Tag: growth

How a Llama Could Conquer COVID-19

As frustration continues and economic fallout mounts, we’re all getting stir crazy. When will our normal lives resume? How will our economy recover? What will be the long-term fallout of coronavirus? How soon can we expect a vaccine? World leaders and scientists scramble to answer these questions while billions of people wait, lives on hold. Nearly every laboratory on the […]

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How One Musician Used a Quarantine to Become a Legend

When first hitting the scene, the now legendary Charlie “Yardbird” Parker was described as mediocre at best. His music seemed undisciplined, out of control, and fraught with mistakes. Like most musicians, Parker practiced regularly but was struggling to achieve major improvements in his playing. How, then, did Charlie Parker become the master that we celebrate today? The change […]

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How to Avoid Negative Thoughts During a Crisis

Stuck in COVID-19 isolation, it’s easy to veer into the deep end of negative thoughts. Many of us are dealing with profound, real-world challenges such as job loss, health crises, and protecting our children. The reality of the situation is difficult enough, but when we allow widespread fear and negativity to enter the picture, the […]

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Can Quarantines be Productive? What to do During a Crisis.

Just before every flight departs, the safety announcement offers a specific instruction: “In the event of an emergency, please secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.” We’ve heard it so many times that we tend to tune it out, but this advice can be helpful to us all during the COVID-19 crisis. We must first […]

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How to Find the Best Parking Spot, Every Time

As you drive up to a crowded shopping plaza, your blood pressure rises quickly. Circling the parking lot, you search for the closest possible space. It quickly becomes a fierce competition, filling you with stress and sometimes anger if someone beats you to that one spot that should have been yours. Several laps and minutes […]

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The More You Do It, The Easier It Becomes

For most of us, we know what needs to be done to reach the next level. If you want to improve health and fitness, we don’t need another fad diet… we need to exercise more and eat healthier food. If you want to close more deals, you probably need to make more cold calls. If […]

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10 Customer-Centric Questions to Create Irresistible Value

With our Thanksgiving feasts behind us, ’tis the season of 2020 business planning. Ironically, the theme of gratitude may actually be our best strategy in the new year. In working with many businesses in different industries, I often hear the same refrains: “we need to sell more;” “we need better marketing;” “we need to cut […]

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Creative Confidence is Not What You Think

We imagine a brilliant artist approaching their work with the masterpiece perfectly etched in their mind before a single brush stroke graces the canvas. Or a prolific musician with an idyllic melody already seared into their mind before playing a single note. Then, when we approach our own creative efforts, we often freeze up before […]

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The Best Business Books I’ve Read in 2019

To win in business – and life – we all know that being a lifelong learner is mission critical. As the cheesy saying goes, “learners are earners.” Clichés aside, I have a deep love for learning and the written word. Great books inspire, inform, and give us the tools we need to win in these increasingly challenging […]

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How to Avoid Extinction

According to a report from Yale University Press, 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct. That’s over five billion species completely wiped out. Why such a gigantic failure rate? The species that die off are “those that are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior […]

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How to Blast Off

When the space shuttle blasts off, two-thirds of its fuel is consumed in the first 20 minutes of flight. The remaining amount powers the shuttle for up to two weeks, including re-entry and landing. The phenomenon at play: escape velocity. Scientists describe the concept as the amount of force required to break free from the gravitational […]

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The 5×5 Decision Model

You’ve got a tough decision to make, yet conflicting interests and perspectives can render you frozen from taking decisive action. We’ve all been there. Having observed how the most successful people evaluate their options and then make a thoughtful decision, here’s a framework that may be helpful when you’re trying to make a choice in […]

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The Can’t-Not

The promo for tonight’s local news runs across your screen: “Two of the items in your pantry right now could kill you. Tune in at 11:00 to find out which ones.” After hearing this announcement, you can’t not tune in. When you learn about a hot tech company that offers unlimited days off, tuition reimbursement, […]

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How Swapping Two Words Can Transform Your Success and Happiness

As the competitive nature of our world continues to increase, success can feel elusive. Whether your sights are set on landing a promotion, raising capital, wining that new account, or inventing a game-changing product, you’ll need to break free from traditional thinking in order to seize success. The ones who score the brass ring are […]

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A Powerful Two-Step Approach to Drive Results

When we look to initiate change or growth, some sort of behavior shift is generally required. Want to sell more products? Probably involves making more cold calls, training more sales people, or improving marketing efforts. Looking to remain relevant in the workforce? This objective will likely require more learning, reading, or skill development. Whether our […]

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An Innovative Way to Improve Behavior

