What To Do If You Own A Company and Need to Produce Better Digital Marketing and Sales Results with Less

Marketing ManagementSales LeadershipSales PipelineStrategic Planning

Discover the fastest, easiest way to empower your team for better digital marketing, sales, and overall business results.

You're a business owner, and wondering how to produce better digital marketing results with fewer people and dollars.

You’ve taken a pretty big hit by the pandemic.

Now, you're wondering how the heck you can produce better digital marketing and sales results with less.

As a former digital marketing agency owner, I've learned the intricacies of optimizing websites, managing digital marketing insanity, and hiring remote technology and creative workers, and I know I can guide you to produce better results with what you have.

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

How can you know what you don't know? 

You can't, and neither can I. But I find myself now the oldest guy in the Zoom rooms. My CEOs, vice presidents, and small business owners all seek the same thing; better business results by finding improved ways to manage digital marketing and sales teams.

The first thing you need to know to get better results is what's holding you back. 

When digital marketing and sales result suffer, invest time exploring the root cause by asking intelligent questions. The more you know about your clients, the more you will help them uncover what they don't know.

The Root Cause of Failure

The root cause of failure is failed thinking. When you fail to think clearly, you miss the mark. To avoid missing the same mark is to learn from your mistakes. The best way to learn from mistakes is to keep score of what counts the most and learn from the data on your dashboard and financial statements.

Failed thinking hurts successful execution. Maybe you hired another marketing genius who couldn't produce better leads. Or it could be the classic case of salespeople with fat base salaries who can't or won't sell. In some cases, it's you, the leader, who hasn't been ready to take a hard look in the mirror.

When you're thinking about the next best thing instead of thinking about how to empower your people, you get distracted. In turn, the team also gets distracted, frustrated, or worse. 

Making mistakes feels bad until you see the true purpose of failure - growth. The best leaders and teams learn together. Imagine losing the Super Bowl. Would you review the game tapes?

How to Get Clarity and Close Gaps

Do you see a pattern in how failed thinking could be an issue for you? How about the cost of failed thinking when it comes to your leadership team and front-line managers? What could the gap be between your thinking, vision, mission, and purpose for your company and the thinking of anyone on your team?

It's time to find out.

What's your Clarity Score?

Click here to take the assessment online. It's a free and strictly confidential online assessment that you and anyone on your team can take in less than five minutes.

When you read the list of statements, answer each item on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest.

  1. I am clear about the company goals and desired results. 
  2. I am clear on the company mission statement and can easily remember it. 
  3. I am clear on our company vision statement and find it inspiring when I share it. 
  4. I am clear on our company's purpose and feel it aligns with me as a person.
  5. I am included in the company's strategic planning process.
  6. I know the company's core values, and I believe we are committed to them in our actions.
  7. I am aware of our company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
  8. I am accountable for the plan of action along with everyone else on the team.
  9. I know the primary measures of the organization's success.
  10. I am trusted and able to trust others to help us achieve the primary goal.

Total your score and see how close you come to 100 - the perfect Clarity Score. Our strategic coaching programs are not about helping you be flawless, but to perform better each and every day.

Whether you ask yourself and your leadership team these questions informally or online here, you can begin on a path toward better marketing, sales, and business results by asking the questions that truly matter, and being honest. That's the first step toward better thinking.

Your success will be driven by clear thinking, knowing what not to do, and learning how to produce better digital marketing and sales results with fewer resources.

Ready to get started? Schedule your free strategic coaching session today. Click here.

Why I Almost Quit Writing After I Discovered Sketching, Drawing, and Painting

It took me a lifetime to connect with my inner artist. I recently discovered that I love to sketch, draw, and paint in watercolor. As a result of this newfound interest, I've lost interest in writing regularly. However, that's not a bad or good thing. It just is. And this is the story about the lessons I've learned.

Most relevant for any reader could be some of the "lessons learned" in discovering my inner artist. As with learning to be a writer, I have to remember to embrace my beginner's mind and trust that if I give the work my best effort, I can improve over the long run.

"I Need to Write More," I Told Myself

Not long ago about mid-January, I made a vow to myself that went like this. “Self, it’s time to write every day and repurpose all your great stuff into another book nobody will buy or read.”

I did write more, but not every day because the business of my life owns me; I’m a strategic business coachsultant. Yes, that’s right. I have a day job that enables me to make a great living. While I do get paid some to write, I mostly help other business owners with their strategic planning, sales, and marketing. I’m a “coachsultant.” I may have even made that word up because I’ve never heard anyone else use it, nor seen it in print.

I need to keep doing this because I don't believe in my heart that I can make a full-time living as a painter. Heck, I just bought a book about Michael Angelo. There's no way I'm going to be a professional artist in this lifetime. But then again, maybe I don't need to compare myself as an artist to any of the greats any more than I need to compare myself in business with anyone to feel great about who I am or what I do. I can just be me.

All of this to say, for now, art for me will remain a hobby. And if someone is kind enough to offer me money, or food even, or a Like, I will probably cave and send them a cool print that costs me another $7 plus shipping and handling. I sense this is my subconscious mind telling me I could make up for some of my bad Karma sooner if I give away my art and deny myself more. Stupid, I know.

The younger me played lots of sports, never art unless you call photography art, which I suppose we must. The older me, the one I live with now who has successfully dodged the COVID-19 bullet, still loves sports, but mostly bicycling, yoga, and hiking because I’m older now, like I said.

I almost love practicing my art as I do riding my bicycle 50 miles and then needing a long nap and sympathy from my wife, who will merely pity me again for being the fool I am. But alas, I could be an artist. So it's good to be a little nuts, I suppose.

Art is fun most of the time. There have been times I wished for an instant flame thrower after looking at my work and wanting to destroy all evidence of me being a non-artist.

Sometimes, I just get angry at my inability to paint well, and I hear this voice that says, "Dude, what are you so attached to that you have to ruin the fun of mixing any paint colors you want and splashing them with water all over the canvas and kitchen walls? Get a freaking grip and let the paint rip."

Lesson Learned: When I hear that voice, I know to let go of the outcome. Not one painting or drawing ever ends the way I wanted it to at the start. Art teaches me to let go.

Here’s an example of one of my newest creations in watercolor. I call it Warming Heart, but it has other names because people asked me to buy a copy. Instead, I gave away many prints and had the money directed to charity.

Warming Heart, watercolor by me.

If you're wondering why I would turn good money away, I believe it's because I don't think I'm an artist, yet. It's as if I was ashamed of being an artist. I'm playing with my inner artist to see where this goes.

