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Saturday, August 30, 2008

 

Emerging Real Estate Markets by David Lindahl - Book review



Emerging Real Estate Markets

How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas


By: David Lindahl

Published: Oct 7, 2007
ISBN: 9780470174661
Format: Hardcover, 228pp
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc


The key to making money in emerging markets is understanding the real estate market cycle, writes David Lindahl in his ground breaking book Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas. By concentrating on emerging real estate markets, with real growth potential, David Lindahl provides the road map to making money in real estate, while others are losing their shirts.

David Lindahl provides the potential real estate investor with the first ever guide book with a focus on emerging markets. While most books on the subject recommend staying close to home, due to familiarity with the local conditions, the author teaches how to purchase bargain properties in areas that are poised for growth. While other real estate experts attempt to forecast the bottom of the current real estate crash, David Lindahl has the investor go directly to the areas that are at the bottom of the real estate cycle; and have probably been at that level for years.



David Lindahl (photo left) understands that most people make the same mistakes in purchasing real estate over and over again. The pay too much money for a property, right at the very top of the market. At the peak, there is little to no room for property values to rise. Instead, the market is turning downward at that point, and losses are inevitable for bubble purchasers.

People buy when others are buying in a herding instinct. When everyone believes real property is the worst possible investment ever, again in a herding instinct, that is a time when values may start to rise once again. Adding to this principle, the author also points out that there must be growth potential in the area to facilitate that possible valuation increase. The author recognizes that not all depressed areas are poised for a revitalization, and he shares the strategies and tactics for finding just the right locations.

For me, the power of the book is its practical approach to evaluating real estate markets, and its honest assessment of the pitfalls of the real estate cycles. David Lindahl doesn't offer the usual nostrums that real estate always goes up and that now is the best time to buy property. Instead, the author points out that real estate can fall drastically in value, and that investors can lose everything by not understanding the real estate cycle.

The book shows many different techniques for finding good values in real estate at the bottom of the cycle, and how to purchase them correctly. He also demonstrates how to sell the properties to cash out the accrued equity at the peak of the cycle. David Lindahl also points out, with refreshing honesty, that buying at the bottom of a cycle, or selling near the peak of a buying frenzy, won't gain you praise from others. He prefers to teach investors how to sell the properties for a huge profit, in the face of that herd mentality.

I highly recommend Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas by David Lindahl to anyone who is serious about investing in real estate by understanding the real estate market cycle. The many different strategies for buying and selling real estate provide options for the reader to apply at different times in different markets. There is no one technique that is presented as the whole truth, giving the investor the power of flexibility in widely diverse locations.

Read Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas by David Lindahl, and discover the emerging real estate markets while avoiding the areas at the top of their value cycle, and are about to decline. Buying real estate for profit is possible in any economy, and the book shows you how to start your real estate empire today.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

 

Saundra Pelletier: Saddle Up Your Own White Horse - Blog Business Success Radio

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Seminar leader, keynote speaker, executive coach, and author of the inspirational and life changing book Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know, Saundra Pelletier describes the 5 principles all women need to know. She shares ideas on creativity, the power of multi-tasking, money management, creating allies, and building confidence to build stronger relationships with men, other women, and in business.

Saundra Pelletier is my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, August 28, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Seminar leader, coach, and author of the inspirational and life changing book Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know, Saundra Pelletier describes the 5 principles all women need to know. You will learn:

* What prevents women from achieving their own goals and dreams

* The importance of creativity for a woman's aspirations

* How multi-tasking and intuition help women succeed

* Why women need to understand money management and credit



Saundra Pelletier (photo left) has contributed as a corporate vice president and global franchise leader at Fortune 500 companies. She has raised millions of dollars in capital, reorganized companies from the ground up, and advised sales reps to CEOs on strategic thinking, political savvy, and delivering results. She is an international marketing expert for female-focused products, having launched pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical brands in eleven countries. She has trained and motivated thousands of executives at every level within organizations, and her skilled communication style not only empowers but also changes the way people think about success. Her personal motto is Never Confuse Motion with Action.

Saundra Pelletier is a prolific and inspirational speaker to audiences of every background and gender. Her ability to impact any professional affiliation is immeasurable, as she ignites a spark in each listener to not only think differently but also to translate those new thoughts into action. Her background as a corporate vice president, international marketing expert, executive coach and author gives her impeccable credibility. Her presentation style is powerful, passionate, and direct, with unparalleled wit and zest for life. She possesses a rare charisma that is captivating and contagious.

Saundra Pelletier, author of Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know, is a passionate keynote speaker, executive and life coach who specializes in helping individual and organizations realize their full potential. As a corporate vice president and global franchise leader at Fortune 500 companies, she has raised millions of dollars in capital, reorganized companies from the ground up, and advised sales reps to CEOs on strategic thinking, political savvy, and delivering results.

My book review of Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know by Saundra Pelletier.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

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If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

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To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with seminar leader, keynote speaker, executive coach, and author of the inspirational and life changing book Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know, Saundra Pelletier as she describes the 5 principles all women need to know. She shares ideas on creativity, the power of multi-tasking, money management, creating allies, and building confidence to build stronger relationships with men, other women, and in business on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

 

Saddle Up Your Own White Horse by Saundra Pelletier - Book review



Saddle Up Your Own White Horse

5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know


By: Saundra Pelletier

Published: Jun 1, 2008
ISBN: 9780979796104
Format: Hardcover, 208pp
Publisher: Tilis Pub



Putting yourself first is the least selfish thing you can do for others because it gives you more to give back, writes Saundra Pelletier in her inspirational and life changing book Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know. The author demonstrates how being a martyr, and living one's life for others is not the road to happiness. Instead the book teaches a woman to take charge of her own life, and create her own personal hero.

