How to Rewire Your Brain to Get Confidence for Leadership



One of the world’s great leaders of the 20th century, Sir Winston Churchill, led the United Kingdom through perilous times caused by Nazi terror.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,” said Prime Minister Churchill, whose leadership legacy is unquestioned.

Enthusiasm is indeed important for leadership. To take your business to the highest level, you must be at the top of your game to maximize your confidence as a leader.

That means understanding your human capital and your business environment to effectively lead your employees and doing your best to minimize everyone’s stress for strong morale.

His understanding of the big-picture was Mr. Churchill’s secret for success.

But to accomplish such worthy objectives, sometimes it’s necessary for businesspeople to rewire their brains to understand the big picture in order to develop confidence in leadership.

Here are eight recommendations:

1. Continually revisit your purpose

Success stems from having a deep sense of purpose.

That’s right. To be successful, it’s important to have a deep sense of purpose.

That means focusing on providing value.

2. Understand your financials

An analogy: Just like using a map when going on a road trip, if you’re in Los Angeles wanting to go to Chicago, don’t follow a map to Seattle.

Your financials are the salient factor in your map for your road to success.

You must understand and monitor them so you can take action when needed.

3. Continuously self-evaluate

You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and your motivations for your actions to develop goals. Don’t worry about your failures but eliminate your bad habits so you can make steady progress.

4. Develop a balance

Patience is a virtue. A leader understands others and focuses on serving others. When employees come to expect empathy from you, this helps you project confidence.

Conversely, don’t allow yourself to be adversely affected by others. Do your best to empathize with them instead of outright dismissing them. But in the end, stay focused.

5. Focus on physical fitness

High performance demands energy and focus. Staying fit enhances your personal confidence as well as projecting it.

This, in turn, demonstrates a positive image for your business.

6. Daily preparation for discussions

For best outcomes for discussions, prepare. Confident leaders prep for discussions and decision-making. This usually means being able to influence the direction of your conversations.

Ultimately, even people with differing opinions at the outset will feel comfortable and take ownership of strategies.

So staying well-informed is a great investment. Invest your time and attention in research to a have a full perspective for effective action.

7. Take educated risks

Boldness is good. Once you’ve arrived at a decision, take action. Evaluate but don’t engage in self-doubt afterward.

8. Renew your mind

Daily renew your mind. Get lots of rest and recreation.

Focus on gratitude. Gratitude will replace any of your fears and anger. If necessary, develop a gratitude list and review it regularly.

Look for ways to help others each day. By lessening the misery of others, you will create positive change in the world. It will also improve your spirits personally.

You can’t keep what you have unless you give it away. This sense of serving others will actually energize you, which leads to more confidence.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more tips to grow as a leader:

Mindset, Best Practices in Strategic Leadership for Growth — Whatever your situation in pursuing growth, the mindset and best practices in strategic leadership means maintaining a delicate balance – preparing for details and keeping an open mind regarding business uncertainty.

Leadership: 4 Strategies Dealing with Incompetent People — Yes, incompetent employees – whether they have difficult personalities or they simply under-perform – can be aggravating. But they don’t have to be.

21st Century Leadership Requires Authenticity — Here’s how — It’s one thing to be promoted into a management role, but it’s entirely another to be regarded as a leader to inspire a company’s culture. What really matters is knowing how you impact others.

For Strong Profits, 5 Tips to Develop Employees as Leaders — Strong leaders will help your business grow and enjoy excellent profits. That’s because, as role models, they’re instrumental in helping you develop a performance culture.

Leadership Tips for Executing Strategy to Defeat Threats — Multiple solutions might work to triumph over a threat, but a global study in 20 sectors in 20 countries shows execution trumps strategy. Here’s how leaders execute strategy.

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

10 Characteristics of a Successful CEO — This is a 10-part series on CEO leadership by Joey Tamer, www.JoeyTamer.com. She is a consultant to experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices. She has also been a strategic consultant to entrepreneurs in technology and digital media.

“I’ve got the brain of a four year old. I’ll bet he was glad to be rid of it.”

-Groucho Marx


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




If You Emulate Trump, Would You Profit? Yes and No



Feb. 25, 2016 –


Yes, it’s true that many of Donald Trump’s personal, business and presidential-campaign strategies are worth copying.

Much of his approach would enable you to make more profit.

As you no doubt surmise, there are caveats. Some of his behavior isn’t to be emulated.

GOP Presidential candidate and front-runner Donald Trump – November 12, 2015


Lessons from his personal life

Let’s consider Mr. Trump’s personal life. It’s a study in contrasts.

True, he has been married multiple times. However, his ex-wives support him in his endeavors.

Three times may be a charm for Mr. Trump. He’s now married to a woman who speaks five languages and has received favorable media comments.

By any measure he’s a very successful father. His kids love him and are successful in their own lives.

He’s known for being generous with money and for being cordial with everyone he meets. Personally, I know two women who praise him for being approachable many years ago.

In one case, when the young son of a friend wanted to meet Mr. Trump during an important event in Los Angeles, the billionaire dropped everything to meet with the boy for an hour.

In another situation, an actress friend once spotted him playing playing golf. In a lighthearted manner, she interrupted him and told him she needed luck in her career, and asked: “Can I rub you like I would a genie for good luck?” He laughed and said “yes.” She got her good luck.

Lessons from his business interests

Consider his aggressive business strategies, which differ somewhat from his campaign tactics.

At his father’s knee, he learned the risks of being an apartment landlord – a very litigious arena. He went against his father’s wishes when he borrowed $1 million from him and became a commercial developer.

In being overly aggressive, he over-extended his finances. But he learned from failures.

