Sales

Why The Best Leaders Are Out Of Control

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I recently read an interview with Marija Ringwelsky, the co-founder and COO of Remedy, a company that helps protect people from medical overcharges and billing errors. In it, Ms. Ringwelsky said:

“While I thought leadership was about influence and control, starting Remedy has taught me that leadership is quite the opposite—it’s about finding great people who share common values and a shared sense of purpose and counter-intuitively relinquishing control. If you’ve done your job right, the people on your ...

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How To Be Better Than Saturday Night Live

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“You guys are better than Saturday Night Live!”

I used to hear that all the time. I still do, although now “are” has changed to “were.”

For 15 years, I was the Executive Producer of a sketch comedy TV show in Seattle called Almost Live!. We were on the NBC affiliate, KING-TV, and for our final 10 years, we aired at 11:30 on Saturday night (we pushed SNL back a half-hour; they aired from midnight to 1:30 am in the Seattle market). ...

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Stop Treating Creativity as an Option

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Turning creativity into money.

That’s how I sometimes described my job as the Executive Producer of a hit comedy TV show in Seattle.

Turning creativity into money.

See, our job, week after week, was to be creative—on demand. BUT, that creativity had to lead to profit. If what we created—jokes, comedy sketches, parodies—didn’t draw an audience that advertisers would pay to reach, our creativity would have gone nowhere (and our careers would have quickly followed). But we did draw that audience, ...

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Profitable Creativity May Be Closer Than You Think!

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Would you like to find a creative solution to your current challenge du jour? It may be as close as the morning newspaper. (Note to younger readers: the “morning newspaper” used to be an actual thing. It was truly a marvelous invention. It appeared magically on your doorstep, required no scrolling, and never needed to be recharged.)

old-newspaper-350376_1920

I was ...

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A Tale of Two Restaurants…and You

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Today we’re going to talk about two fast-food restaurant chains. They both serve similar products, but one makes way more money than the other. Let’s see if you can guess which one is the big winner:

Restaurant Chain #1:

[unordered_list style=”tick”]
  • Virtually synonymous with its product
  • Thousands and thousands of locations throughout the entire country
  • Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year
[/unordered_list]

Restaurant Chain #2:[unordered_list style=”red-x”]

  • Virtually unknown in half the country
  • Fewer than half the number of restaurants as Restaurant Chain #1
  • Every location closed nearly ...
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Is Your Business Impossible to Ignore?

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When the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show some 50 years ago, none of us could have predicted the unprecedented heights they would subsequently scale. Yet they still electrified the nation. What was it about them that was so captivating–and, more important, how can we apply these lessons to our own businesses?

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What Can You Learn from “Shark Tank”?

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motivational speaker Bill StaintonHave you ever watched the TV show Shark Tank? Or, if TV’s not your thing, maybe you’ve read the spin-off book: Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business: How to Launch and Grow a Business from Concept to Cash.

Basically, it’s a show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas for new ...

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Stop Aiming and Fire the Arrow!

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Motivational Speaker Bill Stainton

Lorne Michaels—the creator and producer of Saturday Night Live—and I have several things in common:

  • We’ve both produced a multiple Emmy Award winning sketch comedy TV show.
  • We’ve both spawned national talent (in my case, Joel McHale and Bill Nye the Science Guy; in Lorne’s case, everybody else that you’ve ever heard of).
  • We’re both multi-gazillionaires (measured, in Lorne’s case, in U.S. dollars; and ...
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Wanna Buy a Fake Egg? Neither Do Your Customers!

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I’m a geek.

How much of a geek? I am a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM). Need I say more? IBM has a monthly magazine called The Linking Ring, and there’s a regular column that reviews magic tricks, books, and apparatus. In the most recent issue there is a product review that ends with this sentence:

[quote style=”boxed”]So if you are looking for a fake egg that compresses into a relatively small space and pops back into its ... Continue Reading →
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