What Makes a Company Truly Great

Business Growth

If you want to increase your chances of delivering business growth and exceptional performance well into the future, read on!  The information that follows is relevant to you regardless of the size or revenue of your business.

Two Deloitte consultants conducted a study of twenty five thousand companies to come to a conclusion of what makes a company truly great.  They selected 340 that had done well enough for long enough to qualify as truly exceptional.   It is a study similar to that of Collins in his work “Good to Great.”  Although the Deloitte results showed that:

The many and diverse choices that made certain companies great were consistent with just 3 seemingly elementary rules.”

The rules are:

#1:  Better before cheaper

#2: Revenue before cost

#3: There are no other rules

According to this study, these rules are not how a company takes specific actions.  Nor can this be considered strategy.  Rather they are “fundamental concepts on which companies have built greatness over many years.”

Mergers and acquisitions, customer focus, innovation, and risk taking were associated with all levels of performance equally from the good to the great.  The rules came into focus when the emphasis was shifted from what these companies did to how they thought.   An interesting concept…

The rules provide what is believed to be credible answers to every business leader’s basic questions about superior performance.

Let’s take a deeper look at each. Continue reading

Is it Work or is it Productivity


Do you remember the physics definition of “Work”?  Specifically, it’s moving ‘X’ pounds ‘Y’ distance.

The next definition is significant as well.

Managerial Talent can be defined as: The behavior exhibited by a manager which increases the amount of productive, results-oriented, and profitable behavior on the part of others in the organization on a daily basis. 

This definition assumes:

  • That desired results are clearly defined and,
  • That the behaviors leading to those results are known.

Understanding both definitions is important to a manager or leader.

Let’s tie them together…

If you pushed on one of the walls of your office for a whole work day and it didn’t move, did you work?  Certainly not!  Energy expended doesn’t matter.  The question is: What did I accomplish?

 Indeed, if I was responsible for delivering newspapers and I drove around all day but didn’t deliver a single one, was I productive?  I was busy!  However,  not productive, right?  The productive behavior is the delivery of the newspapers.  The desired result is 100% of subscribers got their papers on time.


A key takeaway:

Never confuse motion with progress and activity with results.  Continue reading

The Reason You Are Losing Sales


I’ve been in professional sales for over 20 years.  But, I don’t ever sell anything.  “What!?” you might be saying.

I don’t sell anything because I sit back and let my probable purchaser take from me.  I know that if I give them enough information and ask the right questions, they will make the decision which is in their best interest.

The key: they need to see the benefit

Whenever two people see things the same way, they most likely come to the same conclusion.  This is a universal law.  Effective questioning in your sales process will help people see what you see.  Which is that they should do business with you.   Giving the right information, only the information that is relevant and important to your probable purchaser will help too.  (Note well that I am not talking about “pitching!”) Continue reading

Meeting and Information Flow- How Well Do You Do This?

meeting flow

Having a meeting flow routine  is an important discipline all high performing organizations have, regardless of size.   I took the following from “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish.  (A great read by the way!)

There may be some things that you can add to your organization which would be beneficial.

I would suggest talking with your leadership team about how this might benefit you.  If it’s a “GO”,  make a decision on how to implement ASAP.

Most importantly, make a COMMITMENT to stick with this for the long haul.  Specifically, you don’t want to be viewed by your employees as leaders who start an initiative and then allow everyone to slip back into their old ways.  This will make any future continuous improvement efforts you have much more difficult if they are viewed as a “flavor of the month.”


Meeting Flow: A routine to set you free!

Predictable winners are those who have established a rhythm and a routine of having meetings.

How will you make your quarterly goals if you aren’t driving performance monthly, weekly, even daily?

Regular meetings with key people allow you to talk about new opportunities, big picture concerns, and bottlenecks as they arise.


Daily Meeting-An Imperative

Continue reading

Time Management Problems? They’re Not What You Think!

time management

I can’t even count how many executives, managers, professional sellers, and entrepreneurs over the years have told me they have time management problems.  Time management problems are not even time management problems.  They are GOALS CLARIFICATION problems.  Because when you are clear on your goals, you know how you should be spending your time.   Period.

If you, my reader, self-identify with time management problems, you probably don’t have goals.  How close am I?

Forget about “Oh, I have goals in my head…”  If they aren’t written down, you don’t really have goals.  Period.  You’re just pretending you do.

