What Is True Power?


In every relationship on the planet, whether that be a strong or a week tie, there’s a power balance in each and every one.

By power I mean authority but not in the traditional sense. You can have contrived power, this is classic dictatorship. This power balance is highly skewed towards the dictator and the further down the line you get that less respect they have for the person in charge.

In the 1993 classic, Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler talking to Amon Goeth (a notorious Nazi Army Commander) about what real power is, Schindler defined it as “power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t”.
Power isn’t exercising your right to punish someone or do something negative. Power is realized or increased when one holds restraint and shows compassion.The-most-common-way-people-give-away-power

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You Need To Stop Buying Facebook Likes, You’re Killing Your Engagement

Here’s a video we came across one day scouring the annals of the internets. It makes a clear case as to why you shouldn’t be buying Facebook likes. With every fake like added to your page, every real person liking your page

Facebook isn't for everyone

will see less and less of your content. Basically, if you artificially inflate your your Facebook likes, you’re hurting yourself in the long run.

Many people can’t do it and Facebook isn’t for everyone. Brandon and I have agreed that Facebook isn’t something we want nor should be focusing on right now. Hence we don’t have an undated Facebook page. If you can’t put the time in, it isn’ worth it.I think this is a brilliant lesson for any situation in life where you have the choice to either  a)work hard for something or b) take the easy way out and pay for it. The former is always the harder choice but it comes with a larger reward as well. It’s hard to come up with current and consistent content for Facebook. But if you do it for a long time you get faster and more efficient at it and over time you get a name for yourself. The keywords there are “over time” nothing on social happens over night.

On the other hand, if you do put in the time, you’re going to create a following and inspire a lot of people (COR does a great job of this on Facebook). COR doesn’t pay for likes on Facebook, they acquired them organically from people who love what they share. (that’s why I liked their page, go check out the images they share)

Anytime there’s a choice of the hard way or the easy way, take the hard way. You’ll be happier in the long run. And for crying out loud stop trying to buy influence on Social Media sites, be that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Buying influence never works.

What do you think? Can you buy influence? 

Unleashing Your Creative Genius: Touch The Snake

In a brilliant Ted Talk, David Kelly (founder of IDEO, an innovation firm on steroids) shows us how everyone can be a creative genius, it just takes a lot of mini steps.

The analogy he gives is a story from Dr. Albert Bandura (the greatest living psychologist in the world, also born in Mundare Alberta, fact) who is world renown for curing phobias in a radically short period of time, sometimes in 4 hours or less. His secret? He does it in many small steps,working up to the finale, the crux, the thing they’ve always been afraid of.

He’ll bring a patient into his office and tell them there’s a snake in the room next door. The patient obviously thinks it’s ludicrous that they’ll ever go into the snake filled room. He opens a one way mirror to let them see the snake, calms them down. Then opens the door and calms them down. Then into the room, then calms them down. Recognize the pattern?

It’s a series of many steps, over time, they contribute to a major outcome. It’s really how we humans get anything done.

With this process in mind, David encourages everyone that they can be creative and they can come up with novel, unique solutions to problems they never thought were possible before. In small steps, over time, you can be come a genius.

Reinvent Continuously

What Does It Take To Be A Great Leader? [6 Quotes]

Mark Miller is the author of some amazing books on leadership and all the proceeds of those books go to charity. That’s awesome.

Mitch Joel talked to him on the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast, check it out by clicking On Great Leadership with Mark Miller. The quotes below are Mark Millers, he has a way of summing things up that is simply brilliant.

I believe great leadership is “the willingness to be wrong and the courage to admit it.” I think Seth Godin said that. Genius. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Leadership. It can get hard sometimes, every leader had their setbacks, every visionary makes mistakes on the way. But the greatest leaders have been through more, every setback making them smarter and closer to their end goal.

Every setback, every struggle, everything put in your way is there for a reason, to make you stronger.

