**By Lolly Daskal Article
**By Seth Godin Article
“I will never be able to dunk a basketball. This is beyond discussion. Imagine, though, a co-worker who says, “I’ll never be able to use a knife and fork. No, I have to use my hands.” Or a colleague who says, “I can’t possibly learn Chinese. I’m not smart enough.” This is a mystery to me. A billion people have learned Chinese, and the failure rate for new kids is close to zero. If a well functioning adult puts in sufficient time and the effort, she”ll succeed.
The key to this disconnect is the unspoken part about time and effort and fear. I agree that you will never ship that product or close that sale or invent that device unless you put in the time and put in the effort and overcome the fear. But I don’t accept for a minute that there’s some sort of natural limit on your ability to do just about anything that involves creating and selling ideas. …
Not sure if you’ll forgive me, but no, I’m not going to believe that only a few people are permitted to be gatekeepers or creators or generous leaders. I have no intention of apologizing for believing in people, for insisting that we all use this moment and these assets to create some art and improve the world around us. To do anything less than that is a crime.” - Article
**By Derrick Daye Article
“I recently had a conversation with a retired CEO who fancied himself a savvy marketer. He was recounting how he had participated in a rebranding project for a not-for-profit organization on whose board he served. He was very proud of this work and went on to tell me how they had carefully chosen the symbol to represent the brand in its logo. When I asked him what his brand’s unique point of difference was, he indicated that it was the unique symbol featured in the logo. When I asked him why people would choose the brand over its competition, he wasn’t sure how to answer. When I asked him what the brand’s promise was, again he wasn’t sure how to answer.
With my constant immersion in branding, I sometimes forget that some people still think that a brand is a logo or an ad campaign and nothing more, even some people who should know better.” – Article
**By Aza Raskin Article
“1959 was a time of change. … a British industry magnate by the name of Henry Kremer wondered: Could an airplane fly powered only by the pilot’s body? … He offered the staggering sum of £50,000 for the first person to build a human-powered plane that could fly a figure eight around two markers set a half-mile apart. Also, he offered £100,000 for the first person to fly across the English Channel. In modern U.S. dollars, that’s the equivalent of $1.3 million and $2.5 million. The Kremer Prize was the X-Prize of its day.
A decade went by. Dozens of teams tried and failed to build an airplane that could meet the requirements. It looked impossible. … Paul MacCready, decided to get involved. … MacCready’s insight was that everyone who was working on solving human-powered flight would spend upwards of a year building an airplane on conjecture and theory without a base of knowledge based on empirical tests. Triumphantly, they would complete their plane and wheel it out for a test flight. Minutes later, a year’s worth of work would smash into the ground. …
He came up with a new problem that he set out to solve: How can you build a plane that could be rebuilt in hours, not months? And he did. He built a plane with Mylar, aluminum tubing, and wire. The first airplane didn’t work. It was too flimsy. But, because the problem he set out to solve was creating a plane he could fix in hours, he was able to quickly iterate. Sometimes he would fly three or four different planes in a single day. The rebuild, re-test, and re-learn cycle went from months and years to hours and days.
… Half a year later later, MacCready’s Gossamer Condor flew 2,172 meters to win the prize. A little more than a year after that, the Gossamer Albatross flew across the English Channel. So what’s the lesson? When you are solving a difficult problem, re-frame the problem so that your solution helps you learn faster. Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again.” – Article
**By Seth Godin Source
“There are two ways to parse that question.
The usual way is, “How little can I do and not get caught?” Variations include, “Can we do less service? Cut our costs? Put less cereal in the box? Charge more?” In short: “How little can I get away with?”
The other way, the more effective way: “How much can we afford to give away? How much service can we pile on top of what we’re selling without seeming like we’re out of our minds? How big a portion can we give and still stay in business? How fast can we get this order filled?”
