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Published by: Raghu Nayak on Sep 12, 2013
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  • Best Advice: What I Learned from a Sex-Crazed Short- Order Cook
  • Best Advice: Work Hard, Get Lucky
  • Turning into Nightmares
  • Magic Lessons for Retailers
  • Throw Out Your Business Plan and Create a Business Map
  • Cutting Your Frontline Sales Force Could Be a Huge Mistake
  • The Content Marketing Mix
  • "Are You Mad at Me?"
  • The Power of Simplicity
  • Don't sell your time for a living
  • Stop Judging And Allowing Judgements To Kill Your Dreams
  • 7 Ways To Make Your Customers Smile
  • Leave Them Laughing: 4 Things To Remember in your Presentations
  • Stop Shouting, Start Engaging: The New Rules of Selling
  • What Makes a 21st Century Leader?
  • Start Celebrating Yourself Today
  • Commitments
  • 5 Keys to Great Storytelling: Lessons from Barbara Corcoran
  • How to Sell Anything Using Social Media
  • The Secret to Putting Together an Insanely Successful Team
  • You Will Keep This Confidential
  • How Are You Planning for Your Succession?
  • What I Learned in Italy (Or, Economies in Perspective)
  • 5 Career Lessons I Learned in the Amazon
  • To Know Yourself: Why It Matters
  • What's Happening Inside?
  • Turning 'Otherness' Into an Asset
  • I Can't Say No to The 'Yes Man'
  • What Your Business Mentor Can Teach You
  • If You're Learning, You'll Never Need to Recharge
  • Learn Good Management From Bees and Golfers
  • Use the 2-question Interview to Assess Soft Skills
  • How to Tradeoff Potential for Experience and Why You Should
  • Breaking Organizational Walls
  • 5 Tips on Staying Energetic as a Founder
  • Hitchhiking to School and Other Lessons in Connecting
  • Class of 2013: Start Designing Your Life
  • 3 Ways to Avoid Decision Quicksand
  • The Dangers of Growing Experts From Within
  • How the Matrix Changes Leadership Focus
  • The Power and Myth of Company Culture
  • Where Do You See Yourself?
  • Everything You Think About Business Leadership Is Changing
  • Managing Your Most Precious Resource: Time
  • Don't Screw Up Your Mission Statement!
  • A Simple Plan to Eliminate the Skills Gap
  • Networking Rules!
  • Note to Managers: Positivity Matters
  • After the Crisis, How Do We Move Forward with Our Work Lives?

Best Advice: What I Learned from a Sex-Crazed ShortOrder Cook


I know when business leaders dispense the best advice they ever got, it's supposed to come from other titans of industry. But mine came from a food-splattered, sex-crazed short-order cook at a Bellevue Red Robin. I worked there as a dishwasher before college, in a space barely largely enough to turn around in, called The Pit. It had a hose dangling above a sink. To the left was a steam-sanitizer that heated dishes to 300 degrees in 30 seconds, and to the right a 20-foot steel table that wave after wave of busboys loaded with dirty dishes. The garbage disposal button below the table occasionally electrocuted people; this once included Dan, our skeptical kitchen manager. When Dan could stand again, he didn‘t promise to fix the disposal; he just told me to ―wear rubber boots and go f*** yourself.‖ The other dishwasher also went to my high school. It was a relief to see him there because he was cooler than I was. When the dishes piled up, he‘d vomit into the sink from the stress, sigh, then hit the garbage disposal button to suck it down. He quit a month after I started.

I was to be the restaurant‘s only dishwasher until we found someone new. That whole summer, we never did. Some of the prep cooks took a turn in the mornings before I got there, but mostly let the cookware pile up. While asleep, I dreamed about those dishes. And all my other time that summer was spent cleaning them. I liked it when Dan told me, ―Without you, this whole place goes down.‖ It was the first time a job had consumed me, and I found I didn't mind being consumed. But I didn't have a natural dish-washing gift. I was dainty and uncertain, hosing off a few plates before pausing to contemplate a blackened fajita skillet. E very night, I got ―into the weeds.‖ In business, this means you've strayed into unnecessary detail. But I heard it first in restaurants, where it means you've fallen terribly, terribly behind. It also means despair. When I got into the weeds, no one would save me. I'd just have to work later, until 3 or 4 a.m. It was hard to feel that everyone else closing the restaurant was waiting for me without helping me. It was hard to stand for so long. When I crept into the house, the family dogs rushed me because I didn't even smell like a person anymore; I‘d become a hamburger. It was the first problem I‘d faced that wasn't defined like a homework assignment, measured out by a teacher or manager to the exact degree that I could manage. Instead, what I could manage just had to be re-defined to be whatever it took to conquer the problem. The next time this happened was a decade later, when I began a startup. I‘d have never made it if a line cook named Steven Livestead hadn't taken pity on me. He worked to the accelerated rhythms of our Saturday-night soundtrack, which got diners to eat faster. When dropped patties and melted ice cream piled up at his feet, Steven would call out, ―I NEED A LINE SWEEP, I NEED A LINE SWEEP!‖ And then before anyone could possibly respond, he‘d wield two brooms as if they were lashed together, bumping into people and yelling like a kamikaze in a movie, distraught and doomed, but kind of happy too. Steven was the one who brought out a box of Dove Bars, telling each of us to eat two so that Dan never knew the box existed. He sexually harassed waitresses using a long pair of tongs to increase his range. After drinks in the parking lot, he drove them around on his Ninja 1000. My first night alone on the job, I got so far in the weeds that the line cooks ran out of dishes. While the tickets piled up, Steven came back to the dishpit to find out ―what the f*** is wrong with you?‖ It was a question I had already begun, with genuine curiosity, to ask myself. To Steven, the answer was obvious after a second. He watched how I reacted to a particularly intractable blob of mystery shit -- a frozen pond of hamburger grease, a frieze of gristle -- and screamed, ―ATTACK, ATTACK.‖

He told me the dish sanitizer had to be running continuously, which meant I had to clean a tray of dishes every thirty seconds. He made me take the time to organize The Pit -- shoving aside all those intractable fajita pans so we could bang out 100 plates fast. And when he saw that I scoured the bottom of each plate, he said:

I was an eager pupil. The only thing that made me sufficient for the job was that I felt insufficient: it had never occurred to me that the problem was we needed a second dishwasher, or to accept the conclusion that I was a bad dishwasher, saying with a shrug that I was cut out for better things. I learned instead to hit the dishes as if my life depended on it, blasting the ladles and ashtrays until my face was covered in teriyaki and drenched ashes. Seeing that, Steven would yell out his highest praise,

And that was it, the best advice I ever got, repeated every night for 70 nights. As a former chess-team captain and late-adolescent D&D player, I desperately needed to hear it. It wasn't nuanced or intellectual in the way I would have preferred; it was reptilian. But from that moment on, my whole professional future became the slow process of not being such a weenie. I still haven‘t forgotten what I learned that summer. I learned the best way to sort silverware, dumping it out on the counter with each hand independently grabbing for knives, then forks, then spoons. I learned that I could work my way out of despair. I learned to value speed in everything I do. I learned how other people lived; I learned how to be alone. I learned, even when all hell is breaking loose, first to take time to make my environment productive. I learned that people love to be good at things, even the silliest things. But mostly I learned how to be hard on myself, which let me mow down the other students when I went off to college at the end of that summer, and into a wider world where hardly anyone else had ever washed dishes for a living.

Best Advice: Work Hard, Get Lucky

manage the highs and the lows. sports. relationships. and probably many others. I think about this concept a lot like my friend Lane Becker does who describes it in his new book Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business. luck is the fortune which occurs beyond one‘s control.The best advice I ever received was not really advice but more of an approach to living. The idea that the harder you work the luckier you get has always appealed to me even though it seems like an inherent contradiction – after all. as my Dad started teaching me golf and its many truisms at an early age (there are conveniently plenty of great life lessons learned by analogy on the golf course – one shot at a time. the luckier you get There's some debate about who first made this statement. That's probably how it was eventually passed along to me. forget your opponents and play against par)." although more recently people think of legendary South African golfer Gary Player as the person who coined the phrase. It applies to several aspects of life: careers. The harder you work. Ben Franklin apparently once said ―Diligence is the mother of good luck. health and wellness. you can't control a bad break. What some . Lane‘s idea of planned serendipity fits with my approach in that it‘s possible to put yo urself in a position to benefit from an unexpected occurrence if you work hard and make the right choices.

and label it plain luck. When you work hard on your golf game and improve from a 20 handicap to a 3 handicap. The world often works in weird and unexpected ways. I‘ve never been a fan of counting on blind faith or strokes of pure luck to help me achieve my goals. but those who do find themselves in a place filled with opportunities. more often than not. The more effort (i.people call luck others call preparation. I believe that the probability of landing that "lucky break" goes up in direct proportion to the amount of hard work contributed to the cause. When it comes to business. when you dig in to a successful person‘s past. and there are no guarantees in life. for example. It's easy to look from the outside to see another person‘s extraordinary success in life. People who make an exceptional effort at something. yet insiders know it was made possible by out-hustling everyone else. Yet you can increase the chances that good fortune will find its way to you if you work hard to put yourself in prime position. You still need all the pieces to come together – the wind needs to be exactly right and you need a soft bounce when the ball hits the green. proactive networking. are really just improving their odds of being at the right place at the right time. which by definition puts them in the minority. for example. To be lucky is to be in the minority of good fortune. does not presume you can guarantee great things will happen – you obviously can‘t cause an undefined or unexpected thing to occur. outsiders call it luck. work) you put into meeting people and exploring different opportunities.e. at the very least. laid the groundwork for that person‘s "lucky" outcome. but it undoubtedly puts those who make the extra effort in the best position. however defined. the higher the probability of serendipitously meeting someone that makes you feel like the ―luckiest person in the world‖ (how often have you heard people say that?). The idea that the harder you work the luckier you get doesn‘t guarantee good fortune. and you can increase your chances of being a part of that minority. however. when conditions are perfect you're in the ideal situation to be able to capitalize. Few people are actually willing to travel the sparsely populated extra mile. dedication and hard work that. outgoing and personable people are typically exposed to a greater number of potential friends or partners than those who make minimal efforts to socialize. exhausting travel for in-person meetings or the relentless pursuit of new ideas and opportunities can often lead to serendipitous breakthroughs or connections that can change the course of an organization. with that person having made no preparation nor done any work to increase the probability of something great happening. there's usually a rich story of perseverance. However. And. but because you're skilled enough to repeatedly hit accurate shots over and over. This approach. When it comes to relationships. there will always be cases in which a person is in fact the beneficiary of a completely random event. having not seen the behind-the-scenes climb. . persistence and dedication to increasing your chances of being at the right place at the right time. you're putting yourself in a much better position to make a hole-in-one. When those opportunities convert into realities. of course.

Silicon Valley is also full of even bigger piles of money to hyperloop those dreams into tomorrow‘s reality. The format is simple. trekked down to a small resort outside Los Angeles to dream big at D: All Things Digital. Crazy dreamers. . During the day. Brilliant dreamers. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. I‘ll follow this approach and work as hard as I can to put planned serendipity to work for me. This week. I suggest you do the same! The Dreamer’s Dilemma: Prevent Your Dreams from Turning into Nightmares Silicon Valley is full of dreamers. the ringmasters. Lazy dreamers. pepper CEOs with questions as their targets do their best to stick to talking points and avoid sweating out.If there‘s a positive outcome I‘m striving for. If you‘re pursuing something big or important in your life. and others from around the country who want to be just like them. the Valley‘s leading dreamers and their backers.

Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). and the goals I‘ve tried to achieve. Dick Costolo (Twitter). dinners and drinks move to poker and pizza upstairs. Milli Vanilli winning a Grammy Award. Tim Cook (Apple). Barry Diller (IAC). . the founder of LeWeb and a longtime Silicon Valley leader. Watch it here and I imagine you may feel the same way as many in the room shared the same feeling. But one session – Elon Musk – captured my imagination and still has it in solitary confinement two days later.At night. This year‘s interviews featured Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook). I questioned the importance and relevance of the projects and companies I‘ve spent my working life working on. Elon made dreamers feel like first graders held back for another year. journalists – and even a few bankers – talk about the future of the internet. where billionaires. I‘m not going to even try to put the session into words. founders. Jeffrey Immelt (GE) and Kazuo Hirai (Sony). knowing we‘d have to give it back after we were ousted for being phonies. Loic LeMeur. Jeff Zucker (CNN). Walt and Kara‘s discussion with the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and cofounder of Paypal simultaneously inspired me to dream bigger and reach for my baby blanket. Or 10. Dropouts of the game of ―change the world‖ we all signed up to play. John Chambers (Cisco). tweeted: A whopping 82 others agreed by retweeting or favoriting his sentiment. technology and the world.

as Shervin Pishevar so eloquently pointed out as he asked Elon about his hyperloop project ("a cross between a Concorde. . That‘s cool. For an hour Wednesday night. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg. That‘s nuts! These historic companies rely on Elon to make their cars more efficient! Most of us are driven by the laws of reason. For Elon. discussed our existential need to create more fuel-efficient transport. This would seem like mere science fiction if it weren‘t for the fact that he has already done the ―impossible‖ on multiple occasions. a rail gun.‖ he said.‖ Elon says so matter-of-factly. Elon helped us all dream about why multiplanetary life would be so cool. Elon. ―It‘s a fixer-upper of a planet but we could make it work. for the record. Elon announced that the US government is now paying his company. and I think we should really try our hardest to make it happen. entrepreneurs and creators. and sad. SpaceX. The other CEOs refused to talk about specific news while Elon announced that by the end of the year you‘ll be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York solely on electric power. it‘s a sidenote. she was asked about hate speech on Facebook. before adding that it would be kind of cool to die on Mars. we awoke yesterday to news that Elon may be dating Cameron Diaz. new ways to get theme park visitors to spend more money. on the other hand. ―It‘s difficult but achievable. billions to haul stuff back and forth from the space station. The contrast between Elon‘s presence and every other CEO was stark. this would be the accomplishment of a lifetime. He painted a vivid picture showing why we needed to make cars THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY BUY that are better for the collective us. arcane tax strategies and alternative ways to distribute today‘s content. the company‘s mobile strategies and what it‘s like working with Mark Zuckerberg. Her insight into gender issues in the workplace was awesome and human and important. it felt as if Steve Jobs had returned to the D conferece. But also power marketing for why our youth should become scientists.") The others talked about smaller versions of their current products. Sickening. Elon mentioned matter of factly that he has cut deals with both Toyota and Mercedes to supply electric car technology to the companies to power their own fuel-efficient vehicles.And to make matters worse for our collective egos. yes. But just as the crowd and Twitter was jamming to her inspiration. For any other entrepreneur. and an air hockey table. He is focused on transportation that will get us from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes so we can spend more time with people we love. The only laws Elon holds sacred are the laws of physics. shined.

problems? Do we need another photo-sharing application? Do we need another social marketing platform? Do we need another site to let strangers rent our houses? Do we need another dating app that takes the friction out of meeting new people. what if we‘r e no longer capable of doing better? What if we don‘t want to do better? My kids won‘t want to create new technologies that help us live better. or even non-existent. explore new planets and leave the world better than when we entered it. or finding someone to have an affair with? Actually. And then flip it for a few pairs of Google Glass and free food. .] What the fuck is going on here? Or for those in Silicon Valley. They‘ll want to create the next Minecraft. What if our kids continue to drop out of the sciences. Like. mocking me like the impenetrable bastard it is? I bet Elon knows every one of those elements by name . are we in a giant A-B test whose sole outcome is to help us optimize the monetization of the time we have left on the depreciating asset we call our planet? What if Kara and Loic are correct? What if our biggest minds are actually focused on the smallest.Elon talked about doing the impossible while just hours later I found myself in a hotel suite engaged in a heated debate about whether or not a young entrepreneur should turn his social software company into an ad network. do we need any of the above? Who knows? But what really scares me are the bigger questions. like I did? What if our kids are like me and can‘t remember 4 of the elements on that table that hung on the wall of my high school s cience class. And makes me feel so stupid. [He thinks he should yet refuses to actually call it an ad network as ad networks are out of favor. I pee my proverbial bed dreaming my cute little dreams while Elon combines a few Hs and Os from the chemistry set that is his life. That scares me.and dated at least a dozen of them.

Because it‘s hard enough to accomplish my own dreams that it makes my brain melt trying to comprehend Elon‘s. What if we continue to create the world‘s best engineers at our world‘s best universities and continue to send them home to another country to create the next generation of the world‘s best companies? What if we are so far removed from our roots in creating stuff that matters that we don‘t even know where to start? What if we create political organizations to do good but mess it up so royally that people pull out right away? What if Elon pulls out first? What does that say for the rest of us? What if I'm not invited back to D? What if I'm ousted as the phony entrepreneur I am who just got lucky building stuff that wasn‘t important? What if? What if? What if? What if? Man. And you don‘t either. They put me in the best position to succeed and make the most use of my time on this planet. how do I start answering those questions? I have no fucking idea. So my dreams fit me. . But what I do know is that I can‘t keep writing like this and thinking like this. My dreams are black and white and released direct to DVD. And my dreams aren‘t just business related. Focusing on Elon‘s big. His are directed by Jerry Bruckheimer and shown on massive IMAX 3D screens. And it's the only way you and everyone in that room this week can live. I can only focus on my own reality. It‘s the only way to live the life I want to live. They work for me. Because in addition to being a multibillionaire.I fret about which mobile phone to carry while he builds his dream home on Mars. And that‘s about all I know. he‘s ripped and would probably beat the crap out of me. fat. which isn‘t a good idea. awesome dreams makes me want to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry‘s Phish Food and punch the guy in the face. I‘m focused on Elon‘s dreams and not my own. I know a few things about the internet and marketing and starting companies. hairy. I need to stop. and a sick Tony Stark-like inventor/entrepreneur who owns companies that makes space ships and rocket ships and having a model/actress lady friend who was in There ‘s Something About Mary.

others‘ dreams when we can‘t even execute on our own? So all I can do. And that puts on the kids in their own rocket ships that take them on their own journies to dream their own big or small or weird dreams. and all of us. This is my Mars dream. Who are we to worry about. And even then. or could. Success can only happen if your skills and drive are equal to or greater than the scope of your dreams. A dad that is patient and doesn‘t lose his cool. two things that have been easier said than done over the last few years. Dream about how you can help make the world a whole lot better tomorrow than it was today. A friend that is present and dependable.I dream about being a great husband. doing this seems harder for me to do than building a vacation home on Mars like Elon. A dad that doesn‘t roll his eyes or shake his head too many times. And never stop dreaming. He got into it because no one else would. You can dream with me here. This intersection of dreams and execution is where the magic happens for Elon. And I dream that one day I‘ll be part of the large movement that kicks cancer once and for all. Do I think I‘ll see 100% of all cancers cured by the time I die? Not really. you have a 50-50 chance. I dream about being a great friend. and all you can do. But it‘s hard to turn those dreams into reality. And that means being present both physically and mentally for Kass. or compare ourselves to. and he had a dream that we could have cars that are better for us. They need to have their own. This isn‘t something that comes easy for me and I want to continue to try to be better. at best. But that shouldn‘t be an excuse stop me from trying. And he was smart enough to see that he had the innate skills and drive to make it happen. Sometimes. Elon didn't get into the electric car business because he wanted to. of getting there. So here's the deal with the dreamer's dilemma. Dream about the world you want to create. is dream what you dream. It‘s easy to dream big. I‘ve had my dreams. . I dream about being a great dad. Dream about the person you want to become. A dad that is trusted.

but then we brought it to market. And you will have fewer doubters if you also tune into your dreams. Elon. go for it. as Elon did. I hereby declare my two days of being completely depressed about Elon‘s inspiring work over. Let Elon. Some of that change will be great for the world. Most will be somewhere in between. whatever they are. Congrats. And with that. But all of these dreams are important.‖ Elon said Wednesday last night. and everyone else who have made some of their dreams come true. and thanks for making all of us dream a little bigger. as Gandhi said so eloquently. Magic Lessons for Retailers . Then they said you‘ll never make a profit. Some will be great for just your own little world.And don‘t let ANYONE or ANYTHING get in the way of your dreams. be the change you want to see in the world. so many people called bullshit on the Model S it was ridiculous. So I hope they will observe there is a trend here. ―After the Roadster. Tune out the critics. ―They had written off the Tesla Roadster as a niche product for techno-geeks (another shout-out to the audience) but we‘ve moved beyond that. ― I imagine Elon will have fewer doubters in the future. Or better yet. and bring them to life. give you the inspiration you need to dream in your own way and. turn those critics into the electric power to fuel your dreams. If you think your dream should come true and you‘re not violating any rules of physics (or basic human ethics). and then we did that.

Although millions of visitors come to the parks over and over again. In addition to the "magical" experiences that Disney technologists envisioned. sign up for fast passes. Disney is now able to address a challenge most physical businesses face. bracelets that park guests can use to access the park. reducing wait times and learning far more about how people spend their time. so privacy concerns are avoided. It doesn't have a link between avid online users of Disney sites and games and the people who show up in parks. guests are likely to be suprised in delightful ways that add to the magic of a park visit! In addition to enhancing the park experience. and when not obvious. It doesn't know whether different types of guests route differently through the parks. Guests can create a Disney profile that can be used to track their history of Disney visits. find pictures snapped by Disney photographers and much more. Data is being used in ways that are obviously of value to guests. the bands interact with park features and act as a link to a much broader MyDisney experience. . customize their trip. share plans with fellow travelers and ensure that they can access all of the logistics involved with a park visit from their mobile phone. Disney has no idea whether the visitor walking in the gate is a first time guest or a lifelong visitor. interact with characters. make meal reservations. Guests opt-in to any of the features they wish to activate and parents have full control over the ways bands worn by their kids can be used. The new Disney experience will provide park managers with the data to know their guests and to be even more effective at managing lines and the flow of people through the park.Disney World will roll out MagicBands. purchase items.

Retailers in general are eager for information about their customers so that they can better compete with online commerce and integrate their online sites and their stores. as I have argued in the past. This is force #1 of the 7 Forces of Business Mastery: Know Where You Really Are and Create an Effective Business Map. Every day consumers give apps access to their friends lists. most physical retailers know very little about their customers. Throw Out Your Business Plan and Create a Business Map The pace of change has accelerated to the point where a business plan is no longer enough to plot the future of your business with any certainty. Ask consumers for more data. their contacts. but all can try to delight their customers. but how often do people show up at a store and not find what they want? How often do a store's best customers end up on long lines? Which displays lead to sales? Many retailers are beginning to work with retail location companies that rely on the interaction between smart phones and in-store WiFi networks to generate anonymous analytics reports. How do you position your business in this hyper-competitive environment? Different from a business plan. Provide some value and consumers will be pleased to provide the data needed. Some of these new technologies have already led to privacy push-back from consumers concerned about how they were being tracked or and unsure about how their data was being used. Although online companies can track how users navigate their web sites and understand which ads or searches lead to transactions. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight. Data is now a feature that can be used for consumers and by consumers. Data is no longer something to disclose in a privacy policy that is ignored. so that you can understand how to serve them better. Not every retailer can entertain like Disney. Others are experimenting with geo-fenced offers delivered via mobile apps. How can retailers get the data they want without creating a privacy firestorm? Lean in to it. interactive mannequins. . their photos and their location. a business maphelps you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. which will likely be obsolete in five years. digital signs that detect whether a shopper is male or female and smart scanners that provide relevant coupons. Loyalty cards add purchase history to the mix.

To create an effective business map. where he saw people eagerly meeting in cafes before and after work. you‘ll understand what business you need to be in to become the dominant force in your market. Cutting Your Frontline Sales Force Could Be a Huge Mistake . first ask yourself “What business am I in?” And then drill a little deeper. But ask Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. they could have prevented the entire industry from going bankrupt as the trucking industry took over. not just delivering coffee. you‘re in a better position to identify where you are now. and he will likely tell you about his trip to Italy. realized that they were really in the transportation business. He saw the promise of a transitional meeting place between home and work. Having a business map really means framing your business in terms that enable you to see opportunities (and threats) that you might otherwise overlook. what business is Starbucks in? Most people would say the coffee business. The next two questions are: “What business am I really in?” and “How is business?” How is this useful? Back in the early 1900s. and that was the seed that grew into Starbucks. Most important.S. and you‘ll be better able to steer your organization in accordance with that vision. He knew his business was about creating an experience. and what it will take to get to where you want to be. For instance. not the railroad business. Knowing what business you‘re really in means having a deep and thorough understanding of your customer and the value they gain from you. if railroad companies in the U. Once you really understand how to consistently offer more value than anyone else in your market. You‘ll have more certainty about what your business needs to grow now.

retailers have been cutting back on frontline sales as volume has shifted online. however. This could be one of the biggest mistakes retailers can make and will likely accelerate the threat of ―showrooming‖ – the practice of checking out products in a store then buying them online. the cost of hiring a good salesperson is recouped by selling just one additional product per hour on the floor. Find the right frontline talent . reading online reviews. for example. Consider the case of home electronics sold through discount stores.In the last few years. adding salespeople offers one of the more attractive payback opportunities in retail. and comparing prices on their own. despite undertaking extensive product research. With an average selling price of $200 and an average gross margin of 10 percent. Bolster your sales staff When done correctly. But McKinsey research indicates that as many as 40 percent of customers remain open to persuasion once they enter a store. now is the time for retailers to be reinvesting in the quality of talent on the frontline with techniques to close the sale in the store. or $20 per sale. Many retailers assume that customers walk into stores for purely transactional purposes: they know what they want and just need to buy it. Our research into the frontline of retail staff. providing extra sales assistance during select hours led to a conversion rate increase of 9%. recouping the cost of the extra human help within an average of 10 to 15 minutes during normal selling hours. At one self-help apparel company. just one additional sale every two hours is needed. With tax equivalency approaching. Retailers without knowledgeable staff on hand to help customers make decisions are losing sale after potential sale. When the profit margin from up-selling or cross-selling accessories is added. suggests that most retailers are hiring the wrong people to do this and not providing the right training or incentives to drive in-store selling.

