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Best Advice I Ever Got Library

Is Your 2016 Plan Alive and Well … Or Dying on Your Credenza?

Completing your 2016 plan does not mean you’re finished.

I t means you’re just beginning and if you don’t keep it alive, it will be DOA.

2016 Highway to Success

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~Dwight Eisenhower

I think that Eisenhower’s message that plans are worthless but planning is essential strikes a chord we all can embrace.

The word “planning” strikes fear and pain in the hearts of those who hear that word, but just when you think you’re done … you’re just getting started.

Is Your 2016 Plan Ready?

You’re aware that the commencement address only comes at the end of your school experience … NOT the beginning?

Likewise, your 2016 plan is just the starting line … and the work is just beginning.

Don’t miss the most important part of your 2016 plan

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Want to be more strategic in 2016? Start thinking like a drone.

It’s easy to get stuck trying to find our way out of the wilderness every day.

T ry this approach to gain perspective and think more strategically.

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They say more than a million drones were sold over the Christmas holiday.

Some for fun, some for mischief … but many offering innovative solutions for a wide array of challenges.

They’re being used to check ski slopes for snow coverage … to look for cracks and repair requirements at the top of wind turbines … and to accomplish video rooftop inspections to save thousands of hours and complete repairs more quickly.

If you don’t have a drone …

Maybe Santa left your drone off his list? No worries. You can add it to your birthday list when the time comes around.

In the meantime, there is one critical lesson you can take away from all of the hullabaloo around this revolutionary invention.

Keep reading to learn this technique ….

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Hi. I’m Your Mobile Phone. I’m lost and I can’t find my owner.

We’ve become very dependent on our mobile phones, haven’t we? Losing it is super frustrating … and can be super expensive.

I ‘ve been through this exact scenario recently, so I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned. Follow these steps to make sure you’re prepared for something that will inevitably happen to you or someone in your family.

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Like it or not, most of us are tethered to our phones like a puppy on a leash. If you don’t think you are, no problem. Leave it home today and see if you can do it again tomorrow.

We have it with us at all times and get pretty flustered when we don’t have it with us.

This is a long email as there are several choices you can make both BEFORE as well as AFTER your phone has been lost. I would suggest you at least consider the BEFORE options now so you don’t have to deal with the much greater challenges AFTER your phone is missing.

What if you can’t find your phone?

But, what happens if you can’t find it. Maybe you left it …

  • In the back of a taxi
  • On an airplane
  • Maybe in the hotel room which is now an airline flight away
  • Gee, did I leave it on the table at the restaurant?
  • I really have no idea where I left it
  • By now, maybe it’s been stolen?

Follow These Steps to Protect Your Phone

Keep reading to learn the steps necessary to protect your lost phone …

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Creativity & Innovation | They’re alive and well and living at USF

Last week, as an Adjunct Professor at USF, I had the opportunity to once again participate as a judge for the Fall 2015 University of San Francisco Undergraduate Pitch Competition.

I f you’re concerned about the ambitions and creativity of graduating students these days, don’t be. They’re on it.

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The Entrepreneurial Studies Program in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco is ranked in the Top 20 of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Research Universities by Forbes (August 2015). An important part of this program is the Annual Pitch Competition which has been held in 31 consecutive semesters over a 16 year period. Dr. Mark Cannice is the Department Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USF. Dr. Monika Hudson is the principal organizer and presides over this challenging and entertaining event, attended by more than 200 students.

The Spirit of Creativity is Alive and Well and Kicking

The Undergraduate Pitch Competition highlights the spirit of innovation and creativity among graduating seniors seeking a business degree.

In short, the students are graded in these categories:

  • Delivery:

    • Eye contact (looked at/connected with audience),
    • Movement (expressive, comfortable),
    • Voice (rate, pitch, is the volume natural?),
    • Fluency (articulation is clear and smooth).
  • Content:

    • Introduction – does it gain our attention?
    • Is the customer pain defined?
    • What market research/validators can be identified?
    • What’s the marketing strategy and value proposition?
  • Viability:

    • Would you willingly put $100,000 of your money into the concept as presented?
  • Effectiveness:

    • A clear “ask” for a specific investment amount.
    • A specific plan of how the proceeds will be used.

Each team had 90 seconds without visual aids to make its pitch. The panel of judges had two minutes for questions, comments and suggestions.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. ~ Steve Jobs

Keep reading to see the winners and some of the most innovative ideas ….

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Is it worth fighting for? How Committed Are You? Like Rocky? Rambo?

This may seem like a very strange blog post for a site dedicated to leadership. But not really.

N ot if you’re committed to managing your life, controlling your day and fighting for what you believe.

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Recently, I saw a profile of Sylvester Stallone and, serendipitously, stumbled across several articles and interviews about him at the same time. One of the stories was featured on CBS Sunday Morning which featured him and spotlighted his new movie, Creed.

