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Entries in management (61)

Tuesday
May202014

Beware: Cliches Ahead.

Sometimes there’s a reason the road less travelled is not congested.

It’s easy to come up with slogans to explain success. Management commentary is full of them yet they often describe a singular success that isn’t easily transferred to another business.

“Sticking to your knitting” might be a successful strategy for one firm but not for a competitor. You could say it works for Walmart, but it didn’t for Sony. It stuck to the Walkman way past the arrival of the MP3 player. A better cliché might have been “when the horse is dead, get off”.

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Tuesday
Mar252014

Fast Leadership

A random walk through the leadership maze.

Search “leadership” on Amazon and you’ll find several thousand books on the subject. Even more than on “How to make a million in real estate”.

Many are all well argued. Some draw on great historical examples, others quote celebrity CEOs. A few are inspirational. Yet most are hard to put into practice. With leadership, as with real estate, there’s no silver bullet.

What if you just need to get on with it?

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Tuesday
Feb112014

Getting Lucky

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Sometimes, the flip side is the better track

In 1978 Gloria Gaynor was a moderately successful singer. That changed when she covered a Righteous Brothers number called “Substitute.” Few would remember the tune. That’s because it flopped. On the flip side was a new track no one had heard of. It was called “I Will Survive.” It went to the top of the charts and so did Gloria Gaynor.

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Tuesday
Oct152013

Intuition: Friend or Foe?

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What to do with those “hunches”.

In 1977, three of us launched a truck driver’s tabloid. We got the idea while lying on a beach. We sold it to a printing company and negotiated a handsome package to produce the editorial.

We had no strategy. We did no market research. We just put it together and put it out there. Rigs and Roads was an instant success.

Why?

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Tuesday
Sep172013

Struggling to get the big picture?

Try cycling.

What will the issue be today? Cash flow? Customers? Operations? There’s always something going on. It’s not just business. Life is a big to do list: family, education, career, housing, finance. There’s a lot to manage.

We are supposed to be guided by strategic vision – standing astride our world, emotionally detached, leading others and ourselves through the maze of ordinary day-to-day stuff.

That’s a pretty dumb expectation.

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