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

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

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

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

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

explore new planets and leave the world better than when we entered it. . problems? Do we need another photo-sharing application? Do we need another social marketing platform? Do we need another site to let strangers rent our houses? Do we need another dating app that takes the friction out of meeting new people. like I did? What if our kids are like me and can‘t remember 4 of the elements on that table that hung on the wall of my high school s cience class. What if our kids continue to drop out of the sciences. That scares me.] What the fuck is going on here? Or for those in Silicon Valley. And makes me feel so stupid. do we need any of the above? Who knows? But what really scares me are the bigger questions.and dated at least a dozen of them. 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. They‘ll want to create the next Minecraft. And then flip it for a few pairs of Google Glass and free food. mocking me like the impenetrable bastard it is? I bet Elon knows every one of those elements by name .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. 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. [He thinks he should yet refuses to actually call it an ad network as ad networks are out of favor. or even non-existent. Like. or finding someone to have an affair with? Actually. what if we‘r e no longer capable of doing better? What if we don‘t want to do better? My kids won‘t want to create new technologies that help us live better.

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

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

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

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

Loyalty cards add purchase history to the mix. Although online companies can track how users navigate their web sites and understand which ads or searches lead to transactions. . 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. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight. Not every retailer can entertain like Disney. 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. Data is now a feature that can be used for consumers and by consumers. How do you position your business in this hyper-competitive environment? Different from a business plan. as I have argued in the past. Every day consumers give apps access to their friends lists. interactive mannequins. 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.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. Provide some value and consumers will be pleased to provide the data needed. most physical retailers know very little about their customers. a business maphelps you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. their contacts. Others are experimenting with geo-fenced offers delivered via mobile apps. Ask consumers for more data. 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. How can retailers get the data they want without creating a privacy firestorm? Lean in to it. digital signs that detect whether a shopper is male or female and smart scanners that provide relevant coupons. which will likely be obsolete in five years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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making out to be weird — if not scary. Someone recently judged me about learning to meditate. 2013    50. Most people thought he was crazy when he launched SpaceX. You can wear and do whatever you want. I have read Ben Casnocha's excellent posts about his meditation retreat and his follow-up post a few months after. I always want to learn new things. I also notice it when I judge others. the press and strangers predicted Elon's failure. Most people never start their own business not because they cannot or because they do not have a good idea or even lack skills. Friends. Judging is a dream killer. I do not mind being judged as "weird" but I do notice it. If you cannot stop others from judging you. He also sells more than $1 billion in rockets every year to NASA. Why would you ever want to do this" and so many more. So they do nothing. Elon Musk launched two fully electric cars and made them profitable while everybody was telling him he was going to fail. which was not always the case. 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. I am curious.970 . It is because their friends and family judge them and tell them they will fail. That is stupid. 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.353 336 114 inShare1. "This is not what you should do. I have just started to notice it myself and I am trying to fix it by not judging others either. Not even eye contact is allowed between the participants for 10 days. Musk is said to have first thought the SolarCity idea at Burning Man. I am not surprised. nobody judges you there. I thought about this as I meditated today. you can at least become aware of it and protect yourself from it. So many of my friends meditate that I wanted to see what it was like and commit to it fully over a long period of time. Had he listened. for others and for yourself. he would have just stopped pursuing his dreams instead of making them come true. I am trying to protect myself from both judging and being judged so I can see broader and do much more.As I was writing yesterday. It is the most creative place on Earth for a week.

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

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?

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

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

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

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

it doesn‘t always work. which very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse. Ratner resigned in 1992 and the company changed it‘s name to Signet Group. People say. it‘s by homing pigeon! 7. as long as it‘s appropriate and just the right amount to suit. "How can you sell this for such a low price?". But be warned. 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. 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. the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million.95. Leave Them Laughing: 4 Things To Remember in your Presentations May 20. 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. I say." After the speech. "because it's total crap.com could be a more inviting alternative.orchiefhelper@xxxx. all for £4.518 . 2013    18. CD Baby also have another way to get a message to them listed on their contact us page. 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.881 314 88 inShare1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013    10. letting you know of the problem as soon as he finds out and trying to minimize the consequences for you. that your counterpart receives it with grace. The promise came from him. he‘s obligated by his own word to honor it. 5 Keys to Great Storytelling: Lessons from Barbara Corcoran June 03. it should resolve them. the relationship.he didn‘t need to call because he had a good reason to skip the meeting. rather. of course. you give him an opportunity to correct matters and reestablish trust. then you must proceed to the next level.831 109 30 inShare611 . and his integrity. When you confront him with grace. A person who breaks a commitment affects the task. Provided. a productive confrontation shouldn‘t create conflicts. therefore. 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 might confront him about the meaning of his commitments. 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.

