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Are You Ready to Start Your Own “Bonfire of the Vanities?

More than 500 years ago, the Bonfire of the Vanities purged sin and excess.

Objects like cosmetics, artworks, mirrors and much more were burned in the town square. What are you going to throw on your own bonfire?

 

Bonfire of the Vanities

Bonfire of the Vanities

 

Is it Time to Start Your Own Bonfire?

Barely 500 years ago, Girolamo Savonarola was an outspoken and strident critic of the current order, angrily vilifying the worldly possessions that tempted people to become sinners.

He was ultimately excommunicated from the Catholic church, condemned for heresy, stripped of his priestly garments, hanged, and his body burned in the town square in Florence, Italy, a stark and ignominious ending to a life committed to vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Tom Wolfe wrote his first novel on this subject

Tom Wolfe, the esteemed American writer, published his first novel in 1987. (It was originally produced in the serial style of Charles Dickens, with 27 articles appearing in Rolling Stone magazine beginning in 1984.)

Wolfe was determined to expose the outlandish excesses of New York society in the 1980s, which were top of mind for many Americans in the same year that Oliver Stone’s infamous movie, Wall Street, starring Michael Douglas, was released.

The Bonfire of the Vanities

There is a compelling message in Wolfe’s novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, a phrase taken from the infamous public exhibitions that Savonarola instituted in Renaissance Florence 500 years ago.

Don’t miss the chance to consider what you’re tossing on YOUR bonfire

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The 7 Key Attributes of Successful New Leaders

Consider these 7 Key Attributes of Successful New Leaders to give yourself a running start.

Existing leaders will also benefit from reading along and making course corrections where necessary.

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A number of my clients and colleagues have recently ascended to greater positions of leadership at the top ranks of their companies. There’s suddenly even more to do, but have you paused long enough to consider how you should start?

Do you need to do anything differently?

1. Credibility is Foremost

Without it, you’ll look over your shoulder and find no one there. You need to do it by being committed to learning, being humble about what you don’t know and proving to your team that you’re building a transparent and collaborative organization — and they are a critical part of it.

Roll up your sleeves and learn before barking out orders.

Make sure you don’t miss any of these 7 Attributes

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What do people see when they look in your window?

Do people see exactly what you want them to see when they look in your window?

I’m sure we can agree on this: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

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Back when I was a bank teller ….

Just after the dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, my first assignment in the Management Training Program of the bank I joined right after college, was as a teller at one of their branches.

Some of you may never have been inside a bank branch, but back then, they were the center of your personal and business banking universe. There was no online capability and everything had to be done face-face.

I won’t belabor my experience … making sure the transactions at my window, and in the entire branch, were balanced before anyone could leave the branch … the often tedious nature of handling deposits or standing around waiting for one … but I remember vividly one of the most powerful lessons I learned on my first day:

If you care about what people see when they look in your window, keep reading

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If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re Not Paying Attention | What’s Destructive Enrichment?

Concepts about paranoia abound. Ask Andy Grove, Jim Collins, Muhtar Kent and me.

By any name, change is healthy, but it means you’ll have to dropkick some of the things you’re already doing … even if you’re in love with them.

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A rose is a rose is a tulip? No, that’s not right. A rose is a rose is … well, by any other name, I think it’s still a rose. Right?

We’re pretty famous in this country for euphemisms, aren’t we, particularly for unwelcome issues.

Eternal rest.

Cement shoes.

Adult entertainment … I think you catch my drift.

How would you describe the Entrepreneurial Mentality?

There are also a lot of ways that the entrepreneurial mentality has been described.

We first read about “constructive paranoia,” a phrase popularized by Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel in his book, Only the Paranoid Survive.

It’s hard to argue with his mantra:

Keep reading to understand the concept of Destructive Enrichment

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The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth

The “Truth Will Set You Free” has been uttered by thousands, but maybe only a few really believe it and tell it faithfully.

That’s the mantra at Exkalibur.com and we’re sticking to it. Big Time. All the Time. Here’s why.

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What are we doing at Exkalibur and how is that going to help you?

Great question.

What unique perspective do I have?

For one thing, I have a very eclectic background that is matched by few.

