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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manage the highs and the lows. you can't control a bad break. relationships.The best advice I ever received was not really advice but more of an approach to living. 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. It applies to several aspects of life: careers." although more recently people think of legendary South African golfer Gary Player as the person who coined the phrase. sports. What some . the luckier you get There's some debate about who first made this statement. 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. forget your opponents and play against par). health and wellness. luck is the fortune which occurs beyond one‘s control. and probably many others. The harder you work. 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. That's probably how it was eventually passed along to me. Ben Franklin apparently once said ―Diligence is the mother of good luck. 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.

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

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

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

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

. mocking me like the impenetrable bastard it is? I bet Elon knows every one of those elements by name . explore new planets and leave the world better than when we entered it. 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. What if our kids continue to drop out of the sciences. or finding someone to have an affair with? Actually.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. 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. 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. They‘ll want to create the next Minecraft. Like. And then flip it for a few pairs of Google Glass and free food.] What the fuck is going on here? Or for those in Silicon Valley. I pee my proverbial bed dreaming my cute little dreams while Elon combines a few Hs and Os from the chemistry set that is his life. That scares me.and dated at least a dozen of them. 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 even non-existent. [He thinks he should yet refuses to actually call it an ad network as ad networks are out of favor. do we need any of the above? Who knows? But what really scares me are the bigger questions. And makes me feel so stupid.

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

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

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

the bands interact with park features and act as a link to a much broader MyDisney experience.Disney World will roll out MagicBands. so privacy concerns are avoided. Although millions of visitors come to the parks over and over again. Guests can create a Disney profile that can be used to track their history of Disney visits. and when not obvious. 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. share plans with fellow travelers and ensure that they can access all of the logistics involved with a park visit from their mobile phone. sign up for fast passes. find pictures snapped by Disney photographers and much more. 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. It doesn't know whether different types of guests route differently through the parks. Data is being used in ways that are obviously of value to guests. customize their trip. Disney has no idea whether the visitor walking in the gate is a first time guest or a lifelong visitor. It doesn't have a link between avid online users of Disney sites and games and the people who show up in parks. In addition to the "magical" experiences that Disney technologists envisioned. Disney is now able to address a challenge most physical businesses face. purchase items. interact with characters. make meal reservations. . 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. their photos and their location.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. Every day consumers give apps access to their friends lists. their contacts. How do you position your business in this hyper-competitive environment? Different from a business plan. Others are experimenting with geo-fenced offers delivered via mobile apps. Loyalty cards add purchase history to the mix. a business maphelps you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Although online companies can track how users navigate their web sites and understand which ads or searches lead to transactions. interactive mannequins. as I have argued in the past. How can retailers get the data they want without creating a privacy firestorm? Lean in to it. Not every retailer can entertain like Disney. 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. Data is no longer something to disclose in a privacy policy that is ignored. Data is now a feature that can be used for consumers and by consumers. Ask consumers for more data. which will likely be obsolete in five years. Provide some value and consumers will be pleased to provide the data needed. most physical retailers know very little about their customers. so that you can understand how to serve them better. . This is force #1 of the 7 Forces of Business Mastery: Know Where You Really Are and Create an Effective Business Map. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight. digital signs that detect whether a shopper is male or female and smart scanners that provide relevant coupons. but all can try to delight their customers. Throw Out Your Business Plan and Create a Business Map The pace of change has accelerated to the point where a business plan is no longer enough to plot the future of your business with any certainty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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As I was writing yesterday. That is stupid. Most people never start their own business not because they cannot or because they do not have a good idea or even lack skills. he would have just stopped pursuing his dreams instead of making them come true. Most people thought he was crazy when he launched SpaceX. Elon Musk launched two fully electric cars and made them profitable while everybody was telling him he was going to fail. So they do nothing. which was not always the case. I am trying to protect myself from both judging and being judged so I can see broader and do much more. I have just started to notice it myself and I am trying to fix it by not judging others either. the press and strangers predicted Elon's failure. Had he listened. Judging is a dream killer. making out to be weird — if not scary. 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. you can at least become aware of it and protect yourself from it. You can wear and do whatever you want. I thought about this as I meditated today. 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. Why would you ever want to do this" and so many more. as each time I do it I might influence them not to do what they want to try. The Dreamer’s Dilemma: Prevent Your Dreams from Turning into Nightmares May 31.970 . nobody judges you there. I am curious. Friends. "This is not what you should do. If you cannot stop others from judging you. I do not mind being judged as "weird" but I do notice it. It is because their friends and family judge them and tell them they will fail. I am not surprised. Someone recently judged me about learning to meditate. I have read Ben Casnocha's excellent posts about his meditation retreat and his follow-up post a few months after. I also notice it when I judge others. Musk is said to have first thought the SolarCity idea at Burning Man. It is the most creative place on Earth for a week. I always want to learn new things. He also sells more than $1 billion in rockets every year to NASA. for others and for yourself. 2013    50.353 336 114 inShare1. Not even eye contact is allowed between the participants for 10 days.

