A Great Question to ask ALL the Time – WHY?

Hola Todos!

We live in a fast paced world and way too many times we just DO without thinking.  It’s easier to just DO things the way they have always been done OR what politically causes the least amount of scuttle bucket in the office.  Very few of us, however, have the presence to ask WHY on a continual basis.  WHY is a fundamental question – a gut check – to mentally challenge the status quo.

In Mike’s post this week, he touches on this topic of WHY along with the WHATs and the HOWs.  There’s an excellent Apple example about half-way through that can’t be missed.

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In a September 2009 presentation recently posted on TED Simon Sinek, marketing consultant and author of Start with the Why, shares his concept of the ‘Golden Circle.’  He asks why some people or organizations achieve things, while others don’t when they are seemingly the same with respect to talent, knowledge and resources.

The answer he found rests in the way these people and organizations act and communicate: “They all think, act and communicate in the same way.  And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else”.  He explains this process with his ‘Golden Circle.’ ‘What’ (the product/service/deliverable) is the outer circle, ‘How’ (the value proposition) is the center circle and ‘Why’  (the cause) is the inner circle. Relating each circle to how the brain operates he says the outer circle, the ‘what’, relates to our analytical/rational thought, while the two inner circles relate to our feelings (e.g. “trust and loyalty”).  This idea, he says, “explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t”. He uses Apple as an example to demonstrate his point:

“If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this. “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?” Neh. And that’s how most of us communicate. That’s how most marketing is done. That’s how most sales are done. And that’s how most of us communicate interpersonally. We say what we do, we say how we’re different or how we’re better and we expect some sort of a behavior, a purchase, a vote, something like that… But it’s uninspiring.

“Here’s how Apple actually communicates. “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?” Totally different right? You’re ready to buy a computer from me. All I did was reverse the order of the information. What it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

Applying this idea to business he says: “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”  This is the magical connection with great, inspirational leadership.  The people whom great leaders serve don’t buy ‘what’ they do; they buy ‘why’ they do it. It’s an emotional connection beyond the rational and analytical. Sinek writes:

“…those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves.”

This week, think, act and communicate differently – start from the inside out. Let people understand your ‘why’ – your cause, purpose and belief – that they might see and “believe what you believe.” And when the people you serve believe what you believe, they will change the world with their fire and passion, and your “Golden Circle’ will glow.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Mike

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu

Nugget Dictionary Edition – Shibboleth

Hola Todos!

There are times that a word and a word alone can be inspirational – something to the kin of a mini mission statement.  New to Nuggetville (but not new to those who had me in class) are KEY nugget dictionary terms.  This week’s keyword is Shibboleth.

I came across this word again when I was reviewing the write up on Amazon of Jeff Jarvis’ new book Public Parts.  Here’s the quote: “But not Jeff Jarvis. In this shibboleth-destroying book, Public Parts argues persuasively and personally that the Internet and our new sense of publicness are, in fact, doing the opposite.”

The free Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary on the Internet defines Shibboleth as “a widely held belief,” “a truism,” “a platitude.”

Too often in the corporate world, something is “held high” – never questioned – never re-imagined.  It’s just a given – it’s a shibboleth.

My challenge to you is to think different or be different.  Find those shibboleths at your firm and QUESTION THEM DIRECTLY.  Perhaps you do this with yourself as a mind exercise or with a close confident but how can you “think outside the box” unless you first directly challenge the box?

Best

Dr. Dan-o

Jimmy Buffett Has Told Us Where to Find Margaritaville (Again)

Hola Todos!

Yes – you know that I’m a big Jimmy Buffett fan and the “ville” in “Nuggetville” is partially inspired by Mr. Buffett. (I wonder if the Zenga people are Parrotheads? Farmville any one?).

