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

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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:

―WHEN IN THE HISTORY OF THIS RESTAURANT HAS ANYONE EATEN FROM THE BOTTOM OF THESE PLATES?
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,

YOU‘RE AN ANIMAL! YOU‘RE AN ANIMAL!‖
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
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That's probably how it was eventually passed along to me. Ben Franklin apparently once said ―Diligence is the mother of good luck. What some . It applies to several aspects of life: careers. 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. health and wellness. 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. 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. forget your opponents and play against par). 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." although more recently people think of legendary South African golfer Gary Player as the person who coined the phrase. the luckier you get There's some debate about who first made this statement. The harder you work. sports. 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. manage the highs and the lows. relationships. you can't control a bad break.

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

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 format is simple. I suggest you do the same! The Dreamer’s Dilemma: Prevent Your Dreams from Turning into Nightmares Silicon Valley is full of dreamers. Silicon Valley is also full of even bigger piles of money to hyperloop those dreams into tomorrow‘s reality. the ringmasters. During the day. Lazy dreamers.If there‘s a positive outcome I‘m striving for. This week. the Valley‘s leading dreamers and their backers. Brilliant dreamers. Crazy 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. trekked down to a small resort outside Los Angeles to dream big at D: All Things Digital. pepper CEOs with questions as their targets do their best to stick to talking points and avoid sweating out.

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

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

mocking me like the impenetrable bastard it is? I bet Elon knows every one of those elements by name . Like. . 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. 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. explore new planets and leave the world better than when we entered it. They‘ll want to create the next Minecraft.and dated at least a dozen of them. or even non-existent. That scares me. And makes me feel so stupid. 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. [He thinks he should yet refuses to actually call it an ad network as ad networks are out of favor. or finding someone to have an affair with? Actually. 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.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.] 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. 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.

. Because in addition to being a multibillionaire. awesome dreams makes me want to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry‘s Phish Food and punch the guy in the face. And it's the only way you and everyone in that room this week can live. His are directed by Jerry Bruckheimer and shown on massive IMAX 3D screens. My dreams are black and white and released direct to DVD. Focusing on Elon‘s big. he‘s ripped and would probably beat the crap out of me. which isn‘t a good idea. So my dreams fit me. how do I start answering those questions? I have no fucking idea. And you don‘t either. And that‘s about all I know. hairy. I can only focus on my own reality. I‘m focused on Elon‘s dreams and not my own. I know a few things about the internet and marketing and starting companies. But what I do know is that I can‘t keep writing like this and thinking like this. It‘s the only way to live the life I want to live. 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. They work for me.I fret about which mobile phone to carry while he builds his dream home on Mars. And my dreams aren‘t just business related. They put me in the best position to succeed and make the most use of my time on this planet. Because it‘s hard enough to accomplish my own dreams that it makes my brain melt trying to comprehend Elon‘s. fat. 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.

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

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

In addition to the "magical" experiences that Disney technologists envisioned. sign up for fast passes. so privacy concerns are avoided. the bands interact with park features and act as a link to a much broader MyDisney experience. customize their trip. Data is being used in ways that are obviously of value to guests. interact with characters. Disney is now able to address a challenge most physical businesses face.Disney World will roll out MagicBands. Disney has no idea whether the visitor walking in the gate is a first time guest or a lifelong visitor. . and when not obvious. find pictures snapped by Disney photographers and much more. 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. make meal reservations. It doesn't know whether different types of guests route differently through the parks. 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. share plans with fellow travelers and ensure that they can access all of the logistics involved with a park visit from their mobile phone. Guests can create a Disney profile that can be used to track their history of Disney visits. Although millions of visitors come to the parks over and over again. purchase items. reducing wait times and learning far more about how people spend their time. bracelets that park guests can use to access the park.

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. Data is now a feature that can be used for consumers and by consumers. 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. but all can try to delight their customers. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight. most physical retailers know very little about their customers. 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. How do you position your business in this hyper-competitive environment? Different from a business plan. their contacts. Every day consumers give apps access to their friends lists. . so that you can understand how to serve them better. Provide some value and consumers will be pleased to provide the data needed. Ask consumers for more data. How can retailers get the data they want without creating a privacy firestorm? Lean in to it. digital signs that detect whether a shopper is male or female and smart scanners that provide relevant coupons. Not every retailer can entertain like Disney.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. interactive mannequins. Data is no longer something to disclose in a privacy policy that is ignored. which will likely be obsolete in five years. a business maphelps you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. their photos and their location. Others are experimenting with geo-fenced offers delivered via mobile apps. Loyalty cards add purchase history to the mix. 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. Although online companies can track how users navigate their web sites and understand which ads or searches lead to transactions.

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

At one self-help apparel company. Many retailers assume that customers walk into stores for purely transactional purposes: they know what they want and just need to buy it. or $20 per sale. providing extra sales assistance during select hours led to a conversion rate increase of 9%. With an average selling price of $200 and an average gross margin of 10 percent. Find the right frontline talent . despite undertaking extensive product research. Consider the case of home electronics sold through discount stores. But McKinsey research indicates that as many as 40 percent of customers remain open to persuasion once they enter a store. recouping the cost of the extra human help within an average of 10 to 15 minutes during normal selling hours. the cost of hiring a good salesperson is recouped by selling just one additional product per hour on the floor. just one additional sale every two hours is needed. reading online reviews. however. retailers have been cutting back on frontline sales as volume has shifted online. 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. and comparing prices on their own. Our research into the frontline of retail staff. for example. When the profit margin from up-selling or cross-selling accessories is added. With tax equivalency approaching.In the last few years. Retailers without knowledgeable staff on hand to help customers make decisions are losing sale after potential sale. adding salespeople offers one of the more attractive payback opportunities in retail. Bolster your sales staff When done correctly. 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. 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.

more than 75 percent appear in the store having done extensive independent research). How are you helping your frontline sales team drive retail growth? The Content Marketing Mix June 02. 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. 2013    767 5 1 inShare42 So now that you've been inspired to try your hand at social content marketing. Our research indicates that. I break content down to four very general categories: . In addition. at most. we found that few retailers provide training with the specificity and quality to effectively support sales associates in their mission to sell more.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. 45 percent of frontline employees across multiple retailing sectors have the personality and attributes to be effective sellers. it's time to plan out your content mix. 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.

