Play By the Rules But Be Ferocious

“Play by the rules but be ferocious” is the advice given by Phil Knight, co-founder and past chairman of Nike. I believe that all of us need to take this to heart and make some adjustments in how we lead and run our businesses!

There is no need to be ruthless, dishonest, nefarious, or unscrupulous in any way. However, if we want to grow our businesses we need a “fire in our belly” . . . we need to be ferocious!

Can you imagine if your favorite professional sports team was not driven to succeed? I know we always complain about the overall performance of our teams (like the Calgary Flames!) but when you watch them play, they do play the game ferociously. Anything less would be pathetic!

What if this season they decide they are going to play a non-contact style of hockey? Or what if their leadership fails to create and communicate a strategic plan for the season? What if they fail to assign team members to positions or to clearly define the roles each team member is to play? What if they don’t build a sales and marketing plan and fail to reach the sales targets they need to remain viable?

The Elite Consulting Mind

16 Proven Mindsets to Attract More Clients, Increase Your Income, and Achieve Meaningful Success

The book review for this week is The Elite Consulting Mind by Michael Zipursky.

In this book on setting yourself up for success in the consulting world, Zipursky details his thoughts, techniques, mindsets, and philosophies around setting up a successful consulting business. Although I did not find any great pearls of wisdom, the book contains a lot of solid consulting advice.

My takeaway from this book is Zipursky’s 16 mindsets listed below:

Do You Run From Challenges or Do You Face Them Down?

There are people who shy away from challenges and then there are people who are energized by attacking challenges and “defeating” them!

There are pros and cons to both approaches. However, I am not aware of any great accomplishment or breakthrough ever happening because someone was running away from a challenge!

All major technology, medical, literary, artistic, or other societal impacting breakthrough has happened because someone identified a challenge, took it on, and solved it!

I was reminded of this by my grandson Jett. He is going through a phase where scaring him does not result in him running away. Rather, he turns towards the “threat” and runs directly at it. He is challenging the threat!

This does not mean that he is always successful in “defeating” the threat. In fact, most of the time he fails . . . but this does not deter him or keep him from trying again!

And, as business leaders, this is what we all should be doing!

Things You Can Count On By Taking on Challenges

Are You an Effective Leader and Why You Should Care?

In today’s world of job automation, virtual workers, AI, machine learning, outsourcing, and “low-cost” off-shoring, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself and your businesses is to be an effective leader!

Most people know that business failure rates are quite high. Although there are probably as many reasons for business failure as there are business failures, one of the overarching reasons businesses fail is lack of proper leadership.

One does not have to look to hard to find some examples. Is it possible that Blockbuster, Sears, Bre-X Minerals, Sharper Image, Enron, and Polaroid would be in business today if they were being led by effective leaders?

So, what does effective leadership look like?

What Powerful Advice Do You Wish You Had 20 Years Ago?

Recently, I was a guest on “Ideas and Stuff”, a Calgary based podcast (episode 50). One of the questions they provided in advance for me to think about and prepare for was; “If you could go back to the day you started your business/career, what would you tell yourself?”

As it turns out, we had a great conversation during the podcast and never quite got to this question! However, the question did really get me thinking.

If I could back up my career, what do I wish I knew that would make a big difference?

As many of you know, I am an electrical engineer by education and practiced in this field for quite a few years.

As engineers, we are forced to focus on numbers, formulas, Lagrangian multipliers, and other theorems that would give most people nightmares! However, as the Dilbert stereotype so aptly illustrates, we are generally not taught the basic things about effective communication, teamwork, or leadership!

So, what would I tell myself if I could go back to the day I started my career?