Mr. Trump learned other lessons when four of his businesses went bankrupt. He polished his negotiating skills in landing on his feet. As a Wharton graduate, he implemented proven step-by-step solutions for a financial turnaround.

He makes a valid point in his book, The Art of the Deal – don’t be afraid of walking away from the table when the negotiation isn’t working.

After low points in his career, Mr. Trump realized he needed to accelerate his shameless self promotion for effective branding. If your business slows down, you must rebrand your business.

“Fortune favors the bold.”

-Virgil

He wrote books, leveraged the news media and in reality TV programs, and he mastered the art of being unpredictable to generate publicity.

These strategies enabled him to license his name for easy profit.

He invested in quality but never wasted money by cutting corners or taking shortcuts.

As a real estate developer, for favorable zoning and other matters, he’s courted politicians – Democrats and Republicans, alike, by making donations.

Lessons from his politics

After weighing political runs for president and governor of New York, he launched a formal presidential campaign in June, 2015.

Mr. Trump quickly demonstrated he understood the mood of his core target – voters who are angry.

He laid out positions favored by his target audience – from illegal immigration to trade and jobs.

He has been clearly comfortable with many Americans not voting for him. Mr. Trump knows how to develop a loyal following and that his opponents aren’t worth worrying about.

He used his personal principle of being unpredictable in order to outline his policies disliked by so-called progressive voters.

He was successful in branding himself (Despite Cruz’s Despicable Tactics – Why Trump Will Win).

Another branding tactic – he branded his opponents, such as calling Sen. Ted Cruz a “liar” for his frequent campaign dirty politics, and labeling former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as “low energy.”

When former Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, criticized Mr. Trump for not disclosing his tax returns, The Donald returned fire:

“Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics, is now pushing me on tax returns. Dope!”

That was illustrative of why his supporters love him – they want a fighter.

You might recall in 2012 when Mr. Romney was beating incumbent President Obama by 5 percent in the polls five months before the November election.

All summer long, Mr. Romney was bombarded with attacks from Democrats but he never once responded.

In effect, Mr. Romney allowed his adversaries to brand him as a dangerous capitalist. Nor did Mr. Romney aggressively debate Mr. Obama.

Mr. Trump may be authoritarian or narcissistic but in showing his pride for his business success, he dodges a bullet that had previously devastated Mr. Romney. No one successfully brands Mr. Trump as a monster capitalist.

Even evangelicals – from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. to Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress in Dallas – have been vocal in their support of Mr. Trump.

They want a strong, patriotic businessperson in the White House –as does a Christian church elder I know. His comment to me in supporting the Trump candidacy: “Let’s pray for him.”

Mr. Trump’s unfavorable poll ratings stem from his political positions and for his crass personal attacks on people like Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.

Candidly, they might work in politics. But such crass attacks should be discouraged in business. There’s a better sales strategy when tempted to bad mouth competitors.

However, as Dr. Ben Carson once told me, politics is a “cesspool” (Q&A with Dr. Ben Carson – The Full Meal Deal with Solutions).

Mr. Trump’s branding (“Make America Great Again”), his overwhelming news-media dominance, and his political positions propelled him to frontrunner status.

Moreover, his success was achieved by running the lowest-cost campaign of any candidate.

He’s demonstrated frugality in spending. It’s made possible in-part because he knows the value of leveraging the media for PR.

Mr. Trump doesn’t read from teleprompters. He speaks extemporaneously in a style that appeals to many Americans. He repeats his points in speeches. People remember what he says.

Conclusion

So know your strengths, weaknesses, and your target audience. Be frugal but don’t be afraid to invest wisely. Create and implement salient branding.

Don’t allow your competitors to brand you, and remember bad mouthing competition is not a viable option.

Finally, be bold.

Do these things; you’ll be profitable.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are links to related articles for increasing profits:

Money – Your Net Worth Matters More than What You Earn — When it comes to finance, most business owners and other individuals strive to increase their wealth to have more opportunities. The trouble with some, however, is that they focus on income and not their net worth. That means, of course, spending less than they earn.

Earn Profits via Innovation, Relationships and Local Marketing — If your company is struggling as a result of declining profits, at least three factors are responsible: The clutter of competition, management, and ever-expanding and head-scratching list of advertising options.

Companies Profit Most by Investing in Customer Engagement — Better business performance results when CEOs show leadership in providing the best-possible customer experience. That’s confirmed in a global study.

Increase Profits by Hiring Talent with the Best Trait — Enthusiasm — You’ll increase your odds for profits with high-performing employees with the right culture — if you hire for the right personality trait – enthusiastic people. That’s right. Look for people who have the makeup to being committed and who will care for the welfare of your company. You’ll increase your chances for the strongest results.

Quick Checklist for Profits You Can Implement Today — Here is a top-10 checklist for profits.

“Fortune favors the bold.”

-Virgil

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Selling Your Mid to Large-Size Business? Beware of the Obstacles



With plenty of angst and working long hours, you’ve spent a lifetime building your company. Now, you’re dreaming about an exit strategy – selling out before your retirement for easy living.

Perhaps you’ve exhausted so much time and energy growing your company you haven’t given any thought to the business-selling process.

Your options: You can find a buyer or create an ESOP, an employment stock ownership plan (scroll down to the Coach’s Corner for a link to information on ESOPs).

ID-100307447 stockimagesSelling a micro business is relatively simple. But selling a larger business is more complicated, and can be costly. Actually, the selling costs can be enormous – shockingly more than you can anticipate.

If you don’t do enough due diligence, there are two possible outcomes. You might not walk away with your desired pile of money. Even worse, you might not even be able to sell your company.

It’s paramount to hire the right transaction experts, which will cost you unanticipated expenses.

However, you’re likely to benefit from a higher sales price, the best possible terms and conditions, and will consummate the deal more quickly.