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

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

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

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

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 faced a lot of tight deadlines. 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. but I realized later what was going on. since I had to no reason to be.That surprising question packed a powerful lesson. I‘m guessing I was thinking hard about some story as I walked through the newsroom one day -probably furrowing my brow. and I would often have just a short window to get a story into shape for the next day‘s paper. . As an editor.when I briefly locked eyes with my colleague. I said. I was puzzled. wondering what was up. We sat down. I responded immediately. Sure. my mind a million miles away -. and the question came out of the blue: ―Are you mad at me?‖ Of course not.

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

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

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

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

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

218 61 15 inShare227 .ultimately.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'm not saying to run off and quit your job right away. the goal is to stop people from both hating and becoming dependent on their work. 2013    3.

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Elon Musk launched two fully electric cars and made them profitable while everybody was telling him he was going to fail.353 336 114 inShare1. nobody judges you there. I also notice it when I judge others. the press and strangers predicted Elon's failure. Someone recently judged me about learning to meditate. It is the most creative place on Earth for a week. Had he listened. Most people thought he was crazy when he launched SpaceX. If you cannot stop others from judging you. you can at least become aware of it and protect yourself from it. 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. Why would you ever want to do this" and so many more. Most people never start their own business not because they cannot or because they do not have a good idea or even lack skills. It is because their friends and family judge them and tell them they will fail. You can wear and do whatever you want. I do not mind being judged as "weird" but I do notice it. So they do nothing. "This is not what you should do. he would have just stopped pursuing his dreams instead of making them come true. making out to be weird — if not scary. I am curious. Not even eye contact is allowed between the participants for 10 days. Friends. Musk is said to have first thought the SolarCity idea at Burning Man. I am trying to protect myself from both judging and being judged so I can see broader and do much more.As I was writing yesterday. as each time I do it I might influence them not to do what they want to try. 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. 2013    50.970 . The Dreamer’s Dilemma: Prevent Your Dreams from Turning into Nightmares May 31. I have just started to notice it myself and I am trying to fix it by not judging others either. for others and for yourself. I have read Ben Casnocha's excellent posts about his meditation retreat and his follow-up post a few months after. I thought about this as I meditated today. Judging is a dream killer. He also sells more than $1 billion in rockets every year to NASA. I am not surprised. which was not always the case. I always want to learn new things. That is stupid.

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

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?

hairy. Because in addition to being a multibillionaire. Focusing on Elon‘s big. I can only focus on my own reality. And my dreams aren‘t just business related. But what I do know is that I can‘t keep writing like this and thinking like this. . They work for me. 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. 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 that means being present both physically and mentally for Kass. Because it‘s hard enough to accomplish my own dreams that it makes my brain melt trying to comprehend Elon‘s. I‘ve had my dreams. I know a few things about the internet and marketing and starting companies. Sometimes. They need to have their own. And it's the only way you and everyone in that room this week can live. doing this seems harder for me to do than building a vacation home on Mars like Elon. I dream about being a great husband. And that‘s about all I know. This isn‘t something that comes easy for me and I want to continue to try to be better. They put me in the best position to succeed and make the most use of my time on this planet. he‘s ripped and would probably beat the crap out of me. And you don‘t either. awesome dreams makes me want to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry‘s Phish Food and punch the guy in the face. fat. It‘s the only way to live the life I want to 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. A dad that is patient and doesn‘t lose his cool. how do I start answering those questions? I have no fucking idea. I‘m focused on Elon‘s dreams and not my own. I dream about being a great dad. A dad that is trusted. which isn‘t a good idea. A dad that doesn‘t roll his eyes or shake his head too many times.

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

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

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

518 . it doesn‘t always work. 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." After the speech. People say. "How can you sell this for such a low price?". But be warned.881 314 88 inShare1. Leave Them Laughing: 4 Things To Remember in your Presentations May 20. 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. which very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse. When Gerald Ratner made a speech at the Institute of Directors in 1991. as long as it‘s appropriate and just the right amount to suit. Ratner resigned in 1992 and the company changed it‘s name to Signet Group. 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. 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.com could be a more inviting alternative. I say. it‘s by homing pigeon! 7.95. 2013    18. the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million.orchiefhelper@xxxx. CD Baby also have another way to get a message to them listed on their contact us page. all for £4. "because it's total crap.

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

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

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

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

Our research shows that 21st century leadership competencies are different. 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. It's just very hard. core .

