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A Lesson From The GFC- Remind Yourselves, And Brace For Tough Times

Look around- what do you see? Yes indeed- it’s the GFC, by stealth. No headlines this time, screaming ‘GFC!!!” Just every business leader I meet telling me, “We have never seen it tougher than this.” If you and your business are to survive icy winds ahead, remember this golden rule of survival in tough times. Ignore it at your peril.

Ever see the movie, “Zulu”? The hordes are swarming over the barricades, a straggling group of red coated English soldiers desperately firing at them, just keep them at bay. Bullets are running short. Soldiers rush back to the ammunition hut. “More ammo!!!” they scream. “Fill in the form first,” says the munitions Captain.
Madness. If ever there was a time to change the agreed process, that was it!

In the words of Robbie Deans, when he took over as coach of the Australian Wallabies rugby team, his philosophy was built around one thing alone:

How To Win Without Trying To Win-A Secret to Business and Career Success

I am in the midst of the most terrifying role I have ever had- coach of an Under 10 fourth grade rugby team. And it is teaching me massive lessons about life, business and success- no more so than what happened this past Sunday. Read on- you’ll never forget this message.

When I reluctantly agreed a few weeks ago to coach the local Under 10 fourths rugby team, I dusted off notes taken when world record undefeated Brisbane Roar soccer coach Ange Postecoglou spoke to our leaders meeting 18 months ago. I had NO IDEA how to approach coaching rugby, or indeed coaching under 10s! But I wanted, as always, to do the best I could do, particularly for this enthusiastic young team.

Now- luckily, Ange knows his stuff. Deep in my notes was the magical insight I am using (with co-coach John) to help this team build confidence, improve, and have fun. It’s an insight absolutely relevant to driving business or career success. Here it is.

The Very First and Most Critical Ingredient To Success

It’s more than 35 years since my dear friend Shandy departed this world, aged 9. I am reflecting today how Shandy would have been a triumph at business, because he knew the essence of the first and most critical ingredient to success. Do you know what it is? Shandy did. And he was a dog. Read on.

I was grumpy last week.

After almost three weeks of traveling, I was back in Sydney, desperate to spend time in the office. Instead, I had to depart home early for a 1.5 hour freeway peak hour crawl west to visit for the first time the warehousing facility of a hugely successful logistics business we’d invested in (a critical step in delivering outstanding merchandising solutions capabilities to clients). We eventually arrived. I walked gloomily into reception when, suddenly, my spirits lifted. I began to feel excited about the five hours ahead. Because greeting me by name, beaming, was the most welcoming person I’d ever met. She knew my name, made me laugh, offered coffee, sat me down, explained the plot, and generally made me feel totally at home, and wanted.

Joy (that’s her name), you see, has become expert at the very first and most critical ingredient to success. So much so that she wears this capability as a badge of honor. Joy has become expert in this one key skill:

Do You Have The Critical X Factor To Survive?

This might shock you. To succeed in business today, you have to do something dramatically different. Don’t do it, and die. Seriously. Read on to find out what it is, and then ask yourself: do I have it? Do you?

The hard reality today for marketers and agencies is the three traditional “must haves” for businesses to succeed are no longer enough. With change accelerating, we now must also have one extra, powerful attribute, without which we will not survive.

I lived a great example of it last week at The Intercontinental Hotel in Singapore. The Intercon is a good hotel for sure, fast service and the price is standard. But it had one powerful extra offer that makes all the difference. Read on to find out.

A Secret About A World Business Leader And Client Service Excellence

I just heard an amazing story about one of the world’s most powerful business leaders and how he still understands one of the greatest traits of client service ninjas. It gave me a shiver. I’ll never forget it. Give it a read. It will stay with you forever.

I don’t believe clients every see us as ‘partners’. They see us as suppliers. Why? Because I know that if I stuff up twice in a row, maybe three times, I will be fired by my client. Partnerships are more resilient than that.

The trick is to become your client’s most valuable, indispensable supplier. You have to become a trusted advisor. And one critical trait of a trusted advisor is often overlooked. Here it is, and a great story of a business tycoon who still gets it right today. It’s a story only a few people know about. Now you do too – if you read on.

The Ice Pick, The Taxi and Getting Wet- A Lesson In Outstanding Client Service

We have just trained 1,000 of our people across Australia on how to deliver outstanding client service. Suddenly, I was reminded why this is insanely valuable – and by getting it wrong, we (and you) won’t survive in business. Read on or risk oblivion. Here’s why.

CEO Mike, Director Dave and I are obsessed with the critical importance of delivering outstanding service to our clients. So we designed a brilliant five hour training session- filled with stories of getting it wrong, and getting it right. It’s time consuming to roll out, as we lead the sessions 100% ourselves. We do occasionally question: “Is this a ‘nice to do’, or is it a critical imperative, and right for us to be devoting so much time to?”

Yesterday I got reassurance. It’s mission critical. Here’s why. And it relates perfectly to what Harold Burson told me 30 years ago, and there’s a great story to prove the point: