Try A Sample

When you buy online from Kiehl’s, the high-end skin care company, they “demand” that you choose three free samples to be shipped along with your order. I haven’t figured out how to avoid this (I assume there’s a box to check somewhere) so I simply choose three. Inevitably, my wife or I find at least one worth ordering in the future. At Kiehl’s counters, they lavish you with free samples, and the same offer is made over the phone. It’s …


Performance Based Priorities

A lot of you tell me you’re “overwhelmed.” There is no such thing. You’re simply treating everything as a priority, hence, you have no priorities. If you want to drive somewhere, the priority is to have gas in the tank and properly inflated tires. It would be nice to have the car washed, and a minor ding removed, and the floors vacuumed. But those issues pale in terms of the car getting you where you want to go, as compared …


Call for the Ball

Stephen Curry made 7 of 13 three-point attempts as his Warriors beat the Cavaliers last night in the NBA playoffs. In the last 3 minutes, he made two insanely hard three-pointers. It wasn’t simply that he was shooting well, he wanted to ball. To perform well under pressure, you have to be good, but you also have to be bold. No matter how good you are, you can’t score if you don’t call for the ball. No one becomes an all-star …


Into the Light

We had to have some major landscaping work done, and the new sod that was put down was a different color from the surrounding yard. “That’s because your existing grass had been in the shade,” said our tree guy, “but now with all the shade gone, the grass will look healthier and more attractive.” Many of us work in someone else’s shade or shadow—a parent, a stronger brand, a thought leader, a loud voice. We need to step out from …


My New Passive Income

Since I pioneered value based fees for the consulting profession, I’ve decided to enable people to use technology to accomplish this even more quickly.   You can have one of these for just $125,000, it will pay the investment back ten-thousand fold in mere weeks. (photo courtesy of Andy Bass in the UK)


Let’s All Jump To Cause

Problem solving is a key skill in a consultant’s tool kit, especially because so many people “jump to cause.” This means they assume a cause, given their biases or ignorance, instead of analytically determining cause and validating it. You can’t remove or prevent a problem without knowing its cause. This “jump to cause” could be a bias made evident: “Well, what do you expect from a woman?” It could be a political agenda: “That’s a typical screwup from R&D.” It …


Flapping Your Wings

I’m watching the Pacific on my balcony at Laguna Beach when three pelicans fly by, not one flapping a wing at any time. They are riding thermals, sometimes 50 feet in the air, sometimes barely over the breakers. They are exerting no energy and moving quite rapidly, in complete control. Consultants tend to “flap their wings” too much. They introduce methodologies, are verbose about analysis, do more than they’re asked to do, try too hard to be liked. They flap …


DASM: CVS and Baltimore

CVS is one of the largest and most profitable corporations in America. If I were advising them (they detest external consultants in my experience) I’d recommend: 1. Use the media to tell people you are rebuilding the burned store in Baltimore immediately. You will pay the employees who worked there during the rebuilding. 2. You will create a temporary store, even if it is in trailers, to provide staples for customers: break, milk, over the counter medications, etc. The employees …


How To Get Undone

I unfriended someone I’ve known for a long time today on Facebook. She bought a pair of glasses, had her picture taken in them, and her headline on her post was: “This is how I know I’m getting s_ _ _ done!” That’s how she intends to build respect as a female professional. I unfriended her because I’m embarrassed to read what she posts. The issue with social media is that it’s not like making a comment to a friend …


Frauds and Thieves

Today I received a notice from the International Patent & Trademark Office in the Czech Republic (of course) that I owed $2,225 (nice number) to continue the registration of one of my trademarks internationally. I receive a couple of these a month originating  from various small countries in Europe. These are fraudulent, just as much as the Nigerians who tell you that a great inheritance awaits you if you just send some money first, and the hackers who use others’ …