Your team is able to deliver much more than it does today. You yourself also have wonderful potential within you.

You probably see sparks of brilliance that come out now and then. But they seem so random! Making this a regular occurrence — even predictable — seems an insurmountable task.

It turns out that there are a number of useful things that help create the environment of sustainable productivity and creativity. But first you have to admit that everybody is different. What excites you is not the same as others on your team.

Each person has his or her own thinking, his or her own heart, his or her own desires. And don’t think that it’s good to just hire people who do think like you — that’s a recipe for disaster. That’s how you end up with an Enron. Read the rest of this entry »

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Every person, every group has its superpower. In fact, it’s probably right under your nose and you don’t even recognize it.

Sometimes it’s a stunning differentiator in your product or service. That unique advantage that nobody else can touch.

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I was talking with a gentleman last week who happened to be traveling through Fort Collins and picked up my business card. It turns out that he was out here from the west coast because he has a desire to move to Colorado at some point in the future.

Perhaps. Maybe. Some day.

Being a coach, I had to ask him how serious he is about this. And, honestly, he didn’t really know. It’s just something he’s been pondering.

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There are lots and lots of people who are affected by your company. Even if you’re a super small business, you still have yourself, your family, customers and partners.

As you grow, you’ll include employees, their families, and an ever-growing array of people to whom you deliver value.

This is why the concept of “stakeholders” is so powerful. Typically we’d talk about shareholders, but that’s a really limited view of success and impact. Focusing too much on shareholders is dangerous, and can lead you to some really unbalanced decisions.

My best clients realize that their business also contributes to the larger community. I’m not just talking about charitable donations, either. They’re making a powerful difference to peoples’ quality of life and helping to solve larger problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on UnsplashCompanies market their products. They market the customer benefits.

They rarely talk about their deeply held values, as if that’s not relevant or interesting. But younger parts of our population are placing more importance on the company that stands behind their products.

We older folks do that, too, by the way. We just don’t tend to be quite as vocal about it.

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A new business concept is spreading around the world. You might know it under the labels “conscious”, “mission-driven”, “values-based”, “socially conscious”, or “benefit corporation.”

But it’s really not that new. In some ways, it’s a return to the days when businesses were an integral part of the community–not just treating them as consumers from which money is to be extracted.

Milton Friedman captured our current philosophy of business pretty well back in 1970: Read the rest of this entry »

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You should definitely check out my podcast interview with Tyler Wagner!

Photo by Sebastián León Prado on UnsplashEverybody wants to have a great company and a great life.

I’m fortunate to work with a number of inspiring business leaders, but it’s easy for them to lose their spark under the day-to-day pressure. No matter what your story is, you still have to make sure that nitty-gritty stuff gets done.

Paying the bills. Filing taxes. Paying your workers.

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180907_Choice_Mag_cover smallOver the span of my career, I’ve discovered that anything is learnable. Though it might take 10,000 hours to achieve mastery, I can achieve a certain level of competence.

But it’s not always desirable.

I could learn how to be a results-only, hard-driving command-and-control leader. But that’s not who I want to be.

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I know you have the greatest invention in the history of mankind. Something that nobody thought was even possible.

And you’ve applied it in a totally innovative way that just blows people away.

Unfortunately, this led you to create a business plan that is entirely product-centric. When I see your plan, as an outsider, I’m worried about how fragile it is. All it takes is the NEXT whizzy innovation, and you’re in bad trouble.

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