In an era in which the middle is rapidly emptying out, both edges are competitive. Hint: The overdelivery edge is an easier place to make a name for yourself.” – Article
**By PM Hut Article
“Over the years, I’ve watched three different approaches PMs have used to deliver bad news:
- The Grenade – This is where the messenger walks into a crowded room (typically full of executives), delivers the bad news with all of its horrendous consequences without any warning, and then leaves. This is totally unacceptable, ineffective and not sustainable…primarily for the PM’s career.
- The Silent Treatment – This is where the messenger chooses NOT to deliver the message. The reasoning may be that they feel the problem will resolve itself, or they don’t want to deal with the subsequent activity necessary to resolve the situation. This approach is not recommended.
- The Trial Balloon – This has been the most effective method I’ve seen used. The messenger meets with a couple of stakeholders at a time, laying out the facts of the situation with a “let me pass something by you” approach. This allows for additional options to be considered, further information to be introduced (for example, more resources may be available that the PM did not know were available) and crafting of the final message to occur prior to introducing it to the entire group. The result is that the messenger doesn’t stand alone, multiple options have been considered, and the bad news is not sensationalized.”
**By Jeffrey Phillips Article
“… the more “nasty, brutish and short” the timeframe for innovation, the more likely the firm will be to seek disruptive innovation. Here’s what I mean by that.
Too often firms will “innovate” – that is, seek to stretch their thinking or boundaries slightly, when another firm introduces a new product or service. However, since the pain or shift isn’t so great, the effort given to the innovation is rather slight and the results are often at best incremental. Firms don’t typically extend themselves into radical or disruptive innovation until they’ve exercised every other option. Then, when all “reasonable” responses are exhausted, they exercise the unreasonable or unthinkable options.
Innovators, in large firms and in small firms, seem to work best when all the extraneous and reasonable options have been stripped away, when they work under tight timeframes to achieve the impossible or unexpected. In other words, innovators will work best and seem to achieve the best outcomes, when their environment is nasty, their work is brutish, and their time is short. Innovating from a position of comfort and security, tinkering around the edges, will only result in incremental innovation. ” – Article
**By Steve Blank video
“Customer feedback simply cannot be outsourced, according to serial entrepreneur Steve Blank. Here he shares an anecdote demonstrating the importance of founders speaking directly to customers. Blank recalls how entrepreneur Alan Michaels was forced to listen to customer needs and altered his product accordingly. These changes turned single-digit sales into the thousands, and resulted in an eventual $400 million company sale.” - Article
**By Rajesh Setty Article
The Uncommon Cure for Time Management Issues
“People who have a lot to accomplish feel that they don’t have time to accomplish everything so end up not accomplishing much. People who don’t have a lot to accomplish don’t have to worry much about time but won’t accomplish much anyway. If you are reading this or other similar articles, I assume that you are in the first category — you have too many things to accomplish and you think you have too little time.
As it has been told many times, you can’t manage time (everyone has only 24 hours) — you can only manage yourselves. If you believe in that and start working on your discipline, a lot of progress can be made. For me, this part is the obvious part. The only real resource that you have control over is you — manage it well and you can “sort of” manage time. Lack of time is a really a manifestation of a bigger problem — lack of leverage in your life.” – Article
**By Chris Brogan Article
“I’m convinced that everyone in every organization is now part of the sales force. I also think you’re part of customer service, but there are no customers without sales. Sales comes first. No matter if you’re the bagger at the grocery store to the CFO, your job is sales and then customer service, and if you don’t think it is, your company’s health is probably just as questionable as the rest of the businesses out there.
You Are In Sales
Put sales into every day. Put customer service into every day. Do something to touch both buckets every day. You might also have to do promotion. You might also have to do the grinding chores that make up the rest of the role you play, but your role is sales. …
Sales people don’t push a product; they listen for people’s needs. The really good sales professionals I’ve met sell other people’s products just as readily as they sell the one they’re paid to sell. Get in that habit, the habit of being helpful. Find people’s needs as a matter of fact. Find them even when you’re not really on duty. Listen to people. Listen to what they’re really saying versus what is coming out of their lips. This will pay you forever.
