Category Archives: Rants

Listening a Foundational Element in any Endeavor

As I have been reviewing Paul Polak and his ideas one of his simple concepts that he says is one of the most overlooked is listening.  It doesn’t really matter what type of organization you build or run this is one of the most important disciplines you can develop.  How did Paul and IDE help 17 million out of poverty?  Here is a foundational key you should listen to.  Don’t miss this!  Who is your business, social enterprise or charity serving?  Go now and listen.  Ask the right questions and listen.

Why listening is foundational?

It is absolutely essential to our limited time, human, and financial resources that we don’t waist our time with enterprises that are wasteful and ineffective.  If you run a business or charity one of the worst feelings you can have is to invest your heart and soul into something that fails to meet the needs of your customer.   You work and strive and fail your customer even though you have invested so much of your heart.  When your goal is to meet a need by organizing and creating value that serves life then wisdom says, “humble yourself and learn to listen”.

Listen to Paul in his own words:

Full Video Here

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Ponderings — Respect in business relationships?

faceartRight now everyone is clamoring for the newest the latest and the greatest.  How can we make it big?  The more I look forward the more I remember the tried and true.  You want to build and grow you need to remember the basics.  One of the foundational principles of commerce and trade is respect.  The fruit of respect is listening hearing and learning.  To be a great leader you need to have this down.  It must be at the front of your mind or you will have blind spots and be a less effective leader in your company and in life.

I value respect because it is a platform to build real relationships on and business is all about relationships and trust and respect.  So I am reminding myself to be open to learn from those around me.

So how do I succeed and how do I fail?

Evan Williams at TED talks speaks about Twitter

I love it when you talk to someone about twitter and you get that blank stare.  It’s funny because I think most of us can relate to feeling that way when we first heard about Twitter.   It’s still an evolving entity, but is becoming more mainstream everyday.  We don’t know how it will evolve in the future months, but it is being used in new ways every day.

After watching the video I think it’s safe to say Evan, like the rest of us, feels  a little disoriented by this new beast.

What I use twitter for:

I use twitter to distribute my blog post and to stay connected with friends.  I also try to follow people with common interests.  I have met some really interesting people who have quickly become resources for my personal growth and developing my core interests.

My Twitter account.

Get Real! It’s time to evaluate.

womenface2In times of crisis we want to circle the wagons and hide ourselves from adversity.  We try to protect ourselves to make ourselves feel like everything is going to be OK.  That’s all great except your business needs you to take a hard dispassionate look at it’s position and then to take decisive action.  You can’t lead the same way you do in good times.

I am not saying that I have mastered this yet, but I see clearly the need for this.  The longer it takes you to see, the more damage is done.  No, it’s not fair.  No one is going to make it fair for you or consider your past accomplishments.  You better get after it.  Is your business worth fighting for?

So how are you going to fight this fight of your life?  Start with you, the leader.  Who are you?  What are you doing well and where can you improve?  Do you believe in your organization and your product?  You better.  If you don’t you better continue to develop and find ways to stand out.  You better make the corrective actions that are necessary.  Make the most of this new environment.

How is any company going to survive?  By allowing this season to make you and your product better.  By fighting and reaching deep down to find courage that you didn’t know was there.  The biggest threat to the United States is affluence, comfort and apathy.  In times of affluence and peace we can trade passion for something bigger than ourselves for lusts and fear.  It’s time to shed our own personal fears and work to create great products and services for ourselves and our customers.  It’s time for new models that will sustain our passion to create and invent.

Get hungry again.  Get real and take action.  This is a different time and this new market demands our attention.  It’s time to brush yourself off and get to work creating something great.

The Entrepreneur’s Muse

girlundertree1

When we think of a muse we often think of someone who is the object of a creative flow for an artist. What would be the equivalent for an entrepreneur? It’s simple really. It’s that real life friend or family member with a problem.

Magic happens in a creative person when confronted with a problem they start to dwell on. A muse can be the focus of attention and even a passion. In the same way we have real live people in our lives with real life problems to be solved.

Looking out and observing those we care about most can be a gold mine for the entrepreneurial mind. So my suggestion for the budding entrepreneur is to take a look at the people you love most and ask the question, “what is it that is lacking or hurting? What problem could I solve?”  The answers for one person has the potential to benefit thousands or maybe even millions. So get out there and find your muse.

It’s not like you can’t hear people complain every day!

Can an orgainization be moral?

What do you think?

You can come at this from many different angles, but my personal opinion is that we can easily lose our concept and way when we generalize.  When talking about business, government, corporations and all kinds of different organizations we often talk about them as if they are human.  They have emotions and guilt.  In business we gearsoften blame problems and issues on the market.  It was “market factors” that caused this.  In reality the market is made up of real living breathing people just like and organization.  If we want to understand the market or an organization we have to understand people.

Why are some organizations creating great value while others are being killed by parasitic CEO’s?  Why are some organizations making a killing by selling products that harm your health?  Not because of “the market” or the corporation but because of us.  These things reflect us the individuals.  It’s people who trade in order to satisfy both positive and negative desires.  We are the one who bless and curse ourselves, our markets and our businesses.

So, if we have some measure of power ,why not find out how we can be a positive market factor and a positive business force?  It is in your hand every time you shop.  When we build an organization, we have thousands of choices.  By doing the right thing, by being the best at serving and producing value, you can make a profit.  The best artists are driven to create.  They give far more then they take.  I am crazy enough to believe I can give more then I take and still be happy. And in the ways that are truly important, I’m rich.  When we look to take more than we give, that is, in itself, a form of poverty.  Our own hearts will be divided and our passion will wain.  Isn’t creating the next great innovation or organization more fulfilling to you then creating some ponzi scheme.

You have choices today!  Who are you and where are you going?