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Building a business is hard – building a great business is even harder. As leaders, we are thinking about strategy, processes, team building, workflow, technology, customer attention and care, pricing, and so many other things every day. In fact, when we sit back and reflect, we know that we are generally ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things. The stories of Apple, Uber, and Amazon dominate business leadership books and leadership “manuals,” however many of us are not running a company like one of these. We are building those Small Giants in our efforts to make a difference in our sphere of influence. However, there are companies in ordinary industries around the world, whose leaders who reimagining what is possible in their very own businesses. In Simply Brilliant, we have stories of companies doing remarkable things in industries like office cleaning, retail banking, grocery, and electrical manufacturing – could we do this in the accounting profession?
William Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company and the author of Simply Brilliant, lays out these stories of success based on 4 principles that rose to the top in his research. Here is a recap of some of those things that seem ordinary but are producing extraordinary results. Read more
Every couple of months, I go back to a book that I have read and write up a book review. In these book reviews, I try to organize my thoughts and learning – this helps me to document my understanding and hopefully it also shares some worthwhile insights for you.
For the past several months, I’ve been working through the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Yes, this is the same guy who has made this phenomenon of a 4-hour workweek common language among entrepreneurs. If you are like me though, I didn’t read The 4 Hour Workweek. The simple reason is that I completely dismiss this notion because I find it insulting to me – a four-hour workweek – “in who’s world?” However, when Tools of Titans came out toward the end of 2016, I heard so many positive reviews from a number of authors, speakers, and leaders that I follow and respect. So, why not, I’ll give this Ferris guy a shot and see what he is all about. Read more
Do you have one of those books that you keep telling yourself that you should read, and yet for whatever reason, that book stays on the shelf. Well, for me, Small Giants – Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham was that book that sat on my shelf for years. However, it caught my attention again as I was captured by the title as I related it to my role as a business owner and an advisor to other small business owners. Isn’t this the question we ask ourselves and our customers ask themselves every year – “do we want to grow big?”
We are all seeing the influence of technology on our lives. It is rewiring our minds; it is accelerating the pace of innovation, and it is causing dramatic changes in how we live our day to day lives. Some people embrace this and say, ‘bring it on’; others are a little more resonant about it; and a few others still reject and deny the impact of technology. Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of Wired is one of those prophets of technology and when he speaks to what is going on, people take note. Kelly gave a talk in 2007 (after what many consider the first 5,000 days of the internet) about the next 5,000 days of the internet. In that talk, he shared the following highlights: Read more
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way” – Marcus Aurelius
What does this mean? Obstacles, challenges, diversions all interrupt our line of thinking and course of action. However, in many ways, these very hindrances can be confronted and turned to opportunity and this is where we experience the Advantage of Disadvantage (from Malcolm Gladwell, David & Goliath). Read more