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Archive | March, 2011

Personal Productivity | Using the 2 Minute Rule? Do the Opposite!

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

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Why do I need the 2 Minute Rule?

Most of us follow an informal rule about doing something now if it takes just a few minutes. Most GTD aficionados are familiar with a more specific 2 Minute Rule. The short version? If you can get it done in 2 minutes, don’t add it to your task list. Do it now and be done with it.

That’s about as direct and in-your-face as GTD gets. For me, though, the real power of this rule is to make sure you do the opposite of the rule.

So, what’s the opposite of the 2 Minute Rule? Don’t do it if it takes more than 2 Minutes? Wouldn’t that be nice … but unfortunately, far more things take 2 minutes than not.

What if it takes MORE than 2 minutes? (more…)

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Business Finance | The Big River | Chapter 1 – We’re Making Money. Why Are We Broke?

The Big River series

The Big River series is a 12 part installment about a company desperately seeking cash to fuel their growth and the struggles they face trying to find it.

“We’re broke,” Tom mumbled to himself. Tom Sampson is the controller of Ace Business Stuff and was reviewing his latest calculations about their cash flow.

“What do you mean, we’re broke?” Tom looked up sheepishly to see John Wilson standing in his doorway. He fingered his collar and turned to address the company’s CEO. “We can’t be broke because business has never been better,” John said. (more…)

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Personal Productivity | You Can Conquer the Devil in the Details

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to make a real difference in your personal productivity success. When you apply these techniques, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization. Start by Turbocharging the Sunrise! Last week, we talked about the distractions that are destroying our brains, and next week I’ll outline one approach to getting more control over these relentless intruders.

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Are you having any trouble making your routines … routine?

If you’re like me, you realize that there are a lot of “little things” that we need to do every day that often escape us in the maelstrom that surrounds our normal routine. It’s usually those things we’ve promised someone we would do that day FOR SURE … a small thing, easily done … but then, in the firestorm at the office, we completely forget about until we hit home and are gently reminded about our oversight … again.

What is a Routines List?

This may sound absurd … maybe it is a sign of the times … but I’ve recently created a “Routines List”, an innovation that serves as a handy checklist of routines that I may or may not need on any given day but I want a quick reminder of what they are. As you know, I’ve written before about the power of such checklists. (You can also check out David Allen of Getting Things Done (GTD) fame, who has also written extensively on the value of checklists.)

We all have routines, don’t we? (more…)

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Business Finance | Warren Buffett | Should We Depreciate Our People?

A Weekly Business Finance series for Non-Finance Executives!

“Financial Adrenaline” is a term we love around here because it reflects our commitment to help you turbocharge your business with practical tips and techniques to improve free cash flow, the lifeblood of business. As a further extension of our Financial Adrenaline program, we’re going to share a new Business Finance Tidbit every Wednesday specifically for those business executives who don’t have a finance background.

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Depreciation = Cash? Why do we care?

We’ve kinda been on a Warren Buffett tear lately, and last week I encouraged you to read his recent 2010 Annual Report to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

I want to plant another seed this week about an often misunderstood concept: DEPRECIATIONIn accounting, an expense recorded to allocate a tangible asset's cost over its useful life. Because depreciation is a non-cash expense, it increases free cash flow while decreasing reported earning. It is used in accounting to try to match the expense of an asset to the income that the asset helps the company earn. For example, if a company buys a piece of equipment for $1 million and expects it to have a useful life of 10 years, it will be depreciated over 10 years. Every accounting year, the company will expense $100,000 (assuming straight-line depreciation), which will be matched with the money that the equipment helps to make each year.. (You can see the definition by placing your cursor over the term.)

How is Depreciation Relevant to EBITDA?

Today, let’s just think about it in terms of EBITDA. In Does EBITDA Bury Its Own Dead?, I wrote about the perils of treating EBITDA as a placeholder for cash flow, and Buffett couldn’t agree more.

