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Be the gatekeeper of your company’s culture.

During the Great Recession, hiring was not much of a problem because most companies weren’t doing any of it.  Some imposed a hiring freeze, others laid people off.  Now we have the opposite problem: companies want to hire but can’t find the people they want.  Best-selling business author Jim […] Continue Reading…

 
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Inc. magazine’s 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. (revisited)

Every year, in its September issue, Inc. magazine publishes its “Inc. 5000” annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America.  Two years ago, when the Inc. 5000 list for 2015 came out, we extracted some of the highlights in an attempt to learn what characteristics all these entrepreneurs […] Continue Reading…

 
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“No person can get very far in this life on a 40-hour week.”

Working more hours does not make us more productive.  That seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true.  This was demonstrated by many studies conducted from the early 1900s to the 1950s.  In fact, Henry Ford, who was an early adopter of working fewer hours, reduced the work day in his plants […] Continue Reading…

 
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Compensation is an equity issue.

In American business, an individual’s compensation package, particularly among managers and sales people, frequently includes an incentive component.  An example might be a manager who is paid a base salary of $75,000, but is able to earn an additional $25,000 if he or she is able to achieve certain […] Continue Reading…

 
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“We really view each (telephone call) as an opportunity to build the Zappos brand.”

Whatever happened to customer service?  Everybody pays lip service to it, but very few actually deliver it.  More and more often, when you go to a company’s website looking for a phone number, you will be disappointed to find there isn’t one.  Apparently, they don’t want to talk to […] Continue Reading…

 
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Work on your business, not in it.

According to the IRS, there are 18.1 million businesses in this country, but only 100,000 that employ 100 or more people.  So of the 18.1 million businesses in this country, 18 million of them are small businesses.  In addition, more than a million businesses are started here each year, […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Without execution, ‘vision’ is just another word for hallucination.”

“Which is easier, strategy (planning) or execution?”  Ask any chief executive that question, and he or she will always answer, “Execution!”  Putting together a good strategic plan has its own challenges, but the real trick is making that plan happen.  And the reason for that is simple:  executing a […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have when trying to change others.”

While researching their best-selling book, “First, Break All the Rules,” co-authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman interviewed over 80,000 managers in more than 400 companies. They wanted to learn what separates managers who are truly great from those who are just adequate.  Surprisingly, among the great managers, Buckingham and […] Continue Reading…

 
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That’s your competitive advantage? Really? You sure about that?

We have talked about ”competitive advantage” here before, but it’s been awhile and it’s an important concept that bears repeating.

Jaynie Smith is a consultant, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. She is also CEO of her company, Smart Advantage, Inc.  I heard her speak about competitive advantage before a group […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Don’t do interviews. Interviews are boring. Make it a conversation.”

Brendan Reid, a business writer, author, and coach, points out that strong interviewing skills are critical to the success of any hiring manager. Obviously, bringing people on board who have the right skills, knowledge, experience, and temperament will have enormous benefit to the hiring manager and to the company. […] Continue Reading…

 
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