lead the band : be the rockstar boss

Rockstar Boss The world of business has changed. Not is changing – it has changed. Factories are so 1970’s and pretty much dead in the western world. The widget and selling it has been usurped by the Internet and the last thing your business has left in its value stack is service, saying thank you and being honest. Not everyone can see this, and this is why we need you.
It’s your turn to be the Rockstar Boss....

31 May 2011 ~ 0 Comments

fifteen minutes to live

fifteen minutes to live

Nothing, absolutely nothing is as important as what you have right now. What is in the past is behind you. You have, willingly or unwillingly, learned from it and it has added to the character you are today. Right now.

Bad things have happened to you. Great things have happened too. If you try, you can remember both as distinctly as though they happened today. There are the gaps in-between where nothing seemed to happen, a status quo was maintained, but things did happen and during those times you really weren’t stagnant – you still had hopes for the future and dreams you wanted to fulfill.

It is possible you feel as though you have lived a full life already. Even if not, how successful you are in life is the sum total of the experiences you have had and the people that you have met along the way.

In your mind pick up a pile of little flags and push them into the ground at the points in your life where, had it all ended right there that instant, you would have been happy and felt like you had lived a great, full and complete life.

In front of you is a blank sheet of paper you have yet to write on. Other people may try push the pencil for you, but it’s your pencil and your paper and what results is your work. This is not important other than to know that it will always be your pencil and your paper. The pencil is in your hand right now.

Write stories. Fall in love. Love someone more than you ever could yourself. Learn something new every day. Be uncomfortable. Fear. Feel pain. If it is not working, start again. Regret nothing. Produce something you are exceptionally proud of. Reach satisfaction. Read books. Intently listen to people around you. Reach out to someone you have always wanted to. Complete a story. Be useful, not useless. Care.

Push little flags into the ground every day.

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09 March 2011 ~ 0 Comments

seeing elephants

seeing elephants

If someone wants to see an elephant, they will see an elephant.

Interpretation #1:
When a person wants to do something, they will do it. Determination will make sure they don’t miss that episode of the show they love, the game they want to see or attend the conference they’ve had in their sights. The person has their heart set on seeing an elephant and they will travel, push, move other things around and make a path to the see the elephant.

Interpretation #2:
The world the person was in before had elephants in it. Elephants were part of what was needed for success, so there were lots of elephants and lots of success. In the world they are in today, there are no elephants. Elephants are likely not needed either. However, the person wants to see an elephant in the picture so they will see an elephant in the picture, even if it’s not there.

Interpretation #3:
A person is asked to make a deliberation or give an opinion on something. They made their mind up days/weeks/months ago and no matter what has been presented to them since, their lens on this topic will remain unchanged. It is most often a negative view that is imposed. A beautiful puppy is in front of them, but they only see an elephant.

In each of the interpretations there are elephants. Don’t forget the elephants are there.

03 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

digging up

digging up

Find the positive in everything, even disasters, and start from there.

By default, everyone tends to be negative. It’s an easy state to move toward and most people around you will silently agree and follow the downer attitude. “It’ll never work”, “it’s a sign to stop”, “this wasn’t meant to be” etc.

But it can work. Nothing has to stop. Whatever happened can continue if you really believe it should and you want it to. Whatever happens next is up to you.

Any event, however tragic or even neutral, can have a positive outcome or derivative. There is always a very high possibility that something good can come out of a bad circumstance – you need to deliberately look for it to see it and pursue it.

This is not an endorsement to become the “everything is rainbows, puppies and snowflakes” kind of person. Those people are irritating and lack any level of credibility, tagged as frivolous and often viewed with the same contempt as the ever-happy and equally shallow “Mr Motivator” type of person.

Desperately seek out what can be salvaged from any bad situation you find yourself in, dig deep and look for anything that can be turned around and, most of all, never let the contempt, apathy and resignation that bad things attract consume you too.

- Almost everyone tends to be negative by default.
- Find anything that can be salvaged or learned and used in a bad situation and pursue that.
- Be a positive realist and never, ever become Mr Motivator.

26 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

this is a chord


- Sideburns, December 1976

04 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

stupid and dumb

stupid and dumb

Someone far wiser than I once described to me the difference between stupid and dumb.

Dumb people don’t do something because they don’t know what to do or how to do it. They don’t know.

Stupid people know what to do, but they don’t do it.

Dumb people can learn. Good dumb people learn for themselves.

Stupid people either have fear, lack of practice or a belief that they are doing the right thing that prevents them from doing the proper right thing.

I have yet to encounter a single human being who is stupid and doesn’t do the right thing for malicious reasons.

20 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

toys

toys

Owning a digital camera doesn’t make someone a photographer.

Buying a guitar won’t instantly turn anyone into a musician.

Having a collection of pens isn’t a magic wand to become an author.

With a computer sitting on your desk, the programmer within doesn’t automatically emerge.

The hammer, chisel and saw in the garage won’t produce a carpenter out of you.

A gym membership isn’t an instant conversion for the member to athlete status.

The tools are unimportant. You will have undoubtedly heard this many times before: to do something, anything, that you really want to do takes time and hard work. Break your back hard work. Stay up all night hard work. There isn’t an easy way. I’ve searched for years and it’s not there. There are tools that can make the path easier, but there is still a path that needs to be walked.