Why would I be ashamed of being an artist when people give me compliments, tons of Likes and Love on social media, and small amounts of money that could add up? Imposter syndrome, I suppose. Or it could be latent head trash from the "I'm not good enough" corner of my magnificent magnifying mind. I'll get over myself if I keep the beginner's mind that helps me let go and have fun creating art and not being attached to the outcome like I used to be.

Before, every time I'd try to draw, sketch, paint, or do anything artist, I'd see my work as if a freak had created it. When I was younger, I was very hard on myself. Art, as I have learned, is a beautiful way to meet the subconscious teacher that lives within us all. I just needed to grow up, let go, and let the universe, the unconscious, my subconscious mind unwind.

Practicing art has been so much fun I've hardly had any desire to journal or write. Compared to writing an article such as this, painting, sketching, and drawing can seem more spontaneous, especially when I learn to go with the abstract.

Lesson Learned: Play, do, what you love. Playing in the abstract is playing with the unconscious and subconscious minds. What comes out can be fascinating when we learn to let go of control.

Here's an example of a more abstract piece I painted in watercolor. One thing I've learned about art that parallels my life is nothing comes out the way I initially thought, but everything can be beautiful once I learn to let go and accept what is. In other words, art teaches me to let go.

Body of Light, watercolor fresh off of my easle.

I grew up in New Hampshire, and because of this, I learned to love trees, mountains, and lakes. I love exploring today just as much as when I was a little kid. Now, I can explore the depths of my creativity with my newfound art.

Even when I was busy with work and life raising my family, we never stopped exploring nature together. But I never did any art. Instead, we did typical sports and school stuff all parents learn to do on the job. But when I wasn't working, almost all of my free time was dedicated to my family. If not, I focused on sports.

There was no time for art, so I thought. I had no interest in it then, but why not? Too busy, perhaps. Or just not ready.

Now, I look back on all the years, and I realize I always made time for what was most important to me. I still do. You, too. I just wasn't ready for art until COVID hit.

We make time for what we care most about. If I had known the power of art for letting go and tapping into the unconscious and subconscious minds, maybe I would have started sooner and let go faster.

Who knows. I have no regrets. But I have learned that there is great power in art when it comes to personal development; what I call the "inner game."

Lesson Learned: Make time for being creative sooner. Art can be a powerful tool for human transformation. Care about art.
Full Moonlight, watercolor by me.

In closing, even though I lost the will to write as much as I usually do, I trust that I will write when it is time to write. The same is true with sketching, drawing, and painting. If I trust my instinct and it tells me it is time to paint, I will paint it. Same with riding, taking a hap, or hugging my wife.

Here's the last painting I'll share with this article. It's called Art of the Heart, and I created it in watercolor. What's cool about this painting beyond all the love I got on social media for it, and compliments in the real world are that a friend of mine who owns a public relations firm asked me if she could make notecards out of them.

At first, I couldn't believe it. "Abby Fink wants to use one of my hack paintings for a notecard she will send to family, friends, and clients? No way." But she did.

After a while, I started getting the message; some people like my art. As well, some people could not care less about my art, or my writing, or anything I have to offer.

But at this stage of my life, unlike when I was young and owned a massive need for approval, I'm over that now. I follow my heart and practice whatever art I feel is right for me and the greater good.

Lesson Learned: Listen to and follow your heart. It knows the way for you.
Art of the Heart, watercolor by me.

Thanks for reading my article. I always appreciate constructive feedback and the sharing of my work. If you'd like to connect with me and learn more about what I do to help business owners and teams with strategic planning, digital marketing, and sales acceleration, click here to connect with me.

How Millions of Restaurant Workers Can Reinvent Their Jobs and Lives - Live and Work with Purpose

This article is for anyone who has lost their restaurant job and income in the recent pandemic. Needless to say, millions of small business owners have been crushed by Covid-19, as have hotels, airlines, cruise ships, the meetings industry, banquets, weddings, catered events, graduations, and basically, life as the planet earth knew it.

Let's face it, you either choose to adapt or not. Like learning to bus tables, wash dishes, serve tables, choose wines, and get bit, fat tips, you can learn anything you set your mind and heart to doing.

Now that we agree on the fact that mindset matters, and you need to reinvent yourself, and fast before the free $600 a month runs out next week, let me tell you why I need to write this article now.

Servers Serve!

I have great empathy and compassion for small business owners, and in particular, hotels, restaurants, bars, and kitchens that crank out meals that warm the heart and soul because we are servants deep in our souls.

If you're like me, you love to serve people. If you've worked in restaurants, kitchens, hotels, or any service venue dealing with the general public, you either have a passion for it, or not.

Shangri-La Motel became Brickyard Mountain when my dad managed it.

I always had a passion for helping people even though I did not like working in most of my past restaurant jobs. I loved working in hotels, especially once I got a job offer to work in sales and marketing. That saved me from my desperation working in the back of the house.

Here's a quick summary of my service work and how I got to owning a third, successful small business I built from scratch. More than anything else, I believe my early experience working in restaurants and hotels gave me the skills I needed to be super-successful in life.

  1. My father owned a small hotel and restaurant in Laconia, New Hampshire, where we grew up after moving from Boston in 1974. Somehow, my dad convinced my mother he needed to be an entrepreneur, and he became a partner and general manager for Shangri-la Motel.
  2. I loved the concept of owning a hotel when I was only 9. I had a make-believe hotel called The Hornbasket Inn located in the furnace room of the basement where my family lived. The beds were lawn chains stowed away for long winters. The signage was a horn basket I thought looked cool in my mother's Halloween collection. So I nailed it to the door with a "Vacancy" sign that emphasized, "No Vacancy for brothers and sisters." Yes, I was the firstborn. And I dreamed of owning a hotel just like my dad one day.
  3. I was 12 when dad gave me my first shot at being a busboy in his hotel. I had been hounding him to let me work for him because he was always my hero and like every kid, I needed and wanted to make my own spending money.
  4. My next job was at Hart's Turkey Farm where I worked summers as a dishwasher, then a busboy. I had many restaurant jobs after that.
  5. My first real job out of college was working for Sheraton Hotels in Los Angeles. In 1983, my dad got me an interview at headquarters in Boston. Before I knew it, I was flying to Los Angeles to work as a management trainee. I worked 70+ hour weeks, mostly in the kitchens, and I earned $1,333.33 per month, before taxes. You don't need to be a math major to know that working as a management trainee in any hotel or restaurant generally sucks.
  6. I hated working in restaurants with a passion. Chef Ian had a temper that raged slightly more than his propensity to launch a knife or kitchen utensil your way if you made one wrong move. I dreamed of getting another job one day, but what the hell could I do except work in hotels?
  7. I found a way out of the kitchens and restaurants, finally. I got hired by the sales and marketing director, Russ Dazzio, because he thought I did a great job as his server. I'm still in touch with Russ today because I'm eternally grateful to him for giving me my first sales job.

