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Monday, December 29, 2008

Deliver Great Service... Receive Great Dividends

Yesterday, my wife Nancy did something which makes a world of sense, but as a society we don’t do often enough.

She Made Sure Excellent Service Was Recognized.

While enjoying a holiday meal w/extended family, we were impressed by our waitress who greatly enhanced our dining experience. In addition to a solid tip, Nancy did one better by informing the restaurant owner this woman had earned our utmost respect.

Ideally, the waitress and the restaurant will now earn more and other patrons will enjoy a dining experience similar to our own.

While we are often frustrated by bad service (and usually let higher ups know about it), let's make sure we praise superior customer interactions, as well.

Let's Pay It Forward.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Madoff the Tip of the Iceberg?

I'm Speechless, at least for a few minutes…

The Madoff case reminds us that:
1.) Our financial service industry is riddled with corruption.
2.) The SEC is likely beyond repair.
3.) Our Accounting System is failing.

How can we rely on the balance sheets and P&L's of publicly held companies? Are the Big 4 accountants asleep at the switch? Is there any real oversight provided by the SEC other than deadlines and requirements?

We must react to these piercing alarms of the insane world we are living in. We need the good guys to take control and rewrite the rules to restore credibility and confidence.

Kind of like a superheroes movie with "Superaccountants", perhaps an Underdog Character shaped like a pencil.

All kidding aside, let's go President Obama...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Gem of a Concept

Got an email from a terrific lady who says "I take great pride in working hard every day."

If every employee worked hard every day-
  • we wouldn’t have as severe an economic crisis and
  • we’d be getting out of it much sooner.
Thanks for the great input, Mary Ann!

Create Energy, Even in a Stagnant Workplace

Too often, professionals describe to me their monotonous work environment, where business is anything but exciting...

You have the ability to change this environment. In this economy, we need to be nimble, carefree, loosey goosey and risk tolerant (especially when so many are risk averse).

Some of my favorite ways workplace energy is produced…

Sales and Revenues create energy. create Energy.
Client Care creates energy.
Creative Ideas create energy.

Relationships create energy.
Women create energy.
Teams and Collaberation create energy.
Receptionists (no kidding!) create energy.
Good Leaders create energy.

But most of all, YOU create energy.

What’s does the energymeter say about you and your co-workers today?

More Guidance Required for Internet Marketing

10 Years Ago we were introduced to the Power of Internet Marketing.

So why aren't more Technology Companies... or perhaps PR Companies really challenging and working with their clients to better position their Web Site, Web Presence, Search Optimization, Blog, Social Networking, etc, etc, etc.

Seems to me like Internet Marketing is more important, opportunistic and powerful than ever before. Are their enough savvy technology consultants out there who can deliver value in a concise, impacting and responsive manner?

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Power of Positive Thinking

Entrepreneurial opportunities abound today if YOU are

1.) Financially Savvy (Cash is once again king and costs controls are a necessity)
2.) In the Right Mind Frame of Mind (positive thinking, focused, minimize pessimism).

Economic and business experts are faltering in their efforts to correlate our short US history to the current complex economic environment.

Step back, talk to peers, come up with your own observations and remember brighter days are ahead and long as you believe that they are!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting Cold Out There

The colder temperatures don't compare to the "frigidity" and indecisiveness displayed currently by many middle market CEO' s.

Business success is about action, not inaction. Inaction leads to complacency, rumors and decreased everything.

Companies who study, create, adjust and ultimately "buy" based upon a well thought out action plan for the coming year; ... will truly differentiate themselves.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Bit About Baseball

As a certified "Yankee Hater", nothing better than watching top quality baseball from the Rays and Red Sox. The Yankees won't make the playoffs the next two years, they just don't compare in energy, young talent and team chemistry.

Yankees will offer Joe Torre the manager job end of next year and he'll turn them down, or maybe he won't...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I've Had Enough!!!!

Enough that i'm blogging for the 1st time in 2 months.

Enough that I'm writing this at 10:30 at night.

Enough that my self-induced withdrawal yesterday ... caused me to come home in a crappy mood and take it out on my wife.

What have I had enough of?

CNBC on the Internet, CNBC on TV, sweating the difficult economy and digesting the seemingly incomprehensible day to day news.

But you know something? I don't follow the daily sagas and I'll filled in anyway during social and business discussions.

Most of us are better off not focusing on the day to day and minute to minute updates.

...Somehow, I feel much better today. My 2nd day of withdrawal, I am once again 100% focused on my clients, my business, my family.

I developed a cool new business concept this evening and I'm being nice again to my wife.

Anyone know what's on CBS?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Translating Marketing into Every Day Life

Just interviewed a solid executive and we were chatting about the importance of marketing in any size company.

The normal "buzzwords" came up...intellect, presence, attire, knowhow, likeability... all emanate directly into your organizational positioning and market presence.

Oh yeah, then he brought up (unsolicited) Social Networking- the omnipotent, the unknown, the vast potential- everyone is racing to harness the power of this burgeoning area.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Impact Shareholder Value thru Differentiation

Differentiate your Marketing Approach… through high quality, “crisp” communication and presentation materials. Ensure consistent “image”, branding and name recognition as the foremost goals of your e-mail and letter writing campaigns, marketing handouts and Website.

Differentiate your Sales Goals… by stressing performance and measurement tools in advancing relationships, not just closing deals. Mandate all salespeople to spend a minimum of 25% effort in cold calling or more affectionately, “hunting” initiatives.

