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Take a piece of the pie with this business approach April 2, 2012

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, Business, Business Success Coach, Canada, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Gen Y's, Job advice, Notes for Business, quality of life, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, Women.
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Today’s situation calls for some old ideas.

Consider:

  1. The economies of many countries are battered and bruised by recent events.
  2. Many individuals, formerly employed and making a good living, are having a tough time.
  3. Others, particularly millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) with energy and a good education, aren’t able to get a job.
  4. Organizations, strapped for cash, are unable to create the new, innovative products needed to compete.
  5. Communities in many areas are not able to maintain necessary services and upkeep. Staffing of must-have services like fire and police departments are seeing budgets slashed.
  6. Governmental bodies/elected officials don’t seem up to the needs of the job.
I speak to people around the world each week – most tell me that things are tough. Some report that markets are tougher than they’ve ever seen. Even in the so-called BRIC countries (originally Brazil, Russia, India, China – now expanded to South Africa) things seem to be going off the rails.
It’s time to revisit some old ways of doing business to get things moving again. I’m talking about ideas born in earlier tough times – back when it looked like the good times were gone forever.
Here’s one that I think has long legs, it’s an approach that can work now in different cultures and economies. It’s succeeded in environments as diverse as Winnipeg, Canada, a small town in California, and Mondragon, Spain.
The idea?  The Co-op.
For those of you not familiar with co-ops – Wikipedia defines them as,  “an autonomous association of persons who voluntary cooperate for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit. Cooperatives include non-profit community organizations and businesses that are owned/managed by the people who use its services (a consumer cooperative) and/or by the people who work there a worker cooperative.”
  • In Mondragon, a web of co-operatives manages that country’s 7th largest business.
  • In Manitoba, the provincial government has promoted the establishment of new co-ops to help build that economy into its most vibrant in decades.  When I was there recently I was impressed with lower gasoline prices and service people while filling up my rental car.
  • In California, the success of co-ops can be seen in programs initiated by the Mayor of Richmond who has promoted the idea to create new organizations and employment opportunities in a place that is facing little new income or growth otherwise.
The US has a history of cooperative movements, many economists contend that this idea saved the lives of individuals, towns and organizations during the 1930s.  The benefits include new employment opportunities, revitalization of communities and downtowns, greater self-respect for workers and management, and a highly engaged workforce who can compete toe to toe with any individual or any organization.
Could you use a break?  Ready to try something old? Check out co-ops.
Here’s to your future!
John
Executive leadership coach
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Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn behaving badly means something’s missing – and not just a zipper May 20, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Business Success Coach, Coaching, life balance, Manswers, Satisfaction, The 3 Key Life Aspects, Veracity, wellness, Women.
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The news lately is full of stories of powerful men acting out in ways that are at the very least highly inappropriate and in one case, possibly illegal.

I think people have the right to ask, “Why can’t men translate their career success into their personal and family lives?”

It’s a question that seems entirely fair and worth consideration nowadays.  It comes up frequently – in one way or another – in my work with women clients.  Although they may be a bit more graphic in their terminology when we talk about “boys behaving badly”.

Over the last couple of years I looked more deeply into this with the co-author of our recent book, The Plan, Helen Latimer.  We concluded that – to a great extent – it’s because there’s a huge difference between being successful and being satisfied.

We hear stories all the time about people with wildly successful careers and personal lives that are worthy of a soap opera. They’ve confused being successful with being satisfied. Success is easily visible to the outside world, while satisfaction is harder for others to see. But it’s clear that if an individual is not feeling satisfied with his life, he could do some crazy things in a misguided attempt to feel better personally. “

Many people have success but aren’t satisfied.  This seems pretty clear in the cases of the former Governor and head of the IMF

  • People may have a fantastic career but an unhappy personal life.
  • They may live in a beautiful house but have problems sleeping because of very high debt.

There’s a gap between what they have and what they want.

One, or more of their three key life elements – career life, personal life or on the financial side – is throwing them off.

When we wrote The Plan , one of our goals was show people how to identify the gaps in their lives and then create a roadmap to a life that’s satisfying and full of richness.

There’s a straight forward way to create a life that will be much more rewarding on all levels. We’ve seen this approach work for people in virtually any situation. If these guys had taken the planning for their personal lives with the same seriousness as they did with their career planning, I think it’s likely that their stories would be remarkably different and with a whole lot less drama.

Here’s to your future!

John

Audience targeting to survive May 11, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business success, Business Success Coach, Coaching, DIRECTV, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Personal action plans, SWOT analysis, Tech Republic, Tempur-Pedic, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, The Plan, Veracity, women in management.
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In my coaching practice, the clients are mostly in either media (video, newspaper, movies) or technology (including gaming).  But what we talk about is far more universal.  Most of our time is about addressing perhaps 4 to 6 issues like

  • leadership and effectiveness
  • balance between career and personal “lives”
  • planning (and execution) of a solid plan
Of course we get into a lot of technical conversations related to their jobs because it can be the detail stuff (“how do I actually do that?”) that derails us even when we get the theory.
A lot of what we discuss and work on can be found in our new book, The Plan.  Additionally I’m impressed by a few new ideas we’ve discussed that I now see floating to the surface in these sectors. These will impact all of us in our daily lives.  Some of them:
1. Groupon – is moving into concert sales.  This can save a bad tour, help fill an otherwise unsuccessful venue, and democratize the event by making it less expensive for most people.
When that succeeds I think it will spread to movie theaters.  There are too many chairs empty in nearly every showing.  People will go if the show is less expensive.
2. Newspapers and magazines are moving into the digital world but aren’t sure how to monetize (eg: make money) now when they get there.
I’ve seen a few ideas that showcase the future and thought these 2 quick videos seem to be the most likely outcomes:
Any entrepreneur or small business faces the same needs to understand audience targeting.  I believe that algorhythims are going to lead us there.   Anyone know some great geek?  Grab ’em while they’re available.

