Knowing Our Tendencies (v2)

Knowing Our Tendencies (v2)

We all have tendencies. Speaking up too much—or not enough. Reacting too quickly—or too slowly. Promising too much—or not enough. Knowing we have a strong tendency allows us to compensate for it in situations where that particular tendency decreases the chance of the best thing happening. (Part II in the series)

Knowing Our Tendencies

We all have tendencies. Speaking up too much—or not enough. Reacting too quickly—or too slowly. Promising too much—or not enough. Knowing we have a strong tendency allows us to compensate for it in situations where that particular tendency decreases the chance of the best thing happening.

Getting Failure Right

Failure may be real and consequential. Or imaginary. It may relate to an absolute measure or happen only in your head. Much of what looks like failure is anything but. Yet it can sink into your heart and land in your gut. Then rise at any time to talk to you.

Alchemy of Relationship Booklet

The most popular alchemy tool ever, this is an exploration of ten simple insights that will transform even your most difficult relationships. And enhance the ones that are already going well. This booklet version has an updated Deep Dive section.


The ExecuDeck was started in partnership with a CEO who wanted to facilitate the conversations that mattered most among his leaders. It is an ongoing and evolving body of work that we make freely available to anyone interested in a fresh, simple, and innovative way to develop people.

The Nature of Trust

Everyone is trustworthy in the sense that how they act is the intersection of who they are and the contexts they occupy. You may get eaten by a hungry tiger if you get in its path, but it’s not because the tiger is untrustworthy. It’s because that’s the nature of the tiger.

The Art of Calling Out

In its highest form, calling someone out is an act of support—we extend the invitation for another person to look at something another way, better understand the consequences of their actions, take more into account, or step into a larger version of themselves.

The Art of Getting Called Out

Getting called out isn’t about a single behavior, in a single moment, disconnected from our overall life story—a fluky outlier. It’s about a pattern inside of us expressing through many behaviors—in many moments—that’s having a poignant effect outside of us.

Creating More Intentional Boundaries

In their more limited form, boundaries are for keeping things in and keeping things out. In their more expansive form, boundaries are the co-creative space between us and another—just the right amount of you meets just the right amount of the other. A poorly-designed boundary may keep too much out, or let too much in.

Navigating Tough Rubs

This tool explores some of the tough rubs in relationships that have happened over the last year in the corporation we work with most. We think you will find many of them familiar too. This tool is an ongoing work and will expand over the next year.


Extremes accentuate polarities and make both the best and worst outcomes more likely. Most dynamics that show up in intensity were always in the background. They just didn’t manifest as strongly before. But disorientation and flux also make it easier to shift. Rather than doubling down on old behaviors, we want to explore the range …

Lightening the Load

Some things are hard, unpleasant, and totally worth doing. Other things are hard, unpleasant, and completely unnecessary. Part of lightening our load is struggling with more of the things that matter and fewer of the things that don’t.

Really Big Questions

This tool asks really big questions. What’s the shadow of loyalty, and where are we seeing it right now in the organization? What rubs are caused because we’ve assumed the value exchange motivating a person is something it’s not? What essential steps are we clear about that are also steps impossible to be certain about? …


Often the glitches that cause the most chaos outside of us stem from well-formed patterns inside of us. And these well-formed patterns have great potential to become our most spectacular gifts.


We are often aware of the orthodoxies that most limit us. What’s the first orthodoxy you challenged as a child? What orthodoxy is common with family or friends that you know to be untrue? What’s an orthodoxy that creates something of value, but when understood from a broader perspective, may occlude something of even greater …

Mapping Tendencies

Abilities often have a polar opposite—a complement. This tool uses the sophistication of the yin-yang symbol to help you map tendencies.

Core Tools

13 tools exploring each element of alchemical transformation.

Collaboration & Autonomy

We often think of autonomy and collaboration in an inverse relationship—with more of the one comes less of the other. But collaboration without autonomy often creates cultures where nobody directs or assumes personal accountability. And autonomy without collaboration is stripped of the power of relationship and is starved of resource. In the healthiest cultures, everyone …

Intuitive Colloquy

The best conversations are spacious, resource rich, and leave the other person with a sense of the conversation that grows over time even if the content of the conversation fades. They are unforgettable. Always seem like more than enough. And are infused with generosity. The best conversations take so much more into account than could …

Alchemy of Context

Context provides the supporting matrix for all transformation. A brilliant idea seeking expression in the wrong context produces disappointing results. And often our most challenging people problems are more easily addressed by creating a better context for relationship than by simply pressing for a change in behavior.

Alchemy of Scripting

Most people’s lives are responsive rather than creative—they keep accepting and adapting to what happens around them. Alchemists change themselves, and by so doing, the environment reorganizes around them. Learn about alchemical scripting as a matrix for manifestation.

13 Elements: Team as Organism

This tool applies the 13 elements of alchemy to teams. The corporation it was originally designed for is exploring 3-4 elements during each of their quarterly leadership development sessions this year.

Alchemy of Happiness

Much of what matters most in living the happiest life doesn’t require much change in our current context. What matters most is incorporating a few small shifts that help us experience our current context differently.

Circumstance and Relationship

Sometimes we can change the circumstance we are in to something more preferable. Other times it’s less changeable. But we can always change our relationship to circumstance.