Saundra Pelletier recognizes that women have been taught by society to put the needs of others ahead of their own. The result has been frustration and resentment as no amount of personal sacrifice means happiness for the women involved. The author provides a solution to the cycle of being a victim, or of a woman placing her dreams on hold. Saundra Pelletier provides the background and inspiration for a woman to empower her own life. She teaches women to become deliberate creators who put themselves first to establish their own dreams and lives.



Saundra Pelletier (photo left) recognizes the unique talents that women possess of multi-tasking and of intuition. By using these powerful gifts, women can become powerful deliberate creators, and create their own dreams. Instead of waiting for a man to rescue the woman, the author demonstrates how a woman can become the hero of her own story. In effect, she creates and saddles her own white horse, and rides to her personal success. When the time is right, the deliberately creative woman will meet the a man who can share her life and aspirations as a team.

For me, the power of the book is its inspirational message that any woman can create and live her own dreams. The idea that women must do everything for others, and count her blessings, does women no favors. In fact, the martyr role may even provide less benefit for others as a result of the stifling of the woman's dreams and creativity. The author challenges the old assumptions and displays their shortcomings for all to see. Everyone, regardless of gender or background is born with the right to achieve their own greatness as human beings. This book shows the map to taking that journey to personal satisfaction and happiness.

I highly recommend Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know by Saundra Pelletier, to any woman who aspires to personal happiness, and who wants to take charge of her own destiny. Anyone trapped in a victim cycle, or who has placed their aspirations on hold, would be well advised to read this book and learn its valuable life lessons.

Read Saddle Up Your Own White Horse: 5 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know by Saundra Pelletier, and take control of your own life, from developing a life dream to handling the family finances. Your relationships with others will grow and blossom as well. It's time to saddle up your own white horse and ride.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

 

Hugh Ballou: Transforming Power - Author Interview



1. Your book is titled Transforming Power. What do you mean by transformation?

Hugh Ballou: Examine at the word Transform. It is not merely change, or we would simply say “change”. It is a verb with an expanded vision and is much more transcendent. It implies a deeper, more fundamental alteration of our very form. (trans – form) The continuing process of transformation begins with the moment of inspiration and continues in us through times of action, rest and reflection. The conductor is in a unique position to effect and change people’s lives. Musical conductors are a fine-tuned instrument and a great model for transformational leadership. Conductors understand transformation experientially. The very nature of our work is that of transformation. My paradigm for teaching leadership is from that of the conductor.

2. Your book focuses on leadership. How do you define leadership?

Hugh Ballou: A conductor can waive his or her hands in the air, but nothing happens until singers and/or instrumentalists make some sound and follow the directions of the conductor. With a leader of teams, whether in business or the non-profit world, nothing happens until team members participate. If nobody is following, then the leader is not effective. To qualify as a leader someone must follow. Each leadership trainer has a definition for leadership. I believe that leadership involves inspiring people to respond to your vision and direction.

3. Many people are discouraged by the quality of the leaders today. Is there a way for inspired leaders to develop and grow in today's communities, businesses, and political arenas?

Hugh Ballou: Poor leadership is a primary cause for failure for organizations. There are many reasons people fail to lead and many ways to measure effective leadership. There are more resources available today for training and inspiring leaders to develop their skills. It takes a willingness on the part of the leader to admit that they need to grow their skills. Every leader needs the following:
• A resource library of books, recordings, workbooks, articles
• A peer support group
• A mastermind group
• An executive coach
Whether the leader is successful or not is not a factor – every leader needs the resources listed. If you are very effective, then continue to grow your skills in order to stay at the top of your game. If you are an emerging leader, then develop good learning strategies immediately.



4. How did you select the stories chosen for the book?

Hugh Ballou: First, I made a list of the effective leaders I already knew and had worked with. Next, I evaluated how they would fit into the theme for this book. Finally, I asked them if they would participate in the project. I also asked some of the leaders to give me names of other leaders who could fit this theme and they chose from this list as well. Only two people I invited could not participate because of other project commitments. No contributor asked about what was in it for them. The focus was on sharing stories to support other leaders.

5. The many stories within the book describe different leaders and how their leadership made a difference. How can the stories help leaders improve their existing skills?

Hugh Ballou: There are a variety of experiences, situations and perspectives in the collection. There is inspiration in discovering just how different leaders approached different situations. Good leadership is good leadership – no matter what the context, geography or type of organization. Leaders work with people implementing a vision. Readers will notice that the leaders represented in this anthology had clarity of vision and the determination to succeed. In most cases, while the overall objective is achieved, the most important factor or factors my not be the achievement of goals and objectives, but the overall effect of the various projects on people’s lives.
In my story, I described building a children’s program in a church that had lost energy and focus. This program gave energy to the overall community in addition to just those directly involved. The story by BJ Dohrmann is about his journey from being in prison to forming an entrepreneur forum that impacts people’s lives and teaches business leaders how to stay in compliance as they grow their businesses.



Hugh Ballou (photo left)

6. There are also stories in the book about goal setting. How important are goals to achieving transformation?

Hugh Ballou: Goals are crucial to success. The common thread with successful leaders over the years is the ability to focus on specific goals. Napoleon Hill interviewed the most successful leaders in the world as he did the research for Andrew Carnegie, which ultimately resulted in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich. He identified the laws of success, which were a common element with the leaders he interviewed. Being able to focus on a specific goal and to envision the realization of that goal is a fundamental key for success.

7. People have different skills and talents and lead in different ways. Are there common features to all great leaders whether in your company or local community, or on a global stage?

Hugh Ballou: Yes, leaders have an end result clearly in mind and are willing to communicate that vision to others. Leaders are also willing to step up and take charge of the process as well as work with those whom they lead to direct each person toward that final goal. Leaders my each have different styles, but a common skill of moving people toward a common target. Each leads with the unique traits of their individual personality through a chosen leadership style.

8. Sometimes leaders are found in unusual and unexpected places. How can these hidden talented people be discovered and demonstrate their leadership skills?

