Knowing Something About Your Customer Is Just As Important As Knowing Everything About Your Product

  Knowing something about your customer is just as important as knowing everything about your product. Take politicians, for example. A politician will support your proposition only as long as it is politically popular or uncommonly rewarding. That isn’t to say that pols are any less honest or reliable than…

Myths of the Marketplace

  1.       We don’t have any competition. This is the attitude that practically sank IBM, General Motors, Schwinn bikes, and every other company that thought they could disregard and/or abuse their customers endlessly because their products were unique and indispensable. Surprise! They weren’t. Every business, every individual, has competition….

5 Ways To Ruin A Good Sales Force

We’ve all read countless cautionary tales about once-mights companies that lost their way.  The horror stories usually blame products that haven’t kept up, dumb acquisitions, weak marketing strategies, byzantine decision-making procedures, or overloaded debt structures. There’s another major reason companies hit the skids, and I have yet to see…

Know Thine Enemy

Knowing your competition is just as important as knowing your customer. Let me illustrate the point by calling forth a brief tale of high intrigue and the clash of arms from the chronicles of the envelope game… A manufacturer I know has a major competitor, with a larger and…

Worrying Makes You Cross The Bridge Before You Come To It

Recently I saw a survey showing that 40 percent of the things we worry about never happen, 30 percent are in the past and can’t be helped, 12 percent concern the affairs of others that aren’t our business, 10 percent are about sickness–real or imagines–and 8 percent are worth…

Be Yourself

At a Woodrow Wilson Foundation dinner in 2006, I was invited to be the emcee. Here’s what I said to kick off the occasion: “I asked my wife, Carol Ann, what kind of words might suit the occasion. ‘Whatever you do,” she said, ‘Don’t try to sound intellectual, Don’t…

Take Your Work Seriously, Don’t Take Yourself Seriously

“Dilbert,” which is carried in 1,100 newspapers, has helped us laugh at the crazy dynamics of the workplace. Now if we could only start laughing at ourselves. The late and much beloved chief executive of Coca-Cola, Roberto Goizueta, had the ability. He could distance himself from a situation, and…

Inching Ahead Your Goal Line

Great goals make you stretch, not snap. You must stay focused on your goals above all else. Truly dedicated individuals won’t let anything interfere with attaining their goals. that’s why so few people become champions. It’s not easy. The late Red Auerback, famed Boston Celtics coach, was one of…

4th-Quarter Game Changers

Are life’s record smashing performances reserved for those sprightly early decades? Not for seasoned vets who know how to strew the seasoning. Colonel Harland Sanders began franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 65, using $105 of his first Social Security check. TV journalism maven Barbara Walters was 68 in…

Courage–What Sets You Apart From The Crowd

In his final broadcast as anchor of the CBS Evening News a few years ago Dan Rather paid homage to people around the world who daily struggle with danger, sickness, death, disease, poverty and other challenges. Rather concluded his broadcast with the same memorable ending he used 24 years…