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Home Archive for category "Best Practices" (Page 6)

“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 their customers.  Instead, they provide a

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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, but 800,000 of them will be

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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 strategic plan is important but not

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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 Coffman found more differences than similarities. 

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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 of a dozen or so

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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. Yet few companies, except the very

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“The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don’t need him.”

Ken Blanchard has been a prolific writer on topics of management and leadership.  He has written over 60 books, though usually co-authored with someone else.  If you’re old enough, you may remember his classic work, “The One Minute Manager.”   I recently stumbled across one of his books, “The Secret: What Great Leaders Know – and

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“The best ideas for improving a job come from those who do it every day.”

A lot has been written lately about “employee engagement” . . . some of it right here. The Gallup organization, which has studied it for many years, says employee engagement can be measured by the strength of the emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her company.  If the employee sings the company song,

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“Time spent on hiring is time well spent.”

Even though the Great Recession is far back in our rearview mirror, the recovery has been painfully slow, particularly for small businesses. Small business owners have not gone on a hiring spree, in part, because they have learned how to get along without some of the positions they eliminated during the recession.  Also, because the

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“Be the last to speak.”

Simon Sinek is one of our favorite speakers on business topics.  In our last posting, we talked about one of his “10 Rules for Success” . . . namely, the importance of continuous improvement.  He challenges us to ask, every day, “How can we make our company a better company today than it was yesterday?” 

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