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“What crucial conversations are you not holding, or not holding well?”

Joseph Grenny is a New York Times best-selling author, a keynote speaker, and a social scientist who is passionate about good communication.  More precisely, he is passionate about what he calls “crucial conversations” . . . those conversations that are necessary, but are so fraught with real or imagined […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Negotiations are built on agreement, not disagreement.”

We tend to associate “negotiating” with lawyers, politicians, and purchasing agents.  But the fact is, we all negotiate.  We negotiate compensation packages for new employees, we negotiate price and terms with our customers, we negotiate bedtimes with our kids, and household budgets with our spouses.  So we all negotiate […] Continue Reading…

 
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Be decisive. Get focused. Take a nap.

Successful people have always been, and continue to be, studied, researched, and analyzed endlessly.  Why?  Because we want to learn what makes them tick.  We want to find out what they do (or don’t do) that makes them more successful than the rest of us.  I recently read two […] Continue Reading…

 
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Best Places to Work in Illinois 2015

As it has for the past 10 years, the Daily Herald Business Ledger has published a list of the “Best Places to Work in Illinois” for 2015.  The “Best Places to Work” program is managed by the Best Companies Group (BCG) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  BCG administers this program not […] Continue Reading…

 
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Just say “No!” to business-speak.

Whatever it is you do for a living, chances are you use some sort of jargon or slang or made-up words that you use to communicate with others who are in your line of work.  Airline pilots speak their own language.  Doctors and nurses talk to one another in […] Continue Reading…

 
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“At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.”

The Filene Research Institute is a think tank aimed at helping credit unions find ways to operate smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively.  An acquaintance of mine who manages a credit union shared one of Filene’s reports with me.  The title of the report is “Attributes and Skills of […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Networking is rubbish; have friends instead.”

I attended a meeting last week . . . the same one I attend every month.  At this particular meeting, we began talking about networking events, asking one another what events we attend, which ones produce useful referrals, which ones do not, and so forth.  In the context of […] Continue Reading…

 
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Outstanding organizations have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.

Mission, vision, and values are the three legs of a stool we call “culture.”  The leg we call “mission” is about purpose.  It answers the questions, “Why are we here?  What are we doing and why are we doing it?   Who are we trying to serve?”  Without a shared […] Continue Reading…

 
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Don’t manage change. Lead it!

In their book, “Blue Ocean Strategy,” authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne offer some advice for successfully introducing change.  The advice they offer is in the context changing marketing strategy, but their advice is really valid for any significant change within an organization whether you’re making operational changes, […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.”

Good marketing is probably more art than science.  It’s the art of building relationships.  It’s moving prospects along a continuum that begins at “Never heard of ya,” and ends at “Where do I sign?”  The trick is, knowing where along that line a prospect is so that our marketing […] Continue Reading…

 
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