Hugh Ballou: The Transformational Leader works through those whom they lead to teach and empower the unique skills of each individual. In short the Transformational Leader builds strong teams with emerging and mature leaders supporting the team. It is the privilege and well as the responsibility of the Transformational Leader to nurture and coach leaders on his or her team building synergy and unity of purpose.

9. How can leadership skills be developed in oneself and in others around us?

Hugh Ballou: In the writings of Napoleon Hill, he gives a vision of the mastermind group process. A mastermind group is a peer group for leadership focus and problem solving. I make it a practice to associate with leaders who have more advanced skills than myself to learn and challenge myself to grow in ways that I do not yet know. It is important for each leader and each team member to posses a positive mental attitude and constantly look for new leadership “tools’ for his or her leadership toolkit.

10. What is next for Hugh Ballou?

Hugh Ballou: Hugh Ballou is defining his goals for the next 3 years which include a focus on building the identity of the “Transformation Leadership Strategist.” This includes not only teaching Transformational Leadership skills to leaders, but also includes teaching team strategies and processes for effective transformation. I have two books currently in the works to be released in the fall of 2008, Leaders Transform: A Guide for Transformational Leadership and Leaders Transform: Workbook for Implementing Transformational Strategies. There is also another support for Christian Leaders in preparation for next year called, A Daily Devotional Guide for Transformational Leaders. Along with these 7 books, I am preparing audio trainings, lesson guides and online training systems for leaders to access on a regular basis while accomplishing their goals. My first goal is to share these tools with larger audiences, either as trainer or keynote speaker, or process facilitator for planning sessions or leadership retreats.

Thank you Hugh.

My Book review of Transforming Power: Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration by Hugh Ballou



Hugh Ballou (photo left), Motivational Speaker, Leadership Trainer, Author
Orchestrating Success

How does a conductor of orchestras and choirs teach leadership – very enthusiastically! Hugh Ballou teaches leaders around the globe how to build synergy with teams and how to build effective processes that bring success to any organization – no matter how small or how big. “I travel around the country and around the world and find that you can change the name of the organization, the location and the type of structure and you will still have the same issues – leaders not leading effectively!

Ballou brings 40 years of experience as conductor to his leadership training. “I call the training Building High Performance Teams, but no one can produce effective teams without fine-tuned leadership skills. I teach business executives how an orchestra conductor brings out the best skill of the players that have been hired. The conductor is a dictator, however, if the conductor hires a good oboe player, then it’s best to let that oboe player use his or her skill rather than tell then how to play the oboe!” It sounds silly, however, leaders who micro-manage those whom they lead only receive a fraction of the performance that is ultimately possible. Let the team perform!

The skill set of planning for success, constructing powerful goals, and delegating with authority are consistent themes where many leaders under perform.

Ballou’s unique ability in inspire and motivate event the most difficult of audiences has made him the expert in the field of Transformational Leadership. Transformational Leaders build strong leaders on teams that are motivated, focused and highly effective in setting and implementing powerful goals.

As author of 5 books on Transformational Leadership, Ballou works as executive coach, process facilitator, trainer and motivational speaker teaching leaders in many diverse fields the fine-tune skills employed every day by orchestral conductors.

Books:

Transforming Power: Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration
Moving Spirits, Building Lives: Church Musician as Transformational Leader
Moving Spirits, Building Lives: A Workbook for Transformational Leaders
Building High Performance Teams: Systems and Structures for Leading Teams
and Empowering Transformation
Leaders Transform: A Guide for Leaders Transforming Organizations
(September 2009)
For information on Transforming Power

http://www.transforming-power.com



For information on Hugh Ballou (photo left)

http://www.hughballou.com

Transform Your Organization Today!

Most people can accomplish some level of success, but being transformed is a whole new level of achievement!

• Read 20 miraculous true stories from creative and exciting leaders who have transformed their thinking and doing!
• Use their inspiration, wisdom, and restore your hope - breathe new life into your productiveness!
• Don't just lead, transform!


The key to transformation is different for each individual, group, or organization. Hugh Ballou has brought together a collection of over 20 articles and stories from individuals who have experienced real life transformations of themselves or their institution. The inspiration offered from the words will enlist a sense of hope and perseverance during difficult times of change. Discover inspiration and transformation through the struggles of other leaders!

For more information about Hugh Ballou – visit http://www.hughballou.com. Book information is available at Amazon.com

For full book tour details, visit:

Virtual Blog Tours


A SPECIAL BONUS TO EACH PERSON WHO PURCHASES TRANSFORMING POWER TODAY
– Hugh Ballou has compiled a list of great FREE bonus gifts for anyone who purchases Transforming Power today. To see a sample of the items that are being given away, visit http://www.transforming-power.com . Just buy a copy of Transforming Power, return to this page and click to submit your invoice number to receive the web page link to download all of these gifts for FREE.

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Transforming Power by Hugh Ballou - Book review


Transforming Power

Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration


By: Hugh Ballou (Editor)

Published: May 1, 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0881775310
Format: Paperback 160 pp
Publisher: Discipleship Res


As leaders, if we expect transformation from others, we must be willing to transform ourselves, writes Hugh Ballou in his inspirational collection of personal experiences Transforming Power: Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration. Through a series of transformational essays, written by a widely diverse group of leaders, the author captures the essence of leadership as a transformational concept.

Hugh Ballou draws upon his own leadership experience as an orchestra conductor. He shares how his personal journey toward the transformation of his orchestra also entailed his his own transformation as a leader and as a human being. The other stories in this inspirational collection, describe the personal and spiritual transformation of leaders, and of their widely diverse communities. A common thread in every story is a statement of personal faith, and how the leader used that divine power to step up when leadership was necessary.



