July 29, 2016

The Five P's of Business

Anyone in marketing can recite the four P's which are product, price, placement and promotion. But if marketing is all you do, how do you apply them to your business and go one further?


Have you ever been to a sporting event, good concert, or watched great acting? In each case, someone spent years honing their skills to make it appear effortless. Yet we are quick to criticize from the comfort of our 20oz beer mug in the 300 level. Now think about your skill set and what you can bring to any situation. Did you learn and execute all you know immediately?


If you enjoy writing, reading a good book may give you more determination to work on your own novel. You may know someone who went back to school and emerged with a whole new career path. I'm paying close attention to this one because I started a brand new role just a few months ago. My patience with myself is getting tested daily.


No successful person in history has gotten it right the first time. This is one we all need to remember yet it can be tough on those days, you know, those days. After all, business isn't simply created, that's up to us.


It's important to be organized and have a strategic plan. It is equally essential not to settle for good enough - that's what the other guys do. And it's okay to get a little messy once in a while, take some chances and swing at the fence.

Our most important "P" is probably passion.

July 25, 2016

The Biggest Mistake a Leader Can Make?

Being a leader has absolutely nothing to do what what it says on your business card or company org chart. A few years ago, the Harvard Business Review asked that simple question. Here are some valuable responses.


July 22, 2016

Five Pillars

There has been significant change in my life this year and if you've ever had a patch like this, you may have reflected on it the same way. The change is big but what has been the most stark is the areas of my life that haven't moved forward or improved and they seem even more in need of my attention.

Many say we have five pillars in our lives; health, finances, spirituality, relationships, and intellectual growth. If money needs our attention, our relationships suffer; if we're focusing on our studies, our health falters, etc. I feel all pillars are integrated.

Changes and Reflections

So how does this all play into leadership and culture, careers and collaboration? In every way! If we are concerned about personal issues then our work will be affected; not always overly negative, but in some way or another.

So take time with your team to understand what they're going through outside of the office. I'm not suggesting you get too personal, that's up to each individual, and don't run the risk of losing the too much information work life balance.

We are all flawed people going through stuff at work and/or at home and one size fits all is a myth. Remember the people part of your work and your work will become much more personable.

The results just might amaze you.

July 20, 2016

Bossy Bosserton

As our days are filled by commiserating about that stuff that may be missing from our work, we must look at the top. If you work long enough, you will eventually be given more responsibility and perhaps other people who will look to you for direction.

I once worked for a "boss" who felt compelled to raise his voice in every meeting like the alpha male pounding his chest to remind the minions who’s in charge. He also had skin thinner than phyllo pastry, so you didn't dare challenge him or he would get offended or upset or throw a tantrum. Perhaps you've met that guy.

Organizational attrition is rarely documented if one or two people leave every couple of months but over the course of a decade, how much of your team has been replaced? Do you think it could be linked to weak leadership?

The human network is more vital than ever before. Your team does not want to fear you. They don’t want to walk on egg shells around you. They don’t want to hate their jobs. They want to respect you.

Help your team; they don't want a boss.

July 16, 2016

Your Driving Force

They say we have to do what we're passionate about and what will motivate us. But is that a job? A salary? A promotion? A career change? A location switch? A new relationship? What?

To say we have to follow our passion isn't the entire task. Dan Pink looks at 50 behavioral triggers that motivate us.


July 12, 2016

A Couple of Dozen Thoughts for Leaders

Allow others to inspire. Find the how. Get out of their way. Be present even during challenging times. Have clear expectations. Don't expect to ever have all the answers.

Helping others is a privilege. Back your people up. Be bold. Never stop learning. Open door policies are for those who mean it. Don’t hide behind busy. It’s their career too.

Be inquisitive. Invest at least half of your time helping people. Hire passion. A team is more than celebrating victories. Don’t be a boss. Listen.

Don’t hide when your people need you. Grow their strengths. Let them shine. Be fair. Get to know what motivates your people. Seek guidance from those who are committed to helping you grow.

Customer service begins with you. Never settle. Understand that it will be the most rewarding work you’ll ever have the privilege to do.

And it won't be listed on your business card.

July 5, 2016

More or Less

Fulfill more. Take less. Focus more. Talk less. Start more. Eat less. Laugh more. Work less. Give more. Regret less. See more. Ignore less. Progress more. Criticize less. Invent more. Renounce less. Embrace more. Spend less. Share more. Measure less.

Move more. Envy less. Sing more. Cling less. Accomplish more. Show less. Complain less. Live more. Compare less. Contribute more. Annoy less. Enjoy more. Worry less.

Listen more. Waste less. Smile more. Own less. Learn more. Say less. Help more. Use less. Connect more. Stop less. Play more. Hope less. Communicate more. Skim less.

Thank more. Fret less. View more. Reflect less. Originate more. Copy less.

Collaborate more. Upset less. Dream more. Irritate less. Write more. Doubt less.
Read more. Whine less. Accomplish more. Drink less.

Love more. 

July 2, 2016

Breathe and Think

The challenge for any business leader is to try and remain a few steps ahead of the day-to-day which is near impossible because of distractions and deadlines. But who has time to plan and look forward when you’re trying to keep a company rolling in the right direction and trying not to hit a pothole?

Some say you’re not embracing all the right tools to maximize revenue. Others claim you are missing opportunities right under your nose. You need to manage all the moving parts, ensure stakeholders are working toward their strengths, keep employees happy and the black ink flowing.

What they say

If you travel in some circles, they will say you need to be everywhere. Others claim promise of instant results. If you are one of the few who can eliminate judgment from others, clear your mind enough to focus on exactly what you are good at and more importantly decide what you want to do, you are way ahead of the curve.

The challenge is often not making things more complicated but rather embracing complexity, finding what's important, and making things simple.

Taking a breath to think can often be your best strategy.
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