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The Tools Don't Matter

coaching leadership Mar 01, 2021

Ken Norton just sent a great newsletter, titled 'The Tools Don't Matter'.

Here's an excerpt:

"if I give you advice, you just might follow it. More to the point, if I engage you in this conversation, I’m lending credence to the misguided belief that PM tools matter MORE than other fuzzier things that truly are important." 

I recall when I started creating a PM training program, I signed up to various PM Slack communities to learn from my customers. 

I found what Ken highlights: Many questions about tools, details, methodologies. Few questions about what really mattered. 

But these downstream decisions emerge from fuzzy things upstream. Things like awareness, clarity, intuition, connection, courage, communication, creativity. 

Fuzziness makes people uncomfortable. 

In my coaching work with leaders, we rarely talk about tools and details. 

We talk about how they work, how they think, what they believe, how they see the world, what is driving their behaviour, how they create. 

We explore their minds and hearts. 

We cast light on things they can't see and shadows they don't want to see. 

As a result, they change. Their thinking changes. Their world changes.

And the tools take care of themselves. 


Ken's newsletter is at


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