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13 Grievances For The 2014 Social Media Season

How-many-twitter-followers-do-you-have-

1. Don’t ask me to like your page, Retweet you or buy something.

If it’s important I’ll find it on my own or a friend will tell me about it. I’ll buy it when I’m good and ready, stop asking me to do ‘something’ for you, and start doing things for others so that you may get something from them one day.

2. Your website sucks, so does mine.

I’m updating and improving my website today, what are you doing?

3. You can’t judge someone by their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account.

You can only judge a person’s Twitter account, Facebook profile, Instagram account after meeting them in real life. Paradoxically you can lose all respect on social platforms by saying one thing wrong. And no, tweeting a couple things ‘right’ or automating your tweets gains you no respect whatsoever.

4. Giving people recommendations on LinkedIn for the sole purpose of increasing your own recommendation number is lazy and if you do that I hate you.

Just clicking a button to vote for a certain someone to be an “expert” in something is just lazy. Never talk about your recommendations on LinkedIn, it’s nothing to brag about. Now, instead why not write a couple of paragraphs about the person you work with that never gets credit but is one of the best coworkers you’ve ever had.

Bosses and manager, write nice thing about your people. If you can’t find nice things to say you’re not looking hard enough.

5. Nobody cares about the amount of Twitter followers you have or what your Klout score is. Stop bringing them up.

Didn’t think I had to mention this, but if you mention “Klout” or your “Klout Score” you are a huge nerd. Stop doing that.

6. It can be terrifying to face the metrics, but if Buckley’s taught us anything, things that are awful are good for us.

As Jim Collins says, you must face the brutal facts, what’s the most important thing to measure that determines success?! The ironic part of measurement is once you start measuring yoy really don’t need to do much further. Just the fact that you’re measuring results, humans tend to perform much much better when they can correlate what they’re doing with the results.

7. We get it, you have a Facebook page, now stop inviting us to your events.

Remember, there’s nothing easier than starting a Facebook page, creating an event, and inviting people to said event. If it’s “easy” EVERYONE IS GOING TO DO IT!!! Making your event no different than the other hundred events we get invited to on Facebook every day.

8. Nobody likes the “new” social network until everyone likes the “new” social network.

Be picky about where you spend your time but not too stubborn that you’ll end up still using a Blackberry in 2013.

9. Don’t ever use the phrase, “OH GOD YOU HAVE TO BE ON (insert any social platform)!”

To each their own. Stop thinking you’ll know exactly what someone else would prefer.

10. If you think being on Google plus is beneficial to your websites search engine optimization show me why, don’t just tell me to get on.

That goes for all social platforms by the way.

11. I get it, you like Vine.

But if you’re a person who’s in charge of your company do you think your best time is spent making and editing extremely short videos? (if you’re the exception to the rule please let me know in the comments below)

12. If you’re not on a social network or don’t know much about it don’t make fun of it or discount its legitimacy.

Few things make you look more unintelligent than poking fun at something you don’t understand.

13. If you still think Facebook and Twitter are good demand generation tools you’re way off your kilter.

They’re customer service and brand building tools. They are horrible at creating demand.

 

Sharpening Your Competitive Edge Conference Saskatoon

Finding Your Mustache: how to standout in a clean shaven media world

This was filmed in November in Saskatoon at the TCU Centre. I’ve done the Sharpening Your Competitive Edge conference for a couple years now. It’s always a great crowd. This years presentation was titled Finding your Mustache: how to standout in a clean shaven media world.

Part 1:

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Making people smile since 2013

2013 Year In Review From The Offices of Strategy Lab High Above Regina

Strategy Lab November from Strategy Lab on Vimeo.

As I fill my coffee cup with my second shot of Bailey’s this morning, it’s left me a tad sentimental looking back on a great year, one I may never forget.

Starting a company isn’t an easy task, the odds that you’ll go bankrupt are hovering around 90% in your first year, 80% in your second year and only around 10% in your tenth year. What does that mean for Strategy Lab? We have ten years to wait, ten years to stay above the death line, as the goal with any new born organization, survival is the key priority.

