Communication

5 Ways to Get a Creative Idea

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Are you stuck in a creative rut? Do you need an idea—now—but nothing’s coming? Don’t worry, your creativity is still there. Your brain is just taking a little “creativity catnap.” Here are a few ways to wake it up again and get those creative juices flowing.

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1. Read an article. [You: “About what?” Me: “About anything!” You: “Huh?” Me: “Stay ...

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Are You Playing to Your Strengths Every Day?

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Yesterday I was the closing keynoter for a conference of credit union leaders. One of the speakers who was on before me mentioned what was, to me, a startling statistic. He said that the average credit union CEO spends roughly 60% of his or her day just dealing with regulatory red tape. For the record (in case you’re not a credit union professional), this is not the best or most productive use of the CEO’s time. Which begs the question:

Are ...

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Why Leaders Need to be More Like Shakespeare

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Leaders should be intelligent, right? I mean, it doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s kind of the ideal. We want our leaders—community, corporate, political—to be intelligent.

But what kind of intelligent?

There are some leaders who know everything there is to know about their industry. Other leaders have read dozens—maybe even hundreds—of books about leadership. Some leaders are particularly strong in emotional intelligencwilliam-shakespeare-62936_1280 Continue Reading →

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Is This the Key to an Interesting Life?

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“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”

~ Samuel Johnson

If there were a “magic bullet” trait for living an interesting (and interested) life, I would have to echo Dr. Johnson’s sentiments and go with curiosity.

I’ve found that the most intelligent, the most interesting, and the most creative people that I know tend to also be the most curious.

[You: “Curious about what?”]

[Me: “Good! You’re curious about that! Way to go!”]

Curious about, well, everything. These people have ...

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A “Basic” Trick to Boost Your Team’s Creativity

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Imagine this: There’s a crisis looming in your business.

[You: “Why do you have to be so negative, Bill?”]

 [Me: “Fair point. Let’s reset.”]

Imagine this: There’s an opportunity looming in your business. [You: “Thank you.”] And now you need your team to come up with creative ideas to best take advantage of this great opportunity. You want them to “think outside of the box.” You want them to “go wild!” You tell them, “Let your imaginations flow!” You expect magic.

And instead, you ...

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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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Why Should Your Team Follow You?

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In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek contends that the foundational, underlying question you must answer in order for your business to thrive is “Why?” Why are you in business? Why are you called to this business? Why, why, why? Sinek claims that the answer to this question will unlock the intangible appeal that draws customers to your door (or website).

I’m not as sold as Sinek is that your customers are all that interested in why you do what ...

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Why Your Team Isn’t Buying What You’re Selling

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Do you ever wonder why your team isn’t as excited about that bold, new project as you are? Have you ever been disappointed when your motivating pep talk (the one you practiced for hours) falls on deaf ears? It may be that you’re trying to sell them on features and benefits about which they care not a whit.

Startup Stock Photos

Yesterday my ...

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How to Produce a #1-Rated TV Show

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It would be good to be Shonda Rhimes, wouldn’t it? She’s the creator and producer of not one, not two, but three hit TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Along the way she’s made the careers of numerous actors, entertained millions of viewers, and, by the way, amassed a net worth of some $60 million. Not too bad! So how can you achieve results like this in your world, and with your people?

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Are You Speaking Your Customer’s Language?

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Here’s a quick quiz for you. If you want to have a great conversation with someone who speaks only Italian, and you speak both English and Italian, which language are you going to choose? If you said “Italian,” congratulations! You understand how communication works! Why then is it so often a different story when we want to have a great conversation with our customers?

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