Most Popular Leadership Posts So Far This Year

With the first half of 2015 past us, here's a look back at the three most read postings on my leadership blog so far this year.

Most Popular Post

In his new book, Fail Fast or Win Big: The Start-up Plan for Starting Now, author Bernhard Schroeder gives you the edge he believes you'll need to be an entrepreneur who can launch a profitable business—in 90 days or less.

He draws on his work with many talented entrepreneurs (the founder of Yahoo! and Amazon included), and presents a proven expedient route to start-up success. That expedited route includes fostering entrepreneurship by facilitating the introduction of product and service “rough drafts” to customers, and then, based on feedback, swiftly adjusting—or dumping—them. Schroeder calls this The Lean Model Framework.

Readers will quickly become adept at:
  • Leveraging all the lean resources around them, from their own skill set, local community, and personal circles to professional networks, online resources, and technology tools.
  • Developing and evolving a solid business model, rather than agonizing over writing a formal business plan, with attention to their venture’s unique value, target segments, key partners, and creating a customer relationship “feeling.”
  • Rapid prototyping—developing a rapid prototype sample product or service and getting it out there quickly to test customer response, then seizing on that feedback to tweak, overhaul, or completely abandon their breakout offering.
  • Seeking out and trusting customer truth, which demands never assuming that they know what a customer wants or needs, relentlessly researching the marketplace and trends, and frequently talking with and always listening to real customers.
  • Getting their start-up off the ground with alternative sources of funding, with particular attention the payoff of crowdfunding and pointers on preparing an effective reward or equity campaign...and more

Schroeder is the Director of Programs at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University. He also teaches entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity courses.

Schroeder helped to create a $1 billion company CKS|Partners, the world’s largest integrated marketing communications agency. He has worked with American Express, Apple, Mazda, GM, Kellogg’s, Levi’s, Nikon, and Visa, among many outstanding firms and brands. He was also involved in the initial branding and marketing launches for Amazon, ESPN Online, Travelocity, and Yahoo!

Second Most Popular Post

I so appreciate this advice from William Arthur Ward, one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims:
  • Do more than belong: participate.
  • Do more than care: help.
  • Do more than believe: practice.
  • Do more than be fair:  be kind.
  • Do more than forgive: forget.
  • Do more than dream: work.

Third Most Popular Post

Four years ago, Lynn Flinn of EWF International wrote the following in her business' newsletter. It's so powerful I wanted to bring it back again this year as 2015 gets underway.

So, here goes...Lynn's advice for leaders:

• Do something that you are afraid to do. Run through the fear rather than running away from it.

• Take a personal risk. Tell someone something you've always wished you'd said to them.

• Write a note to someone who inspires you but probably doesn't know it.

• Pick one characteristic about yourself that you'd like to change and earnestly work on changing it. It is really hard to change a behavior, but it is possible if you are aware, patient and persistent in making a change.

• Realize when you are not engaged and re-engage. Turn off the television, turn off the cell phone, and pay attention to the people around you.

• Smile and talk to strangers that you meet. It is amazing how much shorter a long line feels when you are talking to someone versus focusing on how long the line is.

• Meditate, pray, relax, exercise, hike, laugh or whatever brings you peace. Some people say they are just too busy to do these things, but taking time for self-renewal shows self-awareness, not selfishness.

• Take a trip somewhere that you've never been. It could even be a place you've never visited in your home town. How many experiences have you overlooked in your own town, because you just keep going to the same familiar places?

• Do something meaningful for a non-profit organization. Volunteers are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations. If everyone volunteers a few hours a week, think how much non-profits can accomplish.

• Don't get stuck in the same old routine. Shake it up and do something different. Something as simple as taking a different route to work or going someplace new for lunch makes life a little more interesting.

Thanks Lynn for this great advice.


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