Communication

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 About to Lose One of Your Best Employees?

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I’m angry at Janie’s boss.

I don’t know Janie’s boss. I’ve never met Janie’s boss. But I do know Janie. Janie is one of the most diligent, hard-working, eager-to-learn people I’ve ever met. But because Janie’s boss doesn’t understand one of the basic rules of leadership, Janie is being made to feel like a failure in her job, and is thinking about leaving. So what’s the rule that Janie’s boss doesn’t understand? It’s this:

It’s a leader’s job to create an environment ...

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Great Teams Focus on the Mission, Not the Squabbles

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This weekend I was lucky enough to have VIP seats to see a performance by the U.S. Navy’s precision flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. They are, by any standard, an incredible team. They fly 18 inches apart at 400 miles per hour, while simultaneously doing coordinated turns and maneuvers — all of this in a plane that costs $56 million. And if you don’t think that’s a big deal, think about how mad you were when you got that ...

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What Are You Reading?

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Quick quiz: What do all of the following people have in common?

  • Bill Gates
  • Warren Buffett
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Elon Musk
  • Mark Cuban
  • Oprah Winfrey

Here are some possible answers:

  • They’re all financially set for life, as long as they die before their 25,732nd birthday (although Bill Gates could probably make it another 250,000 years if he budgeted).
  • They’re all wicked smart.
  • They all like coffee ice cream. [Full disclosure: I don’t know if this last one is correct. And anyway, I said these were possible answers, not necessarily accurate]

But here’s ...

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The Question You Need to Start Your Day With

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Does this scene sound familiar?

It’s the end of the day, and you’re sitting at your desk. As you shuffle some papers around for the hundredth time, you think to yourself, “Well, I got pretty much nothing done today. Eight hours of wasted time that I’ll never get back.”

You’ve had days like this, right? I know I have. And honestly, they feel pretty crappy. Or rather, I feel pretty crappy when I have a day like that. But mostly I feel ...

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Learning Leadership from a Bad Boss

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Most of us have experienced bad bosses at some time in our lives. Maybe you’ve had one in the past; maybe you have one now. Maybe you were one in the past; maybe you are one now. So, for most of us, the question isn’t if we’ll run into one of these disagreeable creatures, but when.

But there’s a better question regarding bad bosses, and it’s this:

What can you learn from them?

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How Simple Is Your Vision? Great! Now Make It Simpler!

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The leader is frustrated. “I don’t know why I’m having such trouble getting the team to buy-in to the company vision! It couldn’t be simpler!”

Then he shows me the company vision. It’s five paragraphs long. It contains sentences like, “To enhance the long-term value of the investment dollars entrusted to us by our shareholders,” and “To consistently strive to improve efficiency and productivity through learning, sharing, and implementing best practices.” It reeks of having been written by a committee—a committee ...

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