Category Archives: Business Acumen

Avoid Fair Fights (But Fight Fair)

Whether we are competing in our core business, starting a new business venture, or looking to win a new, large job or project, we need to focus our energies on areas where we have a competitive advantage. We need to … Continue reading

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Flexibility

“Predictions are difficult – especially about the future.” This quote from Yogi Berra sums up the challenges we all face in today’s dynamic and fast-changing world. None of us has a crystal ball that allows us to predict the future … Continue reading

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Be Opportunistic

“There are smart decisions and wise decisions. And one form of wisdom is the ability to judge when to let luck disrupt our plans. Not all time in life is equal. The question is, when the unequal moment comes, do … Continue reading

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11 Keys to Better Decision-Making

Successful leaders make good decisions… consistently. Good decision-making is dependent on a number of factors: understanding, experience, intelligence, foresight, and just plain luck.  There is no guide that will tell you how to make the perfect decision.  But, there are … Continue reading

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Three Ways to Develop Strategic Thinking Skills

Strategic thinking skills differentiate middle-level managers from effective upper level leaders.  With excellent strategic thinking skills, the leader is able to make effective decisions that benefit their companies in both the short and long term. Developing strategic thinking skills requires … Continue reading

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A Good Leader is a Good Follower

Even as leaders, we all have bosses.  Perhaps, it is a Vice-President.  Perhaps, it is the CEO.  Perhaps, it is the Board of Directors. To move our companies forward, we need to be good (but not mindless) followers to our … Continue reading

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Don’t Believe the Hype

“The world is changing faster than ever before.” “We need to adapt to the change or we will get run over by it.” “The paradigm has shifted and the world will never be the same.” “Robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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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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Operations – The Five Daily Fundamentals

Most 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 … Continue reading

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What Does a Buyer Want?

I recently interviewed a professional buyer at a customer company who was looking to move into a sales role for our company. I asked how she would use her current experience as a buyer to be a better salesperson. Her … Continue reading

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Don’t Upsell…Right Sell

“Would you like to supersize your order?” As I wrote previously (“Do You Want Fries With That?” – An Opportunity for Profitable Growth), upselling can bring additional value to our customers, create additional sales and profits, and cement our relationships … Continue reading

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Lead With Questions

As leaders, we often have an employee come to us with an issue or problem. As “make it happen” managers, we then focus on getting the problem solved and getting it done as quickly as possible. Thus, we take charge, … Continue reading

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6 Steps to a Successful Team Project

Today, more than ever, employees need to be able to work in teams as businesses try to solve every more difficult tasks. Alas, many team projects start off with high hopes and ambitious targets only to end up with diminished … Continue reading

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Get to the Front Lines

Undercover Boss has become a hit TV series by showing big corporate bosses going undercover and discovering the reality of the work lives of their employees. As leaders, we do not need to go undercover; we just need to get … Continue reading

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