The embodiment of integrity, truthfulness and strong moral principles, form the foundation of leadership. People are drawn to leaders who are trustworthy because they are reliable, their words are confirmed in action, their motives are transparent, and words will be held in confidence when requested. Over the last several years I have been involved in numerous merger and acquisitions and partnership discussions and trust was always carefully weighed in the decision process. If trust was lost between parties during due diligence or the negotiation, a business deal never occurred.
After sitting through numerous agonizing product reviews filled with pages of lacking, unnecessary and differing content, it was apparent a new approach was needed. Executives often only have minutes to review a business case and approve quote submission and capital investment. Hence it is desired to have key financial metrics in a clear and concise 1-page summary for efficient decision making.
R&D is essential for developing a continuous stream of new products that generate top line growth at healthy margins. In most cases short term investor demands for profit are at odds with funding of new product development and long term business sustainability. R&D is a line item often caught in tug-a-war. Is it possible to reduce time to market of new products by 20% while lowering R&D cost burden 10%? Yes, using four proven strategies that will create VAST growth in revenue and profits.
Great negotiation skills are an absolute necessity in business. Almost everything is negotiated including price, terms, specifications, schedule, etc. If you provide high value to your current employer or will to your future employer, you deserve to be compensated accordingly. Inflationary 3% increases for top performers so investors and top management can walk away with large profits and bonuses is unfair and plagued with greed. You accepting this is an even greater outrage. Do not settle for the status-quo, practice negotiation and use it to advance your career. Below are four critical steps to succeed in salary negotiation:
Finding well rounded leaders is extremely difficult. This can take a tremendous amount of time you don’t have. To improve the efficiency of this process, below are 12 honed questions I have found to effectively screen the best candidates and reasons why.
What is your passion and how do you pursue it?
Ensure their passion is aligned with the objective of the business. If not, stop the interview and move on to the next candidate because they will only be working for a paycheck. They will not treat your business like their own.
As a business executive, I was feeling good about my work life balance. I managed to keep travel below 25% and I would work from 5 am to 2 PM so I could spend quality time with my children in the afternoon. I worked for a company based in the UK and the schedule spanned the global well. At times I would check my phone during the late afternoons to answer any quick questions or provide necessary approvals for staff on the west coast. I thought it was minimal and no one noticed.
Then one day the phone began to ring and my daughter blurted out, “Daddy, I hate your phone.” I didn’t pick up the call. She looked at me sternly and said, “Why are you always on your phone? Can’t you play with us?” My heart sank.
I recently was a behind the scenes guest for Steven Curtis Chapman’s performance at the Kennedy Center. The live performance included a 250 member choir and full orchestra. After the dress rehearsal, the choir returned to the hotel to get refreshed and changed for the main event. However, right before the choir was to board the buses to the Kennedy Center for the performance, the skies opened in a complete down pour. It rained so hard the street was flooded with 6 inches of water.
A friend recently approached me and asked for my support in designing and providing a 3D model of a structure he planned to build for a customer. He was impressed by a previous example of my work and wanted to demonstrate to his customer that the built structure would be robust, functional and ascetically pleasing. The budget for the project was limited because the contract to build the structure was close but not yet finalized.
This particular friend had been extremely helpful to me recently and I wanted to help. Unfortunately, the limited budget barely covered the cost of the software usage and my small business was demanding all of my time due to a critical deadline.