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Tag Archives | Unconventional

The 7 Qualities You Need to Get Your Company on the Medal Stand

What does it take to get on the Medal Stand and out of the Grandstands?

Jessica Long. One of the most decorated Paralympic athletes in history.

She’s won 17 Olympic medals. 12 of them are gold.

She holds 13 world records.

She’s been Sports Woman of the Year twice.

She’s obviously a remarkable swimmer.

She did all of it after having the lower part of both legs amputated when she was 18 months old.

Jessica Long’s drive, devotion and discipline are unquestioned.   Her determination is boundless. (NBC produced an in-depth look at her life you can find here.)

Is all of that enough? If you had each of those characteristics in immeasurable quantity, would it be enough to make you an Olympian?

Is drive, devotion and discipline enough?

Probably not.

Keep reading and download the 7 Olympic Qualities checklist …

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Hope is powerful but don’t let it become an embalming agent. Get moving.

Hope is Not a Strategy. Action is.

Hope isn’t a strategy. Action IS!

For most of us, this is the time of the year when hope springs eternal.
We’re revved up for an exciting new year, determined to change all of the things that didn’t work last year so we can pound the ball out of the park in 2014.

Nothing wrong with any of that.

Commitment, momentum, focus … these are the energies that will fuel our engine and help us jumpstart 2014 with the vigor and rigor that we need to make this year the most successful ever.

Are your initiatives starting to drag just a bit?

The gum does kinda lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight, doesn’t it?

We don’t get far into the new year before we discover that it’s much easier to start than to finish.

We struggle to keep the engine stoked with the same energy that propelled us into the New Year.

We begin to feel some of the air already coming out of the tires, and begin to wonder … “where did that new-found energy go”?

What’s that whimpering sound?

It comes back to that whimpering sound of “hope springs eternal.”

Read why Hope is a poor excuse for a strategy….

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Rudolph led his team across the world. You can, too!

If you woke up this morning with sugar plums dancing in your head, most likely Santa made it down the chimney … and Rudolph is stretched out on the ottoman with a cup of spiced egg nog in hand.

“Seriously?” my wife said. “You’re really singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer while you’re getting dressed this morning?”

I’m afraid so.

Rudolph, The Entrepreneur?

Honestly, I have no idea how that song got into my head.

Maybe because Rudolph … along with Santa and Frosty … are the most iconic images of a secular Christmas?

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe because my daughter’s little yorkie, Lulu, is wearing her “Ludolph” outfit?

Maybe all that … but  for just a moment, I stopped to consider the words … mostly to figure out how to convince my wife that I hadn’t lost it  … yet ….

There’s a timeless message in Rudolph’s story.

Then, it dawned on me that there’s a very timeless message in this simple tune that applies to all of us entrepreneurs … and everyone else trying to find their way in this world. Here’s the message Rudolph has to share …

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The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

Do you remember the CEO we discussed in the first article in this series who threw his secretary’s typewriter through a second story window – without opening it?

You may not have seen a typewriter fly … or a lead crystal ashtray pass by your head. You may also worked in a company that was thriving financially with a company culture that didn’t quite measure up.

I was at the epicenter of one cultural disaster.

From the first day, I was stunned that so many put up with so much. My excuse is that I was a young pup and didn’t know any better … but a lot of adults in the playroom sure should have. (I eventually regained my sanity and jumped ship.)

Even to this day, I look back in amazement that the company was such a financial powerhouse. It was a star performer on the NYSE … but my young, naïve bubble was burst because I figured that companies that performed great … must be great companies.

Their bank account was fat but their culture was leaner than a ostrich burger.

What YOU CAN do about it!

Read the Full Article about the 6 Keys to Rock Your Culture …

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Leadership Lessons: Wild & Crazy Guys or Masters of our Domain?

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.

We’re sharing valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BECOME a better leader.

First, you must 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 some time so you’re thinking past today.

___________________

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

~ Justice Earl Warren

Get in the game. Enjoy the Ride.

