news2use | December 2023

There was a teacher who had dedicated his life to the pursuit of learning. He had many students, each with their own unique strengths and talents. The teacher knew he wouldn’t live forever and he wanted to choose a successor who would continue his teachings.

Instead of simply selecting one student as his successor, he decided to check his students’ understanding and commitment to their learning experiences with him. He gave each of them a small seed and instructed them to nurture it and bring it back to him after a year.

After a year had passed, the students returned with their plants. Some had grown tall and strong, while others had withered away. However, one student stood out from the rest. Her plant had not only grown into a magnificent tree but had also produced countless seeds of its own.

The teacher smiled and said to the student, “Nurturing and empowering others, so that they may blossom and multiply, is the essence of learning. By investing in the growth and development of those around us, we ensure the continuity of wisdom for generations to come.”

The students nodded as they understood that learning is the best of all wealth. It is easy to carry, thieves cannot steal it, tyrants cannot seize it and neither water nor fire can destroy it; and far from decreasing it increases by giving.

Enjoy your December news2use and share the wealth of learning this holiday season and beyond.



“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”

For You

The holiday season is right in front of us; why don’t you give yourself a magnificent present?

The present is the ability to make behavioral changes that you know are counter-productive and have those around you recognize that you have truly succeeded with these changes.

Think about the behavior change you would most like to make, personally. This change of action or way of speaking would show a significant, personal improvement for you.

Maybe you want to stop interrupting people in meetings, or you want stop making destructive comments or you want to compliment people or recognize their contribution more publicly.

Most people might write out a list of personal changes they want to make; and three months down the road if I were to ask those around those people around you if you have changed in the area that you intended, most people wouldn’t see any change in your behavior.

Here’s why – there are two types of changes, one is behavioral; one has to do with people’s perceptions of you. Most people make the mistake of not sharing their intended changes with the stakeholders around them.

This is why, in my stakeholder coaching programs, people share the changes they intend to make with people around them and ask them to keep an eye out for the behavioral change they intend to make.

Now, over the course of the three-month period, you will check-in with these stakeholders and ask how they perceive the changes you intended to make. Eight or nine times out of ten, people will compliment you on your successes and perhaps share one or two instances where you didn’t succeed and fell back into an old pattern.

It is much harder to change people’s perception of your behavioral changes, than actually changing yourself.

Give yourself a present this holiday season, involve your stakeholders in your efforts to change and improve. They want to see you succeed and they can only help when you involve them.

For You & Your Team

Lead the team. Manage the team. Coach the team. Which of these roles best describes how you interact with your team?

If you are truly committed to creating a highly effective team, that is a team that plays in the top bandwidth of its potential, you’re embracing all three of the roles described above.

Leading the team means that you are investing time and energy in the purpose, contribution, and WHY your team exists. In the leading role, you are being both personal and explicit as to why you are with this business and team. Managing the team means that you help the team and its individual members be crystal clear as to what your must-win battles are and the who-does-what question is continually reviewed to ensure alignment amongst team members. Last but not least, coaching the team means you are helping people learn for themselves, not giving instructions in a directive way, but rather through questions that lead them to self-discovery. These lead, manage & coach dimensions ensure you are serving your team in a balanced way, and helping them become a highly effective team.

For You, Your Team & Your Business

I recently attended a management meeting where I almost suffocated. Figuratively I mean, as the atmosphere was so diplomatic, so approval seeking, there was simply zero challenge in the room, and it was very painful to watch and listen to.

Are you surrounded by nods of approval? Do you have people around you that can finish your sentences for you? Leaders who need an “approval environment” aren’t enabling themselves or the people around them to play at their best. If you too, are suffocating from a lack of challenge around you, listen and learn in this episode of Norenberg’s Ninety Seconds.

People, Places & Technology

Steve Wright is a playful curious soul who had a standout professional football career with the National Football League (NFL). Steve is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Cloudburst, an innovative misting company that cooled professional sports teams, the US military, NASA, and the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

In addition to being a professional athlete and entrepreneur, he’s a philanthropist, actor, and author of his new memoir, Aggressively Human, where he inspires others to embrace empathy and kindness as a compliment, not a challenge, to aggression.

Steve and I played football together at the University of Northern Iowa, many years ago. He did more playing than I did at UNI, and throughout his successful journey through life, he has remained thoughtful, caring, and passionate about learning, growing, and helping others.

If you are looking for an inspiring book to read or gift to others this holiday season, you will find his book in the link above.

Thought for the Day

“We are all failures – at least the best of us.”

-J.M. Barrie


Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.