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

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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Your goal is to repair the task. he might have gotten an urgent request from a customer that you agree takes priority over an internal meeting. The second level concerns trust in the relationship. then you can accept his apology and move to negotiate a recommitment. He might have an excellent reason for not keeping his promise. 3. The key is that you clearly express what you need to close the issue.‖ There are three levels of confrontation. It helps you evaluate whether or not the causes for the breakdown arose after the promise and were thus unforeseeable. ask why. you end up with a new agreement that closes the matter. You end up full of negative assessments and righteous indignation. if she called you at the last minute. Check the commitment. you seek to restore coordination. 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. When you confront productively. At worse. inquiry shows respect. then discuss how to avoid repeating this in the future. For example. your counterpart thinks she promised Y. you may confront your counterpart about the fact that he did not show up for the meeting as agreed. and you follow through to resolution. Your goal is to prove that you have been wronged. Many problems result from miscommunication at the time of commitment: You think you requested X. you may confront your counterpart about the fact that he didn‘t let you know when he decided not to attend the meeting. e-mail her a summary with a request to confirm or correct it. but it pales in comparison to the damage caused by holding your counterpart to a commitment she believes she didn‘t make. This may just be to recommit to the original promise. Here are three steps for a productive complaint: 1. integrity means ―no surprises‖ and one can preserve it even when one cannot deliver on one‘s commitment. you seek to soothe your anger by criticizing another. Ask what happened. Every productive confrontation includes a request for resolution. At best. For example. If he argues that . or not at all. Then. Besides helping you understand the other‘s perspective. It‘s much harder to justify the lack of an early warning. The other key is that you ask for what you really need to close the issue. restore trust. Negotiate a recommitment. The next time you get a commitment from this person. If your counterpart acknowledges that his behavior was a breach of integrity and that he should have called you. If this is the case. you realize that your counterpart is not trustworthy and you can responsibly decide what you want to do about it. You might attack the person you blame for your problem or even criticize him to third parties. As I said in my previous post. For example. You repeat your story over and over. and the hurt. and integrity. You address the person directly. trust. 2. You confront only once. This serves as your ―signed contract.When you complain unproductively. the relationship. summarize the agreement and verify that she concurs. and feel at peace. or it may include additional conditions. For example. The first level concerns effectiveness in the task.

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

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.

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. camp. Help people solve those problems. Pay attention to what your prospects are saying online. Build relationships first. Show your friendship first. so they took a photo of Cakir and her new car and shared it on Twitter (pictured above). DOD wanted to share this sale on social media. homes. followers and prospects say something that's a hint that they need what you have. Reyne Haines is an antique dealer who has sold many thousands of dollars worth of items using social media and currently has a $22. there are lots of social . But in the end. whether through an online link or a request to take the conversation to a phone call or even an in-person meeting. Whether your job is to sell cars. and closing.anywhere. you absolutely can use social media to your advantage. Social media purists will tell you that it's all about listening and conversation. And as I said.000 worth of sales of adaptive vehicles in the last quarter alone. Now. Here are five simple reminders about the best processes to use when selling through social media: 1. If you're paying attention. 2. or widgets. Uncover problems and needs. Ask for the sale. If you're listening well enough. You won't get the sale unless you ask for it. it doesn't work with social media. listening and engagement is super important at the early stages of the sales funnel. great questions and great care. Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp credits social media with driving 25% of its $6.000 silkscreen up for sale on Facebook. insurance. This is your specialty. Demonstrate your expertise and your willingness to help. Use social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn to find prospects and get to know them online before you even think about selling something. 5. 4. Those are the 5 key steps to selling anything using social media.After considering a few models. without asking for anything in return. It's always easier to make a sale when you build a relationship first. 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. Monitor their social feeds. Engage when you feel compelled. and whatever it is you're selling. using great content. Invest your time up front in these relationships. you'll note that these are also five key steps to selling anything .000-a-pop sales to its four social media sites. 3. The Mobility Resource credits social media with driving over $300. you'll notice when your connections. Likeable Istanbul selling cars on Twitter is just one of many examples. antiques. there was relationship-selling: listening. The most valuable business asset of social media is listening. Long before social media. Listen carefully. But just like hard-selling doesn't work in person. That's your opportunity to engage further in a conversation that will lead to a sale.

2013    222.517 1.612 493 inShare7.293 . it allows you to sell at greater scale and efficiency than ever before. The Secret to Putting Together an Insanely Successful Team May 28. But to those people who embrace it all.networks and technologies and tools that may overwhelm some people.

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. our goal is simply to put the best person in the job. can you? Who can be against putting the best person in the job?? Except…… .‖ Can‘t argue with that.) Those words are: ―Hey.

You Will Keep This Confidential June 04. whether acquired (time spent abroad. it‘s just easier. simply because of its appeal as a Wall Street whodunit. time spent at competitors) or innate (gender. If we can change our mindset from ―Hey. ethnicity). Raymond Felton. 2013    23 0 0 inShare3 Over the past few days. they will almost certainly be beaten by teams that have more diverse player skills. So let‘s take this to its logical conclusion.Research has shown that the best performing teams are diverse teams. this is particularly true if it‘s a difficult job or a stretch assignment. In any random group of UNC basketball players from the past it could well be that Phil Ford. -.. I've been devouring an advance copy of "The Billionaire's Apprentice. Look for the book to pop onto bestseller lists. While arguably possessing the most valuable skill set on a team. a doer. many of us prefer to spend time with likeminded individuals. our goal is simply to put the best team in place. a client advocate and an ―historian‖ as part of the team. And that‘s because they're all point guards. . to name a few. our goal is simply to put the best person in the job‖ to ―Hey. a skeptic. The book chronicles a gifted group of Indian and Sri Lankan immigrants who rose to prominence in the U. to prison. I‘ll admit it: I often do. But would they be a national championship team? No way. Rajat Gupta. The power of diverse perspectives is such that diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams…. And I have also worked to include diverse backgrounds. Jimmy Black..and they outperform even more capable teams. because I can imagine how I would do it.and then wrecked everything in a frenzy of secret schemes. But humans are human. Frankly. 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..with a basketball example. And we will have accomplished a great deal on increasing opportunity and diversity. betrayals and insider trading.‖ we will have accomplished a great deal on improving company performance. Ty Lawson and Kendall Marshall would be the best players. I've tried to round out the group by including a visionary. When I have built business teams in the past..S. And it‘s also easier for me to picture how somebody who looks like me and sounds like me will get the job done. When left to our own devices." a fascinating account of ambition gone bad. 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.