Think Customer Service
The #1 trait of excellent customer service is empathy married to action. Sometimes, empathy is all you can deliver. I’m sitting in an airport writing this at 5AM because our plane was rerouted due to an emergency onboard. It’s no one’s fault. But none of the passengers really want to be here. Everyone has dealt with us with empathy first and foremost, and that’s what matters. They’ve spoken from our side of the fence. They’ve been personal with all their interactions. Empathy plus action is what makes great customer service.” – Article
**By Derek Murphy Article
So, are you really a great leader…or just deluded?
“I have a couple questions for you – How are your driving skills? How smart are you? How are your people skills?
Most likely you answered something to the effect of ‘above average’. And you’re not alone.
• 93 percent of Americans believe they have above average driving skills.
• 87 percent of MBA students at Stanford University rated their academic performance as above the median.
• 96 percent of leaders today believe they have above average people skills.
So it appears we are overconfident in our abilities. A majority of us believe we are smarter, more dependable, and just plain better than others.
Let’s get real here; that viewpoint is delusional. We cannot all be superior and extraordinary.
Managers with this rosy vision of themselves often lack self-awareness, which could lead to a significant cultural disconnect in the workplace. While self-awareness is perhaps one of the least discussed leadership competencies, it is also one of the most valuable. … The ability to see in yourself what others see in you is not easy. It takes courage to look in the mirror, impartially judge what you see, and make efforts to improve. Of course, to stay ahead of the curve you’ll want more than just a look in the mirror – you’ll want other viewpoints. Soliciting feedback from peers, subordinates, and supervisors is a recommended best practice, and invaluable in today’s workplace. Feedback will give you insights into your communication skills, project management capabilities, and much more.” - Article
Why word-of-mouth is often negative
“More than one-quarter of US consumers (26%) say they are more likely to tell family, friends, and coworkers about a bad experience with a product or service than a good one, according to LoyaltyOne’s COLLOQUY report. Such consumers—defined as “Madvocates” in the report—are predisposed to negative word-of-mouth (WOM) practices after suffering bad experiences with brands.
Interestingly, loyal consumers are even more likely than the general population to sour on brands: 31% of “WOM Champions,” consumers who are active promoters for the brands they love, say they are more likely to share a bad experience with a brand than a good one.
“One lesson is clear, hell hath no fury like a Champion scorned,” said COLLOQUY Managing Partner Kelly Hlavinka. “Since ‘Madvocacy’ is an attitude that nearly one-third of all Champions share and are willing to act upon, loyalty marketers must accept their responsibility for the impact their programs can have on generating both positive and negative word of mouth.” …
Bad news about brands travels faster than good: 75% of the general population say when they’ve had a bad experience with a product or service they advise friends and family. That surpasses the 42% who say they always recommend a product or service they really like—and the 67% who say they love telling people about something new they’ve learned.” – Article Original Article
**By Career Sherpa Article
“Terrence Seamon’s post Dead Wood, No Passion hits the mark! At a picnic with friends, a friend/hiring manager was lamenting over the lack of passionate candidates. Sure, there are lots of unemployed seekers, but he couldn’t find one with a fire in their belly. So the recommendation made is to look inward and outward. How are you coming across? These are the recommendations of Terry:
“Positive Energy - Although it’s a bummer to be out of a job, you can’t let it drag you down. Somehow you must master your outlook. Stop holding on to the past. Let go of the banana. Remind yourself that you are still intact, that you still have your strengths. Focus on your objective. Focus on the future. …
Lifelong Learning - When an employer looks at you, do they see Miss Havesham (the Dickens’ character from Great Expectations), someone whose clock stopped years ago? Or do they see someone who is learning, trying new things, experimenting, and ever curious about the world?