45 percent of frontline employees across multiple retailing sectors have the personality and attributes to be effective sellers. at most.Having staff that understand and enjoy the sales process is critical. Understanding the content mix that works for your audience is incredibly important and many companies get this very wrong. I break content down to four very general categories: . and you understand your audience and what kind of content may appeal. That leaves even natural salespeople often unable to answer basic questions about their products from potential customers who are increasingly informed (in some categories. more than 75 percent appear in the store having done extensive independent research). we found that few retailers provide training with the specificity and quality to effectively support sales associates in their mission to sell more. Our research indicates that. 2013    767 5 1 inShare42 So now that you've been inspired to try your hand at social content marketing. How are you helping your frontline sales team drive retail growth? The Content Marketing Mix June 02. In addition. Retailers need to redesign the way they hire and deploy staff into selling roles to attract employees with the personality and attributes required to succeed. it's time to plan out your content mix.

who is behind the product (slightly crosses over to brand. it's the scientific study that shows a 25% reduction in crows feet. . how they enjoy/use your product. etc). If you are doing content for a dental office. though many companies are trying to create interaction with these by adding a sharing. the benefits. liking or commenting incentive (share to enter a contest. However. when it is available or goes on special. These are posts about your product itself: the features. it's posting the concert dates and new singles. what. the comparisons and the contrasts. it's posting where you are featured as an expert in the Washington Post. If you are doing content for a rockband. it's posting the specials on cleaning and whitening. where and how of what you are selling. It's the who. a content schedule made up of too many of these posts will not be interesting to anyone other than already devoted fans . They are the ones that most resemble the traditional marketing one-way message. PRODUCT Product type content is the stuff that most people understand as self-promotional. comment to let us know how you would wear this. me. where people can buy it. like to get a coupon.and even they will be less and less interested as time goes on. when. Product posts are the "me. If you are doing content for your consulting business. which I'll explain next) and why people should buy your product. These types of posts are essential for communicating what it is you are selling. me" posts.A. If you are doing content for a cosmetic company.

less alienating. The image itself was fairly innocuous with the rainbow colored filling between the iconic chocolate wafers and the word 'PRIDE'. They can even help you improve your product. more efficient.B. It listens and learns and evolves with the needs of the audience. more meaningful and just plain better. but the biggest was that they took a risk. but they do speak to your audience. this is where you focus on the outcomes of looking and feeling great wearing the clothes (quite often done visually and in a fantasy setting). leading to a wide number of supporters and detractors discussing and sharing the ad. If you are doing content for a sports team. These posts evolve over time as you interact with the audience and understand what makes their lives simpler. Oreo took a risk with a holiday that divides many (as gay rights is widely contested). they talk more about the customer and how they serve the customer's needs. which will lead to a deeper relationship and long-term loyalty. LIFESTYLE Lifestyle type posts don't directly relate to your product. C. BRAND Brand type posts still relate to your product. Brand type posts are answering how you are making your customers‘ lives simpler. These posts connect to your audience by recognizing what else is going on in their minds and show that your company gets the audience. This is where the content gets social. the image went viral because of many factors. less confusing. more meaningful and better. They are posts that recognize memes. but focus more on the "why" by empathizing with your audience and connecting with them on a more emotional level. this is where you can connect with the audience's competitive instincts. less alienating. If you are doing content for a fashion retailer. Brand posts answer the question. but a family focused company giving any recognition to the gay . holidays. If you are doing content for a public figure. but they speak to how the customer connects to the product rather than the awesomeness of the product itself. It didn't say. this is where you showcase the issues and ideologies that people can connect with in order to support that person. more efficient. Brand type posts are still product related. When Oreo posted the gay pride cookie. "Why would YOU give a damn about my product?" but they don't list the features and benefits. This will give your audience a feeling of personal investment in the product. current events and pop culture. providing tools to help them show their team colors. less confusing. "support gay rights" or stand up for anything in particular.

but don't get too complex. An example of a community post for a fashion retailer would be street style photographs where their customers talk about what they bought and what they are wearing.Halloween . D. but be careful with the rights to images. a cute. and interviewed and highlighted the really unique ones. but they were meaningful and encouraged more people to share their own stories. COMMUNITY Community type posts focus on your customers and audience. it's probably best you keep these posts a small percentage of your content. which led to setting the left wing audience off to counteract the ire. They tend to get shared quite widely as people can use them to communicate their endorsement of the holiday or meme by simply posting to their own walls. or Best Friends Day on June 8) that could tie back to your product easily or creatively or speak to your particular audiences. Lifestyle type posts are simple to fall back on. posting them to the blog. . Mac did a wonderful 'Face Off' campaign for Halloween in 2012 where they posted some amazing Halloween makeup tutorials and invited budding makeup artists to submit their own. Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. Community type posts are very good at involving your customers in the future of your brand. A 'yesterdays' meme will make you look out of date (posting a Harlem Shake video today.e. sleeper campaign turned into national news and Oreo cookies were top of mind for people again. don't overdo these as they could start to look like desperate attempts at content ideas and pandering. Many cosmetic brands will hold contests for their audience to do makeup tutorials. These content posts highlight customer stories.community was enough to set the right wing audience off. Facebook and Twitter. One of my clients was asking for their audience to submit a big design project. However. The results were incredible and some of their most popular posts (good example of using lifestyle .and combining it with community). There are several sites online that list all sorts of fun holidays (i. ideas. Occasional Lifestyle type content posts will pack a good amount of punch if you post them sparingly. When doing the Justin Trudeau leadership campaign. Unless you can be creative about it like Oreo (without looking like a copy cat). These posts weren't the most shared or liked. The next thing you know. Many brands do well aligning to pop culture. but make sure the memes are known enough and current. feedback and lifestyles. we collected supporter stories on how people came to meet and support Justin. for example) and a too obscure meme may go over the heads of your audience and may offend. Memes can be a clever way to connect with your audience. We used these stories in a post.

And remember. When assessing content. but overdoing these would reduce their effectiveness. grow loyalty though involving your customers in your evolution and then help your loyal.298 . etc. Ultimately. but this approach wouldn't work for everyone. you will break down types of posts even more finitely. but they empower your customers to be involved with your brand.454 276 141 inShare3. for instance. do almost exclusively lifestyle posts (that have a brand bend) and people love them. "Are You Mad at Me?" June 02. loving audience spread the word for you. Decotheca. Community type posts most likely won't be your most shared or liked post. Accessories. bringing in a larger audience. Oreo Cookies. Design Style Overviews. The overall purpose of content marketing is to build and connect with your audience. which is important for relationship building. Currently people love the DIY projects the most. When they reduced that ask to a before and after photo. THE CONTENT MIX These four classifications aren't black and white. Community posts can also be brand. As your content evolves. a client of mine who provides design inspiration and guidelines for Canadians who are designing or redesigning their rooms and homes. But I recognize that sitting down in front of a blank calendar to create engaging content can be daunting and I've found the four types of content to be a good exercise to get started. 2013    39. you should let your audience and their engagement and feedback determine how it evolves. Color Inspiration. these four classifications I've outlined are very top level and only to be used as a guideline for your initial content planning. we look at the type of post and the type of content of each post to determine how to adjust and balance going forward. The mix also varies depending on your audience and your own goals.which required too much work. get feedback to improve your product. this leads to you being top of mind and increasing your sales or supporters. laborious task to a fun and learning experience. have focused most of their energy on brand type posts. A product post can have lifestyle and brand type elements. they got many more submissions. Design Terminology. but have broken these posts down to: DIY projects. Your content planning will move from a daunting. From there.

since I had to no reason to be. but I realized later what was going on. I said.when I briefly locked eyes with my colleague. who was startled enough by my body language to later pull me into a conference room to wonder if the air needed to be cleared between us. I‘m guessing I was thinking hard about some story as I walked through the newsroom one day -probably furrowing my brow. I faced a lot of tight deadlines. We sat down. I was puzzled. A colleague I had worked with over the years came up to me in the hallway and asked if we could talk in a conference room. Sure. and the question came out of the blue: ―Are you mad at me?‖ Of course not. I responded immediately. .That surprising question packed a powerful lesson. my mind a million miles away -. wondering what was up. and I would often have just a short window to get a story into shape for the next day‘s paper. As an editor.

but the responsibility that goes along with it. And I go to work and wear my suit. the example I set. people will be confused. told me he learned from his father: ―I remember him saying. is something that I think about virtually every day. in effect. and I run into no fewer than a dozen women in the organization who have on scarves tied exactly like mine. and I went out and bought my new fancy suits to wear to work and so on. confidence and optimism. the way I carried myself. And I didn‘t see that nearly as profoundly when I was leading a functional organization or a smaller enterprise. ―And that‘s when I realized that life was never going to be the way it had been before. that people were watching everything I did. And then I come back to work the next day. people are looking at you in a way that you could not have imagined in other roles. But to this day.‘‖ . the f ormer CEO of Timberland. and it was the first job where I was truly responsible for the performance of a company. then you have to be serious all the time. I‘ll let her tell the story. and to always show energy.That colleague did me a huge favor. They won‘ t be able to figure out where you‘re coming from and that‘ll be threatening. cues. how confident I was — all those kinds of things.‖ It‘s a challenge that every leader faces. the tone I set. not only the awareness of that. I had asked her about important leadership lessons she had learned. ―That was a lesson I have never forgotten — that as a leader. Many CEOs have told me similar stories about moments when they realized how much they were. Here‘s a smart tip that Jeffrey Swartz. ‗Pick a face. Here was one of them: ―It was when I first became a company president. It really was now about me and the context of setting the tone for the organization. Because if you‘re serious one day and happy the next. But I don‘t think the leadership part of it had settled in quite as profoundly as it did when I took over a company. I had mastered the day-to-day mechanics of running organizations. intensely scrutinized by employees who often pay more attention to the non-verbal cues than what their leaders are saying. even if I was on a tight deadline and wrestling with a difficult problem. If you want to be serious. Do they look concerned? Is something up? The leader who best crystallized this notion for me was Linda Hudson. particularly with the team of reporters I was leading. From that moment on. And I‘m at work on my very first day. because I learned a memorable lesson that day about how people can read so much into subtle. I found myself making much more of an effort to be aware of my body language. and I have my first day at work. and often unintended. the president of BAE Systems. which comes from my interview with her a few years ago. constantly under the bright lights of a stage. And it wasn‘t just going to be about how I dressed. and a lady at Nordstrom‘s had showed me how to tie a scarf in a very unusual kind of way for my new suit. It was about my behavior. ―I was the first female president of the General Dynamics Corporation.

then their employees can spend more time focusing on their work. I‘ve tried to pick a face – no more furrowed brows – and be consistent. 2013    77. the CEO of YouSendit. I‘ll let him explain what they mean: ―‗Be in‘ is all about passion. In last week‘s interview with Brad Garlinghouse. and less time searching for clues in the boss‘s body language. It‘s a short and punchy list – ―Be in. There are so many interesting things we can do in our life. he described the new cultural values that he helped develop after he was brought in to help turn the company around. it‘s not worth it for them or for us. say.852 It is a key test for leaders: Can you take complex tasks – like working through countless variables for.‖ – and it‘s memorable. The Power of Simplicity May 28. Ever since that colleague asked me the surprising question about whether I was angry.Pick a face. If leaders are consistent. Life is short. and I feel like if someone is just kind of showing up. your organization‘s values or strategic goals – and distill them into a short list that everyone can remember? And just how short should the list be? I would suggest no more than three. .325 606 279 inShare3. The CEOs I interview each week for my Corner Office series offer regular reminders of the power of simplicity. Be Bold. Be Real. at the most.

more than 300 of them. and I provided context to the whole thing. If you don‘t do that.‘ ―We had 40 core values at that point — innovation. The first day people were like: ‗I don‘t know what‘s going on here. but so does the fact that there are only three values. and we sat in circles.―The second value. ―And the last one‘s about being bold. ‗be real. as a company. and they were the ones where you just didn‘t feel like people were being real in terms of their communication.‘ is really about being authentic in our communication. This is kind of crazy. You‘d sit in a meeting and work through something and think you got somewhere. It‘s a little Kumbaya-ish. And now we are going to move forward. To me. All the employees.‘ There was a lot of friction. shared the story with me of how he worked with his employees to boil his company‘s values down to just two. This is dumb. I call it a ―Simple Mindset. and we spent three days doing this cultural evaluation. and it was a really fascinating process. We went from $20 million to $100 million in five years. What‘s better than three? How about two? Robert LoCascio of LivePerson. Be an owner is about us being owners as individuals. I remember that I had an all-company call and said: ‗You know what? We‘ve done amazing things. But everyone came. a different company. came. and then you walk out of the room and someone‘s putting the parking brake on and you don‘t even know they‘re doing that. on the second day. can the employees really be expected to remember them all? Think about a time you had to make a quick run to the grocery store – if you have to pick up eight things. I remember some people said: ‗I don‘t want to come. As some companies grow and develop. where our research offices are. I t seems to be the sweet spot for what our brain can remember day-to-day. and we need to design a different environment. I have seen different cultures in my career that I felt had atrophied and needed revitalization.‘ ―And we ended up all going to Israel. We can‘t be selfish.‖ The repetition of ―be‖ helps make it stick. we‘re not trying hard enough. it‘s a good bet you‘ll be reaching for a scrap of paper to make a list before you head out the door.‖ This skill – to create simplicity out of complexity – is one that separates people as they move up in an organization. and we should congratulate ourselves. ―I invited everyone into the process. We eventually got to two core values: be an owner and help others. driving the business. we started to get more reflective about what all this meant. We were in small groups of 20. And so that‘s where we ended up with our core values.‖ and it‘s one of the five qualities that I've identified in . and helping others is about being reflective and understanding that we‘re in a community here. If a company has eight values. if we‘re not failing a little bit. So let‘s acknowledge that we‘re going to do that as a team. I think great cultures encourage risk and are tolerant of failure. customer first. you‘re going to end up with a culture that is stagnant and not thinking about the next generation of products and experiences. that instinct is almost beaten out of the system. We should be very proud. all the typical ones and then a bunch of other ones. Then.

―The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed. And the important aspect of this personal business model is that you'll be able to make money even if you are sleeping.‖ – to help explain why some people get promoted over others. It's something we've all done as kids . Let's call this the "sell your time" version of a personal business model: You sell your time to an employer. At least the traditional version of a job. It could be an app. and to find another business model instead. . finding what you love. Or haven't ever tried. It always shocks me when people don't really know how to make anything. YouTube channel.an important source of these anxieties come from the fact that a "sell your time" model of work means you've set your personal time (and goals) in direct conflict with the time you have to sell for work. Even The Onion agrees. in which you do something you sorta hate. table. . Turns out this personal business model sucks. Anything. Stop selling your time There's a better way . Weird. in their article Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About. The key is to find a way to stop selling your time. .my book -. and they pay you for that time. etc. from 9-5p. crafts. stalk them. Anything.drawings. copy them. or anything else. Have you seen examples of leaders putting their ―simple mindset‖ into action? Don't sell your time for a living June 01. Then study the people who have become successful enough to support themselves in this craft. etc.but somehow a very large number of professional workers find themselves in a state where they only know how to repackage other peoples' work rather than doing anything themselves. I think it's important to learn to make something. Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life.238 33 3 inShare264 If there's one thing I could tell every graduating student. blog. all the way to the top of an organization.though it might not be the easiest way. and meet them. 1) Learn to make something. and study them. First and foremost. video tutorial. There's so much conflict stemming from the fact that this is the predominant mode of work in our society. 2013    3. this is what I'd say: Jobs suck. and are paid for your time to just grit your teeth and do it. All the hand-wringing about work/life balance. kids versus work.

It‘s normal to take awhile. this is a skill in itself and may take years to figure out. It'll also be an opportunity to find small wins in what you do. or a customer base. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase. This kind of positive feedback will keep you going. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. .2) Create a feedback loop with your audience/customers Remember that the end goal isn't to make art. Most people I know who do interesting. Again.000 hours (roughly 10 years) to become a worldclass expert. it's to get out of selling your time for a living. and your work will be as good as your ambitions. is still killer. is that all of us who do creative work. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.sometimes you may be picking up early skills that will help you on your own . This means you'll want to constantly show people your work.whether that's improvements in craftsmanship. the thing that got you into the game. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I‘ve ever met. A lot of people never get past this phase. you'll get frustrated much earlier on because you'll think that you suck at it. It‘s gonna take awhile. So even while you're learning to make stuff. starting as a beginner: ―What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . no matter how bad it is. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap. we get into it because we have good taste. You'll want to try and build an audience. 3) It'll take years to become competent It's been discussed endlessly in books like Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. This means you need to create a feedback loop between you and your customers. But your taste.‖ There are a lot of ways to do this It's important to remember that there's a lot of paths to take in order to wean yourself off the "sell your time" model. There's a great quote from Ira Glass (of This American Life) about the difficulty of getting good at anything. For the first couple years you make stuff. We all go through this. They quit. We know our work doesn‘t have this special thing that we want it to have. You‘ve just gotta fight your way through. and it‘s just not that good. But even before you sink years into something. whoever they may be. or from finding an audience for your work. it has potential. But there is this gap. It‘s trying to be good. you gotta know it‘s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. And then 10. you'll want to learn how to make stuff that people actually want. but it takes years of solid practice to be any good at anything. but it‘s not. creative work went through years of this. .

the goal is to stop people from both hating and becoming dependent on their work.ultimately. I'm not saying to run off and quit your job right away.218 61 15 inShare227 . 2013    3.that's why an early stage startup has some of the same feelings of mission and is appealing in the same way.thing later on. Stop Judging And Allowing Judgements To Kill Your Dreams May 31. You might find that it's better to team up with a bunch of people to accomplish the same goals.


I thought about this as I meditated today. I always want to learn new things.353 336 114 inShare1. Most people never start their own business not because they cannot or because they do not have a good idea or even lack skills. Not even eye contact is allowed between the participants for 10 days. you can at least become aware of it and protect yourself from it. I have just started to notice it myself and I am trying to fix it by not judging others either. I am curious. making out to be weird — if not scary. He also sells more than $1 billion in rockets every year to NASA. I was really interesting to read that in his 10-day total silence meditation retreat what he found the most liberating was that no one was judging him anymore. Elon Musk launched two fully electric cars and made them profitable while everybody was telling him he was going to fail. So they do nothing. nobody judges you there. 2013    50. Most people thought he was crazy when he launched SpaceX. I am trying to protect myself from both judging and being judged so I can see broader and do much more. You can wear and do whatever you want. If you cannot stop others from judging you. I have read Ben Casnocha's excellent posts about his meditation retreat and his follow-up post a few months after. Musk is said to have first thought the SolarCity idea at Burning Man. It is because their friends and family judge them and tell them they will fail. I do not mind being judged as "weird" but I do notice it. which was not always the case. It is the most creative place on Earth for a week. That is stupid. So many of my friends meditate that I wanted to see what it was like and commit to it fully over a long period of time. I also notice it when I judge others. the press and strangers predicted Elon's failure.As I was writing yesterday. as each time I do it I might influence them not to do what they want to try. The Dreamer’s Dilemma: Prevent Your Dreams from Turning into Nightmares May 31. he would have just stopped pursuing his dreams instead of making them come true. Had he listened.970 . Judging is a dream killer. "This is not what you should do. I am not surprised. Why would you ever want to do this" and so many more. Friends. Someone recently judged me about learning to meditate. for others and for yourself.

Lazy dreamers. the ringmasters. journalists – and even a few bankers – talk about the future of the internet. Walt and Kara‘s discussion with the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and cofounder of Paypal simultaneously inspired me to dream bigger and reach for my baby blanket. Brilliant dreamers. Barry Diller (IAC). founders. Jeff Zucker (CNN). dinners and drinks move to poker and pizza upstairs. where billionaires. This week. At night. and others from around the country who want to be just like them. Tim Cook (Apple). trekked down to a small resort outside Los Angeles to dream big at D: All Things Digital. Crazy dreamers. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. The format is simple. technology and the world. . During the day. John Chambers (Cisco). Jeffrey Immelt (GE) and Kazuo Hirai (Sony).Silicon Valley is full of dreamers. Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). But one session – Elon Musk – captured my imagination and still has it in solitary confinement two days later. Silicon Valley is also full of even bigger piles of money to hyperloop those dreams into tomorrow‘s reality. the Valley‘s leading dreamers and their backers. pepper CEOs with questions as their targets do their best to stick to talking points and avoid sweating out. Dick Costolo (Twitter). This year‘s interviews featured Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook).

I questioned the importance and relevance of the projects and companies I‘ve spent my working life working on, and the goals I‘ve tried to achieve. I‘m not going to even try to put the session into words. Watch it here and I imagine you may feel the same way as many in the room shared the same feeling. Loic LeMeur, the founder of LeWeb and a longtime Silicon Valley leader, tweeted:

A whopping 82 others agreed by retweeting or favoriting his sentiment. Elon made dreamers feel like first graders held back for another year. Or 10. Dropouts of the game of ―change the world‖ we all signed up to play. Milli Vanilli winning a Grammy Award, knowing we‘d have to give it back after we were ousted for being phonies. And to make matters worse for our collective egos, we awoke yesterday to news that Elon may be dating Cameron Diaz. Sickening, yes. But also power marketing for why our youth should become scientists, entrepreneurs and creators. The contrast between Elon‘s presence and every other CEO was stark, and sad. For an hour Wednesday night, it felt as if Steve Jobs had returned to the D conferece, as Shervin Pishevar so eloquently pointed out as he asked Elon about his hyperloop project ("a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table.") The others talked about smaller versions of their current products, new ways to get theme park visitors to spend more money, arcane tax strategies and alternative ways to distribute today‘s content.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, for the record, shined. Her insight into gender issues in the workplace was awesome and human and important. But just as the crowd and Twitter was jamming to her inspiration, she was asked about hate speech on Facebook, the company‘s mobile strategies and what it‘s like working with Mark Zuckerberg. Elon, on the other hand, discussed our existential need to create more fuel-efficient transport. He painted a vivid picture showing why we needed to make cars THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY BUY that are better for the collective us. He is focused on transportation that will get us from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes so we can spend more time with people we love. Elon helped us all dream about why multiplanetary life would be so cool. ―It‘s a fixer-upper of a planet but we could make it work,‖ Elon says so matter-of-factly. ―It‘s difficult but achievable, and I think we should really try our hardest to make it happen,‖ he said, before adding that it would be kind of cool to die on Mars. This would seem like mere science fiction if it weren‘t for the fact that he has already done the ―impossible‖ on multiple occasions. The other CEOs refused to talk about specific news while Elon announced that by the end of the year you‘ll be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York solely on electric power. That‘s cool. Elon announced that the US government is now paying his company, SpaceX, billions to haul stuff back and forth from the space station. For any other entrepreneur, this would be the accomplishment of a lifetime. For Elon, it‘s a sidenote. Elon mentioned matter of factly that he has cut deals with both Toyota and Mercedes to supply electric car technology to the companies to power their own fuel-efficient vehicles. That‘s nuts! These historic companies rely on Elon to make their cars more efficient! Most of us are driven by the laws of reason. The only laws Elon holds sacred are the laws of physics. Elon talked about doing the impossible while just hours later I found myself in a hotel suite engaged in a heated debate about whether or not a young entrepreneur should turn his social software company into an ad network. [He thinks he should yet refuses to actually call it an ad network as ad networks are out of favor.] What the fuck is going on here? Or for those in Silicon Valley, are we in a giant A-B test whose sole outcome is to help us optimize the monetization of the time we have left on the depreciating asset we call our planet? What if Kara and Loic are correct? What if our biggest minds are actually focused on the smallest, or even non-existent, problems?

Do we need another photo-sharing application? Do we need another social marketing platform? Do we need another site to let strangers rent our houses? Do we need another dating app that takes the friction out of meeting new people, or finding someone to have an affair with? Actually, do we need any of the above? Who knows? But what really scares me are the bigger questions. Like, what if we‘re no longer capable of doing better? What if we don‘t want to do better? My kids won‘t want to create new technologies that help us live better, explore new planets and leave the world better than when we entered it. They‘ll want to create the next Minecraft. And then flip it for a few pairs of Google Glass and free food. What if our kids continue to drop out of the sciences, like I did? What if our kids are like me and can‘t remember 4 of the elements on that table that hung on the wall of my high school science class, mocking me like the impenetrable bastard it is? I bet Elon knows every one of those elements by name - and dated at least a dozen of them. That scares me. And makes me feel so stupid. I pee my proverbial bed dreaming my cute little dreams while Elon combines a few Hs and Os from the chemistry set that is his life. I fret about which mobile phone to carry while he builds his dream home on Mars. My dreams are black and white and released direct to DVD. His are directed by Jerry Bruckheimer and shown on massive IMAX 3D screens. What if we continue to create the world‘s best engineers at our world‘s best universities and continue to send them home to another country to create the next generation of the world‘s best companies? What if we are so far removed from our roots in creating stuff that matters that we don‘t even know where to start?