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

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?

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

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

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

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

as long as it‘s appropriate and just the right amount to suit. it‘s by homing pigeon! 7. which very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse. 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. Ratner resigned in 1992 and the company changed it‘s name to Signet Group. I say.95. 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.com could be a more inviting alternative. "How can you sell this for such a low price?". 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. When Gerald Ratner made a speech at the Institute of Directors in 1991. "because it's total crap." After the speech. CD Baby also have another way to get a message to them listed on their contact us page.881 314 88 inShare1. it doesn‘t always work. the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million. But be warned. People say. 2013    18.518 .orchiefhelper@xxxx. 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. all for £4.

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

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

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

that people want to share on Facebook or talk about around the water cooler.000 books in Amazon on the topic of leadership. The Economist article lists a whole series of examples. the goal of engagement for a marketer is to figure out "how do you as a brand get into the conversation. 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." That means producing genuinely interesting content. 2012    13. . Yet in my experience.000 Facebook likes. a tweet when there was a power blackout during the Super Bowl.So. that is easier said than done. it boils down to one word: "engagement". But even leadership development experts can't possibly read them all.808 There are more than 10.‖ True. Obviously. you are going to die as a brand. "If you are not producing content that people engage with. by Oreo cookies:―Power out? No problem. including my favourite.704 453 137 inShare1. Lazerow mentions the "beautiful photography of Burberry" and Virgin's use of celebrity stories as particularly effective. 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. far too many brands still defer to their inner Mad Man. and start shouting. But what does it mean? For Lazerow. says an Accenture report entitled Turbulence for the CMO. As Lazerow warns. That spells trouble. You can still dunk in the dark. there are a growing number of successful engagements by brands. So let me summarize what some of our newest research has found. what is the new golden rule of selling? For Lazerow." What Makes a 21st Century Leader? October 18.000 retweets and 20.‖ The biscuit baker‘s reward? 16. I've read many of them.

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

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

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

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

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.