Disasters Happen

Even if you don't like studying history, here's a news alert: disasters have always happened, and of all kinds. The first economic disaster I knew hit my family when I was only 13 or so.

The Opec Oil Embargo lead to the collapse of the American economy in 1973. That was the beginning of the end of my dad's hotel, restaurant, and his income.

Suddenly, nobody filled their gas-hog station wagons with gas, luggage, and kids to travel from the "feeder markets" of the big cities south of us such as Boston, New York, Connectitut, and any city in range of the White Mountains and crystal-clear Lakes Region I was blessed to be able to know as a kid.

The economy came to a screeching halt much as we experienced recently with Covid-19 except people were sick with shock, fear, anger, and even rage standing in long gasoline lines as the cost of a gallon of gas went through the roof.

My parents were crushed by the failure, and I watched them bounce back, reinvent themselves by starting a small real estate company that still exists today; Old Mill Properties.

My father designed this logo during the economic crash of 1973.

Maybe There's A Better Way

Has it ever occurred to you there might be a better way to make a living using your God-given skills beyond in a restaurant? If so, keep reading because I found a way to help hundreds of small business owners and their hard-working teams with their business planning and execution because that's what I do for a living. I've owned my own business since 1991 and made all my paychecks ever since.

Every crappy job I ever had compelled me to believe there could be a better way to make a living. My father preached "education" as the saving grace. "Get a good education, son." Dad was right about a lot of things. Earning a useful, marketable, college degree such as International Business, Economics, despite taking on student debt at 7% interest, would give me many opportunities that people without a college degree.

But nobody needs a college degree to create the life and work of their dreams. All it takes is the burning desire and guts to do the work which is to take charge of your life and build a richer network. You need desire and work ethic and values people can count on.

You also need to increase your awareness of new opportunities that are in line with your values, financial needs, your gifts, passions, and talents. The way to do that is to read, network, get online, and connect with people you want to be like, and ask them for help!

Serve Others In Different Ways

It's human nature for us to want to help others, unless you're a psychopath or narcissist. If you have a talent for serving others in a restaurant or other areas of hospitality, you have a knack for selling yourself. When you match a knack for selling yourself with the clarity of knowing what your next job or opportunity is, you can go for it.

If you like "helping people" we can agree you have a mindset for selling. Selling is helping people get what they want. We have head trash and strong opinions about salespeople based on our belief systems; mindset.

Both of our sons, Chris and Alex, learned the power of being gentlemen and working in restaurants or hotels growing up. My amazing wife also encouraged both boys to work from an early age so they could learn the value of hard work, and what it feels like to earn, save, and even invest money.

The lessons we learn working in service postions can set us up for the rest of our lives if we can believe in ourselves and learn new skills, and how to improve networking skills, interview, and get connected with the people who will hire you as an employee or independet contractor depending on your skills and goals..

What follows helped me, my wife and both sons to leverage working in restaurants to build incredibly rich, rewarding careers using our sales and service skills learned in restaurants. Our entire family grew up working in restaurants serving others.

How to Reinvent Yourself - Live and Work "On Purpose."

The best way to improve your life, your career, relationships, etc. is to take 100% ownership for everything that happens.

Okay, so there's a pandemic. Deal with it and adapt if you're the kind of person who likes helping people and making a difference in the world.

Never stop improving your mindset by reading and learning new things that align with your soul. Your soul has a purpose, I believe. I knew this as a kid, and I hunted long and far to connect with my highest purpose as a small business owner and family man.

Trust me. You can reinvent yourself into anything you want as long as you believe in connecting each day with your purpose as you evolve here on earth.

NOTE: If you can't think of a purpose right now, start with "Making a difference by serving others and getting paid handsomely for it, and having fun!"

Take These Suggested Steps, Next

Now that you own your mindset and all outcomes, you need to make a plan of action. It doesn't have to be fancy.

I suggest getting a notebook or journal and dedicate it to planning, sketching, painting, drawing, writing, and creating the life and work of your dreams.

I'm about to give you the steps to take to write your life and career plan. This is the short version to help you get started. Use your common sense to make my shortlist yours, and follow the process I'm giving you.

Let me emphasize an important point before you read the list ...

If you don't take charge of your life, who will?

The process I'm sharing never fails. People fail to follow through on the process. It's that simple.

What you're about to read and begin applying can help you get the next job you want, or help you start a small business of your own working as an independent contractor or "freelancer." I've worked this way for almost 20 years. I've done it from the comfort of my home office and my life is rich with purpose and joy because I found a way to love my work.

So can you! Never stop believing in yourself.

If now is your time, this is the way I and hundreds of other people I've taught, mentored, coached, and employed have used their God-given ability to serve others in ways that helped us find purposeful ways to make a great living.

  1. Commit. You need to create a written plan for your career and life. Use your new notebook or journal. Use the elements that follow.
  2. Take inventory. This means making a list of your professional strengths, talents, and passions. Assess your list and use it to get your next gig.
  3. Update your social media profiles and positioning. Perfect your professional positioning as you expand your network. This includes complete, honest profiles with professional images that are current.
  4. Write a personal mission statement. Your mission statement is what you do. It might read like, "High-energy customer service specialist serving XYZ (a type of customer of employer you want.) "
  5. Write your personal vision statement. Your vision statement spells out where you see yourself in three to five years. Again, write and act "as if" you are achieving your mission, vision, purpose, and goals each step of the way. It might read, "I am a successful sales executive earning $95,000 a year serving the needs of ...."
  6. Write your personal purpose statement. I always believed I had a unique and useful purpose for my work and life. In fact, the keyword to describe my purpose is "empowerment." My purpose is to empower others by sharing my knowledge in books, articles, videos, classes, webinars, and coaching programs I've created for more than thirty years. What is your purpose? If you don't know, keep reading, learning, and asking yourself the question, "What is my purpose?"
  7. Set your goal with intention. Focus only on one goal at a time. This is your big goal. All goals have objectives which are milestones you set and hit along the way. For now, your goal is probably to get a good job. Your objectives might be to get your resume updated with your social profiles, start applying for jobs and connecting with new people on LinkedIn, and scheduling conversations and job interviews.
  8. Keep score of your activities. You can only control how you behave; your activities. Getting the soulmate of your dreams, winning new customers, succeeding any sport or endeavor, we set goals and keep score of our activities. It's a numbers game! The more you connect with new people and apply for jobs, and follow up better than most, the faster you will be on your way to sleeping well at night.
  9. Follow up. As you build your network and list of potential employers, follow up! I hire a lot of people for my business and client companies. I coach sales and marketing teams and one of the most important points I hammer home is the power of ongoing, relevant, appropriate follow up. Most people don't follow up enough. They quit.
  10. Visualize, work on your inner game. Life is a game of confidence. The fastest way to get confidence is to practice seeing, feeling, and trusting you are doing your very best. Clarity comes from contemplating and living life with intention and purpose. Clarity gives you confidence because you know where you're going. If you know where you're going, you can take meaningful action steps.
  11. Be accountable, disciplined, and focused. The best strategy people know not to do. They are accountable to others, often their team or family. If you know where you're going and you work hard at it, you will get results.
  12. Never stop. The process of learning, growing, networking, and serving others never stops if you're willing.