Well I guess this should have not surprised me when we have Margaritaville stores, hotels, restaurants, frozen food, tequila, beer (sort of Landshark), gas grills, blenders – I’m sure I’m forgetting a whole bunch of stuff but that metaphor of “I need to escape to St. Somewhere” – “Its 5 O’clock Somewhere” – Don’t sweat the small stuff and its ALL small stuff – Buffett owns that like no other.

So instead of Farmville – coming to the Facebook platform near you in a few weeks is “Margaritaville.” I mean for someone who has 600,000+ friends on Facebook, this should not be that hard to pull off.

For details and a short interview with Mr. Buffett, click here

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o

 

Your Biggest Strength is Also Your Largest Weakness

Hola Todos!

Mike hit the proverbial nail right on top of its head with the post below.  Both people and companies have obvious core strengths that can be easily identified but what is not so obvious is identifying one’s core weaknesses.  Look no further then your core strengths. What ever you do well, it’s very difficult to do the complete opposite well too.  Take me for example.  I’m a “Big Picture” strategist.  One of my strengths is looking ahead, placing “big rocks” down and moving forward strategically.  Therefore, my biggest weakness is “fine detail” and I need to constantly remind myself not to forget about the trees in front of me as I move throughout the forest.  My suggestion for you today is to work with someone who is your complete opposite.

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, lecturer and essayist, wrote:  “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.”  The following is the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.

“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”  “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.  This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.  “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”  Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: He dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and the sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.  “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”  “You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered.  “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm. The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

The story has two messages.  One that great leaders should always focus on their greatest strength to achieve their goals and objectives.  The second important learning is that the leaders’ greatest strengths come not from their winning, but from their life’s experiences – the difficult and sometimes painful challenges that test their commitment to their goals and purpose.  It is in these experiences that leaders uncover within themselves those beautiful gifts, talents and abilities that move them to a higher level in their understanding of their awesome potential.  This week, seek out challenges that will create great growth opportunities in your development.  As you do so, remember the words of former U.S. President Richard Nixon:  “A man who has never lost himself in a cause bigger than himself has missed one of life’s mountaintop experiences.  Only in losing himself does he find himself.  Only then does he discover all the latent strengths he never knew he had and which otherwise would have remained dormant.”

 

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu

 

 

 

Jeff Jarvis Talks to us about “Sharing” and Publicness”

Hola Todos!

There is no question that Jeff Jarvis’ book “What Would Google Do?” is one of my Top 5 book recommendations in the last five years. As you know, Jarvis is the captain of one of the most popular blogs focusing on the Internet and media – Buzzmachine.com. In addition, the former journalist (e.g., among past journalist positions – he was the creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly) is a faculty member at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in NYC. His new book is called “Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live” A video and the Amazon info describing the book can be found here.

To be honest, I have not seen a copy of the book yet so I’m only going on this reputation and the review but the review and the topic sure seem like it would be something I would like to check out.  From what I read in the review, it seems Jarvis wanted explore how sharing on the Internet (e.g., Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.,) can impact your one’s life and society.  We talked in class about the lack of true privacy we no longer have because of the Internet; we now live more and more in the public space (e.g., we share photos, videos, purchases, knowledge, friendships, locations, and lives.)

First, Jarvis does a condensed history lesion on disruptive innovations such as the camera and the printing press.  In addition, Jarvis interviews some heavy weights in the industry: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Twitter’s Evan Williams among others. There’s even an interesting thought calling the Internet “The Eight Continent.” In closing, “Jarvis explores the promising ways in which the internet and publicness allow us to collaborate, think, ways—how we manufacture and market, buy and sell, organize and govern, teach and learn.” I’m sure there will be a number of reviews in the popular press given his popularity so keep a look out in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Best

Dr. Dan-o

We Create our Own Future

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike has a great one for us.  Remember, in my teaching philosophy post, I stressed, “knowledge is constructed, not received.” We create our knowledge from what we learn and we also create our future from what we do.  Plan ahead – place those “big rocks” first and lead yourself to the future where you want to be.

