Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brainstorming

Twenty years ago there wasn't a consumer internet. There wasn't Google, there wasn't Facebook, there wasn't Twitter, there wasn't YouTube. All of these great ideas are new ideas that were once only a thought in the brain of a creative person. In the last three years Groupon has grown from nothing to doing two billion in sales - the fastest growing company in the history of the world. So many of these ideas were developed in brainstorming sessions.

What is the next great idea for you? For your family? For your job? For the new business you may start? For the new product your company needs to develop? For the new service your company needs to develop? The topic of brainstorming is always worth spending some time on.

Inc magazine recently ran an article with the title of How To Run A Brainstorming Session and there is much to get from this article. One point from the article is to "Check Your Title At the Door"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day, known informally as Turkey Day, is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving was a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. (from Wikipedia)

Thanksgiving has traditionally one of my favorite days of the year. It's a time when my family is together and we are sharing the many blessings we have been given. We spend the day talking, watching sports, eating and then talking some more. This year we are celebrating the day on the beach in Florida with sixteen of our family.

I hope your Thanksgiving is a wonderful day and that you are able to spend the day with family and friends. Take the day off from work, from thinking about sales, from thinking about marketing or personal effectiveness. Just spend the day relaxing and hanging out with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giving A Great Presentation

How many times have you had to give a presentation at work to a group, with a customer or in your life outside of business. In my work there are times I have to present to a group at work or more often to a client. There are even times outside of business that I need to present. I clearly remember my first public presentation - it was in speech class during my freshman year in college. I had never given a speech and I was terrified. This was something I had never done and I was sure it wasn't going to go well. The amazing thing was that once I was done I realized that I had no broken bones, no one had gotten up and walked out and that it wasn't as bad as I thought. Thankfully my school required four years of speech as well as speech clubs because now giving a presentation is no big deal.

Most people don't have the benefit of that kind of training but there are still tools anyone can use to improve. Shaun Rein recently wrote an article for Forbes that gives three great keys for improving a presentation. These are not nuts and bolts items but more big picture ideas for the overall message.

His first point is to tell stories. This is a great point. People are more interested in stories that bring home a point. Facts and figures are important but without some human element the data gets boring quickly. Shaun puts it this way, "Steve Jobs does not

Monday, November 8, 2010

7 Leadership Must-Have Skills

Marshall Goldsmith is the author of Mojo and What Got You Here Won't Get You There. He is an executive coach to many of the top leaders in our country and teaches at Dartmouth's Tuck School. On his blog this month he wrote about something that is required for leadership - self confidence. He believes this is something that is necessary to succeed. He doesn't mean someone who believes s/he is great without any proof - it is more the centered focus that comes with being able to do something well.

In the blog post he covers seven habits to improve self confidence. Here are a couple of the seven. "Make peace with ambiguity in decision making" which I see as meaning accept the fact that not all decisions are black and white. The business world is full of gray areas. Should we