It’s one of the toughest questions in business: Who should you be working with? Several years ago, when I was CEO of Thomas Nelson, I had one of those moments of clarity that has broad application for organizations.
The “aha!” moment came when I was thinking about our professional relationships with authors and agents. Some relationships were highly profitable and enjoyable. Others were also quite profitable but a constant drain on our staff and resources.
Still others were enjoyable but not very rewarding financially. And of course there were the worst kind of relationships from our perspective: unprofitable and annoying.
When I wrote recently about firing monster clients who eat up disproportionate time and resources, one reader replied, “Great idea. Do you have a guide for how exactly we should do that?”
It was a good question. A guide like that would have been useful to me earlier in my career. I have had to let many clients go over the years, and it hasn’t always ended well.
Most Americans think of George Washington as a great leader and the father of our country, but I bet few of us think of overdue library books.
When Washington was president, he borrowed two books from a New York library and forgot to return them. According to a humorous but true story the fines for books that late might come to $300,000 today. His estate at Mt. Vernon paid a whopping $12,000 to replace just one of the missing volumes.
As the vice president of the consultancy Gap International, it is Ilene Muething’s job to challenge and confront some of the world’s most abrasive and powerful CEOs.
Ilene is a friend and has done some consulting for my company. I once asked her how she worked up the courage to speak truth to the powerful. She said it was difficult at first, but over time it got easier.
Success stories have a beginning, a middle, and a payoff. We often focus on the difference between the start and the success but I’ll let you in on a secret: The struggle between the two is what’s important.
Writing Your Own Story
As you work to win at any endeavor that truly matters to you, there is going to come a point when you are tempted to quit, give it up, throw in the towel.
When I talk with people about the frustrations they feel in building an engaged online following, slow growth and insufficient time come up more frequently than anything else.
I get it. When I first started blogging, I would spend hours on an important post, expecting it would take off. But no matter how much time I invested, I had fewer than a thousand readers regardless of what I did. Not even my mom was interested!
If you’re building an online platform, you don’t want to miss my new webinar
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Most leaders I’ve met recognize you need the right people to build a high-power team. But few of them have defined the ideal candidate for their organization. They’re playing with fire.
A few of my grandkids are reading the Roald Dahl classic George’s Marvelous Medicine right now. In the story, the boy George mixes up a concoction to cure his grandmother of her sour mood. He adds everything he can find to the mixing pot: pharmaceuticals, paint, shampoo, and more.
The results are explosive—and the antics only get zanier from there. Unfortunately, I’ve seen hiring situations like that over the years.
Most people recognize the value of an online platform. When you have one, you can reach more people with your message, products, or hard-won expertise. You multiply both your influence and your income. Everybody wins.
The problem is that building an online following can feel daunting. I talk to people all the time who want the personal and professional benefits a platform offers. It’s just that they either struggle to get started or gain momentum.
You want to build an online following, but where should you start? My free Platform Assessment
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When it comes to chasing a dream, is it better to go “all in” or take your time? Despite the age-old claims that we need to risk everything, the truth is taking a leap is not always the best path to create your life’s work.
Most of us love a good tale of risk and reward. We get a thrill seeing people bet big and win. But a study from the University of Wisconsin demonstrates this is not wise.
When it comes to winning at work, you have to focus on the big things. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right? Not so fast.
The small stuff does matter. In fact, according to Andy Andrews, bestselling author of The Little Things, it might matter more than you could possibly imagine.
As summer approaches, you might be deciding if you have the time or money for a vacation. Americans have been taking fewer vacation days.
At one time Americans used their vacation days, according to research by Project: Time Off. We took an average of 20.3 days a year right up until the turn of the century. That’s when the findings reveal a sharp drop off of about 4 days. Project: Time Off worries the loss may be a permanent reduction in vacation.