Thursday, August 30, 2012

We finished last with you, we can finish last without you

"We finished last with you, we can finish last without you," was what Branch Rickey, the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates told his slugging home run hitter, Ralph Kiner. Kiner had asked for a raise after winning the home run title.

Rickey was known as a tightwad, but despite that, he did have a good point that relates to business. How often do struggling businesses fear making the tough decisions, including firing performers with bad attitudes? They avoid those decisions because they're afraid to lose a person that may have contributed to their problems.

If your business is struggling, that's precisely the time to make the decisions that you may normally fear.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking the gloves off

The toughest thing to do is to play it safe or to stand on the sidelines and watch things unfold. But, that's what too many businesses are all about: avoiding getting their hands dirty and steering clear of total commitment. It's also why so many businesses are booooooooorrrrring. They're lame, energy-less and just not very interesting.

Why not take the gloves off, feel the excitement, the pain, and the adrenaline? It beats being in a business-induced coma.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Business Historians

Historians. I'm tired of historians when it comes to business. Sure, I love to analyze and use info from the past to help predict the future. But too many business historians hurt progress because their primary purpose is to look smart, to be viewed as that unflappable, all-knowing person.

I don't need to hear "this is what happens every year at this time" or "that's just how it always goes with that client" or "we all know we can't make money doing those kinds of projects." That's baloney.

If the great leaders and thinkers were bound by history, they'd never have done the amazing things that we are in awe of. There would be no wheel, penicillin, flights to Mars, or nuclear fission. They simply didn't let "history" tie down their dreams.

History should serve us. We should make history.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Be Real

Be real:
Admit you're nervous
Express your excitement
Stand up for your beliefs
Be vulnerable
Enjoy the moment
Face the music
Admit defeat

Most of us are not real very often. We're on our heels, we're covering up, spin doctoring, avoiding, hoping, etc. It's just a waste of talents and passion. It's not like many (if any) of us are so immensely talented that we can fake it and be tremendous successes. Be real, it's easier.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bomb drops

People do things in the name of efficiency that can destroy progress. I call them "bomb drops." Here are a few:

1) You talk to an employee, let them know they're not cutting it and tell them it's their problem, not yours, and they have to figure out how to solve it. Then you walk out or hang up.
2) You tell a customer they're difficult to work with and you're not so sure they're worth it.
3) You stop by your boss' office to let her know it looks like a customer has defected...and then you leave.

All of the above can be done in only a few minutes. You can check the task off your list and move on. The problem is, this causes tremendous damage to an organization and the clean-up from these bomb drops can be exhausting.

In business, we are supposed to face issues, treat people as persons (not objects) and do our very best to solve problems and create opportunities, not drop bombs.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond