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Showing posts from March, 2020

We Are All In Marketing

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I was reminded of a book by Seth Godin recently called All Marketers Are Liars. If you are in marketing those might be harsh words to hear but I would encourage you most of all to read it.

The reason I've been thinking about it is because of some of the different messages I've been hearing lately. These messages are all stories. Everyone has a story to tell. Every person, every team, every company and every organization has a story. Everyone is in marketing trying to make their story sound as good as they possibly can. The issue is when you start manipulating the story. You are sharing feedback from the handful of customers that applaud a decision and ignoring the hundreds of complaints you've received. When you start altering the story so far from the truth, yet you've repeated the story to yourself so much you honestly believe it is the truth.

We need to listen to our audience and we need to be authentic. If you don't like your story, don't make something up,…

Boredom - Surprisingly A Word You Don't Hear A Lot Right Now

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I find it interesting that as crazy as our world is right now, one word I'm not hearing a lot of is boredom. My kids know better than to say they are bored to me because I can find them something to do so fast it gives them whiplash. Beyond that I have talked to more people that are doing things they've put off. Watching some of those movies they haven't had a chance to see that everyone has talked about. Reading a book that they haven't had a chance to start. Working on a project around the house. I've heard more people talk about painting something in their house I wish I had bought stock in Sherwin Williams.

I've spent more time on framing my basement. The kids are spending time going through areas and rooms of the house that are desperately in need of organizing and cleaning. Toys that have been forgotten about have been rediscovered. Countless art projects have been done. We've watched a couple of movies together as a family.

Yes, things are different …

Flexibility - Or Adapting To The Way Things Are

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Being able to go with the flow is generally a pretty good quality to have. Circumstances change, information changes, people leave companies or move away. As things change having the resiliency to adapt to the new circumstances is an important quality.

Now more than ever we need to be flexible. We are having to live in new and different ways. People learning to work from home, do online school, figure out ways to stay in shape and able to perform in their activity of choice.

Challenges are nothing more than learning opportunities. The key is to accept things aren't like they used to be. Complaining about it doesn't change any of your current circumstances. So often in life the only thing we can control is how we respond in various situations. The situations we can rarely control, but we can always own our response.

We must also remember that not everyone faces the same challenges. While some of us are complaining of having to work in the same room as our spouse every day, othe…

Sometimes There Is More Than One Lesson To Learn

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I try to always stay positive and look at the good in the world. Recently it has been a lot more challenging to do so. It is certainly a time where there is a lot of fear and anxiety, yet I believe we are going to look back on this time and recognize the impact it had on us as individuals, families, communities, nations and the world. I've shared before that many of the worst events in my life have had the most positive change. This virus is tragic, it is killing people and wreaking havoc on economies. At the same time we are also being presented with things many of us haven't seen in our lifetime.

Air quality numbers in many cities have dramatically improved in just a few days.The water in the canals in Venice is clearer than it has been in decades.Marine life is approaching shores like Sardinia they usually avoid due to the abundance of water traffic.Companies are learning how to operate with people working from home. Some companies have embraced a work from home culture but …

What Is Needed Most During A Global Pandemic

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Five months ago I wrote a post about propaganda. The whole idea was around how companies, governments, organizations and institutions create propaganda and how we need to be knowledgeable about the methods used. We need to seek the truth. Fast forward to today when we are in the midst of the largest global crisis since World War II. Most of us (90% or more of the world's population) were not alive during that time, we just read about it in history books and learn about it from Steven Spielberg movies. We are living in unprecedented times, dealing with something of this magnitude with access to the information that we do is new territory for us.
There are countless, news stories, eyewitness accounts and "facts" shared from people that "know someone" in any number of epicenters around the world. Whatever your view is on the situation, no matter if you believe everything happening is an overreaction, underreaction, or just the right reaction, you can find informat…

There Are Two Types Of Businesses - Which One Are You?

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I am convinced there are basically two styles of running a business.I'm going to speak in some extreme generalizations here, but stay with me. I know there are infinite ways to run a business and there are nuances within each of these groups, but I think you will agree with me.
Businesses are either customer first or business first. 
In a customer first business you adapt and change your business based on the needs of your customer. You gather feedback on how they feel, you listen to them, and you do everything you can to accommodate them. Of course you can't do everything they want, but then you explain it, you help them understand why things are the way they are. If you can't give a good explanation on a policy, you will change it.
On the other side we have the business first organizations who act like the customer doesn't matter. There is an air about them of believing the customer should feel privileged to be paying them for their product or service. The biggest si…

Are You Able To Talk To A Stranger?

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Work has been a little crazy for me in 2020 which has cut into my reading time in the evenings of late. I was fortunate however to finish reading Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know. I've always been a big fan of Gladwell, his ability to tell stories and make you think is phenomenal. He is a story teller, but rather than writing fiction he takes real stories and can weave them together to present a concept you never realized was something you should think about.

This book starts and ends telling the story of the arrest and death of Sandra Bland in 2015, which happened amidst the contentious race relations with police when it was at its peak around this time. Gladwell takes you through court transcripts and recordings of the interaction, to present a different way of looking at the situation. Not trying to prove who was right or wrong, just presenting all of the information that led to the unfortunate even…

The Important Parts Of Any Race - The Beginning, The Middle, And The End

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If you are a runner, you know what a finishing kick is. For those of us who don't run it is the extra burst as you are nearing the end of the race. Timing it right is key because if you go too early you expend all of your energy before you get across the finish line. Start too late and you have untapped resources and probably didn't finish as well as you could have.

When you have a project or an assignment due, there is often a push at the end. If things didn't go well in the other parts of the project we think we can just sprint our way till the end. The deadline is fast approaching so we try to kick things into a higher gear. If you are trying to figure out how to do things at the end, you are probably too late, and certainly not conditioned for what is to come. There is a balance and planning that is needed.

So many things in our life can be considered a race, and any race has three key components:

Start - You want to get out to a fast start. Any journey begins with the …

Having My Back Without Sheltering Me

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We all know that crazy things will happen in life. There are daily risks and opportunities to learn something. For many of us sometimes we have to walk through a challenge to learn our lessons. When we are young our parents told us a thousand times to be careful by the stove, it is hot. It often never really stuck with us until the one time we accidentally touched it and we learned what they meant when they said it was hot. Next time I guarantee you were much more cautious around the stove.

We protect our kids, when they are really little we don't let them near the stove. When they get older we might stand next to them and warn them as they get too close. Protection makes sense up to a point. If your kid is about to go off to college and you've never let them in the kitchen for fear they might get burned you are going to have a problem. Sheltering them is not helping to protect them.

Any team, any relationship, you want to have a culture where everyone feels others have their …