Tag: performance

The Ultimate Customer Experience

With glimpses of hope that our economy will reopen in the coming months, it’s time to start thinking about our businesses in a post-pandemic landscape. How will the world change? How will your industry be different? How will you adapt to the new circumstances? The sheer volume of unknowns can feel overwhelming, making it difficult to even […]

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The New 70/30 Rule of Inventive Thinking

The infamous 80/20 rule seems to permeate business literature. 80% of your profits come from the best 20% of your customers; 20% of your top people drive 80% of your revenue; 20% of your most productive time drives 80% of your productivity. While this magic ratio applies in many cases, there’s an important new kid […]

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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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What Business Leaders Can Learn from 100-Year-Olds in Okinawa

The Japanese island of Okinawa boasts the highest life expectancy, and the greatest concentration of centenarians (people who live to 100), in the world. Their culture, rituals, diet, and environment have been the subject of extensive study as researchers try to crack the code of longer, healthier life. When questioned why their people are vastly […]

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You’re Always Auditioning

Think how you shined during the interview where landed you your job. You were prepared to impress, fully engaged, and leaning forward with enthusiasm. Acutely aware that you were being evaluated, you made sure your answers were crisp and your questions were thoughtful. Simply put, you were ON. Unfortunately, that moment is the brightest some […]

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Heads Down vs. Heads Up

We’ve all heard people in the business world proclaim that they are “heads down” on a project. Or that they are unable to explore new opportunities since they are “heads down in execution mode.” Consider, for a moment, the advantages of being “heads up” instead. Let’s compare the two states of being: Heads Down Focused […]

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Blimp Worthy

If you happen to be at a live sporting event and notice the iconic Goodyear Blimp flying overhead, you know that the game you’re watching matters. The blimp doesn’t fly over mediocre games played by mediocre teams. Instead, it soars exclusively over those driven to perform at the highest levels, focusing on teams and individuals […]

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What Rambo Can Teach Us About Achievement

The four Rambo films, released between 1982 and 2008, famously depicted John Rambo, a member of the US Army Special Forces known as the Green Beret. Throughout the films, Rambo singlehandedly outwits his opponents, adapts to changing circumstances and achieves at a super-human level.   While the movies glamorized his brute strength, the real-world Green […]

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Planting Seeds

How do you know if you’ve accomplished something today? What should you measure if you didn’t deliver something measurable? In an era of dashboards, metrics, and key performance indicators, should every ounce of your energy be directed at hitting near term deliverables? In studying the behavior of the most successful people, I’ve noticed that they […]

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The Fireworks Principle: How to Improve Any Pitch, Presentation, or Meeting

A brilliant flash of light, thunder, and color illuminates the dark, quiet sky. Your heart skips a beat as the show begins, instantly grabbing your attention and transporting you back to 6th grade when you got to stay up late and watch the fireworks with your Aunt Nancy. As the show continues, it settles into […]

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Making it ‘Grape’ Again

Avery’s Beverages – a company founded in a red Connecticut barn over 100 years ago – was struggling. When Sherman Avery started making handcrafted soda back in 1904, he wasn’t facing the crushing competitive pressure of industry giants like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The root beer and ginger ale he made didn’t need a celebrity endorsement […]

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The Red Zone

As football teams chase championship glory in their post-season battles, they practice diligently to deliver peak performance.  Coaches help players break the game down into specific components, developing strategies for offense and defense, the ground game and the passing game, kickoffs and returns. When a team arrives within striking distance of the goal line, traditional […]

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How a 5 Minute Ritual Can Fuel Your Success

You wake up in a fog and brush your teeth while still half asleep. Dread fills you as you prepare for another soul-crushing day. As you sit in endless traffic, anxiety consumes your thoughts. You worry about that upcoming meeting and anticipate the disappointment on your son’s face when you’ll arrive late to his ballgame […]

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Symbols and Rituals

itualsIn the coastal town of Nanaimo, Canada, police are issuing tickets at an astonishing rate. The tickets are not recognizing the wrongdoing of rule breakers, however. Instead, “Positivity Tickets” are being issued to kids caught in the act of doing something good such as wearing a bike helmet, doing their homework, or crossing the street […]

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A Winning Secret from Chess Grand Master

Rook to f5. Checkmate. How is it that some routinely smoke their opponents in a game where both sides have the identical force, there’s no luck of the draw, and the entire playing field is out in the open? While there are many cliché life lessons from the game of chess, there’s an often-overlooked concept […]

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How Bad Do You Want It?

My friend Les Gold, star of the hit TV series Hardcore Pawn, gave a dynamic speech this week that left the audience mesmerized.   His opening line really struck me: “How bad do you want it?” As products of a consumer-driven society, we want just about everything.  We want fancy cars, palatial homes, and exotic travel.  We also […]

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Aim Up, Compare Down

To me, it’s not about comparing yourself to other people or being boastful. It’s about comparing “down” to a previous version of you.

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My 11 Principles

My 11 guiding principles for graduates, dropouts, young guns, and seniors alike.

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Inventing Your Enemy

Throughout my career, my favorite saying has always been: “Someday, a company is going to come along and put us out of business. It might as well be us.”

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Four Powerful Questions

Send the critic out for a long walk, ask the right questions, and get busy with manifesting your true potential. Everyone else’s is already taken.

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Be, Do, Have

Many of us chase success, only to find it to be an elusive tease.

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The Weekly Roundup – April 30, 2010

Your mind has hidden superpowers! What does the power of placebo pills have to do with realizing your dreams? Both depend on your mind. Your mind can take a sugar pill and cure cancer. And it can take an idea – say, a personal computer in everyone’s home – and make it a reality. It […]

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Creative Sparks from the World of Jazz – Part 6 of 6

There are so many powerful business lessons we can learn from the world of jazz. This fluid, improvisation art form is all about taking risks and trying new things. Going out on limb can be scary, but it is where the magic happens. Extending yourself outside your comfort zone is where the best rewards will […]

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Creative Sparks from the World of Jazz – Part 5 of 6

Earlier this week, I launched a six-part blog series on techniques from the jazz world that can be easily translated to driving business creativity. Jazz music is all about spontaneous creativity and improvisation – skills that are critically important in the business world. We’ve covered a number of powerful concepts already (to read the full […]

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Creative Sparks from the World of Jazz – Part 4 of 6

Earlier this week, I launched a six-part blog series on techniques from the jazz world that can be easily translated to driving business creativity. Jazz music is all about spontaneous creativity and improvisation – skills that are critically important in the business world. The first post covered a technique called Trading Fours. The second post […]

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Creative Sparks from the World of Jazz – Part 3 of 6

Earlier this week, I launched a six-part blog series on techniques from the jazz world that can be easily translated to driving business creativity. Jazz music is all about spontaneous creativity and improvisation – skills that are critically important in the business world. The first posted covered a technique called Trading Fours. The second post […]

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Creative Sparks from the World of Jazz – Part 2 of 6

Yesterday, I launched a six-part blog series on techniques from the jazz world that can be easily translated to driving business creativity. Jazz music is all about spontaneous creativity and improvisation – skills that are critically important in the business world. The first post covered a technique called Trading Fours. Now let’s look at the […]

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Creative Sparks from the World of Jazz – Part 1 of 6

If there was a PhD for creative sparking, jazz musicians would graduate with high distinction. Smoke-filled, late night jazz clubs are hotbeds of spontaneous creativity. I’m going to post a six-part blog series on techniques from the jazz world that can be easily translated to driving business creativity. Having studied jazz improvisation for nearly 30 […]

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