Posts Tagged ‘guest election obama leadership’

WALK YOUR TALK, OR CUSTOMERS WALK OUT

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

What are you doing to attract and retain
loyal customers?

Feet and Arrows

Which Shall You Choose?

We’ve been talking a lot about the new economy, how consumers are driving a harder bargain and demanding more from existing vendors.   How do you avoid having competitors “on the cloud” leave you “in the dust?”

In the midst of all the confusion and information overload it’s easy to forget that our customers have been loyal because we’ve not only filled their order, but fulfilled our promise for quality, service and solutions that work.

What else are you doing to retain your good clients?   For most companies, lead generation and business development are keys to growth and profitability.  But even more important is keeping the customers you already have and getting them to buy more!

How often and in what ways do you say “thank you”?  What are you doing to find new solutions to the issues your clients face?

Branding has become a significant marketing concept.  But branding is much more than a clever tag line or a 30 second elevator speech.  Branding should say who you are as a company, what you stand for, what you can be counted on to deliver and why someone should develop a long-term business relationship with you.

Take an objective step back and look at your marketing materials, ad campaigns, and website and determine if your message is consistent and if it accurately reflects the company you are today.

Does your branding reflect the vision and values of the organization?  Do your employees know the importance of that branding message in how they interact with your customers?  Your branding promise and your unique selling proposition should be reflected in your day-to-day operation, from the way your receptionist answers the phone and directs the calls to the delivery of the product.

I recently went to purchase a computer from a store which advertises low prices and quality service, only to learn that if I wanted to get their advertised low price, I couldn’t buy it in the store, but had to go home and buy it online.  After some conversation, we determined that I could go online from one of their computers in the store and make my purchase and then walk up to the customer service counter with the receipt and pick up the product…. A good example of running your customer through the ringer before giving them the price you promised!

Now, more than ever before it’s vital to pay attention to every “stakeholder”; not only your shareholders, but everyone who has a “stake” in your business including employees, customers, vendors, and your community.

It’s a good reality check to invite a couple of business people and consumers who don’t currently work with you or your organization to review your marketing materials, ads and websites and tell you what they perceive, and where there are inconsistencies.  Ask some of your current customers to rate their experience with your company against what your branding statement promises.

In Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, author Verne Harnish says, “The brand promise is the key factor that sets you apart from all competitors…it is the starting point from which all other executive decisions are derived.”

In my newsletter this week I talked about Harnish’s 3 top concepts for business growth and success.   If you didn’t get a chance to read it, here’s the link :

http://theinspiredbusiness.com/dont-lift-your-downhill-leg-a-business-lesson-from-my-dog..html

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/julia_manzerova/2757851927/sizes/m/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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Spirituality in Business as Clarity in Business

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Tom Zender

Tom Zender

By: Tom Zender

If there is one thing that almost everyone can agree upon when it comes to spirituality, no matter your religious background or beliefs, it’s that spirituality brings clarity. The words spirituality and purity have long been synonymous. Spirituality can help to alleviate the muddle that comes with stress, and relax our tendency to overcomplicate our environment. When we struggle in life, when we feel lost, it is clarity that we seek. Spirituality provides such clarity in many emotional, relationship, and further normative contexts. Yet spirituality also has the ability to bring clarity into unclear and frustrating business contexts.

The foundation of business is communications. Deals, bargains, and projects are the result of an interaction between people. As this is where all business starts and ends, it only seems natural that clarity should be sought. While the multiple steps that go beyond the initiation of a potential deal are in many cases interwoven with such complexity that few can understand them, the initial steps should always be clear and concise. Within those steps, one should be able to find the motivation of the parties and their goals to be transparent and easily understood. There are deals where this is not the case, but I would state now that such deals are usually instances of one party trying to maximize their gains from the interaction rather than ensuring the best deal for all involved.

