Get Your Head Out of the Cloud

Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.

Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.

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At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator. Continue reading…

Winning in Life From Little League

Oh, those glorious days of summer as a child. How we miss them and the activities that played such a big part in our early growth and development. America’s great pastime was a big part of my summer activities growing up, and I learned a lot about baseball and much more about life from my little league experiences.

The 2015 Little League World Series began in mid-July and it always brings back many of those great memories. My last year of little league we won the K.C.K. City Championship in the 15-16 Year Old Division. Winning the championship was the single greatest moment of my life, up to that point, and taught me a lot about what ‘winning in life’ is all about.

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Baseball is a lot like life. It’s day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.” – Ernie Harwell Continue reading…

Let the 2nd Half Begin …

“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown

Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!

 

Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?

Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.

How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle? Continue reading…

Leadership in Difficult Times

“Leadership in difficult times” have unfortunately become the watchwords within our modern society. There is so much negativity that it is becoming increasingly difficult for positive leadership to rise above it.

“We live in a toxic society where religion and faith have been marginalized, marriage and family trivialized and the free market system demonized.” – Dudley Hall

Yes, it is easy to get caught up in the trappings played out by the media and on social networks about what is broken in the world today. Continuous news feeds of escalating violence, police brutality, wars and conflicts, terrorism and just plain bad behavior create an illusion that this is the ‘new normal’ – it’s not.

Make a DifferenceAs someone commented on a recent social media video post of the two women fighting in a Walmart store, “It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away but you just can’t believe what you’re seeing.” Continue reading…

Competition Is Not a Bloodsport

Unlike the early days of the industrial revolution, competition is not a bloodsport in the rapidly evolving, global marketplace of today. Instead, coopetition and collaboration have become the watchwords for this new era of global expansion and commerce.

When AT&T first entered the computer industry in the mid-1980s, it was their clear intent to dominate an industry controlled by IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Unisys, Wang, Data General and others. Although AT&T had been the defacto market leader in telecommunications since its inception, they soon learned that different rules of engagement applied in the computer business.

Fencing Sport

In order to survive and thrive as a new entry into the computer industry, AT&T had to learn to “plug and play” with everyone, including its direct competitors. To meet their over-arching business goals it was no longer about crushing the competition, but more about developing collaborative solutions that addressed the needs of the marketplace, by working together.

You don’t become a market leader in today’s fast-paced global economy by attempting to lord over the competition or your customers. Continue reading…

The Power of 14 Words

“A funny thing happened to me on the way to the boardroom.” – John Carroll

Yeah, that was me some 25+ years ago. I had it all figured out. My career goal was to become an AT&T senior executive and officer before my 50th birthday, and I was on a positive track to get there. After five promotions in eight years, I was thirty-nine years old at the time and feeling really good about the future I had mapped out. Until fate intervened and changed things.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your future plans.”

Because of a reckless act on my part, I had a serious accident that required multiple surgeries, bone grafts, metal plates and screws to put my lower leg and ankle back together again. The damage was so severe the surgical team could not operate for three days until they were able to reduce the swelling and stabilize my leg. After two major reconstructive surgeries, I was on crutches for nine months and had to undergo extensive physical therapy in order to resume normal activities.

To say the accident was a defining moment in my life is a huge understatement. It altered my life forever and caused me to rethink my life’s direction, my goals and ultimately, my ideal of the person I wanted to become.

Power of Words

However, that is not the real story, not the true cathartic moment. My true defining moment happened more than a decade earlier. Continue reading…

Relaunch of the Business Leaders Forum℠

Are You Passionate About Spending More Time Working ON Your Business And Learning Strategies To Help You Achieve The Results To Move Beyond Your Vision?

Growing a business in today’s challenging economic climate can be a daunting task for any business leader. Are you struggling to find the right formula for success to take your business to the next level and beyond? Do you need expert advice to help you …

  1. Develop a “game plan” to improve your sales and profits outlook, launch new products or services, and/or marketing initiatives?
  2. Change your business direction, enter new geographic markets or develop new sales channels?
  3. Get a new business venture started and develop the blueprint that will lead to future prosperity and growth?
  4. Develop new leadership skills and competencies, and discover YOUR personal plan for success?

The Business Leaders Forum mastermind program can help you address these critical business challenges, and achieve the results to move beyond your vision in a balanced way!

I know what you’re thinking … here we go again with yet another hollow sales pitch that makes wild claims but delivers little to no value in return. Well, not this time! The Business Leaders Forum℠ is a proven strategic mastermind program first launched in September, 2009 that has helped numerous entrepreneurs, small business owners and business leaders over the past several years dramatically improve business performance, while helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

NOW, we have incorporated the very best elements of this highly regarded mastermind program into a new, advanced business leaders’ series. Continue reading…

Six Ways to Overcome Resistance to Change

Let’s be honest, we probably require a lot more than six ways to overcome our resistance to change in order to cover the waterfront. Each of us talks about wanting to change the world. However, in reality our greatest challenge lies in changing ourselves.

One of mankind’s greatest contradictions is that the majority of us are seeking changes in our lives, both professionally and personally. Yet, we fiercely resist change when it does occur. The first step to overcome resistance to change is to change our perspective.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Resistance to Change

As the chart above reflects, when faced with the reality of change, we go through a number of stages of resistance, until acceptance occurs. How can we more readily move from stability to acceptance, with less resistance to change? Here are six ways you can overcome resistance to change: Continue reading…

No Secret Potion, Magic Beans or Fairy Dust

There is no secret potion, magic beans or fairy dust required to meet your 2014 goals.

Yes, it is getting close to that time of the year again – the dreaded fourth quarter. A time when many business owners review their financials and breathe a sigh of relief, or go into full-blown panic mode because the results are not there.

So, how is the end-of-year stacking up for your business? Are you feeling good about all you and your team have accomplished so far this year, or are you scrambling for a quick fix to try and salvage the final quarter?

If you are searching for a secret potion, magic beans or fairy dust to supernaturally improve things, then please stop! Review the May 13th and May 28th blog articles I posted titled, It’s Time to “Ante Up”! and Who Wants Customers For Life? You will find some great tips to help improve your top- and bottom-line results.

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Next, if you are truly committed to building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business for the long haul, then invest more time, energy and resources into the following areas: Continue reading…

Life is Like a Jukebox …

JukeboxLife is like a jukebox … let the music play on. And so it goes. Sadly, too often we don’t hear it, or it’s just background noise, because we are so ‘busy being busy’ with our daily routines.

It is not until we are awakened from our sleep walking by one of those life-altering defining moments (i.e. birth, death, illness, marriage, divorce, job change or loss, buying or selling a home, relocating, etc.) that we tune in to life and the world around us. It’s only then that we start to pay attention and hear the music loud and clear. Sound familiar?

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Given what my wife has been through these past 3+ months in battling cancer for the 2nd time, after being cancer-free for the past ten years, I’m not sure I subscribe to this notion any longer. Stuff happens, both good and bad, daily as life’s music plays in the background. And in this fast-paced world today, I’m starting to believe that life is a 50%/50% proposition. Continue reading…