Thursday, May 24, 2007
Whether you are a student, a service profider or a decision maker, how do you feel about elevator pitches? Below is an email I just received. Do you use them, find them effective, or respond when someone else gives you one? Let's help K. out!
I just came back from a seminar on how to give a 30 second elevator pitch. But it feels very stiff and insincere and I don't feel comfortable doing it. Do you use elevator pitches?
Friday, May 18, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I could pick any number of instances of contributions you have made to me, but the one that really stands out is the way you nurtured courage for my vision. The two-plus years in 2001-02 we spent trying to crack the Radical Results /Realtime Enterprise work has had a profound impact in my work and vision that I have only just begun to realize.
You taught me about disruption, about driving ideas toward their longer-range effect, about speaking about what will happen instead about what could happen, about profound technology and change cycles, about looking for where the money will land, about knowing that an idea can be right even though you are alone in it. (I think BEA would have done better if they hired you directly in 2002. By now they've missed the crown).
For over a thousand mornings from 2003 to late 2006, I woke up and said: "This can't work, it is too big, too complicated, the vast majority is telling me it can't work, and I have no money to staff this". It sometimes took 10 minutes, sometimes an hour to shake it off, to know that all real change is disruptive and is generated by a person with a vision and a person for whom a big employer would be a detriment. Of course the ontological tools I use to reject defeat are from my work at Landmark, but the intellectual and structural tools to go back to work the same day, every day, and to write, solve and innovate – i.e. to make some actual progress – came from a thousand hours with you.
You have provided a critical piece to Skymeter, without which this would not be happened. And it is happening.
With Gratitude and Love,
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
He related that he was getting on an elevator this morning and as the doors were closing, he saw someone racing for the door. C. held the doors open and was thanked with a smile and the phrase:
Thanks, you restored my faith in humanity!
If you want to have people like you, trust you, keep you top of mind, promote you, send you business and be your advocates...sometimes it's as simple as waiting a few seconds and holding open a door.
KDS Level Two: To attract success, you need to stop thinking about yourself and serve others.
And besides - doesn't it feel good when you get that smile!?
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thanks for mentioning what you did about the slower runners; sometimes I get intimidated by all the talk of Boston qualifiers and personal bests and I don't feel I belong among the speedy runners.
Signed First Timer,
You know, in my talks across North America I speak about the concept of "silos". We tend to classify other people and put them in silos or catagories and that limits us in many ways.
In a marathon class (as in business and life ), I define courage as someone who perseveres through adversity.
I admire "a speedy runner" because (independent of their natural talent and genetics) they have stuck to a plan, watched their nutrition and spent a lot of lonely hours on their own running towards a goal. For example, did you know it took one of our runners 5 marathons to qualify for Boston and that she is always astonished when she hears someone refer to her as an "elite"?
I admire a first time marathon runner for exactly the same reason: they are chasing a goal. And for one more reason as well. Did you know that a lot of faster runners cannot physically run for the length of time some of you can? Did you hear Joe's comments when he had to lead the 4 hour pace group on a long run? It was very difficult on his body to run at that pace for such a long period of time. When a 3:15 marathoners comes across the finishing line, they are very tired. But some of you will be running for another 2-3 hours as well! They literally cannot do what some of you will be doing.
The people I truly admire the most are the people who resist the silo mentality. They have the spirit to run towards a dream but they take the time to speak with the people just starting their own dream. Their speed AND their empathy are the reasons they inspire you. I call them "good guys."
One last thought for all of you. As you get faster, fitter and firmer, you will be tempted to hang around others who are even more fast, fit and firmer.
You just need to make the effort.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Humans are hard-wired to talk about others and a "good-guy reputation" is invaluable whether finding a job, leading a company, looking for investors or asking others to follow you over the ramparts and into a hail of bullets.
But every once in awhile you meet the opposite. An associate recently related how his company has severed their professional relationship with a client company precisely because of the personality of its leader.
In his words, " this guy's personality is worth a mention in the next KDS as to how to run a company into the ground by ticking off service providers and his own people!!"
Further inquiry reveals a president who is brilliant in his field but arrogant, abrupt and inconsiderate with employees and his service providers. It's an interesting insight that, although bricks and mortar have no personality, a company actually takes on the personality of its leader.
Does his ego allow him to look in the mirror and admit that his personality is affecting his bottom line?
Does he realize that his employees and service providers (bankers, accountants, lawyers, recruiter etc) will slam the book on his company's file at 5pm on a Friday afternoon as they won't go that extra mile when their spouse and kids are asking them to come home?
Does he blame the turnover and low morale in his company on himself or does he look for external factors?
Do the shareholders in his company know that his personality is affecting the bottom line?
Moral of the story: 20% of society is made up of "good guys" 79% are people who have the ability to achieve that persona (especially if they come to Knocking down Silos!) But every once in awhile you meet a psycho. Learn from them, be cautious of them, but don't let them affect how you treat the rest of society.
Or as my dad ( a 30 year veteran of the Canadian military) would say of an inept officer:
The only way anyone would follow that guy...is out of curiosity.