourselves toward the most effective emotional reaction, is a valuable skill in improving our EI.

Helping Those Around Us to Re-frame:

The skill of deciding how to view an event before you react emotionally to it is called framing. If you experience a negative emotion, going back to choose a different interpretation of an event in order to experience an emotion that will lead to a more positive outcome is called re-framing… Skill at doing so will enable you to help optimize the outcome for your group, whether that group is a team at work, part of your social circle, your primary emotional relationship, or the Little League team that you’re coaching. It is a skill that can have a positive impact on almost every aspect of your life.”

In my many years as a formal leader in organizations, I’ve come to understand that much of the distracting drama in the work place (and life) stems from the “my sauce not being good enough” response to feedback, and poor skills in knowing how and when to consciously frame or re-frame an event before responding emotionally. 

Character Moves:

  1. Consider joining Zoey Miller in her mission to fight loneliness and feeling like we are isolated. Accessible and responsible sites like Zoey’s help us authentically connect and realize we are far from being alone if we connect as a community.
  1. Please invest in learning more about and practicing the skill of framing and reframing. This ability puts us in control of situations that otherwise control our emotions and us. Consciously practicing and applying these skills develops our emotional intelligence and propels us forward in our relationships (and even being less alone).

Going Zoey in The Triangle,

– Lorne

One Millennial View: Abundant is right! I believe Zoey is a fellow Millennial, and I certainly admire her efforts to start this blog and connect, learn and spread the value of EI. Controlling emotions and re-framing situations is crucial to every element of our personal and professional lives… Before we fire off that Tweet, or clog everyone’s Facebook feed with an emotional opinion, some good, abundant self-control and re-framing is always beneficial. Maybe even read over Zoey’s blog for a refreshing outlook to find some zen.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Brand New Podcast!!

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 5.10.57 PMHey Lorne Rubis blog fans! 

Please enjoy the latest episode of The Culture Cast podcast to help you get you in the best mindset to start off the week! 

It will be available on SoundCloud and iTunes as well! 

Have a great week, 


Be Exponential and Ignite an MTP

Key Point: Todays leading and often disruptive organizations have a Massive Transformative Purpose or MTP! They are indeed exponential organizations. The term “Exponential Organization” was first introduced and defined in 2014 by Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone and Yuri van Geest in their book Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, Cheaper Than Yours (and What to Do About It). They define it as:

“An Exponential Organization is one whose impact (or output) is disproportionally large—at least 10x larger—compared to its peers because of the use of new organizational techniques that leverage accelerating technologies.”

Some real examples of Exponential Organizations that have successfully increased their results, at least 10x with respect to their competitors or other reference companies are: Google, Valve, Github, Netflix, Tesla, Airbnb, Uber, etc. These companies have not only achieved unbelievable growth ratios, they are also transforming the industries in which they are positioned and are forcing their competitors to completely reinvent themselves. Every industry is vulnerable. Look out, banks! And as a leader in one, I feel this sense of incredible responsibility and urgency to become part of an Exponential Organization than to be replaced by one. 

So what kind of leadership is required in these types of companies? According to the authors, one needs to embrace all the classic and expected elements we’ve learned about leadership to date, plus the following traits:

  1. “Be a visionary customer advocate; become totally involved in every aspect of the customer experience.
  1. Be a data driven experimentalist; apply the lean startup approach to everything and use of data to create order out high-speed chaos.
  1. Be an optimistic realist: Recognize that most people find transformation disconcerting, and build confidence through recognizing reality with optimism.
  1. Be extremely adaptable; you better be continuously reinventing yourself as a leader. You first, before anyone else. 
  1. Be radically open; invite channels of transparency and openness to and from everywhere. Learn how to differentiate important signals from noise.
  1. Be hyper-confident; have the courage to always do what you believe is the best for the organization over oneself; must be willing to be fired, have the ability to disrupt yourself and the organization continuously.”