Because it‘s hard enough to accomplish my own dreams that it makes my brain melt trying to comprehend Elon‘s. So my dreams fit me.What if we create political organizations to do good but mess it up so royally that people pull out right away? What if Elon pulls out first? What does that say for the rest of us? What if I'm not invited back to D? What if I'm ousted as the phony entrepreneur I am who just got lucky building stuff that wasn‘t important? What if? What if? What if? What if? Man. I need to stop. They put me in the best position to succeed and make the most use of my time on this planet. They work for me. hairy. fat. And it's the only way you and everyone in that room this week can live. and a sick Tony Stark-like inventor/entrepreneur who owns companies that makes space ships and rocket ships and having a model/actress lady friend who was in There‘s Something About Mary. Because in addition to being a multibillionaire. And that means being present both physically and mentally for Kass. I know a few things about the internet and marketing and starting companies. awesome dreams makes me want to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry‘s Phish Food and punch the guy in the face. This isn‘t something that comes easy for me and I want to continue to try to be better. how do I start answering those questions? I have no fucking idea. Sometimes. It‘s the only way to live the life I want to live. I dream about being a great husband. And you don‘t either. . A dad that doesn‘t roll his eyes or shake his head too many times. A dad that is patient and doesn‘t lose his cool. They need to have their own. doing this seems harder for me to do than building a vacation home on Mars like Elon. And that‘s about all I know. I‘ve had my dreams. But what I do know is that I can‘t keep writing like this and thinking like this. A dad that is trusted. And that puts on the kids in their own rocket ships that take them on their own journies to dream their own big or small or weird dreams. And my dreams aren‘t just business related. I‘m focused on Elon‘s dreams and not my own. Focusing on Elon‘s big. which isn‘t a good idea. I can only focus on my own reality. I dream about being a great dad. he‘s ripped and would probably beat the crap out of me.

Dream about the world you want to create. You can dream with me here. ―They had written off the Tesla Roadster as a niche product for techno-geeks (another shout-out to the audience) but we‘ve moved beyond that. is dream what you dream. turn those critics into the electric power to fuel your dreams. And don‘t let ANYONE or ANYTHING get in the way of your dreams. It‘s easy to dream big. but then we brought it to market. you have a 50-50 chance. This is my Mars dream. Dream about the person you want to become. So here's the deal with the dreamer's dilemma. so many people called bullshit on the Model S it was ridiculous. Or better yet. or compare ourselves to. of getting there. So I hope they will observe there is a trend here.I dream about being a great friend. But that shouldn‘t be an excuse stop me from trying. as Elon did. or could. And even then. Who are we to worry about. go for it. If you think your dream should come true and you‘re not violating any rules of physics (or basic human ethics).‖ Elon said Wednesday last night. Then they said you‘ll never make a profit. ― . And he was smart enough to see that he had the innate skills and drive to make it happen. and all you can do. and then we did that. Elon didn't get into the electric car business because he wanted to. Dream about how you can help make the world a whole lot better tomorrow than it was today. This intersection of dreams and execution is where the magic happens for Elon. A friend that is present and dependable. He got into it because no one else would. two things that have been easier said than done over the last few years. ―After the Roadster. And I dream that one day I‘ll be part of the large movement that kicks cancer once and for all. and all of us. and he had a dream that we could have cars that are better for us. Success can only happen if your skills and drive are equal to or greater than the scope of your dreams. others‘ dreams when we can‘t even execute on our own? So all I can do. at best. Do I think I‘ll see 100% of all cancers cured by the time I die? Not really. Tune out the critics. And never stop dreaming. But it‘s hard to turn those dreams into reality.

as Gandhi said so eloquently. Elon.I imagine Elon will have fewer doubters in the future. be the change you want to see in the world. And with that. Some will be great for just your own little world. 7 Ways To Make Your Customers Smile May 30. give you the inspiration you need to dream in your own way and. And you will have fewer doubters if you also tune into your dreams. but making your customer smile at some point can‘t be a bad thing. Let Elon. 2013    20. and thanks for making all of us dream a little bigger. Some of that change will be great for the world. I hereby declare my two days of being completely depressed about Elon‘s inspiring work over. But all of these dreams are important. I thought there must be other great ways that companies big and small can add in a little humor each time they touch a customer in some way. Most will be somewhere in between.233 After reading Don Peppers‘ article recently about a great way that Miracle Noodle had used an idea to create a funnier dispatch docket to it‘s customers.205 202 81 inShare1. and everyone else who have made some of their dreams come true. and bring them to life. whatever they are. a smile on anyone‘s face has got to be worth going the extra distance. Congrats. . I am not suggesting you make your brand a laughing stock.

Shipping Messages CD Baby originally made this famous as Seth Godin picks up in his blog when he received the message that Don‘s experience is based on. 2. Your Online Personality As so many people do their research online before they actually buy a product. Unsubscribe Messages Rather than the customary ―we are sorry to see you go…‖ message. why not write something a bit more creative. This video takes it to the extreme but if it works.com/best-unsubscribe-ever/ 5.com. why not post amusing messages that pop up when your visitor is waiting for a search result to finish? HubSpot do this well.Here are a few examples of how you might add humor to your brand and spread a smile across your customers' face: 1. so it‘s your last chance to keep them. How can your brand be a little more creative here? Sayhello@xxxx. a daily quote or even a brief joke? 6. . great choice of product I must say!‖ 3. why not change your phone message daily and include a personal message about what‘s going on. A Google Adword campaign can be more effective if the message catches your new customers eye by making them smile. When they get to your website. this for many is the first touch point from your brand. On Screen Messages So your customer has placed their order and a message pops up on their screen to say thanks. and probably thousands of others that have had the pleasure of receiving it directly too. Telephone Automated Messages Whether you are choosing from a menu or on hold. 4. they are about to leave your subscribe list. why does the message have to be so flat and uninspiring? This could be the first time that your soon to be customer interacts with you so why not change your messages to lighten their day? If you are a smaller company or a solopreneur maybe.com. http://waldowsocial. with little messages saying things like ―off to the races‖ to amuse you while it searches for a moment. how can you make that a better experience and make them smile? It may be something simple like the sign off. why not? Sorry I couldn't embed this one. "Thanks from your personal online shopping companion. Generic Email Contacts Many companies have a generic email address that is used on their website such asinfo@xxxxxx. It made me smile when I read it.

Leave Them Laughing: 4 Things To Remember in your Presentations May 20. as long as it‘s appropriate and just the right amount to suit. "How can you sell this for such a low price?".881 314 88 inShare1.518 .orchiefhelper@xxxx. "because it's total crap. People say. There is a fine line telling the truth to make your customer smile and not going overboard and ending up in a pickle like Ratner did. Advertisements Remember the movie Crazy People with Dudley Moore? His ―tell the truth ads‖ were mistakenly printed instead of the approved ones and were a roaring success. it‘s by homing pigeon! 7. 2013    18. CD Baby also have another way to get a message to them listed on their contact us page. I say. which very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse. When Gerald Ratner made a speech at the Institute of Directors in 1991. the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million.com could be a more inviting alternative." After the speech. But be warned. all for £4. Ratner resigned in 1992 and the company changed it‘s name to Signet Group.95. Some other areas you touch your customer in some way and where you could add humor could include:    Your invoices Your Thank You notes Your newsletter welcome message Adding humor and making your customer smile is a great way of keeping your brand name in their minds. it doesn‘t always work. he commented: ―We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on.


those of us that did laugh. the words are all in his head. so plan where and how that humour is going to be delivered. but you had a good time. so make sure that you grin broadly or laugh with them to encourage laughter at the right places. delivered to you from his heart. This last slide is so important. There is very little information on his slides. way too much text and cheap clip art. they probably won‘t. Add in a bad presenter and you have the perfect recipe to put any insomniac to sleep with boredom. where you probably didn‘t learn a dot. That‘s why we have canned laughter on sit coms. Its just human nature. but every presentation should have some humour in it somewhere. Try using a handful of funny images or very short video clips rather than risk a joke falling flat. then they are scattered at regular intervals throughout. Instead. Take a look at this video of Steve Jobs presenting. So if it‘s your turn to present to the team. but nothing else. to be entertained. Avoid too much information Too much information with several different line colours adds confusion to the audience. but it also have a very serious side to it too. so give your audience permission at the right places. Tell us to laugh If you don‘t give your audience permission to laugh. inspired and ready for more? Minimalize your slides. . we probably would have all laughed. the slide your audience will remember you by. As the presenter didn‘t smile or laugh at that time. felt stupid and maybe even callous because we hadn‘t been given permission for our outburst. at a seminar or conference. what are the main ingredients to keeping your audience not only awake. Had the presenter laughed. to tell us the viewer when to laugh! Listening to a very serious presentation some time ago. there was a funny bit. Audiences all over the world want one thing from a presentation. I plan to get my first laugh within the first 1 minute of my presentation. leave them laughing. and then bang. ones packed with pie charts. then it will always lose out to the maybe empty but funny presentation. If the best content rich presentation has no humour.You have probably sat through many a boring presentation. but engaged. Do you need to show your increase or decrease via a line or will a bold image suffice? Plan your funny bits We are not all born comedians. right on the very last slide. the few words and numbers on there are simply for you the audience to look at and maybe a prompt for him.

Steve Jobs also always included a ―just one more thing‖ slide. ―Just one more thing‖. have a ―Just one more thing‖ slide and tell the audience. On the day of your presentation. Lastly. I like to tell a very short story at this point to demonstrate a real life experience about what I have been presenting. and your final slide. 2013    27. Stop Shouting. you must practice. run through your notes. Start Engaging: The New Rules of Selling May 30. As you wrap up your presentation. you are all but finished.908 . it really knits everything together. Those are the two important areas to win or lose your audience. your close. ―and finally…‖This will ensure that they know you are drawing to a close.Your Columbo finish Lieutenant Columbo always said at the very end of asking his suspect questions.358 256 98 inShare1. but focus on practicing your first 2 slides. practice and practice again.

Back in the days of Mad Men. and sold it to Salesforce where he is now Chief Marketing Officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. shouting at me. There are few shrewder observers of trends in marketing. the traditional model of advertising is fundamentally broken. adding. that the Pop Up ad shows that in the digital." Indeed. I recently interviewed him for Newswire. the question advertisers asked was essentially "how many people can I reach by shouting at them and shoving it down their throats. feeling good. than Lazerow. they invented the PopUp advertisement.When the Mad Men of advertising first went online to try their hand at selling. when — Whoah! — I did not want that in front of my face. . Kass.FM at the Nasdaq Marketsite about the new rules of selling in the era of social media." is Michael Lazerow's perfect description of how I feel on seeing my screen invaded by a Pop-Up ad. especially the online sort." Lazerow told me. who co-founded BuddyMedia with his wife. doing our thing. social age. "That's why we hate it. You can watch a soundbite from our conversation here: I strongly agree with his main point. Could they have come up with anything more annoying or more likely to turn off potential customers? "We are living our life.

I'm hearing this word all the time in my interviews nowadays: engagement is shaping up to be 2013's business buzzword of the year.000 retweets and 20. The Economist article lists a whole series of examples.‖ True. and start shouting. You can still dunk in the dark. 2012    13. what is the new golden rule of selling? For Lazerow. Yet in my experience. including my favourite.000 books in Amazon on the topic of leadership.‖ The biscuit baker‘s reward? 16. So let me summarize what some of our newest research has found." That means producing genuinely interesting content. you are going to die as a brand. far too many brands still defer to their inner Mad Man. But even leadership development experts can't possibly read them all. that people want to share on Facebook or talk about around the water cooler.So. a tweet when there was a power blackout during the Super Bowl. . there are a growing number of successful engagements by brands.808 There are more than 10." What Makes a 21st Century Leader? October 18. "If you are not producing content that people engage with.704 453 137 inShare1. That spells trouble. A recent article in The Economist about the future of marketing noted that "Nearly 40% of CMOs do not think they have the right people and resources to meet their goals. But what does it mean? For Lazerow. As Lazerow warns. it boils down to one word: "engagement". the goal of engagement for a marketer is to figure out "how do you as a brand get into the conversation. I've read many of them. by Oreo cookies:―Power out? No problem. Lazerow mentions the "beautiful photography of Burberry" and Virgin's use of celebrity stories as particularly effective.000 Facebook likes. says an Accenture report entitled Turbulence for the CMO. that is easier said than done. Obviously.

core .Our research shows that 21st century leadership competencies are different. It's just very hard. 21st Century Leadership Competencies As this data shows (directly from more than 700 companies who participated in this research). but at its core leadership has not changed.

. 4. Great leaders are Realists. Are you the type of person who reads a lot. These people always study their market. and a practical way of understanding how problems are solved. Underlying these competencies. Today's strong leaders come from the business and they understand the domain. They're no longer just "great general managers. But they also have an optimistic outlook. and their own organization. you're not keeping up. And what makes people follow you is that you have "common sense. 3. the world's #1 assessment company and others) shows that great leaders always see a "way out" of a problem. our research shows that five things really matter: 1. But also Optimistic. Much research (by SHL. and stay very close to customers. 2. their customers. Are you a hands-on leader? Do you understand in detail what your people are doing? Can you really add value in their daily work? If not. their discipline. judgement. Great leaders understand that they are constantly learning. Great Leaders are Learners. has greatly reduced its management rotation process (as have many other companies). for example. Their newest leadership program asks rising executives to spend at least 7 years in the same business area. because once the environment changes (and it always does). global workforce. you'll fail. questions your own thinking. you better find the right place to fit. however. They understand their people well and know how to being diverse groups together. Great leaders see reality." "Common sense" comes from experience. They don't wear rose colored glasses. They have an ability to "see the future" in a way that others can understand. to force managers and leaders to get to know the business you're in. chances are you're a great leader (or becoming one). Great Leaders have common sense. fast-changing. and always tries to learn from mistakes? Or are you the one telling others what they need to learn? If you are the former." GE. If you're the latter." When a problem arises. Today's leaders make faster decisions. understand how to innovate.capabilities to deal with a more diverse.leadership skills are being complimented by new strengths . They never stop learning. It's often called "learning agility" in the HR field. What makes you a leader? People follow you. Great leaders are hands-on. great leaders seem to have an uncanny ability to "see the right direction.

5. Great leaders have high energy. As George Marshall, the chief of staff for the US Army during World War II (he essentially "remade" the Army), put it: "Great leaders have high physical energy." You, as a leader, will be asked to work long hours, travel, and endure difficult and often highly uncertain situations. Without a high degree of physical energy you may find this difficult. We only need to look at leaders like Steve Jobs of Apple, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, Ginni Rometty of IBM, and dozens of other high-performing leaders to see that they are hands-on, highly trained experts in their businesses - with the ability to rapidly bring people together in today's new borderless workplace.

Start Celebrating Yourself Today
June 03, 2013

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We can spend so much time managing our careers, our money and our relationships that we don‘t always stop to recognize our successes. We're too busy moving on to the next meeting, project or item on our to-do list. Or we set the bar so high we won't hit it for awhile, if at all. So today, let's celebrate. Let's forget about outcomes. It's not about whether you got the promotion, the salary bump you asked for or the new client. Right now, it's the fact that you asked, you researched, you presented.

For just a few seconds, focus less on what's important to your boss, your company and your colleagues and zero in on what was progress for you. Did you wake up early enough so that your morning wasn't rushed? Awesome. Did you bring your lunch this week and save the money to go toward a new car? Nice work. Did you rely less on your notes during a presentation? Way to go. I bet, with a little practice, you'll even be able to find things to celebrate in less than idealcircumstances. Like Rebecca, who started a discussion in Connect: Professional Women's Network, noting that she was laid off after 20 years in marketing and wanted to reinvent herself. Nearly 2,000 people commented with tips and support for handling the transition. Being laid off is rough, but I'm celebrating Rebecca being vulnerable enough to ask for advice and all the who people responded with encouragement and job leads.

How To Confront Those Who Don’t Honor Their Commitments
June 03, 2013

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Negotiate a recommitment. you seek to soothe your anger by criticizing another. If this is the case. The next time you get a commitment from this person. This serves as your ―signed contract. you may confront your counterpart about the fact that he did not show up for the meeting as agreed. Your goal is to prove that you have been wronged. but it pales in comparison to the damage caused by holding your counterpart to a commitment she believes she didn‘t make. 2. if she called you at the last minute. He might have an excellent reason for not keeping his promise. You confront only once. trust. This may just be to recommit to the original promise. For example. restore trust. You address the person directly. For example. and feel at peace. and the hurt. You end up full of negative assessments and righteous indignation. Besides helping you understand the other‘s perspective. then you can accept his apology and move to negotiate a recommitment. As I said in my previous post. For example. you end up with a new agreement that closes the matter. then discuss how to avoid repeating this in the future.When you complain unproductively. You might attack the person you blame for your problem or even criticize him to third parties. If he argues that . The other key is that you ask for what you really need to close the issue. Every productive confrontation includes a request for resolution. you may confront your counterpart about the fact that he didn‘t let you know when he decided not to attend the meeting. the relationship. integrity means ―no surprises‖ and one can preserve it even when one cannot deliver on one‘s commitment. e-mail her a summary with a request to confirm or correct it. or it may include additional conditions. your counterpart thinks she promised Y. The second level concerns trust in the relationship. For example. ask why. you seek to restore coordination. At best. and you follow through to resolution. The key is that you clearly express what you need to close the issue. he might have gotten an urgent request from a customer that you agree takes priority over an internal meeting. 3. When you confront productively. summarize the agreement and verify that she concurs. You repeat your story over and over. Check the commitment. You may worry that step one provides an opportunity for the other to get off scot-free: ―I never said I‘d do that!‖ This is a real risk. It‘s much harder to justify the lack of an early warning. If your counterpart acknowledges that his behavior was a breach of integrity and that he should have called you. or not at all. and integrity. Many problems result from miscommunication at the time of commitment: You think you requested X. you realize that your counterpart is not trustworthy and you can responsibly decide what you want to do about it. Here are three steps for a productive complaint: 1. It helps you evaluate whether or not the causes for the breakdown arose after the promise and were thus unforeseeable. Then. inquiry shows respect. The first level concerns effectiveness in the task. Your goal is to repair the task.‖ There are three levels of confrontation. Ask what happened. At worse.

of course. it should resolve them. A person who breaks a commitment affects the task. a productive confrontation shouldn‘t create conflicts. he‘s obligated by his own word to honor it. rather. you give him an opportunity to correct matters and reestablish trust. The promise came from him. When you confront him with grace. then you must proceed to the next level. The third level concerns integrity in the person. Provided. and his integrity. that your counterpart receives it with grace. letting you know of the problem as soon as he finds out and trying to minimize the consequences for you. the relationship. 2013    10.‖ you might confront him about the meaning of his commitments. If your counterpart insists that he didn‘t have to call because the absence ―was not his fault.he didn‘t need to call because he had a good reason to skip the meeting. Therefore. therefore.831 109 30 inShare611 . 5 Keys to Great Storytelling: Lessons from Barbara Corcoran June 03.

Barbara Corcoran wore a bright red dress the day I first met her, which, combined with my bright orange, may have looked from afar more like a fire than like 2 people. But fiery is definitely a great word to describe her. Corcoran, the real estate entrepreneur, celebrity author and star of ABC's Shark Tank, is full of life, energy – and stories. In fact, after I read her book Shark Tales and heard her on my friend Tim Healy's radio show, I knew that she was one of the best storytellers I've ever encountered in business. So when I sat down with Barbara to interview her, we chatted about how to tell great stories in businessand in life. We agreed that great storytelling is the best way to – essential because people remember stories, and use them to draw parallels to their own lives. Stories persuade people, and help people feel connected – two essential skills for any leader or salesperson.

Corcoran's own success is an incredible rags-to-riches story – from one of ten children to waitress to real estate mogul. But I'll let you read her book to hear that story. In the meantime, here are the 5 keys to great storytelling – for better business – according to Barbara Corcoran: 1) Have a purpose Know your audience and your story's purpose – is it to entertain, to educate, to put at ease, or to persuade, for instance? Understanding the purpose for telling your story allows you to keep it simple and effective. For example, in order to teach me how she became a great storyteller, Barbara told me the story of her growing up in "a large Irish family, where everyone was always telling stories and in order to get attention, yours had to be good!" 2) Share a beginning, middle and end Every great story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Make sure yours moves smoothly through each section and don't stick around too long on anything. "Delivery is important, too," Barbara told me. "Enthusiasm is everything!" 3) Put skin on the bones It's the details – the color, sights, sounds, smells, and other descriptive language that really bring stories to life. "Describe what you were and the other people were wearing," said Barbara. People want to be able to have enough details to picture the story in their heads – so the more details you give, the more meaningful and memorable your story will be. "When I told people I sold by business for $66 million, they shrug. When I tell them about my next visit to the ATM machine, and the smell of the money coming out, and the sound of the receipt spurting out of the machine with my balance, then, they get excited." 4) Be the vulnerable underdog Of course, you might not always be the underdog in every story, and you may not always be able to be humble or vulnerable in your recounting of the story. But whenever possible, Barbara says, include this. "People always identify more with the underdog than with the perennial champion. And vulnerability leads to trust and intimacy, and opens people up to what you have to say." 5) Tell your own story This was an important lesson I learned from Barbara. My wife and I happen to have an amazing story about a sponsored wedding that led to our first business. It's a story we often tell when introducing Likeable Media to new clients. And, don't get me wrong, it's a great story, when we tell it. But Barbara helped me to realize, when other employees tell the Likeable story, they need to make it their own. People will always respond better to a story that stars the storyteller, not someone else. If you take into account these five principles, you too can become a better storyteller, and a more effective business communicator. As for those of you looking to meet and pitch Barbara Corcoran in the Shark Tank, she was clear: "Storytelling is everything. Show me an MBA and your sales

numbers, that's fine. But tell me a great story about how you got started and your vision, and we'll talk."

How to Sell Anything Using Social Media
May 30, 2013

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Three years ago, my wife and I sold our co-op apartment in New York to move into a bigger home – and I created a Facebook page entitled Dave's House for Sale, dedicated exclusively to selling my home. The page actually generated three leads, which led to one offer. But I got a better offer the oldfashioned way, so despite my desire to be able to say I sold my house on Facebook, I had to take the better deal. Three weeks ago, a client of our partner agency in Turkey, Likeable Istanbul, sold a car on Twitter. Dogus Otomotiv‘s second hand car dealing brand DOD managed to sell an automobile via its Twitter account (@DODcomtr) with a proactive strategy and successful customer listening. It is proof that today, no matter what you are selling, you can use social media to your advantage. It started when Duygu Cakir, a music director and program producer for Super FM, posted a tweet saying she wanted to buy a car. Likeable Istanbul‘s social media specialist for DOD caught this tweet by constant listening and replied to her. After Cakir‘s positive answer, DOD started sharing suitable models with her on Twitter.

Pay attention to what your prospects are saying online. Whether your job is to sell cars. you'll notice when your connections. there are lots of social . Engage when you feel compelled. Likeable Istanbul selling cars on Twitter is just one of many examples. you'll note that these are also five key steps to selling anything . great questions and great care.000 worth of sales of adaptive vehicles in the last quarter alone. Invest your time up front in these relationships. 5. But in the end. antiques. The most valuable business asset of social media is listening. That's your opportunity to engage further in a conversation that will lead to a sale. DOD wanted to share this sale on social media. It's always easier to make a sale when you build a relationship first. you absolutely can use social media to your advantage. Monitor their social feeds. You won't get the sale unless you ask for it. This is your specialty. think not of the sale but of the help you're providing to someone whose needs you've uncovered online. it's essential to ask for the sale. helping sove problems. Demonstrate your expertise and your willingness to help. But just like hard-selling doesn't work in person.After considering a few models. Those are the 5 key steps to selling anything using social media. using great content.000-a-pop sales to its four social media sites. and whatever it is you're selling. Uncover problems and needs. followers and prospects say something that's a hint that they need what you have. Build relationships first.anywhere. Reyne Haines is an antique dealer who has sold many thousands of dollars worth of items using social media and currently has a $22. camp. Now. Long before social media. And as I said. so they took a photo of Cakir and her new car and shared it on Twitter (pictured above). it doesn't work with social media. Here are five simple reminders about the best processes to use when selling through social media: 1. without asking for anything in return. Social media purists will tell you that it's all about listening and conversation. listening and engagement is super important at the early stages of the sales funnel. Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp credits social media with driving 25% of its $6. 2. insurance. Help people solve those problems. whether through an online link or a request to take the conversation to a phone call or even an in-person meeting. The Mobility Resource credits social media with driving over $300. If you're listening well enough. and closing. 3. 4. homes. Show your friendship first. Cakir wanted to see a car suggested by DOD and soon after she decided to buy it. especially when the conversation has nothing to do with what you're selling. If you're paying attention. Listen carefully. or widgets. Use social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn to find prospects and get to know them online before you even think about selling something. Ask for the sale.000 silkscreen up for sale on Facebook. there was relationship-selling: listening.

293 .networks and technologies and tools that may overwhelm some people. But to those people who embrace it all.612 493 inShare7. 2013    222. The Secret to Putting Together an Insanely Successful Team May 28.517 1. it allows you to sell at greater scale and efficiency than ever before.

can you? Who can be against putting the best person in the job?? Except…… .‖ Can‘t argue with that. our goal is simply to put the best person in the job.What are 13 of the most common words that keep companies from realizing their full performance potential? (Hint: They are 13 words that are very difficult to argue with.) Those words are: ―Hey.