Next Steps

Remember, the process of planning, learning, and growing is the secret to success. Follow the process I've given you and make it yours!

In summary, I'm sorry if you're suffering through a job transtion that is due to circumstances far beyond anyone's control. If the time is now for you to reinvent yourself, now you have a simple formula, or steps to follow.

Follow the steps. Believe in yourself and the power of the process I'm giving you.

Connect with me on LinkedIn if we're not already. Ask for help. Find mentors. Read books. Take online classes. Hire a coach you like and trust.

Build your network and never stop. Your network is your net worth!

I can't emphasize enough how grateful my family and I are to live and work on purpose. Our journies began working in restaurants, kitchens, and hotels.

What this means for you is you can do the same thing we did if you follow the process and never stop.

Need help? I'll give you up to 20-minutes of my time IF you book the time on my calendar and show up on time!

Click here to get on my calendar.

Learn more about what I do professionally by clicking here.

P.S. Want a free career coaching session from the #1-rated career and life coaching company in America?

Click here to connect with my friends at Ama La Vida.

The Art of the Rollover: How to Mindfully Manage Your Career Transition and Make the Most of Your 401(k) Rollover

Millions of workers have lost their jobs. If you are one of them, how do you plan to keep your financial house in order? If you're a busy executive or manager, and you're concerned about making a mindful career transition, and making the most of your money, check out my video interview with Jac Arbour.

Jac Arbour is a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), and ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant). He's a successful author, personal finance coach, and 401(k) plan advisor to business owners and leaders across America.

Here a few questions to scan that may motivate you to watch the video interview. This article only summarizes what you'll learn.

  1. Are you ready to find a new job or career that helps you "love your life?" Learn how Jac and I created The Art of the Rollover for busy executives who find themselves in career transition.
  2. Worried about your 401(k) plan, personal finances, investments, cash flow, or anything else? Listen to Jac Arbour as he shares his heart and unique approach to living, working, and retiring on purpose.
  3. What would it mean to you to feel "rich" no matter how much money you make or have saved and invested?

When you watch this video you'll learn how to ...

"Mindfully Manage Your Career Transition, Make the Most of Your 401(k) Rollover, and Create the Rich and Rewarding Life of Your Dreams."

You'll hear about making a mindful career or job transition that gives you more meaning and happiness. Jac will give you 15 steps to help you create your own career and life plan for success and happiness.

Jac also touches on the key elements for making the most of your 401(k) rollover, along with suggestions to help you create a plan to live, work, and retire on purpose.

What you won't hear from Jac is that he's "out of the rat race" and living the life of his dreams up in Hallowell, Maine. That's because Jac is super-modest, and as his business coach and trusted advisor, I LOVE sharing Jac's story.

Got a question about 401(k) rollovers, career planning, retirement planning, or anything else that helps you live, work, and retire on purpose?

I always appreciate your comments and questions here on the blog. And if you'd like to connect with Jac Arbour directly, you can find him at JacArbour.com as well as on LinkedIn.

Thanks for reading my article and being part of the solution.

The Compassionate Leader's Approach to Downsizing Headcount Without Trashing Your Employees Lives

If you had to downsize any number of employees, how would you communicate your intentions to your people? Would you make it as painless as possible, maybe offer an outplacement solution, or would you terminate everyone with indifference?

My story is about the power of emotional intelligence, clear communication, and caring about people, especially during the current epidemic of layoffs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caring Leaders Communicate Clearly

My goal for this article is to showcase two distinct mindsets and approaches when it comes to communication and showing compassion for people based on the heads, hearts, and souls of the people in charge. I believe there's plenty of room for more compassionate leaders, especially during tough times when millions of people are losing their jobs.

The first approach to downsizing comes from one of my old friends and company owners. Let's call her Sally. Sally and I talked on the phone two weeks ago.

"Sally, how the heck have you been?"

"Not good," she tells me. Sally's mindset since I've known her is, "trust no one. Question everything." That's just the way she's built, and I'm pretty sure it goes back to stuff Carl Jung would be better at managing.

Sally made buckets of money, lives in a mansion, drives luxury cars, summers far away from the scorching heat of the Arizona desert, and is one of the loneliest people I know. But I love her all the same because the more I've aged, the less I accept what is, and that has made all the difference for my inner game.

"What's going on with your company?"

"I laid everyone off. We went to zero in revenue. All the bookings canceled or are on hold."

"What did you do with your people when you laid them off?"

"I fired them."

"How many?"

"26. All of them. I closed the doors."

"What are you going to do next?"

"I don't know. I need to finish this renovation at my house. Have you seen it?"

"No. You haven't invited me over in 22 years since we did business together. Do you live alone?"

"Now I do. I just kicked the bum out. He was worthless."

"That bad, huh?"

Sally grumbles a lot as if her inherent disdain or discontent needs to crawl out of the dark corner in her psyche. But, she has been this way since she started her business, and we were young adults learning the direction of the business world while working in the same industry.

"Yeah. That bad. I'll see what happens."

"What can I do to help you?"

"I'm thinking about getting a gun? Know anyone who could help me?"

"A gun? Uh, if you were going to buy a gun now, wouldn't you go to a gun store?"

"Which one do you recommend?"

"All the guns are sold out in all the guns store, just like the toilet paper."

"[email protected]#$ this virus. Really?"

"Yeah. My buddy told me the other day. Then I went to see for myself. It's true. There's not one gun on the shelf. Plus, don't buy a gun. You're rich. Do you have a security system at your mansion?"