Why is this a problem? Well, business is a long term enterprise. The old chestnut of watching who you step on while you are on the way up, because you never know where they’ll be on your way down, is as true today as it has always been. Nothing lasts forever. Therefore, you want to create as supportive a business environment as possible for yourself and your firm at all times. You want to make sure that the continuity of your success is guaranteed through the high potential of help being there when you need it one day. Not to mention the fact that if both firms are trying to maximize their gains with respect to the needs of the other, a better arrangement over time will likely be found – reaping future gains that cannot exist without a continued and trustful partnership.

Thus the best business is always spiritual in the sense that it is clear and honest. It allows parties to minimize the time needed to do their deal, so that both parties can concentrate on other deals as well. It allows parties to develop a stronger network, sensitive to shifts in the marketplace – whether the changes are technological, taste-based, or event driven. There is always a selfish part to business – you can’t just go out of business or take a substantial loss in order to help the other firm. But the existence of this fact, having it out in the open, is as spiritual an act as envisioning the future benefits of treating your partners fairly today. While there are a lot of people out there trying to link business and other parts of the world to our spiritual selves through obscure and abstract theories, this is a very basic way in which good business can be seen as spiritual in nature. Not to mention the fact that business and spirituality are both ways of structuring our search for the unknown conditions that await us aound the corner. Here too, the greater clarity we can retain for ourselves, the better.

For more on this topic read God Goes to Work written by Tom Zender and available online and at bookstore everywhere. This timely book explains how successful individuals and firms are changing the way they do business by accessing and utilizing a vast reservoir of untapped energy. Learn why Spirituality is the basis for success and the most important asset you have in elevating you and your business to a new level of performance.

www.TomZender.com

TOM ZENDER is President Emeritus of Unity that serves over three million people of all faiths worldwide. He is a recognized spiritual leader and corporate executive with decades of success, who has held management positions at General Electric and Honeywell, and was a Senior VP in NYSE and NASDAQ listed corporations. His corporate board experience includes NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange listed companies.

Reprinted with permission. This article is presented unedited as an opportunity for you, our readers, to gain a deeper perspective of the authors we admire.

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The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship Virtual Seminar

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

As we move into the month of February we are so very happy to announce our new Multi Week Virtual Seminar “The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship” Many of you may remember our 8 week blog series on this topic last fall and you can read up on the concept in our archives.

Let’s get started with a quick video…Enjoy.

Here are the links for more information.

Visit our website for detailed information and registration instructions.

Visit our Facebook Page and please give us a “Like”

Or the Facebook Event Page.

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That Which Never Goes Away….

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The past few weeks have been an exploration of the Visioning Process and how it can be used to serve the continual prospering of your business.  This week we look at how to keep the creative fires burning when you think you have hit a visioning plateau. The primary thing to remember is that what may appear to be a plateau is really an opportunity check in and see where you may be putting the brakes on the process.

Often when I present this idea to organization their immediate reaction is to tell me about how often they are Visioning and how they just keep getting the same thing. Time after time, no matter who is participating in the process these groups think they have stalled when in reality they are that sweet spot of finding “That Which Never Goes Away.”

The Visioning process is all about repetition, and a lot of it.  The nature of the process is that people can, and sometimes do, attempt to influence the outcome. Being humans we have a tendency to want things to go according to our often pre-conceived plan. Visioning has a built in system for preventing this from happening when you use the system as designed.  Now many will ask how a process that is a form of communicating with GOD could possibly be susceptible to human manipulation. That is a great question and the answer is simple. We allow people to record their own visions and tell us what they experienced. We have no way of knowing what they truly experienced and we must therefore trust that they are telling us the truth as they see it. This brings forth another aspect of sharing our vision. As humans we want things to make sense, we have an inner desire to make meaning from our experiences. We will use metaphors, similes, and figures of speech to explain what we think our vision means regarding the Visioning Project. Now this is not to say that people will set out to influence the results, it is just the way the game is played.

