How to Get Your Brain Unstuck

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How often have you gotten stuck while looking for a new idea, or seeking the solution to a problem? When I was writing television sketch comedy, I used to have a lot of trouble coming up with endings to my sketches (endings are notoriously difficult). I’d work out a nice premise, develop it comedically, and now needed to wrap it up in a way that was surprising, funny, and quick. And that’s where I’d get stuck. It’s really the same ...

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3 Beatles Songs Every Leader Should Know

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The Beatles recorded over 200 original songs during their career as a band. While virtually all of them are great songs (yes, I’m biased), there are a few whose titles alone could serve as a “mini-MBA” for business leaders. Today we’re going to look at three of them:

The Word (from the Rubber Soul album, 1965): For the Beatles, the word was “love.” Not a bad word to be associated with. But what’s your word (or combination of two ...

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Your Competition Loves Your Excuses

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I have a very good excuse for not going to the gym yesterday: I’m sick. Okay, “sick” might be an overstatement. I have a cold. But it was enough to keep me from going to the gym. It was also enough to keep me from doing much around the office—I mean, who really wants to sit down and work when your head is stuffy and you can’t stop coughing? So I didn’t get an awful lot done yesterday.

And then I ...

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Stop Listening to the Smart People

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There’s no shortage of smart people telling you and me how to run our businesses. There’s no shortage of smart people telling us how to run our finances. There’s no shortage of smart people telling us how to run our lives. All we have to do is turn on the TV, turn on the radio, or start a conversation at the local bar. Smart people with ideas will fall out of the woodwork. So here’s my advice to you:

Stop listening ...

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How to Keep Your Customers Happy

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If your focus is on meeting your customers’ expectations and making them happy, you’ve already lost. In today’s competitive environment, you have to exceed their expectations and make them ecstatic. Hopefully, this doesn’t come as shocking news to you. People much smarter than I have been saying it for several years now. (For the record, people much stupider than I have been saying it also, but do we really want to focus on them?) So we all know that to ...

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A Crucial Trait

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There is one trait that the Beatles had which cemented their allure to the world. True, there were many elements that put the Beatles ahead of the competition; we’ve talked about several of them in previous postings, and we’ll be exploring more in postings to come. But the trait we’re going to talk about today may have been the most important (or at least in the top three). Without it, they still would have written amazing songs that would live ...

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Leadership and Change

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When people who are looking for a professional keynote speaker call me, one of the questions they frequently ask is, “Can you speak about leadership and change?” Well, yes—that’s pretty much what I do (my primary focuses are on leadership, change, goal setting, and team building), using the Beatles as my model.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leadership and change—specifically, how to lead a team through change. Because of the economy and other factors, we’re currently living and working ...

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How to Be Number One

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Yesterday I posed the question “What is it that you can do better than anyone else?” I asked you to take some time to figure out what you can be the best in the world at, just like the Beatles did when they made the decision to focus on their songwriting. I realize that that’s a big question, so let’s see if we can’t make it a little easier by re-phrasing it slightly. Instead of looking at the entire world ...

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What Are You Best At?

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What is it that you can do better than anyone else?

Most of us go through our entire lives without asking, much less answering, that question. And yet the answer to that question could determine our ultimate success or failure.

The Beatles weren’t the best musicians in the world. There were better rhythm guitarists than John Lennon, better lead guitarists than George Harrison, better drummers than Ringo Starr, and even better bass players than Paul McCartney (although admittedly not many). So how ...

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Are You Better Than Nothing?

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Whatever business you’re in, you’re selling something. It may be a product, it may be a service, but you’re selling something. And my guess is that you’ve got competitors who are also selling something—probably something identical or very similar to what you’re offering. It’s your job to convince your customer that you—your product, your service—will be the best solution for their needs. But if that’s all you do, you may very well fail. Because it’s no longer enough to convince ...

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