Along with millions of Americans, I’ve been avidly following the 2016 election process. It’s been a wild, turbulent spectacle, and has commanded everyone’s attention.
We’ve seen how one man took the entire political system and threw it into a complete frenzy. I’m referring, of course, to Donald Trump.
Now, don’t worry – I’m going to steer clear of the political arena, and in no way is this an endorsement. However, I feel there are always valuable business lessons to be learned from current events.
Agree with him or not, there is no denying that Trump has positioned himself as the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination. To many, this has been nothing short of an astonishment. Astute businesspeople will notice, however, that he has simply applied a couple of basic, winning business concepts to his campaign:
Reid Hoffman (no relation), co-founder of LinkedIn, has a famous quote which resonates with entrepreneurs:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
It’s a simple but revealing maxim. And, truth be told, it’s one not reserved for entrepreneurs orbusiness owners, but applicable to every single one of us.
Many people tinker and re-tinker with their assignment, their product or their business – all in the name of “making it perfect”. In reality, though, that perfectionism is just procrastination in disguise.
The reason people procrastinate?
I’m always amazed how the greatest business insights can sometimes come from the most unexpected places.
On a recent flight back from Israel, I struck up a conversation with one of the stewards. We made a little small talk, and soon our chat turned to his job. During the course of our discussion, he lamented to me that, although he always tried to be friendly to every passenger, he had no real business incentive to be cordial.
He described the startling lack of employee appreciation. There was no recognition from his superiors for better customer service. No compliment for going the extra mile. Positive feedback was from passengers, not superiors. The only way to get noticed? Publish something foolish on social media. Boy, would that work!
Instead, he explained, the employee growth module of this airline was, essentially, “survival of the fittest.” Been here for 4 years? Congratulations on lasting this long, here’s a raise.
This is a very troubling and flawed model.
Let’s face it. Today’s business world is more difficult than ever.
Now, I’m sure many of you are probably thinking, “what are you talking about? Modern technology has made staying connected easier than ever!”
Allow me to explain.
The daily bombardment of phone calls, texts, emails, status updates, and other messages flying across our screens has really made us more detached and out of focus. We’re constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions. Spreading ourselves too thin.
As a result, our stress levels have risen and our productivity has suffered.
However, there are those who, despite the available distractions, seem to be productive no matter what.
What’s their secret?
2016 is just a couple of days away.
Many businesspeople know that the change in the calendar year is a great time to set goals for the next year.
But not too many know that there is a step prior to setting goals – the mindset.
Smart businesspeople know that there is no straight path to success. There are many confusing twists and turns, and it’s easy to get lost. To simply keep moving to try to find your way out is counterproductive.
Just ask Richard Bauer.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of building company culture.
Showing your appreciation to each employee is critical. Countless studies show that positive employee engagement will impact a business’s success. Successful leaders can build a workplace culture that gives their company a competitive advantage.
So this past Chanukah, I decided to demonstrate my appreciation to the hardworking team at Ptex Group – but in a slightly different way than in previous years.
I quietly created a special Chanukah Goody Booklet for each employee that was mailed directly to their home. Inside the booklet were various gift options for our employees and their families to choose from.
To make all this happen, I had to take a little trip down to a place that most people dread: the post office.
We all know what a nightmare the post office can be. Long lines. Confusing signs. Gloomy decor. Apathetic workers. Even longer lines.
My experience this time was no different.
This word is one of the most commonly-used buzzwords in today’s chaotic business climate. Companies like Google, Twitter, Nike and AMEX are lauded not just for their amazing products – but also for their stellar leadership.
So what’s the secret to become a great leader? Why do some rise to the top while others stagger along aimlessly?
The truth is, great leaders don’t just inspire and motivate their charges with pep talks and inspirational speeches. They take a hands-on approach, are meticulous down to the last detail, and pay close attention to the needs of every individual working for them.
Ever heard of of Roald Amundsen? The man was a perfect example of what it takes to be a great leader.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably found yourself saying or thinking along these lines every so often. After all, life is so much simpler when everybody around you thinks and acts the same way.
Genuine leaders, however, know a little secret: Wanting everybody to agree with you is the worst possible mindset to have.
You’ve got to understand the value of listening to and encouraging opinions besides your own. Take a look at what the legendary Abraham Lincoln did to prove this point.
Summertime is long over. The holidays have come to a close. It’s high time to dig in and settle down into our regular routines as the long winter stretch looms ahead.
While many view wintertime as a season of snow plows and shoveling, smart businesspeople know that the endless winter doldrums can pose more than just a walk-and-slip hazard. It can cause serious issues that can affect the success and future of your business.
You see, as the routine becomes more familiar and monotonous, it’s easy for one’s productivity level to decline. Fact is, today’s business world is obsessed with the idea of productivity—and for good reason.
Being productive keeps us motivated and allows us to live more accomplishing lives, both personally and professionally.
Sounds simple, right? Yet for some reason, this goal eludes the vast majority. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of the time spent at work is unproductive! Wonder why? Just ask Sam Treble.
We’re living in a world where spam, phishing and cyber theft are all too common. At some point or another, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of an email starting off like this: “Sorry, but my email account was hacked, please don’t click on any strange links that were sent…”
Unfortunately, last month, I became a victim—my inbox was hacked and hijacked.
Fact is, modern computer systems are so complex and there are so many different flaws waiting to be exploited. All it takes is a skilled hacker with a criminal mind and an anonymous bank account. In just a few clicks, they can create an expensive data breach that’ll rack up thousands of dollars in losses and cause an endless amount of aggravation.
Here’s my story.