Tag Archives | client relationships

The key to leadership – not to be found in management books

It’s only now- decades later- that I realise my father had mastered the most powerful habit an effective leader can have. No management book I’ve read contains this insight. I share it now hoping it is as immensely valuable to you as it has been, and is, to me.

First, a story. I was writing Wrestling Possums posts on a flight to Shanghai recently. I put on the headphones, started listening to Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, and thought of my Dad. It was his favourite piece.

My memory of him, while blurred, is underpinned by a warm feeling. I remember Dad ‘being around’ when I was growing up.

Most important, of being there when I needed him most. This is how he did it, and here’s how you can bring this critical habit to play in leading teams and clients.

Three words to win ‘most boring thing in life’ contests

Guaranteed you often help create the most boring experience any human can be forced to endure. Here’s what it is, and also three words that will solve this forever.

Watching a two hour music concert of four year olds you’re not related to? Reading ancient ‘Knitting Weekly’ magazines in the doctor’s waiting rooms? Watching grass grow? None of these compare to what you make your colleagues and clients suffer when you, quite simply, bore their socks off. How do you do it? Same way I do.

By giving mind-numbingly boring presentations. Come on now – you know you do it. But fear not! Help is at hand. Here’s the one sure-fire way to guarantee yours will be the presentation everyone wants to turn up to!

The most powerful weapon to growing your business

I posted this story when I first launched this blog. Many missed it, so apologies if you didn’t, as here it is again. It’s one of the best ideas I’ve seen. It’s all about one simple yet clever idea that will drive your business. It’s a beauty.

It started when Andrew Parker sent me a dozen mangoes and a bottle of French champagne.

With that gesture I learnt the secret to guaranteeing a steady flow of referrals and new revenue to any consulting services firm.

And it’s referrals- positive word of mouth about you from a credible business person to another business person- that fuels our success.
Andrew called it his MICRophone program. It is a brilliant idea, and it drives growth. This is how it works.

Eat this and you will be a true champion

In Andre Agassi’s fridge lies the answer to the type of diet we need to feast on if we want to be the best we can be. I find it hard to swallow. Do you?

A friend once asked the guy next to him on a plane what he did for a living.
“I’m one of tennis player Andre Agassi’s three backhand coaches,” the man replied.

WOW! Three backhand coaches! Agassi was clearly a guy who feasted on feedback. And they say feedback is the food of champions. The lesson is clear. We need to become feedback gluttons if we are to reach our full potential. Just as Agassi did, over many years. And here’s a simple and proven way to do it.

Is it ever ok to lie to a client?

“Is it ever ok to lie to a client?” I asked this of close to a thousand professional services executives on a recent ‘How To Delight Clients” road show, and was surprised by the overwhelmingly consistent response.

Will it surprise you? Read on…

In training executives with aspirations for successful long-term consulting careers, it’s a question best discussed and answered early, openly and fully. That’s why we asked it on the road show. And that’s why I thought it worthwhile raising on Wrestling Possums.

Getting it wrong can spell disaster, so learn the lesson early- and share it, often.

Here’s the overwhelmingly consistent response from the almost one thousand people I’ve asked.

Usher, tattoos, taxis – three top tips to keep clients wanting more

By being in the mosh pit at rock concerts, I am a better, more ‘in demand’ and vibrant client adviser. Sounds weird? Maybe- but it’s true. Here’s why.

Pink’s was bouncy, young, optimistic, inspiring. Kings of Leon grungy, alcohol-city and smelling of vomit. I saw stuff at Usher I am still trying to process. Leonard Cohen? Well- the crowd was so old we were all seated! Point is- I learnt an enormous amount at every one of these events.

Here’s the rub. We have to work hard every day to ‘feed our minds’, and keep connected to the real world around us- the audiences and sub-cultures our clients or organisations are selling products to. Here are my three top tips to do just that…