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  • feedwordpress 16:30:03 on 2020/03/09 Permalink
    Tags: Business,   

    Investing In The Future Is Investing In Yourself 

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    Recently, I spent an hour with a colleague who is just starting out in his career and wanted to learn more about what I do, how I do it and how he can apply that knowledge to his exploration of a career path.

    If you have the opportunity to have conversations like these—you should take them. First, because if your professional life has been good to you (and mine has) you have an obligation to pay it forward, especially to those who will build the future.

    Secondly, it's not just an investment in someone else's future but it's also an investment in yourself. When you are faced with the energy, passion, and curiosity of someone just starting out, it's a great inspiration and a reminder of why you do what you do.

    In a world where win-wins are becoming less frequent, this is one. So make time for that person just starting out and don't be surprised if you both leave the meeting better than when you started it.

    The investment is mutual.

  • feedwordpress 15:16:28 on 2020/03/02 Permalink
    Tags: Business,   

    True Leaders Are Forged In Fire 

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    I’ve had some success and some failures in leadership.

    Leadership opportunities come in many forms—from formal to informal. I’ve done both kinds and probably more of the latter.

    I’ve also seen other leaders in action. Some great ones. Others less so. The great ones have something in common—they really step up when things are at their worst. This is a sign of true leadership. Actually it’s a great test to see who’s manager material vs. the stuff of leadership.

    Some of the best managers know how to fly under the radar when times are tough. And I don’t blame them for it at all—leadership is meant for the few and even fewer excel at it.

    It’s fun to watch leaders work when they are at ease but it’s educational to watch the really good ones go to work when they are under duress. They take it all on. The challenges, the responsibilities. The fire.

    True leaders are forged in it.

  • feedwordpress 18:50:12 on 2020/02/28 Permalink
    Tags: Business,   

    Intelligent Generosity + Successful People 

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    You’ve heard this before no doubt and it’s true. I’ve been reminded of this recently when...

    -A senior executive of one of the world’s top tech companies agreed to take time with someone they’ve never met before whom I introduced out of the blue

    -One of my mentors, now a wildly successful CEO took time to meet and encourage me

    -I see so many people in my network doing making time for others when they are busy themselves

    These are acts of Intelligent Generosity. Successful people are intelligently generous because they understand that life and business aren’t only about performance and professionalism but also relationships and relevance. And we’re only as relevant as the strength of our relationships.

    This makes me think of a conversation I had with Rishad Tobaccowala not ago. You should see how he does this. He’s a master at it—generosity that is (amongst other things). When times are tough, it can be tempting to conserve energy, keep what you know to yourself and limit your exposure.

    There is a time and place to say “no” (more on that later) But Successful people know how and when to give. They reach out, connect and share—knowing that positivity given is positivity received.

    And that’s why they’re successful.

  • feedwordpress 16:52:59 on 2020/02/27 Permalink
    Tags: Business,   

    Being Creative vs. “a Creative” vs. Creativity 

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    I’ve been called creative, been “a Creative” in my career and like to think I was born with an innate ability to create (we all were).

    But In the business world, especially in marketing where I spend the majority of my days, creativity can be a tricky topic...

    -Creative: You might not get paid professionally to be this but you probably already are, especially if you’ve ever solved a problem unconventionally or applied your imagination to accomplishing a task.

    -A Creative: Your professional role in an organization or position of self-employment that pays you to apply a level of creative craftsmanship to produce professional-quality output in the form of created deliverables.

    -Creativity: The fuel behind “being creative”. When creativity levels are high, we are most creative. When they are low, we are the least creative. When someone says “my creative juices are flowing” they have high levels of creativity.

    When I work with “Creatives” I always strive to appreciate their craft and role and respect both. When I work with “everyone else”, I try to stimulate creative problem-solving potential. Being creative can be a full-time job, a quality or a state of being, but it’s also a part of being human.

    Because we’re not robots. Yet.

  • feedwordpress 14:59:51 on 2020/02/26 Permalink
    Tags: Business,   

    Client Meetings: More Jazz Than Classical 

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    I was recently prepping with the team for a client meeting...

    We were doing the usual drill—moving slides around, clarifying roles and practicing our talking points for what we wanted to accentuate and where we hoped we could lead the meeting.

    It’s all good practice. Meeting preparation that is. No matter how informal a meeting, one should be prepared and knowledgeable of the topics to be discussed.

    However, more times than not, client meetings turn into jazzy jam sessions vs. a classical music concerto where the solo presenter performs for their captive audience.

    Reading sheet music and reading the room doesn’t have to be at odds but put yourself in the shoes of a client on the other side of the table who is depending on you to help them do their job—do they need perfection or professionalism?

    The two aren’t the same.

    Being a professional in a meeting means knowing when to stick to your sheet music and when to riff, following the client’s lead. More times than not, meetings with clients both new and familiar should be more like improvised Jazz than perfectly performed classical.

    The client isn’t your audience, but an integral part of the band.

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