– living the dash (this blog has moved to livingthedash.tv)

business, leadership, christian, family, management, technology

Posts Tagged ‘Business

Being Big

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Really like this post by Tim Stevens at leadingsmart.com

Tim and the rest of the senior team at Granger Community Church decided that…….

We will not be the team that leads a church so big and flabby that it is impossible to move.

I work for one of the largest companies in the world and I attend one of the largest churches in America, so I understand that being big definitely adds complexity to change and innovation.

However, being big is never a valid excuse for avoiding necessary change and innovation.

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Written by Aaron

May 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

Talent Is Never Enough

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I just started reading Talent Is Never Enough by John Maxwell.

The book covers 13 things that can take talent to the next level.

1) Belief Lifts Your Talent

2) Passion Energizes Your Talent

3) Initiative Activates Your Talent

4) Focus Directs Your Talent

5) Preparation Positions Your Talent

6) Practice Sharpens Your Talent

7) Perseverance Sustains Your Talent

8) Courage Tests Your Talent

9) Teachability Expands Your Talent

10) Character Protects Your Talent

11) Relationships Influence Your Talent

12) Responsibility Strengthens Your Talent

13) Teamwork Multiples Your Talent

Personally, I would say I am in pretty good shape on about half of these items, but I have some room for development in some of the areas like Belief, Preparation, Perseverance, Relationships, and Responsibility.

How about you? Which areas could you improve in to enhance your God-given talent?

What about your team, organization, or company? Is talent being wasted because 1 or more of the 13 items is missing?

Written by Aaron

May 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Moving Day

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Tomorrow is moving day for us at work.

Changing buildings on campus.

And changing from personal offices to cubes.

I will miss the privacy and the quietness of having my own office, but I am actually a little excited about moving into the new cube environment.

Here are a few reasons why…….

  • I believe you work better with people you know. The walls of offices prevent you from getting to know people well.
  • I believe that work performed in an attractive, clean, and creatively designed environment will be more attractive, clean, and creative than work performed in an ugly, sloppy, and boring environment. Our current office space has a 3 color design scheme. Grey, Gray, and Greigh. And it is not uncommon to see trash bins and junk piles cluttering the hallways. I’m ready for a more inspiring workspace.

So do you agree? Does the physical environment where work is performed have a direct impact on the quality of the work performed there?

And just for fun, check out some cool office spaces here…..here……here

Written by Aaron

May 1, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Business

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Organizational Clarity

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Just added Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, to my Amazon Wish List.

The Four Obsessions…….

  • Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team
  • Create organizational clarity
  • Over-communicate organizational clarity
  • Reinforce organizational clarity through human systems

Extraordinary Executives create Extraordinary Organizations via Extraordinary Clarity

Written by Aaron

April 29, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Choosing Your Battles

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The other day, during an away from work conversation about work, a colleague of mine said…..

You have to choose your battles.

It is one of those cliches that we have all heard a million times, but hearing it again got me thinking.

At work, whenever I notice a poor process, an ineffective tool, or an inefficient way of doing things, my first reaction is usually, “Let’s just fix it….now”.

But in most organizations, especially large organizations, it is not always that easy.

I am learning that I can actually increase the pace of change by carefully choosing my battles.

When I make noise and try to drive immediate change for everything that requires change, I run the risk of damaging work relationships, overwhelming myself and others, and creating even more resistance.

When I focus on driving change in 1 or 2 areas that require change, I am able to strengthen work relationships through teamwork, develop some examples of success, and build an environment where people are open to more change.

Written by Aaron

April 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm

An Evening With Guy Kawasaki in Houston

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I spent the evening listening to Guy Kawasaki at the Houston Technology Center.

He touched on topics from his book The Art of The Start.

Very entertaining. Very informative. And I want to go start my own company soon…like tomorrow.

My key take aways from tonight:

  • Startups aren’t just for others. I can do this.
  • A business that exists just to make money won’t do well.
  • Get going. What am I waiting for?

Here are the rest of my notes:

1) Make Meaning

  • Change the World
  • Do things 10x better

2) Make a Mantra

  • 2 or 3 words that explain why you exist

3) Get Going

  • Think different
  • Polarize people (Some people should love what you are doing, some people should hate what you are doing.)
  • Find a few soul mates

4) Define a business model

  • Be specific
  • Keep it simple (I like simple)
  • Ask women (interesting)

5) Weave a MAT

  • Milestones
  • Assumptions
  • Tasks

6) Niche Thyself

  • Only you do it
  • And it is very valuable

7) Follow the 10/20/30 rule

  • 10 slides
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 pt font

8) Hire infected people (cool..wordpress turns my #8 into a smiley face)

  • Hire people who love what you do
  • Ignore the irrelevant
  • Hire better than yourself
  • Apply the shopping center test ( ?? should have taken better notes on that one)

9) Lower barrier to adoption

  • Flatten the learning curve
  • Don’t ask people to do something that you yourself would not do
  • Embrace your evangelists

10) Seed the Clouds

  • “Sales Fixes Everything”
  • Let a hundred flowers blossom
  • Enable test drives
  • Find the influencers

11) Don’t let the bozos grind you down

Written by Aaron

April 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Bad Customer

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I wasn’t a very good customer today.

I called my dentist at 8:00 this morning to cancel my afternoon appointment.

We had some crazy stuff going on at work and I just couldn’t afford to be out of the office this afternoon.

When I called I was very apologetic about it. I hate to do this. I’m sorry. I apologize. Forgive me. I said all that on the call.

The response from the lady on the phone surprised me. She actually sounded angry. She was extremely rude and transferred me over to another lady who was even more rude. She scolded me over the phone for canceling and listed 3 or 4 reasons why I was such a bad customer.

So here is my best Seth Godin impersonation:

When a customer is a bad customer and costs you a small amount of revenue…….

You can respond with anger and never see another dime from that customer former customer.

or

You can respond with understanding and earn the right to serve that customer in the future.

Gotta go find another dentist.

Written by Aaron

April 22, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Posted in Business

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