Hugh Ballou (photo left) understands that not every leader possesses every quality of leadership, but they all share the trait of integrity. Honesty about their knowledge and talent gaps forms a bond with the community, bringing forward individuals who have the ability to fill in those empty spaces. By creating and developing a process for community action, the transformational leader provides the framework for achievement and change by the group. By establishing goals and a general framework, the leader also inspires creativity in developing the specific ideas for reaching them.

For me, the power of the book was the inspirational leadership that resulted in transformation of seemingly unrelated communities. Not only were the members of the group changed and their direction made more clear, but the leader also experienced personal and spiritual growth. The very act of leadership results in transformation of the leader in new and exciting ways. Everyone in the myriad of stories shared the personal conviction of their faith to do the right thing, and used their own strengths to achieve internal and group transformation when they received their call to action.

I highly recommend Transforming Power: Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration by Hugh Ballou for anyone seeking to achieve positive change for their community and for transformation in themselves as a leader. The stories are of ordinary people who achieved extraordinary things by keeping their faith in God, in their community, and in their own vision.

Read Transforming Power: Stories from Transformational Leaders for Encouragement and Inspiration by Hugh Ballou, and discover how to find and nurture the transformational leader within yourself, and how to create and build a community, by equipping them with the tools for transformation and growth.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

 

Corporate Sponsors for Conference Attendees? It Can Happen!



Every day business people receive opportunities to attend conferences all over North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and every other continent. I am expecting a conference booked in Antarctica any day now. Attending these worthwhile events is not possible financially for everyone, however.

Blogging and social media conferences offer thought leaders as speakers and panelists, providing bleeding edge ideas that can transform a business financially. The many conferences, large and small, provide unique networking opportunities for attendees. Connections formed or enhanced at the events can evolve into business partnerships and companies that benefit the economy as a whole. Without being in attendance, these very tangible benefits may never be realized.



For independent business people, and small business owners in particular, the travel and registration costs place the conference outside their limited budgets. Faced with the choice of either attending the event, or making a pressing purchase or paying employees, the conference becomes the budget casualty. While not every independent business person, or non-employer business owner wants to attend every industry conference, many people are unable to attend any at all.

The solution to this financial dilemma could be the corporate sponsorship. A large company, with a budget for public relations or marketing, could sponsor one or more attendees at a conference. It's also not outside of the realm of possibility for airlines, rail, or bus companies to provide transportation for independent business people. Hotels and motels could provide complimentary rooms, for the stay in the conference host city, as well. The public relations value of sponsorships is also larger than it appears at first glance.



Along with the potential for good press as a sponsor, the corporation also enjoys the potential of an ambassador at the conference itself. One thing that is certain that the sponsored attendee will become a brand evangelist for the corporation. Along with blogging, and sharing the good news about the sponsorship on social media sites from Twitter to Facebook, the attendee will provide powerful word of mouth advertising and goodwill for the sponsor. In a down economy, the sponsorship could be much more cost effective than traditional marketing expenditures.



Once the conference is over, the corporation can even invite their sponsored attendee to share what was learned with company employees. Corporations usually have budgets for consulting services. What better use of some of those resources than having their sponsored business person present the latest concepts in blogging, social media, and conversational marketing to the rest of the company. The result could be a multiplication of revenue many times the initial sponsorship amount. A window into the future, and a leading edge marketing concept can turn the sponsoring corporation into an industry thought leader. The competitive advantage gained is powerful for all stakeholders.

To get companies willing to sponsor attendees of conferences together, what is needed is a central website to get everyone together. Think of the possibility of a conference sponsor match making site where potential attendees apply for sponsorships, where conferences list their highlights and dates, and where the applicant will receive approval from the corporations involved. Companies offering sponsorships could be from every industry, as knowledge is universal, and valuable to all concerned. The public relations benefits and media exposure, that result from a sponsorship, far exceed the cash or service expenditure.

It's time for a corporate sponsorship program for independent business people.

It's a win win for everyone.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

 

Jackie Stavros & Diana Whitney: Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders Of Change - Blog Business Success Radio

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President of Corporation For Positive Change Diana Whitney and Associate Professor of Graduate Management at Lawrence Tech University Jackie Stavros, co-authors of the completely revised definitive textbook on embracing organizational change The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change, describe change method Appreciative Inquiry for identifying a company's positive core to heighten energy and vision for positive change and growth.

Jackie Stavros and Diana Whitney are my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, August 21, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

President of Corporation For Positive Change Diana Whitney and Associate Professor of Graduate Management at Lawrence Tech University Jackie Stavros, co-authors of the completely revised definitive textbook on embracing organizational change The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change, describe change method Appreciative Inquiry (AI) for identifying a company's positive core. You will learn:

* Why the Appreciative Inquiry AI system works for organizational transformation

* How to apply the AI principles to any size or type organization

* How the AI techniques differ from traditional problem solving systems

* Why looking at the positive features can strengthen company weaknesses



Jackie Stavros (photo left) possesses sixteen years of strategic planning, marketing, international and training experience. She has traveled to over a dozen countries in Asia, Europe and North America. Jackie has spent the last eight years incorporating Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodologies into her training and consulting work. Appreciative Inquiry is the “art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate and heighten positive potential.” It builds upon the positive core of the organization.

She uses this process to work with individuals, teams, divisions and organizations to facilitate strategic change initiatives. She works with executives, managers, staff and line teams and an organization’s stakeholders to collaboratively and creatively help them get organized and focused for profitable growth. Through AI coaching, she helps organizations identify and articulate their UVO (unique value offering).

Her clients include ACCI Business System, Fasteners, Inc., General Motors of Mexico, NASA, Tendercare Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Centers, Tuffy Mufflers, United Way and FCI Automotive.



Diana Whitney, Ph.D. (photo left) is Founder and President of Corporation For Positive Change and a Founder of the Taos Institute.

She is an internationally recognized consultant, speaker, and thought leader on the subjects of Appreciative Inquiry, positive change, and spirituality at work.

