Jumping into thin air?

OK, I admit it. I am scared of heights.

This link is to my son, Chris, jumping from about 10,000 ft. He will admit that the adrenaline rush does not overcome the intrepidation. He has a couple of jumps to complete at night to complete this training. Not sure if jumping into the dark would be easier or harder.

So, the next time you are at the edge to take a chance on something you have not done or something that scares you, can you make that step out the door and depend on your team and your preparation? Go for it!!


Keys to winning?

I was fortunate enough to hear Gale Sayers this past week.  He had some great messages in the keynote speech he gave.  Here is a man who has succeeded on two fronts.  He is in the National Football Hall of Fame as well as the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.  Great accomplishments forged by hard work.  He values both and believes his success came from being on time, giving his all, and having some God-given talent.

However, the quote that stuck with me was about Brian Picolo, the other running back with the Bears. Gale said that:  “Pic would tell you he won’t get you one sixty like me, but he’ll get you ten sixes“.

We all remember the big run.  It was different from the rest and is in the news.  But… does it really win the game?  Unless you can also grind it out, you may have flashes but not last and may not win.  So, it is great when your team has a player with the ability to break a big one, but be sure to appreciate the utility player that delivers consistent, effective performance in moving to the goal.  He tires out the competition.

Also, one attendee asked was about how fast was Gale in his prime in the 100 yd dash.  He did not know but gave a good answer.  The goal was potentially 100 yards away but he had to beat one player at a time to get there.  He could negotiate the field by starting and stopping and switching directions better than any of the defenders.  They would end up trying to tackle him and he would not be there.  So, again, success comes from our ability to adapt to change better and faster than anyone else – get to that open spot in the field where we can run free.

So, my goal for this week:

  1.  Do 10 things well to move toward my goals, not just one big thing
  2. Read the field and avoid the competitors and barriers – find the open spot

Have a great week! 


P.S. Please, give me a call or drop me an email if there is anything I can do to help.


We really do need each other!

Every day we make choices whether to go it alone or go together.

While I need and value my “alone” time, I know the best way for me to succeed is by building or finding a team of talented people with a desire to help others succeed.    By working with others in partnership, I can learn, ask for help, solve bigger problems, get good counsel, and find relationships for the future.

Partnership works well at all levels.  Companies today cannot be all things due to investment constraints.  A great way around that restriction is to find someone who has the assets you need and partner.  That works locally as well as internationally.  Entering a new market?  Find a local expert who will appreciate your company.  Looking for new opportunities?  Partner and share your network connections to support each other.

None of us can succeed on our own.  We need to reach out and offer some help.  Your giving will be returned many times over.  Just be patient.

Ultimately, look for the win-win.  If you strive for a win at all costs, you diminish your success and it will be fleeting.  Life is not a Zero-Sum game where I have to lose in order for you to win.  Finding the common goals we share will allow us to partner for winning.  Help grow the world by proposing things that enhance and build value for yourself, your suppliers, your customers.  By helping the whole value chain, we strengthen it for future use and always outperform the competition.

Hope you all have a great week.


PS: I am pursuing  some great opportunities and I am continuing to search for others.  If anyone has input or ideas, they are always welcome.  Also, as usual, if there is something I can help you with, please let me know.

Marketing IS your business!!

We all know that marketing is all about the 4 P’s – product, price, place, promotion – and the 3 C’s – customer, competition, company – but have you heard about the 5 T’s?(Adrian Ott, 2007)

Marketing can lead the organization with the information it provides.  Ideally, marketing turns customer voices into company choices.  These choices are investing in operations, R&D, marketing communications, people,  and acquisitions.  They guide the deployment of expensive assets.

To truly lead the corporation, the 5T’s are critical to drive sustainable growth:

Telesis –planned progress toward a new state  – (Total strategy per Ott) –  This is critical – planned action versus reaction.  Do you strategically manage your portfolio of products, new product development, acquisitions etc.?  What is your process to turn website browsers into long term customers or more importantly, fans?  Do you define where you will not invest as clearly as where you will?  Have you identified the “white space” or “Blue Oceans” where you can take your company?  I chose telesis as I value the planning to progress.

Techniques – these are the processes you will teach your team.  It will be the “way we do things here.”    Some will be immutable rules that are required.  However, vibrant and entrepreneurial teams  allow some freedom to make changes on the fly – experimentation if you will.  However, with this freedom comes accountability – admit mistakes, commit to teaching others the new technique, documentation of the experience, take ownership.

Tracking – Know speed and direction of your progress.  Use a dashboard based on your strategic goals.  Keep your focus on the future using the rearview mirror only to protect you from competition and avoid problems.  Do we have predictive models to help direct next actions?  Are our forecasts useful tools that we can depend on or are they just a once a year or once a quarter guess at what will happen?  How can we do better?

Technology – How do we integrate what we learn into the ongoing business intelligence of the organization?  We team with IT to look for solutions – Finance, Marketing, R&D, Operations.  Marketing specific opportunities are online customer interaction, market research management, customer resource management, decision making resources.  Can we make it easier for our customers to buy from us?

Talent – Do we have the right people in the right places and do we provide the right training to build to the future?  Do they fit well with the team and can they take there turn as a leader?

Make these part of your company’s foundation and you will be building a solid future.

Have a great week!!