Ever listen to yourself talk?

I do.

This may sound scary but way too often it’s how I figure out what I’m actually thinking or worse, what I really believe in. You’d think/hope I might have that sorted before opening my mouth but apparently that’s not always the case.

Today I had lunch with a new business prospect. To be honest, I’d heard most of what I said before, but it was a good refresher on some of the stuff I walk around believing in. Like this:

> I believe in measuring outputs, not inputs. This idea frequently comes up around how hard people are working. How hard people work, including how many hours they put in is an input. What they turn out, regardless of how hard they’re working is an output. When employee outputs match corporate output expectations, we have success. As I said today – and have said way too often before – if we achieved success with everybody doing their jobs standing on their heads naked at 4 in the morning – how they did their jobs (the input) is irrelevant.

> I don’t believe in ego. Famous quotes from me on ego: “Ego kills opportunity”. “Ego will outdo intelligence, everyday of the week”. “What an asshole”.

> I believe in brutal honesty. The term brutal is a little dramatic and not really what I mean but it makes the point – err on the side of telling the truth, not the varnish. The reason I love brutal honesty is it makes things happen. It eliminates politics and confusion. Someone does a great job – tell them. Same person is doing a crappy job – tell them. A client’s business is messed up – tell them. The client is messed up – find a new client. My favourite example of brutal honesty – my firing stories – I’ve only ever fired one person who didn’t shake my hand when I fired them (he knew my track record and didn’t do it just to mess me up). Why did all the others? Because long before they were fired and leading up to getting fired, they knew where they stood. I told them. We talked about it. How to fix things. How things were going. If/when firing day arrived it was never a surprise. More people need to try brutal honesty. It’s treating adults like adults – and they will respond.

> I believe in beer. More people need to drink. It relieves stress and gets people together. I’ve known a lot of people who’s best ideas came after 2 beer.

>I believe in marketing. Not tech – I hired a well known analyst from Gartner marketing. Real marketing. Dog food marketing. Starting with the consumer. Building a product that meets their needs. Selling it so they get the benefits. I’ve observed, and it scares me, how few companies actually understand marketing. PROMOTIONS AND SWAG ARE NOT MARKETING. There would be more successful companies if more managers understood the power of true marketing.
(Speaking of marketing, I saw a great tag line – on the side of a transport truck – for a promotions company – it said: “Crap to give away. Stuff to wear”. Perfect mission statement. I would have loved to facilitate that work session!)

I’m sure I believe in a lot more but it didn’t come up today. Saving it for tomorrow.