Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Posted: January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Purpose. Elusive purpose. Is purpose measured in dollars and cents? One moment we are squeezing purpose from a transaction, exalting a business success, enjoying a puff of smoke, all action. Only to wake the next moment laying defeated, lonely and purposeless – driving ourselves again to find purpose in events, transactions or sedatives. Our challenge is supreme — for in our quest for purpose we can get too late to the point where we realize we have lived a life existence when purpose was within our reach. We settle. We settle for being daily cowards, and momentary heroes when we could be heroes we were meant to be.

Work is only a small part of life. Find real purpose and embrace the leader you were mean to be.

2011 in review

Posted: January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Merry Christmas!

Posted: December 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

From My Family to Yours, Merry Christmas!

Taxi drivers are good examples of what holistic marketing represents. The story goes; Mr. Taxi, not his real name, with a patron was commuting to a specified location on a four lane divided highway. The left lane was his kingdom and he was bound to defend it. Keeping up with traffic speed was irrelevant – unless he was about to be passed. The only way to pass was in the right hand lane. As one made the move to pass, Mr. Taxi would speed up to ensure you were boxed in with other vehicles in right hand lane, only to slow down again and tease the opening. Each move was calculated and precise as he sped up to control his moving turf. I couldn’t help but feel as if I had just seen sales and holistic marketing, even if Mr. Taxi had no idea he was selling and marketing. Here are the perceptions Mr. Taxi conveyed in marketing to his perceptive audience.

Internal Customer Perceptions

· Jerky ride when Mr. Taxi sped up

· Obnoxious staff with poor reliability

· High bill for slow driving

· Unnecessarily competitive

External Customer Perceptions

· Intentionally rude actions to those around

· Cunning precision

· Disregard for common courtesy

· Competitive jerk

· I’ll never use that company

Certain perceptions are worth casting. These were not. In this encounter I experienced competition, I experienced precision, I experienced customer service, and I experienced holistic marketing. All of these experiences reflected on Mr. Taxi’s employer. Each of these experiences played a key factor into public perception. The only perception I did not experience was the bill. A poor patron had to experience paying a bill for a lazy Mr. Taxi with a competitive attitude. Your business needs to run like a Swiss Time Piece. Each gear needs to function chronologically moving other gears in unison. When one part does not align, the Time Piece will not work efficiently. Holistic marketing is more than monologue marketing printing ads, voicing radio commercials, following FaceBook & Twitter. Holistic marketing is making sure your entire business is functioning like a Swiss Time Piece. Holistic marketing is Sales, marketing, production, customer service, payroll, accounts receivable, delivery, installation and whatever else your company does working in like gears in a Swiss Time Piece.

This leads me to some final questions. What is the perception being unwittingly cast by your team? Do they know how you want to be perceived? Have you inspected what you have expected? How is your holistic marketing working out?

Holistic marketing at work (photo taken at stop light)

What are your plans?

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

A leader always has plans for tomorrow’s business.  What are yours?   I’d love to hear.   Please vote and then share your thoughts.

Leadership is more than commands meant to correct a process. Leadership is more than long hours. Leadership is more than business success. Leadership is more. Leadership is about being able to knock down the walls compartmentalizing life to find the same you in each place. Leadership is about balance where the family life and balance sheets both carry the same weight. Leadership is more.

Leadership adapts to the needs of the business, adapts to the needs of their people, adapts to the needs of their families. Leaders don’t lack for ambition, they lack in balance.

How does one get balance back? There can be some adjustment. A good consultant can point out places, attitudes and processes. Holistic marketing, where the whole company works together to shape an image, helps align a business and create momentum. Implementing these thoughts and refinements cannot be done by a gunslinger alone. Leadership remembers that employees follow by choice or by coercion. If they follow by choice, momentum is created. If employees follow by coercion, the “leader” is not really a leader as he has no followers.

Why do businesses fail? Leadership.

What are your thoughts?

Would it be worth it if you could improve your business’ accuracy and effectiveness over night? What if a single simple step could build the health of your business 10%? Would it be worth the effort? What if this one step actually worked and applied to multiple businesses like: doctors, mechanics, builders and realtors? Would you be willing to take 1 hour to improve 20%?

Interesting questions. Here is how to improve. Take a regular pad of lined paper and a pencil. Make a list of critical functions for each transaction to be successful. As you complete the items, check the items off the list. Too simple? Think again.

