Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are gadgets ruling you?

Tools are there to help you with tasks. Make it easier for you. Not rule you.

Your mobile phone, cell phone or hand phone or whatever you choose to call it – is a tool. Do not let it rule you

You can apply this to any tool, technology or software or propriety process you use. You are there for a reason. Provide for the human touch, experience and wisdom. Stuff things cannot do.

Be human. Be a manager. 

Don’t let an inanimate object run your life. Or make decisions for you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How do you cut the drama from your life?

By telling yourself that maybe not everything that happens to us is such a big deal. Things like the screw-up of a colleague, the delay in an answer, unexpected morning traffic, coffee that is too acidic for your liking. Small things need not sour everything.

That’s one way to cut the drama.

Monday, December 29, 2014

When is it good enough?

Good enough is good enough. There is no need to be great in a single leap. A lot of greatness comes from sustainable efforts of good enough.

Good enough is a series of ascending stepping stones to greatness. So long as you remember that, then good enough is good enough. Go make another good enough that is better than the previous good enough.

Is your greatness sustainable?

Friday, December 26, 2014

How can you improve?

Don’t just obsess with the competition. Be obsessed with what you can do to improve yourself - whether “you” are a company or a person.

If you can squeeze in a personal best every year, the compounded improvement across the years can be very significant.

Where can you improve?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Can you be nicer?

We all expect customer service people to be nice. I think that is a fair expectation. However, as customers we can always spare a thought for the person behind the counter, the line or behind the computer. Especially during busy times like Christmas season. A short phrase of appreciation like, “I am sure it must be tough for you guys near the holiday season, I really appreciate what you are doing for me” can help melt away all the frustrations they feel. 

My friend Derek Sivers has this video that brings the message home.

How do you spread some cheer?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where are you flying?

If your marketing plans aren’t flying after you put financial and human resources behind it, then maybe it is time to rethink.

Is this a case of lots of petrol but no pilot? Someone has to drive the plans. Deploy the resources. Maybe you lack that person. Especially if you are the boss and you are doing it yourself. You are better off paying someone with the passion and skills to drive the plans.

How long can you hold on?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Are you a guru?

There are so many gurus now-a-days for the myriad of fields you can conjure.

Many of these gurus call themselves guru for whatever is their reason.

Real gurus do not call themselves guru. It’s a title they earned from their crowd. By teaching them something of value that not many others are able to do.

If you have to call yourself guru, it is likely you are not one.

Where do you find gurus?

Friday, December 19, 2014

How do you know you are committed?

When you do not give yourself excuses attaining your objective.

When nothing holds you back, there is only a single minded pursuit of what you want.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How good are the coaches?

Do coaches have to be better than their players at playing the game? Whatever game. No. Then why would you expect your manager to be better than you in EVERY skill?

When you start to question every skill your manager has and compare them to yours, you may be missing on what is your true role.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What is the right thing to do?

Increasingly I believe that when  people with experience delay a decision it is not because they do not know what to do, or do not have the data. They lack guts. 

When courage is short in supply, decisions get delayed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Are they in the right positions?

Just because someone can dribble the ball around and shoot it decently doesn't mean he is a good soccer striker.

The people who end up in your marketing department by design or default may not be the best marketing candidates for their marketing positions.

They need to have good marketing skills to fulfill their role professionally.

If your marketing department aren't scoring goals and top of the league table, perhaps it’s time to think about who is playing what positions?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Did you hire wrongly?

We all make mistakes including hiring the wrong candidate. What’s important is to realize the mistake early and not make a second one by keeping that candidate.

More embarrassing than hiring the wrong candidate is keeping the wrong one.

Can you fire too early?

Friday, December 12, 2014

What are you arguing?

If you say you have a deep understanding of a subject – say marketing or branding – I would submit to you that you need to have substantial experience, being well-read and researched on the subject. Otherwise, you cannot claim that.

And if you want to argue your points, then debate it intelligently like good scientists do.

Debating intelligently is a critical skill regardless of your field. If you have any respect at all for your profession, you need to up the knowledge in your subject matter, gain experience and synthesize them for your own informed point of view.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What will give you power?

Food for thought (and power) - when you swallow your own pride, it gives you limitless power.

The secret to unlocking that power is only reserved for those who know how to digest it.

How full of yourself are you?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What’s the plan?

There are no two ways about it. You want to grow your brand, you need to have a plan, invest your money in advertising (yes, spend some money), review your plan (yes, measure your executions), and be consistent (yes, keep doing).

Sure, some people will want you to believe that you can do branding for cheap. Free, even. Sure there is a place for that as long as you measure it against your objective.

If your branding efforts are cheap and free, you need to ask yourself – what can I achieve with it realistically? What is the time frame? What is the effort involved? If you are willing to pay the price – yes, everything has a price even when it is free – sure congratulations. 

But still, you have to have a plan, invest your time and effort (which means opportunity costs), review your plan and be consistent.

Monday, December 8, 2014

What did they do?

If you ever catch yourself thinking “all of a sudden” followed by some kind of success someone enjoys, then please follow up that thought with “what hard work must have gone behind it.

All of a sudden that brand is so big.
All of a sudden he is so rich.
All of a sudden the Berlin Wall fell.
All of a sudden she is so famous.

What are you willing to do?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Why do you fear missing out?

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.

Why do you fear that when at any point in time you can only attend to one thing? If you are in constant fear of missing out, you miss out on living in the moment. Now, that is fearful.

What do you have now?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How rational are your consumers?

Most marketers know consumers aren't as rational as you like them to be. If they are, you would list all the benefits and features (or as an ex-client of mine says “benefeatures”) and you would sell truck loads of whatever you are selling.

The product with the most features would be the best seller. 

Yet, knowing this some marketers still insist on fighting the “most features on my product game.”

That in itself is not a very rational decision.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What is your expertise?

There are clients who like to do everything in-house. Cheaper they say.

Doing things in-house that is not in your area of expertise is an expensive exercise.

Focus your time on being the best expert in your field. Use finite time wisely. 

Go be the best cook. Let the designers help you with the menu design.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why should I listen to you?

No you shouldn't. You should listen to yourself.

What you know, what you don’t know, what you think you know. These you already know. Some you may not know

My narrative merely pokes you to ask questions so you would listen to yourself. Don't worry too much about what I tell you. Worry whether you can hear yourself. When you are deaf to your own voice, that's when you become blind.

Can you hear yourself?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Do they trust you?

I have a client who made this remark to me - in rebuttal to a case I presented to support our proposal to him, “Oh, that brand is driven by promotion.”

Of course, he doesn't know much about THAT brand I mentioned. It was through casual observation that he caught the promotions that were running. That rebuttal was just to shut the consultants up so that the plan he conceived can go ahead instead of ours.

Like a wise Zen master, we shut up.

THAT brand, your brand, your competitor’s brand is driven by TRUST. If the consumers do not trust your brand, you can have it at any price, any discounts, and any amount of bells and whistles and it still wouldn't sell. 

How much trust have you built?