Tag Archives: Increase
Warren Buffett is like that old E.F. Hutton commercial (and I’m dating myself here)–when he talks, people listen. And they listen because he talks and writes, quite well. Which brings us to his latest gem of advice.
“Invest in yourself. One easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark, nothing happens. You can have all the brain power in the world but you’ve got to be able to transmit it.”
It’s almost like Buffett consulted me first before answering (which I can assure you he did not). In my over 25 years of corporate experience, without question, the most common trait I saw among those leaders who performed the best and rose the fastest through the ranks was that they had superior communication skills.
Buffett has even said that he doesn’t hang his college or graduate school diplomas on his office walls, but he hangs his certificate from when he completed the Dale Carnegie communication course– because it changed his life. Before overtly working on his communication skills, Buffett said, “I was terrified of public speaking when I was in high school and college. I couldn’t do it. I mean I would throw up and everything.”
So how can you be included in the group of fast-rising, non-vomitous leaders?
In case you’re not ready to sign up for a full-on course, here are two powerful ways you can get started immediately:
Make “clear and concise” your mantra.
When I was doing research for my first book, Make It Matter, a survey of over 1,000 executives revealed the No. 1 problem in communication is a lack of clarity and precision. I offer an acronym to help you cut to the chase and keep your communications SHARP:
- Start by thinking, not talking. “I think out loud” is the enemy of clear and concise.
- Hone in on the main idea quickly. Don’t wander, or they’ll wonder what your point is.
- Add details sparingly. Don’t over-explain. Give just as much context as is necessary.
- Relate to the audience. Think through who you are talking to and why, and tailor your approach accordingly.
- Prepare. “Winging it” and clarity are like the snake and the mongoose (mortal enemies).
Be a non-verbal ninja.
So much of our communication is unspoken. It’s critical to be tuned into non-verbal communication–which you can practice. I use this reminder to keep non-verbal cues top of mind and avoid letting poor non-verbal skills FESTER:
- Facial expressions–watch for them.
- Eye contact–maintain it (without being creepy).
- Space–keep the appropriate amount between you and others.
- Tones–listen carefully for the tone in someone’s voice.
- Expressive motions–be alert for cues like fist pounding or fingers excitedly wagging.
- Real frame of mind–as seen in their posture.
So whether your goal is to raise your net worth or just your relatability, make 2019 the year you brought your communication skills to the next level. Maybe eye level. Like the diplomas on my office wall.
Published on: Dec 11, 2018
This week’s New Yorker magazine has The Back Page by Roz Chast and it’s a cartoon called The Big Book of Parent-Child Fights. The Table of Contents has 12 entries starting with Food Arguments and ending with Miscellaneous Battles. It left me in stitches–I have two teens at home. It also made me love the way it takes a complex idea, the relation between parents and their children, and makes it super simple to understand.
Most organizations and leaders don’t know why they need designers. To put it into perspective, think about when you need a lawyer. Or when you need a plumber. Easy, right? The answer is not as easy or intuitive with design.
If you know why you need design, you can double your growth. You can build trust with your customers. You can get better at navigating the world of uncertainty with agility. I call this having a high Design Quotient (DQ).
If you don’t know when to call a designer, or how to have design embedded into your company culture, you fall behind. You follow versus lead, others eat you for lunch.
With inspiration from Chast, here is The Big Book of When to Call a Designer. If you answer Yes (Y) to any of the points, it’s time to talk to a designer.
1. You want to increase your revenues radically, and faster. Y/N
“Top-quartile MDI scorers increased their revenues and total returns to shareholders (TRS) substantially faster than their industry counterparts did over a five-year period–32 percentage points higher revenue growth and 56 percentage points higher TRS growth for the period as a whole.” The Business Value of Design, Mc Kinsey
2. You need to lower your risks but want to increase your rate of innovation. Y/N
The design process inherently reduces risk–its multiple ideas, iteration, rapid prototyping, testing, and reiteration means you can fail fast and at a low cost until you have a winning idea.
“Prototype ideas from low fidelity to high fidelity with increasing evidence that your ideas are going to work.” Alex Osterwalder, author, Business Model Canvas
3. You want to build your customers’ trust and be close to them. Y/N
Organizations that use design tools regularly, such as co-creation and user-journey maps, develop empathy for their users. This leads to a better understanding of their needs, leading to better solutions, and eventually and most importantly, leading to trust.
4. Your C-suite doesn’t include a design function. Y/N
Most organizations do not have a design function in their C-suite. Yet design can bring user experience-centered, multi-functional vision building and decision making at the highest levels. Having someone at the top who does this helps to embed it internally and creates long-term returns as noted in point #1.
5. Your organization is siloed, and it gets in the way of effective collaboration. Y/N
Design is collaborative. Designers are generalists. Often what they don’t know, and want to learn, that makes them great at bringing cross-functional teams together. In fact, their superpower is synthesizing diverse knowledge and input into a coherent vision.
6. Your research generates insights that everyone has. Y/N
If you want innovation, you need innovative research tools. Designers constantly invent new qualitative and quantitative research tools–researching other industries, studying outliers, using AI and machine-learning to generate permutations–that bring new insights to old problems.
7. You listen to the customer’s voice, but do not imagine the customer experience. Y/N
Channeling Henry Ford for a moment, the customer’s voice gives you a faster horse. Customer experience, on the other hand, gives you a Model T. Design brings physical, digital, and service together to define experiences that improve our lives.
8. You have dichotomies, but do not know how to resolve them. Y/N
“Less is more” is my favorite dichotomy. Good design at an affordable price is Target’s. Simple and high performance is Apple’s. Each is a strong design organization with an embedded design culture, and each creates long-term, high value through the resolution of dichotomies.
There’s no one easy answer to when to call a designer; there are many good reasons. But can you afford not to? The answer to that is simple and best said by, Ralph Caplan, author, and National Design Mind Awardee:
“Thinking about design is hard, but not thinking about it can be disastrous.”
(Reuters) – Dutch meal delivery firm Takeaway.com said it would increase its commission rates from Jan. 1 and that it expects this to have a 5 percent positive effect on its revenue growth.
Takeaway.com also plans to increase investments in Germany and other markets in the fourth quarter of 2017, it said in its third-quarter trading update on Tuesday.
Reporting by Camille Raynaud; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu
Pokémon Go is easy enough for anyone to pick up, but if you want to catch ’em all, you’ll need to master the art of throwing Poké Balls.
For the most part, catching a Pokémon in the game is as simple as throwing a Poké Ball straight up at the monster and hoping it doesn’t escape. You can also throw a curve ball at Pokémon, but that’s a more advanced technique.
To get the perfect straight throw every time, My Mini Factory user Jon Cleaver has created this clever Poké Ball “aimer” case for iPhone.
With the case slipped over an iPhone, players can swipe perfectly straight up whenever they encounter a Pokémon. Read more…
… removes the need for additional network switching layers and efficiently delivers low-latency performance — ideal for cloud computing operations.
When talk about cloud computing first began to spread, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) had their fair share of concerns. Some were worried about …