Early education in high-risk urban areas is a complex and seemingly overwhelming challenge. Often dubbed the “school to prison pipeline,” kids in troubled classrooms with negative peer influences and little family support too often end up incarcerated or repeating the cycle of poverty. Despite committed teachers and administrators, these problems are expansive with far too […]

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When We Stop Doing The Things That Made Us Great

Last weekend, I went to one of Detroit’s most celebrated Italian restaurants. I’d been years ago and anticipated the same exquisite experience. Known for their impeccable service and inspired dishes, I was expecting them to nail every detail like they had in the past. Yet the very things that made them successful had obviously been […]

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The Last 10%

I was nearing the end of my three-mile run (I’m no marathon candidate), and was feeling awful. Tired, hot, sore, and ready to throw in the towel. Looking at the fitness app on my phone, I realized that I only had 10% remaining. As much as I wanted to quit, I forged ahead and completed […]

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How Google Kills Ideas to Drive Killer Innovation

According to its tombstone, Trendalyzer was a data trend viewing platform that lived a happy life from 2007-2017. Latitude, a location-aware feature of Google Maps, was just over 4 years old before it was euthanized in 2013. Fabric, a platform that helped mobile teams build better apps, was sentenced to death after only one month […]

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11 Leadership Lessons from Jazz Musicians

For over 40 years, I’ve proudly worn the title of jazz guitarist. Deeply passionate about the art form, I performed my way through college and continue to savor the delicious melodies of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie. Ironically it was jazz – not B-school – that gave me the foundation to win in […]

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You’re Always Interviewing

You hardly slept the night before and arrived to the meeting 25 minutes early. You were wearing your favorite outfit and were fully prepared to put your best foot forward. No, I’m not talking about your first date, but rather that job interview that landed you your gig. Think about how you were fully present, […]

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Plant Seeds. Protect Saplings.

The mighty redwood grows to over 350 feet tall and can live 2,500 years. Like every tree, even the gigantic redwood begins as a sapling. In the redwood’s case, that sapling may take up to 400 years before it reaches its true potential. Imagine the impatient landowner, scoffing at a puny redwood sapling after only […]

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Fender Guitar’s Rules of Groundbreaking Innovation

Since Leo Fender started making guitars back in 1946, the Fender name has become synonymous with musical innovation. The iconic brand has outfitted countless music legends with their precious axes, and has set the standard with instantly recognizable inventions including the Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Jazzmaster. Today, Fender is the largest guitar manufacturer in the world. So why […]

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Why a Culture of Innovation is the Only Path to Sustainable Growth and Success

You’ve fine-tuned your processes, extracted every drop of cost from the system, and are meeting basic customer needs. In the previous era of business, strict managerial controls may have been enough, but today running a tight ship is table stakes. If we’re honest with ourselves, business as usual likely poses an existential threat – sooner […]

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The Tyranny of Good Enough

Your chicken salad sandwich wasn’t bad, really. It was ‘good enough.’ The service wasn’t speedy, but also wasn’t horribly slow. It was just good enough. The environment was a bit messy and a tad dirty, but didn’t justify a call to the Health Department. “I guess it was good enough,” you mutter as you leave […]

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Back to School

As cash registers speedily ring up #2 pencils and file folders, the back to school craze is officially in high gear. Last minute haircuts, wardrobe enhancements, and new lunchboxes help ring in this time of year when students prepare to learn. New courses, new teachers, new classrooms, new possibility. The back to school ritual signifies […]

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Never Trust a Squeaky Clean Mechanic

As you hand the keys to your baby (also known as your precious car) over to the immaculate mechanic, your heart sinks. You recoil as you see the starched white shirt, the manicured hands, and the neatly pressed pants. While he’s a poster-child for effective grooming habits, you worry if he really possesses the hands-on […]

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Signs of Creativity

When Texas realtor Ellis Young wasn’t getting any traction on one of his home listings, he changed the For Sale sign to include the phrase “NOT HAUNTED.”  Traffic immediately picked up, but some neighbors complained. Wanting to play nice with others, he then changed the sign to read “GLUTEN-FREE HOME.” As you can imagine, traffic increased […]

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Yearning, Learning, and Earning

When you take a hard look at your compensation, you probably focus on the tangible rewards. You total up your base pay, bonus, commission, stock options, benefits, and perks to calculate your total comp. But I’d suggest there’s another element to compensation that is one of the most important components of all… your Learning Income. If […]

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The Museum of Failure

In the Swedish City of Helsingborg, failures exist at an alarming rate. Just across the river from Denmark, the community isn’t actually screwing up but rather celebrating failures from around the globe. History was made when The Museum of Failures opened to the public in June. Colossal innovation failures -from the Apple Newton to the […]

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