"No. Why would I want that?"

That's Sally. I feel sorry for all of her people who lost their jobs within a month of a pandemic.

Charlie Works for People Who Care

Now that I've given you a glimpse at the mindset of Sally, let me tell you about Charlie, which is not his real name either, but it will work for my story.

Charlie is a sweetheart. I've known him for more than forty years because we went to college together. When I called Charlie, the conversation was much different that the one with Sally.

Charlie is a senior executive in business development for a major medical company. When he picked up the phone, I knew something was wrong when we talked the last time, a few days ago.

"Charlie, what's up? You don't sound good."

It could be he's been crying, but I can't see him, so I can't be sure. He hesitates before saying, "Hi Cliff. I'm okay. It's just that we got the call today that the cuts are coming."

"Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear that. Did you have a sense this was coming?"

"Kind of, I guess. My manager has been great keeping us in the loop over the last few weeks. Most of us were sent home over a month ago. We had a sense this was coming because most of our facilities are empty, and our doctors don't have the normal elective procedures and surgeries. We've all been waiting for the surge we think is coming."

"What do you hear?"

"Oh, nobody knows. It was supposed to be this week, now we think it's next week, and it could come back in the Fall. I think that happened with the Spanish flu, or over in China. I don't know. It's all a mess. They're talking about salary cuts for sure, maybe even furloughs."

"When do you think you'll know for sure, and are they giving you any options?"

"Don't know yet. Management cares and communicates clearly with us. I most have a bunch of paid leave we'll get to use. But I'm one of the newest members of my team. And one of the oldest. So I don't know. I love this job. I can't believe this is happening. I've only been there two years, and I went through hell in two prior companies to get there. Now, all of this. And we're stuck at home waiting."

"I know. It's a real mess. The middle class is getting clobbered. Millions of small business owners are scrambling. All of this reminds me of the days when my dad and mom's hotel and restaurant business collapsed overnight when I was only 13. It was 1974. And unlike today where oil flows cheap, back then, the OPEC oil embargo tanked our economy overnight. But it was nothing like this."

I don't know what to tell my old friend, Charlie. He's such a great guy, with a great family, a sense of human, and he cares about people. Charlie is just one of those great guys who got to work for a great company that is now dealing with a catastrophic virus and pandemic.

It's easy to tell just by talking to Charlie that he's broken and hurt. Heck, nobody has it easy these days, and thank God for the front line workers who help us.

Overall, especially compared to the mindset of Sally, I can tell Charlie feels good about how his managers and their leadership team is willing to communicate.

Clear and consistent communication during tough times is what makes a big difference for the people who are part of any company or organizational culture.

Charlie is a rare benefactor in this regard because it's clear his company culture is caring, and that people are valued highly. Even older people like Charlie can get hired and be truly happy working there.

Towards the end of our call the other day, I said, "Charlie, what can I do to help you? I can't come over there and hug you, so here's a virtual one. What do you think is next?"

Charlie pauses, then says, "Cliff, thanks for calling and being there. I'll be okay, and I'll keep you posted for sure, because you care, and my company cares, and caring makes all the difference."

"Thanks, brother. I'm glad you work for such a great company. If any of us make it out of this thing without losing our lives, minds, or shirts, we'll be all the more grateful to get back to life as we knew it. And at this stage, I'm not even sure that's possible. All I know is the best thing to do during devastating times like this is to be caring and compassionate. That's what we need more than anything else."

The Difference Is the Heart

Now you know the story of two people, both leaders in their rights, and both successful depending on how one measures success. Sally values money more than people, or so it seems to me.

Sally must be good at many things if she was able to create massive wealth by starting and growing her company over many years. But it seems she is lacking when it comes to caring and having compassion like the feeling Charlie has a gets from his leadership team.

Most of us agree that the world needs more compassionate, caring leaders who foster a culture of accountability and performance with a focus on empowering people to be their best. We don't need more affluent and less caring, selfish people who live behind locked gates in big, empty houses that are full of bitterness, loneliness, and even contempt for all of humanity.

EQ is like your anaerobic threshold if you're an elite athlete who uses power meters and heart rate monitors to gain a winning edge; you can't train and change either much. You get what you've got when it comes to emotional intelligence.

The element of EQ that makes the most significant difference during the toughest of times is caring and compassion that leads to clear and consistent communication to the team, even if it is tens of thousands of employees working around the world, as is the case for Charlie's company.

Compassionate People and Leaders

In closing, I'm rooting that Charlie and his company will get through this mess, and everyone will be okay. If not, I know Charlie, because of who he is deep inside, a caring human being who's resilient, and a superb family leader will be okay in the long run.

I imagine that if the company that employs Charlie needs to downsize him along with others, they will take a very caring and compassionate approach. Only time will tell. If Charlie is lucky, like he tends to be, his company will provide an outplacement solution. Outplacement is the process of guiding employees out of a company in the most caring and compassionate way possible; coaching.

Charlie is the kind of guy who will take the outplacement coaching, and honor the gift given him and his peers by caring and compassionate leaders who are very different from Sally.

Thanks for reading my article. I always appreciate your comments and questions. If you'd like to connect for a conversation about transforming your company, culture, and business results, click here to join my community of leaders.

How Fearless Leaders Face Losing Their Customers, Cash Flow, and Income

This article is for small business owners, leaders, and anyone who's facing fear and uncertainty about their future. Everything I'm about to share comes from the heart based on decades of leadership experience through some of the toughest times we've faced as a nation. The good news is, we'll get through this by following courageous and virtuous leaders like my father and millions of others.

When I was only 13, I watched what happened when my father lost almost all of his hotel and restaurant customers, his cash flow, the ability to service the small mountain of debt he and his partners used to develop the Shangri-La Motor Inn into Brickyard Mountain Inn in 1974. It was the first economic disaster I'd face, but not the last, during my lifetime.

Since then, I've built and sold two small service businesses. I've lost it all following a financial, mental health, and business meltdown in 2002. Everything I learned from my parents came in handy, but it was the transformation of my head, heart, and soul that really mattered for me as a leader.

Being Fearless Leaders

How do fearless leaders face losing everything we worked our butts off to build? We practice by being on the front line and learning to be better leaders each and every day. We learn to more self-aware, mindful, and to practice better habits as we grow wiser.

If you're like my father and mother, you do your best not to "alarm the children" or others who follow you during tough times. We have to "dig deep" and be strong. It's a mindset thing.

If you're a business owner or leader or anyone who's taking a massive financial hit during the COVID-19 storm, know this; kids, humans, we feel everything. So when disaster hits any business, community, or home, there are several essential lessons for leaders during tough times. We all have a choice in how we work through anything challenging, especially the unexpected.

