The UC 060: Bribes or Threats? Which Gets Results?

TheUC 059

    The key to productivity is to have a meaningful and optimal incentive system. Fear is unfortunately a powerful motivator so it might be tempting to try and change behavior through punitive measures for poor performance or bad behavior. But it is a short term play. You will lose talent. On the other hand, a positive incentive, bonus or “bribe,” can also be powerful for those who are ambitious and motivated. But overly generous bribes can quickly turn someone entitled. So what … [Read more...]

This Year Resolve to Be A Better Leader

new-year-resolutions

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...]

TheUC 041: What Kind of CEO Are You?

TheUC041

Are you a good CEO? What kind of leader are you? Many CEOs sink the value of their company by getting distracted by their own media. A good leader and CEO will prioritize the needs of the venture over their personal wants. It is important to learn what outlets and assets to properly leverage to build value in the venture rather than unwittingly destroying the company’s value by indulging in their personal megalomania. The 4 archetypes of CEOs: Naked Emperor/Megalomaniac CEO: Typically … [Read more...]

TheUC 028: Getting Business Done with Bad Managers

TheUC28

When getting business done, you will have to deal with bad managers. However, business still needs to get done. It is very difficult to be the one who has to point out that the Emperor is naked. So here’s a bit of a conundrum: Are you going to believe in truth above harmony? Or would you prioritize harmony above truth? Both philosophies have intention for long-term value creation. Someone who puts harmony above truth will let slide some bad behavior or some inaccurate facts so as not to offend … [Read more...]

TheUC 027: Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

TheUC027

Whether you are working on deal, raising money, dealing with a partner, vendor or employee, at some point, the relationship might start to go south. Defeat may be looming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still salvage victory. What happens when you are crossing a proverbial bridge and see that there might be a crack in the foundation? Do you stop and fix it? Could the bridge come crumbling down? And if that’s the case, do you get off the bridge or ensure you fix it before it gets to that point? … [Read more...]

TheUC 024: Chemistry Matters – When All Stars Fail

baseballfail

An All Star team isn’t necessarily the OPTIMAL team. Team chemistry matters and optimally allocating your resources to germinate good leaders and managers within your company is paramount for success. There is some logic (though often short-sighted) in plucking single players out of another environment and putting them with other “All Star” individuals of excellent talent on to your team. You can even convince yourself that you’ve put together the ‘best team’ possible. However, what is best for … [Read more...]

TheUC 021: Cutting the Fat, Making the Tough Decisions, and Adding Value to Your Venture

Cutting the Fat

Terminating a relationship of any kind really sucks. There’s just no getting around that. However, so often we find ourselves in situation where we need to cut the fat in our organizations. Sometimes we need to get rid of a toxin. So whether you are cutting the fat or creating addition by subtraction, there are many times when you will have to terminate relationships in your company. You may do it in the form of a layoff, a firing for cause, or a resignation. Ideally you will be able to open the … [Read more...]

TheUC 015: New Leadership and Paying for the Sins of Previous Management

Sins of Previous Mgmt

As a new leader, you might be tempted to come into your new position and make a big splash to establish your mark and prove your worth to everyone by making some sweeping new measure. However, that’s a lot like going into another country and demanding everything be done the way of your native land. You aren’t being bold. You are just revealing how insecure you are in your leadership. It is important to practice patience in your leadership and management, even if you don’t think you have the … [Read more...]

TheUC 009: Spending Marketing and Sales Dollars Wisely

marketing-sales-team-7

Marketing and sales dollars are expensive, and need to be spent wisely and judiciously.  There is a lot of literature out there and well intentioned advisers goading entrepreneurs to just get their product out there in a "fire, fire, fire" approach and forget about "aiming" or being "ready." But well intentioned or not, marketing and sales dollars are expensive and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks is too costly and can be detrimental.  Depending on your product going "viral" … [Read more...]

TheUC 004: Why Do I Need A Business Plan?

004Artwork

Does having a Business Plan really matter?  The truth is that you can still get lucky without one, and many are teaching and advising entrepreneurs to just get out there. But it is dangerous and costly to throw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall just to see what sticks if anything sticks at all. It might get you into a market place faster, but it may very well be the wrong one, and all you’ve done is to pave the way for someone else to step over your carcass and garner the value of your … [Read more...]