December 28, 2010

“One unintended consequence of the 2010 census is that it reveals a simple truth. People move to states which have lower taxes, and away from high tax states. This is reflected in the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives: high tax states New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts lost 6 seats, while zero-income tax states Florida and Texas netted 6 new seats.

We saw this in 2010, when the most famous moving van in sports took self-adulating basketball star LaBron James’ skills to South Beach. The fact that South Beach is in Florida, which doesn’t have a state income tax, might just have played a small role in the decision. On a less public scale, the geniuses who run Maryland’s state government decided to impose a “millionaire” tax with the idea of increasing their revenues to support their ever burgeoning welfare state. Just like LaBron, Maryland’s millionaires apparently decided to take their talents elsewhere [as] … the number of millionaires in Maryland declined from 3,000 to 2,000 in just one year after the millionaire’s tax went into effect.” – Read article

Put up or shut up

December 28, 2010

“Bottom line: If you don’t make money, you’re not a real entrepreneur—so put up or shut up.”
— Scott Gerber (pictured), serial entrepreneur and syndicated small-business columnist, in October: 5 Questions for Scott Gerber

The soul of leadership

December 28, 2010

Deepak Chopra

“leaders appear when awareness meets need. A person who knows what a group actually needs — the group can be a family, business, team, or political party — must be more aware than those in need. If they had enough awareness on their own, the leadership vacuum wouldn’t persist. Once the need is identified, the leader must take steps to fill the role that it demands.

Rather than speak generally, let me name the specific roles I have in mind. They are arranged from lowest to highest (following a scheme widely familiar as a hierarchy of needs). The point is that higher needs can’t be fulfilled until lower ones are met. So the skill of a leader is to know which need must be addressed immediately and then begin to raise the group’s awareness so that the next need can be fulfilled.

Here are the seven primary roles you will be called to fulfill if you step into a leadership vacuum. …”

Read article

Trust Or Cut Bait

December 24, 2010

“If you suspect a man, don’t employ him, and if you employ him, don’t suspect him.” ~ Chinese proverb

“As is often true with these quotes and proverbs, this feels reasonable in theory but a bit difficult in practise.

There are gray areas where we only begin to doubt a person, not yet to the point of even suspecting them, certainly not being convinced they are untrustworthy. Too soon to act. But I would couple with this with another saying which urges resolution over ongoing status quo. “Fish or cut bait.”” – Source

Is Your Marketing Naughty or Nice?

December 24, 2010

“In one scene, Buddy walks into a NY diner advertising “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” and says with his trademark earnest excitement: “You did it! Congratulations! World’s best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It’s great to meet you!” Meanwhile, the staff looks on, puzzled. That’s marketing at its worst, right? Meaningless fluff. Worthless claims. Untrustworthy. …

Here are ways to wind up on the Naughty-marketing list [and the nice marketing list]” Read article

What can go wrong with too much U.S. debt?

December 24, 2010

Watch Video

Un-Stink Your Goals!

December 24, 2010


  • Sweet—Reduce administrative expenses by 15%
  • Stinky—Improve cash flow and reduce expenses


  • Sweet—Reduce cycle time to bring new products to market by 60 days
  • Stinky—Process paperless claims promptly and effectively


  • Sweet—Achieve an average rating of “very good” on the annual customer satisfaction survey
  • Stinky—Ensure satisfied investors


  • Sweet—Increase employee availability by 5%
  • Stinky—Improve employee morale

Read article

iMacs and free lattes for everyone

December 24, 2010

Does Hardship Foster Innovation?

“Where is innovation bred? Is it in the hip halls of tech companies with Wii gaming systems, employee lounges, company cafeterias and on-site massage services? In the conference rooms of ad agencies with expensive designer furniture, the latest iMacs and free lattes for everyone? On an island retreat where a successful entrepreneur “unplugs” to think about business while sipping mai tais at a luxury hotel? …

We all know the tales of lean startup companies that are forced to make do with what they have—and create great things as a result. Perhaps the secret to innovation is thinking more like a startup… or an Indian business owner.” – Read article

You don’t think I actually trust these people do you?

December 24, 2010

“As a finance professional and business owner, I tend to focus on the numbers.  Quantitative data on growth rates, margins, revenues and expenses speak to me.  They provide a uniform and fair way to evaluate performance and the allocation of resources. … Here are some of the questions you may want to consider that can’t be answered quantitatively. …” – Read article

Who to manage first

December 24, 2010

“Make sure that the first person you are managing every day is yourself. … Start mastering the art of human relations. Approach every relationship by focusing on what you have to offer the other person rather than on what you might want or need. Be a model of trust. Remove your ego. Listen carefully. Empathize. Exhibit respect and kindness. Speak up and make yourself understood. Be a motivator. Celebrate the success of others.

Make yourself a great workplace citizen. Under-promise and over-deliver. Don’t bad mouth others, and try not to speak about others unless they are present. Keep your word. Keep your confidences. Be an accurate source of information. Don’t keep other people waiting. Instead of under-dressing, overdress. Practice old-fashioned good manners.” - Read article

A blond U.S. cheerleader, tiny and weak

December 24, 2010

“a funny cartoon that appeared in the year-end issue of the Global Times, a Chinese communist government-produced daily newspaper, right next to an article about how the U.S. is acting irresponsibly by backing South Korea in their efforts against North Korea, titled, “U.S. destructive role in Northeast Asia.”