She is the author or editor of five books and dozens of articles, and chapters including The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change(with David Cooperrider and Jackie Stavros), The Appreciative Inquiry Summit (with James Ludema, Bernard Mohr and Thomas Griffin) and The Power of Appreciative Inquiry (with Amanda Trosten-Bloom). In addition, she has edited three collections on Appreciative Inquiry including: Appreciative Inquiry and Organization Transformation, and Appreciative Inquiry: Rethinking Human Organization Toward a Positive Theory of Change.

Diana teaches and consults in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. She has lectured and taught at Antioch University, Case Western Reserve University, Ashridge Management Institute in London, Saybrook University, Eisher Institute in India and others. The focus of Diana’s consulting is strategic planning, mergers, large-scale transformation, and service excellence. Her clients include British Airways, Hunter Douglas, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Accenture, GTE-Verizon, GE Capitol, Johnson & Johnson, Sandia National Labs, NY Power Authority, PECO, Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor. Her work with GTE led to the 1997 Best Organization Change Award by ASTD.

My book review of The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change 2nd Edition by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

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If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with President of Corporation For Positive Change Diana Whitney and Associate Professor of Graduate Management at Lawrence Tech University Jackie Stavros, co-authors of the completely revised definitive textbook on embracing organizational change The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change, as they describe change method Appreciative Inquiry for identifying a company's positive core to heighten energy and vision for positive change and growth on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

 

Erika Andersen: Growing Great Employees - Blog Business Success Radio

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Founder of Proteus International, Inc., and author of the landmark book Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers, Erica Andersen describes how managers can build and keep an all star staff that epitomizes the company mission and how to develop the skills to implement it.

Erika Andersen is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, August 19, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Founder of Proteus International, Inc., and author of the landmark book Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers, Erica Andersen describes how managers can build and keep an all star staff. You will learn:

* How to interview and select the best employees for your company

* How to coach and develop employees to their full career potential

* How to develop leaders to build the organization for the future

* How to terminate employees the right way for them and the company



Since 1980 Erika Andersen (photo left) has become known for promoting learning and change in ways uniquely tailored to her clients' challenges, goals, and culture. She focuses on thoroughly understanding each organization and on collaborating with her clients in ways that are engaging, direct, and "learner-friendly."

Erika uses metaphor and models to help people learn about themselves and their organizations, and then to decide how to move toward the future they envision. While she encourages clients to think deeply and to examine their assumptions and patterns of behavior, she also offers practical methods and skills for individuals, teams, and companies to achieve their hoped-for-future.

Much of Erika's recent work has focused on organizational visioning and development, executive coaching, and collaborative change and learning. In these capacities she has served as consultant and advisor to the CEOs and top executives of a number of corporations, including MTV Networks, Hewitt Associates, Turner Broadcasting, MillerCoors Brewing, NBC Universal, Union Square Hospitality Group, CBS, Madison Square Garden,and Comcast Corporation.

Her books and learning guides have been translated into Spanish, Turkish, German, French, Russian and Chinese, and she has been frequently quoted in national media, including Glamour, Fortune, The New York Times, Forbes Online and radio. She is the author of Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers (Portfolio, December 2006) and Being Strategic: Crafting the Hoped-for Future (St. Martin's Press, May 2009).

My book review of Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Andersen.

Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with Founder of Proteus International, Inc., and author of the landmark book Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers, Erica Andersen as she describes how managers can build and keep an all star staff that epitomizes the company mission and how to develop the skills to implement it on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

 

Appreciative Inquiry Handbook by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, Jacqueline M. Stavros - Book review



The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook

For Leaders of Change 2nd Edition


By: David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, Jacqueline M. Stavros

Published: Jan 1, 2008
ISBN: 9781576754931
Format: Paperback, 430pp
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Pub




Every organization has something that works right - things that give it life when it is most alive, effective, successful, and connected in healthy ways to the stakeholders and communities, write David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros in their completely revised definitive textbook on embracing organizational change The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change. The book starts a conversation within an organization about what is positive and working well, and teaches how to ask the right questions to expand those connections across the entire organization.



David Cooperrider (photo left), Diana Whitney (photo below left), and Jacqueline Stavros )photo bottom left) recognize that all organizations have things they do well. Their techniques, outlined so well in the book, provide the means to share these positive events and features across the entire company. While most approaches to organizational improvement focus on problem solving through identifying the weaknesses and finding solutions, Appreciative Inquiry (AI) works from the opposite direction. Instead of highlighting problems, AI places the emphasis on what is working well and how to expand that vision across the organization.



David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney (photo left), and Jacqueline Stavros seek to transform partially functioning organizations into a fully realized vision that benefits all stakeholders and the communities served by the company. The authors realize that AI must be applied properly to prevent its misuse as a rationalization for maintaining the status quo. Instead, the properly functions, and positive relationships can be applied as an already existing solution



David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney, and Jacqueline Stavros (photo left) understand that an initial inquiry process will take time and that temporal allowances must be made for plan development and modification. AI is not a quick fix that can be applied without flexibility and patience. The discovery process will take time, and interviews and group discussions must be thorough and bring out previously overlooked positives features of the organization.

For me, the power of the book is its complete step by step process for discovering the existing strengths of an organization. The authors provide the practical techniques for propagating those positive features to other work groups. Another power of the book is its usability for anyone at any level of experience with the AI process, whether a novice or a long time practitioner. The case studies, that help to visualize some of the more complex concepts, are extremely valuable for the reader. They help fill in the spaces with real life examples of how AI has been used successfully by other companies in many different fields.

I highly recommend The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros, to anyone serious about positive change and transformation of their organization. Regardless of the size of the business or organization, the Appreciative Inquiry system will help identify the strengths of the group and provide the methods of applying those positives to the overall whole.

Read The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros, and transform your organization into a functional and positive force for change whether locally or on global scale.