But if you’re tempted to take shortcuts – not hiring experts for your transaction – it will likely lead to a disaster.

One consideration is your EBITDA – the acronym for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Typically, businesses sell for four to eight times EBITDA.

You’ll be paying many of the same type of costs whether you sell high or low. You might be surprised to learn such costs – expenses for accounting, consulting, investment banking – are often 10 percent of your selling price.

Experts will help you prepare to sell at the maximum price.

Depending on your industry and type of company, there are broad-spectrum principles to keep in mind.

You’ll be paying many of the same type of costs whether you sell high or low. You might be surprised to learn such costs – expenses for accounting, consulting, investment banking – are often 10 percent of your selling price.

Three stages of selling your business:

— Preparation to sell

— Identifying prospective qualified buyers for a letter of interest, list of terms and letter of understanding

— Processes for negotiations, the purchase/sell agreement and closing costs

The first key step is to plan your estate well in advance, at least 90 days, before you solicit an offer. Otherwise, you risk facing the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS isn’t interested in aiding you with any tax-saving tactics.

Another step is to select a deal team that has sufficient expertise in such transactions. Your team should be synergized to work together for your benefit. That includes the deal’s makeup, sales price and financial terms, and lessening your tax obligation from the sale.

You’ll need a specialist in mergers and acquisitions to prepare your company for selling, and to be your advocate throughout the sales transaction.

A second deal team member should be a wealth-management expert. You’ll want to keep your money and avoid unnecessary taxes. The fees will hinge on the volume of your assets being managed.

The third element of your deal team will be a law firm, accounting specialist and an investment banking firm. Admittedly they’re all expensive – each will charge as much as $300,000 – possibly more.

The investment banker will charge a retainer, expenses and even a so-called success fee of three to 10 percent of the sales price. There might be a requirement of warrants, which would be convertible to stock – at a future date and value.

The accountant might have to audit your financial statement for the last three years.

OK, so all of this is costly and complicated. But with the right due diligence, you’re likely to increase your odds to achieve your dream.

From the Coach’s Corner, related information:

Selling Your Company for Tons of Gold Takes Planning — Many startup entrepreneurs dream about an exit strategy – launching their business, being acquired and striking it rich. Here’s how to make it easier.

Tips on Understanding the Mindset of IRS Auditors – An IRS audit is enough to make you tense with cold sweat in the palms of your hands. More businesspeople have complained to me about the mean-spirited treatment at the hands of IRS agents than any other federal agency. Worse, the agents’ frequent lack of common sense is shocking.

When Should You Develop an Exit Strategy? Now…Here’s How – You should always have an exit strategy in place – no matter what. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran business owner, you should always have an exit strategy.

Angel Investor: Tips for Increasing Cash Flow, Profits – A successful angel investor shares his tips for good cash flow and other profit issues.

Private ESOPs Are Where the Action Is – in Economic Value, Job Growth – Private employment stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are thriving. That’s according to a study by a former advisor to the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan deficit reduction commission and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Economist Alex Brill, who conducted 2012 study, found that ESOPs as S corporations grew their jobs by 60 percent over this past decade.

“Ninety percent of selling is conviction, and 10 per cent is persuasion.”

-Shiv Khera


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

You Can’t Prevent an Earthquake, but You Should Prepare for It



Not much good results from a major earthquake. The only possible benefit occurs when an earthquake unleashes groundwater in drought-stricken regions.

Major earthquakes can ignite fires and gas explosions, damage buildings and kill thousands of people.

An earthquake is not a once-in-a-lifetime event. In preparing to write this article, I searched Bing News for the term, earthquake. There were 2.8 million search results.

USGS_-_1971_San_Fernando_earthquake_-_Collapse_of_four_buildings_at_the_Veterans_Hospital

Four buildings at the Veterans Administration Hospital collapsed in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake.


In my first earthquake experience, I was in southern California 75 miles from the epicenter of the 1971 Sylmar killer quake at 6:01 a.m. on Feb. 1, 1971. It was 6.6 in magnitude.

As a young radio newscaster, I was in the studio delivering my regular 6 a.m. newscast when the big plate glass window — separating the disc jockey from me — began violently shaking. It seemed to go on for a minute.

Vividly, I recall adlibbing the words: “Ladies and gentlemen, it would appear we’re in the middle of an earthquake. Stay tuned to KDUO News for further details.”

Later, I would report nearly 60 people died, most were hospital patients, and there was $553 million in damage. Less than 10 percent of the damage was insured. Aftershocks continued for weeks afterward.

For me, it was an early warning history will repeat itself.

The U.S. Geological Survey forecasts a 46-percent probability of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake by 2044 in southern California. But there are countless reports of earthquakes around the world.

So my sense is that all businesses should prepare for such seismic events.

Here are six basic recommended steps:

1. Gather information

Communication is paramount. Have and share contact information for everyone connected with your company. Understand that voice traffic  in disasters like earthquakes will clog mobile phone carriers so be prepared to text people, not telephone them.

For up-to-date information during an earthquake, use the U.S. Geological Survey’s Web site.

2. Stay protected

Prepare to be self-sufficient for several days. Stock up on first aid supplies, water and food for the worst-case scenarios.

Train your staff on the dos and don’ts of earthquake preparedness. Identify the safe areas in your business where employees can congregate. Earthquake-proof your building so that heavy equipment doesn’t fall on your workers.

3. Earthquake insurance

Unless you can self-insure against earthquakes, you might want to consider earthquake insurance. While it’s true premiums are expensive, you’d be able to recoup your losses and continue to operate as a business.

As in all valuable papers, store multiple copies of your policy, contact info for your insurance company and comprehensive documentation of your assets in secure locations. Pictures are good. Beware of any timeline requirements and follow the right protocol to file an insurance claim.

