Sunday, November 1, 2009

The blog has moved...

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

New, updated look and resources

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You're not a Great Leader, but You Could be

Many people want to be leaders and world changers. Entire libraries of books exist on the subject and people like Zig Ziglar and Stephen Covey have made great livings helping others become effective leaders.

If you want to be a great leader there are many things you could do, but without a doubt, there is one thing you must do to move beyond normal. It stands to reason that if you cannot manage yourself you’ll never be a great leader. To that end I see a lot of people reading books, attending seminars and getting personal coaching to help them become better leaders. However, you must first learn to manage yourself.

Managing yourself is about having priorities and doing the right things. For instance, if you want to lead a team of people in your office you must earn respect from those around you. If projects need to get done on time but you’re constantly arriving late to the office there’s a problem.

It’s also about living a balanced life. If your career track is going well but your family is suffering you’re not managing very well. Other people may not see this happening so you might get promoted, but you probably won’t last long in the position.

If you want a promotion, seek to be a leader. Become a leader by managing yourself and soon people will notice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Ain't IBM

It used to be you could find a job soon after college and work there the rest of your life. After years of faithful service you could cash in on your retirement and receive a nice party and a gold watch on the way out.

But things are changing. Pontiac got the axe, Saturn is being discontinued within the next 12 months and companies like Microsoft, IBM and just about every airline are laying workers off at an astonishing rate.

Here’s the thing ... change is happening right now. You don’t have to like it, but you must learn to accept and deal with it. Change isn’t a recent phenomenon caused by a bad economy.

We can look back 150 years to find very few people working for corporations. Most worked for themselves and provided a product or service that other people needed. Imagine the surprise experienced by some when the assembly line was perfected by Henry Ford. People left their ‘jobs’ in droves to work in factories.

When the cotton gin was perfected by Eli Whitney in 1793 you might have expected many people to suddenly find themselves out of work. Instead, the cotton gin revolutionized an industry and created jobs.

Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb filament in 1880 and I’m guessing many candle makers thought they’d be out of work forever. Today seven out of ten households use candles (even though they have electricity as well) and in the U.S. alone sales topped more than $2 billion last year.

During the first half of the nineteenth century ice harvesting was big business until refrigeration standards were perfected. We still find ice for sale in nearly every grocery store and gas station in America and recent yearly sales have come close to $6 million.

Change is clearly all around us. The challenge is to stop viewing it as a negative event and instead welcoming it as an opportunity for growth.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Are Your Customers Otaku?

It’s easy to find everyday products made for everyday people. Just take a look at everything Proctor and Gamble makes. Luvs® is a diaper made to fit every baby. It’s priced for everyone and marketed to everyone.

FuzziBunz is a diaper that is marketed to a select group of parents and namely moms. They are expensive and you won’t find them in Wal-Mart. After all, they are the “GOLD standard” in cloth diapers.

The Japanese would say the followers of FuzziBunz have the Otaku, which refers to an intense obsession. Do your customers have Otaku? What would it take for them to get it?

When you make everyday products that appeal to mass market you don’t make it very easy to talk about what you do. When’s the last time you heard someone going on about how well their Luvs work?

The trick here isn’t to try and get people to talk about your products and services but instead to create products and services worth talking about from the very beginning.