Dan Snyder is Proof That Luck Can Be a Cruel Mistress

In Business, luck can be a cruel mistress. Too often, good luck can be mistaken for brilliance. Take the case of Daniel Snyder. He sold a schlock telesales operation and made hundreds of millions of dollars. Since then he's demonstrated his brillance in multiple ventures: In 2005, he began accumulated stock in Six Flags until he gained control of the board. He installed a buddy as CEO and named himself Chairman. In 2009 the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Under the reorganization plan, Snyder was removed and lost his entire investment. A real businessman, named Bill Gates, owned 10,210,600 shares worth about $122 million when Snyder took control of the company in 2006. They were worth nothing by the time Snyder was ejected from the board. That's $122 million that the Gates Foundation could have used to eradicate malaria. Thanks, Dan! In 2006 he bought and nearly destroyed Johnny Rockets, and dumped it in 2013. In 2007 he paid $175 million for the rights to own and destroy Dick Clark products, which he later sold in 2012. But no failure has been more evident than what he has done with the Redskins, something I've been documenting for years. Brand Management:...

Are You A Business Chef Or Cook

In business, there are many buckets in which we can categorize people. One of my favorites is Chef or Cook. Chef (AKA Strategist) - A Chef is creative. They are motivated by intrinsic forces That is they are driven by satisfying the internal need to discover, to learn, to do that which has never been done, to create. They do what makes them happy. Great startup, entrepreneurial CEOs are usually Chefs, they have a unique vision, the need to do what hasn't been done. They don't follow the well-worn path, they blaze the new path. Cook (AKA Executioner) - A Cook is an operator. They are extrinsically motivated. They are motivated by external rewards or avoidance of punishment. A cook doesn't mind doing the same thing over and over again. If there is a pot of gold at the end of the task, they will do that task over and over again and do it well. Being A Chef is a good thing. Being a Cook is a good thing. One is not better than the other just like an Apple isn't better than an Orange or just like a 3rd baseperson (there goes Mr. PC Cranky) s not better than...

Being Your 24-Year-Old Self

It's difficult to believe a bumblebee can fly. If you just look at the size of the body, the thin, undersized wings, the weight-to-lift-ratio (which is something that just tumbled off my fingertips in an attempt to appear like I know what I'm talking about. Trust me. I don't.)...

Growing Sales

Every, well, almost every, let's just say most great CEOs are always thinking about growing sales. recently Chris Tully, of Sales Xceleration spoke about growing sales to My CEO ThinkTank Peer Group. One of his slides got me thinking (two things about that, #1) yes, sometimes I think and #2) Chris dropped much more than just one thought-provoking concept). The concept that resonated the most was Chris's, Growing Sales as represented in the image below. If you're the CEO of a small startup, and your product does not dominate your territory (geography) and niche, then growth strategy is easy. Concentrate on building a more differentiated and better product. Left out of this slide is the other possible path, build a better sales and marketing organization. Easily said...

Leaf Branch Root Coaching

Leaf Branch Root, it's a method to coach, empower, and learn to trust your team. Lately, in my coaching, I encounter the micromanager who say they don't want to micromanage and inevitably this is a trust issue. It's part hero issue, I must save the day...

Business Focus – The Video

Business Focus A couple of weeks ago, I sat down over a beer and over an internet connection and about 800 miles of distance with Max Traylor of Beers with Max. We talked about lessons of a Turn-Around executive and why companies fail. Here's an excerpt from the interview on Business Focus. If you're getting this via RSS-Feed or Email, link here for the video. Max:  What would you say was the was the biggest challenge if you did notice any trends in these failing startup companies? What would you say is the biggest challenge and don't let the audience being sales and marketing professionals taint your answer. Mr. Cranky: Business Focus...

How Can You Get Better Company Results Next Year?

Want better company results? There is no lonelier person than a leader. I’ve been there. I understand the isolation of leadership. In my 30+ years of business, my leadership teams, boards of directors, and family were all available all the time, and yet I was often isolated. I required advisors whom I could trust, who had no agenda, and who would ask me tough questions. I needed to deliver better company results. As an executive coach, I strive to be that safe, nonjudgmental, confidential, critical thinking partner. I strive to be the cure for the loneliness at the top. I believe in: Asking questions Questioning answers Critical thinking Finding truth Authenticity Integrity Making a difference Caring What Does That Mean to You? Studies show that isolation can lead to missteps, but when business leaders have a safe place to discuss issues, a nonjudgmental strategy partner, and the aid of a quality executive coach, they make better decisions and achieve better results. How do you find out if this will work for you? Find a coach who: Has experience leading companies Has been trained and certified by a reputable coaching organization Follows a disciplined coaching methodology Allows you to try a coaching session because every great...

Harvard Business Review – HBR Business Coach Study

Just completed, an HBR Business Coach Study which is the result of a survey of 140 leading coaches. The data was then reviewed by respondents and "five experts." The Headlines of the HBR Business Coach Study The Bar Must Be Raised - Coaches shouldn't be able to just hang up a shingle and call themselves a coach. Experience and Training Count Fixing Toxic Corporate Culture Major Driving Force - Over the last decade coaches were engaged to fix the toxic behavior of corporate leaders Development of Top Performers - Companies are realizing that offering coaches to top performers is a wise investment Blurred Lines - Coaches and clients should be aware of the difference between a business coach and a therapist Gaining Legitimacy - Coaching is more and more being acknowledged as providing value Buyer Beware - Check out references, experience, training before hiring a coach HBR Business Coach by the numbers   HBR Business Coach Buying Guidelines Other HBR Business Coach Study Findings Ingredients of a successful coaching relationship Is the executive highly motivated to change - the best coaching recipients are gree and growing, lifelong learners Good chemistry between coach and client is essential The C-suite needs must be committed to retain and develop coached executives Shifting focus...