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

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

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. Economies in Perspective) June 03. We published our new book.Communicating and living our mission. In addition to the ongoing investments in succession. A talent pipeline – We have supported and developed staff to be able to grow into management roles.Succession planning was core to the design of the Taproot Foundation since its first year. vision and values. Executive Management Team and army of ―Roots‖ (as we call our employees) is set up for success. What I Learned in Italy (Or. A clear and well-articulated mission . This month is my last month at CEO and will then spend the following 12 months as a senior advisor. we made very intentional investments to create:      A strong board of directors that is independent from 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. They also raise real resources – about 25% of our budget. To that end. Several years ago. I shared with the board my intention to leave at some point in the next chapter of the organization‘s development. 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. We are not done with the process and will surely learn as we go. 2013    3. 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. 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. vision and values. but having made these investments gives me the confidence that the Board.Taproot‘s board pushes back and asks the hard questions. An exceptional executive management team.360 21 9 inShare67 . Powered by Pro Bono. Relationships with nearly 200 institutional partners – I don't manage a single one of them. Experienced executive directors run Taproot‘s local offices and built the local community around them and not around me. Planning for change has made it easier for me and for the team to imagine a thriving Taproot without me in the daily mix. 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. 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.

but there is really nothing new under the sun. While the price drop and yield increase may seem dramatic in the short-run. up from about 1. I keep thinking of an Italian saying. "US growth lackluster!". 10-year treasury yield increased to 2. When locals found out what I did for a living. interest rates on government securities across the globe have finally started to rise. Let‘s review.I'm just back from a trip to Italy. Despite scary headlines during the time I was away ("Bonds dive!". but the gains accelerated after the recent Bank of Japan pledge to drive up inflation to 2 percent within two years. they wanted to talk about the U. using a QE-type of bond buying and by doubling the nation‘s monetary base. it has been long-telegraphed by improving economic conditions. the worst monthly performance since December 2010.S.2 percent. "Japanese stocks plunge!". Bond market crash: As predicted for the past two years. the Nikkei 225 has .S. there has been a flurry of turmoil seen over the past week and a half. Japanese stock correction: Investors started buying Japanese stocks last fall.S. ― Niente di nuovo sotto il sole‖ (nothing new under the sun).6 percent at the beginning of the month. The U. economy and my thoughts as to when the tide might turn for Italy and the rest of the PIIGS (Portugal. Yes. When other U. they wanted to know when the rotten U. "Jobs report is key!"). recovery would accelerate. where the economy is still in dire straights.S. travelers found out what I did for a living. Ireland. "QE to end!". Italy. Life is always a matter of perspective. Yes. Greece and Spain).

Still. but it remains up more than 25 percent this year. 2013    9. 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. the government will release a monthly jobs report on Friday. While there is no doubt that QE will end.5 percent. The pullback in government spending at the local. It is expected that non-farm payroll employment will increase by a 165. bond market futures are pricing in a Fed rate increase in late 2014.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.000 in May. US growth: The government revised down its original estimate for Q1 growth to 2. the timing and magnitude of the action is in question. concerns are mounting that the Federal Reserve will have to taper its bond-buying program (―Quantitative Easing‖ or ―QE‖).4 percent from 2.5 percent and the second quarter is likely to remain muted. Jobs report (once again) is key: Here we go again…just as investors come off an anxiety-inducing week. 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. Helping to boost the numbers could be a resumption of larger growth for the construction sector. Right now.5 percent. about one-third of the decline is due to the severity of the recession and the weakness of the recovery.121 139 39 inShare519 . The plunge in the participation rate to late 1970‘s levels has mostly been driven by demographics. as aging baby boomers retire. As economic conditions improve. and that the unemployment rate will remain unchanged at a four-year low of 7. due to sequestration spending cuts. The central bank has said that it would maintain its low interest rate policies at least until the unemployment rate drops to 6. Such action would lead to higher bond yields and lower bond prices and could potentially jar the equities markets as well. compared with earlier expectations that interest rates would not rise until mid-2015. 5 Career Lessons I Learned in the Amazon June 05. some investors are worried that the Fed may withdraw stimulus sooner than later.5 percent. state and federal levels has been a headwind for growth during the recovery.

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

org‘s new women in leadership mentoring program. WHOA. That inquisitiveness has stuck with me throughout my career. we just need to welcome them and their experiences. Women Helping Others Achieve – or. like my recent post about 5 mentor archetypes.openness and curiosity among all the people I encountered. seeing each person as a source of potential knowledge. Rather than go the traditional route of pairing more established women with their less experienced female colleagues. they interestingly all seem to carry this common theme: we have a lot to learn from everyone around us. Everyone in our lives. 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. We all have something to teach and something to learn. 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. There‘s always something we can learn from the people around us. 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). When I look at the posts I have written on LinkedIn so far. . from colleagues to family and friends – and even sometimes strangers – has something to teach us. That‘s the logic behind the unique structure of Change. but I quickly learned to appreciate it – and I began treating others in the same way.

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

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

But what does it mean to ―find‖ a mentor? People rarely explain what a good mentor looks like. 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.Ask any career development expert how to succeed in the workplace. and they‘ll probably tell you to find a mentor. . and they‘ve given me immeasurable support and encouragement when I‘ve needed it most.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.‖ and ―the right way to do things. traces of my accent come through in a conversation. No introduction of mine ever skips the question. when I realized that it is precisely this otherness that allows me to question the conventional wisdom. ―So.In my recently published book. ―the way things have to be. 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. It is a curse when no matter how hard I try.‖ .