Differentiate Customer Perspectives… by accepting only the highest levels of quality and responsiveness from every employee. Seek customer feedback to understand the “differentiators” of doing business with you vs. the competition. Ensure customer service escalates in personalization and satisfaction in the hand-off from sales to production/distribution/project management.

Differentiate your Accounting Function… by requiring timely, accurate, concise management information to impact executive decision making. Ensure finance team leaders and staff work cohesively with other departmental functions.

Set goals for all Department Managers to differentiate themselves… by successfully balancing the accountability for departmental excellence with the ongoing necessities of staff development, training and communication.

Differentiate your Internal Communication… with credibility, mutual respect and consistency. Recognize the immense power of your words –both negative and positive.

Clarify your strategic focus and align your organizational structure, your advisors and your capital with the means to get there. Differentiate Personal Relationships… with employees and advisors to remain objective regarding the required skill sets and personalities necessary to successfully execute and grow.

Monday, June 30, 2008

What's My Biggest Weakness?

I ask this question in every interview, but no interviewee has ever turned the tables on me. Probably the right move...

I've worked very hard to resist the need to provide an immediate answer to questions I haven't had time to think through (i.e. pricing strategies, plans of action, people and structural challenges). While the immediate response serves my innate need to please others and seem intelligent, I'm too often minimizing the potential benefit to both the individual posing the question and myself.

Sustain Momentum After the Elevator Pitch

Networking functions are frustrating. Sure I connect with interesting people, but I'm left with an impression garnered only through their Elevator Pitch, not a meaningful reflection of their demeanor, perspectives or likability. So I spend additional time over lunch or coffee to identify the smaller % who I can collaberate with to provide meaningful, lasting value.

Many professionals have developed an effective introduction, but fall short in differentiating their product and service, their knowhow, themselves to provide a lasting positive impression. Whether you are in a job interview, selling to an A level prospect or at a networking function, make sure your communication is effective (and consistent) throughout the process, not just in the beginning stages.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, Monday... Just Like any Other Day?

Usually, I love Mondays- the whole week in front of me to advance opportunities, projects and relationships. I'm re-energized from a "lighter" weeekend business focus and my creative juices are flowing.

But occassionally, Monday unveils it ugly side; like yesterday. A CEO stood me up (still overseas, guess he didn't receive my voice mail confirm on Friday), a schedule left with three hours to kill from the road (despite advancements in technology, this is not my ideal) and two remaining meetings which were only OK.

But hey, it's Tuesday now, Monday is in the past and thankfully, I have plenty of time, energy and will to make the week a highly successful one. Lets Roll!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Listening to Your Instincts

Had lunch yesterday with Rob, a long-time business associate. He and I have had tremendous success working together over the years; you might even call it "Karma".

Funny thing, he gets the credit goes for tremendous persistancy in initially developing our relationship, a trait which is usually my forte. Thanks Rob for listening to your internal voice and getting what you wanted; we have both benefited tremendously...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Social Networking No Longer Childsplay

Fascinating trend occuring; our children's passion with My Space and Facebook is escalating, at a rapid rate of speed, into the corporate world. From Linked In to Plaxo (recently acquired by Comcast and a soon to be formidable player) to the aforementioned My Space and Facebook, these tools are changing the face of the business recruiting, networking, marketing and selling landscapes.

If you haven't already, "Brand" your unique career, strengths and professional image for others to see and to expand your social network, because clearly... "Adults Want In"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What are Men Afraid Of?

Resurrecting the Mens Club at my Temple the last two years has been a tall task. I watch in awe as the Sisterhood grows ever stronger in fund raising, a sense of community and socialization while we have struggled despite a thriving congregation.

The reality is Men are resistant to stepping outside of their "constants", their inner circle of friends, family and business relationships. Women recognize the value derived from meeting new people and advancing these relationships. Makes me think that the advancement of opportunities for women (and minorities) is only in the beginning stages in US politics. We'll have hiccups along the way, but it may well be a great ride.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

TouchPoints- May 2008

As a service (and marketing tool) to our value business network, we've published a few "points" to touch our relationships in an impacting manner. Our 10 years of archives are available for client marketing purposes, below are the most recent thoughts....

Turn Stale Issues to Fresh Actions
Take control TODAY of the recurring obstacles you face with people, structure, processes, information (or lack of). Trust your instincts, plan the attack and hold yourself (and others) accountable to execute effectively from start to finish.

My Neat Little Discovery
Thanks to my 13 year old twins, I’m embracing a new IPOD which clears my head and elevates my focus. Give me sunshine, an hour to sit, walk, run and I’m re-energized; I understand now what the masses before me have discovered.

Are you Multi-Faceted or a Multi-Faceter?
Attractive is Multi-Faceted, the Professional who excels with multiple priorities and possesses strong confidence, presence and business knowhow. Annoying is The Multi-Faceter, the Individual juggling multiple tasks at a moment in time (email, telephone, computer) when 100% attention should be on the conversation at hand.

Amplify your Customers and Employees Pulse
The economy has weakened, meaning your customers are more conservative, your competitors more aggressive (or desperate) and your employees more combustible. Attack these challenges head on by taking a Snapshot of Employee and/or Customer attitudes to protect what you have and strengthen your Brand, staying ahead of the curve… and the economy.

Business Relationships

Interesting how decision makers are often closed minded to new relationships which have the potential to markedly improve business efficiency and reduce stress.
I find my creative juices are "sparked" in the majority of my business meetings. Bottom line is you need to expand boundaries beyond the norm in order to achieve new ideas and attain greater internal gratification. Use your instincts to determine who is worthy of your time and to separate the pretenders vs. the real "players".