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Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen - Book review



Growing Great Employees

Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers


By: Erika Andersen

Published: Dec 28, 2006
ISBN: 9781591841517
Format: Hardcover, 288pp
Publisher: Portfolio


If life were fair, employees would be perfect. Your employees are, like you and I, flawed and hopeful human beings whose success is at least partly dependent on your skill as a manager, writes Erika Andersen in her landmark book Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers. In this destined to be classic work, in the employee relations field, the author uses a gardening metaphor to demonstrate how careful selection, nurturing, and care will produce great employees and future leaders for an organization.

Erika Andersen demonstrates the importance of taking a long term, career based approach to employee management and development. The author shows how the policy short term thinking, and the rapid employee turnover found in many companies, is the wrong approach for a business seeking to strengthen its competitive position. Instead of thinking of employees as a burden and cost, Erika Andersen suggests that growing great employees is the secret to long term organizational success.



Erika Andersen (photo left) teaches the manager the many steps, and long term employee management techniques necessary for developing employee potential. From listening to your employees and discovering their real concerns and goals to selecting and interviewing the best candidates, the author helps plant the seeds of a powerful management team. Through proper coaching, guidance, and mentoring from the first day on the job through the employee's entire career, the person's value to the company and personal career satisfaction can be enhanced.

The author recognizes that problems will arise in any organization, and not all people are suited to working at every company. Along with applying different management techniques to many widely different personalities, the book also includes a section on terminating an employee the right way for everyone involved. People work best and most productively in an environment that values their contribution to the organization, and values them as people. The author stresses the value of long term career planning within a training and career development based company.

For me, the power of the book is its practical approach to the development of great employees. Great people are the competitive advantage of great companies, and Erika Andersen teaches managers how to become great and to develop greatness in their staff. Not only does she teach the importance of mentoring current employees, but also demonstrates how to select and coach future leaders for the company. Great people in your company will give you that crucial competitive edge in any industry.

I highly recommend Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Andersen, for anyone serious about developing a superior organization based on skilled employees. The book is without a doubt destined to be a classic in the personnel development field. It's a must read for anyone who manages people within and organization.

Read Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Andersen, and select and develop great employees for your company. By nurturing their careers and by enhancing their leadership skills, your company will blossom into a formidable force in your industry.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

 

Barry Oshry: Seeing Systems: Understanding The Mysteries Of Organizational Life - Blog Business Success Radio

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Entrepreneur and Founder of Power + Systems Inc., and author of the classic book about organizational systems and power
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
, Barry Oshry describes how human actions happen in organizations including power, feedback and communications, and how to prevent system breakdowns.

Barry Oshry is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, August 14, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Entrepreneur and Founder of Power + Systems Inc., and author of the classic book about organizational systems and power
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
, Barry Oshry describes how human actions happen in organizations. You will learn:

* Why it's vital to see systems and end systems blindness

* How to recognize organizational patterns instead of personalities

* How to reclaim your personal empowerment

* How to prevent organizational conflicts through systems analysis



Barry Oshry (photo left) is a ground-breaking educator, author and playwright whose mission for over 30 years has been to unlock the mysteries of human systems. His quest has uncovered core systemic dynamics that lead to personal and organizational dysfunction, along with a framework and tools for mastering those dynamics. His model of top-middle-bottom-customer dynamics has given managers and executives across the globe system sight, enabling them to understand their dilemmas in a new light and providing them with empowering choices.

His journey began in the ‘60’s at Boston University where he developed large-scale organizational simulations for undergraduates in business. He then continued his research and program development at Boston University and the NTL Institute. In 1970 he created The Power Lab, the total immersion leadership development experience that is the subject of the prize-winning documentary, Power Lab: Living in New Hope. He’s also developed The Organization Workshop, a program that’s become an essential component in leadership development curricula throughout the world. The Organization Workshop is conducted by an international network of trainers.

Among Barry’s writings are The Possibilities of Organization, In The Middle, and Space Work. His most recent books,
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
and Leading Systems, have met with critical acclaim, both for their insights into organizational life and for their accessibility.

Two of his writings -- The Terrible Dance of Power* and The Dance of Disempowerment -- have been staged as well as given dramatic readings. His full-length organizational theater pieces include the musicals What A Way To Make A Living and Hierarchy*.

His Seeing Systems Blog is an ongoing seminar on human systems thinking. Barry lives in Boston with his wife and business partner, Karen Oshry.

My book review of Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life by Barry Oshry.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with entrepreneur and Founder of Power + Systems Inc., and author of the classic book about organizational systems and power
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
, Barry Oshry as he describes how human actions happen in organizations including power, feedback and communications, and how to prevent system breakdowns. on Blog Business Success Radio.

BlogTalkRadio.com

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Monday, August 11, 2008

 

Seeing Systems (2nd Edition) by Barry Oshry - Book review



Seeing Systems

Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life


By: Barry Oshry

Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781881052999
Format: Paperback, 228pp
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc



A pattern is not personal nor specific to any given organization. It is systemic, writes Barry Oshry in the revised edition of his classic book about organizational systems and power
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
. In this definitive textbook on finding and understanding patterns within organizations, Barry Oshry demonstrates how to move past system blindness and the failure to recognize patterns, toward system sight where people live and work together productively.

Barry Ohsry begins with the insight that humans systems creatures. Human consciousness is shaped by the very systems that make up people's lives. Whether at work, home, or leisure, systems evolve in roughly the same format. There are people at the top, the middle, and the bottom, with customers and clients who interact with the systems from the outside. Instead of seeing these systems as personal and ego-centric, the author views them as patterns. The paradox discovered in the book is once system sight is developed and understood, the individual finds more personal empowerment within the system.



Barry Oshry (photo left) possesses the unique skill of taking a potentially daunting subject, systems and organizational behavior, and making the concepts easy to grasp and understand. Through the use of story and analogy, complex issues are rendered into human terms, and reflect the overall themes of the book. The author's story based format is ideal for developing pattern recognition within organizations, by employing that that method to write the book. When familiar patterns emerge based on the overall system, instead of basing impressions on the unknown motivations of individuals, true systems sight and understanding will emerge.

