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]

The Gift We Love to Receive But Hate to Give

Not too long ago, “ropes” courses were all the rage. Remember those? Outdoor team-building programs where people climb through trees on ropes and ladders. The idea is that going through some hardship together builds camaraderie and team spirit. So learning the value of patience was not what Dave Orewiler expected from his nine-day ropes course [read more]

A Two-Roads Sales Story

{The 15th in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories.} “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” That’s the opening line of one of Robert Frost’s most famous poems, The Road Not Taken. It describes a difficult choice the narrator has to make between two different paths, and how important it was that [read more]

What To Do When the Unwritten Rules Rule

Every company has two different sets of rules: the official rules written in the policy manual, and the unspoken rules that everyone actually follows. A classic example is working hours. Company guidelines might say that quitting time is five o’clock. But if everyone else works till six and looks at you funny when you leave [read more]

How to Build Confidence in New Situations

I think all parents want their kids to have a healthy sense of confidence, especially when they’re going into a new or unfamiliar situation — like attending a new school, or moving to a new neighborhood. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a proven way to do that in exactly those situations? Well, it turns [read more]

A Customer Success Story with a Twist

Customer success stories are probably the most common type of sales story. And they deserve to be. That’s because buyers trust what other customers have to say much more than what a salesperson says. So, your customer success story, even if you’re the one telling it, is far more credible than just your opinion. But, [read more]

The Monthly Challenge: How to Solve Tough Problems and Build Collaborative Teams at the Same Time

A friend of mine we’ll call Tom was a partner at a big consulting firm. One day, he showed up at one of his client’s offices and heard this: Sorry, Tom. We’re going to have to cancel your retainer—at least for a little while.” Now, to a consultant, those are about the worst words you [read more]

“What do you care what other people think?”

One of the most prevalent human frailties — one that begins in childhood and stays with us the rest of our lives — is a concern about what other people think of us. To a 10-year-old, it might be what the other kids will think of her new tennis shoes. To a teenage boy, it [read more]

Begging for the Order

My guest this week was Stewart Samkange in Kenya. Stewart is a sales professional who’s worked at IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. And he’s in the process of relocating from Kenya to Dublin, Ireland to take a job working for LinkedIn. Stewart is a regular listener of the podcast and reached out to me with [read more]

Marketing 101: Lower-Tier Shouldn’t Always Mean Watered-Down

In the late 1990s, Titleist had a 75 percent market share of the golf ball market among the best golfers in the country (those with a handicap of 15 or less). But that only represented about 5 percent of golfers. It only had a 20 percent market share among the other 95 percent of golfers. [read more]