This is why the Visioning process must include the Compiling and Sifting portions of the program. Once your team has amassed several sets of Visioning notes they are compiled in such a way as to assure that which notes came from which people is impossible to distinguish. Once this step is complete the team comes together and sifts through this larger document looking for themes, or those aspects of the vision that keep repeating themselves. Those words, phrases, images, songs and so much more “That Which Never Goes Away” are the golden nuggets. These are what we are truly searching for. This is the Universal Truth shining through the human interpretations of the vision. Consider for a moment what you would do if 100 people walked up to you in a day and suggested you do something, or not do something you had been planning.  If one or two people made the suggestion you might not listen, or you might consider it a coincidence and pay little attention to the subject. However, at what point would you begin to think there might be something to the message you just keep hearing. The messages “That Which Never Go Away” are GOD’s words striving to be heard.

The people that feel stuck because they never get anything new are being called to take action on the “What Never Goes Away” aspects of their vision. If you’re feeling stuck, stalled or downright frustrated with the Vision Process because it doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere, or not providing a clear enough message for you to follow I have good news. The answer is to start taking some action. Once you do, I promise new images, words, and alike will begin flowing into the vision once again. In 2006 as I was stuck in the land of “That Which Never Goes Away”, I had been putting off taking action in regards to entering ministerial school. The excuses I was using aren’t important now, what is important is what happened once I said Yes. The day I finally listened to the vision that kept saying go to school and made a couple of phone calls to begin the application process, the vision for my life began to expand again. I believe the Universe wanted to know I was listening. Once I acknowledged, with even the smallest action step, I was once again able to experience a larger more expanded vision of my future.

If you have begun using the Visioning Process in your business and have reached the “That Which Never Goes Away” plateau I highly suggest you get started on something- anything- that is in alignment with those aspects of the vision “That Which Never Goes Away”. I promise that you can revitalize the vision for your organization or your life immediately by moving in the direction of the vision itself. Once you take the first step you will be amazed at how quickly the Universe begins to conspire for your good.

Until Next Time,

Peace and Blessings

Robert Brzezinski

P.S. If you feel good about your vision, are stuck in the land of “That Which Never Goes Away” or would like to learn how to use the Visioning process in your business check out our upcoming 5 week Tele-Seminar Series: The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship beginning in late February.

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Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credits:http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/2195373631/

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4 Pillars Guest Post by Rev. Margaret Shepherd

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

During our recent 8 week series on “The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship” We were contacted by Rev. Margaret Shepherd of the Visionbuilders Institute. Her ideas and insights around the topic of Vision are so compelling we asked, and she graciously agreed to write an exclusive guest post for us. This week we are pleased to share with you her blog post on how Vision can support and serve your business or organization. We believe you will find this article not only informative, but inspirational as well. As always you are welcome to share your comments and questions below.

Pillar #2 – VISION

Rev Margaret Sheperd

Rev. Margaret Shepherd

Vision is the base of the Second Pillar of Spiritual Entrepreneurship, as Robert shared in an earlier post. The topic of vision is an exciting one for me, since my daily work is teaching organizations and individuals how to succeed by building a vision.

Increasing your business success means increasing your personal power – and the right vision does that like nothing else. Think of the most powerful, successful people you know. Wouldn’t you consider them visionaries? Let’s explore how you can claim your own visionary success.

Let’s start with the “Visionbuilders” definition of vision, and what it means:

“A VISION is a spiritually inspired imagined ideal experience you want more than you fear change”.

  • Spiritually inspired: when a vision is discovered through inner stillness – instead of brainstorming or logic or as an avoidance of an unwanted state – the discovered vision is the real deal.
  • Imagined: a vision is creative, something that hasn’t existed before, living in imagination before taking form. Human evolution exists because of visions.
  • Ideal: a vision is a stretch beyond what seems logically possible, an over-the-top dream.
  • Experience: a vision isn’t a goal or an intention but an experience you want to live in.
  • You want more than you fear change: ah, there’s the big challenge.  We are naturally hardwired for success, yet we are also naturally hardwired to fear threats.  It’s easy to get confused and feel the same fear response to an imagined threat of failure, change or intimacy as we would to a sabre tooth tiger at the door of our cave!

