What is it about the New Year that causes us all to feel obligated to ‘resolve’ to be better that somehow escapes us on the other 364 days of the year? The reality is that the New Year is just another day that ends in ‘y.’ Yet, somehow the flipping of the calendar to a New Year lights some sort of beacon summoning home the Prodigal Son. So we will all spend a few weeks making quasi-earnest attempts to eat better, exercise more, communicate better, etc. only to fall back into our pathetic abyss … [Read more...]
“Failure is NOT an Option!” YES, it IS. It just isn’t the one we would choose.
“Failure is Not an Option”…Yes it is. It just isn’t the one we want. As entrepreneurs, there is significant pressure from the start-up and venture community to ensure a meteoric rise for our venture’s success. So we tell ourselves words that are meant to encourage, but are actually detrimental. I can think of none more egregious than, “Failure is Not an Option.” I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard … [Read more...]
3 Indicators Someone is Lying to You: Be A Better Business Communicator
If you smell smoke, it might mean someone’s pants are on fire. In the last post, I asked you to think about whether or not those smoking pants are yours. After all, we all lie. Sometimes egregiously, sometimes well meaning, but it isn’t the road to Heaven that’s paved by good intentions. So intentions aside, we all lie. By definition, that means that someone at some point is lying to you. If we are going to have productive business communications, we need to recognize when someone is being less … [Read more...]
Why Isn’t the Truth Good Enough?
We all lie. You know it. I know it, and frankly, the people you’ve lied to also probably know it. Now, there are many degrees of lying. There are those collaborative lies that multiple parties condone, like “everything will be fine” when you know that may not be likely, but it is the concerted lie that you share with someone as a coping mechanism. There’s the ‘polite’ lie: “You look good in that outfit.” There’s my personal favorite, the ‘reflex’ lie which is the disingenuous response to the … [Read more...]
Forget Oz! What’s Wrong with the Old Man Behind the Curtain?
We are all familiar with the famous phrase from The Wizard of Oz, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” After all, Oz is awesome. So why look at any other image? At some level don’t we all want to be perceived as this omnipotent presence? Wouldn’t that be lovely? And don’t we all feel that magnanimous when we start a new venture or even fall in love? There are those flashes in time where we actually see and believe in the best version of ourselves and for just a moment we buy into … [Read more...]
It is a New Year. ‘Resolve’ to be better. Earn your dictatorship.
What is it about the New Year that causes us all to feel obligated to ‘resolve’ to be better that somehow escapes us on the other 364 days of the year? The reality is that the New Year is just another day that ends in ‘y.’ Yet, somehow the flipping of the calendar to a New Year lights some sort of beacon summoning home the Prodigal Son. So we will all spend a few weeks making quasi-earnest attempts to be better only to fall back into our pathetic abyss where we once again flog ourselves for not … [Read more...]
Be A Benevolent Dictator…The Best Leaders Are
Management is hard, and we could all stand to do it better. Those of you who listen to the radio show know that I am not shy about mocking the bad managers of the business world and describe them as ‘dinosaurs,’ ‘heads in the sand,’ and ‘the walking dead’ in a derogatory and judgmental manner. I’ve even had occasion to be less than diplomatic by calling bad leaders ‘ignorant bastards.’ Too many leaders and managers are genuinely terrible at their job. … [Read more...]
Value is in the Eye of the Buyer…Remember, Narcissus & Icarus Both Died
Ok, men, zip up your pants and put away the rulers. Women, put away the mirrors…you are all pretty. I beg of you to leave your egos & politics at the door. When we talk about value, it is hard to leave those things behind. Self-absorption and hubris will insidiously nag and bully you to burn the value you’ve worked so hard to build to the ground, and you won’t even know it until the dust clears. What is something worth? Getting this answer right is the essence of making money and generating … [Read more...]
Bringing Capitalism Back
Years ago, when I was an analyst with Booz Allen, I recall being in a meeting with an impassioned client engaging in a heated discussion with our enervated team. The senior partner sat back and listened for a bit and then just stood up, put his hand firmly on the table inducing a perplexed silence. He simply asked, “Why are we all here?...We are here to make money!” This poignant epiphany brought everyone out of the minutia and back into a productive discussion about the opportunity being … [Read more...]