– John

150,000 showed up this weekend May 2, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, American Dreamers, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, DIRECTV, Manswers, Personal action plans, Personal Success, professional speakers, quality of life, SWOT analysis, The 3 Key Life Aspects, The Four Windows Process, unemployment action, Women, women in management, working after quitting.
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This past weekend I was on a panel discussion at the LA Times Festival of Books.  

It was very encouraging to see that a “book fair” could bring about 150,000 people into downtown Los Angeles on one of the hottest days of the year.   Who’d have thought, in this day of ebooks and free online information about everything, (not to mention expensive gasoline @ $4.50 a gallon) that they’re would be this many folks prepared to make a trip to the campus of the University of Southern California, or USC, as it’s know around here.

Amazing and wonderful turnout.  The Times are to be congratulated for promoting this event, now in it’s 16 year I believe, and helping authors and readers come together in a well managed and very pretty environment.  The woman who headed it up for the newspaper, Maret Orliss, did an awesome job looking after everyone’s needs at once.

I was there, (supported, again, by beautiful wife Susan,) to participate in a panel discussion and book signing event for my new book, The Plan.  It came out in February and has been getting some good reviews across North America for being an easy to use and interesting book for anyone wanting to take control of their destiny.  I’m real pleased with how the momentum is growing.  My co-author, Canadian consultant and mentor Helen Latimer, put a lot of time into creating a “tool” as well as an interesting read.

The panel was called, Finding Life in Work.

Our moderator, Dennis Nishi, a writer himself, with articles in papers including The Wall Street Journal, had done his homework.  It was a treat to speak to someone who actually had read the book beforehand!  I was pleased that my belief that everyone should take advantage – and get  the benefits – from creating their own SWOT analysis, was widely embraced by the other panelists.

I know that many cities have book festivals.  Most people do not attend them and I’d guess it’s because they don’t think there will be much to interest them.  But having seen so many people of all ages actively engaged this past weekend, I’d encourage you to try it out.  You may learn something but even if you don’t, it’s a great way to connect with those in your city

Have a great week!

John

Her advice: Don’t bring it to bed! April 11, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Business Success Coach, coaches, Coaching, life balance, Personal action plans, Personal Success, Satisfaction, Tech Republic, Tempur-Pedic, Veracity, wellness, Women.
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Cate Hartenstein is one of those very unique people who seem to be in a continual state of learning.

Recently she joined me on my WomensRadio show Business Success Coaching to discuss her thoughts about The Plan, my new book co-authored with Helen Latimer.  You can listen to the 7 minute podcast by clicking  below. 

An artist and art educator, Cate uses visual art to assist individuals in overcoming the barriers and access to their creative potential.  Her process facilitates self insight using the information and metaphors available within the process and product of art making.

Currently working on her Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Marriage and Family Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University, Cate sits on the board of Art Trek the Southern California based non-profit that provides art experiences to children, adolescents, adults, and teachers.

Married, she has 4 young adult children. Cate tells us that she’s dedicated helping her children to each develop a “plan” for their lives. (We loved that..)

And what about her advice, “don’t bring this to bed..”? Cate elaborated,”With my husband snoring beside me, and my Corgi at my feet, I simply couldn’t put the book down.  It’s that great!”

(I hope everyone feels the same way.)

For more information about Art Therapy visit their site.

This was a fun interview – listen here: The Plan: Not for Bed!

“Everything’s excellent”. Really? January 28, 2011

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business and career coaching, business intelligence, Business Success Coach, career success, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, Veracity.
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“John, You impress me. You’ve got great experience in the real world, unlike most coaches.  And your reputation is excellent.  I want to tell you that when we need a leadership coach in this organization; your office is the first one we’ll contact.  But right now – I can’t think of anyone who could use a coach.”

I was talking to the CEO & Chairman of a very large media company.

A smart guy, I like him a lot.  But he’s clearly out of touch with what’s really going on.

In effect, here’s what he was saying:

1. All of my managers are performing at, or above, expectations.

2. I don’t have anyone who is roadblocked; they’re all moving forward successfully.

3. Everybody here is fully aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.

4. Business is great, profits are great, the outlook is great.

5. Nobody on my team is a flight risk (meaning, none of the really good performers will ever leave here – they love their jobs and this company).

Can any thoughtful boss – in any organization – say all of these things?

I recognize it’s very possible that this CEO was really just trying to avoid the conversation with me.  Perhaps he doesn’t feel he has the “expense money” to engage me.

But no boss or organization, can “Save their way to success.” Especially in a dynamic industry.

  • Any good business opportunity comes with an investment cost.  But there’s a key  difference between prudent business people and the rest of the pack:  the smart  ones look for assurance that they’ll see a solid Return on that Investment (ROI).
  • I learned this myself years ago when I was asked to turn around a failing business. Only after discussing ROI was I prepared to make any decision about spending the little money we had.  I’d expect nothing less from our clients.

But the CEO above, with his hasty response, may never know that he could have engaged us with no risk. Consequently, he missed an solid opportunity to improve his organization’s results.

All in the name of “expense savings”.

At Business Success Coach.net, I believe in the importance of a Guarantee. And, because I’ve led $B organizations myself, I fully recognize that there is a critical need for achieving a ROI. In my practice, we provide both.

Like any astute business person, the CEO above should have asked before responding.  But he didn’t.  And that’s just unfortunate.  For everyone there.

John

Here’s to Your Future!