For me, the power of the book is its deep insight into the nature of organizational behavior, and the similarities and common features shared by all systems. Barry Oshry presents complex systems and organizational analysis in a clear and understandable format in the form of story telling. Without the book's emphasis on seeing and recognizing systems, a person can be lost and feeling powerless. By demonstrating the patterns that emerge in all organizations, the author shows how to avoid conflict, misunderstanding, attributing fictional motives to other members of the organization, and how to become an empowered member of the system.

I highly recommend
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
by Barry Oshry, to anyone who wants to understand how systems develop, and how to recognize the characteristics of those systems. By learning how to see systems in all facets of a person's life, the individual can take control of their own actions within the system, ending frustration and conflict.

Read
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life
by Barry Oshry, and learn to see systems, instead of stumbling along blindly believing incorrectly that personalities are in control. This book will help you to see what is really taking place in your organization, giving you the power to be in charge of your own life.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

 

Elizabeth Gordon & Leanna Adams: The Chic Entrepreneur - Author Interview



1. Your book is titled The Chic Entrepreneur. What do you mean by the term of Chic Entrepreneur?

Chic Entrepreneur: A Chic Entrepreneur is an entrepreneur that is savvy and stylish in her business manner and method. She understands that a business is a living organism, with great potential for growth if tended to properly. She combines her signature style with industriousness to form a strategic marketing plan that will allow her business to grow into an entity that will ultimately function without her. She understands that the true purpose of starting and growing a business is to create an entity of value, as opposed to simply a job for herself.

She also is self-aware enough to recognize her strengths and weaknesses and clever enough to surround herself with people who round out that picture. She sees the big picture and knows her role in it. She knows when to persevere and when to cut her losses.

2. How can a Chic Entrepreneur find and develop a good business idea?

Chic Entrepreneur: A true Chic Entrepreneur sees the world through a business lens. She is alert to the market opportunities all around her and is always looking for ways to solve problems and thus create business value. The business idea(s) that she, Ms. Chic, decides to pursue should be something that she is passionate about and ready to put an incredible amount of energy, brainpower and money into. However, the idea itself is just the beginning.

I find a common misconception many want-to-be business owners have is that it is all about the idea. In reality however, a mediocre idea with a well thought out strategy and solid plan, will ultimately out perform a brilliant idea that lacks those other elements. So it’s important to spend the time and the thought energy to flush out the idea into a plan, and to run it by others for feedback before you invest your life savings, or even just last year’s Christmas bonus into your new business venture.

A Chic Entrepreneur’s business idea dares to be different. She does business with a bold and authentic personality that speaks directly to customers’ unmet needs, and delivers unique value to them. This is the way Chic Entrepreneurs stand apart from the crowd.

Chic Entrepreneurs who know that they want to start a business, but don’t know what kind yet, should consider their passions and do research by working within that field and talking to others. You want to let your passions guide you and then overlay a business framework to test the business viability of your idea. The Flourishing Business Methodology (which is referenced in the book’s conclusion) offers a simple way to take an idea and then map out a business strategy around it.



Elizabeth Gordon (photo left)

3. Should a Chic Entrepreneur concentrate on dominating a niche market?

Chic Entrepreneur: Yes. Trying to sell to anybody who will buy is a losing strategy. The power of focus will propel you further than the temptation to take whatever you can get. I find people often underestimate just how big the market they are in is and just how long or how much money it takes to develop a known reputation. In your early days, developing a sustainable stronghold in a narrow niche where you can count on repeat business and word of mouth to add momentum to your marketing message will allow you to bring in the kind of profits you’ll need to fund your growth.

Ultimately, your goal is to build a scalable business that provides you, the owner, with the maximum amount of leverage possible. To accomplish this, you must choose a niche to focus on and resist the urge to stray. Stick to your niche and become the absolute best at what you have to offer. If you spread yourself too thin, much like Rome, you will collapse in a tough economy.

4. How important is it to start out a new business with a solid business plan and strategy?

Chic Entrepreneur: This is arguably the most important part of a business. While I have met business owners who do not continue to update their business plan or who have never used one, I see many more business owners succeeding because they had a plan, constantly update it and use it as a guide to their success and growth.

That being said, a business plan does not have to be 25 pages long and bound with a glossy cover. A good business plan should also be brilliant in its simplicity. You should be able to fit the core of it on an index card, and everyone within the company should know the business model and their role in making it work.

I hear many new entrepreneurs use verbiage such as “so I thought I’d give this a try” to describe their recent foray into entrepreneurship which is a little scary. Deciding to start a business venture involves risk. The degree of that risk varies by the type of business and the stage of life and financial situation of the entrepreneur.

Most entrepreneurs are not too keen on the idea of planning, but here’s another way to think about it. If you went out looking for a new job and got an offer to work somewhere for 6 months or a year without pay, with the promise that they would pay you once they saw that you were really ‘going work out’ as an employee, you would likely think long and hard before taking such a job. You’d probably want to see their business plan. In the same regard, that is essentially what you are doing when you start a business, you are taking a job that doesn’t pay, with the promise that if things go as planned, you will get paid. You are putting your money, your time and your ability to provide for your family’s livelihood on the line. When you think about it this way, you can see the importance of knowing in much more detail what “as planned” really means, and thus the value of that plan.

If you are in a position where you have a high-risk tolerance and you can afford to cut your losses, feel free to stumble in haphazardly and see what happens in the first few months. If things don’t work out, no big deal, you can move on to something else with little pain. If you do meet with some initial success, congratulate yourself for a good guess and then sit down and plan out how you will continue such success.