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

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

No introduction of mine ever skips the question. 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. 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. ―So. when I realized that it is precisely this otherness that allows me to question the conventional wisdom.‖ and ―the right way to do things. traces of my accent come through in a conversation.‖ . It is a curse when no matter how hard I try. ―the way things have to be. The Nature of the Future.In my recently published book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the results are actionable ideas and a broadened vision.000 Panera associates." they are nourished in soul as well as body. We don't cure cancer at Panera.The fact is." 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. The work itself will renew you. I can unreservedly declare that I still love what I do. All of that gets me up before dawn and keeps me going until late in the evening. with the overriding goal of ensuring that when customers exit our "stage. we're contributing our resources and know-how to the fight against food insecurity in America. We've helped entire communities care about the quality of their food. I've never had reason to refresh my spirit and renew my spark. 2013   21. something in the future was expected of them. And I inevitably learn something new.362 268 . I visit anywhere from 25 to 100 Panera cafes every month. I doubt you'll ever have reason to recharge. My work is also energizing because I believe I'm doing work that matters. And that helped them endure the Nazi's brutality. When I learn. their lives still held meaning. The performances always differ." I couldn't agree more. Eighty-hour work weeks and way too many red-eye flights will wear anybody down. We don't launch shuttles into space. And what will work in the world. After three decades in the food industry. 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. If you find meaning in your work and you go to work to learn about life. In his seminal book. inertia. a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and Nazi concentration camp survivor. 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 reason. Hence. Viktor Frankl. frustration. I'm engaged in the world around me. where one in six households don't always know where their next meal is coming from. And through our pay-what-you-can cafés and other efforts. I never feel the need to recharge because I rarely feel burned out. Learn Good Management From Bees and Golfers June 06. is that I view my work as a lifelong learning journey. wrote that those who endured the death camps believed that "life was still expecting something from them. "The desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world. so there's no need to refresh. Of course. Opportunities for change are revealed. I get tired. I think.Man's Search for Meaning. I've never experienced the chronic exhaustion. We've given customers an inviting place to gather and feel welcome. The British author John le Carré once quipped. I go to work to learn about how the world works. But thankfully. But we do touch the lives of 8 million people each week in thousands of cafes across the country. How humanity works. I'm not a scientist. and cynicism that come with a temporary slump or even classic burnout.

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

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

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

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

For each company ask about major projects and accomplishments. referred. David goes on to suggest that performancebased job descriptions can be substituted for skills and experiences. Achievers do much more than just applying to a posting. or applied to a job posting. Determine if each job change was part of a bigger career plan or a reaction to a problem. or rehired others. labor law firm). the toughest customers and the most difficult technical problems. more legally sound. ―potential and performance‖ gap is actually quite easy. 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. Find out how they got their last few jobs to see if the person was rehired. they're more predictive and they possess the advantage of opening up the door to more high-potential and diverse candidates. Even if the person lost their job. This is pretty easy to spot if you know how to read between the lines. Not only are these equally objective. all that‘s left is a method for assessing future potential. I make the claim that bridging the ―experience and skills‖ vs. and essential for improving the quality of people hired. With the legal excuse put aside. Achievers get assigned to handle the most important projects.S. The Achiever Pattern indicates that the person is consistently performing in the top 25% of his/her peer group. 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. nor is there any legal obligation to (or advantage in) posting boring ads. and offer this tidbit of his: Employers are not legally required to post their internal job descriptions when advertising an open position. and a means to translate past performance from different industries. Achievers tend to carefully select jobs based on some major overriding career goal. on these pages and in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired. .    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. Despite these challenges. find out how they found their next one. For the legal part I‘ll refer you to this white paper and webcast by David Goldstein of Littler Mendelson (the premier U.

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

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

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

They almost don't believe it. In the end. Breaking organizational walls in a company. Hope this helps. I rejected the proposal because of this additional value and insight I got from asking for feedback. . 2013    8.537 115 35 inShare658 I am approached a lot by curious people who wonder how I'm always able to stay "energetic". 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. 5 Tips on Staying Energetic as a Founder June 09. healthy lifestyle while being a founder. That my energy is contagious .decision. I'm here to debunk this and to share a few tips I've learned along the way to help maintain an energetic.that I'm constantly smiling. People think I'm always on the go and that I never sleep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask why. There is not much you can do to change that. We have a habit of accepting the challenges that get put in front of us—the latest school assignment. Here are few things you might think about: Don’t ask what. We then expect our clients to go and perfectly execute our vision. The only problem was that most of those products were obsolete within a few months or years and most are now occupying landfill. Designers sometimes do that.I was taught to use my skills to create products that are more attractive. easier to use. 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. 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 . We create a perfect picture of a possible future. Problems that. I discovered that I could apply those same design skills to many kinds of problems. I am not going to paint some beautiful detailed picture of a perfect life that you might wish for. Designers have a habit of being awkward on this subject. Perhaps there is something you can do to prepare for it. Open your eyes. and perhaps more meaningful. it certainly isn‘t appropriate when designing one‘s life. creative. And while it may be possible to approach the design of a car or a house that way. I think that mindfulness is at the heart of design. 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. might have greater impact on the world. the next business project. We hide it under a metaphorical black cloth and ―ta-da!‖ we pull off the cloth and expect the audience to swoon in wonder. 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. They ask. But I was fortunate. My friend Dan Pink talks about this problem in his book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. if solved. and that‘s why I think it is possible to design a life. 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. interesting. So invest plenty of time in getting to the right question before you invest your creative energies in finding solutions. and more desirable—and I spent the first several years of my career doing exactly that.

what it is you really do. this material will document a process of growth and record the impact of many minds. 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. It is easier to feel proud of your contribution when you have a record of it. never mind enjoyment. Great design thinkers observe the ordinary and in that ordinariness find great insight. Pictures put things in context. but in your own reflection on your life or when you try to explain to your friends. Leonardo da Vinci‘s sketch books are full not just of his own ideas but those of other inventors and engineers. even if it is just a rough sketch or a photo on your phone. Assembled as a portfolio. They do not spring fully formed from the minds of geniuses. Good design thinkers observe. or perhaps kids. Great ideas evolve. so it is far too easy to accept the first solutions you come up with. If you chose to apply design thinking to your activities as you go forward then remember to document the process as it unfolds. multiple solutions that can compete with each other. prototypes. They show what else is going on. Demand options. Design thinkers seek out options. Being visual allows us to look at a problem differently than if we rely only on words or numbers. Just remember to give them credit where it is due. They show the whole idea. Keep videos. Drawing forces you to make decisions about what you want to happen. Something exists at the end of the process that did not exist before. Build on the ideas of others. Make it visual. One of the most satisfying things about design is that the results are tangible. Picasso was famous for happily using the work of his fellow painters as genesis for his own masterpieces. I wish you the best of fortune as you leave here and embark on the task of designing your lives. Record your observations and ideas visually. . whatever it is that shows how you think. Don‘t stop until you have explored at least three ideas you would be excited by. 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. Design is a Darwinian process and diversity always creates the strongest ideas. He used them as the starting point for his own thinking. Just as it is too easy to accept the questions that get put in front of you. Balance your portfolio. This will be invaluable not just in the prosaic drumbeat of performance reviews and job interviews. Don‘t worry if you think you can‘t draw. parents. 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.take it for granted and in the process miss the opportunity for insight and inspiration. Do it anyway. Preserve those pictures and sketches you use to inspire and create.