The accompanying cartoon shows a blond U.S. cheerleader, tiny and weak, blindly cheering on a South Korean fighter who is noticeably less powerful than his North Korean opponent. … The North Korean fighter is becoming infuriated and taking a step “Over the edge,” the title of the cartoon, while the South Korean fighter is less engaged, further from the edge and defensive.” – Read article

Listening isn’t the fun part

December 24, 2010

Give people sugar not saccharine

December 23, 2010

Many thanks to my friend Jeffrey Fry for sending me this wonderful video.  It’s encouraged me to be bolder in affirming my family members, friends and the people I meet day-to-day. … we need to rely on the people around us to recharge our recognition battery. If it stays charged, we are more energized in life.  If it goes uncharged, we are drained of life.

Another point to remember is that recognition need to be genuine.   As my friend and co-author Jason Pankau says, give people sugar not saccharine (the fake stuff). So here’s the question I’d like you to consider: are you charging or neglecting to charge the recognition batteries of the people in your life?” – Read article

Dealing with a dead horse

December 23, 2010

Top Ten Strategies for Dealing with a Dead Horse

  1. Buy a stronger whip.
  2. Change riders.
  3. Appoint a committee to study the horse.
  4. Appoint a team to revive the horse.
  5. Send out a memo declaring that the horse isn’t really dead.
  6. Hire an expensive consultant to find ‘the real problem’.
  7. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed and efficiency.
  8. Rewrite the standard definition of ‘Live Horse’.  [ouch...too eerie]
  9. Declare the horse to be better, faster and cheaper when dead.
  10. Promote the dead horse to a senior management position.”

Read article

Are You Undermanaged?

December 23, 2010

“The vast majority of supervisory relationships between employees and their bosses lack the day-to-day engagement necessary to consistently maintain the very basics of management: clear expectations, necessary resources; real performance tracking; and fair credit and reward. In fact, most employees report that they feel disengaged from their immediate boss(es); that two-way communication is sorely deficient; and that employees rarely get the daily guidance, resources, feedback, and reward that they need. Part of the problem is that all too often, people are promoted to management positions not because if their people skills … But what about micromanaging? – Read article


December 23, 2010

“The CIA has launched a taskforce to assess the impact of 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. … The group will scour the released documents to survey damage caused by the disclosures. One of the most embarrassing revelations was that the US state department had drawn up a list of information it would like on key UN figures – it later emerged the CIA had asked for the information. “Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it’s mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: WTF ….” Read article

Please don’t hit me with your modem

December 23, 2010

Quality, Service, Commitment, Excellence — Ugh!

December 23, 2010

“At one time or another, nearly every business contemplates the creation and use of a tagline. This simple statement aims to distill a company’s unique value proposition into a few memorable words. … Avoid the words of tagline death. These are words that everybody claims, and when added to one another, produce a bland, verbal gruel that no one remembers. These are the buzz-killers that prevent your brand from getting traction with future customers. The top four words to avoid are:

1. Quality
2. Service
3. Commitment
4. Excellence

Smart, busy people like you just gloss over words like that, right? You hear them too many times from too many companies in too many industries. No doubt, your organization does something better than anyone else on the planet. What exactly is it?” – Read article


December 22, 2010


Time management tricks I learned from hating Tim Farriss

December 22, 2010

“I have hated Tim Ferriss for a long time. I have hated him since we both had editors at Crown Publishing who sat next to each other and I heard how difficult he is. I didn’t blog about it because first of all, I’m sure the buzz about me is that I’m difficult, too. And also, his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was a bestseller and mine wasn’t. So I figured people would say that I’m jealous. …

But at this point, two years later, my hatred goes way beyond jealousy. My hatred is more selfless than that. And while I do understand that Tim is great at accelerated learning, the time management tips I have learned from him stem from the energy I have spent hating him: …” – Read article

It’s NEVER fair. NEVER.

December 22, 2010

“Employee: “I have a dentist appointment on Wednesday at 2pm so I’ll be leaving at 1:30.”

Manager: “But I thought with your new schedule – Fridays off – you could make all of your appointments for Friday.”

Employee: “My dentist isn’t open on Fridays, and anyway, I’ve had this appointment for 6 months.”

Manager: “Well, I really took a big risk with the team letting you go to a 4-day workweek. Perhaps you could look for a dentist that’s open on Fridays.”” – Read article

Terrorize your employees

December 22, 2010

“When you’re new to something, you make mistakes. That’s how you learn. Young managers make lots of mistakes. It still makes me cringe to think about how incompetent I was as a young manager. But hey, that’s just the way it works. You get out there, screw up, and hopefully learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately, not everyone does … learn. …

Here are five ways young managers terrorize their employees and sabotage their own careers: …” – Read article

A hot blond with a bubbly personality

December 22, 2010

“You can be your best self. You can be your worst self. But whoever you are, be YOUR self.

No one will believe you if pretend to be a hot blonde with a bubbly personality anyways.” – Read article

The Mackey way

December 22, 2010

“Mackey says that he tries to make major decisions at Whole Foods by trying to come to a consensus among the top minds in the company. When disagreements get expressed through the decision-making process, he says, you generally end up making better decisions. “While it takes longer to make the decision, once you begin the implement it, it goes a lot faster because there isn’t sort of resistance and sabotage that works its way through the organization” …

His passion and policy have at times been accompanied by criticism, which Mackey says he has learned to absorb and process—and which he says ultimately probably make his business stronger. “You can look at all those criticisms and ask what is the truth here and, if there is a truth there then you can learn from that“” – Read article

Making a difference is hard

December 22, 2010

“Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard. …

Make your schedule before you start. Don’t allow setbacks or blocks or anxiety to push you to say, “hey, maybe I should check my email for a while, or you know, I could use a nap.” If you do that, the lizard brain is quickly trained to use that escape hatch again and again.” – Read article


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