Learning How to Learn

The problem with higher education today to a large extent is that it is still mired in the prelapsarian mindset of teaching content. In an age of instant investigation via any number of technologies, people are still asked to memorize dates and places and names. Now, I realize a doctor has to know where the kidneys reside, but bear with me. College should teach students how to learn. In the antediluvian days (say, the 50s), content seldom changed. Today it changes by …


Let’s Hear the Other Side

A complaint does not meant the subject of the complaint is somehow wrong or needs help. The non-routine behavior is the complaint. Examine that, first. Three people complaining about a manager doesn’t necessarily prove the manager is deficient. You may simply have three unhappy people seeking a target for their discontent. Never take action having heard only one side of any story.


11 Things

I’ve been consulting for quite a while and coaching consultants for quite a while. I try to learn along the way, daily. Yet, despite changing times and volatility, I find that there are 11 issues which constitute well over 90% of the issues with which I’ve had to contend. That’s why, despite the type of client or market, size or revenues, I can quickly hone in on the crux of the issue. In no special order, those 11 issues are: …


Applicability 101

I refer to corporate sales as “wholesale” and individual sales as “retail.” In the former, you find a single buyer who can acquire products and services for a wide array of people at significant prices. In the latter, you have a  high volume of people who purchase for themselves at a variety of prices. I used to work exclusively in the wholesale market, and now I work primarily (85%) in the retail market. (I’ve also found very effective ways to …


The Search for Evidence

Buyer: You need to coach her, she’s just not a team player. You: What’s your evidence of that? Buyer: I can just feel it. She doesn’t seem invested in joint success. You: But how do you know that? Buyer: I have a gut feeling. You: That’s insufficient and isn’t evidence. Buyer: I’m where I am because my gut reaction is almost always right. You: Have you EVER been wrong, personally or professionally? Buyer: Of course I’ve been wrong on occasion, …


Are You Feeling What I’m Thinking?

Therapists are famous for responding to a patient’s comment with: “I didn’t ask what you thought about your family, I asked how you feel about your family.” My observation in business is that logic tends to make people think and emotion tends to encourage people to act. However: As consultants, you have to revert to the logical and not the emotional. You may feel someone isn’t treated well, or that the boss doesn’t give proper credit, or that the environment stifles …


How Does This Work?

Someone in my community who’s a technical whiz just explained to me how to use the terrific magnifier on my iPhone X. There isn’t an instruction at all that comes with it. In fact, when I received my new iMac Pro, my son-in-law had a good time explaining to me how to turn it on (a small, recessed button, black-on-black, in the back). These days a new doorknob comes with an instructional video. My pool robot has NASA-like documentation, videos, …


Who’s Allowing This?

Here’s something I’ve learned repeatedly in consulting and in working directly with the highest level, best-performing executives in Fortune 200 companies: When you find a performance deficit of any kind, do not start with the performer in terms of correction. Find the performer’s immediate superior and determine why this has been allowed to persist, and if it’s isolated or an issue with all of his or her subordinates. That’s the shortcut to the cause.


It’s This Simple….

Clarity and simplicity are two foundations of value. Stop self-editing by saying, “How can I provide the buyer with something this simple?” Simple answers to complex issues are far better than complex answers to simple issues, trust me. If people need complexity and opaqueness and a lot of time and money spent, they can hire McKinsey. About 90% of my high-fee consulting work was about verifying for clients that they were doing the right things well. Client: “How are we …


Please Don’t Leave A Message At The “Beep”

Both Kensington and FileMaker put representatives on the phone within a 90-second wait to help me make adaptations for my new iMacPro. High tech, high touch. Apple  provides 30 minutes of live phone time when you purchase the iMac or the iPhone X. Every business is a relationship business, from Microsoft to Amazon, Boeing to Sears. Some do it well, many do it terribly. I trust Emirates Airlines, they always get the benefit of the doubt, but I wouldn’t walk …