It was the tail end of a 26-day camping trip that took us from Texas, to New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Home again. It was at the peak of the 2017 Phoenix heat wave — 117 degrees outside — and we were journeying toward a place known as the Valley of Fire.
I opened the car door at a gas pump 15 miles from camp. The wind blew the door wide — as if it might rip it from its hinges. I stepped out into what felt like a giant hair dryer. I might have looked like Beaker from the muppets if not for my shaved head. Read More »
We have all endured them — jingle-ridden radio commercials, intrusive television ads, billboards, logos, product placements in movies. We are exposed to hundreds of commercial messages each day. Estimations range from 247 (Consumer Reports ) to 3,000 (Union of Concerned Scientists ). By the most common estimate of 600 per day, we are exposed to more than 200,000 messages per year.
Let’s face an unfortunate truth — American culture is fixated on beauty.
That obsession carries into marketing and design. Some privileged souls work in organizations steeped in a planning culture where a project never begins without a clearly defined creative brief. Others wander a busy highway of squirrel-chasers.
You may relate to the idea of a GMOOT. It’s that moment when your supervisor leaves for a conference or has lunch with a colleague, and you know to expect an urgent email or text message telling you to get me one of those (GMOOT). They are convinced that impressive new feature or innovative design style will translate into higher sales.Read More »
There we were — looking at the form and thinking, “Ugh, it’s terrible.” The lead form was 22 questions long. Far from the simple name + email forms you see elsewhere on the interwebs. That was before the drip — the additional 6 questions we wanted them to provide after the information they provided on the first form.
I wouldn’t fill that out, I said aloud. What do the numbers look like?
The data wasn’t reassuring. Only 20% of people were completing the form. Four out of every five people who saw it decided they had better things to do. I couldn’t blame them.Read More »
It’s a plague. A communicable disease. You walk into a meeting with a full schedule, and you walk out with an additional buffet of projects.
Everybody wants all the things.
How do you prioritize all the things?
What if I told you there was a secret formula passed down from mystic monks long ago? Monks who scaled the side of a mountain, contemplated the limitations of time, scribed an inspired formula, and crossed the crystal sea to share it with the world.Read More »
“I want everyone to speak freely. There are no sacred cows. Question everything.”
Imagine if that was your company mantra. Your culture was designed for inquiry — beginning at the top, with leaders who are as interested in asking questions as they are in providing answers or direction. Not the basic questions of cost, time, and who is responsible for implementing the plan. Rather, asking exploratory questions – the kind that move the company forward or in a new direction.Read More »
How does it feel when someone praises your accomplishments? Do you suddenly feel inspired, sharp and ready to take on new challenges? Science shows that there are many psychological effects of praise. Used correctly, praise can boost self-esteem, increase performance and supercharge productivity. Used incorrectly or not at all, it can tear down and render the most high-powered team impotent.
So, why do so many managers have a hard time mastering one of the most essential responsibilities of leadership? Read More »