In a recent book called “The Check List Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande a surgeon who also teaches at Harvard Medical School, Gawande talks about how a simple list in the surgery room would improve their chances of a successful surgery by 35%. How? Several ways, I will share two.

Reduced obvious mistakes by catching them before they escalate, cause damage and waste. In a medical facility, not washing your hands can lead to someone’s death. Is washing required for doctors? Yes. Does it always happen? Emergency overwrites unless you plan for emergency. Having owned my own construction company for a while I know there are times when I forgot to carry a ladder to a roof job. A check list would have caught the obvious.

Increased teamwork as everyone knew the plan, what to expect and who made the call when the decision got tough. I can only imagine how tense it can get when a patient’s life hangs in the balance. Surgery is messy, contrary to surgery if the realtor is expecting the finance guy to provide the termite inspection, no lives will be lost but closing will not happen.

The question is not “does it improve?” The real question is will you do it? Would you like open heart surgery from a surgeon that did not follow a detailed process that had proven to improve conditions and survival by 35%?

Thank You

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

From our Family to yours, happy Thanks Giving.

In every industry there is always a list of best practices. These best practices have been compiled over the years by the studious who have erected practical fortifications to guard these practices. These guards are those whose above all focus is in doing things right. Thoughts proceed into actions, actions turn into curriculum, which mature in seminars and over-ripen in academia. If there is anything we have learned in this last recession is that even best practices have a life cycle. Take for example the news media. The medium of news is changing faster than anyone can predict. Newspapers and local television news shows are waning away in popularity while internet is gaining in popularity. The problem with the internet is who do you trust? So much information, so much print, so many experts…where are best practices now? The internet news feels more like the wild wild west of cyberspace than it does a soft safe industry that is well defined. Why watch the evening news or read the paper? By the time the news arrives, it has already been broadcast all over the internet and is stale with age. How did we get so informed so quickly? How does one harness the internet?

We got to where we are today by doing things right and by doing thing right. First let us explore doing things right. There are many who can manage and do things right. These managers are the ones who refine processes, determine budgets, allocate resources, set quotas and meet goals. In the course of managing, the manager unknowingly erects walls built on the foundation of procedure and sets guards in place to control insurrection and change. Best Practices. A manager does things right. There is a place for a manager in business. The place for a manager is in taking an undefined process and improving.

The challenge the manager has, is she cannot foresee the danger the walls pose to the longevity needed in best practices. The procedural walls become rigid as sacred territory is captivated within the walls. The challenge becomes more apparent as growth involves new lands, bigger conquests, more territories – the internet. Conflict is inevitable. These are uncharted waters. What was once an iron clad fortress with a well-defined and protective moat is now a threat to growth and change. New technology makes the old defenses obsolete. Conflict with management is inevitable as a manager is wired to control and make predictable the unpredictable. The problem with best practices is practices change. So, what doesn’t change?

Principles. Principles don’t change. The principle of truth in business should not change. The principle of how value is exchanged should not change. So, what needs to change?

In the latter part of the 90’s and the early part of this decade business needed managers to control processes, establish guidelines, increase profitability and define the business model. The best managers were rewarded as it was imperative that the company work smoothly. That paradigm has shifted. What is now in demand is not management, but leadership. What’s the difference? You ask. The difference is while the manager does things right, the leader will do the right things. No amount of contract refinement or process refinement will increase sales. Managers may help with profitability through refinement, but may not be best suited to lead. What is needed now, more than doing things right, is someone who knows which things to do and does the right things. Therein lies the difference between leaders and managers. Leaders chart direction in periods of uncertainty, while managers refine the direction after the uncertainty is removed.

Now is the time for leaders to emerge.

Growing Up

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

In a recent conversation with an educator she was touting how she nurtured the abilities of her child in puzzle making.  The talent for puzzle solving evolved into her child studying forensics and she described with pride how her child is now a forensic for the local police department.   I had to think of my child hood and what was the one talent that I nurtured either consciously or subconsciously.   During the time of introspection I realized I was a great liar and story teller.  The beauty of this talent to lie certainly had a future as I developed the art to the fullest.  The problem was I was a moralistic liar and story teller.   The inability to separate myself from morals ended my career in politics.