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How Colin Powell Makes Decisions Faster Than You

“Colin Powell has a rule of thumb about making tough decisions. He says that every time you face a tough decision you should have no less than forty percent and no more than seventy percent of the information you need to make the decision. If you make a decision with less than forty percent of the information you need you are shooting from the hip and you will make too many mistakes. The second part of the decision-making rule is what surprises many leaders. They often think that they need more than seventy percent of the information before they can make a decision. But, if you get more than seventy percent of the information you need to make the decision then the opportunity has usually passed and someone else has beaten you to the punch.” Don’t sacrifice quality for speed AND don’t sacrifice action for certainty. Lead without title today. Colin

Who is on your winning team?

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan   If I have learned one thing over my 20+ years of selling, its that you should not win or lose alone.    Any big hairy audacious goal worth achieving takes laser focus, a well thought out plan, consistency chunking out the key milestones, visualizing your way up and over the obstacles…and a team to support you.   Having the camaraderie of a band of brothers and sisters that can help support you to:    Rise early with passion every morning Get creative, act as sounding boards and give tough feedback Work the extra hours to push over weekly obstacles   Will help get to your championship level of performance.   Colin

How to tell a story like Oprah!

Just watch her. 2018 Golden Globe Awards Oprah Winfrey took the world by storm on Sunday with her rousing speech at the Golden Globe Awards.  There is no doubt that Winfrey is one of the world’s most gifted orators. If you could learn just one, small thing from Oprah’s time at the mic, you’ll have done one thing like Oprah today–and that is pretty bad-ass of you! So let’s take a look at what made her speech so powerful. She began with a personal story: Nothing grabs an audience’s attention like a glimpse into you as a person. Used at the outset of your presentation, it can be a powerful tool to humanize your message. She addressed an open room as if she was speaking to an individual: I don’t care if you are in a room of one or 1,000– your audience needs to feel that they are deserving of your attention if they are to give you there’s.  She spoke slow and with purpose. And without pomp and circumstance. She knew where she was going: Oprah …

Reading your way to the top

If you are not reading, you are falling behind. I’ve been following Mark Cuban for a number of years. I didn’t agree with his approaches to everything but he certainly shows some great examples of hustle, creativity and leveraging his opportunities. Plus his blog – Blogmaverick always kept us amused in the Toronto office. With his presence on Shark Tank, his notoriety from owning the Dallas Mavericks and other social media interest, he is out there a lot and accessible to hear his point of view. He’s the first one to tell you, he was at the right place at the right time with the success and sale of Broadcast.com. He said “if he had to start over, he doesn’t know if he could make billions again…but he could certainly make many millions.” One of the things that drives his wife crazy is that he spends up to three hours per day reading. It’s his competitive advantage. He consumes knowledge and is able to leverage it well for competence and gain. Mark Cuban knows his …

Push ups on the Pool Deck

Guest Post:  Kyle Byron (Nutritionist) My Dad always said, “If you want to be a man at night, you gotta be a man in the morning!” And although I don’t usually take his lifestyle advice, I am fond of this phrase. Ladies, forgive the gender bias here. After 11 years of nutrition and fitness coaching, I know women are tougher than men, I just don’t have a catch phrase for you right now. My Dad’s point is, if you want to stay up late and party, you have to get up in the morning and train, or take care of business. So on your vacation please go and have fun. But you have to take care of some business too.  Before you leave for your trip, do a bit of planning. Pack some exercise gear, pack some supplements (greens powders and fish oil would be two vacation favourites), pick what nights will be big nights, and order your groceries to be delivered the day you get back. When you’re away, aim for 33%-66% of your …

Having uncomfortable conversations

One of our leaders sent out a great TED talk to review this past week.  Adam Grants – “Are you a giver or a taker” and it made me think of this story.  I remember an all hands sales call we held many years ago where two star sales reps (now senior sales leaders) were asked about the difference in impact between being a generous and agreeable account executive and doing everything for your customer vs. being a difficult to work with (challenging AE) that perhaps caused some friction in the relationship.  They both shared feedback from their customers who said (paraphrasing) “We’ve had easier AE’s to work with in the past.  They said yes to everything and it was easy for me to get my job done. However, our implementation didn’t improve much and the Salesforce impact in our business was average. When I first met my new AE I found it difficult to work with them.  They didn’t say yes to much and in fact said no a lot.  They asked me so …

Good human beings

Coach Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Team knows a thing or two about building great teams. In his 10 years coaching The Detroit Red Wings he made the playoffs every year and won the Stanley Cup. He also lead Two Canadian Olympic Hockey Teams to gold medals.  Last year, he took over the reigns of a storied franchise who finished in fourth last place. When asked what he looks for in his new players and team he didn’t mince words – “Good Human Beings” he said. “That’s number one. If you don’t fall under that category you will not play on this team.” He has the history to prove it. “I also love skill and hard work. We may not be the most talented this year but we will work very hard, mark my words.” You see the Maple leafs recently had a stretch of poor years and had some off ice issues distracting the team.  This past year they built new culture and character and took a surprising run into the …

Kathy Ireland had a paper route

I’m in San Francisco this week. I was on a run down to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants after work today. Lots of fans heading down to enjoy some early season ball. After being inside all day, it was great to get outdoors and take in some fresh west coast air. Depending on the mood I go for music or a podcast. Today, one of my friends had on his podcast, former supermodel Kathy Ireland. I was intrigued! “If they say no the first time, I just put in the calendar for 6 months to go back again when either the decision maker has changed or maybe the situation has changed.” “In addition to my parents as great mentors, like another mentor, Warren Buffet, having a paper route when I was a kid, both taught me hard work. Anyone can take mentorship from Mr. Buffet, they just need to take in everything he has written.” Lessons I wasn’t expecting to hear from Kathy Ireland, in addition to the $2.6 B empire she …

Pivot and Shift

We had the good fortune of spending an evening last year with our KOA club members at a Gala Dinner celebrating 10 years at Salesforce.com in San Francisco. It felt like a high school reunion of sorts and getting to see people from all over the world that you started early in your career with and how they have grown both in career and family was amazing. In addition, we had a senior officer from the company sitting at every table. We have some incredible leaders. To be able to hear their perspective and see their genuine interest in each person’s career and life was special. At our table our CFO shared a trip he took to Asia. Over the course of three days he held an important quarterly earnings call, flew to Japan to run the Tokyo Marathon with his son and return to speak in front of 1,000 people at an investor forum. I asked him how he prepares for a week like that? He said I “Pivot and Shift”. I compartmentalize and …