Every child is born an artist. The problem is how to remain one as we grow up. – Pablo Picasso I’ve always loved this quote.  But I’ve sometimes struggled to really put my finger on why. Initially I suppose I liked it because it conjured for me an image of a joyfully uninhibited child artist wandering freely from one thought to another, seeing infinite possibilities in her work and exhibiting a freedom that few adults seem to have the luxury to indulge. Now however, I find myself re-reading this quote

“Spoiler Alert: All Decisions are Emotional” Years ago, while working for a large corporation I was asked (along with a few other colleagues) to review candidates for a plum new management position at our company. After interviewing a large group of individuals our team narrowed the search to two strong candidates. On the whole the two were really quite similar. Both were well qualified. Each had extensive experience, each had an impressive track record of success and each was well respected by his peers. One of the two candidates it

Is Marketing Really Just Common Sense? People often say marketing is simple; it’s just common sense. After all, the thinking goes if we can understand a person’s attitude towards a topic (or product or service) then we can predict their behavior.  For instance, if we know that a person likes top 40 pop music, and female singers in particular, then we ought to be able to make some predictions as to the music he or she will likely purchase. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing. Humans all too

I Fail. Therefore, I Succeed. As kids we’re taught that the key to academic achievement is to avoid being wrong. As adults we work in companies that stigmatize mistakes. In fact, we live in a society focused on mitigating risks. So then, is it really any wonder that we have a tendency to avoid failure at all costs? To me, the irony in all this is that in order for us to be successful we need to take chances. We need to be prepared to be wrong and, harder still

How Do We Incentivize High Performance? Profit v Purpose In this excerpt from his best selling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us author Dan Pink shares some fascinating insights into the things that really motivate us at home and in the workplace. As Pink points out carrot and stick motivators may work for simple algorithmic tasks, but for more complex jobs that require creative thinking, studies show money is not an effective motivator. Interestingly, people engaged in these types of projects are more motivated by a sense

Fallacy: Size Matters. Do you run a small business? If so, do you ever worry that your prospects may view your businesses size as a weakness? Perhaps you fear that your prospects will associate small with a lack of experience, or resources? Well, guess what? You’re not alone. Most small businesses feel this way at some point, and then to compensate they seem to go to great lengths to try to give prospects the impression that they are “bigger” than they are with the hope that maybe the prospect won’t

The Importance of Leaving a Good “Last” Impression   “The characteristic of a great man is his power to leave a lasting impression on people he meets” – W. Churchill   Ok, so we know first impressions are really important. And yes, of course we’ve all heard the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”  But what about “last impressions?”  They matter too, don’t they? After all, if we were preparing to go to an important meeting we wouldn’t just brush the front of our hair

On presenting: A Lesson from Lincoln. There’s a reason people fear making presentations. It’s hard! Really f-ing hard! Much harder than it looks, don’t you think? Sure, we’ve heard all the advice. Yet, if you’re like me, you still struggle to understand how to best convey your knowledge and expertise without boring the crowd with a data dump. You might also wonder, how do I convincingly sell an audience on my idea or motivate them to take action? And perhaps most of all, how do I do all this in

Know Your “Frenemy” Has this ever happened to you? You’ve pitched a prospective client on your services. The meeting ends and you walk out feeling great! You’re sure that you’ve nailed it! After all, you had great rapport with the prospect. They were engaged. They nodded in acknowledgement as you made your case for being the most experienced service provider in town. They were clearly impressed by your client list and references and, you’re proposed pricing is well within their budget. They are chomping at the bit! All that’s left

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