Faith, Free-Will and Leadership: Our Dilemma?

As business leaders and private citizens, most of us struggle with a dilemma when it comes to faith, free-will and leadership. Proportionally, where should the emphasis be placed with respect to each of these three areas when making life-changing decisions? Do we make these life choices guided by faith, based solely on our own instincts and experiences, or do we seek out the advice and counsel of others. And how much control of the outcome are we willing to give up in the process?

In reality though, the decision-making process is really not that complicated, is it? Far too often we’ve heard people say “it is in God’s hands now” when they are faced with life-altering challenges or major decisions in their lives. I’m not saying that we should not seek God’s guidance and favor through prayer. Quite the opposite. However, are we not denying our own free-will and right to choose by placing the burden for decisions within our control solely upon our Heavenly Father? Continue reading…

Restoring Trust in America’s Leaders

One of the most pressing challenges America faces today is restoring trust in its leadership. Growing up my generation was blessed with iconic leaders in all areas from government and politics, to sports and religion. There were numerous examples of role model leaders including Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Vince Lombardi, John Wooden and many others.

Who are the trusted leaders of today?

A better question might be, Why does leadership matter? We look to those in leadership to set the tone by providing focus and clarity, vision, goals and direction, motivation and to be the catalysts for change. Unfortunately, too many of today’s leaders don’t measure up to our expectations because we tend to hold them to a higher standard than we do ourselves, and this goes to the root of the problem. Continue reading…

Are You Prepared For What Lies Ahead?

The start of a New Year always brings with it a lot of energy and excitement. There are new calendar year business and prosperity plans, New Year’s resolutions, and a renewed level of enthusiasm and anticipation about the prospects for the future.

Generally, the initial wave of excitement about the New Year outlook does not start to die down until the first part of February. Most of the month of January is consumed with after the holidays planning, kick-off meetings and launch activities, the roll out of new staffing and compensation plans, etc. Then reality starts to hit.

At some point, those little voices in your head will start to ask those tough questions. What is really different today from 2011? Are you prepared for what lies ahead? Continue reading…

Charity: Not Just a Tax Deduction

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a networking luncheon where the subject of charitable event participation came up. One of the attendees, the leader of a non-profit organization, asked the question “how can we obtain greater participation and support from large corporations for our charitable activities and events?” My initial response was, don’t start the conversation with “and it is fully tax-deductible”, it sends the wrong message.

Charity is about the giving of your time, talents and gifts to help others – it should not be about a tax write-off. Charitable contributions should be about active participation and involvement in doing the right things the right way to help others in need. Most of what we need to be charitable and care-givers we learned by the time we were four years old. The Golden Rule principles we were all taught early in life still apply today. The most fundamental of those things we learned – “treat people the way you want to be treated” should be at the center of it all. Continue reading…

Social Media – What Is It?

Matt Krautstrunk wrote an article on social media recently titled “Where Is The ROI In Social Media?”. In the article he makes a great point that tracking ROI depends on your goals, and this certainly can apply  to almost anything in business. However, before you can establish clear-cut goals and track the ROI of social media, you first need to define it.

Social Media – what is it? It’s hard to talk about tracking the ROI of social media until you know what “it” is.

To help you define what social media is so it does not end up being “Golden Vaporware” where your business is concerned, start out with some limited trials and experimentation first, before launching any large-scale projects. From the initial trial results, you can make a determination on how to proceed and then develop specific goals and plans, before committing a lot of additional time, resources and budget.

Below are several questions to consider. The answers should help you define social media in the context of your business. Is “it” a (an) … Continue reading…

What Differentiated Value Is Really About

Recently, I had the privilege to moderate a Focus Small Business Roundtable: Strategies to Achieve Business Success. The Focus Expert Roundtable members included Mirna Bard, Jill Konrath and John Spence who all offered their insights on a variety of relevant subjects that I have summarized into a single topic for the purposes of this 5+ minute video.

 

 

 

I sincerely hope that you find this video to be informative and useful in addressing some of the daily challenges you encounter in successfully growing your business or practice. If so, please feel free to share this information with others.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2011 John Carroll

Globalization: Good or Bad for Business?

The debate of whether or not globalization is good or bad for the economy and for business has been raging for years now. It’s time to weigh in with your opinions and thoughts.

Is global trade good or bad for the economy? Is global trade good or bad for your business? The public opinions on this topic vary dramatically, which is why the conversation continues.

A recent poll published by the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor http://bit.ly/gziJLY reflected the views held by 1,200 Americans of our nation’s standing in the global economy, and summarized the answers to the same questions above. The chart depicts how universally divided the responses are on the pros and cons of international trade. Continue reading…

Who Is Responsible for Sales?

If you are a solo entrepreneur the answer to this question is obvious – you are. However, if you’re a business owner or business leader with numerous employees and/or direct reports the answer may not be so straightforward. But it should be.

The short answer is EVERYBODY!!!

Whether you are a small business of one or a large corporation with 100,000+ employees, everybody is directly or indirectly responsible for either driving or supporting sales, regardless of their job title. Unfortunately, far too often this fact gets lost on many companies and employees alike. Continue reading…

8 Tips to Put Fun Back Into Your Workplace

In the business world, we are notorious for putting fun last on our list of priorities and as a result, never getting to it. We’re so busy during the year trying to meet our sales, revenue, expense, quality and customer satisfaction goals that we don’t schedule time to have fun. That needs to change.

Are you having fun yet? If not, here are some things to consider in order to put fun back into your workplace. Continue reading…

Make Time for Conversations

Can we talk?

A few short years ago this would have been a ridiculous question. But today in a world that is dominated by “drive by” communications, it has become much more challenging to have a simple conversation.

When was the last time you sat around the dinner table as a family or with friends and just talked? Talked about nothing in particular, just had a conversation? Are you finding it more difficult to get your telephone calls returned, or to get responses to your emails these days? Or, to get someone to take 5 minutes out of their busy day to speak with you?

In this modern era of voice mail, email, text, chat, IM, tweets, etc. we have relegated conversations to sound bytes, 140 characters, or the 30-second elevator pitch. Continue reading…