The ‘Crack Cocaine’ of Leadership

Ego cartoon 1Crack Cocaine has three distinguishing features:

  • It gives the user a short – lived, intense high
  • It is highly addictive
  • It inevitably leads to the user’s downfall

These exact three characteristics are found when business leaders feed their egos.

Let’s be honest, we all stroke our egos.

  • The anecdote or story we tell about how competently we did something or how wonderful we are
  • Those little extra comments we add to a conversation so that everyone knows that we are all wise and all knowing
  • The statements, pictures, and stories that we share with others that draws attention to ourselves as someone special…and better

As leaders, we get hooked on feeding our egos in order to enjoy the ego-boosting high that comes from thinking that we are great.

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Critical Thinking Skills

critical thinkingI just finished listening to a Great Courses series entitled Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills by Professor Steven Novella.

This excellent course offers insight and reminders invaluable to all business leaders trying to think critically and make excellent decisions in today’s world.

Below I share some ideas from the course.  But, I do encourage you to buy the course, listen to it, and share it amongst your team.  It will be worth your while.

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Make American Manufacturing Great Again

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Manufacturing still remains a vital part of the American economy.  Many factors make America a great place for manufacturing: a large and nearby market, common language, good culture of business ethics, low cost fuel, strong design and engineering talent, robust distribution and logistics, reasonably low cost labor, and the overall trend to speed and faster turn-around time.

As such, manufacturing many products, when done best in class, can be done more cost-effectively in the U.S. than anywhere else.

But, how?  How can we begin to improve our manufacturing plants to be the best that they can be?

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A Complaint is a Gift

A Complaint is a GiftIn their book, A Complaint is a Gift: Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong, authors Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller discuss the inadequacies of customer service and the customer service departments at most companies.

The book begins with a quote from Confucius that sums up the mistake companies make when they do not listen to their customer complaints:

A person who commits a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.

Let’s face facts. Mistakes happen in companies, and people complain.  But, we have to treat their complaints as gifts, listen to them, be responsive and speedily fix the mistakes.  Or else somebody else will be servicing that customer.

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Six Words for Leadership and Business Success

goal setting workshopSuccess

A whole industry has sprung up around helping leaders and businesses get things done, make it happen, and be more successful. It is possible to spend thousands, even millions, of dollars getting advice from these consulting firms, gurus, and experts.

Much of this advice is complex and difficult to understand. While this might help the consulting firm polish its reputation as a thought leader, it does little to help us put the advice into action today, tomorrow, and the day after.

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World Class Selling

World Class Selling Picture

The book, World Class Selling, by Roy Chitwood (founder of the Track Selling sales process) is an effective and insightful sales book. It is well worth reading for both new and experienced salespeople alike.

Below I have summarized the key points from the book to give you a brief overview of the book. But, I do encourage you to pick up a copy, read, and learn.

 

What is selling?

  • Uncovering a problem or discovering a need
  • Offering a way to solve that problem or fill that need
  • Persuading the prospect to buy or act now

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Operations – The Five Daily Fundamentals

Turnkey LocksMost companies still provide a tangible product or service. This means that companies need to have operations employing people to produce the product, deliver the product, or provide the service.

These operations are essential to great customer service and building business success. Without a strong operational capability, product will not be delivered, promises will not be kept, and the customer will not be satisfied.

So, what are the fundamentals that we, as leaders, need to keep front of mind, in order to drive operational success? Continue reading

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