Oil Embargo, Perfect Storm

After the OPEC oil embargo wiped out my dad's hotel, my younger sister, brother, and I got to watch our parents reinvent themselves. Yes, they were broke. It was 1974 and I'm not quite sure how dad pulled off starting Old Mill Properties in Meredith, New Hampshire. But he did, and I'll never forget our mother teaching us how to do our own laundry because "Mother is getting her real estate license so she can help your father build the new residential real estate business."

The first thing I did after my father died was conjuring up a heart-healing, cross-country motorcycle trip all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona to Laconia, New Hampshire. Next to Laconia lies Meredith, and that's where I go to roll by and see dad and mom's first office building they built. The gravel parking lot was the same, but the building itself, an A-framed wood structure suited for New England winters looked much smaller than I recall as a boy.

I cried when I saw the Old Mill property signs planted on the summer lawns all around the Lakes Region where I grew up. I am eternally grateful to my parents for teaching me how to be a better leader. If only I had learned these lessons sooner!

My father had this logo designed in 1974.

Being A Virtuous Leader During Tough Times

If you're a business owner or leader who's facing hard times right now, I hope what you're about to read will help you.

If you're beating yourself up during this, just like I once did, please read and do your best to practice all of the suggestions I offer.

I'm the guy who got sent to anger management classes once upon a time because I got so out of my mind when the business of life overwhelmed me. Talk about a humbling experience as a younger leader, husband, and dad.

Nothing is more important than our "Inner Game" and mindset as leaders. What you see on the outside is merely a reflection of what lives within your head, heart, and soul. The good news is, humans can change the mindset any time we are willing to do what it takes to change from the inside out.

Practice any of my suggestions as you're willing. If you're like me, and you give the "Inner Game" enough attention and time, you will be a better leader.

  1. Give fear no counsel. You must be very intentional facing fear. Talk to it and tell it to move on since you're busy working on your "Inner Game." If this sounds stupid, give it a chance. I'm sharing the keys to your subconscious mind.
  2. Take a bold stand as a leader. The mark of every leader is the people who follow us. I have tens of thousands of people who follow me online, but I don't know them like I know and love my family, friends, neighbors, including the ones who wake up the old people in our neighborhood late at night while we sleep. Think only of the people who follow you and how to smile, and stand strong so they also have the courage to move forward.
  3. Practice acceptance. If you're a control freak like I used to be, it's time to practice acceptance and let go, or detach, from what only an insane person would think they can control. Accept what is, learn to adapt.
  4. Practice stillness. Billions of people are suddenly stuck at home trying to figure out what's happening around us with COVID-19. We're struggling to adapt and get along with the people we love the most. Now, more than ever, it's essential for us as leaders to find stillness, peace, gratitude, and comfort in our hearts. Yes, it's okay to feel fear, but when you talk to it and replace it with calm, steadfastness, people will feel your strength even if they don't have it themselves. Practice as best you can to sit still, journal, contemplate, pray, and learn other habits that give you and those around you inner peace.
  5. Be virtuous. Virtues are the qualities of character that for all great leaders; Courage, temperance, charity, friendliness, truthfulness, justice or fairness, compassion, radiance, or "joie de vivre" and everything you would read that aligns with the virtues taught by our earliest leaders such as Plato and Aristotle, and Virtue ethics.
  6. Be kinder, more compassionate. We live in a world where selfishness is ripping us apart. The bottom line is the best leaders in the world stand in the middle and find ways to bring people together. Let go of biases, blind spots, and extreme beliefs. Find solutions to problems. Be willing to compromise for the common good. If you're a narcissist, please get help. People like you are the best teachers of acceptance.
  7. Share. Fear breeds greed and hoarding. That's why we see people hitting each other over the head with liquor bottles at big box stores. People, get a grip. Turn off the mainstream media. They simply work to put you in fear. Screw them. Tune their crappy programming out and fill your head, heart, and soul with sharing, giving, and living on purpose without being a selfish jerk. Simple, not easy.
  8. Believe. Never stop believing in the power to see, feel, and trust your way to a way to get through today, just today, for now. Practice this "Inner Game" stuff and watch what happens when you find the power to trust something bigger than all of us. When we crash and burn, we get up from the ashes like all great leaders, and we reinvent ourselves, adapt, and do what it takes.

The Power of Gratitude is Great

I'm grateful for everything now that I've weathered more than one storm. Stormy weather isn't as scary when you've lived a rich life, starting more than one business while raising a family. Looking back on my failures, nothing seems to daunt me like it used to. Trust me when I tell you that during the darkest of times on Earth, we look to the elders for peace, wisdom, and comfort. Now is no different.

If you're like most leaders who take a big hit, you'll face tremendous fear, self-doubt, maybe even shame, and guilt. That's because if you're like me and others who put it all on the line to start businesses with the intention of building companies and providing many jobs, you are the hardest on yourself. That's part of the "Inner Game" of the peak leadership mindset I coach and teach. I learned what I teach from my elders, and coaches, the people who teach me.

When we do all of these things and more as virtuous leaders, we set the tone for goodness. Evil, bad stuff, is simply the temporary absence of goodness.

Be goodness today. Be a great leader people will be inspired to follow, and the world will be a better place.

I always appreciate your comments and questions. If you'd like to connect with me, click here.

This Is Why and How I Pray All Day At Work And Everywhere In Between

Having you ever met a small business owner who lost his mind, health, and spirit? I have and I'm here to tell you the power of prayer and many other healthy habits can change your life from the inside out.

This article is for other leaders who want to further develop your "Inner Game" of being the best leader you can be at work, at home, and everywhere in between. I pray because when I fell down hard, I needed a higher power to guide me to clarity.

Fear of Failure

I grew up learning fear by watching what happened to my father's hotel and restaurant business when it collapsed and he lost almost everything. That's why the fear of failure failed me. Love, trust, and giving fear no counsel is the better way to go for all leaders. When I chose fear over love, I got in over my head.

Unlike me, my father kept his cool instead of losing his mind. Perhaps he was better at concealing his torment than I. After he failed, I watched him launch a small real estate company as he emerged from the ashes. My mother helped by becoming a real estate agent and going to work every day. That explains why and how I've been doing my own laundry since I was 14.

Self Employed for Many Years

I've been a small business owner for almost thirty years. This means 100% of my income came from finding and keeping customers for the two businesses I've built and sold since 1991 when I quit my last "day job." Along the way, I lost it all including my physical and mental health. It is not fair to say I lost all of my faith during this dark time. It is better to tell you that I found "Clarity" in the depths of the dark places I found.

