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The 4 Pillars of Long Term Success You Can’t Live Without

4 Pillars of Long Term Success

4 Pillars of Long Term Success

These are the four pillars of any firm’s long-term success

“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 don’t fit and the red ones fit perfectly.”

It wasn’t uncommon for the chairman of company North (you may remember him from the 2nd article in our Culture Series, How Are You Paving the Road to Superior Performance) to stop by my office with a message like this.

I realized later he was talking in code

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 refuse them at the door if they come 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.

What the hell are you waiting for? Read the Full Article to see what he was expecting

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Leadership Insight | What are we doing to help you?

“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.

Winston Churchill

Why do you have your own business?

Winston Churchill could have been an entrepreneur to have so eloquently dramatized the thrill associated with building a business.

Whether you own it yourself or share it with partners, it’s yours to build, to mold according to your dreams and values.

You may be building it from scratch or seeking new opportunities to jumpstart a mature company. In either case, I hope this will help you on your journey.

Want to build your own boat?

Why do you have your own business?

Independence, many will say, the chance to run my own show?

Be my own boss?

Do things my way – maybe because you’ve seen them done the wrong way and you can do better? (more…)

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

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

Every Tuesday, we’re sharing valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BE a better leader so you can BECOME a better leader. Remember … you won’t BECOME a better leader until you start BEING a better leader … implementing NOW the changes necessary to adopt the proven strategies of successful leaders. You might start by building on the communication matrix and making sure you’re defending the castle to get done what only you can do. Make sure to take some time so you’re thinking past today. Don’t forget our 12 part Leadership series.

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We’re human, we make mistakes, we miscalculate …

I continue to examine some of the first 100 newspaper columns I’ve written … and continue to be struck by the timeless issues that we face as we build our businesses.

We’re human, we make mistakes, we don’t always get done what we intend, we miscalculate, things don’t turn out as planned.

Stuff happens.

We know we’re on a journey and not just seeking a destination, but that doesn’t diminish our struggle to overcome many of the same forces that have plagued progress throughout civilization.

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The Cornerstones of Leadership | L = Loyalty

Isn’t there something almost magical about having a loyal friend?

They know when we need help and even better, offer their help without our asking.

They’re committed to a lasting relationship with us and they inspire us with their loyalty.

They don’t judge us, they overlook our shortcomings, and they expect nothing in return.

>We have no trouble understanding that kind of loyalty.

What is Loyalty?

But there are others we know as “fair weather friends,” good friends even. We enjoy their company, they’re responsive when their help is sought, but they wouldn’t be our first choice to join us in a foxhole.

You’ve got to give loyalty down, if you want loyalty up.” ~ Donald T. Regan

What is loyalty and how important is it to successful leadership?

Some philosophers think loyalty is only a sentiment; others argue that it’s more of a test of conduct than an intensity of feeling. Some argue that it’s a virtue; some claim that disloyalty is a greater vice than loyalty is a virtue.

Others argue that we must set aside good judgment to be loyal; I contend that while steadfast loyalty is a welcome quality, no individual or company should expect mindless fealty.

Is Job Loyalty a Worthless Virtue? (more…)

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The Building Blocks of Leadership | What are they?

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

Nothing in life travels in a neat formation accompanied by bugles and cavalry. A lot of it shows up 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 from overlooking the land mines hidden beneath our feet.

Every Tuesday, we’ll share valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BE a better leader so you can BECOME a better leader. Remember … you won’t BECOME a better leader until you start BEING a better leader  … implementing NOW the changes necessary to adopt the proven strategies of successful leaders. You might start by building on the communication matrix and making sure you’re defending the castle to get done what only you can do. Make sure to take some time so you’re thinking past today.

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This is the introductory article to an upcoming 10 part series on the building blocks of

L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P.

Some of the greatest battles will be fought

within the silent chambers of your own soul.”

— Ezra Taft Benson

As a business leader, how often have you paused to wonder, “Am I a very good leader?” “Is it possible that I’m really just a ‘legend in my own mind’ and that when I turn around and look closely, not many people are following?”

Leadership is the centerpiece of our business success. We start out with what God gave us, and stumble, fall, grow, learn and build from that foundation, emboldened by our success, nurtured by our failures.

What does it take to be a great leader?

Your business will not survive … let alone thrive … if you don’t (more…)

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

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hollister france
Mulberry Outlet
Hollister Pas Cher

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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Leadership Styles: The Smartest Guys in the Room can kill you!

