The Beatles

Back in the Saddle Again

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I haven’t blogged in over a week. Nor have I Tweeted, Facebooked, or LinkedIn. I’ve fallen off my self-imposed schedule. Part of this is for good reason: I’ve been meeting with colleagues face-to-face, in Phoenix, Denver, and Breckenridge. Social media is great, but nothing will ever beat getting together with colleagues over a glass of wine or a couple of beers and talking shop. So that’s the good reason. The bad reason is that I got lazy. I got used ...

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Why This Business Made the Sale

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I guess I’m getting a new roof. I don’t want to get a new roof, but I guess I’m getting one. I mean, I know I’ve needed a new roof. My neighborhood, and therefore my house, is 20 years old, and most of my neighbors have already replaced their roofs. I’ve been holding out because I’d rather spend my money on candy and ice cream. Still, in the past two or three years I’ve received dozens, possibly hundreds, of flyers ...

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How to Create Fiercely Loyal Customers

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A colleague and I were comparing cell phones yesterday. Mine is an iPhone and hers is, well, not an iPhone. I asked her how she liked her phone, and she said, “It’s fine, I guess. No complaints. It gets the job done.” Then she asked me how I liked my iPhone, and I practically yelled out, “I love my iPhone!” If you’re an iPhone user, you know what I mean. iPhone users love their phones, and they’re fiercely loyal. It’s ...

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The UPS Guy Lied to Me

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The UPS guy came to my house today. (This is what we in the business call a “grabber.” Notice how you’re already captivated. “Wow! The UPS guy! Right there at your own house! What happened next?!”) Well, today’s a nice summer day, I had the windows open, and I happened to be playing the piano when the UPS guy arrived. Nothing difficult, of course, because I’m not that good. It was just a nice little version of the Beatles’ Blackbird ...

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Ask the Magic Question

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I have a confession to make: this has been a lazy week for me. Because of a combination of the holiday, travel, and some other nice diversions, I haven’t been as focused on business as I should have been. My guess is that you’ve been there too. Maybe not this week, but at some point you’ve been there. You’ve mentally “checked out,” and just like that, the momentum was lost. It’s like when you stop going to the gym for ...

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Why Team Infighting is a Good Thing

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The audience never saw the fights, but I remember them vividly. As the producer of Seattle’s long-running (15 years!), legendary comedy TV show, Almost Live!, I saw the fights almost every week. They would happen in the editing room, at the writer’s table, in the rehearsal studio. Sometimes they’d be happening downstairs in the Almost Live! offices while the studio audience was being seated in the studio upstairs. They varied from mild to intense—and I loved them! As a leader, ...

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In Defense of Creativity

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I’m currently developing a keynote presentation and supplementary workshop/breakout session on creativity and innovative thinking, and a friend of mine advised me not to include the word creativity in the title because “creativity isn’t a very in concept.” To which I respond: really? REALLY?

He said I might get somewhere with “innovative thinking,” but nobody’s going to buy a program on “creativity.” Now, bear in mind that my friend isn’t an idiot. (Many of my friends are, but not this particular ...

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You Need to Make More Mistakes

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Oscar Peterson was one of the greatest jazz pianists who ever lived. He could find chords on the piano that would just turn your heart inside out, and his blazing speed on the keyboard was legendary. A former piano teacher of his once said, “I don’t think Oscars’ fingers could make a mistake if they had to.” I had the privilege of intervewing Oscar once, and I mentioned this quote from his teacher. He gave me a huge smile and ...

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Are You Stuck on the Red Dot?

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Let’s say you have to go to the shopping mall. (You: “Death would be a preferable alternative.” Me: “Agreed, but stay with me; I’m going somewhere with this.”) And let’s say that, once at the mall, you develop a thirst for an Orange Julius. (You: “Are you serious? Orange Julius? Nobody’s developed a thirst for an Orange Julius since, like, 1978.” Me: “Again, fair point, but we’re almost there.”) Now, you don’t know where the Orange Julius is, so what ...

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3 Lessons from the Beatles on LEADERSHIP

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There are people out there who don’t like the Beatles. No, really, there are. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know if the brain damage is genetic or the result of an injury, but some people just don’t care for the Fab Four. But here’s the thing: Whether you like them or not, you can’t argue with their success, can you? And because of this, it turns out the Beatles can be pretty effective role models for people who ...

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