In his Annual Letter to Shareholders, 2002, Buffet describes (more…)

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Spitshine Your Mission so it’s Crystal Clear

Nothing but LEADERSHIP

Do People REALLY understand what you do?

Does your company have a Vision/Mission Statement that you clearly understand … and everyone knows who it belongs to?

Last week, we talked about the proposition that Leadership = Communication and I shared a communication matrix with you to help you start on a Communication Action Plan.

There’s no doubt that communication stands tall in the pantheon of business leadership, and we all probably think we’re pretty good at it.

We can walk, talk, dictate, speak and even string together a few intelligible sentences.

We chat with our troops, talk to our customers and vendors, share information with colleagues and shareholders.

We hold meetings, BBQ’s and off-sites to talk about what’s going on.

We’re all pretty good at communication . . . or are we? (more…)

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Business Finance | Why you should read Warren Buffett’s Letter

A Weekly Business Finance series for Non-Finance Executives!

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Read Warren Buffett’s Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

So, why not  jump into the deep end right now by reading Business Finance is about much more than finance

I’ve said before that leaders don’t have the luxury of confining their interests to just a few things

(more…)

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Does Leadership = Communication? | Use this Communication Matrix

Funny goofy guy with a bull hornYou need Leadership Skills to ascend to the C-Suite

A young friend of mine called me recently and said he was being considered for the CEO position of his young but growing company

He was elated, so excited, so thrilled to be considered until the “be careful what you wish for” axiom popped into his head and he realized he was pretty inexperienced in leading an organization of any size

We went on to talk about his concerns and as he began to think about his candidacy, it dawned on him that he had a very limited finance background … he didn’t think much about communication … and could be a better team player. (more…)

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Nothing But LEADERSHIP | Practical Tips to be a Great Leader

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

What do you think we’d get if we asked everyone who writes about Leadership to offer up a definition?

Probably need a new wing in the Library of Congress, don’t you think?

For some, it’s everything and anything that has to do with influencing others. It’s communication. It’s achieving accountability. For others, it’s a body of work built around values and character and timeless qualities of integrity, passion, respect, et. al. Do you have a definition that works for you?

Leadership Lessons don’t march in a neat formation

As we’ve all learned, most of life’s lessons don’t travel in a neat formation accompanied by bugles and cavalry. They arrive filthy and unkempt, prominent in the mess we’ve made around our foxhole. These lessons are typically the offspring of hubris … naivete … and ignorance … or simply from overlooking the land mines hidden beneath our feet.

This series is ONLY about practical strategies to help you become a better leader

This series is not about reiterating or re-examining the principles of leadership that so many seasoned professionals have so eloquently described. Leadership observers have extracted lessons from Julius Caesar to Patton, Jesus to Mohamed and (more…)

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Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction | John le Carre’s last interview

FRiction FRiday | Tom Clancy Redux | Dead or Alive

What have I gotten myself into? Lately, Dead or Alive

Don’t forget that I’ve just forged through two, 1,000 page books, Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants, and now Clancy’s tome

Gimme a break this time, okay?

Don’t worry

You’re in the right place

I’m glad you’re here, though

and don’t worry if it seems like you landed on the wrong planet

 

Exkalibur

com”>FRiction FRiday

to have a little fun and settle in for the weekend by uncovering a few more of our favorite Mystery-Thriller-Suspense novels

[All names in Bold Italic

 BLACK for authors, titles in GREEN, characters in ORANGE

except URL references in RED

]

By the way, don’t forget to —————————————————

John le Carre’s last interview

Some of you may have seen The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), and thinking, wow, that’s some spooky sh**

But did you know that John le Carre is a pseudonym

I didn’t

for David John Moore Cornwell? He was actually a spy for MI5 and MI6 in England and left the service to write novels once this blockbuster hit

Next on my shelf will be his latest, Our Kind of Traitor, which reportedly is the “old” John le Carre

(more…)

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