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

The Secret to Putting Together an Insanely Successful Team May 28. But to those people who embrace it all.517 1.293 . it allows you to sell at greater scale and efficiency than ever before.networks and technologies and tools that may overwhelm some people. 2013    222.612 493 inShare7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 percent. and that the unemployment rate will remain unchanged at a four-year low of 7. Helping to boost the numbers could be a resumption of larger growth for the construction sector. As economic conditions improve. 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. bond market futures are pricing in a Fed rate increase in late 2014. the government will release a monthly jobs report on Friday. Still.121 139 39 inShare519 . as aging baby boomers retire. but many are now predicting that 2014 could be the year that growth returns to the post-World War II average of 3 to 3. The plunge in the participation rate to late 1970‘s levels has mostly been driven by demographics. The pullback in government spending at the local. 2013    9. the timing and magnitude of the action is in question. due to sequestration spending cuts. 5 Career Lessons I Learned in the Amazon June 05.5 percent and the second quarter is likely to remain muted. Such action would lead to higher bond yields and lower bond prices and could potentially jar the equities markets as well. but it remains up more than 25 percent this year. QE to end: As signs of recovery continue. 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-2015.4 percent from 2. US growth: The government revised down its original estimate for Q1 growth to 2.000 in May. While there is no doubt that QE will end. Right now. Jobs report (once again) is key: Here we go again…just as investors come off an anxiety-inducing week.5 percent. concerns are mounting that the Federal Reserve will have to taper its bond-buying program (―Quantitative Easing‖ or ―QE‖).5 percent. The central bank has said that it would maintain its low interest rate policies at least until the unemployment rate drops to 6. 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.fallen 17 percent from its May 22nd peak and saw its first monthly decline in the past 10. It is expected that non-farm payroll employment will increase by a 165.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking Organizational Walls June 07. Get comparisons of performance to the person’s peers. published whitepapers. and if the wake is big enough. Stop box checking skills and experience as the first step in your interview process. you need to put great people on the bus if you want to build a great company. you can rest assured there‘s an achiever out in front. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great. patents. promotions. determine if it occurred at different companies and with different managers.    regardless of their years of experience. you then need to let them drive. Rather than use affability to assess team skills. Then find out how they learned what was needed to be learned. Achievers do more with less. During the interview ask the person to describe their biggest accomplishments with the least amount of skills and experience. Achievers receive lots of recognition. look for the Achiever Pattern instead. Of course. broader crossfunctional involvement. Compare the person‘s specific performance to others in the group by asking about rankings. If this has increased significantly to include expanded functional responsibility. Assigned to important teams and early exposure to executives. and see if the work is expanding in scope and challenge. and what the person did differently to get to the top of pack. coaching roles and fellowships. track the growth of the teams the person has been assigned to over the past few years. This can take a variety of forms like bigger raises. They learn new skills quickly. standings. you can be assured the person is an achiever with strong team skills. 2013    13.511 164 61 inShare749 . Achievers leave lots of evidence in their wakes. You‘ll quickly discover why you want to hire more achievers. awards won. and how they applied this knowledge. Look for this pattern. or a great team. Ask about any type of recognition received and how and why. and more exposure to senior management inside and outside the company. differences between the top and average. commendations. even if they don‘t have a lot of experience. presentations at industry conferences. special bonuses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Ways to Avoid Decision Quicksand April 29.079 407 195 inShare2.045 We often get sucked into trivial decisions. Here are 3 ways to avoid this painful phenomenon. 2013    122. Have you ever agonized over which restaurant entrée to order? Which shade of white to paint the kitchen? Which flight to purchase? .

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

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

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

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

Many will stay. and Chris Yeh's article in HBR on Tours of Duty. In the karmic world of business. A Learning Culture is Magnetic At the end of the day. This aligns well with Reid Hoffman. 2013    14. Our general training workshops have evolved into deep-dive workshops in critical specialties like community management 3. right? The danger is that we become the university for the industry. Sounds good. Ben Casnocha. By training.030 82 24 inShare592 . training our experts from within is worth it. our e-learning platform. and more. we are essentially accelerating their development. that‘s all good.Accelerator. How the Matrix Changes Leadership Focus June 03. hungry to learn more and thrilled to be called on to train the next generation. We need to take extra care to recognize them and align compensation and growth plans. the Principles of Social Design. social planning. Certainly some of our bright stars will move on to another adventure. to scale the training across our worldwide teams. It takes coordinated action within a company to track the growth of internal talent and align their compensation and rewards with their abilities and accomplishments.0.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who do you look for first? You. He made you feel like he was singing directly to you. There is something inside us. that makes us think about ourselves but not selfishly so. Am I right? Dale Carnegie encourages us to talk about the other persons interests. James Blunt sang ―You‘re Beautiful‖ which sent many women swooning (me included!). call it human nature. Try it if you don‘t believe me. you wanted to be the person he was singing to and so you saw yourself. its really hard not to seek yourself out first. We are not being selfish when we do this. call it hog wash. it registers. even though we know nothing about them simply because they encouraged us to talk about ourselves. the way we are wired maybe.896 184 61 inShare1. we think the person we have been talking to is interesting.Take the true story about a CEO whose company had some pretty tough staffing issues. to get them talking about themselves rather than us talking about ourselves. Everything You Think About Business Leadership Is Changing June 19.004 . Take a group photograph with you included in it. He took himself and the majority of his team through a behavioral profiling process and found that each one of the team was an identical profile type to his own. and you only. Call it an interest. If we spent 10 minutes talking to a stranger having answered only questions about ourselves. 2013    14. but somewhere in our subconscious. but its there. I don‘t know I can‘ t explain it. and because we see ourselves we go ahead and employ. he had employed 20 people that were all like him! Can you imagine how their business was running internally. 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.

