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Everyone Is a Salesperson

Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, is one of the reasons I never considered a career in sales. The image of the burned out main character, Willy Loman, wearily stumbling through a door carrying an enormous suitcase in each hand was enough to convince me that sales was often brutal and thankless work. But Dan Pink, in his book To Sell Is Human, makes a compelling case that we are all already in sales. He explains, “When I sat down to ... Read more

What’s In It for Me?

“You’re always asking, ‘What’s in it for me.’” That’s what one of my friends told me when I was 17 years old. I was stunned. It was painful to hear, but to this day I am thankful for those frank and wise words. (more…) Read more

You are More than a Machine

Could you craft an incentive structure for your employees that was so perfect you would never need to lead or manage them again? Some experts would have us believe that it is possible. They claim that a system of monetary incentives and disincentives can motivate and guide the decision-making process of an entire team, thus making leadership and management unnecessary. A successful organization, in this theory, is just a matter of choosing the right “carrots” and “sticks.” Apart from being depressing, this theory overlooks something ... Read more

Getting Compensation Right

There is no such thing as the perfect employee compensation package, but by keeping a few principles in mind you can get closer to the mark. Compensation should reflect the current value that an employee adds to the organization and also incentivize them to perform to the best of their abilities in the future. (more…) Read more

Checking Out on Your Competitors

The word “competitor” tends to either make a leader’s stomach turn or his blood pressure spike. Competitors, we often think, are mortal enemies to be vigilantly monitored, outwitted, stomped, crushed, and eliminated. Unless total victory is accomplished, the borders will not be safe. This mentality, however, is simplistic and wrong. The leader who thinks of competition in this way is using a mindset better suited for medieval times than the dynamic and complex world of today. In today’s world the more time you ... Read more

Fighting Entropy

Entropy is the tendency for systems to move from order to disorder. We can see it all around us. Given enough time cars rust, sidewalks crumble, and bridges fall. Imagine an organized deck of cards. If you throw the deck into the air, it will come fluttering back down and land in a random scattering on the floor. It takes much more energy (classifying, ordering, and stacking) for the cards to land stacked in the correct order than it does for them ... Read more

Leadership Biases and Blind Spots

Soon Steve Ballmer will cease to be the CEO of Microsoft. Under his decade of leadership Microsoft went nowhere and even lost a significant amount of its market value. Meanwhile, its competitors Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon experienced rapid growth. Microsoft failed to anticipate and capitalize on consumer trends such as mobile computing, portable music, tablets, and search engines. Most of the blame for Microsoft’s lethargy has rightly been laid at the feet of Steve Ballmer. While he did grow the revenue of ... Read more

Build Teams that Stick – Here’s Why

Losing an employee because they were unhappy, frustrated, or angry should never be taken lightly. If it happens frequently, you probably haven’t built a “sticky” enough organization. This week’s post will show you why the concept is important and next week we will talk about how to get it done. Here’s why you need to focus on building teams that stick: (more…) Read more

Leadership Coaching for Small Business Owners

For small business owners, many of whom are focused on meeting daily production goals or making next week’s payroll, the concept of hiring a professional coach to help them grow as a leader sounds like a luxury. While multinationals and huge corporations can easily allocate a part of their budgets to executive coaches, training seminars, and organizational development, the small business owner really feels every dollar that goes out the door. Developing leadership skills isn’t cheap or quick. So is it really ... Read more
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