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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 »

180418 Business Blast Podcast image

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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We’re surrounded by threats and challenges every day. Customers switch. Employees leave. Competitors surprise. Government regulates.

So how on earth can these contain opportunities?

It’s easy to see potential when a new market opens up, or you discover a great technology, or a competitor exits. But you have to be much more optimistic to see how a threat can be turned around.

It’s actually about your philosophy as a leader and how you choose to respond to events.

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on UnsplashThe term “conscious” has taken hold in recent years in the context of business. The concept has been around for a long time, but until the last decade was always considered a bit of an oddity.

So what does it mean?

There are two primary usages of “conscious” in business. Read the rest of this entry »

A fundamental part of the Universal Human Experience is to search for meaning. We all look for significance, a deeper purpose for ourselves and what we love.

But what does that have to do with business?

The traditional view of work is that it’s what you do when you’re not living your life. You get a paycheck, which you can go out and spend on things that are enjoyable and what truly matters.

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Photo by Tyler Nix on UnsplashA fundamental part of the Universal Human Experience is to search for meaning. We all look for significance, a deeper purpose for ourselves and what we love.

But what does that have to do with business?

The traditional view of work is that it’s what you do when you’re not living your life. You get a paycheck, which you can go out and spend on things that are enjoyable and what truly matters.

Read the rest of this entry »

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