4. Supply chain precautions

Consider the importance of your supply chain for your company’s future. You should identify and list your primary and backup suppliers and follow other best-practices to protect your supply chain.

5. Contingency plan for human resources

In the event of an earthquake, be aware that members of your team might not be able to report for work. Key employees and managers should have telecommuting abilities.

They should also be able to interface with employees and exchange them if you have multiple locations.

6. Protect your revenue stream – clients

For easy access, store emergency contact info for your anchor clients and prospects. Once the emergency is over and you’ve handled salient priorities, contact your clients. They’ll appreciate the red carpet service.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more disaster-related tips:

19 Tips to Protect Your Core Assets from a Disaster — Hurricane Katrina put us on notice how important disaster planning is. Is your business ready? Biz Coach Terry Corbell provides a 19-point business continuity plan.

Risk Management – Making Best Decisions, Using Right Tactics — To prevent a crisis from interfering with the continuity of your business, you must strategically plan to manage any potential risks. That means avoiding the classic mistakes routinely made by companies, and making the right decisions for proactive measures to minimize any dangers.

Planning an Event? Here are 25 Emergency Preparedness Tips — In order to successfully plan major events, it’s a great idea to consider taking 25 precautions, courtesy of Robert Grossman of Focus Creative Group, a communications consulting and development company.

5 Data Recovery Planning Tips for Computer Failures — Just a generation ago, risk management was a lot less complicated. Many businesses didn’t have to worry about hardware or software failures. Everything was processed manually. But in this digital age, business is severely disrupted if your system crashes and you haven’t backed up your information.

Public Relations Expert Provides Crisis Management Tips — Appearances count. But universities, presidential candidates and businesses have all demonstrated a lack of awareness about good public relations.

“Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake.”

-Sylvester Stallone


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 






Want a Wealthy Clientele? Lessons from Investment Firms



If you want a wealthy clientele, lessons provided by investment firms show you must focus on your relationship skills. Trust is a vital component to build relationships.

For wealthy clients, this means you need to provide exclusivity, special client experiences with generosity and product quality.

These are the qualities exhibited by successful boutique wealth-management firms.

There are good reasons – actually very obvious reasons – why some wealth management firms are growing and others aren’t.

A 2014 study by the Luxury Institute confirms what this business-coaching portal has long advocated.

Any time you handle someone’s money, you must take great care to build trust. In fact, bank woes provide lessons for all companies seeking growth.

Study’s respondents

A Luxury Institute press release indicated investors with an average net worth of $15 million and annual average income of $800,000 shared their detailed opinions of 39 leading firms in the wealth management business.

The study shows boutique wealth management firms increasingly have brand approval among multi-millionaires.

In fact, firms such as UBS and Merrill Lynch are suffering, as a result.

“Consumers are opting for boutique firms,” says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. “Wealthy consumers really value relationships and the smaller boutique firms really deliver.”

He says Merrill Lynch fell to last place out of 39 firms. UBS Private Wealth Management came in second to last. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Charles Schwab rounded out the bottom five.

Brand perceptions

Negative press coverage about legal problems has adversely impacted the biggest of such firms, including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. Other big brands, including, Citi Private Bank, Barclays Wealth, HSBC Private Bank and Wells Fargo also ranked in the bottom half of brands.

“Any time you have news that’s a negative in the media, these firms are going to get hit,” confirms Mr. Pedraza. “The larger firms took a beating.”

While the specific rankings tend to vary from year to year, quartile placement remains relatively stable, according to Mr. Pedraza.

While dropping slightly from its number three spot in 2013, Bessemer Trust made the top five list several years in a row. Brown Brothers Harriman, which took the top spot in 2013 and in 2012, tumbled off the top-five list.

Northern Trust, Vanguard Personal Investors and J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management also fell out of the top five.

Set up in 1882 as the Rockefeller family office, New York-based Rockefeller & Co. earns the highest score. Ranking closely behind Rockefeller & Co. are Atlanta-based Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management, and Convergent Wealth Advisors. First Republic Private Wealth Management, and Bessemer Trust round out the top five.

The bottom-line:

“Successful wealth managers are relationship builders first, and, since few can beat the markets in the long run, money managers second,” adds Mr. Pedraza.

From the Coach’s Corner, to build trust, here are more specific tips for a variety of businesses:

To Sell Ideas to Senior Executives, Tap into Their Emotions — If you want to persuade a senior executive, polish your soft skills. Whether you’re trying to sell your ideas to your CEO or you’re trying to sell to a key decision maker at another company, big data is important. But data isn’t the most important factor in persuading senior executives.

Want More Business? Build Trust with Consumers…Here’s How — With consumers trying to cope with information overload – you will increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust by using best practices. It may be an obvious approach, but it’s confirmed by a 2012 study that shows 84 percent of the respondents declared trust must be warranted before they buy.

Energize Your Customer-Loyalty Program with 6 Steps — The quickest way for established businesses to optimize revenue is to have a stellar customer-loyalty program — there are six steps you can take for repeat sales and referrals. If you’re not a great steward of your current book of business, it’s futile to look for new customers.

Consultants – 5 Strategies to Build Trust with Clients — The five strategies that enhance relationships between consultants and clients.

Thought Leadership — Why Companies Hire Management Consultants — Companies want knowledge. A good idea can be worth $1 million and more. That’s why companies hire thought leaders. It’s also why you see many consultants position themselves as thought leaders and give away free information in how-to articles or studies, which lead to books, seminars and being quoted in the media.

“Trust everybody, but cut the cards.”

-Finley Peter Dunne

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


How CEOs Benefit from Executive Coaching for Leadership



Almost two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive executive coaching or leadership development counsel — even though they admit it’d be a good idea if they did.

