The magic triangle of small business

Take a look at any reality show business turnaround and the story is always the same: Quality, customer service, management. It’s the magic triangle of small business, much less the formulaic basis of most business turnaround reality shows. What’s a bit stunning is that people actually wait around for the reality show hero and their crew […]

Ask great questions

I’m always looking for better questions to ask. Good questions educate me about a situation or a mindset someone is in and help me understand where they’re coming from. Great questions can open the mind of the person you ask the question of. They tend to create discussions that create slight momentum shifts toward changes previously […]

Save your bacon: Backup your stuff

Today was yet another one of those days that come far too often. A day when someone tells me their computer crashed and they have no backups. For months. This isn’t a computer at home that’s used for email, Facebook and maybe an occasional game. This computer is used to manage their customers’ technical data and […]

You aren’t the business owner you need to be

A while back, I had a conversation with the CEO of a $60 million software company that hit me pretty hard – and the lesson is one that all business owners need to keep in mind. This CEO was talking about how he feels constant pressure to improve himself so that he can be ready to […]

Customer relationships – Do yours mature and adapt?

One of the things that separates people from most machines and systems is their ability to adapt their interactions as the relationship matures. A tough-as-nails 61 year old grandfather who supervises workers on an oil rig in North Dakota’s Bakken adapts his communication to the recipient when training a new guy to stay alive on […]

Habit forming: What do you do every day?

Habits – at least the good ones – tend to help us get big things done that we might otherwise never accomplish. One of the things I do every day is read a page from “The Daily Drucker“. The Daily Drucker is a 366 page book of one-page-per-day excerpts from Peter Drucker’s books on business, […]

Everyone is someone’s hero

What if you could leap tall buildings, throw balls of fire or swing from webbing that shoots out of your wrist? If you could, lots of people would think you were some sort of superhero. Thing is, a fair number of people probably feel that way already. Maybe you can’t do any of those things, […]

Standing out is the real work #sponsored

Note: I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. See full disclosure at the bottom of this post.   How do customers and prospects look at you vs. others in […]

Not on my watch!

Most everyone I’ve talked to who really cares about their work has that one thing that brings meaning, context and (as my kids used to say) “give-a-care” to the work they do. You might have heard it described as “Not on my watch”, a reference to pulling watch duty on naval ships. The best way I’ve […]

How to create good surprises? Baby steps.

Recently, a couple of real estate transactions provoked me to write about surprises. In that piece, surprises were not a good thing. Yet sometimes, surprises are exactly what you want to deliver. So how do you decide which surprises are good and which aren’t? You need to find a difference to choose a good one – […]