Posts Tagged 'small business success'

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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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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Does Your Vision Pass the “Cool” Test?

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Your vision statement sucks. (And yes, it’s because of statements like this that I have no friends.) But c’mon, let’s be honest. Most vision statements suck. And if most vision statements suck, then, statistically, yours probably does too. That’s because most vision statements look something like this:

We will be the premier provider of value-added, customer-focused solutions in strategically chosen markets.

Okay, first of all, what does that even mean? And second of all—who cares? I mean really, if you were on ...

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3 Things, in the Right Order

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I was just reading the June issue of Mensa Bulletin, the magazine of American Mensa (whose standards are clearly much lower than you’d think), and in it is a feature about the best advice its members have ever received. One in particular, submitted by Bernard Kitt, Ph.D., caught my eye. He writes:

There are only three things to remember:

  1. I will be happy
  2. I will make some money
  3. I will make other people happy

One hundred percent of the people ...

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How to Get “Buy-In” for Your Ideas

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For 15 years, I was the producer of a sketch comedy TV show in Seattle. Each week we would have a “pitch meeting,” where we would sit around a table and read our new material, hoping to get it onto the show. Although the ultimate decision was mine, it was actually a pretty democratic process: if we laughed at something, it had a good chance; if we didn’t, it was out. Some pieces were clear winners or losers, but most ...

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Have You Set the Bar High Enough?

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How good is good? Consider the Beatles’ Let It Be album. It contains three #1 hits: the title track (Let It Be), Get Back, and The Long and Winding Road, along with several other wonderful songs (e.g., Two Of Us, Across the Universe, and I’ve Got a Feeling); the album itself went to #1; it won a Grammy for Best Original Score (since the album was basically the soundtrack to the movie of the same name),; and, if all that ...

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So…What’s YOUR Excuse?

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We all have our favorite excuses for not being where we want to be—in our lives and in our businesses. “I don’t have enough money.” “I live in this little backwater town.” “I don’t know the right people.” “I don’t have the proper education.” “I have a funny accent.” We’ve heard all these excuses, and dozens more just like them. We’ve probably made more than a few of them ourselves. But when you think about it, they’re all variations on ...

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How Much Are Your Blinders Costing You?

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Don’t look now, but you may be going through life with blinders on. Actually, we all are to some extent—some of us more so than others. What do I mean by this? Well, I grew up in Amish country, where horses and buggies are a common sight. Because horses have amazing peripheral vision and are easily distracted, the Amish put blinders on the horses so that they can only see straight ahead. This is a very good thing for a ...

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Don’t Change Your Business; Redefine It

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Last week I was the guest on a radio show—two hours talking about the Beatles, which is heaven for me. One of the things we spent a great deal of time talking about was the Beatles’ incredible growth and evolution from album to album. I mean, in roughly five years these guys went from Please Please Me through Sgt. Pepper and the White album all the way to Abbey Road. That’s a growth curve that’s unprecedented and, so far, unequaled ...

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