-. The book chronicles a gifted group of Indian and Sri Lankan immigrants who rose to prominence in the U. Rajat Gupta. So let‘s take this to its logical conclusion.‖ we will have accomplished a great deal on improving company performance. many of us prefer to spend time with likeminded individuals. it‘s just easier. And we will have accomplished a great deal on increasing opportunity and diversity.S. Ty Lawson and Kendall Marshall would be the best players. Jimmy Black. . And that‘s because they're all point guards. If we can change our mindset from ―Hey. The power of diverse perspectives is such that diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams…. While arguably possessing the most valuable skill set on a team. I‘ll admit it: I often do.. Raymond Felton. a client advocate and an ―historian‖ as part of the team. You Will Keep This Confidential June 04. a doer. a skeptic.and then wrecked everything in a frenzy of secret schemes. I've tried to round out the group by including a visionary. When I have built business teams in the past. It's hard to miss with an insider-trading scandal that destroyed one of the world's biggest hedge funds (Raj Rajaratram's Galleon Group) and sent a former head of McKinsey & Co. ethnicity). When left to our own devices.. to name a few. because I can imagine how I would do it. they will almost certainly be beaten by teams that have more diverse player skills.. And I have also worked to include diverse backgrounds. But would they be a national championship team? No way. simply because of its appeal as a Wall Street whodunit. to prison. time spent at competitors) or innate (gender. betrayals and insider trading.. I've been devouring an advance copy of "The Billionaire's Apprentice. Frankly. our goal is simply to put the best team in place. whether acquired (time spent abroad.with a basketball example. But humans are human. this is particularly true if it‘s a difficult job or a stretch assignment. 2013    23 0 0 inShare3 Over the past few days. But the book gains enduring value from an unexpected bonus: a clear-eyed look at the reasons why so many powerful people can't keep secrets.and they outperform even more capable teams. our goal is simply to put the best person in the job‖ to ―Hey. Look for the book to pop onto bestseller lists. And it‘s also easier for me to picture how somebody who looks like me and sounds like me will get the job done.Research has shown that the best performing teams are diverse teams." a fascinating account of ambition gone bad. In any random group of UNC basketball players from the past it could well be that Phil Ford.

Even minor characters in the book treat "confidential" as a genteel relic that can be ignored with impunity. In business settings. Once the villain is in action. Rajaratram and his business entities paid handsomely for money-making tips. It hardly matters that bankers. Some accepted payments under pseudonyms in hastily created foreign accounts. at any time. Such eagerness might be mistaken for lasting loyalty. So they resorted to mobile phones registered in a gardener's name. most tipsters didn't regard their sub rosa work for Rajaratram as fundamentally different from their regular careers. There aren't any lifelong "home countries" or enemies. that creates the book's central tension: Why would any of his targets succumb? I don't think we can rely anymore on traditional models of the ways that espionage rings work. Rajaratram. His hedge fund repeatedly seeks wormholes into tech companies' internal data. confidentiality has become a strangely rubbery concept. elite players in tech. money and ego enter the picture. By the book's account. That's not done lightly. Over time. in which people who gather information for a foreign country are knowingly breaking the laws and ignoring their instinct for self-preservation. Others decided it wasn't safe to chat via regular channels. Allegiances could be transferred. the first few steps toward competitive espionage now seem to be traveled with an eerie calm. As seen in the Galleon story. Life was a constant hunt for the best perks. to someone new who was offering a better deal. Spying doesn't happen unless agents are deeply motivated by money. We learn quickly that the big beneficiary of each leaked secret is Galleon's founder. But guess what? The Galleon boss's informants rode the same roller-coaster of money and ego in their day jobs.As author Anita Raghavan explains. the largest paychecks and the most adulation. spying historically has been regarded as rare and dangerous stuff. though. consultants and tech executives all work at firms with strict dataprotection agreements. Again and again. of course. taunting them periodically for not knowing more. praising their insights on many occasions.of his informants. ideology. The craziness persisted until the end. As former CIA agent Jason Matthews explained in a recent Wall Street Journal essay. the first few interactions with Rajaratram's world are justified as legitimate social mingling or business prospecting. There isn't much ideology or conscience. conscience or ego. the informants at the center of Rajaratram's web ended up grotesquely compromised. Along the way. . finance and consulting are retooling their networks all the time. A huge gulf has arisen between stated policies and actual conduct. but that would be a mistake. Yet no one felt enough remorse to back out. people strained to please whoever was rewarding them the most.and insecurities -. on the chilling belief that it's easy to get rich if you can see tomorrow's earnings announcement a day ahead of time. Rajaratram also played to the vanity -. Eventually. Everything is transactional.

Firms that build a culture around taking good care of sensitive information will reap the rewards. It was painful to see and I vowed to never let that happen again. training and a shared recognition that confidentiality must be taken seriously. It had existed in a smaller form before I took it over.can't be stopped by a single action. starting with more careful hiring.either at Galleon or elsewhere -. So does vigilance. Character matters. Ones that try to mask sloppiness with a few spray-on legal policies will be disappointed again and again. How Are You Planning for Your Succession? June 03. but grew significantly in both the number of students engaged and the quality of the experience for all participants. 2013    7. But I see a host of areas where greater care could pay off.Is there a better alternative? Any rampant misuse of private information -.903 73 29 inShare407 In college I developed a service learning program that took University of Michigan students to a local prison each week to teach creative writing. . Shortly after I graduated and left Ann Arbor the program withered back to where it had been before I was engaged.

Relationships with nearly 200 institutional partners – I don't manage a single one of them. An exceptional executive management team.Communicating and living our mission. This month is my last month at CEO and will then spend the following 12 months as a senior advisor. Experienced executive directors run Taproot‘s local offices and built the local community around them and not around me. I shared with the board my intention to leave at some point in the next chapter of the organization‘s development. 2013    3. We published our new book. Several years ago.360 21 9 inShare67 . What I Learned in Italy (Or.Taproot‘s board pushes back and asks the hard questions. vision and values. to capture all of the learning from our first ten years for nonprofit partners and a baseline of knowledge to serve as the foundation for the next phase of the organization. we made very intentional investments to create:      A strong board of directors that is independent from the founder . Executive Management Team and army of ―Roots‖ (as we call our employees) is set up for success. A clear and well-articulated mission .Succession planning was core to the design of the Taproot Foundation since its first year. They also raise real resources – about 25% of our budget. but having made these investments gives me the confidence that the Board. We are not done with the process and will surely learn as we go. Powered by Pro Bono. I knew I would leave some day and it was critical to me and to the mission that the organization wouldn't only survive but thrive. What followed was a series of conversations that engaged key staff and board members in thoughtful leadership transition planning that led to the public announcement in January of this year that I would be making the transition over the next 18 months. Economies in Perspective) June 03. In addition to the ongoing investments in succession. vision and values. These relationships are owned by different members of the team to ensure both our ability to scale and to have the partners connected to the organization and not the founder. I was getting the entrepreneurial itch and also recognized the need for a new type of leadership for this next chapter of Taproot‘s story. Planning for change has made it easier for me and for the team to imagine a thriving Taproot without me in the daily mix. To that end. Promotion of two "home grown" talents to the management team and have been critical to bring institutional knowledge into the group as well as deep commitment to our mission. A talent pipeline – We have supported and developed staff to be able to grow into management roles. over the last two years we have set the table for the change with specific investments including:    An updated strategic plan to provide stability during the process and a clear initial direction for the new CEO.

there has been a flurry of turmoil seen over the past week and a half. Despite scary headlines during the time I was away ("Bonds dive!". 10-year treasury yield increased to 2. I keep thinking of an Italian saying. Let‘s review. it has been long-telegraphed by improving economic conditions.S. economy and my thoughts as to when the tide might turn for Italy and the rest of the PIIGS (Portugal. where the economy is still in dire straights. Yes. the Nikkei 225 has .S.S. The U. Japanese stock correction: Investors started buying Japanese stocks last fall. recovery would accelerate. "QE to end!". When other U. "US growth lackluster!". Yes. ― Niente di nuovo sotto il sole‖ (nothing new under the sun). When locals found out what I did for a living.I'm just back from a trip to Italy. "Japanese stocks plunge!". "Jobs report is key!"). using a QE-type of bond buying and by doubling the nation‘s monetary base. Life is always a matter of perspective. Italy. While the price drop and yield increase may seem dramatic in the short-run.S. up from about 1. Greece and Spain). they wanted to talk about the U. Bond market crash: As predicted for the past two years.6 percent at the beginning of the month. the worst monthly performance since December 2010.2 percent. travelers found out what I did for a living. Ireland. they wanted to know when the rotten U. interest rates on government securities across the globe have finally started to rise. but the gains accelerated after the recent Bank of Japan pledge to drive up inflation to 2 percent within two years. but there is really nothing new under the sun.

2013    9. Right now. but many are now predicting that 2014 could be the year that growth returns to the post-World War II average of 3 to 3. concerns are mounting that the Federal Reserve will have to taper its bond-buying program (―Quantitative Easing‖ or ―QE‖). It is expected that non-farm payroll employment will increase by a 165. the timing and magnitude of the action is in question.5 percent. US growth: The government revised down its original estimate for Q1 growth to 2. The pullback in government spending at the local. The plunge in the participation rate to late 1970‘s levels has mostly been driven by demographics. the government will release a monthly jobs report on Friday. While there is no doubt that QE will end. and that the unemployment rate will remain unchanged at a four-year low of 7. due to sequestration spending cuts. 5 Career Lessons I Learned in the Amazon June 05.5 percent.5 percent and the second quarter is likely to remain muted. state and federal levels has been a headwind for growth during the recovery. some investors are worried that the Fed may withdraw stimulus sooner than later. as aging baby boomers retire. The central bank has said that it would maintain its low interest rate policies at least until the unemployment rate drops to 6. Helping to boost the numbers could be a resumption of larger growth for the construction sector. Many will point out that the decline in the unemployment rate from a peak level of 10 percent in 2009 has been partially attributed to the exodus of discouraged people leaving the labor force. Such action would lead to higher bond yields and lower bond prices and could potentially jar the equities markets as well. Jobs report (once again) is key: Here we go again…just as investors come off an anxiety-inducing week.121 139 39 inShare519 . bond market futures are pricing in a Fed rate increase in late 2014. compared with earlier expectations that interest rates would not rise until mid-2015.5 percent. but it remains up more than 25 percent this year.fallen 17 percent from its May 22nd peak and saw its first monthly decline in the past 10. QE to end: As signs of recovery continue. about one-third of the decline is due to the severity of the recession and the weakness of the recovery. As economic conditions improve.000 in May.4 percent from 2. Still.


8 million people took action on Change. It was beautiful. and I felt like I should do something more unusual – something off the beaten path that would really challenge me. In one area we visited. I was reminded of this experience because this week. an incredible thing happened. I knew this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.org (the world‘s largest social change platform) – and that in my work at these companies. but could also be dangerous. from Yahoo! to Google. said goodbye to my parents. And yet other petitions got major music acts like Train and Carly Rae Jepson to pull out of concerts sponsored by the Boy Scouts while the ban was still in place. Intel. Hundreds of Scouts from around the country used Change. a bus. and other major corporate funders of the Boy Scouts to pull their funding until the ban was lifted. 2.org involving the Boy Scouts. I was recently reminded of this lesson during an exciting moment at Change. Other Scouts successfully called on AT&T. tackle the tarantulas. To get rid of the snakes. But this past year. 1. But when the day came to apply to a study abroad program. My original plan was to go to Italy and study art history. In honor of this event. Welcome everyone – they may have something to teach you. poisonous snakes lived nearby our sleeping area. Advocates have tried to dismantle the organization‘s anti-gay membership policy for decades. I packed up my belongings. 1. I decided to pick the program furthest from any of my previous experiences: a semester studying Amazon rainforest ecology.I always knew I wanted to do a semester abroad in college. even bringing their case to the Supreme Court a decade ago – to no avail. Unsure what lay ahead. I hope they‘ll prove as useful to you as they have for me. UPS. the Boy Scouts announced this month that they‘ll finally welcome gay youth into their ranks. I felt torn. we had to first remove the tarantulas. Every night we were at risk of them coming close and either purposely or inadvertently biting one of us. we had to identify why they were in the camp in the first place: it turns out they like the tasty tarantulas that were also hanging around our camp. two planes. To get rid of the snakes. and hopped on a plane to the Amazon (actually. So when I came across a catalog from the School for International Training. I learned so much about the incredible ecosystem that is the Amazon and the amazing plants and animals that thrive there. All in all.org to petition their local Boy Scouts councils to allow in gay members. I would repeatedly draw on lessons I learned in the rainforest. I even studied two years of college Italian in preparation. and a boat). The lesson was clear: some problems are better tackled in strategic stages than with a single show of force.org – and in response to these voices and other pressure. and now Change. I‘ll be speaking on a social innovation panel hosted by World Learning. I thought it was fitting to share five valuable lessons I took away from living in the Amazon. the incredible organization that runs the School for International Training and hosted my Amazon trip all those years ago. I didn‘t know I would go on to leadership roles at some of the world‘s great internet companies. Back then. First. One of my favorite things about the Amazonian area in Brazil where I lived was the spirit of .

That inquisitiveness has stuck with me throughout my career. There‘s always something we can learn from the people around us. from colleagues to family and friends – and even sometimes strangers – has something to teach us. When I look at the posts I have written on LinkedIn so far. seeing each person as a source of potential knowledge. We all have something to teach and something to learn.openness and curiosity among all the people I encountered. Rather than go the traditional route of pairing more established women with their less experienced female colleagues. Everyone in our lives. WHOA. Not only did virtually every person I met welcome me into their home and serve me food and drink (no matter how little they had to eat themselves). we just need to welcome them and their experiences. as we call it. I wasn‘t used to being received this way. but they also all treated me as if I had valuable wisdom to share.org‘s new women in leadership mentoring program. like my recent post about 5 mentor archetypes. That‘s the logic behind the unique structure of Change. Women Helping Others Achieve – or. they interestingly all seem to carry this common theme: we have a lot to learn from everyone around us. but I quickly learned to appreciate it – and I began treating others in the same way. . we‘ve created a system of co-mentorships in which women across the career spectrum – whether just out of college or decades into their careers – provide mutual support and insight.


Knowing I could handle the Amazon gave me the internal strength to do many things. Yes. I took the jump. . Speak someone else’s language. One of the most challenging things about my trip was moving to a place where almost no one spoke English. I just didn‘t know the word. Thinking back on this still makes me smile. became a general manager and eventually a CEO when I‘d never led a company before. In the process of becoming conversationally fluent in Portuguese. And you know what? Not only did I survive. you can‘t progress in your career – or grow as a person. Filled with adrenaline.‖ be it business-speak. the actual children in the home where I was staying didn‘t understand my lack of basic language skills. technical jargon or just a different communication style. The truth is. Adjusting my own language to match my colleagues‘ demonstrates an appreciation of their backgrounds and generally helps me get my point across more effectively. that was not the case. This lesson has proven immensely useful to me throughout my career. I had a key realization that has stuck with me since then: no matter how good you eventually become at something. the opportunity to do so in a way that would truly be immersive was more real than it would probably ever be again.‖ (―It‘s a fork. in the moment of choosing a study abroad program. anyone can theoretically pack up their belongings and visit or move to a remote part of the world – but at that moment. I wish I could say I‘d always been that student who dreamed of studying abroad in a challenging environment like the Amazon. I started a nonprofit. (And I have an extra appreciation for people navigating the world in a language other than their first!) 4. ―É um garfo. the sheer act of trying to understand people gave me a headache for the entire first month. but as I noted earlier.‖) He didn‘t grasp that I knew the concept of a fork. the first time you do it. I felt like a child – and in an ironic twist. Push yourself. Although I studied intensive Portuguese every day for many weeks after I arrived. and I began listening more and molding my own way of speaking to match theirs. I can remember my exchange brother holding a fork in front of me and saying in Portuguese. But for some reason I can‘t explain. I was struck by the thought that you only get so many chances in life to really push yourself beyond your comfort zone. You eat with it. you haven‘t done it before. for that matter – without pushing yourself to try things you haven‘t done before. English – comes to work with their own ―language. Você come com ele. an important shift happened: I stopped taking for granted that people could understand me.3. as everyone – even people who speak my native tongue. gaining confidence in my ability to thrive in new situations. but I flourished.


and sang to their hearts‘ content about their community.5. and the beauty surrounding them. Yet they they had so much joy spending time with each other. Don‘t forget to celebrate it. fished for shrimp from the river.865 . I was staying in the Brazilian part of the Amazon. 2013    37. a region perpetually celebrating life with music and dancing. sat on the dock of the river. In the small village where I lived. the people didn‘t have many physical goods – they ate acai berries off the trees. Don’t forget to sing and dance. the feeling of being alive. and often had just a few articles of clothing. No matter how much or how little you have. 5 Mentor Archetypes I’ve Met – And How to Spot Them May 23. They made or handed down instruments.837 426 100 inShare2. there‘s always joy to be found in life.

and they‘ve given me immeasurable support and encouragement when I‘ve needed it most.Ask any career development expert how to succeed in the workplace. much less how to go about spotting one. . I couldn‘t agree more – I‘ve been fortunate enough to have some incredible mentors over the course of my life. and they‘ll probably tell you to find a mentor. But what does it mean to ―find‖ a mentor? People rarely explain what a good mentor looks like.

she got her MBA at night and completely changed careers in her 30s. that person has always been my dad. He has tips for practically everything. To find a Role Model. of course. fresh out of college. like my dad.‖ and. I remember sitting down to talk about Summerbridge. You‘ll find that some people. the Listener. look for someone who‘s living the life you envision for yourself. the quintessential Role Model. at Google. and watching him pull out a big yellow notepad. memorable soundbites. your nametag will face toward them. there‘s something so unexpectedly fresh and welcome about a real Listener. the academic enrichment program I started at his school. I made sure to listen in return. and here was the headmaster of a prominent school actually valuing my ideas enough to write them down. including such gems as. sharing their wisdom and cheering you on. and now at Change. Rule 1: More is better than less. she did this with a supportive spouse. Ham Clark. and an essential one at that. ―Never start a sentence with an apology. My mom was. He made me feel that what I was . at my own startup. (That one has come in really handy. and he also showed a depth of caring and belief in me by always listening to what I had to say. seek out people who excel at things you want to learn. Trust me – you want those people in your corner. Without fail. rule 3: Don‘t work with jerks. Archetype 3: The Listener In a world of rapid-fire texts. With two kids and a full-time job.org. I thought I‘d write about it.‖ which have guided my work over the years at Yahoo!. showing me through her life that it is possible to have a great career and be a great mom at the same time. My first boss. was a fantastic mentor for that reason. and chat messages. Because he listened. I was 21. Below. And. always make themselves available to give advice that works. then the Headmaster at Sewickley Academy. the Motivator. doesn‘t it? The Role Model mentors by doing. Rule 2: Sooner is better than later. ―Always wear your nametag on the right side of your shirt – that way. you‘ll find examples of each mentor archetype – and tips on how to spot the mentors-to-be in your life: Archetype 1: The Advisor Ever known someone who had a piece of advice for every situation? Someone you knew you could count on for a handy aphorism or a timely story.‖ Behind any good Advisor is an ability to distill life lessons into short. but what stood out to me as a young woman was her endless energy. Then ask them how they did it. my mentors have fit into what I‘ve come to call my ―5 mentor archetypes‖: the Advisor. Tweets. and the Achiever. the Role Model. because they thrive on helping others succeed. Archetype 2: The Role Model The name really says it all. Ham taught me that listening is a skill. just when you needed it the most? For me. and ask for guidance. I‘ll never forget my dad‘s ―3 Rules of Business. Try to get at the underlying values that drive their work. and still is. Yes.) To find your Advisor. upon which he wrote vigorous notes as I talked.So. applying and interviewing for 50 jobs before finally getting one – and going on to become a very successful consulting partner. and think about which ones you might embrace for yourself. when you shake someone‘s hand. stemming from a deep-seated belief that persistence and passion pay off. He was incredibly wise.

Archetype 5: The Achiever I had the good fortune of working with Jeff Weiner. ―If the timing doesn‘t work. and can make you better because of it. emphasizing what made her want to wake up in the morning – her vision for our company and our team. please don‘t feel like you have to do this. look out for someone who reminds you of your greater purpose. Instead of talking just about work. ―but we‘d really love to have you. which caused me to be much more careful with my words. and he called to let me know that people inside the company had suggested I become part of an all-star team he was building to relaunch Yahoo! Search. for many years at Yahoo! and learned so much during that time. showing her love and allegiance to the brand she was stewarding!). I‘d been on maternity leave for several weeks with my second child. inspiring way. Jeff is the ultimate Achiever. she wore purple nearly all the time. And all the while. You actually need someone who‘s active – an active listener. And. Seek out someone who‘s not afraid to try to ―get inside your head‖ by asking probing questions. joined the Yahoo! team as our new CMO. but Jeff somehow knew I could do it before I did. formerly of Frito Lay. To recognize a motivator. as a leader who could inspire people to do their work better than ever before. now CEO of LinkedIn. she maintained an incredibly high level of energy that left people feeling excited to get back to work (plus. The pressure to accomplish greatness can be overwhelming – but if you embrace it. that pressure can push you to a level beyond what you think it possible. she told her own personal story. I joined the team (at first just two days a week in the office and three days from home). I‘ll never forget one of my first interactions with Jeff that ultimately that ultimately changed the arc of my career. If he was listening that closely. I became so used to clearing a higher bar that even when I wasn‘t working for him any longer. I‘d better be saying something worthwhile! A common mistake when seeking out a Listener is to look for someone quiet and passive.‖ he said. and she gave people a clear plan for how to get there. I wouldn‘t trade that sort of mentorship – even if it was a bit challenging at the time. as a good Listener has a voracious appetite for understanding.‖ Most other bosses wouldn‘t think of calling someone who had just had a baby with that sort of request. It‘s easy to identify an Achiever mentor: look for the people who set high standards for themselves and who push you beyond your comfort zone. Each person‘s contributions have value.saying was important. Because Jeff consistently set high expectations for what I could accomplish. instead of pushing back against their high . still an outsider. This daunting task seemed easy when I saw Cammie do it. setting a high bar for himself and for his team. I still set those performance standards for myself and for my teams. she got us to think bigger about the impact of the work we were doing on a daily basis. She had such a difficult role: come into a team with hundreds of people and establish herself. Archetype 4: The Motivator I still feel inspired when I think back on the day Cammie Dunaway. and it was one of the best professional experiences I‘ve had. In the process. and a good Motivator knows how to point that out to you in a compelling. Although I didn‘t know exactly how I‘d make it work. You‘ll likely leave conversations with a Motivator feeling energetic and empowered. Her style was to motivate people by explaining what motivated her.

the best mentors are the ones you already have in your life. they all fit into one or more of these five archetypes. try to live up to them.162 30 13 inShare351 . To Know Yourself: Why It Matters June 06.expectations out of fear of failure. In my experience. from how they structure their day to how they treat the people around them. there are more mentors in my life than I can count. and in the process. friends. An important shift happens in how you interact with your family. Rob Solomon and Beth (Lasky) Anderson – among so many others who‘ve made a major impact on my life. without realizing it. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish. you learn from their wisdom and success. including Susan Dalton. In addition to the ones I mentioned. 2013    3. Bill Harris. and I‘d like to thank a few more of them. You start closely examining everything they do and say. coaches and colleagues when you recognize them as valuable sources of knowledge. A common myth about mentors is that you‘ve got to probe your extended network to find them. Interestingly.

The world's wisdom traditions agree on this point. . and Muhammad. Here is a list of illusory ideas that countless people live by. This test depends on knowing what wise choices are and what they aren't. as much as they did two thousand years ago. The illusion of death as a great ending. The illusion that life isn't fair. But the only real test must come in daily life. due to random chance and accidents. I think. In the earlier post I suggested that the first requirement for anyone who wants to be wise is a desire to know reality. here and now. different as they were from one another. cut off from a higher power or intelligence. The illusion that physical objects are the measure of what is real. In a previous post I described what the wisdom principle is. That. The illusion of inhabiting a separate body. The first is that reality doesn't exist right before your eyes. is a grave mistake. today. The illusion of having a separate mind. Buddha. and so on has been largely ignored.it was taught by Jesus.Wisdom has become a musty word even though it described the highest vision of life for many centuries. the application of wisdom to the hard realities of work. Because we classify these figures as either religious or philosophical. and illusion is born of the mind. Wisdom is about skill in living. family. It is veiled by illusion. Confucius. Someone who makes wise choices in life should wind up happier and more successful than someone who doesn't. Plato. The illusion that happiness comes from maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. The illusion that we are alone in the universe. relationships. The desire to know reality implies many things. One can take a very broad view of wisdom .

and the best life consists of having the courage to live with this aloneness until death makes its inevitable claim and you are extinguished forever. finding connections to the soul. tapping into the source of cosmic intelligence. and mastering many skills in awareness that are unknown to those who feel satisfied with life on the surface. the journey to wisdom also happens to be fascinating. and it's not news that it holds sway in modern culture. "of course" the universe is random. As Richard Dawkins and other scientific materialists are quick to argue. as witnessed by the epidemic of depression and anxiety in our culture. devoid of higher intelligence.materialism has promised far more that it can deliver.The last illusion is called materialism. and the emptiness that comes from endless consumerism and the pursuit of distractions to fill the hole inside. we are utterly alone. The motivation to find a better way existed thousands of years ago under much harsher conditions for the average person. Skeptics protest that the whole "perennial philosophy" that espouses wisdom amounts to wishful thinking and empty promises. Wisdom doesn't consist in turning materialism on its head and saying no to Dawkins and company (although that might be a good start). If you are a strict materialist. "Of course" God is absurd. I think they have it upside down . and purely physical. Wisdom consists in taking seriously that reality might be different from the daily spectacle that greets our eyes. all the other illusions on the list will seem like reality instead. and then taking the time to seriously investigate the validity of each illusion. but it hasn't been extinguished by gaining more creature comforts. with enormous validation from science. . the rise of chronic stress. because it involves exploring your own consciousness.

and to constantly look out for number one. but if your attention is entirely focused outwardly. In the next post. What's Happening Inside? May 24. The expected rewards arrive. even bubbly. people spend many years building up the externals of their lives. She can . to find their true selves beneath the distractions and demands of I. "Know thyself" was wise for telling people to look beyond those things. we'll examine the rewards of the true self and how they can be achieved. me. a woman who has risen up the ladder to become the chief public relations person at a major international corporation. she is enthusiastic. they generally meet with good fortune.479 852 336 inShare5. status. and mine. As a result. to follow the impulses of ego.com When aiming for success."Know thyself" wasn't wise advice because it told people to learn about their likes and dislikes.012 www.kristinbairokeefee. This is all to the good. 2013    74. Now fifty. how can you know what is happening inside? I recently met Donna. and accomplishments. in terms of money.