That’s according to a 2013 study.

It was conducted by the Center for Leadership Development and Research at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, and The Miles Group.

“What’s interesting is that nearly 100 percent of CEOs in the survey responded that they actually enjoy the process of receiving coaching and leadership advice, so there is real opportunity for companies to fill in that gap,” saysStanford Professor David F. Larcker, who led the research.

“Given how vitally important it is for the CEO to be getting the best possible counsel, independent of their board, in order to maintain the health of the corporation, it’s concerning that so many of them are ‘going it alone,’” says Stephen Miles, CEO of The Miles Group.

“Even the best-of-the-best CEOs have their blind spots and can dramatically improve their performance with an outside perspective weighing in,” adds Mr. Miles.

More than 200 CEOS, board directors and senior managers at North American public and private companies were surveyed.

Mergers & AcquisitionsStudy’s key findings:

— Nearly 66 percent don’t receive coaching or leadership advice from outside participants.

— Fully 100 percent said they’re open to such coaching.

— Almost 80 percent of directors believe their CEOS would like coaching.

— Among CEOs receiving such input, 78 percent said it was their idea, and 21 percent said the board chairman made the suggestion.

— Over 60 percent of CEOs said the status of their coaching is treated confidentially and about 33 percent said the status is given to the board.

— Managing conflict skills is ranked the No. concern by 43 percent of the CEOs.

— Board members said they want their CEOs to receive “mentoring skills/developing internal talent” and “sharing leadership/delegation skills.”

— The CEOs’ preference for coaching: sharing leadership/delegation, conflict management, team building, and mentoring.

— CEOs disdain sharing leadership/delegation, conflict management, team building, and mentoring.

Solutions

Being a CEO means facing loneliness at the top. CEOS must be discrete and have few people in whom to confide.

My sense is that many of the surveyed CEOs are uncomfortable with exploring their self-awareness, a prerequisite for true leadership.

Until CEOs better understand their personal capacities, they won’t be able to fully understand, manage and inspire their personnel.

So coaching would help CEOs become better leaders.

The solution: An approach that’s reminiscent of a personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

CEOs would benefit from the following approach:

1. Evaluate your career and personal events

Examine what and when were the pivotal points in your career and personal life. List your attitude, behavior and values.

Assess the return on your investment in energy. List the benefits and the negative outcomes.

2. Conduct an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses

Create two vertical columns on sheets of paper. On the left, list your strengths. On the other, list your weaknesses.

A strength is often a weakness and vice versa. It’s up to you to determine the difference. If you’re too aggressive at times as a weakness, when is it possible to describe it as being assertive as a strength?

An example:

If in a meeting I were to pound my fist on the table to make a point that would be aggressive. But if I were to give some thought and think about how to give a persuasive response — not a reaction — then I would  be assertive.

3. Use the inventory to develop goals

This is the simplest part. List goals to fill those gaps — your weaknesses — that hold you back from optimal leadership.

Create a timeline for action and how you’ll get to where to need to go for success.

When you succeed, implement this training process for your employees. You’ll be very pleased with the strong results.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

Thought Leadership — Why Companies Hire Management Consultants — Companies want knowledge. A good idea can be worth $1 million and more. That’s why companies hire thought leaders. It’s also why you see many consultants position themselves as thought leaders and give away free information in how-to articles or studies, which lead to books, seminars and being quoted in the media.

Leadership: How Leaders Employ 11 Strengths to Grow Businesses — Ascension to the C-suite doesn’t automatically qualify an executive as a leader. Leaders have 11 strengths that enable them to manage their companies for greater effectiveness and elasticity despite a fast-changing marketplace. Having positive attributes is synonymous with having skill sets. Strong attributes are certainly helpful. But more importantly, possessing qualities or strengths connotes having values.

Management — 4 Mindsets for Leadership in Performance Reviews — Are you nervous at the thought of giving employee-performance reviews? You’re not alone. Your employees aren’t exactly thrilled, either. Typically, employees aren’t convinced they can get valid feedback. If they’ve experienced poor managers, they likely dread the performance-review process or are skeptical of the outcome.

Why Not to Expect Miraculous Leadership from Narcissistic CEOs — “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” -Al Michaels, sportscaster  That’s the line sportscaster Mr. Michaels made famous on Feb. 22, 1980 in “The Miracle on Ice,” a famous hockey game in the Olympic Winter Games.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Eighteen strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

-John Quincy Adams


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Leadership: How Leaders Employ 11 Strengths to Grow Businesses



Ascension to the C-suite doesn’t automatically qualify an executive as a leader.

Typically, leaders have 11 strengths that enable them to manage their companies for greater effectiveness and elasticity despite a fast-changing marketplace.

Having positive attributes is synonymous with having skill sets. Strong attributes are certainly helpful. But more importantly, possessing qualities or strengths connotes having values.

By having values or qualities, the CEO becomes the catalyst for organizational success.

ID-10046970What if a CEO doesn’t possess the needed leadership qualities?

For a quick study, a CEO can start developing leadership qualities with three strategies:

— Practicing the art of listening while keeping an open mind — to prevent jumping to conclusions in decision-making.

— Being rigorously honest in all situations.

— Developing an unassuming and approachable personality — not aloof — in all business settings.

These strategies can lead to trusting relationships simultaneously, just as CEOs hone their personal strengths and cultivate leaders around them.

Leaders know it takes a teamwork approach to achieve lofty feats in the marketplace. So a leader is someone who is respected and trusted. However, it requires a lot of footwork.

The tickets to leadership include 11 strengths:

1. Credibility. Leaders earn the trust of employees. Trustworthiness equates with integrity. Honesty in all situations — big or small — is necessary. By enhancing trust which is accomplished with communication, it’s easier to set goals and attract people who impart those goals.

