My 6 Favorite Leadership Metaphors and 2 Methods to Create Your Own

When my then son Matthew came home from his first day of fifth grade, he announced, “I’m going to learn to play the euphonium!” I said, “That’s great!” Then I sheepishly added, “Uh, what’s a euphonium?” In response, he just matter-of-factly said, “It’s like a small tuba that makes higher notes.” All I had left [read more]

“Is that really what I need to be happy?”: How one Summer in Bombay Changed Me Forever

Ami Desai Mathur was born in New York, a first-generation natural-born American citizen. Her parents were born in India and immigrated to the United States after getting married. During her first few years of life, Ami spent half the year living in New York and half the year in her aunt and uncle’s home in [read more]

Defending Your Price Without Negotiating

{The 18th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories} One of the final, and most common objections buyers have to what you’re selling is price. So, if you’re at the point that you’re negotiating price, congratulations. You’ve got a prospect interested in what you’re selling, and you’ve probably resolved every other objection [read more]

Long-Term Strategic Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Sometimes a long-term vision is so lofty or so aggressive it comes across as an unachievable dream, instead of a realistic vision. If that’s the case with your vision, congratulations on having such a worthy idea! But if people don’t believe your vision will ever happen, they won’t be motivated to help you deliver it. [read more]

The Shared Blanket: Life’s Most Important Lesson in a Single Story

Imagine you had to pick a single sentence to encapsulate all of the world’s knowledge about how we humans should behave. What would it be? What one statement could capture several millennia of history’s best thinkers, philosophers, and prophets on the topic of ethics and morality? I think you’d be hard pressed to do better [read more]

Resolving Objections with a Story

{#17 in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories} As most salespeople have learned, the real selling doesn’t start until the buyer says no. That’s why there are all kinds of methods salespeople use for handling objections. Some of the more popular ones are:   LAIR: Listen, Acknowledge, Identify Objection, Reverse It) LACE: Listen, [read more]

Un-Stuffing the Stuffed Shirts

It’s lonely at the top. Or, so I’ve heard. And the reason is that senior executives are often viewed as unapproachable and impersonal. And in a military setting where officers have to send troops into deadly combat, that irreproachable stature is probably necessary. But in a business environment, it can do more harm than good. [read more]

Why I Wish I’d Never Bought That Fancy Red Sport Car

Jun-seo’s father loved fine automobiles. He always drove nice cars himself, and went to all the high-performance car shows — a real car aficionado. So Jun-seo grew up with a taste for fine cars himself. Having his own fancy sports car someday was a goal he set for himself at a young age. But buying [read more]

A Value-Adding Sales Story You Need in Your Repertoire

{Number 16 in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories.} Value-adding stories are stories that actually add to the attractiveness of the product. They literally make people willing to pay more money for your product than they would without the story. One example of that is the Pig Island story I told on [read more]

You’re a Leader, Not a Comedian — You Can’t Get Away With That

It’s okay to be funny in the office. In fact, I think a sense of humor is critical to success in life and work. But at work, you’re a leader, not a comedian. You don’t have the same latitude as a stand-up comic on stage. And to confuse the two can be costly. To sort through the [read more]