Donna has a hard time enjoying her own company. friends. Krishnamurti put it. friends. who you really are is dynamic. The point is to learn who you really are. So why is Donna suddenly having days filled with anxiety and occasional panic attacks .her college-age children love her. which is calm. but they exist at different levels. What gave the East its advantage is that the quest has been mapped out accurately for thousands of years in the great wisdom traditions rooted in India. paying as much attention to the inner world as you do to the outer. you are already forgotten and alone. For decades it didn't seem to matter what was happening inside. and these qualities grow the more you pay attention. That's how the self naturally grows and evolves. One advantage that the East has over the West is that in the East the self is the source of creativity. and constantly renewing itself. peaceful. External rewards will still be there. Getting past your demons and finding your true self is the very essence of a quest. and now her beautifully managed external life is mismatched to an inner life that is disorganized and unsatisfying. The negative aspects are psychological. You only need to be interested in what's happening inside and to keep paying attention. intelligence. the self is considered a problem. I don't think Donna is an exception. or personal demons no one would enjoy meeting. and joyful. is still her best friend. has worked out for the best. In the West. In other words.except herself. and her efforts to become Super Mom have paid off . and career. energy. and it soon became apparent that she had given away too much of herself. Not that you are like a doctor checking in on his patient. . and her ex-husband. and emotions had gone outward to family. Both images are true. because it means losing their external drive and being left to live with a stranger.travel wherever she likes. and bliss.to the point that her family doctor has prescribed tranquilizers? I talked with her for an hour. When the opposite happens and the self stagnates. Sadly. and work. which is a shallower level than the true self. No wonder everyone who knows Donna sees her as a wonderful person . This is the process of waking up. it's just a matter of getting back into balance. countless successful people cannot handle retirement day. Without other people to validate her. leading to egotism. a successful private banker. and loses interest. In her anxious moments she dreads a future where she will be forgotten and alone. But it's not necessary to "go Eastern" in order to seek your true self. you can experience the timeless and still catch the train. the reason for this is that once you have given yourself away. wise. shifting. becomes boring. they both agreed. self-indulgence. themselves. As the noted spiritual teacher J. Nothing is more important than knowing what is happening inside. for instance. it means you've gotten lost in a private dream. Their divorce. Her time. You aren't asked to become so self-absorbed that you forget the outside world of family. and since the self changes over time. much less seeing how worthy she really is. it has been starved of attention. Missing the train home from work doesn't mean you're spiritual. and it remains interesting for a lifetime – if you have a real goal in mind.

the world "out there" Family Friends Career School. Roughly estimate how many hours you devote to each time. higher education Status Wealth Property and possessions Politics Hobbies Exercise. going to the gym Going to the movies . look at the following two lists.As a quick indicator of how much of your attention goes outward and how much goes inward.            List A: External.

poems and inspirational literature .       Having sex Internet and social media Video games Television Travel Service organizations Charity       List B: Internal. the world "in here" Meditation Contemplation Prayer Self-reflection Stress management Reading spiritual material.

there is also higher success. enrich your inner life. the inner life isn't precisely measured in hours. and certain externals.and that's up from twenty years ago. It goes by the name of wisdom.just as there is higher consciousness. or out of compassion Appreciation and gratitude.         Psychotherapy Personal growth Intimacy Bonding with someone else empathically. Consciousness is on the rise. In the next post we'll discuss why it's so valuable to know what's going on inside . I'm not suggesting that there's an ideal ratio to aim for. and most of us realize the value of meditation and stress management. 2013    6. For now. just be aware of these two lists and how much you participate in them. toward yourself and others Exploring the world‘s wisdom traditions Taking a period of silence Church attendance Going on a spiritual retreat Most people would favor externals 4 to 1 or even 10 to 1 over their inner life .572 101 50 inShare433 . Turning 'Otherness' Into an Asset June 05. like a close family. even if time hasn't been set aside to pay attention to them.

‖ and ―the right way to do things. traces of my accent come through in a conversation. ―the way things have to be. when I realized that it is precisely this otherness that allows me to question the conventional wisdom.In my recently published book.‖ . where are you originally from?‖ And this — after living most of my life in the US! I‘ve come to appreciate my otherness only later in life. The Nature of the Future. I talk about my experience of being an immigrant (I came to the US from the former Soviet Union) as being both a blessing and a curse. ―So. It is a curse when no matter how hard I try. No introduction of mine ever skips the question.

where young people do not have the luxury of an extended childhood or a desire to live in nuclear families. with a sister who was a math whizz and surrounded by girls who were outperforming boys in math in high school. I never heard this growing up in the Soviet Union. I got used to feeling at home and yet slightly estranged in many places. willing to discover a new land. a new way of doing things. Normal where? Maybe in the West. immigrants from an earlier world. and I certainly viewed it more as a curse at the time. we all need to be looking at the future with the immigrant‘s eyes. now directing the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. Margaret Mead famously wrote about the profound changes wrought by the Second World War: ―All of us who grew up before the war are immigrants in time. but not in many other parts of the world. we are all immigrants to the future. After college. . California. She always comes back from some faraway land and tells everyone how people there live differently. learn a new language. a friend said to me. I laugh at scientific studies showing that girls are not as good at math as boys are. After all. 'You are like Pippi Longstocking. living in an age essentially different from anything we knew before. none of us is a native in that land. while I was working in Europe for a refugee agency." I don‘t think she meant the comment as a compliment. Being an immigrant.I bristle when I hear from ―experts‖ that teenage rebellion is a normal part of the adolescent development. But in my work as a futurist.‖ The same applies to thinking about the future. I have come to view my immigrant history as a blessing.

‖ We already see this happening in many massively collaborative endeavors. In the process. Turning 'Otherness' Into an Asset June 05. being different. and thinking styles.‖ tend to be more innovative.With the benefit of hindsight I have come to view many experiences where being an outsider. skills. and much more. or ethnic characteristics of the workforce.‖ and being ―different‖ is hard. particularly if you are young. work. what diversity means will be redefined. broadening it to include a host of new dimensions—age. Researchshows that groups that include a variety of people with varying experiences and knowledge. However. In IFTF‘s forecast on the Future of Work in 2007 we wrote. and backgrounds. there is no better time than now. Conversations about ‗diversity‘ usually revolved around the gender. ―For decades diversity in many global organizations has been largely a political and social imperative. requires microcontributions of large diverse groups) to turn your difference into an asset. learning.e.572 101 50 inShare433 . cognitive. In the next ten years we will see innovation emerge as a new imperative for diversity. 2013    6. when so much of our work is being what I call socialstructed (i. And for organizations to make diversity an innovation imperative. disciplines. including those who may not be considered ―experts. No one asks to be the ―other. from Wikipedia to multiplayer games that rely on diversity and collective intelligence of large groups. feeling like the ―other" turns out to be an asset. race.

I talk about my experience of being an immigrant (I came to the US from the former Soviet Union) as being both a blessing and a curse. traces of my accent come through in a conversation. The Nature of the Future. ―So. when I realized that it is precisely this otherness that allows me to question the conventional wisdom.In my recently published book. ―the way things have to be. No introduction of mine ever skips the question. It is a curse when no matter how hard I try. where are you originally from?‖ And this — after living most of my life in the US! I‘ve come to appreciate my otherness only later in life.‖ and ―the right way to do things.‖ .

with a sister who was a math whizz and surrounded by girls who were outperforming boys in math in high school. and I certainly viewed it more as a curse at the time." I don‘t think she meant the comment as a compliment. After college. I have come to view my immigrant history as a blessing. California. willing to discover a new land. Normal where? Maybe in the West. I laugh at scientific studies showing that girls are not as good at math as boys are. She always comes back from some faraway land and tells everyone how people there live differently. we are all immigrants to the future. we all need to be looking at the future with the immigrant‘s eyes. where young people do not have the luxury of an extended childhood or a desire to live in nuclear families. Margaret Mead famously wrote about the profound changes wrought by the Second World War: ―All of us who grew up before the war are immigrants in time. Being an immigrant. a new way of doing things. while I was working in Europe for a refugee agency. 'You are like Pippi Longstocking.‖ The same applies to thinking about the future. now directing the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. I got used to feeling at home and yet slightly estranged in many places. I never heard this growing up in the Soviet Union. living in an age essentially different from anything we knew before. . But in my work as a futurist.I bristle when I hear from ―experts‖ that teenage rebellion is a normal part of the adolescent development. but not in many other parts of the world. none of us is a native in that land. learn a new language. After all. immigrants from an earlier world. a friend said to me.

from Wikipedia to multiplayer games that rely on diversity and collective intelligence of large groups. In the next ten years we will see innovation emerge as a new imperative for diversity. work. I Can't Say No to The 'Yes Man' June 04. In the process. Researchshows that groups that include a variety of people with varying experiences and knowledge. No one asks to be the ―other. disciplines. ―For decades diversity in many global organizations has been largely a political and social imperative. broadening it to include a host of new dimensions —age. including those who may not be considered ―experts.‖ tend to be more innovative. And for organizations to make diversity an innovation imperative. race. Conversations about ‗diversity‘ usually revolved around the gender. particularly if you are young. However. requires microcontributions of large diverse groups) to turn your difference into an asset. and much more. being different. skills. when so much of our work is being what I call socialstructed (i. cognitive. there is no better time than now.‖ and being ―different‖ is hard.With the benefit of hindsight I have come to view many experiences where being an outsider. or ethnic characteristics of the workforce. and thinking styles.‖ We already see this happening in many massively collaborative endeavors.e.140 64 23 inShare235 . In IFTF‘s forecast on the Future of Work in 2007 we wrote. 2013    9. and backgrounds. what diversity means will be redefined. learning. feeling like the ―other" turns out to be an asset.

About the woman — Why hasn‘t she responded? She should respond. one man. commented on their blogs. I discovered two thought leaders. because it is considered an imposition. while women are not because . I followed them on Twitter. albeit petulant. when men help others they are rewarded. one woman. I‘ll keep following him. Neither did. I am just going to stop following her. wasn‘t all that surprising. whose ideas really resonated with me. hoping they would eventually engage with me. I thought — he didn‘t reciprocate. I don‘t really expect him too.Some years ago. According to research. About the man. If she doesn‘t. I still like what he has to say. It turns out my reaction.

feels compelled. I listened to his interview with Business Insider‘s Aimee Groth. to recognize we can make choices. Imagine then my skepticism when I heard about Wharton professor Adam Grant. and read his Harvard Business Review articleIn the Company of Givers and Takers. I really did. tends to come more easily for men. Determined to swiss cheese his premise.‘ Yes works for him because he has the x-factor Y chromosome. to sa y ‗yes‘. they are punished. When a giver can buck timidity. I couldn't say 'no' to Adam Grant. or “an unwillingness to advocate for ourselves‖ – As Flynn has demonstrated. this can be problematic for men and women. .of our presumed desire to be communal. Is the feeling "If-I-give-anymore-I-justmight-give-myself away" the problem? Or is it. First. And while Adam Grant may be the ‗yes‘ man. ―givers haven‘t yet learned how to ―distinguish generosity from three other attributes—timidity. When we learn to say a thousand no‘s to mere giving. Just as ‗yes‘ tends to come more easily to women. he cited the research of Stanford professor Frank Flynn: ―When Flynn examined the patterns of favor exchange in one company.‖ Up until that point I was on firm footing. his moniker is ‗the ‗yes‘ man‘. dream so your children can dream. Grant‘s proposed hack is to make choices in the context of our relationships. as Grant avers. he clearly knows how to say ‗no ma‘am. According to Jungian psychology. But then came the finding: ―When Flynn turned his spotlight on top-producing engineers. ‗No‘ the key word of protection. For example. setting themselves up for burnout. It is especially so for women. we receive hundreds if not thousands of requests a month: a giver wants. The solution in this instance is to create boundaries. In other words. because we expected them to. a woman is considered feminine only within the context of a relationship or when she is giving something to someone else: women are socialized to be givers. Because agency can feel incompatible with generosity. his mantra ‗give to get ahead. giving away more than they received. or a giver’s inclination is to neglect his/her own responsibilities. but alas. According to the Bem Sex Role Inventory. or leaving themselves at the mercy of takers. I thought. Warren Buffett has said ―Every important yes requires a thousand No‘s".‖ At this point. they too were givers. the least productive engineers were givers – people that had done more favors than they received. The antidote to timidity is to become more agentic. availability. I wanted to. there will be more of themselves to give. and empathy—that tend to travel with it. I threw all caution aside and became curious. learning to say ‗no‘ is one of the most profoundly difficult tasks of feminine development. when men don‘t help. we can say yes to generosity. and be responsible for those choices. more scope for generosity. to learn to say ‗no‘. we didn‘t expect them too.‖ Let‘s take each in turn: Timidity. Whether a professional or a parent. Availability. When women don‘t.

Empathy. That daily ritual eventually introduced him to the person who would move our family from Beirut during the war to Minnesota. California. and ultimately change our lives forever. are feminine strengths. ―But‖ says Grant. nor was Lee . His ‗yes‘ may be on the other side of no. There is much at play in the tug-o-war between give and take. I agree. of the perspective takers. who wants to move beyond the childish play of give and take and become truly generous -. while only 17% of empathizers do. What Your Business Mentor Can Teach You In life. hoping to meet an American to learn about the United States and the Western world. used to go to the Beirut pier every day as a young boy. My example takes place in an old office in Carlsbad. woman or man. I was not looking for a mentor. This will likely come more naturally than ―greater assertiveness or bounded availability. we learn to become perspective takers.‖ Based on my experience. All are vital. of yes and no.the only getting ahead that really matters. you rarely realize something significant is happening until it‘s happened. ―if a busy person is moved by empathy to spend time doing favors he or she cannot afford. the person runs a serious risk of being manipulated by shrewd takers. Indeed. to imagine what people are thinking and what their interests are. He cites research indicating that an emphasis on what will serve people well leads to optimal agreements. But his work is providing the tools to anyone.Empathy – the ability to understand what another is feeling. My father. That‘s where I met my business mentor Lee Leichtag for the first time.‖ In order to avoid this third trap. like availability and connectedness. far more than the mere ‗yes man‘ moniker or ‗give to get‘ headline-grabbers would suggest. and thus I must say yes to Adam Grant. for example. 40% reach optimal agreements. Of course. even as I am learning to ‗no-gotiate‘ until I say yes. But of course my dad didn‘t know it when he first met that person. Grant recommends we start with perspective taking. And for anyone trying to become more generous.

―I am going to have Diane set up the meeting. Lee accepted me and began telling me everything I needed to know about his business and how he got where he was. you do not make it through the front door. consume and sell products in the future. universities. but we found each other. but Lee wanted me to be ready. said. with a bright shirt.‖ Lee told me he lived through the Great Depression.but come to impress. But the truth was. looked at me. I am going to pass you through to Lee. he didn‘t exchange a greeting but instead looked at me in the eye and said. I knew. From that point forward. I told Lee that I would come back in about a week and clearly explain to him how I could help. ―Dan. deep down. I later learned that every time I stepped into Lee‘s office he wanted to teach me something. at the time. I shook his hand and introduced myself. now. I could tell that once you walked through Lee‘s doors. it was passionate. Lee wanted me to be great. other Community-based work. but it was on me to understand what he was teaching. instead of letting me set a time to meet again. About a week later. I went on to tell Lee that digital will change the way we connect. In addition to his success in business. I had never met anyone like him before.‖ Remember: A half hour ago I was rationalizing reasons to never call this guy again. spoke with his assistant Diane. When I first met Lee. within a second. said: ―you might be the future. who. ―if you are going to sell me something today. please know I come from a world where if you cannot clearly show how you drive profits. I had no idea the ultimate impact Lee would have on my business acumen for the rest of my life.‖ He did not say hello. Lee was already teaching me lessons. it is important to know that we start at excellence and work our way up.‖ He added: ―Dan.. I walked back into Lee‘s office. He made money and lost money. half a sandwich in hand. He asked me to sit down. he wanted to get right into it. despite myself. he did not waste time. It was powerful. Fortunately. But.‖ Lee picked up the phone and said. you should have been wearing bright colors. ―Tell me again how you think you can help me. Lee was not an ordinary person. . Lee was incredibly successful.‖ Lee went on. but speak to me in terms I can understand. I know he wants to speak with you. He was in the Pharmaceutical business and sold his company for a significant amount of money.. ―Dan.‖ He said.. By the time I got back to Digitaria. I knew everything Lee said was correct. ready to tell him how I could help. From the moment I said hello. but I felt his presence. you either get kicked back out through them or you have to come back to learn more. He began prodding me about this thing he‘d been hearing about: the Internet. my immediate reaction was to never go back. he was a successful businessman and philanthropist. So I called Lee‘s office immediately. He got us a sandwich to split. I would rather move forward and pretend that I never met Lee. I really knew nothing about Lee. Keep in mind. we got connected by a mutual friend. but you have a lot to learn. Of course. again without a greeting. a man who I just met was pushing me to come back. He began showing me what he was doing at hospitals. Lee gave his money to many causes. Lee liked what I had to say.looking for a student. I did not want to hear his feedback. Lee leaned back. I was afraid of what he would say. after I first met Lee. but he eventually became successful because he was able to show mutually beneficial value. I would have to set up another meeting.

sales. another conversation.625 439 98 inShare2. Why?‖ Without a pause. Lee taught me about cash flow management. but you gave me the most valuable asset you have: your mind. Another lesson. his daughter Joli. ―Dan.‖ I could probably dedicate an entire book to the things I learned from Lee. the (minor) impact of the Affordable Care Act on our business. You'll Never Need to Recharge June 06. I returned to Lee‘s office as often as I could.196 In a recent interview I did with the Wall Street Journal. 2013    32. But it was a rather innocuous question that took me by surprise. I missed that journey. the experiment in human nature that we call Panera Cares. The reporter asked.‖ If You're Learning. You had no idea who I was. I saw me. what do you do to recharge? . both in my heart and on my business card. we hit on a wide range of topics: discount programs disguised as loyalty programs. I carry him with me everywhere I go. when I met you. and all other people whose lives were changed by Lee and Toni.After our first meeting. he said. another insight. and the good times I spent with him. the opportunities and challenges that come with taking a suburban brand into urban environments. Over a course of 5 years. it was a pretty in-depth Q&A. All in all. you have spent so much time with me over the years. as well as my management style. his wife Toni. leadership and the importance of giving back to the community. which quotes one of his favorite sayings: ―Keep it simple. One day I asked him: ―Lee. You gave me back that journey. so thank you.

Learn Good Management From Bees and Golfers June 06. And what will work in the world. a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and Nazi concentration camp survivor. and cynicism that come with a temporary slump or even classic burnout. All of that gets me up before dawn and keeps me going until late in the evening. frustration. their lives still held meaning. The performances always differ. I'm not a scientist. I can unreservedly declare that I still love what I do. But we do touch the lives of 8 million people each week in thousands of cafes across the country. is that I view my work as a lifelong learning journey. We've helped entire communities care about the quality of their food. And I inevitably learn something new." Whether it was a father whose young child was living in a foreign country or a scientist who had books he still needed to write. We don't cure cancer at Panera. I doubt you'll ever have reason to recharge." I couldn't agree more. If you find meaning in your work and you go to work to learn about life. Viktor Frankl. Of course. we're contributing our resources and know-how to the fight against food insecurity in America. the results are actionable ideas and a broadened vision. Eighty-hour work weeks and way too many red-eye flights will wear anybody down. When I learn. I think. We've given customers an inviting place to gather and feel welcome. But thankfully. where one in six households don't always know where their next meal is coming from. I'm engaged in the world around me. How humanity works. The reason. And through our pay-what-you-can cafés and other efforts. 2013   21. I've never experienced the chronic exhaustion. After three decades in the food industry. In his seminal book. I get tired." they are nourished in soul as well as body. We don't launch shuttles into space. Hence.Man's Search for Meaning. I never feel the need to recharge because I rarely feel burned out. inertia. And what I always find is a kind of real-time performance art—dynamic interactions between our frontline crews and constantly shifting casts of customers. I visit anywhere from 25 to 100 Panera cafes every month. I've never had reason to refresh my spirit and renew my spark. The work itself will renew you.362 268 . The British author John le Carré once quipped. Opportunities for change are revealed. My work is also energizing because I believe I'm doing work that matters. I go to work to learn about how the world works. wrote that those who endured the death camps believed that "life was still expecting something from them. And that helped them endure the Nazi's brutality. something in the future was expected of them.The fact is. with the overriding goal of ensuring that when customers exit our "stage. Nor am I immune to the stress that comes with running a public company for 22 years and shouldering responsibility for more than 70. "The desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.000 Panera associates. so there's no need to refresh.

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they also foster teamwork. And that‘s understandable.125 . never competing. when a teacher paired you up with a partner to write a paper or build a contraption to drop an egg from two stories up. as Barton details in the debut column.Delegate. Turns out. in fact. ahem. Consider the first time anybody asked you to work on a project with someone else. And it doesn‘t always work out. effective managers don‘t just delegate. that it can be hard to unpack these concepts and dive into what it actually means to effectively delegate or develop others. ―Caddies don‘t just carry around a pro-golfer‘s bag. letting go of control of important tasks —even when the outcome impacts you directly. ―Real delegation requires something unexpected. So neat. Bees. Too often managers want to hand out only secondary assignments to the people who work for them. keeping the best or key tasks as their own. 2013  11.‖ writes Eric Barton in Leader Board. The caddie-golfer relationship is an example of all that goes right with effective delegation. speak to each other using pheromones that communicate when the hive is hungry or needs water or needs to produce more workers. writes Barton. Decoding the most important but hard-to-explain qualities that set the best leaders apart from the rest is the focus of a new column on the newly-launched BBC Capital. That‘s largely because the relationship is built on trust and. They spend hours doing course research so they can suggest which club to use on each shot. or brainstorming sessions where the group decides a matter. another buzzword to decode. Develop others. ―In the US. for instance. Consider the relationship between golfers and their caddies.‖ Sometimes. Once a crew of trusted employees is assembled. Use the 2-question Interview to Assess Soft Skills June 06. The key: Hiring and developing people you can trust. assignments that require input from multiple people. People are another story.‖ writes Barton. one of you did all the work and the other sat back and took credit. are generally loathed. It was likely back in third grade. agreeing on what land to cover . Chances are. the caddie suggests a shot and it goes all wrong. It‘s human nature—we want to be responsible for our own professional fates. yes. Build consensus. But the most effective delegators hand down plumb assignments and support employees while they figure out how to complete them. Yes. Be decisive. Ah. you can learn a lot from the world of professional golf about delegation. But it‘s rar e for a golfer to place blame on his caddie or regret delegating such a big decision. Even individual hives work together. Think strategically. the keys to being an effective manager and leader all tied up in such neat little buzzwords and phrases.

whether the interviewer possesses either in abundance or not: 1. here‘s the 4-step process I suggest using for assessing both technical and non-technical skills. if a senior engineering staff position requires close collaboration with operations and product marketing to meet a tight schedule. winding up with too much tech and not enough non-tech. the ability to plan and organize. As a result. If true. balancing and prioritizing work. ―must have 8-10 years in advanced state-of-the art optics design. I suggested that soft skills were misnamed. Covert how the skill or trait will be used on the job as a performance objective. and coaching and team development. First describe the performance objective to the candidate including both the technical and non-technical challenges. to name a few. This is a smokescreen. ―Soft skills‖ encompasses more than personality. I‘m not sure if it take exceptional technical skills to assess technical skills in others. . including traits like communicating with both techies and non-techies.‖ 2. a can-do attitude and strong communications skills. Use The Most Important Interview Question of All Time to assess the traits. but ―soft‖ is too soft for something so important. dealing with changing circumstances. From what I‘ve seen the real problem is a lack of understanding of how technical and non-technical skills are actually used on the job. Maybe that‘s why technical managers over-emphasize technical competency and give short shrift to everything else. hitting budget and schedule deadlines. As described in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired. the wrong things are measured the wrong way. I‘m okay with non-technical skills or ―foundational skills‖ as one commenter suggested. dependability. drive and initiative.  110 38 inShare771 In Part 1 of this post . influencing and collaborating on technical and non-technical issues with all types of people. the performance objective would be: working closing with marketing and operations lead the engineering design effort to launch the XYX EOIR optical product line by Q3. it means that it also takes exceptional soft skills to assess soft skills in others. That‘s a lot of important stuff that is far from soft. For example. This is much better than saying.

