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What’s Going to Move Your Needle?

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Options, options, too many options!

Don’t you feel like that sometimes?

·      Which of these hundred mayonnaises should I buy?

·      Which of these hundred TV series should I Netflix?

·      Which of these hundred Kardashians should I ignore?

For those of us fortunate enough to live in the developed world, we’re faced with a mind-boggling number of options every day. But, for the moment, let’s leave mayonnaise, Netflix, and the Kardashians out of it.

Let’s just focus on business.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, a ...

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How Are You Filling Your Idea Pipeline?

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I’ve just been reading a terrific new book called High-Profit Prospecting by my friend and colleague Mark Hunter. Mark is a consummate sales professional, and his book is about how to keep your sales pipeline full so that you never run out of valuable prospects.

I’m not a sales professional, but I am an idea professional. And, just like I think it’s vital for people in the sales business to keep their sales pipelines full, I think it’s ...

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What Does it REALLY Mean to Be a Producer?

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“So, what does a producer really do?”

During my 15 years as the Executive Producer of Seattle’s hit comedy TV show Almost Live!, I was asked that question a lot. Many times by members of my own staff.

“What does a producer really do?”

I used to answer that question from a very specific, TV-centric focus. Made sense, right? I mean, I was a TV producer, after all.

But after working with thousands of leaders in hundreds of industries, I’ve realized that what I ...

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The Benefits of Informal Get-Togethers

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I just spent a delightful morning with a colleague of mine (Ron, another speaker) who was in from out of town and gave me a call. And yes, I realize I just used the word “delightful,” when the more manly, chainsaw, Hemi word would be something like “awesome,” “radical,” or “killer,” but dammit, it was delightful.

Anyway, as I was leaving this killer get-together, I found myself wondering, “Why don’t I do this more often?” Granted, in this case ...

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Are You Killing the Creativity in Your Business?

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“Creativity” is one of those things (like its close cousin “risk-taking”) that nearly all leaders love to hail, praise, and rhapsodize over. So why is actual creativity in the workplace so rare?

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It’s because hailing, praising, and rhapsodizing are free and have no consequences. (Although, actually, they do; more on that later.) It’s kind of like hailing, praising, and rhapsodizing ...

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Are You Setting Your Future Leaders Up For Failure?

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You’ve got a star performer in your organization. Let’s call her Amanda. Amanda is brilliant at her job. She’s so good, in fact, that you begin to think, “Amanda is fantastic! Imagine how valuable she’d be in management! Why I’ll bet she could turn her entire department around!”

So you promote Amanda to a leadership position. And you wait. And, slowly but surely, you watch as Amanda and her department start to die. (Figuratively speaking, of course. This isn’t that kind ...

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How Would You Respond to This Challenge?

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It’s officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Typically, spring is a season associated with rebirth and renewal. It’s a chance to look at the world through fresh eyes. So today, let’s use spring as an opportunity to look at your business through fresh eyes.

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Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to look at things that we’re close to (like our business) through ...

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Are You a Brilliant Original, or Merely a Copy?

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Let’s start with a 2-part quiz:

Question 1 — Which would you pay more for: an original Van Gogh, or a copy (even a very good copy) done by a third-year art student?

Question 2 — Switching now to your own business: are you an original, or a copy (even a very good copy) of what somebody else did first?

Question 3 (okay, so it’s a 3-part quiz) — Regarding Question 2: Which would you rather be?

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How Diversity Can Drive Your Team’s Innovation

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Most teams that I work with claim that they would like to be more innovative. And all of them would like to see better bottom line results, such as growth in market share, and better client communication and loyalty.

So how can you get these results with your team? One word: diversity.

When I was producing my sketch comedy TV show, I took some heat because the show was perceived as being too white and too male. And you know what? That ...

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5 Not-So-Obvious Mistakes People Make When Setting Goals

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“In the Spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

So says Tennyson.

“In December a young (and not-so-young) leader’s fancy somewhat more heavily turns to thoughts of goals for the following year.”

So says Stainton. Although not as poetically. But in order to give yourself the best chance of achieving those goals, you need to make sure you don’t make any of these 5 mistakes.

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