The plan itself is not necessarily the most important outcome of undertaking the planning process, the real value is that you force yourself to really do some research and think through what you are doing and why it will work. It forces you to identify what are the critical success factors, what could go wrong and what you will do then. Things seldom go as planned, but having planned better prepares you for making decisions about what to do next.

5. It's a crowded marketplace out there. How can a Chic Entrepreneur set her business apart from her competitors?

Chic Entrepreneur: It is a crowded marketplace and it isn’t. If you develop a unique value, be it a product, service, information or experience, you will be able to define your own market more narrowly and have a clearly defined niche market that you can dominate or at least become known within. It feels a lot less crowded when what you are selling is unlike what the competition is pedaling.

6. Good employees can make a business more successful and bad employees can often do serious damage to a company and its reputation. How can a Chic Entrepreneur attract and keep the best employees to her business?

Chic Entrepreneur: Most small businesses cannot afford to finance laziness or incompetence. By taking the time to screen employees, assess their abilities, find out what motivates them and what their true desired career goals are, you can attract employees that will grow with your company and be with you for the long haul. What a person has done in the past (i.e. the contents of the resume) will give you an idea of their track record and their reliability, but what a person has done is less important than who they are and what they can do. Many skills can be taught but inherent qualities such as a friendly personality, empathy, a good work ethic, ability to perform under pressure or learn quickly, creativity, or a sense of humor can not be taught, so keep that in mind. Cultural fit is just as important as being able to perform. Create an environment in which candidates can see that they will be an integral part in the greater plan and want to see the company succeed.

Getting those first few dedicated employees is critical because they will be your walking billboards for the company. Turnover is a killer. When an employee leaves, knowledge and experience walks right out the door and thus right off your balance sheet. When you have to retrain, you loose continuity with your clients and internally, so it’s imperative to be choosy and find employees that aren’t going to run away for a little more money, a job closer to home or any other issue.

You have to vet employees’ primarily motivational drivers out when you’re hiring your staff. Making sure that your job is going to a good fit for them, is just as important as knowing whether they will be a good fit for the job. Your employees should be with you because they want to, if they believe in what you are doing, they can get excited about the mission, they enjoy the work, and they can grow with you. Good jobs should enable employees to reach their goals. The current CEO of McDonalds started as a fry cook.

A Chic Entrepreneur sees her staff and people with lives and goals and dreams, not just workhorses, although they need to be that as well. Matching people to jobs that will allow them to use their strengths will provide them with satisfaction. Providing them with incentives that will motivate them to meet and exceed expectations will help you get the best out of them.



Leanna Adams (photo left)

7. Maintaining positive cash flow is vital to a business. How can a Chic Entrepreneur create and maintain her cash flow?

Chic Entrepreneur: You hit the nail on the head. Cash flow is the lifeblood of a company. If it stops flowing, it can be fatal. To create and maintain a positive cash flow, it’s important to be familiar with your cash position at all times. This means slowing down the flow of cash going out and speeding up the flow of cash coming in. Negotiate terms with vendors so that you don’t have to front monies before having the cash that comes from sales, or can at least minimize the time gap in between. Incentivize or force your customers to pay prior to or immediately upon delivery of products or services.

Knowing your cash position also means that you must be completely aware of your projected spending. If you’ve completed the business plan’s financial section, have worked out a budget, included all possible expenditures, and know what you have, what you can spend and what you need for the future.

8. Many business people dislike the sales and marketing aspect of business. How can a Chic Entrepreneur make sales and marketing a positive part of the company?

Chic Entrepreneur: Being a good salesperson is an essential entrepreneurial skill, and it can be learned. So if you have not played this role before or have fear or discomfort in it, you need to confront that head on with education and experience. Building a business will force you to go outside your comfort zone from time to time, but that is a good thing. That’s what personal growth is made of. A Chic Entrepreneur not only looks good on the outside, she is also brave and courageous on the inside. She can overcome anything she sets her mind to.

Some people, especially women, are worried that trying to sell makes them come across as being too pushy or even scamming people. Good sales training in the form of books or workshops will teach you that sales is really helping others to find a solution that will leave them better off. If you believe in the value you provide, you will want to help others by showing them how they can enjoy its benefits. Find enjoyment in satisfying customers.

Trying to delegate the sales function too early in the business building process is dangerous. No one is going to be able to sell with as much passion and knowledge as you, so whether you feel like it or not, you are the best one for this job early on.

Ultimately, once you have gotten the business off the ground, you can delegate. By exciting employees in the sales and marketing aspect of the business, you cause them to be tied to the success of the business and get the best ideas they have to offer. Brainstorming and idea sharing should be a big part of your company culture. There should also be incentives tied to both the sales and marketing that your business does. While this is easier to see on the sales side, you can and should offer your marketing team bonus incentives when certain tangible goals are met.

9. Having good systems in place for operating a company is often recommended. How can a Chic Entrepreneur put effective systems in place that keep the business operating as she envisioned?

Chic Entrepreneur: Processes allow you to create consistency. A Chic Entrepreneur doesn’t stumble around with clumsy execution. She is swift and suave. You and your employees must develop a systematic way of doing things, instead of reinventing the wheel each time you start a new project or get a new client. These processes will enable you to perform consistently and provide a reliable customer experience. Customers want to know they can count on getting the same dependable product and service every time they come to you. Consistency builds trust, and trust breeds loyalty. Effective systems are also one of keys for being able to slowly walk away from operations.

Use process maps to pictorially depict the flow of things, and then use your brain to streamline what you’re doing to make it more efficient.

10. If you had one piece of advice for a Chic Entrepreneur, what would that advice be?

Chic Entrepreneur:Your most important accessory is a confident smile. Wear it always.

************

Thanks to Elizabeth Gordon and Leanna Adams of The Chic Entrepreneur for their great and helpful answers.

My book review of The Chic Entrepreneur: Put Your Business In Higher Heels by Elizabeth Gordon and Leanna Adams.

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