Tag: results

The Often-Overlooked Step That Can Boost the Quality of Your Work

We generally think that a great work product – especially an artistic effort – is imagined, conceived, and launched simultaneously. But the notion that a single, smart idea can immediately turn into a brilliant final version has the same logic flaw of a newborn baby popping out of the womb with a college degree. In fact, one of […]

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Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Little Crazy

We’re often told to follow the rules, do what we’re told, and for goodness sake, don’t make waves. But in today’s hyper-competitive economy, isn’t that a surefire path to mediocrity? Look at those that we celebrate – from Thomas Edison to Elon Musk; from Sheryl Sandberg to Tony Robbins. The ones that make history have […]

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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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Five Big Questions to Gain Clarity, Sharpen Focus, and Drive Results

In our increasingly busy and scattered lives, getting clear and focused can feel like an insurmountable task. We live in an era of distractions vying for our attention the way high-strung paparazzi try to capture that perfect celebrity photo. Knowing that most of us can’t take a three-month sabbatical to hang with monks in mountainous […]

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How Tiny Innovations Can Yield Gigantic Results

Gaining competitive advantage, better serving customers, and standing out from the pack can feel just about as challenging as running a double marathon…barefoot. The difficulties are exacerbated if we find ourselves in mature industries with deeply entrenched market leaders possessing the resources of a small country. How can we compete and win when facing such […]

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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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Nine Simple Pre-Game Questions to Maximize Business Results

There’s an old saying in the boxing world: “Champions don’t become champions in the ring, they are merely recognized there.” The implication, of course, is that hard work, day after day, in the cold gym is what enables a fighter to win. This makes sense in many areas of life. “Sweat more in practice, bleed […]

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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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Two Powerful (and Surprisingly Fun) Brainstorming Techniques

As many of us have realized, traditional brainstorming is a perfectly designed exercise to yield mediocre ideas. Instead of sharing our big, game-changing ideas, we tend to share the obvious, safe, incremental ones instead. The blocker here isn’t raw creativity, but rather the insidious force of fear. As public enemy #1 relating to imagination, the […]

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The “Do Different”

We’ve all been in business meetings that drone on endlessly, only to be followed with zero change, action or results. Silver-tongued bosses spouting platitudes rarely translates into meaningful transformation. In fact, many of us have become desensitized to big new ideas, because in our previous experiences, few concepts actually come to fruition. If you’re frustrated […]

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Two Ways to Kill Your Company

Heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death for people living in the United States. Together, these killers account for almost 50% of all lost lives each year. Researchers, physicians, and scientists toil away at these two deadly foes, working diligently to find a cure and reduce their fatal impact.   Yet […]

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How One Pizza Delivery Inspired the Nation

Benjamin Houston was having an especially rough night. As a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver in Flint, Michigan, it had been a tough road. The fact that Benjamin is deaf made his situation even more challenging. It all came to a head on July 15, when his car broke down on a delivery run near midnight in a […]

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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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Efforts vs. Results

Imagine that a loved one is on the operating table in a life-or-death situation. You and your family gather in the waiting room waiting with bated breath for the doctor to communicate the results of this life-saving procedure. When the surgeon finally arrives, you don’t want to hear about how hard she and her team labored. You don’t want to hear that she “gave […]

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The Most Powerful Phrase to Boost your Company and Career

In our world of quick fixes and success hacks, there’s an old school approach that wins consistently. Think of it as the most potent high-octane formula to fuel your relationships, career trajectory, client satisfaction, investor relations, and company’s growth. A simple phrase that’s easy to say, but may require a mindset shift to fully embrace: […]

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The Two Big Things United Got Wrong That You Can Get Right

The news of a 69-year-old physician being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight has shocked the world and captured headlines around the clock. Millions have now watched passenger-taken videos of Dr. David Dao being brutally dragged off the plane to make room for United employees. His frequent flyer bonus was a broken nose, concussion, […]

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There’s Nothing We Can Do

Lousy weather left the plane full of passengers stranded on a cold runway. Air Canada had to reroute the flight for safety, leaving passengers frustrated, late, and uncomfortable. As the plane languished on an open runway, passengers became restless… and hungry. The peanuts were gone and airline catering was closed. When demands for food intensified, […]

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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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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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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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The Two Must-Have Beliefs of History-Makers

What do world-class athletes, prolific artists, and business titans have in common? What traits are shared by Picasso and Jay Z, Mark Zuckerberg and Leonardo DaVinci, Serena Williams and Mozart? I’ve been reflecting on this a lot recently, becoming increasingly curious to discover the commonalities of the most successful people in history. What makes a […]

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Force Fields

Lasers pound their target with high velocity, but the starship remains unfazed.  A force field protects our heroes from the vicious attacks of evil intruders, allowing them the opportunity to save the universe from impending doom. Force fields sure work great in Sci-Fi movies, but what about in reality?  The aircraft manufacturer Boeing was recently […]

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Getting Better All The Time

In the 1967 Beatles classic, McCartney and Lennon sang a persistent mantra: “It’s getting better all the time.” They contrasted life’s problems, including bad teachers in school, general dissatisfaction and anger, and bumpy relationships, with the idea of continuous improvement as their prescriptive cure. As we look into the future, most of us are hungry […]

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The Zen of Heavy Traffic

Here in Detroit, the arctic weather has delivered one giant mess on the roads. Colleagues of mine have reported downtown commutes as long as 2.5 hours for a ride that would normally take 35 minutes. The seemingly endless traffic causes mere frustration for the patient person and outright rage for the flustered. While waiting at […]

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Taming Your Nemesis

There’s a good chance you have at least one person in your life that does more harm than good.  Perhaps it’s a boss that criticizes your every move.  Maybe it’s a competitor, client, or colleague dead set on crushing your spirit.  It could even be a parent or spouse that cuts you down rather than boosts you up. […]

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Training For Your Own Super Bowl

In less than a month, the two best football teams in the nation will square off for the biggest sporting event of the year.  With an expected audience of over 100 million people, this is the pinnacle career moment of these world-class athletes.  Their chance to shine.  To win.  To make history. To reach the […]

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You Are Who You’re With

In high school chemistry, we learned that adding several new chemicals to an existing one could create a dramatic effect.  In fact, the surrounding substances can literally change the original into a completely new form of matter. The same holds true for you and those you surround yourself with.  If you regularly hang out with […]

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Thread The Needle

In business (and life), you are constantly faced with challenges that seem insurmountable. Your inner voice says “it can’t be done,” and you may give up before even trying. The thing is – obstacles can be shattered with a creative solution if you take the time and effort to approach them in an unconventional way. […]

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The Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

Little did she know, Justine Sacco’s entire career was ruined while she flew from London to South Africa this past Friday.  Unfortunately, these were self-inflicted wounds that were set in motion by a single tweet she made prior to boarding the flight.  With horrible judgment, zero sensitivity, and a bigoted perspective, she tweeted: “Going to Africa. Hope […]

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Defy Your Barriers

Convicted felons who finish their sentences often struggle on the outside just like they did behind bars. Often lacking skills, support and education, many go back to a life of crime, with nearly 70% returning to prison (44% within one year of their release). But some — including many drug dealers — have exhibited strong […]

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