Character Moves:

  1. Learn about Exponential Organizations (ExOs), study what they do, how they did it and how it might apply to you personally. Both mature companies and startups are capable of being ExO disrupters! Everything is a process, including becoming an ExO! 
  1. Explore the behaviors underlying the six leadership traits above. Learn about the leaders of these ExO companies. They have a personal leadership process too. What is it? And, know they can’t do it alone! 
  1. Learn about the craft of developing an MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose). It is much more than a vision and simple mission. It’s bigger than an audacious goal.

Exponential in The Triangle,

– Lorne

One Millennial View: I love the Gary Vaynerchuk quote that says, “The thought, and nature of people saying, ‘Well America is an entrepreneurial paradise,’ is the same conversation that’s happening within America of like, ‘to be great in tech, you need to be in San Francisco.’ And let me just remind everybody, that Facebook was invented in Boston.” It’s common for kids to grow up wanting to be superstars on an athletic field. Those dreams can die with an injury, or the inability to sink a basketball shot. But who really says you can’t make up your own rules and your own scoreboard to win big in your own industry? That seems like a playbook everyone has access to at least open.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Simply Complex

Key Point: Recently, there has been much political rhetoric suggesting that going backwards will somehow help us go forward; well I’m sorry to upset your rice bowl, but we can’t. Yes, nationalistic platforms like Brexit or “Make America Great Again” may rally an emotional response and outcome. However, it is impossible to go back to the romantic notions that baby boomers and others remember of the 50’s/60’s or other decades. Why? We are becoming even more global whether we like it or not, AND borders cannot effectively stymie the flow of information even though some dictatorships try. According to recent NYT article, “the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy. It’s estimated that one-fifth of jobs here are now tied to international trade. Moreover, many of the world’s major challenges — climate change, instability in financial markets, food and water insecurity, infectious diseases, migration, war and terrorism — are complex, interdependent and borderless. And with 40 million foreign-born residents, the United States is itself a global society with deep emotional ties to many nations and cultures.”

Organizations around the world are microcosms of this increasingly connected global world. Turn on CNN and watch for just a few minutes. There is so much work we still need to do regarding more respectfully understanding each other. It makes me wonder how we can do a better job in organizations to appreciate the full global diversification that define the full fabric and rich tapestry of our work cultures today. If we do not better understand the world around us, and it’s many perspectives, how can we lead ourselves and companies accordingly? Quickly test yourself on the following:

1. In which of these countries is a majority of the population Muslim?

a) South Africa

b) Armenia

c) India

d) Indonesia

2. Which language is spoken by the most people in the world as their primary language?

a) Russian

b) Mandarin Chinese

c) English

d) Arabic

3. Which country is the largest trading partner of the United States, based on the total dollar value of goods and services?

a) Canada

b) China

c) Mexico

d) Saudi Arabia

4. Approximately what percentage of the United States federal budget is spent on foreign aid?

a) 1 percent

b) 5 percent

c) 12 percent

d) 30 percent

e) 40 percent

5. Which countries is the United States bound by treaty to protect if they are attacked?

a) Canada

b) China

c) Japan

d) Mexico

e) North Korea

f) Russia

g) South Korea

h) Turkey

6. True or False: Over the past five years, the number of Mexicans leaving the United States and returning to Mexico has been greater than the number of Mexicans entering the United States.

*Answers, with percentage of respondents who gave the correct answer.

1. d (29 percent)

2. b (49 percent)

3. a (10 percent)

4. a (12 percent)

5. a (47 percent), c (28 percent), g (34 percent), h (14 percent)

6. True (34 percent)

The above quiz, which appeared in the same NYT article noted above, is obviously presented through an American lens. However, the message applies to all of us. And as noted in the wrap up of the editorial: “The world has changed in such profound ways that developing an understanding of complexity is paramount. Whatever the policy, the idea that things are simple, or black and white, and we can’t put a blanket on them and feel that it’s going to have the desired impact — that idea can become very dangerous.”

