The-obstacle-is-the-way-zero-to-one-spark-the-hard-thing-about-hard-things

21 Quotes On Bumblebees, Obstacles, Superpowers and the F-Word

It's supposed to be hard

1. I remind 8 year olds trying out Volleyball for the first time this very lesson.

ANYTHING you try for the first time is going to be hard, don’t let that discourage you.

Remember, you just need to stay in the game longer than everyone else and you’ll be the default winner. Keep treading water, keep above the water line. Another day alive is another day closer to your goal.

 

Remember-the-bumblebee-does-something-impossible-everyday

2. In Richard Branson’s “The Virgin Way” he tells a brilliant little story about the Bumblebee. For decades scientists have been stumped by the Bumblebee. When you take into account the size of the body compared to the size of the wing span, the Bumblebee on all accounts should NOT be able to fly. It is a scientific impossibility. Then Branson’s goes on to say that up until this very day, not one scientist has ever been able to explain that to a Bumblebee.

Don’t listen to people who use the word impossible. They live a shallow life and will never reap the rewards of amazing breakthroughs, innovative new ideas and groundbreaking discoveries. To the future on-word we march, into the crazy unknown.

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I'm not sure what do you think?

The Seven Most Important Words a Leader Can Say

I’m not sure, what do you think?The Virgin Way by Richard Branson

From Richard Branson’s The Virgin Way he talks about the 7 most important words for leaders to use. “I’m not sure, what do you think?” puts your staff at ease, makes everyone around you feel like you aren’t a know-it-all and willing to implement other people’s ideas.

When you ask others for their ideas you get more options to choose from. You incentivize people coming to you with innovative solutions to organizational problems. Today’s best businesses empower their people to share ideas up the chain of command. As a leader, the less ideas you come up with to implement, the more champions you’re building up around you. Also, when you adopt your staffs’ ideas, you’re creating a very important incentive for your people to want to offer their ideas (very few organizations actually care about what their frontline employees think, let alone ideas they have).

When you ask others what they think, what you’re really saying is “I actually care about you and what you think of this organization”. As funny as that sounds, unfortunately most organization leaders don’t think their people are that smart, they’ve built up a facade that business is run by executives and the people who where suits to work everyday. When it really comes down to it, the best organizations have the best people on the front lines, and no, for the most part they don’t where suits.

I think we all can learn a lot from what Mr. Branson has taught us about business. Below are a few of my favourite quotes.

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Most creative ads ever - she's tired of waiting

99 of the Most Creative Advertisements in the World

Every year in my class at SIAST (or Saskatchewan Polytechnic) we always go over Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick. One of the best breakdowns of why some marketing messages stick and why others don’t. The authors break it down to the “SUCCES” principles. Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories. Using this framework you can apply it to any campaign, message, or advertisement. Read the book if you want to actually understand the SUCCES principles.
I use a slide deck like the one above and ask the class to run the ads in the presentation through the SUCCES criteria. You’ll find an interesting correlation between the SUCCES principles and the best ads.

Could it be that advertising isn’t an art form but more of a science? Are the smart marketers using frameworks like the one from Made to Stick or the one in Jonah Berger’s Contagious?

As much as advertising is an art form, there’s more science to it than you think. The slide deck of the 99 most creative ads is to show you how many companies go about their advertising. These are the best of the best, for every amazing ad there are 1000 mediocre ads that just become noise in our world.

If you want to standout, if you want to create a truly remarkable ad than read Contagious(Jonah Berger) and Made to Stick(I already told you who wrote this book). They will at least give you a framework to work under to create the next viral sensation.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.apple.com

We don't need teachers

How Education Will Change [Presentation]

1. Be prepared for Non-Linear learning. Students don’t just learn the grade 6 curriculum and enter grade 7 with a predictable knowledge base anymore. Kids can learn about what ever they want thanks to services like The Khan Academy, iTunes U and other Massive Open Online Courses (mooc’s)The teacher may not be the smartest person in the room anymore (arguably never was) on certain topics. We need to be prepared for this.

2. We need to change curriculums faster. We need to help students learn as fast as the world is changing. Reviewing your curriculum is going to have to happen more often than once every five years (which is the default many institutions get stuck in). Our world changes at an incredible rate. If you think what you’re teaching to students isn’t that relevant anymore I bet they think it’s even worse. Determine the learning outcomes that you’re trying to achieve but leave it up to the professor to build the plan to achieve those outcomes. Stop micromanaging the classroom.
I love this video by Cameron Herold. He’s brilliant and he talks about some of the learning outcomes he’s focusing on as a parent, skills that are applicable in the real world (selling, dealing with failure, negotiations, teamwork, leading, serving). 