This brings up an interesting predicament, what do you focus on?  In the website/marketing consulting industry how do you “survive” per se? How do you ensure you’re focusing on what you need to to ensure you’re around for year ten and beyond?

Sadly I don’t have the answer to this question. My best guess is the little things (I’ll explain later). I wish I did, however I do have an idea of what not to focus on. Pleasing everyone. You can’t do it. ‘Yes man’ philosophy only works to an extent. When you say yes to something you’re saying no to something else. I’m starting to learn about this, it feels like experience creeping up on me, then I pinch myself and remind captain ego that I’m still very young in my field and having patients will be an asset very soon.

As you gain more experience in whatever field you’re in, you begin to learn lessons. They aren’t easy, they’re learned from making mistake, and I’m sure many people don’t see the lessons life is trying to teach them through set-backs and adversity. Most people give up or take an easier path. Life throws them lemons, they set them down, run to Wal-Mart and buy a bottle of lemonade. Work ethic gets recognized these days because it’s so rare to find in our over-educated yet knowledge seeking, work avoiding, know-it-all generation we’ve become. The most important lesson I’ve learned this year is that no matter what industry you’re in the secret to success is not a secret at all, it’s hard work.

The most difficult part of the year has to be parting was with Linden. It wasn’t a bad breakup, we’re still friends, but someone leaving your company is never an easy transition. We’re on good terms, just going in different directions. We wish him all the best and would love to work with him again one day.

The biggest accomplishment as a company has to running our first conference/workshop, #Awesome2013 took over Twitter on the morning of July 18th 2013. We filled a room at the Regina Inn, had four brilliant local speakers, and learned a little bit about running a workshop. Since then we did a Google Analytics session at Capital Ford and a Website-In-A-Day workshop. They’re fun, interactive, prizes, and you learn a lot. We’re excited to start a new Workshop series in 2014.

The-Strategy-Lab-workshop-series

 

The biggest accomplishment personally, was finally seeing the new Regina Police Service cars driving around with their mission statement on the side of the car. It wasn’t my idea, nor did I come up with the mission, but while working with some very smart folks at the Regina Police Service we helped them change their core values, vision and mission.

I still remember one question that came up during the project, how will we keep everyone who is a part of the RPS reminded of the new core messaging? The idea from a very smart person was to print it in more places, make sure every employee can see it every day. In offices, on walls, in conference rooms and, yes, on the cruisers. What a brilliant way to remind yourself of what you stand for. If you want to read more about how we got “Public Service First” on the side of Police cruisers click here.

The coolest project I was a part of this year had to be the Regina and District Association for Community Living (RDACL)’s Sharing your Awesome On An iPad. It was a six week course we developed for people who applied to learn how to use an iPad. We created the program for RDACL so they can use it else where and build on what they’ve already created. Here’s a video Brandon made on Sharing Your Awesome On An iPad.

RDACL Workshop from Strategy Lab on Vimeo.

My most fascinating project I worked on (and am still working on) is the Hospitals of Regina Foundation (HRoF). An organization full of passionate people, an amazing history, and brimming with potential. I’ve met a lot of brilliant minds working together to enhance our health care system, an endeavour that affects everyone in Saskatchewan. The future of what the HoRF can do is amazing, I’m very much humbled to be a small part of it.

I’m excited about the opportunity Brandon and I have working with some of the most amazing organizations in and around Regina, helping them take over he world. To 2014, may it be your best year ever.

 

Love,

Jeph

 

 

* – I said I’d explain the “little things” later so here goes. Our world is very paradoxical, people are irrational and often react in the opposite way we might think. Markets react in the opposite direction as we predict, everything thing in our world has a paradoxical opposite side to it, like the Seinfeld Bizzaro Jerry episode! So as a consultancy (and maybe all companies) to get big, you’d think it would be doing the big things. The flashy things that get you noticed, the bigger the client landed, the more prestigious your brand gets. But you’re only as good as what people say about you, your “brand” is what they say about you behind your back.

