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decade ago, Simon Sinek popularized the idea of marketing your products based on a powerful story. And that story starts with WHY.

  • Why your company does what it does.
  • Why you created this product in the first place.
  • Why your product will make the customer’s life so much better.

That last one sounds a lot like expounding on your product’s benefits, right? But traditionally, “benefits” stop soon after the purchase, quite short term. Instead, we’re talking about a much deeper transformation for customers, something they may even struggle to articulate.

And that’s only the last step in telling your story to customers.

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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 »

It’s real easy to get overwhelmed with big events.  This week we worry about fires and hurricanes, and the anniversary of 9/11.  Sometimes it seems that you just can’t make a dent at all.

But it DOES matter.  You touch some people, and they care.

SGCTen years ago, Bo Burlingham wrote a business book named Small Giants which became quite popular. So much so that communities have sprung up around the world to support businesses which are putting these concepts to work.

What’s the new idea?

Bo profiled a number of companies who built powerful organizations by choosing to remain privately held. Read the rest of this entry »

OK, I’m going to show my age here.

Jack-Palance-as-Curly-shows-One-Thing-in-City-SlickersIn the 1991 movie City Slickers, there’s a conversation between the wide-eyed Mitch (Billy Crystal) and the grizzled veteran Curly (Jack Palance):

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?

[holds up one finger]

Curly: This.

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s**t.

Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”

Curly: [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.

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When you think about it, “managing” your team can be a distasteful concept.

It’s built on the presumption that you have control over what they do, and are smart enough to direct their every move. Most experienced managers realize this control-and-compliance model gets just the minimum acceptable level of contribution.

And sometimes not even that.

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Source: incisler

Source: incisler

I was reading a great article by one of my friends today – she’s talking about finding work/life balance in her own life.  It reminds me of a conversation I have with people whenever I do career coaching.

My first observation is that two hundred years ago, our ancestors would have found this whole concept pretty ridiculous.  Not because they were incredible workaholics or anything, but because they didn’t see “work” as such a separable thing.

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I ran across a really powerful article today by Runa Bouius entitled 9 Keys to Abundant Inspiration.  She’s very observant when she notes that the leadership journey begins within.  Everyone has the potential for becoming a powerful leader in some context, but it takes a lot of internal work to bring that out.

Leadership isn’t a set of skills that you learn.

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Most for-profit companies exist to make a profit. To make money, they deliver a valuable product or service to an ever-growing customer base. They hire employees and spend money in order to provide that, but the name of the game is maximizing revenue and minimizing expense.

End of story, right?

Not exactly. Read the rest of this entry »

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