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

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

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

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

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

A Learning Culture is Magnetic At the end of the day. social planning. we are essentially accelerating their development. Sounds good. Ben Casnocha. We need to take extra care to recognize them and align compensation and growth plans. 2013    14. training our experts from within is worth it. hungry to learn more and thrilled to be called on to train the next generation. This aligns well with Reid Hoffman. and Chris Yeh's article in HBR on Tours of Duty. Our general training workshops have evolved into deep-dive workshops in critical specialties like community management 3.0. and more. 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. that‘s all good. By training.Accelerator. our e-learning platform. Many will stay. How the Matrix Changes Leadership Focus June 03. to scale the training across our worldwide teams. Certainly some of our bright stars will move on to another adventure. In the karmic world of business. right? The danger is that we become the university for the industry.030 82 24 inShare592 . the Principles of Social Design.

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. is the name of the organizational structure of so many corporations today. It‘s funny that one of the defining. Both the matrix and The Matrix have a .No. Multiple reporting lines are a de facto standard in companies as are leaders with influence but no hard authority. The Matrix.

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

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

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

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

And because we see ourselves it makes it real and achievable to us with our ―if they can do it. the lucky few to be in the spot competing where they are now. 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.Where Do You See Yourself? June 19. The big stars of the game are far removed from our reality and we can‘t compete at their leve l. .155 30 4 inShare107 Why do we inevitably support the underdogs in a sporting event. but bring in the underdog. and we instantly see something there that could be us. the weekend warrior. so can I‖ attitude. there are more instances we look for ourselves subconsciously. Joe Public. It doesn‘t stop there though. 2013    2.

but its there. and because we see ourselves we go ahead and employ. the way we are wired maybe. 2013    14. If we spent 10 minutes talking to a stranger having answered only questions about ourselves. but somewhere in our subconscious. its really hard not to seek yourself out first. Everything You Think About Business Leadership Is Changing June 19. Call it an interest. He made you feel like he was singing directly to you. to get them talking about themselves rather than us talking about ourselves.896 184 61 inShare1. and you only. There is something inside us. I don‘t know I can‘ t explain it. even though we know nothing about them simply because they encouraged us to talk about ourselves. he had employed 20 people that were all like him! Can you imagine how their business was running internally. call it hog wash. Try it if you don‘t believe me.004 . that makes us think about ourselves but not selfishly so. you wanted to be the person he was singing to and so you saw yourself. it registers. we think the person we have been talking to is interesting. Take a group photograph with you included in it. We are not being selfish when we do this. 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.Take the true story about a CEO whose company had some pretty tough staffing issues. Who do you look for first? You. 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. James Blunt sang ―You‘re Beautiful‖ which sent many women swooning (me included!). call it human nature. Am I right? Dale Carnegie encourages us to talk about the other persons interests.

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

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

Often times. meeting with my personal coach and other select mentors.Define a “100 Point” Plan Time will slip away from you if you are not clear and diligent in your planning. The hard part is sticking to it. I am off a bit. 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. 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. proactive time allocations to maximize this most precious of resources. I encourage all leaders to carefully examine how they invest their time. For myself. skip levels and teaching at leadership development seminars. 2013    6. 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. Allocating your time can be the biggest challenge or opportunity for any leader. The key to successful time management is proactive planning. One size does not fit all. The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself. thirty percent is invested in building our organization‘s capability and leadership bench through 1:1‘s. and then make clear. For myself. seminars and board rooms. twenty percent is invested outside the company learning from others by engaging with fellow leaders in roundtable discussions.046 75 27 inShare286 . Hold Yourself Accountable Making the plan is the easy part. The key is making a ―100 point‖ plan so that you are the master of your own time. so I encourage you to find the mix that works best for you.

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

Mission statements written in business-speak or soaring rhetoric tend to invite eye-rolling and suspicion. A Simple Plan to Eliminate the Skills Gap June 21.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. both to your team and to your customers. ―we aspire to be the premier provider of tasty take-out food while maintaining uncompromising principles. 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. it‘s time to mean what you say. you know it‘s rooted in the hard and often frustrating work of deep thinking. ―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. This is the art of saying what you mean. 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.‖ Holmes‘ far-side simplicity is the kind that captures complex ideas in a sentence – or an image. 2013    674 10 1 inShare72 . 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. but I would give my life for the simplicity the other side of complexity. I probably haven‘t figured it out yet. rather than loyalty and appreciation. Once you‘ve done that. false starts. and trial and error. 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.

