May 17, 2013 by Bob Britz
Working in business you quickly learn that a partnership with your senior management team is like a marriage. The playbook and attitudes you all took on across a dinner table as the company may have started are often in need of refreshing. Seriously, you spend 8-12 hours a day with them, more than with your spouses and partners, and chances are you have discussions over wins and disagreements that may blush a customer if they walked in. So what are three key ways to ensure a happy and profitable long term working relationship?
First, act your role in the situation. No …
Apr 11, 2013 by Lindsay Gower
Budding flowers the harbingers of spring? Nah, spring arrives with baseball!
It’s time once again to consider the metaphors of baseball and how to apply them to business…and to life.
No one is perfect. Buster Posey, the National League’s Most Valuable Player, batted .336 in the 2012 regular season—better than anyone else in baseball. That means, for every 10 times he stepped up to bat, he made it to base just 3.3 times. He trudged back to the dug-out more often than he hit the ball. For this, he is acknowledged as outstanding.
Keep at it. The “Never Say Die and Don’t Whine …
Feb 13, 2013 by Lindsay Gower
I got some ribbing from a colleague last week for beginning an email message “Dear Dave.” Dear? Dear? Why not simply Hi Dave, she wanted to know.
Here’s why I choose to use Dear:
- Dave is the head honcho on a project on which BJ and I are working. He is the final decision-maker, which includes the power to hire and fire me.
- We rarely meet, rarely speak and rarely correspond. This is not to say he is cold or forbidding; I just do most of my work with the other consultants on the project.
- I was writing, on behalf …
Dec 27, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
I’ve written before about the spoken word, because whether you’re writing it down or saying it out loud, it’s communication.
Today, I want to point out how sloppy habits of spoken language do not translate well when written down.
I was like, how can he? And he was like, well, that’s what I like. So, like, I’m suppose to like that he’s like, It’s soooo great!?
How many times did you have to read that to translate the “likes”? That is a snippet of conversation I heard at Starbuck’s last week. (I was not eavesdropping. The speaker was on her phone in line …
Nov 16, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
Writing to complain the need can arise for us all.
I recently had to write a letter of complaint to Kaiser’s billing agency to ask them to correct their statement that says I suffered a sprained neck in a car crash. I had a sprained ankle. I’d spoken to them on the phone and they’ve said yeah, sure they’d change that sprained neck to sprained ankle. They didn’t. The time came for me to put my complaint in writing.
Complaining in writing helps you:
- Marshal your thoughts and organize your argument
- Express yourself respectfully. When you take time to write and review, …
Oct 12, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
I highly recommend to you Steven Pressfield’s short but powerful book, The War of Art. You could read in an hour to two, but don’t. Savor it. Better yet, ponder it. Let it sink in.
Pressfield begins by noting Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.
He is speaking of creativity, since he himself is a writer, he often using writing as the example. But he does not exclude the seemingly non-creative. He also considers the plumbing supply store, because there is no reason the …
Sep 15, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
Soap box time. I’m anti-multitasking and I’m here to say why.
I have clients and colleagues who multi-task in an unproductive way: They make phone calls while concentrating on something else. (Often, they’re driving. Sometimes, they’re on their computers while also pretending to be on the phone with me.)
They think they’re being productive. They think they’re getting two things done at once. Let’s look at what they are actually communicating:
I’m not concentrating on the point of this phone call
These people lose track of the conversation. They struggle with simultaneous, competing thoughts, such as “Can I merge safely into traffic now?” and …
Aug 10, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
One of my favorite clothing stores had their big summer sale recently. They posted signs in their windows and throughout the store: End of Summer! Final Sale! 45% Off! Lucky me, I found a snazzy orange top which I was 90% sure would look great with my floral print skirt.
10% of uncertainty didn’t worry me, because the store has a decent return policy. I’ve often taken a garment home, found that it did not work with my wardrobe, and then brought it back. In fact, the salespeople often suggest doing so.
But as the sales clerk rang up my purchase, I …
Jun 6, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
Talking with a colleague the other day, I was startled to learn that he does not write down the project details when he takes on a new client project. No written contract.
“Spell it out” is my advice, and I guarantee it will save you time, money and headaches.
I have written Agreements with all my customers to spell out at the least what I will do for them, how long it will take, and what it will cost.
My Agreements evolve out of my proposal to the client. Having discussed the essentials with a client, I put together a proposal using my …
Mar 28, 2011 by Aaron Rubman
Enchantment and the Economy of Reciprocation
I once heard that a typical audience member will by entranced by 1/3 of a performance. On Thursday, March 24, I discovered it was entirely false.
That’s when I witnessed Guy Kawasaki presenting to the Commonwealth Club of California, and I was captivated from beginning to end.
For those of you unfamiliar with Guy Kawasaki, he was part of the original Macintosh marketing team and is now an author, blogger, venture capitalist, and master of simplicity and charm. Kawasaki was introducing his new book, which …