Leaders Stop Trying to Be Efficient

Let's cut right to the chase; stop focusing on being efficient - it's a waste of time. Nobody other than perhaps you really cares how efficient you are, but everyone cares how effective you are. Not only do they care how effective you are, but they also care about the effectiveness of those whom you lead. It's important to remember leadership is a people business, and people are messy. Leadership…

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The Power of Focus

I am frequently asked what it takes to become more productive. My answer is simply become very, very focused. Focus has always been a powerful characteristic that has served me well in all leadership roles alike. Relentless focus results in aligned priorities, order, discipline, and productivity. That sounds simple enough doesn't it? Then why is this so hard for executives and entrepreneurs?…

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Work Performance and the Perils of Comparison

Let me take you back in time.  You're in 8th grade.  You've signed up for your first guitar lesson and the teacher plays Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."   She offers it up as an example of a great song that you can learn to play.  You're motivated to learn, right?  Wrong!  She no sooner finishes her sentence about "you can learn how to play," when you hear Jimmy Page rips into his classic…

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How to Get Ahead: Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learners, or autodidacts, possess the capability to chart their futures in ways that can give them an advantage over their less ambitious contemporaries.  I should know, I am one! Back in the day, I didn't have the Internet to support me.  Yes, I did it the old fashioned way -- I bought books and read them.  It's laughable by today's standards, but, back in 1988, I spent countless…

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5 Ways to Become Indispensable

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "indispensable" as being absolutely necessary and not subject to being set aside or neglected.  Wouldn't you like to become indispensable to your customers?  Sure, you would!  While there's not one sure fire formula to follow to become indispensable, you can do some things to improve your chances that you'll "stick" to your customers. Here are 5 tips to…

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The Art of the Management Huddle

When used in a football context, a huddle is used to call a play. Similarly, a "management huddle" can be used by business leaders to call a play, too. By definition, management huddles are a technique used by leaders to gather colleagues together for a short meeting to share status or brainstorm options that can help the organization arrive at quality decisions in short order. The technique can…

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5 Things You Can Do to Make 2016 Special

A new year begins in less than a week. Do you have a 2016 agenda that will move your business forward smartly? Here are 5 things that you can do to make next year a special one for your business: Put Your Customer First: I know that every business leader says that the customer comes first. But, this often comes with a caveat, like, "as long as it doesn't cost too much to make it so." This year,…

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Business Planning for Funding Your Start-Up Part III: Financial Modeling

This 3-part series is intended to decipher the business planning process--making it easier for you to build one that can help you to secure the funding that you need to grow your business into the powerhouse that you want it to be. Part I covered the Business Synopsis section and Part II covered the Marketing and Sales section. We will survey the Financial Modeling Section of a standard business…

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10 Ways to Design Your Workspace for Super Productivity

Anyone working in an office, whether virtual, at home or in a place of business, knows that their productivity is shaped by their surroundings. Their personal workspace is an important factor to their happiness and productivity. Here are some tips that may be worth considering: Start with Tunes: For a variety of reasons, I prefer stuff by Southside Johnny, Jason Isbell and Lucero. But, find what…

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The Silent CEO Addiction Killing Productivity and Talent Development

Corporate America’s dependency on consulting firms is nothing short of substance abuse in the purest form. The fact is most CEOs suffer from this very dangerous addiction and they don’t even know it – they are clearly in need of an intervention. Addicts don’t often admit they have a problem. They tend to rationalize and justify their behavior as normal. Here’s the thing – normal doesn’t always…

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Leadership and Time – 15 Time Wasters to Avoid

Time; it’s the only thing we all have in common, yet it’s how we choose to spend it that defines and differentiates us as individuals. Even though time is a key success metric, I am always amazed at how many leaders don’t manage it as such. Time is indeed a precious and finite commodity, and those executives who use it wisely are those who achieve the greatest results. Let me be very direct -…

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10 Steps to Productive Meetings

If you’ve ever watched an episode of NBC’s “The Office” you know exactly what unproductive meetings look like. The tragic news is many real world meetings too closely resemble a fictional Michael Scott get together. Stories of "death by meeting" are a well represented part of corporate folklore for good reason - unplanned, unnecessary, uninspired, or otherwise unproductive meetings are a colossal…

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What’s Your Time Worth? Why Pricing Matters

Are you shooting yourself in the foot with your pricing strategy? How much is your time worth? What does your pricing say about your personal or corporate brand? Do you have a pricing strategy, or do you set your prices by some ethereal or arbitrary method? Even though I believe issues surrounding pricing decisions are root level drivers to a successful business strategy, I never cease to be…

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The Lost Art of Brevity

Do you ever grow weary of listening to the verbose, or reading the work of those that have issues with clear articulation? I certainly do...but fear not; the lost art of brevity is making a comeback. Those of you that know me have come to understand that I prefer to cut to the chase. I like to get to the root of an issue as quickly as possible. While I appreciate the great oratory skills of those…

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Leveraging Down for CEOs

If you desire to become a successful leader at any level, much less a top CEO, it will be essential for you to master the art of leveraging down. The simple truth is that all great leaders are highly skilled in matters of delegation. Think of any top performing CEO and you'll find that to the one, they possess an uncanny ability to focus on highest and best use activities. While most executives…

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Increasing Productivity

“Finding The Zone” is a concept that most athletes are familiar with, but what about CEOs? We’ve all heard the sportscaster refer to an athlete as being in “the zone,” and so my question is this: “How do you find your performance zone as a CEO?” or better yet, “How do you find and remain in the leadership zone?” What respectable chief executive wouldn’t want to function at their best more often…

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