Author Archives: David Shedd

About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.

The Whys of Business

Internet entrepreneur, Simon Sinek, has a popular TED talk on asking why.  His primary advice in building a successful company is that: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Unfortunately, while I admire Mr. Sinek, … Continue reading

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Diversity, Inclusion and Respect

Today’s workplaces are more diverse than ever with more work being done in teams.  To ensure that everyone is working together well, companies need to be inclusive and embrace diversity and individual differences. The core element behind a diverse and … Continue reading

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Optimize the Overall Business

As business leaders, we strive to have each of our areas improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Operations, Project Management, Customer Service – each of these parts of the business needs to be as effective as possible.  Likewise, … Continue reading

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Think Twice and Do Once

Every Do-It-Yourselfer knows the carpenter’s advice: Measure twice cut once.  In successful businesses, a similar recommendation holds true: Think twice and do once. To so many of us, immediate action appears to be essential: We are just doing it! We … Continue reading

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking

The ability to speak well in public – whether giving a sales pitch to a customer, presenting at a Board Meeting, or speaking to a large group of employees – is an essential leadership skill. Public speaking is fundamental for … Continue reading

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10 Ideas for Improved Organization and Effectiveness

Pre-planning “For every 10 minutes of pre-planning you do, we get four to five hours of productivity improvements.” On a weekly basis, schedule the most important tasks and activities first and build our week around them “The best day begins … Continue reading

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Communicate Upward

As managers, we need to encourage each of our employees to keep us informed about what is really going on in our companies, both the good and the bad.  We need to be kept in the loop about the larger … Continue reading

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Write It Down

I have previously written about the fundamentals of communication: The Three Keys of Communication. The focus of that blog was about how we can better communicate with our teams and others by: Keeping the message simple Repeating repeating repeating the … Continue reading

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Continuous Improvement and Lean

Driving continuous improvement throughout our organizations is fundamental to short and long-term business success. Continuous improvement requires daily improvement in everything that we (and our teams) do…even when we are too busy! Are we better today than we were yesterday? … Continue reading

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Remind…Don’t Teach

A fundamental task of a leader is to train and develop his or her team. This often involves coaching and teaching the team on the strategic, operational and leadership skills that are required for them to reach the next level. … Continue reading

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8 Ways To Be As Smart As We Can Be

To do our best in business, we need to be as smart as we can be. Alas, I do not have any tremendous insight or magic elixir to make myself or anyone else be smarter.  Sorry. What I do have … Continue reading

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The Five Whys of Follow-Up

When General Dwight D. Eisenhower was first elected President in 1952, then President Harry S. Truman remarked: He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, Do this! Do that! And nothing will happen.  Poor Ike [nickname for Eisenhower].  It won’t be a … Continue reading

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10 Ways to Really (and Truly) Be Organized

With all the meetings, E-Mails, objectives and communications in a typical company, staying organized is a never-ending task. Yet, there are a few fundamentals to follow to ensure that you stay organized and focused on the most important tasks each … Continue reading

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Never Split the Difference – Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Following up on my blog from August 2017, Negotiation – An Overview, I summarize the excellent book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, from former FBI negotiator, Chris Voss. I highly recommend that you read … Continue reading

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2 Second Lean: How to Make Your People and Your Business Better Every Day

I summarize some of the key concepts from the excellent book: 2 Second Lean: How to Grow People and Build a Fun Lean Culture. Written by Paul Akers, 2 Second Lean is a quick and easy ready that will help … Continue reading

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Negotiation – An Overview

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The 5 Fundamentals of an Innovative Company

The world and the customer are changing rapidly.   To keep up with these changes and to truly differentiate themselves in the marketplace, companies need to innovate. Yet, too many companies still rely on small updates, upgrades, or makeovers of their … Continue reading

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Getting It Done: Achieving Twice as Much in Half the Time

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5 Steps to Creating a Unique Strategic Vision

Today, companies struggle to consistently increase sales and profits faster than the overall market. In too many cases, these companies lack a unique strategic vision that would differentiate the company and its products and services from the competition. Instead, their … Continue reading

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Three ‘Cheats’ of the Ethical Leader

An ethical leader is someone dedicated to always doing the right thing for the employees, the business, and all stakeholders.  Alas, this ideal for the selfless and driven leader clashes with the reality of who most of us really are. … Continue reading

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