Passion - Finally, let’s look at passion. What is it? And how do you display it in your demeanor? Passion is strongly felt love for something, that shows up in your eyes, your face, your gestures, and your voice. You can’t fake it.”
My friend “John” had that “it” that made him enjoyable to be around. He was positive, open to new opportunities and for the most part inquisitive. John is an engineer and was recently recruited and landed a splendid job in a far away state. It is happening! It will happen for you too!” – Article
**By August Turak Article
“I was having lunch with one of my clients, the CEO of a rapidly growing mid-size company, when I casually asked for his job description. He smiled and said, “Well, if you followed me around you’d probably think I do lots of things. But I only have one job. I build passion. Most people think talent is in short supply. Hell, the papers are full of stories about regular folks working miracles when something they really care about is on the line. Talent is not in short supply. Passion is. My job is showing people that what we’re doing is worth doing. I provide the whys so our people can provide the hows. Once passion is in place,” he said with a big grin, “my job becomes insisting that people use their vacation and trying to stay out of the way.”
… prisoners are some of the most creative and innovative people. Turning toothpaste tubes into lethal weapons demonstrates their improvisational knack for engineering and product development; their creative selling skills, though usually manipulative, are legendary; and when it comes to applying the law in creative ways, jail house lawyers are second to none. …
The first secret is that prisoners have a high overarching mission that transcends engineering, product development, sales, or law. Whether applied to their fellow prisoners, prison regulations, or the prison itself the prisoner’s mission is freedom. Acquiring all the requisite skills is merely the by-product. The lesson here is that if we don’t have a galvanizing mission personally and organizationally all the skills in the world won’t spare us mediocrity.
Next, prisoners are not only emotionally committed to this mission they are in fact institutionally committed. Like Cortez burning his ships, they have no line of retreat. Freedom is not just a mission. It is mission critical. … A high overarching mission coupled with commitment produces urgency. Urgency in turn produces the single minded focus that is the prisoner’s third innovative hallmark. … The fourth element is that prisoners are willing to pay the price. The fifth prison secret to creativity is patience.” – Article
G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
“General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.
Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress. …
Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws that encouraged some businesses and professionals to file as individuals, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts — from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.” – Article
**By James Altucher Article
A) Cash Gone. You have to write a big fat check for a downpayment. “But its an investment,” you might say to me. Historically this isn’t true. Housing returned 0.4% per year from from 1890 to 2004. And that’s just housing prices. …
E) You’re trapped. Lets spell out very clearly why the myth of homeownership became religion in the United States. Its because corporations didn’t want their employees to have many job choices. So they encouraged them to own homes. So they can’t move away and get new jobs. …
F) Ugly. Saying “my house is an investment” forgets the fact that a house has all the qualities of the ugliest type of investment:
- Illiquidity. You can’t cash out whenever you want.
- High leverage. You have to borrow a lot of money in most cases.
- No diversification. For most people, a house is by far the largest part of their portfolio and greatly exceeds the 10% of net worth that any other investment should be. …
but I think housing is a great investment right now. I think housing prices have gone down far enough and I can list the reasons why housing as an abstract investment concept is going to go higher from here. There are many stocks you can buy, with leverage if you want to take advantage of the rise in housing. But stocks give you liquidity. Homes don’t. If you think housing is a good buy, buy a stock that tracks the price of a house: LEN, KBR, HOV, etc.” – Article
**By Chris Brogan Article
20 Minute Plan
“Start a 20 minute plan. Here’s what I mean. **Update: This is also evidently called the Pomodoro method. Furthermore, my friend, Thomas Clifford was on the same wavelength. It’s still a good method. : )
First, Get an Egg Timer
I recommend a real egg timer and not software. For whatever reason, software is easier to ignore. In your case, we’re going for bulletproof execution, so get a real one. …
Second, Build a List
Take a piece of paper, a 3×5 card, Evernote, Remember the Milk, whatever, and jot down a list. It can have whatever you want to do on it, but make sure that you put a mix of pleasurable things, necessary things, and absolutely overdue/must do things. Here’s an example:
- Email responses and inbox cleaning.