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

How you spend your time also sends a strong signal to your team about what you view as important. 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. 2013    2. 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.Thus. and allowed them to make those products great. but the one resource you can never create more of is time.one who specializes in communication. what wasn‘t working. He shared that he was very proud of all the products that Apple hadn‘t built. Steve Jobs was once asked what his favorite product was. the prototypical leader of the future will shift from the steely-eyed command-and-control type to one who is more open to feedback…. this does make me more optimistic about the progress of women in business and the value we place on their leadership qualities. By taking several months to engage them instead in a discussion of what they observed from clients. there are typically three sets of resources in your toolbox: time. There are often creative ways to find more people and dollars. but instead as partners… whose buyin to a course of action will be the key component of their success. and had their buy-in on strategic moves. 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. The first step in good time management is picking your priorities and sticking to them. 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. where we were spinning our wheels – and what our business strategy should be – we saved an enormous amount of time and resources. I gained a first-hand preview of this when I led Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch. people and dollars. Combine the scarcity and importance of this resource. yes. . because those decisions made it possible to focus on the ones they did build. what was working. The same is true for all of us.964 81 11 inShare363 As a leader. it can certainly help companies of all sizes understand what consumers value. And. Thus. Managing Your Most Precious Resource: Time June 19. collaboration and co ordination. and you quickly realize how vital it is for leaders to be deliberate about how they spend their time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Become good at presenting yourself. This includes a thank you note and semi-regular contact. so be persistent. nor would I ignore their requests to contact me. in parallel you need to engage with more people you don‘t know.) 6. Side note: it‘s better to have a list of possible connections to ask about ahead of time. 7. Right now I‘m looking at a number of very strong people on one of my alumni groups who stand out as major contributors. Have them highlight what stands out. sales reps. but you‘ll know it‘s a result of your hard work. 4. see some of the great ideas in the comments below and join this group for even more. Expand these new contacts using all of the appropriate steps in Phase 1. 6. Expand your network. For example. I can now contact them directly through LinkedIn Join and participate in groups of interest. Put your feet on the street. You‘ll ask about these people during the meeting. Seek advice from others. Phase 2: Build a Network from Scratch Prepare a network target list. 5. Conduct network research. Prove you’re reliable. like sending an article of interest. 1. During this meeting have the person look at your resume or LinkedIn profile for just 20 seconds. For example. One way: describe the biggest goal you have ever had that you have already accomplished and how you did it. at least 50-75 people. Use LinkedIn and join groups in your area of specialty and contribute. but sometimes the obvious isn‘t to everyone. Note: this is the hardest part of this process. Every function has national organizations and each of these have local chapters you can join. Implement Phase 1 and Phase 2 in parallel until you’ve landed another job. Use LinkedIn to find nodes who work in industries and companies of interest. You‘ll need to iterate this process 4-5 times with every connection in order to get enough coverage in any given job market. 3. Have the person ask you The Most Important Interview Question of All Time and then take their advice on how to improve your presentation. 3. The referrer will consider it a coincidence. rather than asking if the person knows someone who might know someone who is hiring (but do this. While Phase I is an important aspect of building a network. connect and repeat steps 2-6. I just found 20 people who are well-connected product marketing people who are members of the same groups I‘ve joined. too!). 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. active participant and leader in organizations of interest. you really are a networking rookie. Of course. 8. if I had to mention this. Discuss their reaction and modify your resume so your best stuff grabs their attention. disciplined and worth recommending to others. Pretty soon you‘ll begin hearing about some jobs of interest. . 5. product managers. 4. Personally meet with these people. Once you get the recommendation to the new person. (A node is someone who works with lots of different people like project managers. A resume needs to excite the reader enough to want to read it in-depth. and VPs. but don’t be a pest. If I was still recruiting I wouldn‘t hesitate to reach out to these people. 2.2. Be a joiner. 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. Here are a few ideas on how to get started. Force the connection. Nurture the network.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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