How would you pull this off?‖ The subsequent back-and-forth dialogue allows the interviewer to dig into all of the soft-skills associated with the actual job. Without this. and knowing the impact on the people involved. emotions or intuition. appreciate the implications of different approaches. not feelings. for meeting a tough delivery schedule I‘d want to see multiple examples of the candidate meeting some comparable challenging deadlines.001 . figuring out the required resources. what a plan of action would need to include. some of the fact-finding would include getting specific examples of how the candidate collaborated with other functions. the problem for most interviewers is a lack of understanding of how the technical and non-technical skill are actually used on the job. you‘ll have the needed information to make a proper assessment. I suggest using a scorecard to collect this information during a formal debriefing session. How to Tradeoff Potential for Experience and Why You Should May 30. made technical compromises. The quality of the candidate‘s questions are a key part of the assessment. The PSQ starts by describing a realistic job-related problem like. This is a great way to hire ― 90-day Wonders. 4. and organized the entire effort. As part of this I also want to see if the candidate anticipated these problems and planned them out properly. ―we have to get the XYZ project done in 6 months instead of the 9 as originally planned. From a practical standpoint you need to have both to be successful. For the example above. For example. understanding the technical challenges.Then ask the candidate to describe some major accomplishment that best compares to this. This is called the Most Significant Accomplishment question (MSA) in Performance-based Hiring jargon. and know how to develop a workable plan before implementing a solution. or just reacted to the events as they unfolded. but by focusing on realistic non-technical issues the new hire will likely face on the job. dealt with setbacks. the interviewer will naturally revert to a personal benchmark for technical competency or box check skills. and then make a superficial assessment of soft skills usually based on presentation. (Here‘s a sample from The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired. This same four-step process can be used to assess technical and non-technical skills. Unfortunately. Ask the problem-solving question (PSQ) to assess critical non-technical skills. There are a lot of soft skills involved in this. overcame schedule challenges. 2013    54. conducting what-if business analysis. like being aware of potential pitfalls. 3. That‘s why step one – converting the skill into some measurable outcome – is the key for increasing assessment accuracy. Complete the assessment giving equal balance to all of the hard and soft skills.) As part of this assessment it‘s important to use specific evidence to rank all of the technical and non-technical factors.‖ These are the people who seemed great during the interview. but 90 days later you begin to wonder. The best people have the ability to figure out how to solve realistic job-related problems. affability and personality style. This fact-finding can often take 10-15 minutes.473 496 177 inShare4.

the skills. This is shame for a variety of reasons. experience. to name just a few: Some (but not all) Problem with Filtering on Experience eliminates the hiring of diversity candidates (race. or someone referred by a trusted advisor. They quickly agree when they‘re hiring or promoting someone whom they‘ve worked with in the past. academic and industry filter automatically kicks in. gender) as an option since by definition diversity means the person didn‘t follow the classic career progression  . when the person is unknown. age. It hasn't been easy. However.For 35 years I‘ve been successfully convincing hiring managers that raw experience and skills are far less important than past performance and future potential.

find out how they found their next one. the toughest customers and the most difficult technical problems. they're more predictive and they possess the advantage of opening up the door to more high-potential and diverse candidates. Here's my two -step solution: first look for the Achiever Pattern during the work-history review and then ask theproblem-solving question in the two-question interview. Achievers do much more than just applying to a posting. For each company ask about major projects and accomplishments. Not only are these equally objective. Determine if each job change was part of a bigger career plan or a reaction to a problem. Achievers get assigned to handle the most important projects. labor law firm). on these pages and in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired. This is pretty easy to spot if you know how to read between the lines. I make the claim that bridging the ―experience and skills‖ vs. and a means to translate past performance from different industries. The Achiever Pattern indicates that the person is consistently performing in the top 25% of his/her peer group. or rehired others. David goes on to suggest that performancebased job descriptions can be substituted for skills and experiences. all that‘s left is a method for assessing future potential. nor is there any legal obligation to (or advantage in) posting boring ads. . Even if the person lost their job.    prohibits returning military veterans from consideration for anything other than entry-level or lowlevel supervisory positions prevents strong people from other industries from getting a fair assessment precludes high potential people who have progressed more rapidly than their peers from being considered excludes all fully-qualified and fully-employed people from consideration who are not willing to take a lateral transfer    Here's a list of 61 reasons why it's so hard for hiring managers to see the obvious. more legally sound.S. ―potential and performance‖ gap is actually quite easy. For the legal part I‘ll refer you to this white paper and webcast by David Goldstein of Littler Mendelson (the premier U. Find out how they got their last few jobs to see if the person was rehired. Achievers tend to carefully select jobs based on some major overriding career goal. and essential for improving the quality of people hired. With the legal excuse put aside. or applied to a job posting. Many achievers have been recruited by their former bosses or referred by their previous co-workers. Here‘s how: Find out if the person was rehired. referred. Despite these challenges. and offer this tidbit of his: Employers are not legally required to post their internal job descriptions when advertising an open position.

track the growth of the teams the person has been assigned to over the past few years. Achievers do more with less. broader crossfunctional involvement. Get comparisons of performance to the person’s peers. Stop box checking skills and experience as the first step in your interview process. Breaking Organizational Walls June 07. Achievers leave lots of evidence in their wakes. Rather than use affability to assess team skills. 2013    13. even if they don‘t have a lot of experience. Achievers receive lots of recognition.    regardless of their years of experience. and see if the work is expanding in scope and challenge. They learn new skills quickly. This can take a variety of forms like bigger raises. Ask about any type of recognition received and how and why. Then find out how they learned what was needed to be learned. you can rest assured there‘s an achiever out in front. and more exposure to senior management inside and outside the company. you need to put great people on the bus if you want to build a great company. and if the wake is big enough. look for the Achiever Pattern instead. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great. or a great team. Look for this pattern. and what the person did differently to get to the top of pack. special bonuses. Of course.511 164 61 inShare749 . presentations at industry conferences. and how they applied this knowledge. you can be assured the person is an achiever with strong team skills. coaching roles and fellowships. standings. Compare the person‘s specific performance to others in the group by asking about rankings. patents. commendations. determine if it occurred at different companies and with different managers. you then need to let them drive. differences between the top and average. During the interview ask the person to describe their biggest accomplishments with the least amount of skills and experience. published whitepapers. If this has increased significantly to include expanded functional responsibility. You‘ll quickly discover why you want to hire more achievers. Assigned to important teams and early exposure to executives. promotions. awards won.

I shared the importance of connecting across organization levels and removing the barriers of intimidation between executives and the broader teams. The absolute best ideas and thoughts in an organization emerge from those that are on the front lines. more so than management and often more accurately then the formal status processes. The front lines know when products are running behind. . Unfortunately these insights often get diluted or lost as they travel up the chain. Most companies have several different mechanisms to ensure better communication and tighter management for this reason. if the quality is on track or if there are other issues that need course corrections.In my recent post about career mistakes.

many colleagues agreed with me – those who otherwise wouldn‘t have been able to weigh in on this type of . which is why as a manager at Microsoft I instituted office hours once again. Recently I was confronted with a decision to approve the use of a new technology for one of our most high profile games. I had my reservations that the technology would reap rewards for our dev teams. However. or just talk through an idea they had that may not have much at all to do with the course curriculum. I recently adopted an enterprise social network to create a real-time. I was intimidated by the higher-ups or the corner office. It‘s an opportunity to strip away the job titles and just have an enlightening conversation that sparks creativity and innovation. It gives me a chance to step away from my regular role. In my experience. Holding office hours may not attract someone who is more shy and doesn‘t want to request a 1:1 meeting. I just decided to implement them again at EA as well for the same reason. I now set aside a few hours per week on my calendar for 1:1 meetings that are open to anyone in my company (direct reports excluded because they already have standing meetings). read up on the technology. It gives me insight into the passions of my colleagues. There are two practices that I have adopted that have helped me with stronger bonds with my own teams. I held office hours where students could come in and ask questions about recent lectures.I have adopted several techniques to create a structure. process and environment where there is far more organic and native connection between teams and management layers. Social Networks Taking a page from the success social media for personal use. the other a bit newer: Office Hours One of my first jobs at my university was as a teaching assistant (TA) and as most TA‘s do. I found them to be extremely valuable to build relationships across the team regardless of level. organic connection in my organization. I love when people come to me with projects that don‘t have to do with our dayto-day responsibilities. carry out live AMA with the team. Turns out. The first few months of using the ESN has been extremely valuable. I wrote about this in an earlier post on Millennials. The dividends in doing this right are incalculable for any leader regardless of where they sit in an organization. conduct polls and most importantly have a real dialog with those in the organization who know the most about a given topic. I did my homework. Being available and connecting with the front lines in a genuine and authentic way is the key to success. when I was a junior-level employee. have me review their work. One is a tactic that‘s been around for decades. went deep into the design and still had doubts – so I posted the question on our ESN and asked the broader team to share their opinions and experiences with the software (whether they were connected to the project or not). I often post pictures from meetings I go too. I always found this time valuable and enriching for myself as well as the students. roll up my sleeves and think about technology solutions. The most important characteristic to doing this right is accessibility.

I rejected the proposal because of this additional value and insight I got from asking for feedback. That my energy is contagious .that I'm constantly smiling. 2013    8. They almost don't believe it. whether by being accessible via office hours or creating a comfortable environment to talk and discuss hard problems online is key to building a healthy work environment and breaking down those walls. In the end. . healthy lifestyle while being a founder.537 115 35 inShare658 I am approached a lot by curious people who wonder how I'm always able to stay "energetic". I'm here to debunk this and to share a few tips I've learned along the way to help maintain an energetic. 5 Tips on Staying Energetic as a Founder June 09. People think I'm always on the go and that I never sleep.decision. Breaking organizational walls in a company. Hope this helps.

I love doing this. don't force yourself. Then you start checking your phone. and about your next moves.you can push yourself . and more. You're constantly thinking about your company and what you've potentially missed. Find Your Source of Wonder This is directly tied to everything above. and realize that news focuses on the lightning strikes . or reading. decks. Make your own path. to meetings. Stop hanging out with people that make you want to fall asleep. Optimizing time means knowing which hours you'll get more done in 60 minutes than some get done in an entire day. I need to be around people who are just as happy as me to feel like there are others just as excited about life. Then you start browsing Facebook. Find a setup where you know when you're the most inspired and productive. If it's not at 9am. I believe that everyone has a peak number of hours that they can truly be productive . and when it becomes less encouraging and more discouraging. Leave your most inspired hours to brainstorm. It's possible and it's the secret that most people don't share. It's all of your senses.the notable stories .you can feel it. As a founder. Stop Reading the News so Much The worst thing to happen since the dawn of the internet is this insatiable need to want to check everything all the damn time. Quite honestly. There will be time devoted to your team. e-mail. or listening to a good symphony . Yes. if you're doing this you're probably doing something wrong. You'll know your peak . and question the status quo. But you can certainly distract yourself with a good dose of wonder. there's no such thing.but the perception that this is consistently so is just wrong.Find Your Own Tempo Not everyone needs to work 20 hours every day. or going on "vacation". some days you may need to .spending too much time reading about other people's lives is only wasting time you could be spending living your own. to phone calls.then following hours are just diminishing marginal returns in work results. It just doesn't happen. to absorb energy. But when it becomes FOMO (find out what this stands for if you don't know). product. It's . Sometimes it's encouraging and inspiring. Remember that you are living your own life . You'll never be able to turn it off.find something that you can just tilt your head and go "woah". Your tempo involves not taking a "break". Whether this is travel (it is for me).and concentrates them into a firehose. You need a break. Finding your own tempo means knowing when to spend time with others. mind map. disconnect and find your own tempo. I think wonder literally lights up your brain and gives you something more than you can't get from just looking at a computer screen. new ideas.

It's a magical thing and I will continue to seek it out like a drug. Follow your gut. Smile . Smiling makes you happy . We talked about his life and I remember him mentioning that he recently got a candy bar cell phone. Smile My friend Omer Perchik from Any. This TED talk talks about the power of smiling and something that I've always abided to without even knowing about this talk. you need to figure out why. I always will remember the whooshing feeling you get stepping out of a train station or an airport to a completely foreign place. they are bound to be happy. He didn't even know he needed to do that until he got it. but it's important to let loose once in a while in a situation that doesn't necessarily involve alcohol and karaoke. be spontaneous. occasionally making a funny. He said he hated it. That's why I like him.DO posted this video of a TED talk on smiling recently. When we get older we are always reminded that we need to act "adult". You won't regret it. Maybe you're hanging out with the wrong people. I asked him if he liked it. Don't let that happen too often. He's a smiley guy. . They're given a ticket to be the unique one because they've decided that life is too short to conform to holding your mouth and being civil. Of course there are inappropriate moments not to yell like a sailor. I feel like it eats at you. One thing that struck me when visiting countries like Vietnam and Cambodia when I went on exchange in Southeast Asia back when I was in University was just how happy everyone was.there's a lot of research that tries to prove it. Try Being You and Stop Second Guessing Yourself My version of this is talking loudly. A smile is the best way to disarm a grumpy person. At the end of the day. It gives you a natural high. Because. at the end of the day. Smile big.try it.the curiosity that triggers a part of your brain that you haven't triggered for a while. Get them wondering why you're so happy. and do what you want to do. If that's happening too much. life is pretty good when you think about it. but who cares about the research. It hit me that as our lives appear to get better. I remember sitting in the front seat of the bus and talking to a tour guide who was bringing us to Ha Long Bay (a breathtakingly gorgeous place. it sometimes makes us unhappier. The funny thing is sometimes the most childish adults are called "eccentric". Anytime you feel like you're being thrown into a situation you don't want to do. by the way). and drinking coffee like water. if people around you see that you're happy. because now that he had it his girlfriend expected him to text her all the time.

2013    4. If you've done it right. Be active and drink life up. Hitchhiking to School and Other Lessons in Connecting June 08. you should look forward to every day.672 58 21 inShare256 .There are many more ways to harness the energy within you. Remember to give yourself something to look forward to.

two-bus trip. where I caught my connecting bus. which is 35 miles southwest of London. I was not happy at all about the move. At first I tried the English method where you walk along with your back to the traffic and your thumb stuck out. So I started hitchhiking to school. to the village of East Horsley some 12 miles away. And if I missed the 408 to Guildford. It rarely worked. So I decided to turn things around and . my family moved from the quintessentially English town of Godalming. One reason I hated it was that I had one year remaining at Godalming Grammar before heading to university. Instead of a five minute walk. I had an hour's wait for the next one. I had a one-hour-plus.In the summer of 1973.

I would take it as a huge compliment as I worked hard at being as unthreatening as possible while waiting for a ride and as reassuring as possible when I got it. I tried to make a connection while stopping short of pleading or appearing desperate. At least if I could get in. I also learned to quickly read a person. I stood still and faced the traffic and gently pulled my outstretched thumb back and forth in a motion similar to casting for a fish. Or as Woody Allen said. you‘ve then got to connect with people.‖ Once you‘ve got in position. The first question was always. ―Guildford‖ as most traffic was headed that way. as well. . it is all about positioning. I could explain my full plans while riding along. when they were younger. ―I don‘t normally get picked up by women!‖ Naturally. I had never had so much leg room in my life. There were few horror stories of hitchhikers being attacked by those that picked them up or vice versa. if only about the weather. If I asked for my final destination. But the key thing I learned was to make eye contact with each and every driver (and passenger. had once hitched. More than once. And these were more innocent days. The cha uffeur had just dropped his Worshipfullness off at a function and was heading back to the town hall and decided he‘d pick me up for the ride back. where I went to university? That in life and in business and the non-profit sector. were simpler times when car ownership was much lower in the UK than it is today. I got a lift in the Mayor of Guildford‘s limousine. Use whatever is in your personal arsenal. of course. As the dress code at my school required a jacket and tie. I often got a ride within a few minutes of turning up. whether it be charm. On one of my last days of school.‖ And my usual response was. if possible) as they came into view. It worked.positioned myself at the end of an S-bend in the road and at the beginning of a lay-by which allowed buses to pull over. ―Where are you going?‖ I learned to say. the next thing they almost always said was. many drivers would simply take off. got a job and could afford a car. The 70‘s. They felt an almost karmic need to pick up hitchhikers now that they had grown. Use your eyes. So what did I learn from that year of hitching and the subsequent three years of thumbing a lift back home from Cardiff. to see if there were any warning signs before I jumped in and to try and find common ground. too. trust. ―80% of success is just showing up. I looked the part of an upstanding young man heading off into the world with purpose and direction. to help make a connection. I often heard from those that picked me up. In those fleeting moments. It was simply an acceptable way for young people to get around. your body language to convey warmth. ―I don‘t usually pick up hitchhikers. sincerity and a willingness to listen. that they. saying they weren‘t going that far. After they asked me where I was going. You‘ve got to get yourself in a place where you will be noticed. humor or good stories. I often got picked up by women. a driver would go out of their way to take me to school. your voice.

If you‘re in the early stages of your career. keep an eye out for others who may need a lift or a kind word or some form of encouragement. I am a designer and I was trained at an educational institution very different from this. Ask them for their contact details so you can keep in touch. showed up in your life and who may be in need of a ride home.Trust in the kindness of strangers. It‘s amazing how even the smallest of gestures can have a profound impact on a young person‘s life. you will need help from a variety of sources including complete strangers. .700 Here’s the commencement speech I gave at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Informationin 2010. I was trained to play a very specific role as a designer of the products we surround ourselves with. In spite of the drumbeat of news stories to the contrary.682 300 51 inShare1. but my advice to you is the same: start designing your life. It’s been adapted a bit for length. 2013    26. And make sure to thank them for whatever help or assistance they may offer. make eye contact and figure out a way you can help this person who has. serendipitously. most people are good and want to help. Class of 2013: Start Designing Your Life May 21. And as you progress on your career path. So stop.

interesting. and perhaps more meaningful. We have a habit of accepting the challenges that get put in front of us—the latest school assignment. But I was fortunate. And while it may be possible to approach the design of a car or a house that way. and that‘s why I think it is possible to design a life. They ask. it certainly isn‘t appropriate when designing one‘s life. Designers sometimes do that. Ask why. Problems that. I discovered that I could apply those same design skills to many kinds of problems. the next business project. Open your eyes. Designers have a habit of being awkward on this subject. So invest plenty of time in getting to the right question before you invest your creative energies in finding solutions. There is not much you can do to change that. The only problem was that most of those products were obsolete within a few months or years and most are now occupying landfill. We create a perfect picture of a possible future. why is this even the right question? They do this because they have learnt there is nothing more frustrating than pouring one‘s creativity into doing a great job of answering the wrong question. I think that mindfulness is at the heart of design. My friend Dan Pink talks about this problem in his book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. The gulf between what you have learnt here and what you experience over the next thirty or so years likely will be even greater for you than it was for me. But I think the principles of design thinking might help you create a life that is more rewarding. We spend most of our lives not noticing the important things. if solved. Here are few things you might think about: Don’t ask what. I am not going to paint some beautiful detailed picture of a perfect life that you might wish for. We then expect our clients to go and perfectly execute our vision. creative.I was taught to use my skills to create products that are more attractive. easier to use. and more desirable—and I spent the first several years of my career doing exactly that. I am sure there are many of us here whose partners regularly accuse us of that! The more familiar we are with a situation the more we . He talks about being ‗mindful‘ as a strategy for reaching the right balance between actively affecting your future without trying to achieve a futile level of control. Perhaps there is something you can do to prepare for it. might have greater impact on the world. We hide it under a metaphorical black cloth and ―ta-da!‖ we pull off the cloth and expect the audience to swoon in wonder.

Being visual allows us to look at a problem differently than if we rely only on words or numbers. Don‘t stop until you have explored at least three ideas you would be excited by. They do not spring fully formed from the minds of geniuses. what it is you really do. They show what else is going on. Balance your portfolio. Preserve those pictures and sketches you use to inspire and create. parents. Design thinkers seek out options.take it for granted and in the process miss the opportunity for insight and inspiration. but in your own reflection on your life or when you try to explain to your friends. One of the most satisfying things about design is that the results are tangible. Drawing forces you to make decisions about what you want to happen. No matter what your professors might have implied about their own work! Creativity is a social activity and you should feel no hesitancy in standing on the shoulders of others. Try getting into the habit of stopping once a day to look at an action or an artifact as though you are a detective at a crime scene. Leonardo da Vinci‘s sketch books are full not just of his own ideas but those of other inventors and engineers. Good design thinkers observe. Record your observations and ideas visually. Make it visual. Picasso was famous for happily using the work of his fellow painters as genesis for his own masterpieces. or perhaps kids. Just remember to give them credit where it is due. . Design is a Darwinian process and diversity always creates the strongest ideas. this material will document a process of growth and record the impact of many minds. Keep videos. even if it is just a rough sketch or a photo on your phone. It is easier to feel proud of your contribution when you have a record of it. Great ideas evolve. Demand options. Assembled as a portfolio. Just as it is too easy to accept the questions that get put in front of you. If you chose to apply design thinking to your activities as you go forward then remember to document the process as it unfolds. Pictures put things in context. Do it anyway. This will be invaluable not just in the prosaic drumbeat of performance reviews and job interviews. prototypes. never mind enjoyment. They show the whole idea. Why are manhole covers round? Why do I dress this way to go to work? How do I know how far back to stand from the person in front of me in line? What would it be like to be colorblind? You will be shocked how inspirational it is to look carefully at mundane things. Great design thinkers observe the ordinary and in that ordinariness find great insight. I wish you the best of fortune as you leave here and embark on the task of designing your lives. He used them as the starting point for his own thinking. Build on the ideas of others. multiple solutions that can compete with each other. whatever it is that shows how you think. Don‘t worry if you think you can‘t draw. so it is far too easy to accept the first solutions you come up with. Something exists at the end of the process that did not exist before.

045 We often get sucked into trivial decisions.3 Ways to Avoid Decision Quicksand April 29. Have you ever agonized over which restaurant entrée to order? Which shade of white to paint the kitchen? Which flight to purchase? .079 407 195 inShare2. 2013    122. Here are 3 ways to avoid this painful phenomenon.

You‘re trapped and you can‘t seem to find a way out. Both seem good in some ways and bad in others. but a pretty trivial one. sure. Like a walk in the park. The Italian place has great food. You‘re struggling and struggling but the harder you work the more you get sucked in. for less important decisions. to be difficult. Decision quicksand happens to everyone. or conflicting tradeoffs on different dimensions. It starts simply enough. Once it goes off. We start spending more and more effort and the decision comes to seem more and more important. like whether to switch jobs or buy a house. period. careful deliberation and weighing of alternatives. Decide how much time you want to spend in advance. They require. We don‘t expect the same difficulty. Which entrée to choose? Which flight to pick? That should be easy! Just pick and go. Want to avoid the quicksand? Here are 3 simple ways out.and your stomach is starting to grumble. If the decision is this difficult it MUST be worth my time and effort. they‘re important. And this unexpected difficulty leads us to think that the decision must be more important than we originally thought. It doesn‘t mean you are bad at decision making. So you go back-and-forth. We‘ve spent an hour on a trivial decision and we can‘t figure out a way to escape. happy. it also makes people unhappy and less satisfied with choice. collect more information. Five minutes at the most. but didn‘t someone say that new Greek place was worth checking out? And what about that Sushi place you like? It‘s close by. you‘re not alone.. don‘t worry. 1. . Each option has positives and negatives. So we devote more energy to the decision. weighing the benefits of each. and deserve. You‘re choosing a vacation destination or a restaurant to go for dinner. We expect important decisions.If so. and ready to knock it out. Suddenly a choice that seemed relatively unimportant starts to feel more weighty and consequential. And set a timer. I‘m going to pick a flight in 10 minutes. You think you‘ll quickly pick something and move on. You compare each dimension one by one. Soon you‘re starting to get frustrated. you have to choose whichever option you were looking at last. You‘ve been caught in something my colleague and I call ―Decision Quicksand.. After all. What if you get it wrong? Will the meal be terrible? Will you wish you went somewhere else? Before you know it you‘ve spent 45 minutes scanning menus online. If something like this has happened to you. however. and sink deeper into the quicksand. Often there are many options to sift through. Pre-Commit. But unimportant decisions frequently end up being more difficult than we expect. It‘s a decision. You‘re relaxed. The reason it happens is less about you and more about the situation. But then you begin comparing options. but you had to wait a while last time to be seated.‖ Not only does it lead to wasted time.

