Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
July 2014

On Your Mark. Get Set. Start.

When a runner is getting ready to run a race – whether a sprint or a marathon — the runner typically has a routine or series of actions to prepare for that race. There is, of course, a lot of conditioning leading up to race day. A couple of hours before the start, a runner might pop a few Advil and drink a lot of water. He might eat a hearty breakfast to provide the body with adequate fuel. Then shortly before the start, he might check the laces on his running shoes. He might also do a lot of stretching and warm-up exercises. When the race is about to start, the runner will probably line up at the starting line, get into a running position, and listen for the countdown, whistle or buzzer that signals to go. Each of those actions work as tiny cues to get the body’s adrenaline pumping and prime the runner to go swiftly from inertia to movement.

Mark Twain once said that the secret of getting ahead is just getting started. Going from inaction to action is probably the hardest part of getting just about anything done. It takes the most energy to go from total inactivity to motion – whether that motion is simply thinking through a problem or physically acting on it. A major factor in procrastination is simply the inability to start. Once the person begins, getting a project, task or job done becomes significantly easier. If starting is the hardest part of any job, then perhaps one key to success is simply in identifying ways to help launch the starting process Continue reading

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Appetizing Alliances: The Ingredients of a Successful Partnership

There are similarities between creating a successful partnership and cooking a great dish. In order to create a meal that is a culinary success, a good chef starts with the right ingredients. Certain ingredients are essential. Without those, the dish will taste either wrong or bad. But it’s not just important to have the right ingredients. The quantity and quality of each ingredient also matters.

Just as in cooking, the same is true of the ingredients – or considerations — that go into a partnership. While following a set list of recommendations does not guarantee that a partnership will succeed, these tips will likely significantly increase the chance of success. Continue reading

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Redeeming Reputation in the Digital Realm – Part 2

A company’s reputation is its most important asset. A person’s individual reputation is his or her most important possession. Yet, most people and companies are entirely unaware of their online reputation. While ignorance may be bliss in some things, it is incredibly risky to be ignorant of one’s online reputation. Attention all business owners, managers and professionals: what you don’t know about what others think of you can hurt you! That is why there are now professionals – reputation management experts — who make a living helping people and companies monitor, protect, and (if necessary) redeem their online reputation.

It is important to be aware of and stay on top of one’s personal reputation. Likewise, entrepreneurs and business execs should know what their company’s digital reputation is. According to top reputation management experts, the key to protecting a reputation or brand is to be aware and proactive. There are a number of things that can be done to protect a good reputation and/or redeem a damaged reputation, whether it is of a company or individual. Here are some sound reputation management tips. Continue reading

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Redeeming Reputation in the Digital Realm – Part 1

Some 2,300 years ago, Publilius Syrus (a writer of Latin) penned that “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” About 2,000 years later, Ben Franklin said “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Recently, billionaire and investment guru Warren Buffet said essentially the same thing… “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” For thousands of years, wise people have understood the importance of reputation. Reputation is a fundamental instrument of social order, based upon distributed, spontaneous social control. A person’s reputation reflects the overriding opinion held by others about him, and a company’s reputation reflects the opinion held by most about the business or its products and services. Once tarnished by bad behavior, a damaged reputation can have a profound impact on success and career.

It used to be that a person with a bad reputation would need to change professions, relocate or use an alias to overcome the stigma. In time, however, he could count on memories fading and offenses being forgotten. Today, thanks to social media and the World Wide Web, it is much harder to bury, outrun or outlive a bad reputation. Online news articles. Blogs. Public records. Video recordings. Digital photographs. Personal misdeeds and corporate wrongdoings are thoroughly documented — and available for anyone to see online 24/7 — forever. Frowned-on behaviors live on in search engines in perpetuity, especially in the U.S. When deserved, most people agree that a wrongdoer deserves the challenges that result from a bad reputation. But what happens when a genuinely respectable person’s reputation is tarnished by association, mistake or through no fault of his own? What happens if a business’ reputation or brand is tainted unjustly or unfairly? Is it possible to redeem a tarnished reputation that has been dragged through the digital mud? How does one redeem a reputation on the World Wide Web? Continue reading

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