Enthusiastic Leaders

The week just ended is my favorite sports week of the year. Some of you will say, “Nah, you got your calendar mixed up. Baseball season opened the previous week.”

Of course, I could say, “but the home opener for the Giants was that week” and then you’d say, “OK, so you’re a big Giants fan. I get it.”

A few of you may suspect that’s not the reason. Not that I don’t love the World Champion San Francisco Giants and all … but honestly? That didn’t even occur to me as I braced for the greatest sports week of the year.

What’s not to like?

There are a lot of reasons why I love the week that just ended. (more…)

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Leadership | The 7 Attributes of World Class Organizations

What can you accomplish in a flash of time?

It lasts about 300 to 400 milliseconds. It occurs about 10 to 20 times per minute.

Over the course of a day, excluding about 8 hours of sleep, it amounts to about an hour and 20 minutes on average, a fair chunk of time in our waking day.

If you consider that the universe is about 14 billion years old, about 54,000 years would pass by during any given span of those milliseconds. 

Some might argue that we can’t see anything during that period.

Yes, all that happens in the blink of an eye … about 1/3 of a second.

It ain’t much but in those small fractions, a lot can occur.

(more…)

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Leadership | There’s a simple one-word formula to avoid an ass-whuppin’

Prepare to Win … or get ready to get your butt kicked!

Many moons ago when my daughter was 3 years old, she really wanted a Barbie dollhouse for Christmas.

She never played with Barbie dolls … never liked them much either … but she loved all the little people and things in that doll house.

We found one and hid it in the attic to await Christmas Eve when we could sneak it under the Christmas tree.

My wife and I went up to the attic around 10 p.m. that evening and it was only then when I noticed the small print on the side of the large box … “less than 500 pieces.”

Assembly Required?

What? 500 pieces? To assemble? At this hour? Alas, yes … and man, was it painful to have to stay up until 3 a.m. putting it together. How’s that for preparation? (more…)

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Leadership | Innovation & Growth | Congratulations to 2 North Bay Leaders

This week, two North Bay organizations deserve a round of applause!

Amy’s Kitchen opens an on-site health care clinic

First, congratulations to Amy’s kitchen for its innovative approach to employee health care. They recently opened a primary health care clinic at their Santa Rosa production facility.

From time to time, we offer a round of applause to organizations and individuals making significant leadership contributions in their companies and communities.

This is a terrific idea and a clear recognition that a company CAN do more to meet the health care needs of its employees. It’s encouraging to see a prominent North Bay company take this important step.

Brian Ling becomes CEO of the Sonoma County Alliance

 

Brian Ling has been a long time friend and colleague in Sonoma County, and has been recently hired  as the new CEO of the Sonoma County Alliance.

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Leadership | How to Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

How to Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

This phrase is powerful in so many ways.

Smart people can often be prima donnas – I’ve heard those accusations myself … the first part, of course, not the second (and typically disguised in less elegant terms) … but the brilliance of some people is often more blinding than enlightening.

Fortune magazine recently asked Dr. Mehmet Oz about the best leadership advice he had ever received.

Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

As a Chief Resident associated with Columbia University, Dr. Oz’ mentor told him that the hardest part of being a leader was “keeping smart people from killing each other.” (more…)

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Leadership Obstacles: No execution? No results!

Strategy and Execution
If the execution of a company’s plans is an avowed priority, critical to the success of both the CEO and the business, why aren’t CEOs spending enough time on it to make it successful?

Why is it that every time the Conference Board surveys CEOs to identify their Top Ten Challenges, “consistent execution of strategy” or “excellence in execution” is invariably cited as being in the top two or three “greatest concerns”?

Yet, when CEOs are asked about their greatest disappointments or failures, they routinely list their company’s inability to execute?

Conundrum … Mystery … Enigma

Huh?

How is it that a subject among the top three goals of most CEOs is the very one where the CEO has the least amount of success? Is this simply a conundrum tucked inside a mystery hidden inside an enigma … or can we sort out some of this ambiguity? (more…)

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