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

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

(LinkedIn shows you the closest connections. when you find a job of interest. Find 1-5 people people who can vouch for your ability.) Networking is as much art as science. use the job post as a lead to find someone in your network connected to the hiring manager. does not seem like a great way to bring on new talent. and relying on the collective biases of the interviewing team to cancel each other out. With this in mind. don‘t hit the ―apply now‖ button.) By discounting rankings based on feelings or superficial data. Instead. . Then connect with these people on LinkedIn and request a personal meeting. here‘s a step-by-step process for building a robust network. Not knowing the job. Instead. don‘t hit the ―apply now‖ button.. Networking Rules! .. 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.. The process worked. (Sign-up for a "how to" and Q&A networking webcast on June 25. when you find a job of interest. Equally important.4. To minimize the impact of biases and emotions. Enforce “listen to the judge” or call a mistrial. John Sullivan (FYI. and getting connected to influencers is hard work.. I called it Performance-based Hiring. (Here‘s a sample of the Quality of Hire Talent Scorecard we used for this. performance-based information became the primary basis of the assessment. all of the interviewers were required to share their evidence in a formal debriefing. Research by Dr. Perhaps HR and recruiting leaders should spend more time in LA traffic. 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%. using flawed interviewing techniques. . 2013) Networking Rules! Step-by-Step Phase 1: From the Known to the Unknown 1. but it doesn‘t need to be haphazard.

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

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

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

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

also because the mangoes they had for sale were quite good. These boys asked us to come back and that they will continue to give us really good quality mangoes. is suffering from debilitating stress.. 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. gave us special discounted prices and kept their word of letting us know if they were closing the stall. There were three brothers who caught our attention. but there was some traffic blockade and vehicles were backed up for a couple of kilometres. We thought of stopping at the same place on our way back.) Seek help if needed. I got a call. We bought a lot for the week at ISB and for gifting as well. Share your situation and get a proper plan in place to affect concerns. Can you find a connect with the work you ask an employee to do and their dreams ? Yes. :) Now. The call on Wednesday was for that purpose. they smartly introduced their father's vegetable and fruit stall. 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.  Mend the psychological contract. . reach out to a trusted friend. this was their livelihood and their means of fulfilling their dreams.. so we just drove back home. expectations and promises are often breached. 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. 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. We did go the next day and again found these boys and bought mangoes.) In times of duress. ownership matters. 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. About four weeks back when we were driving down to ISB for my Term 8. (If you manage others. (More on this in a later post. so that we could buy another last tranche of Mangoes. Ultimately. We exchanged phone numbers and asked them to let us know when they were winding up. do so with your team individually. we spend hours training people on customer service and closing the loop with the customer. if you or someone you know. Not just that. One of the boys is doing his BBA and the other is doing his Engineering from colleges in Coimbatore. so that we continue to remain their customer. Take a moment of pause and reflect on the health of the contract that you have with your employer. He also told me that his father will setup a vegetable and fruit stall in a month's time and would contact me. social worker or coach. physician. They gave us an excellent product. The Mango People On Wednesday. but ownership comes much after the alignment to one's dreams and aspirations.. Then we went the next week again and that's when we got talking. June 19th. extending the business etc etc and here are two Mango sellers who did all of this with no training.. We went on our way and ate the mangoes right through the week and they were delicious.

Understand your employee and help him or her link their dreams to the vision of the organization and you can sit back and relax. 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. for some it was access to low cost capital. between 2 and 5 crores. If you can kindle the desire of reaching their dreams in your people. governments have relaxed rules. Computers. and suddenly there is no longer any reason to remain invested in the 1 to . they couldn’t reach out to the better choices out there. for some it was low cost production. Internet. for some it was access to new markets. 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). Facebook. there is uncertainty. All the training in the world cannot replace the impact of desire that one's dreams bring forth. product life cycles are short. As we had friends of every color from across the world on Facebook our outlook got global – we learnt about new customs. another major motive for seeking alliances. And then the rapid technological advances keep happening. new ideas germinated. magic happens. And this post is the result. 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. align it with their everyday work. In our parents’ time marriages (mergers and acquisitions) worked because there was limited awareness. 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). there were strict societal/parental (government) norms and the world was comfortable with the feudal system. Twitter. no internet. Then came the Industrial revolution. above 5 crores and the obscene crores segment. Russian revolution twice. then live-in (joint venture) then either get married or breakup. anyway you figured out that Alliances offered lower transaction costs (another motive). both men and women find other cost effective options. it set me thinking on how can I draw similarities between all the technical definitions am learning and examples from day to day life …. 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.

Krishnan and I had two study-groups around it and I quote from it often. 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. but atleast you improve the chances (Arun and Prof. 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. so the moral of this post and Term 8 is. 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. Yes yes I jumped to our favourite bashing boy – the UPA alliance. Grow up. It’s a landmark book in many ways and an all time favourite of mine. whether there is learning opportunities from each other and hopefully if the M&A does happen. live-in and be fully informed before you marry. it leads to an united front. huh !! Ok. 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”. Hmmmm interesting. progressive or otherwise depends on many other factors. You know exactly the strengths and weaknesses. small rocks and gravel …. before the email-email game starts and a busy nonproductive day goes by. 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. Deshmukh’s probability) and not burn a hole all over your sari/shirt…. medium rocks. they will get done anyway.obscene crore marriage. but she would ask her team members to fill out a daily time sheet of big rocks. Ugly or happy divorces happen. I have recommended that book to many people. …. go steady. Man. The teaching is get to the most important things first and dont waste time on the unimportant and non-urgent. date. 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. Ofcourse this is gender neutral global advise. Little realising that her team was planning . be smart. and whether you have complementary skills. When people come to me with time management issues. The wiser ones then go the dating. No guarantees that the marriage will still succeed. Infact I have a mini training on it that I have repeated often with several groups. 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.