it's essential to ask for the sale. there was relationship-selling: listening. Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp credits social media with driving 25% of its $6. there are lots of social . Monitor their social feeds. Show your friendship first. Here are five simple reminders about the best processes to use when selling through social media: 1. Long before social media. That's your opportunity to engage further in a conversation that will lead to a sale. It's always easier to make a sale when you build a relationship first. especially when the conversation has nothing to do with what you're selling. Social media purists will tell you that it's all about listening and conversation. Reyne Haines is an antique dealer who has sold many thousands of dollars worth of items using social media and currently has a $22. If you're listening well enough. so they took a photo of Cakir and her new car and shared it on Twitter (pictured above). Likeable Istanbul selling cars on Twitter is just one of many examples. camp. Now. DOD wanted to share this sale on social media.000-a-pop sales to its four social media sites. listening and engagement is super important at the early stages of the sales funnel. antiques. Demonstrate your expertise and your willingness to help.After considering a few models. The Mobility Resource credits social media with driving over $300. homes. Build relationships first. 4. or widgets. whether through an online link or a request to take the conversation to a phone call or even an in-person meeting. Those are the 5 key steps to selling anything using social media. 2.000 worth of sales of adaptive vehicles in the last quarter alone. great questions and great care. and closing. Uncover problems and needs. followers and prospects say something that's a hint that they need what you have. insurance. Cakir wanted to see a car suggested by DOD and soon after she decided to buy it. you'll notice when your connections. you'll note that these are also five key steps to selling anything . it doesn't work with social media.anywhere. Help people solve those problems. Use social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn to find prospects and get to know them online before you even think about selling something. think not of the sale but of the help you're providing to someone whose needs you've uncovered online. This is your specialty. And as I said. But in the end. If you're paying attention. Whether your job is to sell cars. and whatever it is you're selling. you absolutely can use social media to your advantage. without asking for anything in return. using great content. Ask for the sale. You won't get the sale unless you ask for it. 5. Pay attention to what your prospects are saying online.000 silkscreen up for sale on Facebook. helping sove problems. The most valuable business asset of social media is listening. Engage when you feel compelled. 3. Listen carefully. But just like hard-selling doesn't work in person. Invest your time up front in these relationships.

612 493 inShare7.293 . The Secret to Putting Together an Insanely Successful Team May 28.networks and technologies and tools that may overwhelm some people. But to those people who embrace it all. 2013    222.517 1. it allows you to sell at greater scale and efficiency than ever before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

the government will release a monthly jobs report on Friday.000 in May. and that the unemployment rate will remain unchanged at a four-year low of 7. some investors are worried that the Fed may withdraw stimulus sooner than later. compared with earlier expectations that interest rates would not rise until mid-2015. Helping to boost the numbers could be a resumption of larger growth for the construction sector.5 percent.4 percent from 2. The central bank has said that it would maintain its low interest rate policies at least until the unemployment rate drops to 6. US growth: The government revised down its original estimate for Q1 growth to 2. Right now. While there is no doubt that QE will end. but it remains up more than 25 percent this year. 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.5 percent.5 percent. The pullback in government spending at the local. 5 Career Lessons I Learned in the Amazon June 05. 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 10.5 percent and the second quarter is likely to remain muted. 2013    9. Jobs report (once again) is key: Here we go again…just as investors come off an anxiety-inducing week. the timing and magnitude of the action is in question. due to sequestration spending cuts. It is expected that non-farm payroll employment will increase by a 165. concerns are mounting that the Federal Reserve will have to taper its bond-buying program (―Quantitative Easing‖ or ―QE‖). QE to end: As signs of recovery continue. 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. as aging baby boomers retire.121 139 39 inShare519 . The plunge in the participation rate to late 1970‘s levels has mostly been driven by demographics. As economic conditions improve. state and federal levels has been a headwind for growth during the recovery. about one-third of the decline is due to the severity of the recession and the weakness of the recovery. Still. Such action would lead to higher bond yields and lower bond prices and could potentially jar the equities markets as well.

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

openness and curiosity among all the people I encountered. Women Helping Others Achieve – or. seeing each person as a source of potential knowledge. That inquisitiveness has stuck with me throughout my career. 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. 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. . Everyone in our lives. we just need to welcome them and their experiences. like my recent post about 5 mentor archetypes. 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). WHOA. When I look at the posts I have written on LinkedIn so far.org‘s new women in leadership mentoring program. they interestingly all seem to carry this common theme: we have a lot to learn from everyone around us. There‘s always something we can learn from the people around us. I wasn‘t used to being received this way. as we call it. Rather than go the traditional route of pairing more established women with their less experienced female colleagues. We all have something to teach and something to learn. but they also all treated me as if I had valuable wisdom to share.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consciousness is on the rise. enrich your inner life. just be aware of these two lists and how much you participate in them. 2013    6.572 101 50 inShare433 . It goes by the name of wisdom. like a close family. or out of compassion Appreciation and gratitude. I'm not suggesting that there's an ideal ratio to aim for. In the next post we'll discuss why it's so valuable to know what's going on inside .and that's up from twenty years ago. even if time hasn't been set aside to pay attention to them. the inner life isn't precisely measured in hours. For now. 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 . and certain externals.         Psychotherapy Personal growth Intimacy Bonding with someone else empathically. and most of us realize the value of meditation and stress management.just as there is higher consciousness. there is also higher success. Turning 'Otherness' Into an Asset June 05.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