We measure this by referrals, the best compliment a client can give you is referring a friend, which unconsciously says: “I was so happy with you guys that I think my friends and colleagues will as well benefit from working with you!”  What can be better than that. People don’t just refer anyone, referring someone is a reflection of your own brand after all. So as an organization, you want to be a brand that people would want to associate themselves with, or co-brand themselves with. The only way to do that is to get the little things right. From your e-mail tag line to your business cards, every single touchpoint people have with your brand they are making a judgement, it’s up to you to influence if that judgement is positive or negative. Over time those judgement add up to what people perceive as your “brand”. Once people have made up their mind, it can be impossible to convince them otherwise.

Digital Darwinism

The Nine Laws of New Business Strategy

Adapt-or-die-strategy-lab

1. A room is always smarter than the one person standing in front of it. The challenge for leaders, coaches, teachers, and managers is taking advantage of connectivity, to inspire the pack to do the right thing. To inspire the tribe to keep reaching for more. To see their combined potential, to push them further than what any one of them could do on their own. To help internal communication. To improve culture. Read Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger  

2. Your Brand is what Google tells you it is.  With a click of a button anyone in the world can find everything they can about you. If they don’t find very much they’re going to find your competitors and hire them instead. It’s a different world we live in, a world where we like to “meet people” online first before in person. What’s your Twitter handle, what do they look like on Facebook, where have you worked-checking the LinkedIn profile, and finally what does Google say about you? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before a competitor or a sneaky friend of yours finds those pictures of you from that Halloween party in University. Your Mother would not be proud of that picture.

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Two Ricky Gervais Quotes to Live By

 

Ricky Gervais. Actor, writer, director, atheist. Whatever box you choose to place him in, you’ll find a quote from Mr. Gervais on the subject. After reading countless articles and interviews from around the web I was inspired to create a list of the top Ricky Gervais quotes that’ll change the way you work. Prepare to be inspired!

 

Number One.

Rickey Gervais quote on creating

 

Everyone has the ability to create. Everyone! That baby playing with blocks on Christmas morning…. Guess what? They just created something. Creativity has the tendency to be stamped out of us at a young age. Throughout grade school, straying away from the norm is frowned upon and you suddenly become an “outsider”. On the outside is exactly where you want to be. The inside of the box is crowded, and lets be honest, it smells…

 

Here’s a great quote from Greg Ciotti of Help Scout on differentiation and selling your product:

 

“While a superior product and outstanding service are the foundation for growing a company that goes the distance, there is an opportunity to use differentiation as a competitive advantage in order to “stand out like a sore thumb.” – Greg Ciotti

 

Ricky Gervais is a sore thumb.  We should all aspire to be sore thumbs.

 

Number Two.

Ricky Gervais quote on offending people

 

When you want your product or service to be different don’t fret about offending someone.  Chances are, these people are just looking for something to be offended by.  Offending someone’s feelings, as mentioned above, is impossible to measure.  Every human being on the Earth feels in a different way.  Attempting to cater to 7 billion people at once without offending one single person is next to impossible.  I never say impossible.  Nothing is impossible.  But this is probably as close as they come.

Just focus on giving your brand its own personal flare with something different that no one else in your market is doing; that’s where you’ll please the right people.  One of the coolest products I’ve stumbled upon recently is Man Crates.  They allow you to fill a crate with “manly” items and the crate is then shipped to you.  Notice the use of the word crate, not box.  They do, in fact, send you a crate that needs to be opened with a crowbar.  No company I’ve seen recently is delivering in a crazy, new way (other than the drones Amazon “claims” they will be using – link to that here –> Amazon Prime Air).  But Amazons “drone” service is a whole new post in itself.

 

So the moral of the story?  

Be like Mr. Gervais.  Be different.  Differentiate your brand.  Be the wolf among the sheep.  And don’t sweat it if a few sheep get offended by your choice of costume.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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