We can all learn something from the magic of Coach K

September 6, 2012

Last week, I told you about the remarkable athletic performances I witnessed at the London Olympic Games. My wife tells me that it’s a good thing the Summer Olympics are held only every four years, or I would have to quit my day job to keep up with the events! These athletes possess an inner drive that is foreign to most of us. Their natural talents are just a starting point. But they have a secret weapon: their coaches. There is something much scarcer, something finer, something rarer than ability: It’s the ability to recognize ability. Jerry Colangelo, head of […]

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Want to hit one out of the park? Just keep your eye on the ball

September 20, 2012

There’s an old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Otherwise, you might wonder what on earth Brandon Steiner is writing about in his terrific new book, “You Gotta Have Balls.” Yes, you read that correctly. Catchy title, to be sure, but a completely accurate description for the story of the guy who runs the largest sports memorabilia business in the country, Steiner Sports Marketing. The subtitle explains: “How a Kid From Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium and Created a Sports Empire.” Brandon’s rags-to-riches story is inspirational, fascinating and, best of all, replicable. He started […]

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Creating Sales Requires Creativity

February 9, 2011

A cartoon in The New Yorker magazine showed two assistants preparing a conference room.  One says to the other, “And don’t forget the little notepads in case one of them has an idea.” Good ideas in sales — that don’t look like a gimmick — are hard to come by.  They are certainly not a dime a dozen.  Maybe that’s why American poet Robert Frost penned, “The brain is a wonderful organ.  It starts working the moment it gets up in the morning and doesn’t stop until it gets to the office.” As any successful salesperson will tell you, no one […]

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Cradle-To-Grave Cuba: Poised for Rebirth?

April 19, 2012

The 1986 measures taken against South Africa surely hastened the end of apartheid.  In most other cases, embargos are a blunder.  Take Cuba. We started imposing sanctions against Cuba a half century ago.  Where have they gotten us? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put a number to the impact.  It cites estimates that the embargo annually sacrifices $1.2 billion in U.S. exports and revenues.  That’s nearly twice the cost suffered by Cuba, experts contend.  George Shultz, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, said in 2009:  “With the cold war behind us, we should simply remove the embargo on Cuba.” […]

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Debitable, But Debatable No Longer

February 23, 2012

Mark Twain was one of the keenest minds ever to put pen to paper.  He was also an utter bust managing his money.  Twain poured a fortune into technological innovations that didn’t work.  His publishing house went broke printing books the public didn’t buy. In the end, a buddy – oil baron Henry Huttleston Rogers – saved Twain’s bacon.  Rogers made the creator of Huck Finn and Hellfire Hotchkiss declare bankruptcy.  Until Twain paid off his creditors, Rogers took total control of the author’s finances. Wallet wisdom is not the strong suit of some, no matter how sharp in other […]

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Conquer Resistance With Persistence

October 27, 2011

While my days of running marathons are just pleasant memories, I still get the itch this time of year when the Twin Cities and Chicago Marathons are held. I have ten marathons under my belt, including four New York races and one Boston.  When you are running a grueling race with thousands of people, for most it doesn’t matter where in the pack you finish.  What matters is simply that you finish.  It’s all about persistence. Even the elite runners – those who make the 26.2-mile trek in a little over two hours – have to convince themselves to take […]

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Advanced Networking: The Fastest Track In Careers

October 6, 2011

In his book “What the Dog Saw,” Malcolm Gladwell titles one especially worthwhile chapter “The New-Boy Network.”  According to Gladwell, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a speech to former Microsoft interns and a young man posed an astute question to Ballmer.  After that talk, Ballmer asked this college senior for his e-mail address.  Soon Ballmer and the questioner were engaged in a lively discussion about the young man’s “career trajectory.” What triggers career-shaping interpersonal attraction is changing.  A mind-bending Tweet or an imaginative Facebook Poke can snip through “Six Degrees of Separation” in a nano-second.  What one used to know […]

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