might have greater impact on the world. Ask why. And while it may be possible to approach the design of a car or a house that way. and that‘s why I think it is possible to design a life. The only problem was that most of those products were obsolete within a few months or years and most are now occupying landfill. Here are few things you might think about: Don’t ask what. 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. They ask. why is this even the right question? They do this because they have learnt there is nothing more frustrating than pouring one‘s creativity into doing a great job of answering the wrong question. I am not going to paint some beautiful detailed picture of a perfect life that you might wish for. But I think the principles of design thinking might help you create a life that is more rewarding. So invest plenty of time in getting to the right question before you invest your creative energies in finding solutions. and perhaps more meaningful. We have a habit of accepting the challenges that get put in front of us—the latest school assignment. Problems that. I think that mindfulness is at the heart of design. There is not much you can do to change that. But I was fortunate. the next business project. creative. easier to use. Designers have a habit of being awkward on this subject. and more desirable—and I spent the first several years of my career doing exactly that. We then expect our clients to go and perfectly execute our vision. 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 . Open your eyes. We hide it under a metaphorical black cloth and ―ta-da!‖ we pull off the cloth and expect the audience to swoon in wonder. We create a perfect picture of a possible future. We spend most of our lives not noticing the important things. Perhaps there is something you can do to prepare for it. if solved. I discovered that I could apply those same design skills to many kinds of problems. 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. interesting.I was taught to use my skills to create products that are more attractive. Designers sometimes do that. My friend Dan Pink talks about this problem in his book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. it certainly isn‘t appropriate when designing one‘s life.

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

2013    122.079 407 195 inShare2. Here are 3 ways to avoid this painful phenomenon.3 Ways to Avoid Decision Quicksand April 29. Have you ever agonized over which restaurant entrée to order? Which shade of white to paint the kitchen? Which flight to purchase? .045 We often get sucked into trivial decisions.

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

‗Good‘ drove sustainable. Stepping away for a few minutes and doing something else will provide some needed perspective and help you see whether a particular decision is really worth the effort. any of the options would make you quite satisfied. Either option is great. and others. Only problem was they were a bit of a chimera. marketers had a fascination in a phenomena known as ‗viral videos. That planning framework has evolved over the years thanks to efforts by our ―grown‖ experts – leaders like Kaitlyn Wilkins. They were impossible to predict and questionable in terms of effect. Then Training Early on we developed a training program. Decision quicksand leads us to be so narrowly focused on a choice that we think the world revolves around that decision. IP First. worse. At that time. most often. You‘d have a wonderful time in either Disney World or Hawaii. now heading up social globally for Burberry. That‘s what we were doing. So stop deliberating and move on with your life.‘ They represented every thing wild and wonderful about social media. ‗Bad‘ was either snake oil or. now leading global accounts for us. Training Global Teams . trying to find the best possible option. The Dangers of Growing Experts From Within June 10.2. technically we first created some pretty important intellectual property (IP). But few choices are that important. 2013    8. People often maximize. We created a planning framework to create predictably great programs. unethical. We had to grow our own. John Stauffer. We believed there was ―good‖ social media and ―bad‖ social media practices. authentic and. But in many cases. 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. No significant competitors to steal talent from. There was one big problem – hiring experts. Flip a coin. 3. Well. Our discipline hadn‘t been invented yet. There were no university programs churning out bright young things. Take A Break. No industry associations holding quality training seminars. Satisfice.331 47 19 inShare200 We started Social@Ogilvy eight years ago. positive word of mouth.