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

. The rest is history – my team ofcourse just became fans as expected. values based. 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. 20 years later. 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. you brought perspectives that expanded my vision. inclusive work environment. and if you want to improve that rating… We can talk about it.” And I asked her if he was from NIIT and she said yes and I knew. you validated my belief that its ok to stick to your values and ethics and the rewards are just. you taught me new things and most of all. shared many profiles and when none of them worked out and I told her exactly the type of person I had in mind. the famous grid developed at GE by Jack Welch and copied widely across. :) Thank you for starting me off on the right path and rejoining the journey when I needed your guidance the most…. Every time we meet you. after looking through my career graph. 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. Your rating on my ordinal scale is 100/10. Please continue to guide and shape my career and we will find more people who can carry on your vision of an ethical. she said the famous words – “there is one person. The grid is just that – part subjective and part objective assessment of a professional. inclusiveness became second nature and I will never forget the lesson on working from my strengths. from your part of the country. Venki.Our Talent Development leader then. but he doesn’t accept coachees as easily. The challenge is what parameters do you use to evaluate potential. I said its about “Making a difference”. I love the whole process of unlocking potential. I learnt to be more tolerant of different styles. I had finally tracked Venki down. I can help you :) Privilege of watching transformation When I was asked to summarise what my corporate life stood for. 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. you challenged me when I thought I couldn’t think any further. Many organizations have the performancepotential nine blocker grid. we learn something and that is invaluable. When I met him. I do promise to “give forward” and I think you are fine with that. 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. this is what happens. This is a guy called Venki Iyer.

it has been a privilege to see the growth. 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. the big picture view. I don’t see a lot of calibration on this – the whole activity gets reduced to a tick in the box. I read this nice fable long long back about how when asked to reduce the Torah to one sentence. 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. but potential is the tricky one. another special corporate moment got added to my list :) thanks for the privilege of watching a transformation unfold. chances are that there have been no calibrations of the kind I mention above. letting the buck stop with you – all these come by when a person is willing to take ownership. As you look around organizations and the leaders.Performance is relatively simpler. Rohit Sharma. Someone who doesn’t make false promises. Yesterday was special for me as two people that I have had the pleasure of knowing for a long time. two is the willingness to take ownership. the Master said “Never do unto others what you would not have others do unto you” and that is the essence of fairness. accountability. your hidden eloquence finally came out in the open. Without the basic right values. This may be very rudimentary but what is needed is calibration on what each organization defines as potential. And when you overlay the other complexity of mapping the potential to what is required in the role. 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. or culture and strategy. . planning for succession. 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. otherwise the Performance-potential grid will be a wasted exercise. if you see dissonance between the role and ability. displayed their unlocked potential during a leadership meeting. Rohit Malik. your genuinity and sincerity just shone through. from the “Vadamecum” mornings to hearing you articulate the goals of your department so well. since there are always some metrics and some folks to compare against. 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.

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. Murthy deserves a big “thank you”. They will need to find the next generation of leaders to lead the sustaining of hope. our assignment is all done !! Today was a truly a great day – besides the interesting conversation that Krishnan and I could witness. a two time Nobel laureate. in their board room and Mr. For that alone. Thank God.. I just hope and pray.I attended a Nasscom session today. . 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. but just getting the chance to sit in the same room with him was great. 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. and fascinatingly enough. you came in with a brilliant strategy to teach us “competitive strategy” and executed flawlessly. All that we learnt in our macro economics class at ISB was worth it because I understood everything that was spoken. It’s no mean feat. we sat 10 ft away from Mr. like the other great organization. Ravi Venkatesan was interviewing Prof Joseph Stiglitz. the Tata group. especially in the second half. Narayan Murthy ! This conversation was held in the Infosys campus. Prof Stiglitz had some compelling arguments about why Walmart’s entry into India is no good for the Indian retail industry.000 rupees 25 years back could create a world class campus like this in India spells hope. courtesy Prof Kale !!! For the first time. the Infosys campus represents hope… The fact that an organization started with 10. Couldn’t get a picture with him or shake his hand as he left before the session finished. Mr. And he is carrying back all of his Red Bull cans this time. And I said this to many people. that this organization survives a 100 years and more. 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. 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.

Prof Kale and Prof Chopra – both of you have raised huge entry barriers with your respective styles of teaching.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 visit to Bhaskar’s dairy plant and just hearing him speak of his struggles to setup Creamline dairy was hugely valuable. 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. To have created an amazingly successful business in 22 years deserves a standing ovation and Bhaskar’s humility. The gala was muted. we got to meet the assistant deans and for the first time I drove down from Bangalore along with Krishnan and Amma. your artistry and mastery lies in the fact that each class sounded slightly different but you brought it all around to the opening note. We all love Prof Deshmukh. there are no substitutes in place. no reasons to get below 120 kmph ! Another first in this term was seeing a deer on one of my . that you were singing a single song in all the classes. 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. the term nearly went by without anyone complaining about the food (I am ignoring the last day’s lunch). you made us realise why the Ikea managers sleep peacefully because their operations strategy is perfectly aligned to their business strategy. well and truly well. and we will ensure you scale the heights you choose to. 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. ofcourse you are suppliers of your time. 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. If in the marketing class we saw the video where some folks in China were sleeping in an Ikea store. where to target it and how to improve – after we separate simplicity from complexity. We are so glad we didn’t. 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. 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. the Brazil tickets gave us a tour of all the airline websites. Prof Kumar gave us the macro economic view of FDI in retail and you gave the operational reasons why the “Kirana” stores are needed. You said in the last class. The drive was beautiful – classy road.

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

divorces. has complete monopoly of both his parents emotions. In a relationship each person wants emotional monopoly over the other and the social cost is infidelity. the social cost being all her other relationships. sometimes even the post partum blues. In friendships too some people want emotional monopoly ok am guilty of that and the social cost is losing out on other friends. low engagement. till they are able to get him out of it – the social cost being the social stigma. sometimes her health. It’s a big price that one pays for wanting emotional monopoly. The social cost is again enormous. broken homes…. no team dynamics and a terrible culture Just as monopoly in the market has a social cost. and all the other children not getting any attention. emotional monopoly has sometimes a bigger social cost and over a sustained period of time.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. the trauma that they go through. sometimes losing the friend like I nearly did in college with Vidya ! At work emotional monopoly turns into something more dangerous – favouritism and bias. just born will have complete monopoly of its mother’s emotion. the pain that their child goes 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 :) . The young adult man getting into drugs. cheating.

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