When a fellow says it hain’t the money but the principle o’ the thing, it’s th’ money.” — Frank McKinney

‘Always ask why.  Dig deeper.  Get the facts.’ Avoid the crowd mentality

“Ask Why” was their motto.

“Wheel Out,” “Fat Boy” “Death Star” and “Get Shorty” were some of the nicknames applied to their strategies.

Confirmation letters of successful trades were addressed to names like “Mr. M. Yass and “Mr. M. Smart” … and I think you can parse the underlying contempt.

“Rank & Yank” described their people performance system, “Pump and Dump” their trading strategy.

About $70 billion of market value was destroyed, more than 20,000 employees lost their jobs and pension funds worth $3.2 billion were destroyed, more than two thirds of which belonged to retirees with little chance to rebuild.

I had always intended to watch “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” the 2005 movie based on a book by the same name from co-authors Peter Elking and Bethany McLean, but it got lost in the shuffle until last week.

It chronicles the Enron cataclysm, whose meteoric ascent was violently terminated with its bankruptcy on Dec. 3, 2001.

“Be like Enron” is still an ignominious curse

It’s hard to believe this happened almost 10 years ago since to be “like Enron” still reverberates as an ignominious curse. It’s really more like a viral infection, though, because so many of the forces that drove its destruction have cleaved similar fissures in scandals from (more…)

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Do you have a Battle Plan – or is Hope your only Strategy?

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

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.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, (American 34th President (1953-61). 1890-1969)

We need to make sure that everyone’s headed in the same direction … that we don’t ignore the obstacles or overlook the great opportunities on the road ahead … or don’t squander valuable resources chasing rainbows.

That’s why you should listen to our 5-part podcast series that demystifies planning and describes a simple discipline to get you started.

Do I really have to plan to have a successful business?

I find myself using General Eisenhower’s phrase repeatedly for at least two reasons … it’s true … and (more…)

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Flush the recession Kool-Aid! Create your own demand!

“Teach a parrot the terms ‘supply and demand’ and you’ve got an economist.”

~ Thomas Carlyle

A lady walked into a neighborhood market one day and spoke loudly over the counter to the head butcher.

“Your prices these days are atrocious, Sal. Joe’s Deli across the street is selling your $10 chuck roast for only $5!”

“I know, Mrs. Haggle. I saw the sign. The thing is . . . Joe doesn’t have any chuck roast.”

The law of supply and demand still rules

So, the law of supply and demand rears its head again, some days a beautiful vision, other days an ugly hag. We’re surrounded by her mystique everywhere we go. Traffic is tied up because there are more cars than highway space. Starbuck’s is backed up because people want coffee faster than it can be made. There are no paper clips in the supply room but there’s plenty of fruitcake left in the kitchen.

Even for tickets to a free concert?

Supply and demand drove markets long before economists appeared … and its jarring prevalence is unavoidable. One of my favorite examples is (more…)

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Leadership Lessons | What is the Cornerstone of your Strategy?

At this time of year, we all get excited about personal renewal, our plans for the coming year and how we can enhance our personal and professional lives in 2011.

Even though most of us have traveled the road of broken resolutions, hope springs eternal as we prepare to refresh our commitment and recharge our batteries … and make plans to overcome our shortcomings and rise to new levels of success.

There are many fashionable approaches to this process, many of them with valuable insights.

Jonathan Fields chose 10 words to focus his energy. His approach is an expanded derivation from a three-word approach used by Chris Brogan, who, like me, uses his carefully chosen words “the way a lighthouse helps a ship in a storm.”

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

Ernest Hemingway used only six words to write what he called his greatest novel … and the more you think on it, the more intriguing it becomes.

It’s one more approach you can use to bring the essence of your 2011 plan into sharp focus.

Although we’re more interested in clarity than mystery in our annual pilgrimage to the altar of realistic expectations, this approach, like those of Jonathan and Chris, also celebrates the power of simplicity.

Find the Cornerstone of your strategy

“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler

Maybe you’ve used variations on these K.I.S.S. principles to craft all sorts of goals and objectives … memorialized in lists, notebooks and diagrams.

Yet, when we step back into the maelstrom of real life, distractions intrude, new input floods our inboxes, and without seeing it, we start to slowly drift off course. We madly implement course correction procedures, but instead of returning us to our original direction, they cause us to lurch about, each adjustment resulting in a slightly different course even further from our original objective.

So, how many words does that leave us? (more…)

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