Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Being Early v. Being Late

Famous pivot stories are often failures but you don't need to fail before you pivot. All a pivot is is a change in strategy without a change in vision. Whenever entrepreneurs see a new way to achieve their vision - a way to be more successful - they have to remain nimble enough to take it.
~ Eric Ries
LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman is famous for saying that "If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late." I love this bit of wisdom because it speaks to my personal philosophy of business. That is, you are either early or you are late. There is no such thing as “on time.”

To be successful now and in the future, you want to always be tinkering, always be trying out new things, and always be “poking the box” as Seth Godin says. The entrepreneur of the future is the person ready, willing and able to pivot based upon real world results.

We are all about elevating humanity through Conscious Capitalism. Let’s get busy taking action and let’s get real about what we see when we bring something new to market.

With Intent!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Remembering Yogi

The great Yogi Berra passed away yesterday at the age of 90 of natural causes. Yogi was not only a professional baseball player in his time (and a manager and coach), he was also a great leader. In addition, he was also from my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri! 

To honor his life and the contribution he made, I want to include some of his more interesting quotes for your enjoyment (and to ponder upon). Here they are:
  • You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.
  • Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting.
  • The future ain't what it used to be.
  • It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
  • I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
  • The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
  • I never said half the things I said.
  • It's like deja-vu, all over again.
  • Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.
  • Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.
With Intent!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fixing the Broken Window Pane

There is just no getting around that turning bad things into good things is up to you.
~ Deepak Chopra
A leader is the person who, whenever they see something that is not right, they do something about it. They do not wait for “the other guy” to fix it. They take action themselves. Rather than ignore the problem, they remedy the situation. We’ve all heard the argument about the broken window pane and where that leads us.

Think about how many little things we see each day that need attention. The spill on the floor, the copier machine that needs paper, the water cooler that has no water. These little things add up to big things unless they are handled. If we are not willing to take action on the little things, how will we ever be effective on the big things?

How often do you stop to pick up trash in the parking lot? Does your organization fix the broken window panes and reward those who are willing to step up into a leadership role?

With intent!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Imagination v. History

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.
~ Confucius
Everyone has made mistakes in the past. It is part of the human condition. The question is, do we learn from our experience and move forward? Do we take mistakes as learning experiences that propel us on to the next level of success?

If we can imagine ourselves being successful, then success is at hand. The past is in the past. Let’s learn everything we can from the past and then envision the future we can and should create.

With Intent!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

Have you ever thought about your purpose in life? A higher purpose beyond just the mundane tasks of making a living? And maybe, just maybe, that your higher purpose is the main thing. The thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. The dent you are meant to put in the universe.

The people we all admire most were all in touch with their higher purpose. It was their guiding star. It informed every decision they made. In business, the companies we refer to as conscious businesses (COSTCO, Whole Foods Market, The Container Store, Southwest Airlines, etc.) all have a higher purpose. It transcends merely making money. They are here to make a positive impact in the world.

Stephen Covey once said, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” What is your main thing? How good are you at letting your higher purpose guide your decision making process?

With Intent!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tapping Into Your Passion and Authenticity

A question I’m often asked is how I’m able to get up and give an “off the cuff” talk in front of large audiences. Most people believe that I practice for days to be able to deliver a crisp speech (or TV interview) that the audience resonates with.

The truth is, my “secret” is very simple. First, I only speak about topics that I’m passionate about. This includes, conscious capitalism, supporting the community and ways for entrepreneurs to be more successful. Once I tap into my passion (it takes about two seconds), the talk flows naturally as if I were speaking one-on-one to someone I’ve known for years.

The second thing is authenticity. Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” That is great advice for life that I try to follow. If I’m being myself, I can easily get into the flow. The words come easily. And best of all, there is no stress when I do what I do.

What are you passionate about? Does it reflect your authentic self to the point that you can speak about it no matter how big the audience?

With Intent!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thinking Big

Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.
~ David J. Schwartz
It is best to think big. If we are thinking too small, we tend to create too small. Most of the time we are thinking way too small for anything meaningful to happen. It is so small that we are not inspired to take action. We miss the opportunities that might otherwise come to us.

A better strategy is to think big. In his book The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz says, “those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can't, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.”

Let’s get excited about creating something huge that will have a positive impact on as many people as possible. Let’s start thinking big with the faith to “move mountains” because this is what fuels us to do our best in every situation.

With Intent!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Business of People

The business of business is people.
~ Herb Kelleher

I've mentioned many times before that business is really about relationships. That we can learn to “connect with intent” with others. This reminds me of something Zig Ziglar once said, “People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care...about them!" That’s right on.

If we really care about all of our stakeholders within our business (and personal lives), we will create trusting relationships all around us that will last a lifetime. Now that is what I call leaving a legacy!

How would you like to be remembered? What will your stakeholders say about you when you are gone?

With Intent!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Importance of a Conscious Culture

If you watched my interview on Emerald planet (see the video here), you will recall that one of the four principles of a conscious business is conscious culture. This basically means that everyone in the company is aligned on a higher purpose and they have a set of shared core values. All decisions are made within the context of the higher purpose and shared core values. This includes everything from who gets hired, to how the customers are treated, to what vendors to use. It is all aligned.

Having a conscious culture is how a conscious business is able to serve the needs of ALL their stakeholders. This is part of the “secret sauce” that compels you to drive to the other side of town to go to COSTCO as you pass by other businesses on the way there. You just enjoy the experience a lot more than you otherwise would.

In my work with startups and other businesses, I want to see what the culture looks like. Unless a conscious culture is being built and nurtured, the likelihood that the business will be successful is slim.

How is the culture in your business? Does it support the needs of all your stakeholders?

With Intent!