I prayed because I was terrified. When praying and other healthy habits began to work within me, people who love me most noticed a difference. But my transformation over the last fifteen years has been the most powerful because after losing my business in different ways than my father had, I too, was able to bounce back quickly, start another business, and sell it over a decade later.

Now, I pray all the time.

Praying Changed My Life

When you are in business for yourself, it's pretty easy to figure out how little control you have. When I was younger, I vastly overestimated my ability and underestimated risk. I was too cocky and overly-optimistic at times. The consequences were server and that's how I learned to pray differently than when I was trained as a Catholic altar boy who never fit in.

Look at the examples of the people we follow and love the most. Chances are they are mindful and prayerful. The leaders I learned to love and follow focus on making a bigger difference everywhere they go more than making more money, buying more stuff, and making a bigger name for themselves. I followed their lead and watched them pray. Just like in any sport I seek to master, I seek to emulate the best of the best.

How much control do you think you have if you have yet to be run over by a Black Swan that took you down? For example, write your five-year strategic action plan if you're among the minority of people who will do so. What are the chances 10,000 things will change along the way? You don't have to be statistics major to know everything will change especially if you are a younger, newer, less experienced leader.

Lots of Jobs

Most small business owners and leaders of teams perform five or more jobs. For me, this looks like being the creative director, sales manager, project manager, accounting manager who sends invoices, the collection agent who pretty much goofs off all the time, the computer tech guy, and the garbage man.

If you have more than one job chances are you are going to need a much higher power to sustain and guide you. If you have no job at all, or one that's sucking the life out of you, your job is to get a new job and change your life.

It dawned on me that I made the business of life harder on myself than I needed. But when I learned not to regret the past, and accept all that is with grace, my "Inner Game" shifted into a higher gear. It wasn't long before my Chevy Vega turned into a race car.

I became a better leader over lots of hard work and hours doing more than one job. In fact, I made a business out of helping other business owners succeed. As if it's not hard enough to build one business, I made a business out serving other businesses.

Looking back on what I've done, it does occur to me I could have been fine owning and operating the best donut shop or yoga center in town.

As if it isn't hard enough to do what I do for one business, I decided to make it even harder to become a trusted business advisor, strategic planner, coach, and trainer for people like me who put it all on the line to feed themselves, their families, and keep their employees productive, happy, and healthy for as long as possible considering the massive war and shortage of true talent.

I pray because when I failed I got lost in very dark places. In fact, when I was in my early forties, I lost all of my wealth after selling my first business to a major Wall Street investment company and bank. That crushed me in ways I can't describe in this post. Anyone who knew me then will tell you I have been vastly humbled.

In other words, when I lost myself, I needed to find a God I could understand and have a daily, loving relationship with because I have been my worst enemy. Think about how you or I treat ourselves when things go terribly wrong. The best leaders take losing very hard. Sometimes, we focus on things that take us far off course, and we wonder why people can't or won't follow us.

Being Better

I pray because I want to be a better man at work and in life. Our sons are grown and it's clear my wife and I did many things well as parents. Being a parent when I was only a boy of 24 was another powerful way to know there is something much bigger at work around me, and that if I wanted to tap into this massive power, I had to change my "Inner Game."

Praying is the first way I transformed my former fears, anger, and occasional rage into a higher purpose and passion that serves others based on the gifts I receive. My purpose as a professional is to learn what I can and serve others who want to go where I have been before.

I pray to stay humble. I pray to repent my sins. Sinning is "missing the mark." When I miss any mark, I stop, get still, and pray in gratitude for the lesson to be learned.

Praying helped me quit drinking alcohol over a decade ago. I got rid of fear, impatience, anger, and most of the lower emotions and energy by giving it all up to the God I understand today. The transformation for me has been profound. Sometimes, it's hard not to regret the past, but when I learned to pray in the way I do now, love took over.

Practice Often

I learned to pray all day by practicing. I created new habits like journaling, fasting, contemplating the spiritual realm, and mindful, daily, ongoing meditation.

Here's another example of how praying changed me from the inside out. I pray when you cut me off in traffic. Instead of wanting to five finger death punch, I now pray for you as if you could be God. If you're an anger management class candidate, practice this habit over and over and see what happens.

Praying is a process like breathing. Do you think often about breathing? After all, it's the breath of life, right? But most of us don't train ourselves to breathe consciously all day long like a modern-day, working monk.

The same is true for praying or doing anything else you choose to make a healthy habit. You must practice all day long. Simple, not easy. Why? Because of your monkey mind. We all have that monkey on our shoulder. It's the stupid, mean, critical, condescending, judging voice that learns to give it all up to the God of your understanding.

The Seven Heavenly Virtues

How do you start this transformation for yourself, if you buy anything I've shared so far? First, focus on learning and practicing the virtues. Even Aristotle was pounding the table on the importance of virtues for a rich, happy, human life. Check out this article from Stanford. You'll see the similarities of the virtues found in the Bible.

As a leader, you commit to being better. You decide to choose better habits and practices. You understand change is a process powered by purpose and intention.

Choose to learn, know, and practice the virtues all day long. Do the same by being prayerful in your natural way of doing so.

If you don't know what the Seven Heavenly Virtues are, here's the list and link so you can do more homework.

  1. Chastity
  2. Temperance
  3. Charity
  4. Diligence
  5. Patience
  6. Kindness
  7. Humility

Now you know more about why and how I learned to pray all day. Even if it seems weird I'd write about the topic of prayer on a business blog, the power of spirit at work changed my life. I had to write about it today.

If you'd like to connect for a conversation, click here.

Did this article help you? I always appreciate your comments and questions when you post them here on my blog.

The Root Cause of All Small Business Marketing Problems Is Leadership Mindset

Most small business owners and leaders agree it's easy to lose our minds and shirts making marketing work. Why does marketing fail so often, and what's the root cause? Leadership mindset. Here's why.

In my experience, marketing, sales, customer service, and financial success for all organizations is the function of a leadership mindset. Mindset comes from your character and core values. If you're ever tried to do a great job and follow a leader with less than virtuous core values and commitments they keep, you know how madding it can be.

How do you assess the core values, beliefs, and qualities of character that stem from good virtues versus behavior that drags us down into the trenches of darkness at work? Simple. Leverage professional assessment tools that are scientifically validated and capable of revealing what's in the head, heart, and soul of any leader.

