A Team Building Lesson from Nick Fury and The Avengers

Creating a dream team is like working a puzzle. It’s about recognizing each person's unique contribution—their strength—and putting them in a position to use it. Nick Fury did this in The Avengers. Fury selected each member for the unique strength they brought to the team. As a result, the capability of the team far exceeded the individual capability of its members—the whole became greater than…

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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 haul. 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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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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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 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 Francisco, 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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Why You Want to Keep a Twinkie in Your Team Building Toolbox

A team that rows as one is a symphony of motion. A harmonizing of spirits. It’s magical. And it's FAST! Assembling such a team is challenging work. The coach repeatedly assigns each rower to different positions in the boat, rooting out their strengths. Rowers are moved, swapped, and replaced until a magic combination is found. There’s an old story about a coach who just wasn't…

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Preserve Your Reputation with This Secret We All Know About Quality

The journey to achieving high quality starts when a person decides they are someone who does things well and in a lasting way. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so…

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Do You Work with a Vampire? How to Tell and What to Do About It

“Toxic people adhere as concrete blocks to your ankles, then push you to swim in poisoned waters.”John Mark Green Do you work with someone who leaves a trail of depleted people in their wake? Do the majority of their interactions leave people feeling badly? If so, they are poisoning the work environment. Draining everyone’s time and energy, like a vampire. They are a boat anchor,…

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