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5 Tips from Winston Churchill to Overcome Any Storm

Are you having a bad day … maybe a bad week … even a few bad weeks in a row?

Could you handle it if you had to slog your way through a seemingly unending storm?

How Do You Achieve Victory Against Insurmountable Odds?

Yesterday, November 30, Winston Churchill would have been 143 years old. He died in 1965 but few modern historical figures are as legendary as Churchill.

It made me think on his countless pearls of wisdom I’ve enjoyed over the years. Some poignant, some funny, some rather cutting. I’ve sprinkled a few throughout for your enjoyment and amusement.

It also reminded me that in the face of life’s challenges, we CAN keep on getting on … and overcome them even when they seem stretched endlessly in front of us.

What Does the Future Hold?

The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may destroy it … but there it is. ~ Winston Churchill

The future is never clear enough and there are always unbidden passengers getting on the train … economic turmoil, political stalemate, terrorism, the wrath of Mother Nature … it’s a pretty long list.

“Let us go into the storm … and through the storm,” said Winston Churchill as he prepared England to confront the Nazi regime in World War II.

I thought this might be a touch of hyperbole as we face life’s challenges, but then I recalled that Churchill’s odyssey raged for five years, not just a day or a week.

Imagine Churchill, FDR and others slogging for five dreadful years through the greatest threat to civilization we have known.

How do we carry on the fight over a longer period?

Keep reading to learn how to overcome the Resistance …

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Do You Thrive on Paranoia? If Not, Why Not? If So … Then What?

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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Do You Have a Battle Strategy – or is Hope your only Strategy?

I’m pretty sure most of us missed the Crusades … and know very little of medieval warfare.


While battle strategy in that era appears to be random and haphazard, certainly in most movies depicting that period, planning invariably eclipsed brute force. Strategy proved to be the touchpoint for success in every battle, including the ones we’re fighting every day.



Using a Battlefield Metaphor May Seem a Bit Strong …

… yet, it’s perfectly apt for the complexity … and yes, often the intensity … of what we’re facing every day.

But, this concept is not really about military conquest. 

I use the reference more in the sense of this phrase:

“Civilians think about strategy. Generals think about logistics.”

D-Day Was Really ALL About Planning

Most of us weren’t around during World War II … but D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion of all time.

It involved over 250,000 troops and 15,000 ships landing along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944.

Luck?

Accident? … or the result of rigorous strategic planning and project management?

Could this happen without planning?

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, (Our 34th President)

Did General Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, lead this effort without any planning?

Of course not, and even if our business plans aren’t quite as extensive, we know (deep down, we know for sure) that we need some sort of an organized planning process to build a successful business.

Keep Reading to find the 4 Simple Reasons You Need a Plan

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Are You Sure You’re Always Serving the Best Interests of Your Customers?

How often do the best interests of your customers and clients conflict with the short-term financial goals of your business?

A re your sure everyone in your organization doing the right thing when no one’s looking?

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You grabbed the last piece of cake before your sister could get it.

The principal called and said your daughter broke a toy because another girl got to it first.

Your son pushed a boy on the playground because that boy got the last place on the teeter-totter.

“You know better than that!”

Isn’t that what our mothers would have said … our fathers, too?

What made them think that we knew better than that?

Are you serving the best interests of your customers? Keep reading …

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The Four Common Features of Equally Successful but Different Cultures

We’ve been exploring the impact of different cultures and how they affect our organizations.

W hat are the common threads shared by these radically different cultures that you can apply to make your company equally successful?

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“Lary, give this customer a call. We’ve just received an unauthorized return, and I want these shoes sent back. Funny how the green shoes they bought don’t fit and the red ones fit perfectly.”

It wasn’t uncommon for the Chairman of company North (remember, “N” for “Nasty”?) to stop by my office with a message like this. His remarks were actually a code:

“The red shoes sold well but the green ones the customer bought aren’t selling … so now they’re claiming they don’t fit so they can return them. We’ve had no other such complaints. Tell them we won’t accept them and ship them back.”

I made a note to contact the customer, figuring I’d call them after lunch when I would be more likely to catch them three time zones away. No e-mail back then.

Unexpectedly, the Chairman returned to my office 20 minutes later to ask,

“What did they say?”

The first few times this happened I asked,

“Who?” …

failing to make the connection he expected.

While I learned the nuances of merchandising economics with these examples, what I finally realized was that the Chairman expected me to drop everything and call them immediately.

He wasn’t happy,

“What else are you doing?”,

and after a few unpleasant encounters, I finally caught on.

Don’t miss the 4 Common Threads that bind successful companies

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Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?

There’s more emphasis every day on the value and influence of culture on business success.

W hat does it mean if your culture is dysfunctional and your employees think it’s a train wreck?

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“He threw a lead crystal ashtray at his son’s head?“ I asked. ”Thank God he missed.”

“He threw his secretary’s typewriter through a second story window – it wasn’t open – into a parking lot full of cars below?”

These are just a few of the stories I heard after I joined the firm.

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ever feel like you were a galley slave?

In short order, I recognized that the company’s cultural ancestors probably included a toga-clad, sweat-drenched galleon driver pounding out a cadence of “ramming speed” with a wooden mallet.

Their cost-containment strategy was medieval.

Keep reading to capture some of the most important elements of a great culture

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Lewis & Clark didn’t load the canoe with Mojitos!

Socrates said, “Know Thyself”, one of the most profound philosophies ever spoken about human behavior.

H ave you thought about what it might mean for your business?

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The night sky is etched in vivid black and white tones, and in the back seat of a chauffeured car prowling the streets of Hoboken, N.J., a lawyer for a mob-connected union boss confronts his brother, Terry Malloy, about testifying against the mob in court.

Malloy, despondent over these threats, is stunned when his brother pulls a gun to emphasize his point. Their relationship had reached a nadir, and Malloy was distraught that his brother helped dismantle his fledgling boxing career.

In his dark lament, he delivers this memorable line:

“I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody … instead of a bum.” – Terry Malloy (played by Marlon Brando in the legendary movie, On the Waterfront)

What did Mom Say about Being Somebody?

Our moms also told us to “be somebody” – although our behavior at any particular moment may have altered her tone when she really meant …

  • “Be somebody better than you’re being right now”, or
  • “Get off the couch and quit loafing.”

What does it take to BE SOMEBODY?

Continue reading to see how to consider your brand identity …

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This is How You Create a Lifelong Customer

In many instances, finding customers can be easier than keeping customers.

T here are a lot of things we can do to get them to show up. But, do we do everything to make sure they keep showing up?

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You don’t have to look very far to find instances where customer service lands with a thud.

Restaurants are a pretty easy target

Restaurants may be one of the easiest targets since we’re in them all the time, so imagine my pleasant surprise to receive a Missed Opportunity check from a Grand Rapids, Michigan restaurant I visited while there to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.

The dish I ordered wasn’t quite up to par, a little dry compared to previous visits.

Keep reading to learn about how to turn the tables on Missed Opportunities

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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.

image

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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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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