Imagine if you could

My Favourite Business Book of All Time

Maverick written by Ricardo Semler in Brazil published in 1993. A transformational business book from start to finish. Completely counter what you’d come to expect from a Ricardo Semler MaverickBrazilian industrial tycoon. I think Mr. Semler is one of the most thought-provoking, honest, most humble leaders I’ve ever come across.

Semco, a heavy duty industrial manufacturer has no rules to live by. You pick your own hours, pick your own pay, pick your own vacation times, heck you even vote on your own managers regularly! Twice a year you fill out a 30 question questionnaire about your management and division you work in.

No one has a long term contact. No one is employed longer than 6 months. Everyone’s salary is openly known by anyone who cares to know.

Semco is the most democratic company I’ve ever read about, and they did it in a 1980’s Brazilian economy. Not the beacon of sought after economies you once thought, on the contrary, Brazil was avoid by many businesses because of the government, high inflation rates, and a fast growing unpredictable future. It’s astounding what Ricardo and Semco accomplished during this period in Brazil.

How did they get it so right?

Ricardo lucked out in a sense, his father build a multi-million dollar company. He became of age and realized it would never last in its current state. Plus the fact that second generation wealth is squandered 70% of the time, Ricardo had to make a gamble.

He was courageous in his decisions but the theme throughout his career and the book was that he cared (and still cares) dearly about people. It’s so refreshing to see in someone like him in a leadership role, putting people before profits.

Telling, forcing, commanding, never works. Inspiring, helping, listening, always does.

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Sometimes You Just Have To Be Like Harry Potter

In Harry Potter The Prisoner of Azkaban, there’s a scene at the lake where dementors are about to kill Harry, Hermoine and Sirious Black. There are too many dementors for Harry to defend against.

Just when you think all is lost, all of a sudden a Patronus appears from the other side of the lake and staves off the dementors.

Harry believes it’s his father who cast the Patronus charm and saved them.

Some time later in the movie, using Hermione’s time-turner to go back in time, they go back to the lake where supposedly Harry’s father saves them. But what they find is Harry’s father doesn’t show up. So who saved them?

It must have been Harry. But he wasn’t powerful enough, or so he thought.

He didn’t think he had the power to do it, but because he’d already seen himself do it, it wasn’t impossible anymore.

Visualizing, affirming, positive self talk, there are many ways to help yourself do this in your marketing, business and life. Sometimes you must believe in yourself to do the impossible, otherwise how else are you going to achieve your goals? Just like Harry did.

How many major moments in your life would have been much easier if you would have saw yourself doing it perfectly in advance?

The Best Problems Are Impossible

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I love impossible problems. I love when you solve a once seemingly impossible problem and then have this realization of “wait a minute, if I was wrong about ________* what else could I be wrong about!?”.

People use the word never a lot. I could never do that. That would never work. You’ll never get there. It’s easy to say it won’t work. It’s easy to be a critic.

If only we all had the mind of a child. To children, there are no limits, no barriers, no hesitations, no red tape, no reason not to try the impossible.

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