Deeper Weekend 2014

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Choose your favorite writer

  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
  • Jon Lokhorst
    Jon Lokhorst
  • Melinda Guillemette
    Melinda Guillemette
  • Scott Kregel
    Scott Kregel
Jason BlumerI’ve been thinking about company culture a lot lately. The Thrivecast (the podcast from Thriveal) was on culture, and Greg Kyte (my co-host) and I did some study around the subject.


Furthermore, I got into a discussion on culture in our private Thriveal community when I linked up an article in the community entitled ‘Don’t F#@! up the Culture.’ The article was written by the CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, and he was telling his team what his investor, Peter Thiel, told him when Chesky asked Thiel, “What is the single most important piece of advice you can give me?” I believe it is a huge statement for Peter Thiel to respond to that question with an answer focused on controlling culture. He said, “don’t f#@! up the culture.” Since Peter Thiel was the CEO of PayPal, I’m going to listen to his thoughts on building company culture. I dug into Peter Thiel’s thoughts on culture a little more, and found the article entitled ‘Peter Thiel’s 3 Rules for Starting a Business‘ by Jessica Stillman of Inc. magazine. The article was written about a Stanford class Peter Thiel taught, and the summary of that class from the notes of one of the students. Let me point out that the first (of three) things Thiel told the students they need to do when starting a business is to get the culture right. The class notes go on to summarize a 2 x 2 matrix that Thiel discussed. I like matrices, so I built the matrix visually from the article and the notes of the student: Read more
CPA firm, Leadership, Strategy

Jennifer BlumerAs a business owner, you have a lot going on. And maybe you are trying to please a lot of people AND keep the lights on. That’s a lot of pressure. These rights are basic and maybe a little obvious, but a reminder never hurt. Maybe the reminder will help you remember to take care of yourself.

You have:

The right to say no – You don’t have to serve people whose numbers on caller ID make you cringe. You have the right to say no to a lunch appointment “just to catch up.” You have the right to say no to offering services you hate. You can say no with class, but sometimes you need to just say no.

The right to be paid for the value you provide – Your customers want access to you. Sometimes they really do have a quick questions. (And sometimes they say they have a quick question that is anything but quick.) I am not suggesting you send a bill for every phone call. I am suggesting you price in a way that makes you less frustrated when you get those kinds of calls. And that you stop working for free. Is your client paying for a tax return? Then why are you also cleaning up their accounting for the whole year? Get paid for the value you are providing. Read more

REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBLeadership is scary business. Both for ourselves, and our customers. It means moving from where we are now, to some place new, some place unfamiliar, some place unexplored. Leadership is personal — you cannot lead a crowd, you can only lead persons, individual people. Business is scary leadership. Read more


Jason Blumer“The reality remains that teamwork ultimately comes down to practicing a small set of principals over a long period of time. Success is not a matter of mastering subtle sophisticated theory but rather of embracing common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence.

Ironically, teams succeed because they are exceedingly human. By acknowledging the imperfections of their humanity, members of functional teams overcome the natural tendencies that make trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and a focus on results so elusive.”

Read more


REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBThe omniscient manager.

You know: the mastermind, who has the vision, and orchestrates all the pieces in a three-dimensional chessboard, to achieve a magnificent result. They are filled with sage wisdom, far-seeing insight, and a gut instinct that never errs. We watch with awe and aspire to one day be that person.

Might I humbly submit…they don’t exist. Or at least they are as rare as unicorns.

So why are our business structures built on this myth? Why do we have managers, or at least, why are they endowed with powers and expectations that far outstrip a realistic understanding of what they can accomplish? Is it helping, or hurting, to follow this accepted “professional” model?

But what would a world look like without managers anyways? Read more

Leadership, Management and Operations

Jennifer BlumerROWE has been taking a bit of a hit lately in the media. Companies like Best Buy and Yahoo have made bold moves to end their work at home options for employees. I have seen some people respond that ROWE did not work out like it was supposed to. As my friend Greg Kyte would say, I call BS.

I don’t think Best Buy or Yahoo! were ROWE at all. Because ROWE works. What fails is leadership.

For some reason, people think working away from an office is the same thing as ROWE. It’s not though. In fact, Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler have been trying to help us understand for a while that flexibility is the new F word. Just because you are not forced to be in an office from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday does not mean your are working in a ROWE. There may have been a lot of people both in an out of the offices of Best Buy and Yahoo not achieving results. Maybe they didn’t even know what results they were supposed to achieve! That’s a leadership problem. Let’s not blame ROWE. Read more

Leadership, ROWE