Best

Dr. Dan-o

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In preparing for a recent speaking engagement about goal setting, I came across a quote that dramatically captured an exciting new way to look at the future.

“The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created — created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.”

The words suggest changing how we look at the future, not as passive acts of finding and discovery, but ones of ‘making’ and ‘creating.’  With this simple shift, the future comes to life.  It is no longer then, it is now.  No longer do we focus on the destination, but on the creation of that destination, the journey itself. We actively choose our paths, deliberately with conviction and passion.  We choose not to let life just happen to us.  We are the creators, the makers of our destiny.  We have the joy of searching for and finding the infinite possibilities within us and in the world and people around us.  In the joyfulness and beauty of your creations, remember the words of Marilyn Ferguson, American author:  “Your past in not your potential.  In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.”  As you make your journey think of the Three Stone Cutters Story:

“One day a traveler, walking along a lane, came across three stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. ‘I am cutting a stone!’ Still no wiser the traveler turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. ‘I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it’s square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.’ A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, the traveler turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing replied: ‘I am building a cathedral.’”

May your journey be filled with magnificent creations – seeing cathedrals in stones  – as you fulfill your life’s purpose on a beautiful and wondrous journey!

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!

Mike

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu 

 

 

 

 

Data – Data – Data

Hola Todos!

As if a September Hollywood movie with Brad Pitt playing the Oakland A’s GM Billy Beene wasn’t enough, ESPN (and former Philadelphia Inquirer) reporter Jason Stark gives us another example where knowledge is the key to performance.  It just so happens we’re talking about baseball, and iPads and information is perhaps a much bigger influence on baseball then steroids ever was but the moral of the story outside baseball angle is sound – better data – better strategic decisions.  How can companies plan for the future without systematic market research?  As I always say – find out what people want, and give it to them.

 

Best

Dr. Dan-o

Are You a Morning Person?

Hola Todos!

There is a lot for me to like about this article.  First, I’m a morning person.  As I have said in class, I have yet to drink a cup of coffee in my life.  Second, the study is coming from one of my favorite sources Harvard Business Review.  Finally, I like the “get your work done early and have plenty of time for family” ethos.

Check it out when you get a chance.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

Google Deal – HP Deal

Hola Todos!

Both HP and Google have been in the news a lot lately. Both also have relatively new CEOs in their respective positions.  I hinted in the Steve Jobs post that the Google-Motorola deal had just as much to do with patents as it did with Mr. Page needing to make a big splash on some strategic issue.  Larry has been relatively quiet since taking over as CEO and Wall Street does not favor quiet CEOs.  Plus, there has to be some pressure within Google to not lose ground in the fastest growing market in tech – mobile computing.  Page and his team know what’s in the pipeline 6 to 9 to 12 months in advance from many of the tablet manufactures because these firms use Android.  Perhaps, they were not impressed.  In the past 2 plus years, there have been a number of comments from the Google executive team hinting displeasure with the integration of their Android software with someone else’s hardware – and it needed to end.

At the same time, HP decided to get out of not only the fastest growing consumer market (mobile computing) but also of one of the largest consumer markets in tech – personal computers.  At first, I was totally baffled why HP would leave both of these markets – “spin them off” or something to that effect.  HP is #1 in market share for consumer PCs!

My first reaction was that HP was pulling an IBM circa late 1990’s.  After all, HP as very successful enterprise (translation: B-to-B) business and they were going to focus their efforts in this area.  If this is the case, they should also get out of the consumer printer business (but this is a very profitable sector so I doubt that would happen).

One of my favorite blogs  – Apple 2.0  – shed some light on HP’s thinking and perhaps their recent actions should have been expected.  The new CEO Leo Apotheker is a former SAP CEO – he does not have a “consumer” bone in his body – he’s all enterprise.  Without any experience or desire to play in consumer markets, this CEO is putting his “stamp” on HP.  Only time with tell it’s the right call or not.

 

Best

Dr. Dan-o