3. Teach less and they will learn more. Why do we try to cover everything under sun in our curriculums? Do you think students remember everything that’s listen in the curriculum? Do you think they’re retaining the knowledge they are getting in each class? We forget 90% of what we learn in the classroom immediately after the class anyway. So why don’t we flip this around. What if every class had to find the 10% most important stuff on the topic at hand and developed a class around helping students retain that entire 10%?

Inspire them to learn more on a topic instead of trying to bore them to death on a subject that doesn’t interest them.
4. Stop using the text book. It’s to make money. We get it, that’s not going to fly in the future. No one learns from texts books once out of school, so why are we focusing on learning from textbooks while in school? I believe that all teachers should sign a hypocratic outh so this can’t happen any more. In the presentation I compare the textbook I’m supposed to use for my class and I compare three marketing books I want to use. The marketing books have many positive reviews while the textbook has a lone one. I think we need to take a serious look at this.

5. We don’t need teachers, we need leaders. I like to talk about my friend Jordan McFarlen who teaches Entrepreneurship at Campbell here in Regina. In the class the students have to start a company, create a product or service and go to market, all in the matter of months. With the tradition structure of a business, the students learn how to (and sometimes more so how not to) run a business. You don’t learn major lesson in life without trying and failing. I believe this is what school can and should help with.
24 Quotes on leadership, shipbuilding, management and much much more

25 Inspiring Quotes On Shipbuilding, Leading, Design and Happiness [From 8 Books]

From 8 of my favourite books comes these inspirational quotes. From shipbuilding to eating order, you’ll find a beautifully selected cross section of smart, inspiring and quotes that simply make you smile. Enjoy.

Have-wild-expectations-quote
I love this quote because I think most people are driven to shoot for the moon. They’re told to have a modest life, sit in a row, do what your told, don’t talk out of line, and hopefully after 13 years of this they’ll want to work in a factory taking orders from people in big offices. Well it turns out that’s no fun, especially for those just starting at the bottom of the totem pole.

Have a vision, have a big hairy audacious goal, have something! Go on now, create your wild and crazy expectation.

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How Do You Scale Customer Service?

You Can't Scale The Un-scalable

Three not so simple steps to scale your customer service strategy.

1. A core attitude change
Keep Austin Weird

You need a set of core values. A set of guiding principles you can fall back on when times get tough. Sometimes it’s just a phrase, usually the simpler the better. The more simple the new attitude is to take on, the better chance of by-in.

Without a new attitude (which starts at your core) you’ll never create the change you need to, to be a proactive leader in customer service. Austin Texas has one of the most vibrant business communities in the United States and some of the coolest nightlife I’ve ever experienced. When you talk to locals they always mention how Austin is much different than most of Texas cities. They have a different attitude. I’m not sure what they had first, the coolest marketing slogan for a city or the coolest city to create a marketing slogan for. Either way, they get it, and the entire city rally’s around keeping Austin weird.

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Goals Are For Losers, Systems Are For Winners

Scott Adams wrote an inspiring book. It’s called How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big- Kind of the Story of My Life-book by Scott AdamsYou probably know Mr. Adams a lot better once you find out he’s the guy behind those Dilbert comic strips. Yup, that’s Scott.

Throughout this fascinating read he keeps reminding the reader not to listen to his advice, after all he says, “you’re taking advice from a cartoonist!” I think this is why I felt like I should listen to him more, because he was open with his inherent bias’s and extremely transparent. Still one of the best all around books on improving your life, career, business, and most importantly, mindset.

Goals are for losers, systems are for winners. He had a lot of great advice in the book, but this counterintuitive thinking jumped out at me. As a guy who’s always been a firm believer in goals, goal setting, writing down goals, etc. this statement of Goals are for losers! really caught me off guard.

What the hell have I been doing? Why am I setting goals? Am I a loser?!? 

Then you read on and find there is a method to his madness. The general argument is that goals, once completed, give you nowhere else to go, no next step, no contingency plan. But systems scale, they get larger with ease, they adjust to their surroundings, they’re more adept for growth. Your system is the way you create successful outcomes (if you aren’t creating successful outcomes you are probably using a bad system). Your style, personality, approach, tone of voice, attitude, etc. are all a part of your system. 

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spiderman-quote-with-great-power

5 Ideas On The Future of Business Strategy

5 Steps to the Ultimate Business Strategyi.  Everyone’s connected.

Business strategy traditionally came from the smartest people in the room, the executive team, the bosses and when they needed help they turned to incredibly expensive consultants to build a brilliant foolproof plan. Everyone at the top laughed all the way to the bank. If the plan failed it was the consultants fault, if the plan succeeded it was the executives’ idea all along. Rarely does centralized, autocratic, command and control leadership work anymore.

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