By k | May 31, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

One of my co-workers approached me
on Friday.
She’s worried because she heard
via the gossip mill
that she may be reporting
to a new boss
(btw… I immediately verified this gossip.
It is true).

What is the number one thing
on her boss wish list?

That her boss sticks up for her.

That’s it.
That’s all.

If you want loyal, hard working employees,
you have to be a loyal, hard working boss.
Defend your people.
Fight to get them
the perks and raises they deserve.
When explaining mistakes,
remind others of your employee’s successes.
Give them credit
for what they do FOR YOU every day.

Be a great boss
and great people will want to work for you.
It IS that simple.

By k | May 30, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In March’s Men’s Health,
Matthew McConaughey says

“Cynics love to put their finger
on disease
before they put it on health.
It’s the easy way to go.
Play the blame game:
‘I got screwed,
that should’ve been mine.’
They’re all dead-end answers.
For me, ‘Just keep livin’,’
as a creed and a compass,
is about making the evolving choice,
the forward-moving, life-giving choice.”

There are no successful cynics.
Take control of your future
and KNOW you can change it.

By k | May 29, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

When I was pitching new products or systems
at a major quick service restaurant chain,
we always pitched to
the biggest franchisee first.

We would approach him,
ask his feedback early on in the process,
and give him the option
of testing the system or products first.

Why did we do this?

Because we knew
that as the biggest, most successful franchisee,
he had influence over the others.
If he didn’t like something,
the others were less likely to like it.
If he liked something,
he’d use his clout to push it through.

We also knew
that if we pitched the idea
to someone else first,
he’d find out
and get in a snit.

Everyone wants to be first
(or at least have the option
of being first).
Woo your key partners first.

By k | May 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A couple of weeks ago,
I needed to buy a pair of slacks.
I went to a large department store
and left without even trying on a pair.

Why?

Because it was too hot
in the store for clothes shopping.

Many claim that
70 to 73 degrees F is the ideal store temperature.
Vary far from that temperature
and you’ll turn off almost all buyers
but tweak your store temperature
and you can tweak sales.

In a quick service restaurant
I worked with,
the store owner would
increase the store temperature
by a couple of degrees
when he wanted to sell more ice cream
and turn it down
when he wanted to sell more hot beverages.

A travel agent I know
plays with his store temperatures
to drive trips to certain destinations.
He uses it as a marketing tool.
‘This is the temperature in Barbados today.’

Store temperatures make a difference in sales.

BTW…
A higher temperature is not necessarily better
for ice cream sales.
As Christina Seid
of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
says
“When it is too humid,
people want to be in air conditioning.
Instead of going out to ice cream parlors,
they would rather stay at home.
Sales are much higher on days
between 70 and 80 degrees
than those in the 90s and 100s.”

By k | May 27, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

For my last two weeks
on the business gig,
I don’t have a network friendly computer.
It is driving me crazy.
I can’t check email.
I can’t pitch in to help.
I can’t answer special requests.

All I can do
is train my replacement.

Which is, of course, my sole goal.

I’m a doer.
If I had the tools,
I’d be helping her, not training her.
By taking away my tools
and giving them to my replacement,
I am FORCED to train
the ENTIRE time I’m in the office.
If I want anything done
(and as a doer, getting things done is a priority),
I have to teach her to do it.

If you need to force a doer to train,
give her tools to the trainee.

By k | May 26, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Whether I agree
with the fight or not,
I admire people
who take a stand.

I, however,
sometimes take offense
at
WHEN people take a stand.

I was in a meeting yesterday.
There were major problems
that had to be resolved
around a new commodity tax.
One of the participants
somehow swung the discussion
into whether or not
same sex couples should have full benefits.

He was passionate.
He cared.
He completely derailed
an until then productive meeting.

Key stakeholders walked out.
I eventually did the same.
I was there to advise
on commodity taxes,
not debate same sex rights.

Take a stand
but choose the right battlefield.
Don’t hijack another person’s meeting.

By k | May 25, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my publishers told me
that she had two empty spots
for July.
If I submitted a 10,000 word story
by midnight May 24th,
I could snag one of those spots.

She told me May 14th.
I had no appropriate stories
already written.
I had 10 days to write 10,000 words
while working 12 hour days
on the business gig.
I thought it was impossible
but the opp was too good
not to try for.

I subbed 11:30 pm on the 24th.

If you were offered the chance of a lifetime
if you completed step one
of your business launch
in 10 days,
could you do it?

If the answer is yes
then…
why AREN’T you doing it?
Make your own chance of a lifetime.

By k | May 24, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Disasters (i.e. mistakes) happen.
It is important to learn from them
so we don’t repeat
the same mistakes.

The time for learning,
however,
is AFTER the fires have been put out
(or in BP’s case,
after the oil leaks have been plugged).

During a disaster,
ALL resources should be allocated
toward fixing that disaster.
That’s it.

You tell auditors to come back later.
You let environment groups
and government driven witch hunts
know that you’ll happily deal with them
after you’ve stopped the bleeding.

Fix the current disaster first.
Talk about how to prevent
the next disaster
later.

By k | May 23, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

The most challenging part
of any bridge position
is training my replacement.

I am a doer.
I am not a teacher.
To sit back
and teach someone to do
is painful.

It has to be done
because
all my progress during the placement
will be undone
if that knowledge is not transferred.

I’ve had some great transitions.
I’ve trained 12 hour days
with some super keen new hires.
It was a complete brain drain
but at the end of my days,
a superstar had filled my shoes.
She knew everything I did.

I’ve had some less than stellar transitions.
My current trainee
has no interest in learning the job.
We finally had a talk on Friday.
I told her I’d be available
24/7 for training
until the 4th.
She was responsible
for how long training sessions went.
She left at noon on Friday.

Training has no real benefit
for the trainer.
If you don’t give a rat’s ass
about learning,
we won’t give a rat’s ass
about teaching.

By k | May 22, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Breakout artist K’naan
was approached by Coca-Cola
to write a song
for the World Cup.

He suggested that
they use
‘Wavin’ Flag’,
the song that rocketed him
to fame.

A top Coke executive’s response?
‘You know,
I think that Wavin’ Flag is
one of those special songs and
I’m afraid that in the end
we’re just a brand and
I don’t want to take away from
your magic and the beauty of this song
by making it some kind of a product.”

Coca-Cola is one of the top brands
in the world.
There’s a reason for that.
All employees,
from entry level to exec,
are trained in brand management.
They are not only trained in branding
but you only reach the top levels
if you love it.

They love branding SO much
that they won’t allow
another brand hurt themselves
by association.

Does your organization
have that same passion for your brand?