2. Evenhandedness. Leaders insure fair play for everyone. Even the appearance of discrimination threatens success. No CEO will succeed in leadership if discrimination is a cultural issue.

It leads to morale, image and legal issues. So it’s vital to take steps to avoid EEOC discrimination suits.

3. Selflessness. Leaders are approachable. They have an unassuming manner. They’re not narcissistic.

They walk the floor a couple of times a day to chat with employees instead of summoning them to an ostentatious office. This means employees will feel more comfortable around the boss.

The article, Why Not to Expect Miraculous Leadership from Narcissistic CEOs, explains why narcissistic executives are unsuccessful in leadership.

The red flags about CEOs with narcissistic tendencies are:

— The prominence of the CEO’s photograph in the company’s annual report

— The CEO’s prominence in the company’s press releases

— The length of the CEO’s Who’s Who entry

— The CEO’s use of first person singular pronouns in interviews

— The CEO’s cash compensation divided by that of the second-highest paid executive in the firm

— The CEO’s non-cash compensation divided by that of the second-highest paid executive in the firm.

4. Listening habits. Cognizant they might miss important information, leaders listen. Employees are flattered when the big boss listens. CEOs can actually power their brand with employee empowerment.

Leaders engage all stakeholders. They open meetings by actively listening before voicing their opinions. They ask non-leading questions and wait to get answers. They know how to hold productive meetings to improve performance.

Leaders know they can express interest in others’ opinions and convey understanding without having to agree with them. And if they listen 80 to 90 percent discussions, they’ll be better able to sell their ideas.

5. Open-mindedness. Leaders know how to profit from their human capital. By keeping an open mind, leaders learn both the good and bad.

Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road.

Another benefit from being open-minded is that employees feel motivated to offer profitable ideas. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace.

Being open-minded also positions a leader to be prepared for change. Why? They’re astute enough to focus on continuous improvement. This means they’ll be alert to make changes.

6. Sensitivity. Leaders are sensitive to people and situations that arise. They intuitively know they can’t motivate or persuade their employees and other stakeholders, if they aren’t aware of what’s going on with people.

The most impressive people are considerate, polite, and discreet — careful how they respond to people and situations.

7. Seize opportunities. Leaders know how and when to take the initiative. Being alert to opportunities is also aided if the CEO is surrounded by other leaders.

However, a large number of business intelligence (BI) users admit they don’t effectively use it to identify and create opportunities for sustainable growth, according to a study.

Leaders use best practices to capitalize on BI.

8. Judgment. Leaders use data in problem-solving, strategizing and objectivity in using judgment. They hire people with good judgment.

When it comes to fads, they’re discerning — they use good judgment before deciding to jump on the fad bandwagon.

To beef up poor earnings or to grow the company for egotistical reasons, some CEOs decide to acquire other businesses. Leaders resist the urge to merge with another company until they’ve done their due diligence. For instance, they know the lessons from a study of failed mergers of Canadian businesses.

Only 20 percent of Canadian mergers and acquisitions succeed, according that survey of finance executives. The study confirmed that mergers only succeed if companies strategically plan to minimize risks in their cultures and workforces.

9. Decision-making. Leaders have the competence to make timely and sound decisions. It’s possible after sufficient thought and consideration followed by deliberation, and then more reflection and obtaining the right advice.

Because CEOs don’t make all decisions, what’s needed is a strong bench of professionals — who mutually support each other.

A salient characteristic of leadership is strategic thinking. What does this mean? It means seeing the big picture — taking a long-term approach in anticipating and solving problems with strategic planning skills.

10. Sense of urgency. Leaders set the right pace and tone. By acting with initiative with timeliness, a company enjoys a competitive edge.

For example, leaders instill a sense of innovation and urgency — from developing products quickly — to supplying customers  efficiently.

A side benefit is retention of valued employees. It’s gratifying for employees to work for a leading company.

11. Motivating others. Leaders are competent in motivating others with the art of persuasion and in whom employees become confident. Leaders don’t rely solely on compensation to motivate employees to greater heights.

They do it by creating a leading company, providing meaningful work, producing stellar goods and services and giving recognition.

From the Coach’s Corner, more content on leadership: 

5 Reasons Why Managers Are Promoted to Leadership PositionsIn selecting candidates for leadership, the risks can be great for both the company and managers in lost time, effort, and money. So when deciding which of their corporate managers should be promoted into a leadership positions, companies naturally don’t want any surprises.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Eighteen strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

10 Realities if You Want to Succeed as a Leader — So, your hard work has finally paid off. Your employer is rewarding you. After paying your dues and earning your stripes, you’ve reached a leadership position. But new problems now confront you. While you’re honored to be given the position, you’re learning about your challenges.

“Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.”

-Chinese Proverb


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Image courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

5 Critical Fundamentals to Build the Best Sales Staff



The crucial question: How can a company develop a top sales crew?

Short answer: Start with a premise — if it were so easy then everybody would be doing it.

Long answer: Some companies are achieving stellar sales results in complex global situations by adopting best practices. According to a study, they employ strategies that separate them from the average-performing sales organizations.

ID-10061404 AscensionDigitalIn essence, the highest-producing sales staffs share three characteristics:

– They understand their customer core.

– They have a collaborative culture.

– They have a calibrated success (they know why they’re successful).

So how do you build the best sales staff?

Here are the five critical fundamentals:

1. Appraise your situation.

Understand your company’s goals, what you have in a sales team, what you want, what has to improve, and how to get there.

Every company is different. Some have to increase their number of customers. Some have to improve their margins. Others have to do a better job on moving certain products.