Now that you know what a vision is and that it is your ticket to success, where and how do you find one? Just as Robert notes, it’s a “silent, inner” process. There is a part of you – as an individual or team – that knows the right vision for right now. Revealing that vision is simple if you follow one rule – STILLNESS.  I don’t mean just quiet or inactive, I mean a still mind, still enough that it opens to profound wisdom, clarity and guidance otherwise unavailable. You’ll know when you’re there because of a deep feeling of peace, well-being and safety.

I’ve successfully led some really left-brain, hard-nosed, non-contemplative people in the VISION DISCOVERY process.  They soon become so good at it and get such excellent results you would think it was magic. But it’s not. It’s the most natural thing in the world to focus inward, connect with your highest self and listen to its wisdom.

How does vision empower your business? It is nothing less than your brand, your guiding direction, your criteria for decisions, your inspiration and your strength.  It is your economy of resources and your peace of mind. It is your team-builder and your best corporate culture. The deeper your devotion to your vision, the greater it’s benefits.

In the “Visionbuilders” work, we encourage not only an overall corporate vision, but a vision for any important aspect of your business. A vision of ideal clients or customers, for example, or a vision for the financial management of the organization, or a vision for your role in your industry.

Let me share a personal example with you. My husband and I own apartments, a business that grew from vision.  Our overall vision is “Our tenants experience their highest ideal of home, and anyone in any way involved with our properties thrives and prospers.” We see this vision in our mind’s eye, and it is our criterion for all decisions about the apartments.  Supporting visions have evolved and been made real over time – a renovation project, a change in management companies, and annual profit margins. We have consistently succeeded with our vision – regardless of the larger economy, demographics or any outside circumstances.  Don’t miss this important point: If you do your part, vision finds its own fulfillment.

Sounds easy right?  Well, yeah, until you get stuck and don’t know why.  Here’s what I’ve learned from my personal visionbuilding successes and failures and those of my clients. No matter how inspiring your business vision, if your corporate mindset, actions and structure don’t support it, it will stay suspended in the ethers – a phantom taunting you with unfulfilled promises.

It’s easy to see that you have to move your feet to make your vision real, but harder to know the right dance steps. Can you guess where to turn for further insights and guidance?  STILLNESS!  The vision itself, and the clarity, guidance and insights you need are the domain of the intuitive mind. That’s where the dance steps are.  But then it’s time to get out there on the dance floor and move your feet. Because I’ve learned that successful visionbuilding means inner directed action, I teach a set of stillness-based skills and action skills. When you support your vision with strategy, standards, systems, and structure guess what’s automatic? Visionary success.

As every Spiritual Entrepreneur knows, when one of us wins, we all win. I’m so excited for your visionary success – for your business to be serving, blessing and thriving in a bigger way. Shine on!

© margaret shepherd 2010

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Margaret Shepherd brings Vision to life. Her Visionbuilders program teaches the inner and outer skills that build a Vision for your company, your career or your cause. An ordained New Thought minister with an MBA, she is accomplished in organizational and leadership development, success coaching, speaking and training. A published author, her free weekly message “T.G.I.M. – Thank God It’s Monday” inspires the workweek of thousands every Monday morning.
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Guest Post From Team Member Michael Doyle

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

This month, we received our new president, and from him the people of this country will have great expectations. Our country is in dire need of a strong leader who will lead this country in a new economic direction and out of the recession that we have been slumbering in now for a year. Barack Obama will need to be a strong leader with the resolve, confidence and leadership to guide this country out of its current troubles.

We as business leaders and owners need to have the same resolve, confidence and leadership that will lead our own into not just survival this year, but one of strength and prosperity. To reach our goals and objectives, we must act boldly with a well-designed plan to get everyone within our companies working together and going in the same direction. We must have faith in one another and never give up, work our tails off and change the direction of our companies, just like Barack Obama will need to do. It’s time for our new leader, and us as leaders, to act with the confidence and  boldness needed to change the direction of our country and our companies.

Michael Doyle is President of Brand Iron Marketing

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