If you think you have time management problems, here is what you need to do:

Continue reading

If You Don’t Plan, You Are Guilty of Neglect

business planning

I believe that there are 3 basic beliefs when it comes to business.  They are particularly relevant when it comes to business planning:

1. The best way to predict your future is to create it. 

2. The greatest form of abuse in this world is neglect. 

3. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. 

There is a simple reason which makes this important.  If you don’t invest the time to think through your goals and craft your plan  for the rest of 2017 and then for 2018, you’ll be guilty of neglect…and you will by default, compromise your future. 

Pause for just a minute and give that statement the consideration it deserves.

 You can create the future you want on your terms.  Use the planning model below.  It is simple to understand.  However, it is not simplistic. Plan on spending about 4-6 hours to work through it.  It is easy to implement but without focus and accountability, you can easily get off course.  All the components are there which are necessary for you to have a plan which is actionable.   

Get started on your future today. As Henry David Thoreau has so beautifully stated, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.”


Business Planning Model Continue reading

Dramatically Improve Your Networking Results!

improve networking

Networking is a great way for entrepreneurs and professional sellers to generate leads and get appointments with prospects.    More leads- more appointments- more sales.  The formula is pretty simple.

Why then are so many not taking full advantage of the networking opportunities they have?

I hear a lot:  “I’m just not a good networker.”   That’s an attitude issue which has a fairly simple fix.  Change your thoughts and believe something different!

Another reason is lack of skills and knowledge.   That’s a simple fix too!  It involves learning networking best practices and applying them.  After all, when you learn something new, you can do what you were doing better.  Better actions lead to better results.

Networking can take many forms.  While these principles apply to most networking opportunities, I am primarily addressing the networking mixer in this article.

I’ve broken networking “to do’s”  into 3 time frames:

1) Pre event

2) During event

3) Post event

I’m not going to tell you what to do.  I’m going to share with you what I do.  It will be up to you to decide what you will do.

Before getting into the event details, here are two of the best definitions of networking I’ve come across.  Ad three fatal errors to avoid:

Networking Definitions:

1)   Networking is an attitude involving building relationships and resources.   A positive attitude is everything.  In the bigger picture, its an approach to life and not just a thing to do. Your attitude toward networking will impact your results.  If you would rather not be at an event, do one of two things:  Don’t go or change your attitude.   If you choose to go, make it a positive experience.  It may pay off big time!  I had a networking connection turn into a client who has engaged with me for over $25,000..  I think that’s pretty cool.

2)    Networking is a method of accomplishing goals through the power of synergy and teamwork. The goal of building networks is to contribute to others. It requires a shift from focusing on yourself and your needs to the Joy of Giving.  I regularly give referrals to colleagues in my network.  They think that’s pretty cool! Continue reading

Success Quotes From the Founder of Success Magazine

success quotes

ThESE Quotes are taken from the book “He Can Who Thinks He Can.”  It was published in 1908 by Orison Swett Marden, the founder of Success magazine (1850-1924.) 

It’s significant to note that they were underlined by the hand of John Patterson.  He is widely considered the father of sales training.  Enjoy them!

  • Self-reliance is the best capital in the world.
  • Self-deprecation is a crime.
  • The greatest enemies of achievement are fear, doubt and vacillation.
  • Every child should be taught to expect success.
  • If others can do such wonderful things why can not I?

Continue reading

Master These UNIVERSAL LAWS for Greater Success

universal laws

It is significant to note that the following are UNIVERSAL LAWS.

However, It is not enough to just know them or be familiar with them.

You will accomplish all that you want with certainty, when they are mastered. In light of that, you should seek mastery.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in THE LAWS.  In fact, they are still always at work.

Similarly, it doesn’t matter if one day you stop believing in gravity.  If you go to the top of a 10 story building and jump off of the roof, you will always go down.  That’s the way laws such as this work.

I spoke on this topic back in 2014 at a Toastmasters International conference to a standing ovation.    The full presentation is available below.

Here are THE LAWS:

Continue reading

It’s Not Always About Price

lost sales

When professional sellers tell me they have lost sales to price, it’s like hearing nails raking down a chalkboard. Especially if it has happened over and over.

Some people only buy on price.  That’s reality.  It is possible  to minimize the number of people just buying on price though.

Here is what to do

Price is a part of every buying decision.  It’s important to realize that it can be less of a factor though, if the goals of the first three steps of the selling process are met: Continue reading