Mastery is Progress

A couple of my employees were invited to speak at the local university recently to discuss their jobs and their career choices with students. They asked me if I had any advice for them that they could share; they may have regretted that question after 45 minutes of my response. You see, there seems to be a generation entering the workforce currently that is super smart and super ambitious but is missing a very important basic principle – that careers are built on mastery. Level 50 Perhaps it is the gamification of a generation or simple impatience, but achievement...

Sometimes, working hard is not enough &#...

I often hear how hard people are working – how much they are trying.  Sometimes, I think it is easy to confuse activity with action. Don’t get me wrong – a high work ethic is essential.  It shows character.  It should be admired and celebrated and encouraged.  But there is a difference between being busy and being effective – regardless of your work ethic. Poiesis vs Praxis The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, believed that there are three basic activities of man - theoria, poiesis and praxis. Theoria - theoretical - were activities with the end goal...

The Farmer’s Creed

There’s a lot written in blogs and in books about Values – both corporate and personal. Zappos, for example, created its 10 core values as the foundation for the entire company – their culture, their self-image, the benchmark against which each employee is measured.   Values become the collective morale compass for a business.  But its important that they are not owned nor defined by the marketing department.. the goal here should be to define how you and everyone behaves.   They are, after all, what you “value”. The same is true for you...

Successful branding requires consistency

Despite what many small business owners may think, branding is not your company logo or the color of the uniforms your staff wear. Your “brand” is more about what you represent.  It may be presented and reinforced through your corporate image, advertising and other marketing activities – but ultimately your brand reflects your core values. And your core values are not something you simply “design and promote”.  They are reflected in everything you do – how you act, how your employees are treated, how your employees treat your...

How to select a business partner

Running your own business can be either invigorating or exasperating (sometimes both).. and a lot of the time, its your business partner that makes the difference.  Your business partner should share your vision, your enthusiasm and the workload… and the whole thing hinges on a single word – TRUST. In an ideal world, you should pause for thought before rushing into business with someone.  But we all know that this isn’t how business partnerships are typically started.   The other person may currently be your employee or employer, a friend from school or...