Born To Market, Sell, and Serve

I was born into marketing, sales, and being a servant leader. I learned my earliest lessons in small business ownership and leadership by watching my father manage his small businesses over the years. My father has been to me a legendary small business owner, marketer, and caretaker of humanity. (R.I.P., dad. I'm doing my best down here!)

Most of my professional life has been invested in learning to market, communicate clearly, and help others get what they want. I've been blessed to start, self-fund, and sell two small businesses.

The primary success I've enjoyed has been helping other business owners and leaders get what they want. My goal is to encourage more small business owners and leaders to know that we're all in sales if we care about helping others and making a difference everywhere we go.

#1 Lesson

Here's the #1 lesson I've learned from my life-to-date work building small companies and learning to love the small victories amid all the failure we find making marketing work well for investors, business owners, and leaders.

The root cause of all marketing failure lies in the mindset of leaders and owners. Mindset is the character and core values, or lack thereof, of the ownership and leadership team of the organization. In other words, marketing only works when willing and able people with aligned core values that are most virtuous make it work over long periods of time.

What else holds us back when it comes to making marketing work? Impatience and lame expectations are among the worse offenses we can make in marketing. We are far too impatient with marketing results. We wing it when investing in websites, search engine optimization, stupid Ninja marketing tricks that never work, and salespeople who can't or won't sell who are allowed to remain part of a failing culture and bottom line. Then we complain that nobody can do their job.

Look in the mirror, leaders! How can anyone follow us well and in good conscience unless we know how to master the "Inner Game" of being the best leaders and business owners we can be? The buck stops with us, the owners and leaders.

Here's What To Do Make Your Marketing Work Without Losing Your Mind and Shirt

The solution to fixing all marketing, sales, and customer service issues always lives in the heads, hearts, and souls of the owners and leaders of the organization. You can't solve any problem at the level it was created and this is very true with sales and marketing problems that choke us out of business.

Leaders must approach marketing as a process that extends for disciplined, inclusive, diverse strategic action planning. Most small company owners I meet do NOT have a written business plan. These are the same leaders who complain to me the most about past experiences hiring and managing marketing and salespeople. Customer service fits into the same matrix because if you run crappy, inauthentic sales and marketing campaigns, your crappy Karma will make life miserable for your customer service people.

Solution #1 is committing to writing a strategic plan of action that includes your diverse team of contributors who help you and buy into owning their part of your plan. Imagine the power of everyone aligning based on shared values and commitments we keep. We know how to get our jobs done right the first time because we are Varsity players and you pay us to practice, train, and play harder than the competition.

There is no exception to the root cause of failed leadership that I'm addressing. I know this now because I've managed thousands of marketing and sales campaigns in my life. I've created thousands and tested them. What I learned is the results always filter back and up to the decision-makers controlling the budgets.

Overcome Fear of Failure

If fear and failure are the mindsets, marketing fails and sales suck. Remember, marketing and sales is a game of failure. You have to be willing to invest, fail, learn, and grow.

If clarity and confidence are your mindsets, you'll hire the best and ditch the rest of the people you attracted who make you mad. But you have to change first from the inside out. Then, you will get players on your team who know their job and get it done right the first time. You would see the difference in financial performance just like you see the difference between champions who take the podium and the majority who look up to the winners.

Let me assure you, most of my marketing and sales tactics don't work well. But they work well enough in the tiny margins of conversion success to transform smaller companies into bigger, better performing organizations lead by servant leaders who take care of their strategic planning and people.

In closing, if you want better marketing, sales, customer service, and financial results, look in the mirror. Perform behavioral science-backed assessments for hiring and aligning the best players for your team. Then, empower them to own the new plan of action with you.

Your marketing and sales results will improve when the core values and commitments of your owners and leaders are in line with the heavenly virtues that are good; chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience,
kindness, and humility.

The bottom line is the more virtuous the character and core values of your leadership team, the better the marketing, sales, and financial results for your business.

Virtuous leadership counts for a reason.

Did this article help you? I'm always grateful for constructive comments, questions, and suggestions. If you want to learn more about mastering your "Inner Game" of leadership development, contact me here.

Free Book Review of Meetings Suck with Author Cameron Herold

Did you know lame meetings cost us hundreds of millions of dollars every year? Here's a short video and free book review of, "Meetings Suck: Turning One of The Most Loathed Elements of Business Into One of The Most Valuable."

The video interview lasts just under thirty minutes. It's a concise and compelling summary of a great book to read. You can connect with Cameron Herold here.

Remember, many great leaders are readers for a reason! Reading rewires our brain and makes us more empathetic, effective people to follow. If you want to buy the book, which I definitely recommend because it's a quick and essential read for everyone in your organization, click here. (No, it's not an affiliate link because I don't love supporting the beast called Amazon.)

Better yet, talk with Cameron's team about having him speak or coach your team. Then, you get his books built into the real deal. (No, I'm not an affiliate. I just strongly dislike lame meetings and want to help end the insanity.)

Cliff Jones interviews Cameron Herold, author of Meetings Suck.

Cameron's book is a fast, easy read. There are only 153 pages broken down into nineteen chapters and three parts. Here's a quick summary of the interview for leaders who are in a hurry:

  1. Meetings don't suck by themselves. If your meetings suck, look to the leader who's running the show.
  2. Willing and able leaders can be trained and coached to lead effective meetings.
  3. When this happens, you end the massive "meeting suck" cost that Lee Benson over at ETW.com tells us costs $350 billion a year in lost time and productivity.
  4. When you read Cameron's book, you'll learn about key concepts such as meeting leader roles, and how to deal with introverts and extroverts. You'll check "every box of the organization chart."
  5. You'll know how to prepare a proper agenda to fit the different meeting styles Cameron teaches us.
  6. You will create a culture of accountability whereby people show up early and meetings start and end on time, if not early.
  7. End meetings early and make everyone happier considering the compound effect of time and money.
  8. You'll know how to foster clear, consistent communication. (Ever follow a leader who keeps changing his mind or hoping for mindreading more than mindset training?)
  9. In the last part of Cameron's book, you'll discover the different types of meetings that are worthy of having. These include timely retreats, a board of advisors meeting, business area reviews, monthly financial meetings, and more.
  10. The conclusion of the book will show you meetings account for about 20 percent of your time. He suggests cutting that time in half. Then, commit to running your meetings like a leader who cares. Show up on time, be respectful, follow the rules of engagement set by leaders like Cameron Herold.

Now you know how to end the suck of meetings. Please take the lead if you're a leader!

Did this article and video help you? I'm always grateful for your comments and suggestions. If you'd like to connect with me, click here.