- Invoice checkup. Everybody paying?
- Deliverable checkup. Doing what you should be doing?
- Blog post. (20 minutes might get you all the way there, or halfway there).
- Exercise. 20 minutes of brisk walking or a quick run or a circuit of pushups, situps, squats, and bentover rows with a light weight would do wonderfully.
- Call 3 or 4 people and check in. Don’t ask for anything. Just check in.
- Watch part of a TED talk.
You get the idea.
“They may be angels but they’re still investors. They want a return.” – Steve Palmer, Attorney, K&L Gates
Posted at 11:54 AM March 24, 2011 on Twitter
“With nearly 14 million unemployed workers in America, many have gotten so desperate that they’re willing to work for free. … “People who work for free are far hungrier than anybody who has a salary, so they’re going to outperform, they’re going to try to please, they’re going to be creative,” says Kelly Fallis, chief executive of Remote Stylist, a Toronto and New York-based startup that provides Web-based interior design services. “From a cost savings perspective, to get something off the ground, it’s huge. Especially if you’re a small business.” …
Cassie Johnson, a 27-year old in San Marcos, Calif., lost her job as an enrollment adviser for an online university in 2009 and was receiving unemployment benefits for a year before finding an assistant manager position at a Starbucks (SBUX) that’s so far from her home she spends most of her pay on gas. Since starting a public relations internship in February, she feels a renewed sense of purpose.
“I’m learning a lot and I feel really good about it. I’m happy. I feel relevant. I’m not making any money, so it’s tough, but I feel it’s setting me up for a career,” Johnson says. “I only have $1.50 left in my checking account right now ….” …
Unfortunately for many employers hoping to use unpaid labor to advance their business goals, there are strict federal and state rules that workers must be paid the minimum wage and paid for overtime, and must abide by other provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act, which applies to about 135 million people working for 7.3 million employers. The FLSA doesn’t apply to companies with less than $500,000 in annual revenue unless they engage in interstate commerce — which can be as little as accepting credit cards or placing phone calls to another state. – Article
**By Dan Rockwell Article
4 Creative ways to Start Your Day
“1. A strategy from Hemingway
The Hemingway Bridge*
In order to avoid starting a new day with a cold, blank piece of paper, Ernest Hemingway ended his day by writing the first paragraph of a new chapter. During the evening, he considered where the paragraph might go. In the morning, he was ready to go.
One creative way to start your day is by starting it the day before.
End today by starting tomorrow.
4. Morning Strategy Call
Trying calling a friend or colleague first thing in the morning to talk over the day. Share your challenges, opportunities, concerns, frustrations, confusion, and plans. Don’t talk long. Listen to them and have them listen to you. Set a time limit for the call and stick to it.
Start today by talking through your to do’s.”
**By Wally Bock Article
“When Susan left graduate school, clutching her MBA, she set her sights on one big company to work for. She got there on her second job. That’s the way Susan is. Susan is very bright, very focused, and very hard working. Her bonuses and promotions among the individual contributor ranks reflected that. When her boss asked if should wanted to be team leader, Susan jumped at the opportunity.
That evening she called and emailed just about everyone who’d ever shown interest in her career. She was ecstatic. She was moving up into management, just as she’d planned. The euphoria lasted for less than a day. By the next evening, the bloom was off the rose. “Why do those people keep coming into my office and whining?” she asked. …
Why are there so many new managers, like Susan, who discover too late that the job of being a boss is not for them? The answer is actually pretty simple: they’ve never had the opportunity to find out what it feels like to be a boss. The solution to the problem is just as simple. If you want people to understand what it’s like to be responsible for the performance and welfare of a group, let them try it. All it takes is a temporary assignment to lead a small group.” – Article