Few executives can say they have worked in the salt mines in Miami or in the meadows of St. Louis.

Few could say that they were a commercial banker and investment banker, that they started their own boutique investment firm, that they had their first CFO job at 29.

Few could say that they helped raise capital built on a $1,000 equity base into $35 million in lines of credit from 7 banks on 4 continents before the age of 35.

Maybe not the smartest moves ….

Few would be dumb enough to quit that job and start a bedroom consulting gig that turned into an investment banking boutique without having the foggiest idea what they were doing.

Few have competed successfully against multibillion-dollar investment firms with a 7 person team and no real money to be hired to manage a $35 million venture fund.

Keep reading if you want the truth. Stop here if not.

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Fun Friday | 9 Super Annoying Habits I Hope You Don’t Have!

It’s Friday, it’s summer time … so why not have a little fun at someone’s expense. I just hope it isn’t you.

There are at least 9 Annoying Habits that are the most grating to me … and I’m convinced they represent latent and nefarious character flaws that will be even more annoying when they become visible.

9 Super Annoying Habits I Hope You Don’t Have!

9 Annoying habits I’d like to strangle you for!

Are there habits in others … not ourselves, of course … that you find particularly annoying?

There are probably a lot of simple ones … squeezing the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, leaving dirty clothes on the floor, not hanging up your towel … minor stuff in the scope of things.

Then, there are those … the ones that are the most grating to me … that I’m convinced represent latent and nefarious character flaws that will be even more annoying when they become visible … and I promise you, they inevitably will.

I know many of you won’t like this list

Some of you won’t like this list … because you’re on it … and yes, I probably will unfairly judge you if I witness this habit. Maybe these are just personal idiosyncrasies …. for you, maybe … but for me … mostly … not.

So, I apologize in advance … but this is just the way I see it using my infallible superpowers. I’m even going to tell you what I suspect lurks beneath the surface of these imperfections.

No, that word’s not strong enough. Oh well, you can judge for yourself, but let me know because I really want to know if I’m the only one who sees these.

But, I have to say this sure is fun

Don’t miss any of these 9 Super Annoying Habits … in case you have some of them

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Why the Lack of Momentum is the Most Lethal Force in Your Business

An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. ~ Sir Isaac Newton

Momentum is an incredibly powerful force in business as well as physics. These laws will help you energize your organization and get things done.

The Dynamics of Business Momentum

You don’t need to be a physics student

Most of us are familiar with the legend of Newton’s apple, which fell on his head and triggered his musings about the Universal Law of Gravitation. An unlikely but apocryphal story.

Fewer of us are physics students, and I’m pretty sure that few professors would whisper “physics” in the same sentence as “understanding” if they were considering my scientific proclivities. Nonetheless, I have come to learn that Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion have powerful siblings in the business world.

The Dynamics of Momentum is a powerful driver

Newton’s First Law of Motion focuses on the physics of movement, but the dynamics of “momentum” apply equally to people and organizations.

Learn how Newton’s First Law of Motion powerfully affects your business

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Get More At Bats

A good hitter knows he has to get more hits to be great. A great hitter knows she has to get more at bats to get to the Hall of Fame.

In the wake of the fading scars from the recent recession, most companies have turned their focus to revenue enhancement, a fancy term for “get more sales”. What are the key metrics that will help you drive that achievement?

Get More At Bats - Exkalibur.com

What could be easier than to focus on top line growth?

There is probably no clearer metric to measure and analyze. Check the ledger: sales are up or they’re not.

But, where do sales come from? From Prospects who become customers … so if you’re not tracking how you’re developing Prospects, and treating them as importantly as customers, your sales are unlikely to grow much.

Here’s the real key to getting more sales

Get more at bats.

If you need more customers, find more prospects.  If you own stores, figure out how to get more people through the door.

If you don’t have enough prospects, find more suspects.  If you sell services, talk to more people.

Sales result from developing Suspects … nurturing them to become Prospects … all the while recognizing most of them never become customers   …  but without them, there will be no new customers at all.

“At Bats” are not the same as “Plate Appearances”

Baseball distinguishes between “plate appearances” and “at bats”.

Just showing up at the plate isn’t enough. Keep reading so you don’t miss the metrics checklist…