In the process, I learned that Stallone broke through with his own writing and NOT with his acting. After some of his early acting failures, he began writing, relentlessly. He wrote almost 30 scripts.

He says 29 of them were crappy.

Rocky Balboa – Stallone’s breakout role

The 30th script was for Rocky, a $500 Million blockbuster movie … but as interest began to build in his script, he saw this as a unique opportunity to kickstart his career.

How did he do it?

What can we learn from Sylvester Stallone and his iconic characters?

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Happy Birthday, Winston | How Did You Get It All Done?

Today, November 30, is the birthday of Winston Churchill.

H e was born 136 years ago in 1874 … and died 50 years ago in 1965 … yet his talent and prodigious output remains striking to this day.

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Winston Churchill has always been one of my favorite historical characters … and for many reasons. His oratorical wit, style and passion was without peer.

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity, a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity. ~Winston Churchill

He had a spine of steel … with discipline and resilience to match, albeit the certainty of his convictions often triggered an abject stubbornness that wasn’t always welcome. It also created no small amount of turmoil.

I suppose some of these attributes can be found among many of us, so by themselves, they may not be so distinctive.

Prime Minister during WWII is only part of his record

To believe is to be strong … Doubt cramps energy … Belief is power. ~Winston Churchill

For me, his greatest distinction is the enormity of his accomplishments.

In most lifetimes, we’d be fortunate to accomplish a fraction of what Churchill got done.

Most notably, he served as the Prime Minister for Great Britain (and for 40+ years in the House of Commons, holding many other cabinet-level positions previously), leading the Allies to victory against the Axis forces during World War II … by most standards, enough to earn eternal praise and approbation.

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The Nobel Prize for Literature

Yet, who else in that same lifetime wrote 43 book-length works in 72 volumes?

Keep reading to learn of Churchill’s extraordinary accomplishments

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How to Dropkick Uncertainty | 5 Techniques to Master Your Domain

As leaders, we continually encounter issues over which we have no control.

U ncertainty hovers over our plans. We can do something about it by focusing only on what WE can control.

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Did you know there is an Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS)?

It was developed in 1994 by a team of researchers in Quebec. The scale assesses how much people desire and seek out predictability, and how they react in ambiguous situations. A higher level of intolerance of uncertainty, or IU, is a “cognitive vulnerability,” according to Michel Dugas, a professor of psychology at the University of Quebec in Outaouais, and one of the architects of the IUS.

Here is one of the most important findings and research about uncertainty:

As a rule, humans prefer certainty to uncertainty. Studies have shown that people would rather definitely get an electric shock now than maybe be shocked later, and show greater nervous-system activation when waiting for an unpredictable shock (or other unpleasant stimulus) than an expected one. Where people differ is in the degree to which uncertainty bothers them.

Keep reading to learn the 4 Techniques to Gain Control …

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If your thinking is limited to today’s lunch, next year they’ll be eating your lunch!

There’s nothing more important … or more challenging … than the need to balance short-term results with long-range plans.

H ow is your organization focused? Are you encouraging long-range thinking or only what happens this week?

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Do you have the Attention Span of a Mosquito?

How many times have we asked Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?

Whatever happened to that blank sheet of paper you were going to use to THINK, you know, that old-fashioned approach to problem solving and the creative process?

Do you agree that Google is making us stupid?

These are but variations on a theme … our increasingly short-term focus.

Keep reading to make sure you have a longer term perspective

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Leadership & Productivity | 4 Ways to Create More Time for Actual Thinking

If you don’t take time to think, someone else will do the thinking for you … maybe your competitors.

L ike every Effective Leader, you need to make time to do the things ONLY YOU can do.

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Protect the Castle from the Intruders

From the unusual amount of email I received following It isn’t Technology Creating all the Distractions. It’s us., I realize we share a universal revulsion for the distractions that confound our days.

You’ve taken the first step to taming the behemoth by trying to understand these forces and how they derail our focus and productivity.

Leadership & Productivity are Sleeping Together

Keep reading to learn the 4 Defenses You Need to Get Time to Think

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Five Lessons for Success from the Alabama Crimson Tide

It’s the heart of the college football season and there are valuable lessons we can learn from the most successful programs.

Y ou don’t have to be a football fan to embrace them. They are timeless lessons that apply to any business.

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“Who’s walking on my field?”

You’re lugging 40 pounds on your back in 100 degree temperature.

Your head’s tucked inside a small capsule like a two-pound sausage in a one-pound casing and sweat’s pouring down your face.

There’s no chance the sun will disappear … it’s only 10 a.m. … and while there’s water everywhere, your reach for the next bottle seems to exceed your grasp.

Oh, yeah, and the boss expects you to be running – not walking – on his field.

Run, don’t walk, to see the 5 Lessons for Success …

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