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Don’t You Forget About Me

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the steps required to cultivate a good relationship with a center of influence (COI).  Probably one of hardest aspects of this relationship building is keeping in touch and staying on the forefront of your colleagues’ minds. It can be a daunting task to keep in touch with many centers of influence.

The key to accomplishing this is being very organized and finding opportunities for many “little touches” throughout the month that benefit your COI’s.  

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ALS On The Road: India

For this month, I am simply going to start a thread.  I am currently in India working with an amazing company called Seed Infotech.  I have only been here about 24 hours but would like to share some of what I have noticed, and invite you to take a look at something for yourself.

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Networking 201: Filtering

One of the biggest challenges people face in “networking” is finding the right people to network with on a long term basis.   You have to figure out if the people you are meeting are going to be good networking connections or bad ones.  This is the Filtering process.  It should be embraced, rather than feared and avoided.  The following are two very typical  problems people have, and the solutions to avoiding and navigating them.

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Leadership As A Team Sport, Part 1

The process of we offer our clients is always full of insights and surprises; each situation is different. There may be rules which apply; still, people are unique, just as teams are unique. Therefore, we invite you to interact, to tell us about your experience and insights.  Consider doing this work along with us.  We will be more than happy to provide support.

This first article in the series is about knowing the team we have, knowing what that team brings to the project at hand and identifying what may be missing.  The next will be about team performance, where the source of the current level of performance is, and how it can be altered.  We will also address how to make a team scalable and flexible to deal with changing requirements.

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Magic, Comfort and The Worst-Case Scenario

I do a lot of talking about “going for it”, about taking risks, doing new things, about letting go of the familiar and mediocre to create something new that you actually love to be engaged in. As you can imagine, this idea engenders a lot of resistance. We are attached to the familiar, to comfort and (a false sense of) certainty.

We say we want magic in life and in business, that we want an extraordinary experience and exceptional results- and at the same time, we spend our time and effort trying to be more comfortable, more certain. I say these things are directly at odds. Perhaps a little exercise will help loosen you up, help you take a leap and spend your time creating what you say you really want. Let’s just see what happens.

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Stand Out and Deliver

What is it about you and your business that stands out?

Most of us “know” that it is important to differentiate ourselves from the competition to create a competitive advantage- and yet in the activity of handling our day to day workload (and given the fact that we’re often “too close” to our own work to see it clearly), we often fail to really clarify, for ourselves and certainly our potential clients, what separates us from the pack. We fail to powerfully address the question, “Why work with/ buy from US (versus “them”)?”

Consider that there is a flow of resources, whether money, prospective clients or anything else. That is, picture what you want as being like a river, and what you want to build is a gate/ semi-dam structure that diverts some of that flow to you. Differentiation is that gate. What is it that would have potential clients flow naturally to you?

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Are You Boring?

Are you a rock star?

Are you a professional athlete?

Are you in the Special Forces?

If you answered “no” to those questions, which you probably did, I have news for you.  Your job is boring.  That’s right.  Nobody is really excited about what you do for a living.   Did you ever see somebody interviewed on a late night talk show to discuss whole vs. term life insurance?  Do they discuss marketing and branding for small to medium sized companies?  Does Page Six in the NY Post show photos of tech support people getting coffee and pushing their kids in a stroller?  The answer to those questions is “no”.

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Create a Game You Love to Play

It is well known and oft-cited that 90% of new businesses fail within their first year and, of those that make it through those first 12 months, 90% of them fail within the next two years. What is less acknowledged , seemingly accepted as “just the way it is”, and just as concerning for me is that many more businesses fail to fulfill on their original intention: to provide the owner with a great life and the opportunity to contribute to his family, community and the world.

We create businesses to serve our lives, and soon our lives are serving our businesses.

Well, here’s the news: it doesn’t actually have to be that way.

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