Compensation packages warrant review. And always, it’s important to evaluate each salesperson and how each can improve. In your evaluations, avoid the 12 most-common errors.

Sales managers aren’t perfect in all aspects. Know and hone your strengths.

2. Decide how to improve the quality of your staff.

Whether you decide to add to your staff or replace some team members, make the right investments.

With many companies desperately in the hunt for sales revenue, it might surprise you to learn that their predicaments are often self-imposed. Why?

They hire the wrong sales employees for the wrong reasons. It helps to check your motives before hiring sales employees.

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

-Winston Churchill 

3. Inspire your team.

Sales is fun. But it isn’t always. Your salespeople need a positive environment at the office, especially after a tough day of rejections.

As the boss, you’re expected to be the inspirational catalyst. Check your attitude to see if it’s contagious — an attitude worth catching.

Celebrate successes. Remember there can be a variety of successes — not just getting a signed contract. It can be anything from celebrating quality of footwork to courage in the face of adversity.

4. Provide continuous training.

A short, one or two-week training program for newly hired employees is insufficient in today’s marketplace. Your company, the salespersons and customers will all benefit if your team gets regularly updated training.

5. Recognize performance.

Sales is all about passion and execution. Your employees will be motivated to produce more if they feel appreciated on a timely basis.

As sales supervisor, you’ll be more successful if you demonstrate an attitude of gratitude and service.

Show appreciation for tenacity, execution or development of relationships. An attitude of service will show you care about your employees.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

Sales Management: Motivate Your Staff in 10 Seconds — All too-often when sales managers are busy, they’re task-oriented. Not to be critical, but they’re focused only on what’s at the end of their noses. For effective management and revenue, the trick is to guard against it.

Is Your Company Underperforming in Marketing / Sales? Evaluate Your CultureIf you’re dissatisfied with your revenue, it’s time for an assessment of your culture’s operation. Why? Superior cultures drive business performance. Specifically, two key elements of culture – innovation and responsiveness – have a direct impact on your company’s sales success.

Checklist – Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople — What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. As a manager, if you want to improve your company’s sales performance, become a winning sales organization and review your recruitment techniques in hiring salespeople.

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

-Winston Churchill 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy of AscensionDigital at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Don’t let Minimum Wage Mandates Ruin Your Business



Your cash flow, credit access, pricing and profit margins are all directly or indirectly at-risk with the proposed mandates to increase the minimum wage.

Workers should be paid well, if they’re good performers. However, several are increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour for unskilled workers seems preposterous to most small businesses, and it is. 

Welcome to the age of entitlement attitudes. Instead of workers having the good sense and discipline to pursue education and training to earn higher wages, they expect others to make sacrifices for them. 

ipad-407799_1280Minimum-wage proponents fail to understand important considerations.

ObamaCare is killing jobs and on a macro level, drastic minimum-wage increases threaten job creation that would benefit the unskilled. 

Insidious self-indulgent attitudes are pervasive in our culture. We see it everywhere — in business, families, government and schools. 

If you share this concern, you don’t have to become a victim. Continue to speak your mind, and take steps to protect your business. 

Two key mistakes to avoid: Don’t cut your business muscles — don’t arbitrarily slash marketing and lay off employees. 

Two key mistakes to avoid: Don’t cut your business muscles — don’t arbitrarily slash marketing and lay off employees. 

Implement these strategies: 

1. Thoroughly assess your situation. Review your business requirements, profit margins and projections. That includes determining your break-even point as an integral part of your financial planning. 

2. Evaluate your needs in human resources. Thoroughly review your workforce. Assess the performance of each employee and avoid the 12 common errors to in evaluations. Next, determine whether you need to hire permanent workers or outsource your work.   

3. If you decide to hire, make it count. Small businesses, especially, need people who are good fit culturally. Upgrade your staff where possible. So, screen resumes to hire the best people and conduct behavioral interviews

4. Treat your employees as investments to reduce costly turnover. Start by engaging your employees for business success. Focus on employee morale as high morale propels profits. There are easy ways to boost your employees’ morale. For maximum profit, partner with your employees

5. Investigate ways to cut costs. Make sure you make unemotional, objective decisions. Use best practices to avoid making reactionary decisions.

6. Use best practices in your pricing. To cope with rising costs, review your pricing strategy.

7. Focus on revenue growth. At least half of a company’s obstacle to revenue growth are actually internally driven. So get on track for revenue increases

8. Enhance customer loyalty. Optimize revenue with a stellar customer-loyalty program for repeat sales and referrals by energizing your customer-loyalty program

9.  Set goals with strategic planning. Whatever your entrepreneurial dreams, focus on the right details by developing a vision in setting goals.

From the Coach’s Corner, suggested reading:

Classic Red Flags You’re about to Lose a Sale – How to Save It — You’re in the hunt for new business. You’ve done your research about a prospective anchor client. You’ve had some preliminary discussions. Now, you’re seated with the person and making your case. But will you seal the deal? 

You Can Get Bigger Corporate Accounts in 5 Steps — So your company needs to grow and you’ve decided to go after bigger fish. Getting bigger corporate accounts is easier, if you develop the right system. But not only must you have reason to be confident, you must position yourself and your company to instill confidence in your prospects. 

Internet Shoppers Demand 3 Cs – Customer Experience Study — Success in e-commerce is increasingly challenging for retailers that want to dominate in brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth. 

11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web Site — If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under. Studies also show the majority of mobile aficionados use their devices to access the Internet. 

“That government is best which governs least.”

-Henry David Thoreau 

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Avoid Fights over Money in Business Partnerships with 7 Tips



When a business has cash flow issues, a key issue that comes up every day is money.

As a partnership, you have a shared responsibility to discuss issues on principles without arguing in an ad hominem manner.

