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How many times have you heard company mission statements which are essentially identical to this? Do you think it really conveys anything interesting to employees or managers in the company? That it motivates action?

There are several problems with this approach to direction-setting:

  • It’s not specific.
  • It’s no different from other companies.
  • It conveys no sense of priority.
  • There’s no passion.

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It’s not uncommon for me to work with people who are stuck in the depths of despair.  The economy is in terrible shape, they’ve lost customers, and any dreams of profit are distant hopes.  I actually see people in this posture, who have lost almost all hope for the future.

Part of my role as their business coach is to be optimistic.  Am I insane?

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What’s the story of your business?

Sure, you began business at a particular time and location, involving a certain set of people, and the company has changed over time. But I’m talking about something deeper than just the history. Here’s the real question: Why should anybody care?

By “anybody,” I mean your customers, your leadership team, and your employees. Each group has a unique relationship with your company, and has a need for a deeper emotional connection.

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Despite what the statistics say, most companies in Northern Colorado are still experiencing the effects of the recession. Some are experiencing an upturn, but many are not.

In times of economic hardship, there are typically three directions that companies take:

In hard times, what do most people do?

Our first thought is to become very conservative. Don’t spend money, don’t take risks, just keep plugging away and working hard until things get better.

Read more on my Workbloom blog»


I’ve given many presentations over the years, and I’ve adopted an important principle:  If I want to do a good job, I create the slides myself.  Preferably from scratch.

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When we read compelling stories of leaders in business, in politics and in society, most of the emphasis is placed on what the person has accomplished and achieved. It’s all about how they’ve affected others.

That’s not the source of leadership, though. True leadership begins on the inside – what I like to characterize as the five Cs.

Read the rest in my column in the Northern Colorado Business Report»

Carl Dierschow
Small Fish Business Coaching
Fort Collins, Colorado

I was reading an article today about common mistakes people make when writing business plans. It wasn’t bad, but it reinforced my assertion that there’s different kinds of business plans. The ones the article referred to were for getting funding, and they expected to be on the order of 30+ pages.

Fine, I suppose, but you’re never going to USE it.

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Does this complaint sound familiar?

“I’ve offered some jobs, and had lots of applications.  But I have a real hard time finding people who want to do the work, and I’ve even had a number of job offers declined because people were too comfortable receiving their unemployment checks.”

You have a choice here. Read the rest of this entry »

I had a great discussion with some people this morning at a local Rotary Club meeting this morning, which also tied in with another discussion yesterday.

It’s all about having businesses which deliver more to the world than just money.

The nice thing about privately held companies is that you get to choose how you balance profit against the other goals you have.  Read the rest of this entry »

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