Character Moves:

  1. How much do you know about the various cultures and viewpoints in your organization? Get engaged and regularly put yourself in the shoes of someone or group who is different than you. This ranges from small gestures like eating the food of other nationalities, to participating in more advanced initiatives to build understanding. One thing for sure, the narrower or more homogeneous the lens we look through, the less likely will we be able to innovate and solve complex problems. We do need common values around treating each other with love and respect AND the richness of embracing diverse ideas and viewpoints that evolve from our global community. 
  1. Ask yourself “why?” if you scored poorly on the above quiz. (Even if you’re not American, I believe you and I should score 100 percent). Frankly I believe every elementary school child should know the answers to these kinds of questions. How can you and I participate in a conversation solving complex issues if we don’t know what’s going on globally and know how to determine the real facts versus “fake news.” To be an effective leader today, we need to be proactively holonic: Global and local at the same time! Acting on this paradox leads to better organizations and I believe, ultimately a more respectfully connected and advanced world.

Simply complex in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: This sure is a complex issue! I’ve never been accused of having all the answers, and I certainly won’t pretend to. We ideally all have a pretty good grasp on what’s right, and what’s wrong, and it’s up to us to uphold the great values we’ve hopefully been taught. As Millennials, sometimes we take all our information from headlines or 140 characters, then follow a crowd to selfishly go to the “like farm,” where we get 100+ approval notices on social media. That’s no way to live either. Research, be smart, and stay educated… As a trained journalist, I know there is a ton of “fake news” out there, and we have to have the diligence and patience to filter and be better than that.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Lorne Rubis

Lorne Rubis

The constant in Lorne’s diverse career is his ability to successfully lead organizations through significant change. At US West, where he served as a Vice President / Company Officer, Lorne was one of only seven direct reports ...
Read more about Lorne Rubis


Revolutionizing Relationships - with Trevor Crow radio host, 3/27/2012

Mind Your Own Business Radio - with Debi Davis, WLOB 1310 AM, 3/10/12

Paul Miller Morning Show, WPHM-AM, 12/5/11

Dr. Alvin Jones Show, WHFS-AM, 12/1/11

Kathryn Zox Show, VoiceAmerica Network interview


The Character Triangle Companion


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The Character Triangle

Character Triangle Book CoverBuild Character, Have an Impact, and Inspire Others


hudson-news-character-triangle-bookAlso available at all Hudson News Bookstores in major U.S. airports.



Character Triangle

Our character is exclusively ours. We define it by how we think and what we do. I believe that acting with Character is driven by what I call the Character Triangle.

What, exactly, is the Character Triangle (CT)?

The CT describes and emphasizes three distinct but interdependent values:

Be Accountable: first person action to make things better, avoiding blame.
Be Respectful: being present, listening, looking again, focusing on the process.
Be Abundant: generous in spirit, moving forward, minimizing the lack of.

Read more about the Character Triangle


Be Accountable

Be Respectful

Be Abundant

Free Resources


The Character Triangle Companion Worksheet

NEW! The Character Triangle Companion Worksheet – Google Docs Version 


Revolutionizing Relationships – with Trevor Crow radio host, 3/27/2012

Mind Your Own Business Radio – with Debi Davis, WLOB 1310 AM, 3/10/12 radio interview of Lorne Rubis

Paul Miller Morning Show, WPHM-AM, 12/5/11 radio interview of Lorne Rubis

Dr. Alvin Jones Show, WHFS-AM, 12/1/11 radio interview of Lorne Rubis

Kathryn Zox Show, VoiceAmerica Network interview of Lorne Rubis



Take Responsibility For Yourself; Others Will Follow

Use the Character Triangle to inspire your team

Leadership Excellence articlein the January 2012 issue

Mercer Island author inspires others with ‘Character Triangle’

Problem Solving STP Model – click to download (304KB pdf) 



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