To break through the hard work you have to have a goal you’re aiming for and want to reach it. You can visualize it, it makes sense and there’s a burning fire inside you that feeds you the persistence you’re going to need during the hard work to keep you going to the end.

You will learn a lot more than you know now. You will have to rely on and ask for help from others. Your ego and pride will have to take a back seat. Your heart will grow and the desire you have will be so big others will want to attach themselves to it.

You will have to depend on yourself, point the finger back at you and trust your own drive and judgement. One of your first major battles with yourself will be about having patience and giving yourself time to concentrate, learn and carve a path. Nothing big has ever happened overnight or in a few weeks. Nothing. Ever.

Routine forgoes the need to have to have build willpower every day. You’ll need to build that routine.

Tools are toys and mostly irrelevant. Work is hard and, ultimately, will give you what you were looking for.

14 August 2010 ~ 1 Comment

how big?

how big?

My new camera has a 14MP sensor. That’s 2MP more than my previous camera and 13.5MP more than my first. If I wait a year the company who made my new camera will have a model with even more megapixels, and so will their competitors. And it’ll likely be cheaper than the camera I just bought?

The pace of consumer electronics forces this, right? Yes. Almost.

The real battle started the instant a camera manufacturer added the megapixel count of their camera to a website, brochure or press release. That set the metric for competition and the goal to beat for competitors.

Does a 14MP camera take a better picture than a 10MP camera? Not necessarily. Sensor size, noise ratio, ISO capability etc. all play a role, but we only make comparisons based on one number.

However, in the same way Eric Clapton can knock out an incredible tune on my $90 acoustic guitar far better than I ever could, it’s the photographer who makes the difference with the technique and subject matter of the photos they take and not the megapixel count of the camera.

Bragging about numbers creates a measurement for comparison. This turns into a key metric for your competitors to measure themselves by and use against you.

As the measurement grows into smaller/faster/cheaper realms, price stays the same or even decreases and you will end up fighting a pricing battle around the measurement. More for less. The commoditization means that the primary winner is the consumer (and this is okay too!).

The alternative is to avoid measurements altogether, even if your competitors use metrics to sell. Especially if your competitors use ’speeds and feeds’ to sell.

For example, the latest iMac is ‘The ultimate all-in-one’. Two important parts to this:
- it does not tell me how fast, how much or how many. If you want to find out processor speed or how much memory is installed, you can but it’s nowhere near the front edge marketing.
- the marketing leads with what this computer means to me, the prospect who might buy this computer. It’s an all-in-one. Everything’s packed into the screen. Cool – if that’s what I’m looking for. If not, I can quickly move on to something else.

By comparison, the Dell equivalent leads with:
Compact, space-saving Vostro 230 Slim Tower
Includes Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 2GB memory, 250GB hard drive, DVD-ROM, Dell E2010H 20 inchs widescreen monitor, Trend Micro 15-Month Security Subscription

Lots of measurements and points for comparison. Lots of reasons to look elsewhere for smaller/bigger/faster/more for cheaper.

Pack the ruler away and lead with what you’re selling will means to improving the life of the customer instead.

11 August 2010 ~ 1 Comment

vacuum

vacuum

Communication is never amplified louder than when there is none.

In the absence of communication there is only ever speculation, rumor and a plantation for negativity.

Always fill a vacuum.

23 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

blind date

blind date

Before you begin any business endeavor, marketing initiative or anything that’s going to involve you and an audience, do not proceed without being able to answer these six questions to yourself:

The Perfect Customer

1. Picture the your best possible customer. The best, most profitable customer who would also refer more business to back to you. Now answer this question: how would I be able to identify your ideal customer?

2. The most important thing about your ideal customer is the common need, frustration or desire that they share, that your business can resolve. Describe this problem as briefly as you can.

Your Incredible Difference

3. You need to uncover and communicate a way in which your business is different from every other business that says they do what you do. What is different, intentional or unintentional, about your business in the minds of the people you work with?

4. What is it about your product or service, the way you do business or the passion you bring to your work that makes your business different?

Your Service Experience

5. When prices are more or less the same and feature/functionality is only marginally different, attention and selection criteria turns to the service experience with a company. What service innovations should your business be bringing to your customers? (when answering, think about all the things your business could do for our customers that would make them naturally come back to you the next time they have a decision to make)

6. Doing what is expected of you is critical to your existence as a company, however what must you do beyond this to surprise and delight your customers?

(credit to John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing for these targeting concepts)

19 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

the crew the target

the crew the target

To polarise iron filings, a magnet is required. To direct people, you need to have and let everyone know about your vision.

Your vision is your view on the core purpose and idealogy of your company or endevour, the passion that drives it and the pleasure you aim to convey to the people you are doing this for. The vision is not a blah blah document, but instead a short and concise statement that will drive decision making and people to fulfil the company and brand’s role in the world.

For example, Southwest Airlines is a low cost airline whereas Jet Blue stands for safety, caring, integrity, fun and passion. Any employee inside these two companies uses this as a bearing to guide their decisions to match the bigger direction.

From the vision you can derive what core values you and your people (and, by extension, your brand) should follow, the core purpose and the visionary goals you’re going to aim for to achieve the vision.

But why have a vision? Everyone wants to know where to go. This points them in the same direction, toward the target you’re aiming for.