IP First. Only problem was they were a bit of a chimera. We believed there was ―good‖ social media and ―bad‖ social media practices. Then Training Early on we developed a training program. Decision quicksand leads us to be so narrowly focused on a choice that we think the world revolves around that decision. most often. You‘d have a wonderful time in either Disney World or Hawaii. We created a planning framework to create predictably great programs. Flip a coin. Training Global Teams . trying to find the best possible option. They were impossible to predict and questionable in terms of effect. Take A Break. But few choices are that important. now leading global accounts for us. marketers had a fascination in a phenomena known as ‗viral videos. That‘s what we were doing. 3. That planning framework has evolved over the years thanks to efforts by our ―grown‖ experts – leaders like Kaitlyn Wilkins. authentic and. John Stauffer. unethical. There were no university programs churning out bright young things. We had to grow our own. People often maximize. Our team was called 360 Digital Influence then and we were a team of so-called experts in the art and science of social media marketing and communications. now heading up social globally for Burberry. technically we first created some pretty important intellectual property (IP). The Dangers of Growing Experts From Within June 10. Either option is great. positive word of mouth. worse. ‗Bad‘ was either snake oil or. Satisfice.2. No significant competitors to steal talent from. At that time.‘ They represented every thing wild and wonderful about social media.331 47 19 inShare200 We started Social@Ogilvy eight years ago. So stop deliberating and move on with your life. and others. No industry associations holding quality training seminars. Our discipline hadn‘t been invented yet. But in many cases. Stepping away for a few minutes and doing something else will provide some needed perspective and help you see whether a particular decision is really worth the effort. any of the options would make you quite satisfied. There was one big problem – hiring experts. ‗Good‘ drove sustainable. Well. 2013    8.

myself included. That was key for two big reasons:   Our teachers had credibility. We designed and delivered immersive training workshops around the world like the recent "Community Director" training in Madrid where teams collaborated.Next came training. IBM and other major brands. who designed and delivered social media programs for our clients designed and delivered the training. . Having the training function integrated and supported by the rank and file has kept it alive and vibrant for these eight years. In a world full of good talkers – the social media pundits who declared themselves experts but had no practical experience – our teachers were the folks delivering work for Ford. Nestlé. The same experts. Since their core job function wasn‘t training there was no visible training head count to be cut by some fiscally-squeezed executive. competed and presented.

who has seriously professionalized our program.The Danger Our training mission has become more sophisticated. She launched Social@Ogilvy . She understands change management and that mindset has helped us immeasurably. Hastie Afkhami. We hired a learning and development expert.

that‘s all good. we are essentially accelerating their development. hungry to learn more and thrilled to be called on to train the next generation. right? The danger is that we become the university for the industry. training our experts from within is worth it. How the Matrix Changes Leadership Focus June 03. This aligns well with Reid Hoffman. A Learning Culture is Magnetic At the end of the day. to scale the training across our worldwide teams. It takes coordinated action within a company to track the growth of internal talent and align their compensation and rewards with their abilities and accomplishments. 2013    14. Many will stay. By training. We need to take extra care to recognize them and align compensation and growth plans. and more.Accelerator. Sounds good. the Principles of Social Design. our e-learning platform.0. In the karmic world of business. Certainly some of our bright stars will move on to another adventure. Our general training workshops have evolved into deep-dive workshops in critical specialties like community management 3.030 82 24 inShare592 . and Chris Yeh's article in HBR on Tours of Duty. Ben Casnocha. social planning.

this isn‘t about an alternate reality created by computers where enlightened heroes punch their way through. dystopian science fiction movies of the past 20 years.No. Both the matrix and The Matrix have a . is the name of the organizational structure of so many corporations today. Multiple reporting lines are a de facto standard in companies as are leaders with influence but no hard authority. The Matrix. It‘s funny that one of the defining.

exploitation of people as ―batteries‖ energizing the machine and so forth.‖ I like to try lots of things. Each is smart and address a business need. I don‘t know about you but that just isn‘t my reality.dark side. It was a big project. And I am tired of feeling bad about it. The strategic leader analyzes the ―signals of business‖ and carefully places one or two big bets that he or she believes will pay off. And I could certainly go on with the metaphor of elusive realities. We just developed the next generation Social Planning Framework & Toolbox. This project by itself will have big impact on how our teams in 35 markets do great work for our brands. I had about five big contributors and many supporting team members working on it beside myself. The Social Brand Print analyzes the strength of a brand‘s social content and presence. I have to build project teams where I and a colleague (or more) share responsibility and the resources to make something happen. That goes against most business wisdom that focusing on less is the winning leadership move. This is the planning model we use for integrated social media marketing and communications programs. I like to rally teams to explore different directions. The Matrix Demands Diversity In the matrix. why so many? . It‘s all about partnerships. But I have many other projects in the works at the same time. Often at the same time. So. I could have gone ―chips-in‖ on this project and maybe one other. The military hierarchies of the sixties are few and far between. The toolbox is full of nine utilities. But matrix structure and leading through influence and relationships are facts of life. and so on. Focus is a big deal to me. Business Demands Focus There is something about the matrix that changes how leaders must apply focus to an organization. Social Paths applies insights to discover the best opportunities to use social media along the customer journey. I often identify one of my leadership faults as having ―eyes bigg er than my stomach.

It is easily communicated and can be shared by anyone inside our team. 2013    7. How do you balance the needs for narrow focus and the mechanics of the matrix? Is leadership focus more art or more science? The Power and Myth of Company Culture May 28. Matching people to projects and their general availability means I am better off with a collection of projects underway. Lastly. Rather than squelch that drive (as if I could). we have rallied our core team around 6 key missions that will help us align to achieve our business goals and the key priority. There are pockets of entrepreneurial drive across our network where teams take it upon themselves to build a better mousetrap. In my own group. We choose a more ‗agile‘ approach of designing prototypes and get them out into people‘s hands. On the innovation side. That means I need enough projects brewing to count on enough winners. Leadership Alignment Makes All the Difference With all of our projects. Most leaders could say the same thing. we remain focused. My team lies embedded in the matrix. The actual team members are always willing to contribute to the IP of our discipline. . Like Tom Sawyer who attracts children to help whitewash a fence. At it‘s best. The projects that fit within this structure run the gamut of big. we share a priority we call the ―twin peaks:‖ pervasive creativity and effectiveness. They are all important. It determines where we place resources and influences which projects we pursue. I cannot know what will completely work or be useful to enough markets. transformational ideas to tactical ―must-do‘s‖. I embrace it and make these projects part of the plan. emotional belief that we are on a shared journey. This is how I harness the matrix. Worldwide Chairman and CEO Miles Young established these and has consistently communicated around them. I need to romance managers to allow their people to commit time to work on our projects. we align around a meaningful big priority and then balance everyday between the right number of projects to realize it and the chaos of too many projects. This is usually a big concept that can significantly accelerate our business. we have a single annual priority. I know that‘s a cop-out.771 44 7 inShare623 Company culture can be a huge motivator for people. it can provide a sense of belonging through shared values and an intangible. The real answers lie here:    We are innovating and operationalizing our use of social media practices for business at the same time. Innovation and improvement can come from anywhere these days.The first answer is that we have a big aspiration. Across Ogilvy & Mather. I embrace those initiatives. In a matrixed world.

Spending time with Herta Ogilvy was the highlight. I feel privileged to have been there and will likely talk about it for the very reasons mentioned above. We get down to business faster. Or where a single sharp personality makes me wonder if it is . She is so much more than David Ogilvy‘s widow. I am like everyone inside a big company. Part of it is to simply share a sense of our shared culture. It certainly helps me enjoy work more and I work pretty hard. Mention that I sent you.) Productive behaviors For me. This was the home of David Ogilvy. We share values. Brazil. She embodies our culture in many ways. even Vietnam as ―key markets‖ and go out of our way to understand what is important to doing business there alongside our colleagues who make that country home.Getting people aligned around values and culture feels better. It is not lip service nor generic motivational posters (eagles soaring). And it helps us work together. When we move across the world to collaborate on projects. India. I love the people at Ogilvy. Herta has created a marvelous experience from the exquisi te food to the rooms tucked away in turrets and wings. I have days where the silly bureaucratic needs wear me down. We have created derivative works to help interpret these values and make it easier for us all to ‗walk -the-walk. If anything. we know how to talk and behave with each other. Part of it is status-seeking (―I was chosen to go to the meeting in Touffou…‖). It is grander than you can imagine yet homier than you would ever expect. When I travel to offices in Paris. It will be a terrific experience. sixteen hours of the day. France. Have You Been To Touffou? One ritual (or is it a rite of passage?) at Ogilvy is participating in a meeting at Touffou. After all.com. Not everyone goes. I know that I share more than a business card with my colleagues there. I find it well-intentioned vs. It captures a shared belief that we must always be trying and learning to make things better. we see China. We are a founder-based company where much of our character can be traced to David Ogilvy and the early experiences at the company. Those that have been find ways to share about it. language and ritual. South Africa and soon. a few of those hours are a modest dinner with local colleagues in that city. Ogilvy & Mather has a very tangible culture. (Note: You can hold your own meeting there. Herta Ogilvy‘s home outside Poitiers. Check out the Website here and send an email to Douglas at info@touffou. manipulative. Part of it is to find the others who have visited to share stories and amazement (―Could you believe the dungeon underneath the chapel?‖). That makes it easier to stay at it fifteen. We find the fun in the work earlier. I was lucky enough to visit recently for our global Digital Council meeting. Part of our culture is that there is no UScentricity. Indonesia. That means higher productivity. I find our culture palpable and anchored in behaviors. Retention of talent Strong culture helps retain talent.‘ The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness is a chapbook that has floated around for years.

with a borrowed culture. support a ―One Ford‖ initiative that held the company together during hard times and anchored their culture in shared missions. Leaders need to protect those initiatives from the natural impulse of management to sacrifice everything to the ―numbers‖ or to the business metrics. Most have only been around a few years. Still. I believe culture can be cultivated and grown. Worldwide Chairman and CEO at Ogilvy & Mather. CEO of the Ford Motor Company. the people and the wonderfully creative work I get to do most days help me endure. Jon Iwata. They did not invent agile work processes. carries that torch for Ogilvy supported by many who believe in our culture. . Culture has been cultivated over the long haul. define the company. I expect the culture at Facebook will be strong. We talk about ―boomerangs‖ – people who have left Ogilvy and returned. I see an authenticity in what they do and how their employees talk about themselves. often to the very brands we support. The myth Can culture be manufactured or engineered over a short period of time? That‘s the myth. stories of hackathons and ―Fail Faster‖ posters (I actually love that Facebook has a print department cranking out graphic design ―artifacts‖). Senior Vice President. but timescales are long. I witnessed Alan Mulally. Still. Short-lived Start-up Culture These are leaders of companies that have been around for decades. They did not invent hackathons. The culture. We tell each other that we are ―Ogilvy Red‖. Miles Young. They start as mo st start-ups do. With leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerburg. Certainly the culture is at the top of the list. Marketing and Communications at IBM. is the author of some of the most useful corporate thinking on the value of corporate character – those shared beliefs that bind us together. I am certain that Facebook‘s culture will strengthen over time. We cultivate communities of ―alumni‖ – people who have moved on. they are quickly making them their own. I am not sure its accurate to call Facebook a start-up anymore. What about start-ups? We talk about the culture of Silicon Valley start-ups all of the time. They did not invent concierge services to improve the work life of their hard workers. They did not invent social-by-design.worth it. These are all Silicon Valley staples. distinctive and one of the reasons people want to work there. a term likely sparked by how we speak about college affiliations. People stay at or return to Ogilvy for many good reasons. That is why executive leadership support of behaviors and initiatives that can strengthen culture are so important. Imagine what it will be like in 25 years.

so can I‖ attitude. The big stars of the game are far removed from our reality and we can‘t compete at their leve l.Where Do You See Yourself? June 19. . Joe Public. those that are perceived as really having no chance at all of getting the prize but somehow made it to the finals? Because we can see ourselves. there are more instances we look for ourselves subconsciously. but bring in the underdog. 2013    2.155 30 4 inShare107 Why do we inevitably support the underdogs in a sporting event. And because we see ourselves it makes it real and achievable to us with our ―if they can do it. the weekend warrior. the lucky few to be in the spot competing where they are now. and we instantly see something there that could be us. It doesn‘t stop there though.

the way we are wired maybe. Take a group photograph with you included in it. He took himself and the majority of his team through a behavioral profiling process and found that each one of the team was an identical profile type to his own. Try it if you don‘t believe me. that makes us think about ourselves but not selfishly so. but somewhere in our subconscious. 2013    14. it registers. you wanted to be the person he was singing to and so you saw yourself. even though we know nothing about them simply because they encouraged us to talk about ourselves. If we spent 10 minutes talking to a stranger having answered only questions about ourselves. and you only. and because we see ourselves we go ahead and employ. call it human nature. Who do you look for first? You. I don‘t know I can‘ t explain it. its really hard not to seek yourself out first.004 . There is something inside us. Call it an interest.Take the true story about a CEO whose company had some pretty tough staffing issues. He made you feel like he was singing directly to you. the frustrations involved with no mix of behavioral styles? Have you ever said during an interview ―You remind me a little of myself when I was younger‖? I know I have. we think the person we have been talking to is interesting. James Blunt sang ―You‘re Beautiful‖ which sent many women swooning (me included!). to get them talking about themselves rather than us talking about ourselves. he had employed 20 people that were all like him! Can you imagine how their business was running internally. We are not being selfish when we do this. call it hog wash. Everything You Think About Business Leadership Is Changing June 19.896 184 61 inShare1. but its there. Am I right? Dale Carnegie encourages us to talk about the other persons interests.

a significant competitive advantage. And this has been in part because having many customers also meant having better insights into their behavior. And these same resources are also allowing customers to ―talk back‖ to companies. the bank instead bet that its might as an industry leader would serve as a forcing mechanism. and the bank reversed course. It is clear that the bank did not fully engage with its customers on what they valued. size matters.‖ ―beating the competition. I've heard a number of thought leaders (like the super-smart Nilofer Merchant) point out that this dramatic shift of the ―rules of engagement‖ with customers was exemplified by Bank of America‘s debit card fee roll-out. (―Any color as long as it‘s black‖ worked back in the day. their sheer might and resources could often shape their industry in a certain direction. who didn't have similar resources. Negative customer reaction was swift and dramatic. Picture a business leader. expecting competitors to fall in line. sports and gambling analogies abound. . (I recognized that the weekly client surveys we conducted at Merrill Lynch gave us a HUGE advantage over our wealth management competitors.‖ War. in a way it couldn‘t have been a decade ago.‖ operating through ―command and control.) And even if large companies didn‘t always really ―listen to their customers. Technology and social media today are enabling almost anyone to tap into what consumers want… by simply asking.‖ as they‘ve said they did. In this world.Quick. and in some cases to mobilize their reaction to company actions. regardless.‖ ―gaining share. or how they would react to the shift.) But this is changing.‖ ―cutting losses. The one that traditionally comes to mind is that of a Jack-Welchian type ―taking the hill.

the prototypical leader of the future will shift from the steely-eyed command-and-control type to one who is more open to feedback…. I gained a first-hand preview of this when I led Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch. 2013    2. . A number of leaders of those businesses over the years had approached the job with a ―follow me‖ mentality… and the Financial Advisors just sat back and watched them with bemused smiles. yes. And. and you quickly realize how vital it is for leaders to be deliberate about how they spend their time. collaboration and co ordination. what was working. The first step in good time management is picking your priorities and sticking to them.Thus. the most successful CEOs of their future will view customers not in a paternalistic way (at best) or as sales targets. but instead as partners… whose buyin to a course of action will be the key component of their success.964 81 11 inShare363 As a leader. Thus. Combine the scarcity and importance of this resource. and allowed them to make those products great. While this approach may not lead to Steve-Jobs-type innovation. There are often creative ways to find more people and dollars. And I found that the great ideas were as likely (or more likely) to come from the 200th Advisor whose hand I shook at a get-together as from our strategic planning department. He shared that he was very proud of all the products that Apple hadn‘t built.one who specializes in communication. but the one resource you can never create more of is time. it can certainly help companies of all sizes understand what consumers value. and had their buy-in on strategic moves. Here are three principles I use when determining how to best use my time: Decide What Not to Do It is often more important to decide what you are not going to do. By taking several months to engage them instead in a discussion of what they observed from clients. this does make me more optimistic about the progress of women in business and the value we place on their leadership qualities. The same is true for all of us. where we were spinning our wheels – and what our business strategy should be – we saved an enormous amount of time and resources. what wasn‘t working. there are typically three sets of resources in your toolbox: time. people and dollars. How you spend your time also sends a strong signal to your team about what you view as important. Steve Jobs was once asked what his favorite product was. Managing Your Most Precious Resource: Time June 19. because those decisions made it possible to focus on the ones they did build.

so I encourage you to find the mix that works best for you. seminars and board rooms. The key is making a ―100 point‖ plan so that you are the master of your own time. every quarter I ask my assistant to color code everything against my 40-30-2010 plan – and we measure whether I am on track or off. Don't Screw Up Your Mission Statement! June 19. 2013    6. Often times. For myself. Allocating your time can be the biggest challenge or opportunity for any leader. The hard part is sticking to it.046 75 27 inShare286 . One size does not fit all.Define a “100 Point” Plan Time will slip away from you if you are not clear and diligent in your planning. I am off a bit. skip levels and teaching at leadership development seminars. twenty percent is invested outside the company learning from others by engaging with fellow leaders in roundtable discussions. The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself. and then make clear. and this tracking allows me to adjust course and steer closer to the goals I have set. and the last ten percent is invested in personal growth and development. I allocate my time in a 40-30-20-10 split: forty percent of my time is invested in running the company through operating mechanisms and product reviews. meeting with my personal coach and other select mentors. thirty percent is invested in building our organization‘s capability and leadership bench through 1:1‘s. The key to successful time management is proactive planning. proactive time allocations to maximize this most precious of resources. Hold Yourself Accountable Making the plan is the easy part. I encourage all leaders to carefully examine how they invest their time. For myself.

thanks to their forward-thinking products and unimpeachable integrity. David Neeleman.‖ The what? Yes. full of buzzwords and the language of lofty virtue. airplanes had come to feel like crowded.‖ In the forty years that I‘ve served on different corporate boards. So we went back to the drawing board. We had wanted to change that. one of our early attempts to craft a pithy. meaningful mission statement came out sounding like our auditors drafted it. More than just making flying more affordable. crewmember or shareholder would know what ―premier value-based carrier‖ meant. we wanted to transform it into an enjoyable and inclusive experience – in the words of our founder. we wanted to ―bring humanity back to air travel. I‘ve seen lots of businesses claim that they're changing the world. more than a few have had mission statements are long and flowery.At jetBlue.. When jetBlue was founded in 1999. The key line declared that our airline would become ―the premier value-based carrier in the Americas. expensive buses in the sky.. What they don‘t realize is that these attempts at being aspirational and inspirational often come off as interchangeable and irrelevant. .it didn‘t take us long to realize that not a single customer.

Once you‘ve done that. I probably haven‘t figured it out yet. false starts.‖ Holmes‘ far-side simplicity is the kind that captures complex ideas in a sentence – or an image. and trial and error. or a product – that anyone can understand. But the simple ideas that emerge from that kind of process can be the most powerful and inspiring. both to your team and to your customers. This is the art of saying what you mean.The famed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes had a nice way to describe the value of reducing things to their essence: ―I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity. A Simple Plan to Eliminate the Skills Gap June 21. The trick is to boil something down into a set of goals – or plans for execution – a vision so clear than everyone can start working on it right away. ―It is our responsibility to assertively administrate timely deliverables in order to solve business problems‖? Or. How inspired are you when you hear something like. Mission statements written in business-speak or soaring rhetoric tend to invite eye-rolling and suspicion. it‘s time to mean what you say. If you‘ve ever achieved this kind of simplicity.‖ I‘m constantly reminding myself that if I haven‘t figured out a simple way to explain something to other people. ―we aspire to be the premier provider of tasty take-out food while maintaining uncompromising principles. you know it‘s rooted in the hard and often frustrating work of deep thinking. rather than loyalty and appreciation. 2013    674 10 1 inShare72 . When you write a good mission statement – or a good business plan or pitch – you‘ll know how well you did by the number of heads nodding in agreement. but I would give my life for the simplicity the other side of complexity.

I knew they were being promoted or given expanded roles very quickly. not what you HAVE. but a pattern emerged on that drive home as I pondered the differences between the best and the rest of my first 100 placements. . and after about 100 mid-level manager placements. not their skills. fellowships and write more whitepapers. I hit upon an epiphany: It‘s what you DO with what you HAVE that counts. Here‘s what stood out:    They all possessed the Achiever Pattern. so this is the group whose names rolled by along with the LA traffic.Many years ago while stuck in LA traffic. I had been thinking about this for a while. They were successful in their new roles. Later. The big idea is that past performance – the DOING – is a better predictor of job success than skills – the HAVING. Since I was working with their managers and many started hiring other people from me. They also receive more honors. During the interview they were evaluated more on the comparability of their past accomplishments to real job needs and less on their absolute level of skills and experiences. speak at more events or have more patents. About a third had been promoted or were given expanded roles during the first year. They were assessed largely on their past performance. I put this concept into the graphical form shown. awards. People with the Achiever Pattern get assigned bigger jobs quickly and get promoted more rapidly than their peers.

It was at this point. but potentially more important. high potential people who are light on experience. not the list of skills and experience listed in the job description. especially using flawed techniques. Unfortunately. Divide and conquer: it‘s impossible to make a complete and accurate assessment about an unknown person in a 30-60 minute interview. but flawed. even more powerful countermeasures were needed. By narrowing the focus of each interviewer to specific areas critical to on-the-job success. but minimize it‘s importance when assessing someone we know? Breaking this barrier would open the doors to more diverse candidates. To gain a sense of this. I arrived home. most interviewers reverted to their natural. Despite the improved predictability of the Performance based Interview. but obsessed with the idea of how to eliminate the ―known‖ requirement as a precondition for shifting the emphasis to past performance.) The process starts by looking for the Achiever Pattern as part of the work-history review. like handling a difficult business challenge or overcoming a technical roadblock. and anyone who wants to make a career move into a new industry without having to make a giant leap backwards to get ahead. A number of years later the twoquestion Performance-based Interview emerged. As a minimum. (Note: it has been validated both academically and legally. We eventually found these to work the best: 1. Listen to the judge: the idea for this was to delay any yes or no decision until all of the evidence was heard. This question uncovers thinking ability and potential. we suggested 30 minutes. aka the Most Significant Accomplishment Question (MSA). returning military vets. The first question involves digging into a candidate‘s major accomplishment s and comparing these to the true performance requirements of the job. we required the hiring manager to define real job needs as a series of realistic performance objectives. Equally important. exhausted. executives still overvalued their intuition. valuable data was gathered that could later be shared. Here‘s a link for those who want the complete version. This was enough time for the interviewer to look for the Achiever Pattern and ask one MSA question. Use a measuring stick: without some sort of reference point to assess candidates against. was that this bias to measure performance occurred naturally when the person was known or highly referred to the interviewer. even this wasn‘t enough. . This alone minimized the seductive impact of first impressions. approach when interviewing candidates not personally known or referred to them. This is The Most Important Interview Question of All Time. Techies still overvalued tech skills. A promotion is designed to give the person a chance to develop skills and experience he or she doesn‘t already possess. To address this. 3. consider people who have been promoted. interviewers would naturally use their personal and unvalidated interviewing techniques. The second question involves a formal discussion around real job-related problems the person is likely to face on the job. 2. and just about everyone overvalued first impressions.Less obvious. This begs the question: why do we naturally over-emphasize skills and experience for the unknown person. their subsequent performance is highly predictable. As a result of these vagaries of human nature. We refered to these as performance profiles or performance-based job descriptions.

. (Here‘s a sample of the Quality of Hire Talent Scorecard we used for this.. and getting connected to influencers is hard work.. use the job post as a lead to find someone in your network connected to the hiring manager. and relying on the collective biases of the interviewing team to cancel each other out. all of the interviewers were required to share their evidence in a formal debriefing. Not knowing the job.) Networking is as much art as science.) By discounting rankings based on feelings or superficial data.4. (Sign-up for a "how to" and Q&A networking webcast on June 25. The process worked.. I called it Performance-based Hiring. here‘s a step-by-step process for building a robust network. John Sullivan (FYI. Instead.. don‘t hit the ―apply now‖ button. This information supports the contention I made in a recent post that job-seekers should spend most of their time networking (at least 60%) and no more than 20% of their time responding to job postings. Enforce “listen to the judge” or call a mistrial. when you find a job of interest. don‘t hit the ―apply now‖ button. 2013) Networking Rules! Step-by-Step Phase 1: From the Known to the Unknown 1. Instead. Find 1-5 people people who can vouch for your ability. With this in mind. Networking Rules! . does not seem like a great way to bring on new talent. when you find a job of interest. Equally important. Perhaps HR and recruiting leaders should spend more time in LA traffic. Research by Dr. (LinkedIn shows you the closest connections. but it doesn‘t need to be haphazard. performance-based information became the primary basis of the assessment. . using flawed interviewing techniques. a friend and frequent co-speaker at many recruiting events) indicates that the probability of getting interviewed by applying to a job posting is less than 1%. Then connect with these people on LinkedIn and request a personal meeting. To minimize the impact of biases and emotions.

(A node is someone who works with lots of different people like project managers. Force the connection. This includes a thank you note and semi-regular contact. Before the meeting look at the person‘s connections on LinkedIn and select those who work at companies that are hiring and/or seem to be well-connected nodes. 7. 3. I just found 20 people who are well-connected product marketing people who are members of the same groups I‘ve joined. rather than asking if the person knows someone who might know someone who is hiring (but do this. so be persistent. You‘ll ask about these people during the meeting. nor would I ignore their requests to contact me. 5. Put your feet on the street. Of course. 1. active participant and leader in organizations of interest. in parallel you need to engage with more people you don‘t know. At the end of the session pull out your list of names from step 5 and ask the person if he/she would be willing to contact this person on your behalf. Pretty soon you‘ll begin hearing about some jobs of interest. I can now contact them directly through LinkedIn Join and participate in groups of interest. For example. see some of the great ideas in the comments below and join this group for even more. Prove you’re reliable. Here are a few ideas on how to get started. Personally meet with these people. disciplined and worth recommending to others. During this meeting have the person look at your resume or LinkedIn profile for just 20 seconds. One way: describe the biggest goal you have ever had that you have already accomplished and how you did it. Seek advice from others. Conduct network research. Use LinkedIn and join groups in your area of specialty and contribute. like sending an article of interest. too!). You‘ll need to iterate this process 4-5 times with every connection in order to get enough coverage in any given job market. Once you get the recommendation to the new person. and VPs. connect and repeat steps 2-6. 6. Use LinkedIn to find nodes who work in industries and companies of interest. 4. product managers. For example. 2. 8. at least 50-75 people. Be a joiner. 3. While Phase I is an important aspect of building a network. Right now I‘m looking at a number of very strong people on one of my alumni groups who stand out as major contributors. . Every function has national organizations and each of these have local chapters you can join.) 6. Become good at presenting yourself. Nurture the network. Discuss their reaction and modify your resume so your best stuff grabs their attention. If I was still recruiting I wouldn‘t hesitate to reach out to these people. 5. but you‘ll know it‘s a result of your hard work. Phase 2: Build a Network from Scratch Prepare a network target list. you really are a networking rookie. if I had to mention this. 4.2. A resume needs to excite the reader enough to want to read it in-depth. Side note: it‘s better to have a list of possible connections to ask about ahead of time. Expand these new contacts using all of the appropriate steps in Phase 1. The referrer will consider it a coincidence. Have the person ask you The Most Important Interview Question of All Time and then take their advice on how to improve your presentation. Expand your network. Note: this is the hardest part of this process. sales reps. Implement Phase 1 and Phase 2 in parallel until you’ve landed another job. but sometimes the obvious isn‘t to everyone. but don’t be a pest. Have them highlight what stands out.