myself included. IBM and other major brands. Having the training function integrated and supported by the rank and file has kept it alive and vibrant for these eight years. Nestlé. competed and presented. . We designed and delivered immersive training workshops around the world like the recent "Community Director" training in Madrid where teams collaborated.Next came training. who designed and delivered social media programs for our clients designed and delivered the training. That was key for two big reasons:   Our teachers had credibility. The same experts. Since their core job function wasn‘t training there was no visible training head count to be cut by some fiscally-squeezed executive. 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 understands change management and that mindset has helped us immeasurably.The Danger Our training mission has become more sophisticated. We hired a learning and development expert. who has seriously professionalized our program. Hastie Afkhami. She launched Social@Ogilvy .

We need to take extra care to recognize them and align compensation and growth plans. 2013    14. 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. Many will stay. Sounds good. we are essentially accelerating their development. By training. This aligns well with Reid Hoffman. social planning. A Learning Culture is Magnetic At the end of the day. to scale the training across our worldwide teams. Ben Casnocha. Certainly some of our bright stars will move on to another adventure. In the karmic world of business. that‘s all good. and more. our e-learning platform. right? The danger is that we become the university for the industry. the Principles of Social Design. training our experts from within is worth it.Accelerator.0.030 82 24 inShare592 . hungry to learn more and thrilled to be called on to train the next generation. How the Matrix Changes Leadership Focus June 03. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and you quickly realize how vital it is for leaders to be deliberate about how they spend their time. There are often creative ways to find more people and dollars. 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. there are typically three sets of resources in your toolbox: time.964 81 11 inShare363 As a leader. Steve Jobs was once asked what his favorite product was. The same is true for all of us. yes.Thus. He shared that he was very proud of all the products that Apple hadn‘t built. The first step in good time management is picking your priorities and sticking to them. because those decisions made it possible to focus on the ones they did build. . what wasn‘t working. 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. and allowed them to make those products great. Managing Your Most Precious Resource: Time June 19. I gained a first-hand preview of this when I led Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch. people and dollars. 2013    2. and had their buy-in on strategic moves. collaboration and co ordination. Thus. what was working. the most successful CEOs of their future will view customers not in a paternalistic way (at best) or as sales targets. While this approach may not lead to Steve-Jobs-type innovation. but instead as partners… whose buyin to a course of action will be the key component of their success. Combine the scarcity and importance of this resource. this does make me more optimistic about the progress of women in business and the value we place on their leadership qualities.one who specializes in communication. 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. By taking several months to engage them instead in a discussion of what they observed from clients. it can certainly help companies of all sizes understand what consumers value. where we were spinning our wheels – and what our business strategy should be – we saved an enormous amount of time and resources. 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. And. How you spend your time also sends a strong signal to your team about what you view as important.

The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself. Allocating your time can be the biggest challenge or opportunity for any leader. and then make clear. Often times. 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. I am off a bit. For myself.046 75 27 inShare286 . For myself. Don't Screw Up Your Mission Statement! June 19. skip levels and teaching at leadership development seminars.Define a “100 Point” Plan Time will slip away from you if you are not clear and diligent in your planning. The key to successful time management is proactive planning. I encourage all leaders to carefully examine how they invest their time. proactive time allocations to maximize this most precious of resources. twenty percent is invested outside the company learning from others by engaging with fellow leaders in roundtable discussions. 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. The hard part is sticking to it. thirty percent is invested in building our organization‘s capability and leadership bench through 1:1‘s. meeting with my personal coach and other select mentors. and the last ten percent is invested in personal growth and development. 2013    6. seminars and board rooms. so I encourage you to find the mix that works best for you. One size does not fit all. 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. and this tracking allows me to adjust course and steer closer to the goals I have set.

