Great Teamwork Hinges on 3 Crucial Conditions

Accomplishing great things in business requires great teamwork. Steve Jobs put it this way, “Great things in business are never done by one person, but rather by a team of people.”  Achieving great teamwork depends on our ability to manage the team’s energy. For that, we need a compelling goal, a conducive environment, & effective systems. 1) A Compelling Goal A good goal is clear…

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To Set the Stage for Great Teamwork, Look No Further than the Sports Pages

Setting the stage for great teamwork in the workplace is a lot like creating a new team sport, like soccer nuevo. In team sports, how the game is won is crystal clear. There’s a time limit—urgency. There’s an arena and a well-defined playing field. There are rules. There’s a way to keep score in real-time. There’s a referee and a coach. These things frame up…

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How to Avoid Getting Snared by the Busyness Trap

Customers need proof. Proof that we are what we say we are. Proof that we get them. Proof that we care. Proof that we’re capable, reliable, and trust-worthy. Proof that we’re in it for the long hall. Proof that we’re right for them. The best businesses create a continuous stream of proof—they walk their talk, again and again and again and again….  How to best create proof is a big…

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Are You An Unintentional Diminisher

People are born with a burning fire; a desire to explore and learn. Exploration leads to discovery. Discovery increases capabilities. Discovery is exciting. Excitement is motivating. Before we know it, we can do things we never dreamed of doing. Discovery gives us a new perspective. It increases our confidence. It makes us more willing to step up and try.  That is until someone we respect…

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These 3 Identities are the Key to Easier Small Business Growth

Launching a small business is exhilarating… at first. But for most, the honeymoon is short-lived, replaced with long days of firefighting and diving catches. These people aspire to create a business, but what most create and take on is multiple jobs: owner, executive, marketer, sales person, operations manager, bookkeeper, and expert maker/doer. It’s no wonder so many small business owners are exhausted! To create more…

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The Means to Inspire Greatness is Hiding in Plain Sight

Shared stories unite business leaders, employees, and customers. The most powerful stories convey what people care most about, draw us in, and make us care too. They can even make us feel like family. Every business has stories. Stories with the potential to improve quality, efficiency, and effectiveness—to inspire greatness. When broadly shared, these stories make customers, employees, and leaders proud. They make us part…

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How to Prevent the Business from Becoming a Shipwreck

Internal forces command our attention. External forces make us successful. Internal forces are loud. External forces are silent. When external forces are ignored, we use speculation, assumption, or the highest paid opinion to make decisions. Internal forces put everyone, at every level of an organization, at risk of drowning in a sea of busy-ness. External forces that govern our effectiveness are things like: Customer preferencesCompetitive…

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This Simple Counter-Intuitive Investment Always Brings Good Returns

It’s vacation season. Vacations are fantastic (and necessary) because they refresh our perspective—giving us fresh eyes.  Fresh eyes and a clear mind allow us to conjure a hi-def picture of the future we’d like to see, and to contrast it against the present—to see what’s working, and what isn’t. Fresh eyes give us the ability to see how to get where we’d like to go. …

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The Hardest Part of Hard Work Isn’t the Work

Success is associated with hard work. In the industrial era hard work meant putting in long, grueling hours and working to the point of physical exhaustion. Today, work is more complex and mentally taxing. Hard work means something different. It now includes self-awareness, mental clarity, and good judgement—thinking straight. It’s tough to get good results when we’re not thinking straight. But thinking straight is easier…

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Stop Playing Whack-a-Mole & Take Back Your Time

A few years ago I learned that complexity gives rise to surprises (and not the good kind). These surprises push planned activities aside and force us to redo previously completed work, troubleshoot problems, or otherwise set things right (again). Surprises make us reactive. It doesn't take many to utterly derail us and transform our day (or week) into a game of whack-a-mole. Moles pop up…

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How to Cash in on the Golden Opportunity Concealed within this Incredibly Common Business Problem
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How to Cash in on the Golden Opportunity Concealed within this Incredibly Common Business Problem

The best businesses seem to sense what the customer needs and immediately respond with value. In fact, they deliver a continuous flow of value. They know that lulls, in which the customer must wait, dissolve trust and feed doubt.  Minimizing wait time delivers bottomline results, but wait time can be tough to pin down. It's sneaky. It hides in pathways, in cars & trucks, in…

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How to Leverage the 5 Business Pillars to Fuel Small Business Growth

Primary Growth Ingredients PeopleSystemsWork routinesInternal controlsVisualProcedural People are essential for growth (to get more done each day), but their effectiveness is limited by the systems they employ. Systems provide structural support in the form of a clear goal & effective routines. Effective systems provide predictable results, focus, motivation, & risk mitigation. They are recipes, that when followed, produce consistent outcomes. Core Business Pillars Leadership (inspiration…

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These Two Things Empower Your Small Business to Grow Without You Working Yourself to Death

Alice asked, “What road do I take?”The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”“I don’t know,” Alice answered.“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland In order to move forward, we have to know the way. We need to know where we want to end up―we need a goal. A good goal generates excitement. It’s personally meaningful…

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How One Simple, Yet Insanely Impactful Principle Empowers People to Achieve Extraordinary Results
Wednesday, October 16, 2013rFortune The Most Powerful WomenrWashington, D.C., USArr9:30 AM ONE ON ONErWarren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.?Interviewer: Carol Loomis, Senior Editor at Large, FortunerrPhotograph by Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women

How One Simple, Yet Insanely Impactful Principle Empowers People to Achieve Extraordinary Results

Sometimes the split is 70/30 or 90/10, but most of our results always come from only a few actions. This is the 80/20 principle. It’s interesting all by itself, but its immense business value is revealed when we apply the principle to itself, over and over again. Doing so produces a lens that allows us see how extraordinary results are achieved. We start by applying…

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Why Less is More When It Comes to Delighting Customers

This last Sunday I found myself at a popular Chinese restaurant in San Fransisco, renown for their fried chicken wings. The customer experience is… um… strict. Prospective customers must sign up on a dry erase board and wait for their name to be called. Names are hurriedly called out by a hair-trigger host. If there’s no immediate response, he moves on (erasing the “no-show.”) If…

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This One Simple Counterintuitive Practice Will Make You More Successful at Work (and in Life)

Do you know the names of your eight great grandparents? Do you know any of their stories? How did their decisions impact your life? We all know moments become days, then weeks, then months, then years. Short-term often becomes long-term. And sadly, someday too often becomes never.  What story are you creating with your moments? Will your actions matter 50, 10, or even 5 years…

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The Counter-Intuitive Path to Accomplishment, Confidence, Appreciation, Wonder, & Well-Being

Each day brings a thousand blinking buttons screaming to be pushed. Most do nothing, but five… five will change your life. They bring accomplishment, confidence, appreciation, wonder, and well-being. Joseph Moses Juran called this “The Law of the Vital Few.” The list of people that have used the The Law of the Vital Few to achieve extraordinary things is long. Warren Buffet owes 90% of…

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Knowing These 7 Simple Truths About People Will Get You Better Results

I’ve often read Event + Response = Outcome. To get a desired outcome we just have to respond in the right way. I don’t know about you, but frequently my response seems to happen without checking in with me first. James Clear sheds some light on why it's so hard to get in front of our responses in his book, Atomic Habits. It really comes…

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