Efficacy. The confidence that one can put forth the effort to affect outcomes. is of primary interest. There are many elements to consider as we evaluate strategies to effectively lead a group of individuals in today's world of work — but. regardless of how you found it. understanding how leader behavior affects the attitudes and actions of team members. This will be helpful to others using networking to land new positions. including the psychological vantage point or "mindset" they bring to bear upon a problem. the celebration of successes). researchers are actively examining the impact of the construct Psychological Capital (PsyCap) in the workplace. We have previously discussed how the tenets of positive psychology could serve as a guide to achieve greater levels of workplace happiness and eventual success.487    Those who lead or manage others have the unique potential to serve as an energizing force within organizations today. continue to build and nurture your network. and it‘s likely the way you‘ll get your next job. which stresses the identification of what is "right" within our work lives. yes. Getting started Note to Managers: Positivity Matters June 20. 2013    20. they have the ability to influence not only what transpires within our work lives. . A leader's view of a challenging situation. (The "HERO" resources. Hope. can positivity play a central role in enhancing a team's outlook and performance outcomes? A growing body of evidence says. A belief in the ability to persevere toward goals and find paths to reach them.939 354 100 inShare4. advises building on the aspects of our work lives that help us garner strength and flourish. The HERO resources: Hope. (Emphasizing our strengths. can affect how we move forward. PsyCap is comprised of a number of key "state like" psychological resources. The movement.Once you have another job. As such. With their position and collected experience. Resilience and Optimism). Resilience. The ability to bounce back in the face of adversity or failure. but how we process those moments. Akin to this theory. Efficacy.

2013    5. Those leaders that "flex their positivity". Employees at all levels. Some implications:      Leader selection & development. Optimism. Goal setting. through the process of modeling. for example) and the expression of a positive mindset when interacting with their teams. Psychological capital has universal benefits. Leaders with higher levels of psychological resources (such as hope). Organizations can readily assess the psychological resources possessed by candidates who will lead or manage the work of others. but outwardly express positivity — and provide model behaviors when interfacing with their employees. Leaders can utilize the power of feedback to build needed resources. Furthermore.) Going forward. Recent research has explored this dynamic. it appears in our best interest to encourage leaders to not only strengthen their psychological resources. A generally positive view of work and the potential of success. maintain energy and enhance self-efficacy. have the opportunity to serve as powerful role models. How Do We Move Forward with Our Work Lives? June 11. can build confidence. Leaders with stronger psychological resources are more likely to develop alternatives pathways to meet these obstacles — a skill that can be learned by followers. as well. Performance feedback. After the Crisis. in stride. set more robust or challenging goals — and are highly motivated to accomplish such goals. It follows. Exhibiting behaviors which express positivity when facing issues and obstacles can be critical. by exhibiting strategies that reflect higher levels of key psychological resources (for example behaviors that reflect resilience and hopefulness. Problem management. particularly those who interface with multiple employees. This in turn can enhance workplace well-being and the achievement of valued outcomes. One explanation for these findings: positivity in the workplace can become somewhat "contagious". that we should explore the potential impact of leader positivity and the associated behaviors on members of their team. These leaders are more likely to bend with adversity and deal with failure. training opportunities for leaders can include the development of these resources (resilience and optimism. but follower performance. may indeed have the ability to change the tenor of the workplace.485 47 23 inShare349 . and has revealed that leader psychological capital can not only be significantly related to levels of follower psychological capital. Pausing to note accomplishments. The development of psychological capital within organizations should not exclusively focus upon leaders — but those in varying roles and levels. An example of the classic research of Bandura (1977) (which posits social learning through role models) — leaders can help shape follower attitudes and behavior.

However. During interviews. process. as much of what has happened was beyond your control. and the extended uncertainty that has traveled with it. Process. for some of my clients. Then attempt to rally energy and reconnect in "positive mode". They hesitate to take risks and make key decisions. Many find it difficult to shake off all that has happened and move forward as who they once were. with far less in the way of resources and support. Yet they seem frozen within past experiences — looking over their shoulder as they try to press on. and with good reason. the trauma is the variety of doubts that infiltrate their work lives. The continued pressure of meeting the needs of customers.I've been observing a trend of late — and it is one that many of us may be struggling with. but we still want to hunker down in a place of safety for just a while longer. Often this is triggered when we contemplate letting go of the strategies that kept us afloat during trying times. the mood seems akin to post-traumatic stress disorder. For others. things are subtly improving business-wise. and attempt to rekindle hope for the future. and it walks with them side by side. (See a discussion of financial PTSD here. The dark clouds are still visible — and the visceral reaction to protect ourselves remains. Yet. the fear that the entire process will repeat in the next chapter of work life brings doubt. The pain of job loss. . your team or your organization have weathered – and are still capable of weathering – the storm. The closer an organization's industry is to the "epicenter" of the economic crisis. then focus forward. It is the disturbing level of lingering stress caused by the economic downturn. Examine hesitancy. They seem saddled with the memory of what they have been through. It is as if on one hand we know the storm might be resolving. the same strategies may not enhance our long-term position. this goes beyond job analysis and process improvement. Talk with your team about all that has happened and discuss the changes (both good and bad) that have occurred. Interestingly. Their confidence has suffered. Celebrate your resiliency. Take a moment to acknowledge that you. Let them vent and weigh the options — for all that it is worth. each and every day. The frustration of evolving roles or dramatically lowered salaries. But in this case. process. Avoid self-blame. These actions may have been quite effective for the past. and they have become comfortable. Build a forum to discuss ideas that may help the group get "back on track".) There is so much to work through. as both physical and emotional distress seems to be more prevalent. the more trauma I seem to observe. What we might do:    Reflect. I deal with work-related behavior — the elements that combine to form jobs and organizations.

expectations and promises are often breached. (If you manage others. but there was some traffic blockade and vehicles were backed up for a couple of kilometres. We exchanged phone numbers and asked them to let us know when they were winding up. so we just drove back home. Ultimately. Are you wondering what's so special about this that I need to write it up ? Here's some background . we stopped at the series of mango stalls that had been setup on Jayamahal Road. I was at a client's place waiting for the meeting to start and as I picked up the phone to turn off the volume. but ownership comes much after the alignment to one's dreams and aspirations. is suffering from debilitating stress. June 19th. Take a moment of pause and reflect on the health of the contract that you have with your employer.. Then we went the next week again and that's when we got talking. if you or someone you know. We did go the next day and again found these boys and bought mangoes. (More on this in a later post. Can you find a connect with the work you ask an employee to do and their dreams ? Yes. They gave us an excellent product.) Seek help if needed. social worker or coach. I got a call.. One of the boys is doing his BBA and the other is doing his Engineering from colleges in Coimbatore. We thought of stopping at the same place on our way back. Share your situation and get a proper plan in place to affect concerns. we spend hours training people on customer service and closing the loop with the customer. so that we could buy another last tranche of Mangoes.  Mend the psychological contract.. They come to Bangalore during their holidays and the Mango season to make some money that can fund their education ! We were very impressed and definitely happy to see the enterprise these boys had shown. they smartly introduced their father's vegetable and fruit stall. The call on Wednesday was for that purpose. do so with your team individually. extending the business etc etc and here are two Mango sellers who did all of this with no training.. this was their livelihood and their means of fulfilling their dreams. I picked it up and it was one of the Mango people who was telling me that they are closing the stall and moving out that day.) In times of duress. The Mango People On Wednesday. Why were they able to do this without training and why the thousands we train for hours are unable to do it ? The small difference is. There were three brothers who caught our attention. ownership matters. physician. These boys asked us to come back and that they will continue to give us really good quality mangoes. also because the mangoes they had for sale were quite good. gave us special discounted prices and kept their word of letting us know if they were closing the stall. :) Now. We bought a lot for the week at ISB and for gifting as well. so that we continue to remain their customer. reach out to a trusted friend. We went on our way and ate the mangoes right through the week and they were delicious. . He also told me that his father will setup a vegetable and fruit stall in a month's time and would contact me. Not just that. About four weeks back when we were driving down to ISB for my Term 8.

As we had friends of every color from across the world on Facebook our outlook got global – we learnt about new customs. there were strict societal/parental (government) norms and the world was comfortable with the feudal system. All the training in the world cannot replace the impact of desire that one's dreams bring forth. for some it was low cost production. Then came the Industrial revolution. and suddenly there is no longer any reason to remain invested in the 1 to . both men and women find other cost effective options. they couldn’t reach out to the better choices out there. align it with their everyday work. Think of your parents marriage (M&A) and what it cost … A few thousand rupees would have made it a rich wedding and today you have wedding planners who play in a well segmented market – under 1 crore. Facebook. And this post is the result. for some it was access to low cost capital. product life cycles are short. The business world reflects life – our parents got married (merger or acquisition) for life but today we first evaluate many partners (globalization) from around the world and then go steady (Startegic alliance). To marry or date? We will be learning about Strategic Alliances in this term and while our Prof has given us just 415 pages to read. And then the rapid technological advances keep happening. In our parents’ time marriages (mergers and acquisitions) worked because there was limited awareness. it set me thinking on how can I draw similarities between all the technical definitions am learning and examples from day to day life …. If you can kindle the desire of reaching their dreams in your people. then live-in (joint venture) then either get married or breakup. above 5 crores and the obscene crores segment. The men wanted choice as always and the women had better choices for the first time and economic freedom to walk out of a bad relationship – thus entered economic uncertainty (for men at work and home). anyway you figured out that Alliances offered lower transaction costs (another motive). Internet. there is uncertainty. magic happens. between 2 and 5 crores. another major motive for seeking alliances. for some it was access to new markets. Computers. no internet. governments have relaxed rules. new ideas germinated. Twitter.Understand your employee and help him or her link their dreams to the vision of the organization and you can sit back and relax. Russian revolution twice. the world got Googled and my friend Steve made it his Job to put the googled world under our finger tips !! Rapid technological advances became a major motive for alliances.

they will get done anyway. live-in and be fully informed before you marry. Yes yes I jumped to our favourite bashing boy – the UPA alliance. but she would ask her team members to fill out a daily time sheet of big rocks. Krishnan and I had two study-groups around it and I quote from it often. progressive or otherwise depends on many other factors. Hmmmm interesting. steady (strategic alliances) and/or live-in (joint venture) route and may never go marry or the marriage (M&A) will be an informed decision. date. I have recommended that book to many people. in politics rarely you find M&A and only Alliances because it offers so much more flexibility and you can play up or down the entire spectrum of goodwill to acrimony without batting an eyelid – wily politicians. The wiser ones then go the dating. Ugly or happy divorces happen. there is huge cost again and mental trauma added to the mix… And sometimes one or both the partners just wither away and sometimes they become wiser. whether there is learning opportunities from each other and hopefully if the M&A does happen. I personally apply that always by figuring out what is the one or two big priorities for the day/week and get to them first. Grow up. so the moral of this post and Term 8 is. Ofcourse this is gender neutral global advise. before the email-email game starts and a busy nonproductive day goes by. When people come to me with time management issues. Man. Infact I have a mini training on it that I have repeated often with several groups. and whether you have complementary skills. The teaching is get to the most important things first and dont waste time on the unimportant and non-urgent. go steady. medium rocks. No guarantees that the marriage will still succeed. it leads to an united front. be smart. Little realising that her team was planning . Perils of mis-interpretation Many of us in the corporate world have heard of Stephen Covey and his first book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. It’s a landmark book in many ways and an all time favourite of mine. You know exactly the strengths and weaknesses. huh !! Ok. small rocks and gravel …. I recently came across a misinterpretation of the above leading to demotivation !! One of my mentee had picked this up and applied it to her team without providing any context… The goals didnt get set. …. Deshmukh’s probability) and not burn a hole all over your sari/shirt….obscene crore marriage. but atleast you improve the chances (Arun and Prof. one of the remedies I prescribe is the prioritization teaching that is in “Seven Habits” about putting in the big rocks first and the gravel and sand will anyway fit in.

This was a time when there was no internet. There may be some who don’t understand the priorities or are not bought into them. I also took his ethics lesson to heart and values and ethics became the cornerstone of my career.. On an August afternoon 24 years back. She has rectified her approach and the team is coming around. What’s important is for everyone to understand what the team’s priorities are and then let each person do it in their style. So happy ending in a difficult situation. . but telepathy worked and just as I picked up my phone on Monday during a break. spend the time to explain. I asked him if he knew Venki and he said yes. Venki called and we did manage to meet on Tuesday. Venki escaped me then too. communication and leadership skills. Atleast you would have managed to say something. when I got promoted I asked for an executive coach. friend and my first and enduring corporate idol. As soon as I knew Vish was from NIIT. Then again as a manager let each person find their way to reach the goal… Forcing “one” way will demotivate and so will filling out an inane time sheet. Your score 100/10 I didn’t think I will get a chance to meet him in this trip. mentor. no email and we had to book a trunk call and STD had just been introduced. and also that they were neighbours. so there was no way to stay in touch and I anyway didn’t introduce myself to him in that session. Krishnan came into my life six months later and became the my life’s idol and meaning besides filling the gap for a corporate mentor. An uncontrollable Shalini. able to hold an audience spellbound with my conviction. Venki is my coach. an articulate Shakun and both not letting the clear thinking Raghavan to utter a word … Rohit you were sorely missed. he made the mistake of taking a post lunch class on ethics for 30 newly recruited faculty and not letting one of us blink. S&S just took over. debate and convince or get convinced. I had found my corporate guru and I thought then that someday I should be like him. Then I met another close friend of Venki’s nearly 12 years later in Spectramind and he became my mentor and a dear friend. I never managed to meet him through Vish. the gang managed to meet him which was almost like being in one of our OYD or CYD sessions. Then I moved to my current organization and four years back.to literally collect a few of these and dump it on her head !! Prioritisation is not about a time sheet and filling out a time sheet of to-do’s may get your team nowhere. So he was oblivious of my existence ! Life moved on. Not just me. Am writing this with her permission so others may benefit from her experience. They got it the minute context was provided.

I said its about “Making a difference”. The grid is just that – part subjective and part objective assessment of a professional. Don’t complain about having to work on Saturdays for my sake – when you make mistakes of the kind you did during FDP in Aug ’89. The rest is history – my team ofcourse just became fans as expected. values based. the famous grid developed at GE by Jack Welch and copied widely across. I love the whole process of unlocking potential. I can help you :) Privilege of watching transformation When I was asked to summarise what my corporate life stood for. Every time we meet you. shared many profiles and when none of them worked out and I told her exactly the type of person I had in mind. The challenge is what parameters do you use to evaluate potential. 20 years later. inclusiveness became second nature and I will never forget the lesson on working from my strengths.” And I asked her if he was from NIIT and she said yes and I knew. from your part of the country. you brought perspectives that expanded my vision. When I met him. after looking through my career graph. you challenged me when I thought I couldn’t think any further. I don’t intend to repay any of my debts to you because I would like to remain indebted – there is much to learn still. you validated my belief that its ok to stick to your values and ethics and the rewards are just. this is what happens. It’s a gift that you are able to spot potential and then it becomes a responsibility that you help the person live upto that potential. I learnt to be more tolerant of different styles. Please continue to guide and shape my career and we will find more people who can carry on your vision of an ethical. Venki. :) Thank you for starting me off on the right path and rejoining the journey when I needed your guidance the most…. This is a guy called Venki Iyer. she said the famous words – “there is one person. One of our leaders recently wrote that mentoring is “giving forward” and you have “given forward” not just for me but to the whole team. you taught me new things and most of all. and if you want to improve that rating… We can talk about it. . I do promise to “give forward” and I think you are fine with that. our 30 minute conversation went on for an hour and a half ofcourse it led to him becoming my coach and when we did the “Control Your Destiny” session in Oct 2010 – it was déjà Vu for me to be in class again and an absolute honour to introduce my corporate idol to my team. I had finally tracked Venki down. but he doesn’t accept coachees as easily.Our Talent Development leader then. we learn something and that is invaluable. inclusive work environment. Many organizations have the performancepotential nine blocker grid. Your rating on my ordinal scale is 100/10.

from the “Vadamecum” mornings to hearing you articulate the goals of your department so well. your hidden eloquence finally came out in the open. The willingness to take ownership is important since it brings a very different level of involvement – the long term thinking. I sat there feeling so proud and so happy. your genuinity and sincerity just shone through. another special corporate moment got added to my list :) thanks for the privilege of watching a transformation unfold. planning for succession. Without the basic right values. Rohit Sharma. chances are that there have been no calibrations of the kind I mention above. I read this nice fable long long back about how when asked to reduce the Torah to one sentence. if you see dissonance between the role and ability. or culture and strategy. Rohit Malik. it has been a privilege to see the growth. Someone who doesn’t make false promises. but potential is the tricky one. is willing to backup his/her claims with actual work/data and someone who won’t take credit for work not done by them… Even if it means failing. And when you overlay the other complexity of mapping the potential to what is required in the role. As you look around organizations and the leaders. letting the buck stop with you – all these come by when a person is willing to take ownership. it doesn’t matter if the person has a Mensa level IQ or a Hercules’ physical prowess – failure is guaranteed and the organization that they will build will have a very weak foundation.Performance is relatively simpler. . the big picture view. accountability. the Master said “Never do unto others what you would not have others do unto you” and that is the essence of fairness. displayed their unlocked potential during a leadership meeting. I use two yardsticks always and it has usually kept me on the right path – one is the values that the person brings to the table. it leads to mixed results. The only two values that I look for are integrity and fairness – integrity that is not the glib talk about “walk the talk” but someone who is totally aligned within himself/herself. since there are always some metrics and some folks to compare against. I don’t see a lot of calibration on this – the whole activity gets reduced to a tick in the box. two is the willingness to take ownership. Yesterday was special for me as two people that I have had the pleasure of knowing for a long time. otherwise the Performance-potential grid will be a wasted exercise. This may be very rudimentary but what is needed is calibration on what each organization defines as potential.

that this organization survives a 100 years and more. Ravi Venkatesan was interviewing Prof Joseph Stiglitz. All of us have been told how you cant ride two horses or sail on two boats – you brought home the point in your own way on how companies need to choose between cost leadership or differentiation and will sink if they are stuck in the middle.000 rupees 25 years back could create a world class campus like this in India spells hope. we sat 10 ft away from Mr. And he is carrying back all of his Red Bull cans this time. Mr. Narayan Murthy ! This conversation was held in the Infosys campus. On the last day you spoke of the many biases that we should be aware of but by then we were already Kale-biased We are never again accepting any story without asking for data. and fascinatingly enough. All that we learnt in our macro economics class at ISB was worth it because I understood everything that was spoken. Murthy deserves a big “thank you”. Thank God. Antony is trying to get you the data on Spicejet and all of us are asking our CFO’s what our Cost of Capital is !! You helped many of us to overcome our Cognitive inertia and pushed us against our Action inertia … And forever made us all wary of the word “Synergy” in the corporate context. especially in the second half. a two time Nobel laureate. but just getting the chance to sit in the same room with him was great. like the other great organization.I attended a Nasscom session today. . you came in with a brilliant strategy to teach us “competitive strategy” and executed flawlessly. For that alone. Couldn’t get a picture with him or shake his hand as he left before the session finished. It’s no mean feat. And I said this to many people. in their board room and Mr. Murthy had come by.. Without Red Bull Ahmed started the last four terms with a stash of Red Bull cans that helped him keep his energy up. the Tata group. courtesy Prof Kale !!! For the first time. we had a Prof who had more data on our organizations than we had and our answers changed depending on how far or how close he was standing when he asked the questions ! Prof Kale. I just hope and pray. Prof Stiglitz had some compelling arguments about why Walmart’s entry into India is no good for the Indian retail industry. They will need to find the next generation of leaders to lead the sustaining of hope. the Infosys campus represents hope… The fact that an organization started with 10. our assignment is all done !! Today was a truly a great day – besides the interesting conversation that Krishnan and I could witness.

so have huge bargaining power and we as buyers are demanding that you continue teaching PGPMAX and between all the professors the subjects are complementary so the rivalry is intense only in styles !! Love the market structure and we are coming back for more. the term nearly went by without anyone complaining about the food (I am ignoring the last day’s lunch). We owe you ideas and our collective mastermind. perseverance and openness to learning is the bigger lesson for all of us ! Hats off to you Bhaskar. but there are some strange reactions in many of our minds and bodies when anyone talks of Probability and Central Limit Theorem – it reminds us of our first test and many of us nearly packed our bags in term 1 after that test. there are no substitutes in place. well and truly well. that you were singing a single song in all the classes. If in the marketing class we saw the video where some folks in China were sleeping in an Ikea store. The gala was muted. where to target it and how to improve – after we separate simplicity from complexity. Prof Kumar gave us the macro economic view of FDI in retail and you gave the operational reasons why the “Kirana” stores are needed. we got to meet the assistant deans and for the first time I drove down from Bangalore along with Krishnan and Amma. You said in the last class.Prof Chopra – I was a little worried before coming into your class since I saw that you had co-authored the pre-read textbook alongwith Prof Deshmukh. the Brazil tickets gave us a tour of all the airline websites. The drive was beautiful – classy road. This term was also about using Ideascale and all of us coming together to think about how to create more value for ISB. PGPMAX and ourselves. Prof Kale and Prof Chopra – both of you have raised huge entry barriers with your respective styles of teaching. To have created an amazingly successful business in 22 years deserves a standing ovation and Bhaskar’s humility. We thought no one can do one up on Prof Kamma’s explanation of EVA – but you got really close with your EVA model and linking financial metrics to operational metrics – the loop is closed. because we would have missed your artistry in teaching a black and white topic like operations !! You have improved our questions you have ensured that we will always ask what is improvement. no reasons to get below 120 kmph ! Another first in this term was seeing a deer on one of my . We all love Prof Deshmukh. ofcourse you are suppliers of your time. you made us realise why the Ikea managers sleep peacefully because their operations strategy is perfectly aligned to their business strategy. We are so glad we didn’t. and we will ensure you scale the heights you choose to. your artistry and mastery lies in the fact that each class sounded slightly different but you brought it all around to the opening note. The visit to Bhaskar’s dairy plant and just hearing him speak of his struggles to setup Creamline dairy was hugely valuable.

Stupendous ! There are many things that will be written about your style of working and your vision etc etc but the enduring legacy of the Tata group is – you always looked at what you could contribute to the community. down road no. a brand name synonymous with values. Your forefathers have touched every facet of life for an Indian – and you are leaving a global footprint. We better choose our seats well. build an organization that has the community in the centre and builds itself around it. but like me. Can’t wait to see what you do to philanthropy !! A new era begins …. Your value increases manifold when you give freely – think of what you can contribute to developing the community.cycle rides inside the campus. Had seen several peacocks but this is the first time I have seen a deer. In a world that is ready to take every shortcut in the book and innovate a new shortcut to make a quick buck. If only all the corporate honchos and the corporate gurus can understand this simple truth. exceeded your mentor JRD’s expectations and perpetuated the enduring Tata legacy. 10000 crores when you took over and 21 years later its a $100 billion conglomerate !!! Wonder if there is a bigger corporate success story than that …. The truly rich are those that give freely – and that is why you and the Tata group are truly the richest. If Jamshedji Tata gave India the first 5 star hotel and had to import steel for the dome. there are several professionals for whom you are a role model and an inspiration. There is a lot of money to be made – the right way. And time flies. the great JRD made Jamshedpur a TATA city and you acquired CORUS in the biggest acquisition till date to move Tata Steel to the 12th largest producer of steel in the world !! The legacy that you inherited was HUGE… And everyone wondered if you can better it.. As you retire from your role as the chairman of Tata Sons. his son setup India’s first steel plant and your predecessor. You don’t know me. Term 5 is a high five …. A new era begins The news channels talk of the end of an era …. 3. And all above board transactions. For more than 100 years this group’s existence is proof that ethical. but the only way to do business. The Tata group truly lived upto the credo of why companies were first formed – developing the community. A bigger Thank you for proving again and again and again that doing business ethically is not just possible. Thank you Ratan – you lived upto your name. community centric way of doing business is the right way. . you stood for values and never taking a shortcut. to get in all the sights.

sometimes even the post partum blues. has complete monopoly of both his parents emotions. It’s a big price that one pays for wanting emotional monopoly. divorces. till they are able to get him out of it – the social cost being the social stigma. The young adult man getting into drugs. sometimes her health.The Social cost of Monopoly One of the classes in Managerial Economics spoke about the social cost of monopoly and that set me thinking … What is the social cost of emotional monopoly ? A young child. no team dynamics and a terrible culture Just as monopoly in the market has a social cost. emotional monopoly has sometimes a bigger social cost and over a sustained period of time. just born will have complete monopoly of its mother’s emotion. cheating. and all the other children not getting any attention. In a relationship each person wants emotional monopoly over the other and the social cost is infidelity. low engagement. The social cost is again enormous. the social cost being all her other relationships. sometimes losing the friend like I nearly did in college with Vidya ! At work emotional monopoly turns into something more dangerous – favouritism and bias. the pain that their child goes through. In friendships too some people want emotional monopoly ok am guilty of that and the social cost is losing out on other friends. broken homes…. the trauma that they go through. It does seem obvious that emotional monopoly – given or assumed has a huge cost – stop being possessive everyone !! Now if only Linda Goodman was alive to change what she wrote for the Aries and Scorpio types :) .

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