Saturday, May 7, 2016

Napoleon Hill - A Lifetime of Tragedy

napoleon hill
This article started as a discussion about mediocrity and how we elevate our heroes to super human status. The underlying message is they are special and we are not. Therefore, we are better off playing it safe and avoiding risks. As I thought of examples to help make my case, I recalled a book I recently finished--the biography of Napoleon Hill, "A Lifetime of Riches" by Michael J. Ritt. Soon the direction of the piece took a detour. So many people quote Napoleon Hill or "rework" his material, but few know much about him beyond the legend. What I learned both surprised and frightened me. So, I decided to use this opportunity to pull back the curtain of legend and folklore and introduce you to the real Napoleon Hill. You are in for a surprise if you have not read the biography.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Customer Service Lessons from a Taxi Driver

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I was content to enjoy my 15-minute taxi ride in silence but the driver had other ideas. He decided to make the trip to the airport more pleasant by engaging me in conversation. About his time in the Navy, his full time job in a chip manufacturing plant, then about how he came to live in upstate New York.

When I told him I was from the Chicago area, he talked about his brief stay in “Chi-town” and how much he loves the city.

We can learn so much about people when we slow down long enough to talk with them. We can also learn a lot about ourselves.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's the Details Stupid - Part 2

customer review homewood suites
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In my previous post, I described my stay at the StaybridgeSuites in Lincolnshire, Illinois as case study of neglecting attention to detail in customer service. In this article, I contrast an experience in the same town at a different hotel as an example of how to win over a customer for life.  The little gestures are the difference between average relationships and outstanding ones, whether in business or in life.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Customer Service - It's the Details Stupid

customer service done wrong
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I talk a lot about customer service and going the extra mile because as someone who has been in business for many years, I view everything through this lens. This has been no different with my recent travels. Over the last several weeks, I bounced back and forth between two hotels, fell in love with one, and disenchanted with the other. This article is not a hotel review, but a case study of the importance of attention to detail to win over customers. If you have a business, pay close attention.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When Leadership Means Being a Good Follower

What do you when thrust on a team or project where chaos runs amok? Do you "take the bull by the horns" and rest control from those you deem less competent or run for the exits before falling too deep into the abyss? I say neither, for sometimes leadership is not about taking control but being a good follower and team player instead.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is Your Business Relationship Toxic?

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In business, as in life, relationships are everything. A good business relationship results in more than a satisfied customer but one who evangelizes on your behalf. A toxic relationship can destroy a worthy project and keep you up at night with anxiety. Recently, I experienced both types and went into details with this post over at Head over there get the full story. For now here are 3 steps to help you cultivate a lasting business relationship.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dinner With a Linchpin

success dinner
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In SethGodin's Linchpin, he describes those who become indispensable to such a degree, their organizations cannot live without them. They approach work as an art form, whether they be accountants, lawyers or stay at home moms. I had what was supposed to be a casual catching up dinner with one such individual a few nights ago. Let's call her "Michelle."Soon, dinner morphed into a 5-hour training session on success, and I held on to every word like a student at the feet of a wise professor. The following are the key takeaways from our conversation.