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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Integrity Expert Al Watts On Penn State, BP & More

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I recently met Al Watts, author of Navigating Integrity: Transforming Business As Usual Into Business At Its Best.

Al was kind enough to do a quick Q&A (between sailing trips) with me on the topic of business integrity.

Captain Al on his sloop LOON on Lake Superior

Q: Hi Al. Would you give a quick definition of each of your “4 Pillars Of Integrity”

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Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Business Is Like A Decathlon: Be Decent At These 10 Things & You’ll Win The Gold!

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I’d love to see your face on a box of Wheaties.

The Olympic decathlon — a combined event of 10 different track and field races — is a perfect metaphor for business.

Bruce Jenner didn't have to win every one of the 10 races in the Olympic decathlon to win the gold.

You can actually win the decathlon without being the best at any of the 10 races.

In fact, Bruce Jenner (winner of the 1976 Olympic Decathlon and pictured on the Wheaties box) averaged the equivalent of a little better than 3rd place in each race — and he still won the decathlon by a substantial margin.

Inspired by the decathlon metaphor, here is a 10-item checklist for succeeding in business…if you train to place in these 10 business races, you can win the business gold.

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Friday, July 1st, 2011

The 5 Core Skills Every CEO Should Have

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I’ve met with about 75 CEOs since Halloween when I left my CEO role at Hot Topic Media to pursue new ventures.

I’ve begun to notice a pattern of what makes for the best CEO. There are five general CEO skills I believe are most important to being an excellent CEO:

1) Vision…A Clear One

A good CEO must be able to provide a clear vision of what it is the organization is doing.

What makes a good vision statement? As I wrote in 3 Tips On How To Write A Good Vision Statement, it needs to be concise, specific and answer this question for the team:

“Are we working on the right thing?”

Examples of good vision statements include:

“Making the best possible ice cream, in the nicest possible way” (Ben & Jerry’s)

“To provide access to the world’s information in one click.” (Google)

“To provide freedom and independence to people with limited mobility.” (The Scooter Store)

Check out this List Of 50 Awesome Vision Statements I compiled.

2) Mastery Of The Business Model

A good CEO masters the business model of an organization.

A good CEO knows the answers to the 9 questions in the different sections of this "Canvas."

The above image is of a “Canvas” used to master a business model (in this case, Gillette’s) from the book Business Model Generation.

The Canvas pushes you to answer 9 questions that are imperative to mastering how a business should work.

The 9 questions to answer are represented above by a two letter acronym…such as KP for “Who are your Key Partnerships?”).

If found it most effective to answer the 9 questions in this order:

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

How Good Is Your Team’s Vision/Mission Statement?

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Does your organization have an effective Vision/Mission Statement?

If you’re involved in starting any team endeavor, the very first thing I recommend you figure out is your Vision Statement. (note: I consider “Vision” and “Mission” Statement interchangeable for this post).

What is a Vision/Mission Statement?

A vision statement is a single sentence that explains clearly and specifically what it is you or your business are trying to create in the future.

I have three tips for you:

1) A Vision/Mission Statement Is Concise

When Sergey Brin and Larry Page walked into Sequoia Capital’s offices to ask for an investment into their new startup Google, they explained their vision in these words:

“To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”

Those 10 words were so key to Sequoia’s investment in Google, that Sequoia now requires all of its entrepreneurs to have a Vision Statement of 10 or fewer words before they even get a meeting with Sequoia.

Note: While I don’t recommend you get hung up on your vision statement being 10 words or less

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

My Favorite Vision & Mission Statements

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Below is a list of examples of effective Mission Statements and Vision Statements that I believe are clear.

As a reminder, an effective mission statement (or vision statement) should be:

  • Concise
  • Specific
  • Answer the question: “Are we working on the right thing?”

See How To Write A Vision/Mission Statement, an article I wrote, for more on how to write one.

Enjoy!

AOL

The largest high-quality content producer for digital media – locally, regionally, nationally,
and globally (as of 2011).

“To be the world’s most customer-centric company.”

Apple (back in the early days when they were Apple Computer)

“A computer in the hands of everyday people.” (this was from their early days)

Ben and jerry logo.svg

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