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

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. How inspired are you when you hear something like. it‘s time to mean what you say. A Simple Plan to Eliminate the Skills Gap June 21. 2013    674 10 1 inShare72 . or a product – that anyone can understand. but I would give my life for the simplicity the other side of complexity.‖ Holmes‘ far-side simplicity is the kind that captures complex ideas in a sentence – or an image. 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.‖ I‘m constantly reminding myself that if I haven‘t figured out a simple way to explain something to other people. ―we aspire to be the premier provider of tasty take-out food while maintaining uncompromising principles. This is the art of saying what you mean. If you‘ve ever achieved this kind of simplicity. both to your team and to your customers. Once you‘ve done that. rather than loyalty and appreciation. you know it‘s rooted in the hard and often frustrating work of deep thinking. But the simple ideas that emerge from that kind of process can be the most powerful and inspiring. and trial and error. 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. Mission statements written in business-speak or soaring rhetoric tend to invite eye-rolling and suspicion. ―It is our responsibility to assertively administrate timely deliverables in order to solve business problems‖? Or. I probably haven‘t figured it out yet. false starts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I said this to many people. Murthy had come by. For that alone.. especially in the second half.000 rupees 25 years back could create a world class campus like this in India spells hope. in their board room and Mr. Thank God. we sat 10 ft away from Mr. you came in with a brilliant strategy to teach us “competitive strategy” and executed flawlessly. 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”. 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. our assignment is all done !! Today was a truly a great day – besides the interesting conversation that Krishnan and I could witness. the Infosys campus represents hope… The fact that an organization started with 10. a two time Nobel laureate. but just getting the chance to sit in the same room with him was great. Without Red Bull Ahmed started the last four terms with a stash of Red Bull cans that helped him keep his energy up. I just hope and pray. like the other great organization. All that we learnt in our macro economics class at ISB was worth it because I understood everything that was spoken. . Mr. Couldn’t get a picture with him or shake his hand as he left before the session finished. we had a Prof who had more data on our organizations than we had and our answers changed depending on how far or how close he was standing when he asked the questions ! Prof Kale.I attended a Nasscom session today. that this organization survives a 100 years and more. 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 Stiglitz had some compelling arguments about why Walmart’s entry into India is no good for the Indian retail industry. It’s no mean feat. the Tata group. They will need to find the next generation of leaders to lead the sustaining of hope. Ravi Venkatesan was interviewing Prof Joseph Stiglitz. courtesy Prof Kale !!! For the first time. And he is carrying back all of his Red Bull cans this time. and fascinatingly enough. Narayan Murthy ! This conversation was held in the Infosys campus.

We are so glad we didn’t. The visit to Bhaskar’s dairy plant and just hearing him speak of his struggles to setup Creamline dairy was hugely valuable. Prof Kumar gave us the macro economic view of FDI in retail and you gave the operational reasons why the “Kirana” stores are needed. well and truly well. the Brazil tickets gave us a tour of all the airline websites. that you were singing a single song in all the classes. We owe you ideas and our collective mastermind. This term was also about using Ideascale and all of us coming together to think about how to create more value for ISB. the term nearly went by without anyone complaining about the food (I am ignoring the last day’s lunch). The drive was beautiful – classy road. 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. If in the marketing class we saw the video where some folks in China were sleeping in an Ikea store. and we will ensure you scale the heights you choose to. where to target it and how to improve – after we separate simplicity from complexity. you made us realise why the Ikea managers sleep peacefully because their operations strategy is perfectly aligned to their business strategy. 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. ofcourse you are suppliers of your time. perseverance and openness to learning is the bigger lesson for all of us ! Hats off to you Bhaskar.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. We all love Prof Deshmukh. You said in the last class. The gala was muted. there are no substitutes in place. To have created an amazingly successful business in 22 years deserves a standing ovation and Bhaskar’s humility. 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. PGPMAX and ourselves. no reasons to get below 120 kmph ! Another first in this term was seeing a deer on one of my . 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. 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. Prof Kale and Prof Chopra – both of you have raised huge entry barriers with your respective styles of teaching.

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

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

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