Monday Mornings with Madison

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Building a Team with Depth and Backup Support

Businesses rely on employees to make things happen. So, a business is only as good as its people. However, even an organization with a solid slate of masterminds and top producers is not guaranteed to thrive and succeed year after year. That’s because people – unlike robots – get sick, have accidents, change jobs, move, or retire. A stellar company with a cracker-jack team can suddenly lose several superstars and find itself hobbled. Just ask the Golden State Warriors. So how does a company protect itself from instability due to employee losses? Continue reading

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The Biggest Driving Force is a Hunger to Succeed

Companies look at a variety of factors when hiring staff. Skills. College degrees. Certifications. Experience. Test scores. Expertise. Positive attitude. Integrity. But, most companies will put a higher value on one trait above the rest. Which trait that is varies from company to company. For example, Southwest Airlines — a lost-cost airline known for its friendly staff — hires for cultural fit, while McKinsey — one of the world’s most reputable consulting firms — prizes analytic ability and talent. But, the smartest managers will look for something that doesn’t show up on resumes, can’t be measured on tests and cannot be taught or learned. Hunger. To have an employee that is driven, relentless and highly focused, hire someone who is hungry… hungry to succeed.
So, how do you spot ‘hunger’? Continue reading

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Best Advice for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

People are launching businesses and side businesses in greater numbers than ever before. The economic and technological conditions are ripe for it. But, even in the gig economy, starting a new business is challenging. Each new business presents a unique set of challenges. While there are countless resources on how to start and manage a business, it can still be as grueling, scary and lonely as crossing an ocean alone. For entrepreneurs who accept the challenge, here is advice on what is needed to succeed in business. Continue reading

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Stay in Your Lane, Part 2

In many businesses, evaluating the quality, quantity, or speed of work product is subjective. Often work is evaluated by coworkers and stakeholders who can be fickle and capricious with their assessments. And, in cases where complex or technical decisions or judgments must be made that require expertise, not everyone is qualified to make such pronouncements. It is important for organizations to be clear about what each person is responsible to do and who has the skills and expertise to evaluate work product. Here are some guidelines to ensure each person in an organization stays in their lane. Continue reading

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Stay in Your Lane, Part 1

When an organization or individual fails to respect boundaries and follow rules, there can be consequences great and small. It can affect not only the immediate situation, but it can have broader unintended consequences for an industry or even the public at large. Here is why it is important to respect boundaries, follow the rules and stay in your lane when doing business. Continue reading

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Making the Most of LinkedIn – Part 2

Jeff Wiener, LinkedIn’s CEO, has said his goal is for LinkedIn to have 3 Billion users, become the home of all working professional across the world, and be the central hub for every job posting across an estimated 70 million companies worldwide. This goal is probably achievable. LinkedIn is already the most used social media platform among Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. So it is wise to learn how to make the most of this growing platform. There are things professionals should do… and then there are things smart professionals should NOT DO on LinkedIn. Continue reading

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Making the Most of LinkedIn – Part 1

LinkedIn has emerged as the leading social media site for professional connection in the U.S. and around the world. Whereas a decade ago, many viewed LinkedIn as a place to post career information — something of an online Resume — today it is a site where 610 million users go for professional presence, connection, communication, advice, education, references and more. But the vast majority are only scratching the surface of LinkedIn for their business efforts and career success, and too many don’t understand the dos and don’ts of using LinkedIn. Are you using it wisely? Continue reading

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Perception and Reality

It’s been said that seeing is believing. We tend to trust what we can see with our own eyes. In truth, one’s eyes should not be trusted. What we “see” is not always what we get. Or rather, what the brain perceives through its senses cannot always be trusted. There can be a big difference between a perception and reality. But, in business, perception often becomes reality. So, it is important for entrepreneurs, leaders and managers to understand such distortions and perception errors, and how that could work for and/or against them. Continue reading

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Beware the Dangers of the False Consensus Effect on Business

False Consensus Effect is a pervasive type of thinking error. In this distorted pattern of thinking, people overestimate the degree to which their own behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and viewpoints are shared by others. In business, the False Consensus Effect may seem benign but it can actually be quite harmful to companies whose leaders make decisions based on this. Those decisions can lead to mistakes in product development, market direction, hiring and acquisitions, and result in the loss of staff and revenue. It even kills companies! Here are real world examples and how to combat this common, but often unrecognized, decision-making problem. Continue reading

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How to Handle Mistakes at Work

Employees are prone to mistakes, mishaps and miscalculations. No one is perfect. Therefore, companies – which are comprised of people – make mistakes too. The issue isn’t “if” a business will err, but rather “when” it will err. It happens. When someone makes a mistake, how is it handled? Minimizing the frequency of mistakes and managing such issues well – even when trying valiantly to avoid errors altogether – is what elevates some companies above others. When things get jumbled, there is a better way to deal with it. Continue reading

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