Today's Wisdom

Generals and Entrepreneurs - Thoughts on Your Role

Washington aside his mount Recently I was speaking with a client about his time, energy and focus. We were discussing how thoroughly burned out he and many entrepreneurs are. And for good cause, this guy has the weight of the world on his shoulders. A business partner with cancer, another key employee with a chronic illness, tight cash-flow, the busyness of life, travel, running a staff, and all the rest. He was running on empty. "Ground down to a dull point" is what my mom used to say.

My suggestion was for him to take a day off. Now. Get a massage, see a movie. Tune out. His reply was no surprise: "Well, I can't right now but I will in a couple of weeks". My take on it? He needs his rest NOW in order to lead effectively. Taking a break is not a reward for good behavior but rather a necessity so that he can make solid strategic decisions. "Your company needs you!" I hammered home.

Here's the upshot. There is a reason that the generals of yore slept in tents and rode on horseback. Generals couldn't allow themselves to fatigue. Generals (and business leaders) fill an entirely different role than a foot soldier and no matter how noble it might be to suffer right along with the men, sleep in a foxhole or run yourself ragged; it's irresponsible. If your job is to direct others' efforts right into the line of fire you have to protect yourself, your judgement, and your ability to creatively solve problems or people can be harmed. Get over trying to be "one of the gang" and remember that you have to lead from a position of clarity, perspective and problem solving. Get rested, do what you need to in order to protect yourself, and then be heroic with your judgement - not your time.

Sounded to me like something a few of my clients would benefit from hearing.

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The Intellectual Capital Revolution: Algorithms or Emotional Intelligence

Recently, at a WisdomNetwork event in Chicago a group of highly successful entrepreneurs gathered to talk about the future of business, communication and market positioning. This private forum for future-casting leveraging the intelligence, experience and wisdom of the group alighted upon a powerful concept that I wanted to share: The big shift for this century is the division between two pathways for value creation: Algorithms or Emotional Intelligence.

The world of algorithms is encroaching into every sector. Since the first calculator, we've borrowed the ladder of technology to simplify and streamline. Even service businesses are losing out to the power of the microchip to commoditize the contribution of people. Look at the big picture and you start seeing Artificial Intelligence everywhere. If it can become a algorithm it will. Insurance policy kiosks at the airport, Amazon sending drones to deliver your goods, Google filtering your news. It's here.

Alternatively, the world of EQ or Emotional Intelligence is the last bastion of opportunity for service-businesses that can grasp the importance of it fast enough. If everything left brain can become an algorithm then it's the world of the right brainer that will create value into the coming centuries. Creativity, empathy, passion, humor and non-linear thinking will become the prized human skills as AI encroaches into every other aspect.

Algorithms or EQ. Which side will you be on?

Let me know what you think!

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Your Intellectual Capital: 5 Sales You Have to Make

Your Intellectual Capital You’re an entrepreneur. Your job is to take an asset from one level of productivity to the next level. And when it comes to your Intellectual Capital, you need to monetize your wisdom by making five distinct sales.

Here's a simple way to tackle it, one sale at a time:

First Sale: Inside Your Head The first person that needs to see that what your company has is unique is you. Without that sort of clarity you have commoditized what you do, sell or offer. And with commodities there’s little left but a race to the pricing bottom. Find out what your intellectual assets are and define them.

The Second Sale: At The Kitchen Table This next sale is made with your team. Rebooting the system by allowing your people to see what the company is “really” about will enable you to preserve culture, attract talent, transform behavior, and migrate the team to create a brand experience clients enjoy.

Third Sale: In The Backyard: This next sale happens with your database: leads that didn’t convert and current or past clients. Why leads that didn’t convert? Because most of us give up too quickly with them and because a deeper insight about your wisdom is sometimes what they need to answer the question, “why you?”

When it comes to clients, educating them on your wisdom (beliefs, passion, unique capabilities, systems and methods) can sometimes inspire them to buy more (share of wallet) or refer others (share of relationship).

Fourth Sale: Around The Neighborhood: This sale aspect addresses the Center of Influence relationships you have and want to cultivate. Let’s make it happen here by getting a plan, defining the value proposition of connecting and building a reciprocity model for shared exposure.

Fifth Sale: Across The World This is sale that’s made with prospects. Let’s find them, nurture them and convert them using the unmistakable genius of your wisdom. Inbound Marketing at its purest form is an opportunity for you to package and communicate your ideas, values and worldview to attract and convert your Right-Fit audience. Your I.C. is the fuel.

To take on the fight against the destructive forces of commoditization, you have to be courageous, you have to be inventive, and you have to communicate with passion, conviction and clarity. Five audiences. Five sales. Go to it.

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