Tag Archives | clients

The Red Chair and Dead Child – Powerful Lessons For Business, And Life

Eight chairs around the boardroom table. Seven black – one red. “Why one red chair?” I asked the lawyer hosting the meeting. His answer is a lesson in life and business. Use it, please. It’s powerful.

I’ve wanted to tell you about Zelda for a while now. She’s a murdered child. I never had the right ‘hook.’ Now I have it. The red chair.

“We wanted to change our culture to make us more client focussed,” the lawyer explained. “So we have a red chair in every meeting room. When we meet by ourselves, the red chair represents our client. It reminds us we only exist for that client- to deliver solutions and value. It reminds us to keep client-focussed.”

And there’s the lesson on accelerating success and growth – a vital message to:

The Key To Falling In Love With Your Job Again

I have discovered the secret to making sure your job is filled with great moments, experiences and buzz. It’s the key to preventing staleness, stagnation and depletion. Seriously- they should make a movie about it. Here it is.

I got the clue watching the movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The aged hotel owner, who occasionally returns to the hotel where he started out as a Bell Boy, always stays in the smallest room, with no bathroom. Later, in the flashbacks, we see it’s the room he lived in as a young lad, when he was learning the trade, and having a blast. And that reminded me of another great movie, “Citizen Kane”, where the defeated, miserable, sad media tycoon, on his deathbed, murmurs “Rosebud…Rosebud….” The camera takes us to the attic of his house where we discover the name of his childhood snow sleigh was just that.

You see, both depleted men returned to the source of their greatest happiness- and wanted to spend time in that memory again. And here’s the insight I got from that- powerful and real. And I am putting it into action right now.

Top 10 Tips To Building Powerful Influence- In Business and In Life

What is the most valuable thing the most influential people in your life have given you? What is it that has made all the difference? Here’s the answer. It is the secret to building genuine and deep influence. Do you do it?

Critical to business success is building our ‘footprint of influence,’ that hard-to-describe ability to be perceived as someone who is able to help and assist- someone with substance and genuine credential- someone people reach out to for counsel- someone who is wanted and needed.

Before I share the Top 10 Tips To Building Powerful Influence, here’s the one thing the most influential people I know always do. It’s this that is more important in building influence than the other nine tips added together. Quite simply, this is the most powerful thing heavy duty influential people give you- every time:

A Price Of Leadership – Now Is The Time For You To Pay It

Do you lead a team, client account, practice area, office, business? If you do- then read this now. But beware. You probably won’t like its vitally important message for these times of change. Read on- if you dare!

It’s ANZAC Day – the annual remembrance of those fallen in Australia’s conflicts. In watching the documentaries of war stories and legends, I revisit my dark secret. You see- I am a coward at heart. Big time. I look at what those men and women did, risked, attempted, and then think about how I would act in similar circumstances. In truth, I can’t imagine anything except terror, self-preservation and ducking for cover.

Fact is, in the face of great threat and unimaginable horror, ordinary people do find the courage to step up- to do amazing acts of bravery, to risk all to help and protect others- to show leadership under fire. And many paid the ultimate price for that. Lest we forget.

Not wanting to trivialize in any way war and sacrifice, I do take a powerful leadership lesson from this reality to share with you today. Respectfully, here it is:

Look In The Mirror- Can You See This Fatal Flaw?

We were celebrating our client’s triumph in the most hostile takeover in Australian corporate history when its Chief Executive sobered the mood with a warning that has stayed with me ever since. It is a massive ‘watch out’ for businesses and ourselves. Do you suffer from this fatal flaw?

When client Campbell Soup Company launched a takeover bid for Australian biscuit maker Arnotts in 1991, the newspaper headline screamed : ”US Cookie Monster Wants To Gobble Our Arnotts.” So began a hugely emotive and aggressively fought takeover war, which ended with Campbell’s gaining control at the last gasp against all expectations.

The celebration cocktail party was in full swing a few weeks later, all the advisors and client executives in fine form, when Campbell CEO David Johnson (coincidentally- an Australian), gave us this chilling warning during his speech. “Enjoy the moment, “he said, “but be very careful. Because, remember this…..”

To Quit Or Not To Quit?- Here’s The Answer

The insight I share this week is about failure, and is a bit controversial. Some will love it; others, like me when I first saw it, might reject it out of hand. But with time, it grows on you. I now like it a lot. What about you?

Business is changing so fast that we don’t have time to stick with mistakes. We have to keep facing reality, trying new things, making sure we are putting our focus and energies behind what is delivering the returns…for our employers, clients, careers. It’s not an easy path to follow. It requires real discipline.

And it is with that in mind that I loved (on reflection) the quote from the crusty old Brigadier in Evelyn Waugh’s “The Sword of Honour Trilogy”, who said to his leaders this about the first rule of attack. It is a startling insight for each of us, every day. Here is it: