All posts filed under: Leadership

Make Your Content Short and Sweet

In this three-part blog, I’m going to answer a recent mentees question on how you prepare for an executive presentation. Part 2 – Preparing Content If you have been like me, I get wrapped up in putting slides and content together and getting stuck! As I have learned over time, start by hitting the ball down the fairway, instead of playing in the trees. Start by answering this question: 1. What challenges are you solving for? – Slide 1 This will guide the rest of your presentation (or golf round) 2. What are your big bets or solution to the challenges? – Slide 2 3-5 ideas Show them visually  Have anecdotes or stories to back them up No more than 25 words on a slide (much less is better) 3. Money Slide – Slide 3 If it’s a business plan – show an annual view of the program (s) If it’s a sales proposal – show the ROI of each solution You are likely to spend time on one slide when executives start asking questions, this is it.  …

I am busy and I am anxious

Part 4   “I don’t actually have serious work problems but I am anxious about that.” I can recall through my career, my feelings Sunday when the weekend glow would start to end and the realization I had to go back to work the next week would start to set in.  Like the glow starting to dim after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Two things I am going to address here:  I am busy and I am anxious. Even if we like our job, we are often really busy, treading water trying to keep up. I noticed about a year ago, that when I asked people “how it’s going?” they would say “busy”.   It didn’t give me any information about what they were working on or how they were feeling, except that they may be overwhelmed.   It had me question, when I used that term (which I was often) how people left interactions with me?? I decided to do two things: 1. Be ready for the question I share 2-3 …

20/10/5/3

What do the numbers 20, 10, 5, 3 have in common? In this three-part blog I’m going to answer a recent mentees question on how you prepare for an executive presentation. Three ways: 1. Managing time 2. Content 3. Mental preparation In this first, it’s managing time. The answer to the question above is – it’s the four lengths of presentations you should prepare for (in minutes) when conducting an executive presentation. Busy executives will either start right on time and end 5 min early in a 30-minute meeting to get ready for their next meeting or may show up late coming from another high priority meeting. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard, sorry “x critical issue came up” and you have 20, 10, 5 or 3 minutes to share your idea…and you need to include feedback time and next steps. Once I’m done drilling the content, I’ll run it three more times in shorter time frames. In the next post we’ll talk about content. Colin

I don’t like my job

Part 3 In her NY Times article and a part-time gig as work friend, Megan Greenwell writes about “How Your Job Will Never Love You Back.” Here are four buckets Megan puts most work anxiety into: My boss annoys me. My co-workers (usually millennials) annoy me. I am dissatisfied with the type of work I do and/or don’t know what to do next. I don’t actually have serious work problems but I am anxious about that. I remember sitting down with one of my early mentors in sales, Rick after a sales call. He was a big burly guy with force and a kind heart. We talked about what I did well and where I could improve. One of the things he picked up for me, that even when I made some mistakes in the sales process, I was intently focused on listening and getting back on track.  It may have been a winding road, but I achieved the objective. Fast forward eight years and in the first couple sessions with my coach I hired, …

Go On a Listening Tour

Part 2 In her NY Times article and a part-time gig as work friend, Megan Greenwell writes about “How Your Job Will Never Love You Back.“ Here are four buckets Megan puts most work anxiety into: My boss annoys me. My co-workers (usually millennials) annoy me. I am dissatisfied with the type of work I do and/or don’t know what to do next. I don’t actually have serious work problems but I am anxious about that. Here are my thoughts on her four buckets in part two of the blog series:   My co-workers annoy me It sounds like maybe you have not found your tribe. In his recent book, Trailblazer, Marc Benioff talks about how Salesforce is a value-centered organization. I have been here 14 years and I can tell you: Trust, Customer Success, Innovation and Growth have ebbed and flowed as our values year over year, with the recent addition of equality. I would ask you, have you done the work to define your own strengths and values and overlayed those against the current role or …

Your Job Will Never Love You Back

In her NY Times article and a part-time gig as work friend, Megan Greenwell writes about “How Your Job Will Never Love You Back.” Let me ask you a question: When does work anxiety start creeping in for you? Sunday at 9 pm, 6 pm, 10 am, Saturday, or does it ever leave? For me, it’s on Saturday at 8am. If I don’t get a couple of hours of “work” done Saturday morning, I feel behind. The more I get done Saturday morning, the more I can enjoy the rest of the weekend with my family. Here are four buckets Megan puts most work anxiety into: My boss annoys me. My co-workers (usually millennials) annoy me. I am dissatisfied with the type of work I do and/or don’t know what to do next. I don’t actually have serious work problems but I am anxious about that. Here are my thoughts on her four buckets in a four-part blog series:   My boss annoys me   Here is my advice, don’t work for a bad boss. I …

10 Tactics to Better Manage Your Energy and Time 

On Monday I talked about better managing your energy.  Below are my top 10 Tactical Ways I manage Energy and Time.  “Einstein is reported to have said that if he only had one hour to solve a problem he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and the remaining 5 minutes solving it routinely.” Each Saturday morning for an HOUR (it’s a time I tend to be freshest) I re-organize my calendar for the next weeks ahead and ask myself:  Does this meeting serve my top 5 priorities this month, my team (direct team, boss and partner teams)?  How many mentor meetings do I have in the calendar? Optimal 2 per week.  How many peer collaboration meetings that provide me inspiration? Optimal 2-3 per week  I write a “Focus for the week” email to my team outlining our top 4-5 priorities for the week. They tell me it helps keep them on track and is a check for me against my responsibilities as a team leader.  I put my own oxygen mask on first. Starting …

You are overwhelmed, anxious and can’t get everything done

Problem: You are overwhelmed, anxious and can’t fathom how you are possibly going to get everything done in the week, including reading and returning all your emails! Many people ask me how I manage time effectively? Solution: Read this old gem I wrote on Managing your energy and not your time, and… Answer these four questions: When am I at my best? If I look back at my best days, what has been consistent in all of them? Who do I lean on for positivity when I get anxious or overwhelmed? What is the best way I recharge my soul? Stay tuned Wednesday for tactical answers on how to better manage your energy and your time. Defeating Average Colin

Even Broadway performers have the yips

It’s not how you start, but its how you finish! As my wife Blake tells me, people are only going to remember 1-2 things from a talk or a performance. Perhaps the opening, a compelling story in the middle and a strong close. What happens if you have a slow start? We’ve all been there. Lock it in and crush those 1-2 moments that people are going to remember long after it’s done! We were at a cabaret performance on a cruise through the Greek Islands on holidays and we had some world class Broadway performers put on shows each night. Most of them perform scenes or songs in well-known shows and do it over and over again at the world-class level. We are talking Tony nominee and award winners. They are not as used to stringing a number of unconnected songs or routines together for a cabaret. As they got settled into the one-hour performance, a couple had slow starts. You could tell they were getting their grounding in the routine. I noticed something …

Thank You For Showing Up

Your pursuit may be individual but how you get there always has roots in a team. In my 1st year at Salesforce, we had a bunch of like-minded sales guys and gals who did a lot together. Worked hard, sold software had fun and found time to give back to our community. One thing we also did together that summer was meet one to two times per week at 6 am in a local park for a workout. Our friend Paul played high-level basketball and he ran us through some paces he did in his camps. Push ups, sit ups, carry bricks up and down hills and line runs. We were exhausted every time! We were also building the blocks or bricks of accountability. Just making that mental decision to get out of bed after 5 am to make it on time built our mental muscle. Once we were there, we always had a blast…and grabbed breakfast together after with a lot of laughs. We had many reasons not get out of bed or show …