This leadership tool smells but doesn't stink. Try it.
Your best work is ahead of you--if you do this.
The best leadership advice I ever received was practical and yielded results immediately upon application.
From where did I get it?
Well, it didn’t come from a fancy business school. And it didn’t come from a leadership guru.
No, this advice was pummelled, punched and bathed in sweat before it was thrown to me.
What is it? I’ll let you know, without the smell
Lost in translation: convert prospects into customers
You should be getting better and more valued with experience. Who wouldn’t want people banging on their door seeking their advice and ideas. Or people placing orders for what you are offering—and happy to pay the higher prices.
But as well as being more valuable to others, your batteries should be being charged continually too. You have to tick both boxes.
And here’s a simple guideline that I’ve seen deliver these results.
Strategy review looming? Get out your sextant.
If you want someone to do something--your words have to work
To convert prospects into customers or to align your organisation you have to do three things:
- Learn the language of your target audience.
- Use it.
- Check that you’ve used it properly.
Don’t get lost in 'Translation.'
It ain't over 'til it's over
How do you kick off a strategy review?
To test our answer we will visit a manufacturer of navigational equipment in Paris, and sail with US Navy in the sticky, sultry, South China Sea.
Not your fault-but you are to blame
Yesterdays Super Bowl provided further evidence of two things:
1. We can't predict the future
2. We believe we can predict the future.
Forget logic. It's emotion which kicks off action
When everything looks the same and you don’t stand out, you’re going to get hit.
Avoid shaved legs and let your customers love you
George knows that logic stimulates thought, but it's emotion that jump-starts action.
Well he didn't, but he does now.
He is in his mid-50’s and by any measure, especially a tape measure, he is successful.
He displays the fruits of his success around his waistline and gives proof to the saying, travel broadens the behind—especially if you’re doing it in business class.
George resolved to keep success on his bottom line, and not his bottom.
“I have to go to the gym,” he said, “but though I can rise an hour before dawn to visit a customer, the thought of pumping out press-ups at 06:00 leaves me stone cold.”
You see, for all the logic on the benefits of exercise, it didn’t put enough fuel in Georges tank to get him lifting barbells while the sparrows were still sleeping.
What happened next? Listen to Riot Point Radio to find out...
"If you want action, Talk. don't text."
I’m writing this in the studio, and my legs are lovely and smooth.
Well, they’re not really.
They are itchy, and covered in cuts, and you'll ready why in a minute. Plus also a tip on how to avoid the same thing happening to you and your customer—but first a plea.
Make it easy for your customers to love you.
"Live a life filled with fun and purpose." Colonel Donald Pudney
I was admonished via email yesterday for not having posted in blog in recent times.
My repost was simple. I quoted David Ogilvy's office memo to Ogilvy and Mather employees. Recently, doing has eclipsed writing.
Concerned your poor strategic thinking will be exposed? Time to write a book.
If your house lights dimmed unexpectedly this morning, or if your car stalled without apparent reason, don’t worry. It was a one off.
The Universe endured a sudden negative energy spike as a force of nature transferred from one dimension to another.
Colonel Donald Pudney has left the earthly parade ground for the last time.
Get the profits and avoid the perils of digital marketing: an (almost) free workshop
Wool-suited, french-cuffed and tied (at that time), executives can sit cooly for hours in 40C heat but don’t ever extinguish the projector. Nothing brings on a perspiratory flash-flood faster than the prospect of delivering a slide-less presentation.
An executive should be able to communicate her or his strategy in 10 mins or less. They should be able to do so engagingly and with clarity.
Any Executive who cannot do this surrenders their right to admonish sub-ordinates who are similarly fuzzy in their communication of the strategy.
Can’t past the test? Fortunately a remedy is at hand.
Executives have to go where the rubber hits the road
If you're in the Greater Toronto Area on Tuesday 6th December join Rosalina and me at an (almost) free workshop on the strategic aspects of digital marketing.
Done properly, digital marketing can give you very loyal, high quality customers. Loyal, high-quality customers lead to loyal, high-quality gross margins.
But digital marketing abounds with sink holes and pit-falls.
This workshop focuses on getting profits and avoiding perils. It will introduce digital marketing to strategic decision-makers, not tacticians.
O Brother (Steve Jobs) where art thou?
Here’s the take away for Executives.
Despite your best endeavours, you may have 'defeat devices' installed in your organisation. To ensure this is not the case, you have to engage the source data.
What does this mean?
- Even if your Net Promotor Score is a whopping 80%, you, personally, should still verify the data by engaging with customers.
- Even if your employee engagement surveys tell you things couldn’t be better, you still need to confirm this by walking, talking and listening.
new products From the Lab
It’s official. Tim Cook has stepped out of Steve Jobs’ shadow.
Under his watch (no pun intended), the stock price has doubled, market capitalisation has gone from ~ $300bn to $660bn, and contribution of revenues from subscription services has boomed.
Cook filled a big pair of shoes—and now he’s using them to walk to a destination far from Apple’s roots.
But at what price?
Apple is about to lose it's key competitive advantage: making us creators and communicators
Spot talent with just two questions
The Riot Point Research scientists have been incredibly inventive in recent months. We have been trialling and refining a number of new products, and we are now ready to launch the first batch.
What did the Ancient Greeks ever do for us? Quite a lot it seems.
All leaders know the distribution of talented high performers is not Gaussian but fractal. For every one Yehudi Menuhin violin virtuoso there are many, many string scratchers.
So how can you spot potential?
I use two heuristics
- Does s/he get the job done?
- Do the most talented workers in the organisation want to work for her/him?
Opportunities are not like London buses
The Ancients knew a thing or two about Strategy.
The early Greeks viewed life as a voyage in which you would head in a general direction. Constantly navigating between Cosmos and Chaos—Order and Disorder with the realisation that winds from both sides could provide useful momentum. But sailing too close to the craggy shoreline of either extreme would lead to destruction.
Contrast this with the modern, titanic, corporate warriors. Insulated out of necessity (internal meetings, financial reviews, presentations to analysts, fear of bad customer feedback), they delegate strategy to staff who, with finger-crossed confidence, report that every future has been anticipated, every contingency planned. This well engineered business will withstand any iceberg. Nothing left to chance.
Or so they believe. It usually ends in tears—or an unfriendly take-over.
So what can we learn?
At last—A Human's Guide to Leadership™
I was reminded this weekend that opportunities are not like London buses.
You can’t deliberately miss one, confident that another is soon to follow.
When Opportunity knocks, you need to ask yourself one question:
"Does this Opportunity open more doors than it closes?"
7 tips on improving organisational productivity
You have to lead to succeed.
In an increasingly complex world no individual can solve every problem. In response we form teams, organisations, and even nations. Each of these needs successful, not perfect, leaders.
And here is the challenge.
How can we become successful leaders when humans have no manual?
- By working with the grain of human nature, not against it.
- By utilising our collective strengths instead of wasting energy on backfilling our weaknesses.
I was asked by Advantage Magazine to give 7 tips on how to improve productivity in organisations.
All the details can be found on their site here.