Your company is doomed if you ever attack your partner’s character or sarcastically belittle the person’s traits. It’s an unproductive way to try to undermine your partner’s argument. Neither party wins.

Whenever there are arguments, it’s important both persons clean off their street. No person is always 100 percent right.

ID-100100980 (1) David Castillo DominiciWhat’s a partnership to do in money matters?

Whether its setting a budget, hiring people or investing in equipment, partners can’t avoid money discussions.

A good financial system is vital for your business.

Not only will a properly prepared financial statement tell you what’s transpired in your business, it will give you a snapshot regarding your future (see Primer for Best Practices in Preparing Financial Statements).

Your mindsets should be focused on productive judgment and sensitivity. Otherwise, financial disagreements last too long and result in negativity and sarcasm.

The Greek word for sarcasm, sarcaz0, means to tear flesh. Is that what you want? Probably not.

For entrepreneurs, other than good communication, the most difficult part of launching a business is preparing financial projections.

“Eight out of 10 companies fail in the first two years due to insufficient cash,” warns esteemed financial consultant Roni Fischer (see Budget Planning Tips for a Micro Business).

For productive discussions about money, here are seven steps:

1. Discuss financial philosophy before forming the partnership. Your financial habits and mutual goals should be discussed in advance.

A discussion about philosophic principles is vital. Running and growing a business is a dynamic process because of changing conditions — internally and externally in the marketplace. Mutual agreement in advance on money principles is imperative to lay a foundation for success.

Each prospective partner should be able to anticipate with 90 percent accuracy on how the other person will behave in any developing situation. Negative surprise will kill your partnership.

If you spot any red flags in your prospective partner’s comments, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can change the other person. The individual’s judgment was formed a long time ago.

Issues that evolve over time might be a catalyst for disagreement. The trick is to take all steps to preserve your relationship. You must first remember it’s important to reach a fair compromise – with win-win negotiating skills.

You’ll want both parties to feel positive after the negotiation is complete (see The 22 Dos and Don’ts for Successful Negotiations).

2. Keep the focus on transparency. Financial discussions aren’t as sexy as other topics. But make sure financial planning remains part of your business operation and vision.

Continue to discuss what matters most about cash flow. Acknowledge each other’s feelings. Whatever you folks discuss about goals and values, money should be part of it.

Both partners need to know your company’s financial situation at all times. You must be aware of your real-time financial condition. In this way, both of you will have a practical sense before making financial commitments.

Unless you have a lot of startup experience, it can be a little tricky to make down-to-earth financial projections for your new company. Pragmatic assumptions are important in such a forecast (see Startup Financial Planning: How to Get a Pragmatic Forecast).

3. Continue to identify priorities. That means having short-term and long-term goals. Discuss what you want to achieve and the best roads to get there.

For instance, agree on how you’ll manage the sweet spot — between your price-optimization and costs. Avoid the typical 11 pricing mistakes (see Strategies for Stronger Profits by Optimizing Prices).

4. Fine-tune your working budget. A financial plan will keep you focused on how to responsibly achieve your goals. It should cover timetables and how to save for investments in people and equipment.

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Document everything. Keep a paper trail. Uncertainty can kill hope in business. Best practices in management mean having the right information to alleviate uncertainty in business. For that you need the right tools.

One important tool – know your break-even point (BEP). A BEP analysis should be an integral part of your financial planning (see Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point).

5. Have an agreement on your roles. How and who will manage your day-to-day finances?

It’s preferable to have multiple revenue streams. Agree on how the revenue will be saved or invested.

Anticipate problems and who will act. For example, what will you do if you get a call from your bank about possible suspicious activity with your accounts, and your banker wants to make sure you’re not a victim (see Small Business Tips to Protect Your Bank Accounts).

6. Each partner should consult each other in major decisions. You have a shared responsibility to see that the company prospers. This means shared responsibility in major expenditures, hiring or investments.

Even if one person has responsibility in managing money, both parties should have equal standing in how and when to spend it.

That also means both parties should be equally in involved if sales decrease and hurt profits. You should work together to turn the problem into an advantage (see 8 Strategies When Sales Drop and Costs Cut into Your Profits).

7. Be respectful when there’s a difference of opinion. Remember the reasons that drew you to the other person as a partner. Money disagreements can easily morph into heated arguments.

Money should be a tool for success, not a catalyst for arguments. If you share your mutual visions and communicate with transparency, you’ll more easily minimize stress and keep the focus on growth.

In chaotic times, it’s common for businesspeople to be fearful and reactionary when they must cut expenses. But entrepreneurs need to be unemotional so that they make decisions that will bolster their objectives.

They can take the emotion out of their decision-making — by eliminating stress factors – if their priorities are clearly defined with values (see Cutting Costs — 9 Best Practices to Avoid Making Reactionary Decisions).

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

Think About 9 Key Questions Before You Form a Partnership — Sure, there are good reasons to partner in business. A business has more flexibility with more than one owner. Also, two or more partners can help accelerate a company’s growth. But it can also be a hindrance, especially when there isn’t unanimity on business issues.

Checklist to Increase Your Startup’s Cash Flow — It’s true that cash flow is the salient dynamic that leads to the failure or success of a business. Whether your new company’s performance is stagnant or you’re growing quickly, cash flow is paramount. There are at least 11 ways you can increase cash flow for your business to function properly.

Hunting for Profit? How to Become a Lion, King of the Jungle — The quest for profits is challenging if you’re lost in a jungle of uncertainty. But success is possible if you emulate a lion hunting for its prey.

12 Tips for Profits to Keep Your Business Dreams Alive — To keep your dream alive in this economy, you must find ways to adapt and do it quickly.

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

-Mahatma Gandhi


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.