Would you Work for Maggots?

I know, you saw the title and thought, “I already work for one.”  (cue comedic drum roll) That’s not what I meant-sort of. I mean would you literally work for a place that served you maggots in your lunch?  Not on purpose, but because they were building something great and you wanted to be a part of it, even if your lunch was less than desirable? Chamath Palihapitiya and a lot of other early Facebook employees did.  In a recent Vanity Fair article, Chamath admits that the early days weren’t all glam and fluff.  But this brilliant man who can do anything (and has) stayed with the stuff.  And so did many others.  And you know why?  Because they were raving fans of their own company. Are you a raving fan of yours? Would you stay with your company if you didn’t have high pay and all the benefits, gym memberships, and free snacks?  Would you stay there just because you believed in what they were building? I have worked with, and for, many companies through the years.  Some had posh offices with all the bells and whistles, and lack-luster engagement.  Some were cramped and spare, and full of hardworking, fearless giants. Guess which ones were more fun to work with? Guess which ones had lower turnover? Guess which ones were more successful financially? You guessed right. Chamath talks about this in his article.  It’s about being disciplined financially, and leading inspirationally.  Both are of the utmost importance if you are going to grow successfully. Disciplined Financially: Yes, comfortable chairs are important, but not always in the budget.  Free snacks are nice,...

Leaders Who Go from “I” to “We”

I was recently blessed to hear Bill George speak at a leaders breakfast.  Bill George is business thought leader, Harvard Business School professor, and former CEO of Medtronic, and a man of strong faith. When it comes to being an effective leader, we would be wise to sit up and take notice when Bill George speaks. I wrote an article for Second Iron blog that gives 3 steps for going from “I” to “We” as a leader.  You can read the full article here....

3 “F”‘s Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

There isn’t an entrepreneur on the planet who wants to fail.  I have yet to meet or work with a business owner who pursues failure.  Every business owner wants to succeed.   It’s part of our DNA as humans to push towards success in what we do. I recently listened to an amazing TED talk by Ernesto Sirolli that I not only enjoyed, but said” Amen” out loud as I listened to it.  Sirolli’s talk was about how to help entrepreneurs in developing countries by shutting up and listening.   Ernesto is all about enterprise facilitation over enterprise direction.  Which I agree with 100%. Smushed within this amazing TED talk were three keys to success for every entrepreneur and I think you need to hear them. (or at least be reminded of them) Here are Sirolli’s 3 “F”‘s that every entrepreneur needs to be a success: 1. Fantastic Product/Service Sirolli didn’t say a mediocre or so-so product/service, he said Fantastic.  You actually need a product/service that someone wants or needs and it needs to be great.  There’s a lot of junk out in the market.  But unless you are shopping at the dollar store, you want more than junk.  People want you to give them something of value.  If what we’re selling has no value, it has no future. Is your product/service fantastic?  If not, go back to the drawing board and make it fantastic.  You can ditch your original idea and come up with something better.  Your customers deserve it and your success depends upon it. Fantastic product? Your customers deserve it, your success depends upon it. 2. Fantastic...

“Ish” or “Less”, Which Kind of Leader are You?

Go ahead and google “leadership styles” sometime.  You’ll find about 29 million results. Everyone has something to say about leadership, and I guess I’m no exception, but I like to keep things simple and straightforward since we are all short on time. I’ve worked with and for many leaders in my 20+ years in the workforce and I can boil it down to 2 for you.  There are really only 2 types of leaders: “Ish” & “Less” There are SelfISH leaders, and there are SelfLESS leaders. Which one are you? I’ve been plowing through Dan Busby‘s book on Trust when it hit me again that it all boils down to the heart of the leader. Actions are great.  But the how and the why behind your actions are what really matter in the long run.  How, and why you do what you do all stem from who you are.  Every leader will be known by who they are, not what they do. Every leader will be known by who they are, not what they do. Click To Tweet We have a choice about the actions we take, but we also have a choice about the person that we are. Here is a mix of Dan & my thoughts on the difference between ISH leaders and LESS leaders.  Do you own self-assessment to see which one you are most like. Well, how did you fare? Do you have something to work on? I know I do.  As leaders we tend to be hyper-focused on the goals to the exclusion of all else.  It’s worth it to stop and re-evaluate our own...

Would you Work for You?

What are the 3 worst words a person can utter in their lifetime? “It’s a job.” These were the words of a former co-worker of mine when I asked how things were going. His job duties hadn’t changed.  The work was the same.  The product was the same.  So what changed?  What could make this fully capable, intelligent, energetic person utter such a horrible statement? His new boss.  The culture has turned toxic and secretive.  People are no longer appreciated for their work.  Upper management lies, without conscience, and treats the employees like a cog in the wheel. It’s a shame to see that happen.  In fact, it makes my blood boil. We’ve all had a “job” like that before.  One that you can’t wait to leave.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. As a leader in your organization, you set the tone, create the culture, and frame the environment that your people are subject to 40-50 (or more) hours a week.  That’s over 100,000 hours of a person’s life (potentially) and it’s in your power to make them good ones. You get to choose if you will allow your people to come to work most of those hours saying, “I get to do this for a living.”  OR “It’s a job.” Which phrase are your employees uttering? I recently sat down with a life-long business owner to ask her What 3 things she learned for an upcoming book I’m writing.  One of them was: Create a business I would want to work for. She intentionally created her business to be a place where she would want to...