Category Archives: BUSINESS

AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Ken Segall: On how to think simple in business

The man who named the iMac and developed Apple’s Think Different campaign, Ken Segall, joins us to discuss his latest book, Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity. CLICK HERE to learn more about Ken Segall!

Discussion guide from our conversation with Ken Segall:

Ken Segall1. Ken argues that simplicity is the most important weapon in business.

2. The key lesson learned from his study of Steve Jobs and his obsession with simplicity.

3. “We are not just talking about a simple approach to marketing. You are talking about this being embedded in the culture, to the core.”

4. Can these lessons about simplicity apply to any type and size organization?

5. One of the important moves an organization can make is to develop a business strategy to defeat complexity before it can take root.

6. Simplicity leads to building lasting, profitable organizations. In common experience, this is hard, to NOT let things get more complex with the simple passage of time.

7. We had to ask Ken this: “Now that we are several years beyond Jobs’ passing, is Apple still keeping it simple?”

About Ken Segall:

Ken is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Insanely Simple. Working with Steve Jobs as ad agency creative director for twelve years spanning NeXT and Apple, he led the team behind Apple’s legendary Think different campaign, and set Apple down the i-way by naming the iMac. Segall has also served as agency global creative director for IBM, Intel, Dell, and BMW. He is an international speaker on the power of simplicity.

Find Ken Segall’s latest book here:

Ken Segall’s first best-selling book below. If you read only ONE book on Apple/Steve Jobs, make it this one:

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BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, MARKETING

NBA Star Mark Blount On Achieving A Business Triple-Double!

Joined on the show today by Retired NBA Star (Boston Celtics and Miami Heat) and now businessman and entrepreneur, Mark Blount. You can learn more about what Mark is up to here.

Mark Blount1. What is a triple-double, and why is it so rare in the NBA?

2. Blount’s Business Triple Double concept involves succeeding in three main categories: Starting a Business (points), Growing a Business (rebounds), and Exiting a Business with profits (blocks).

3. Secrets for Short-Term Success: 5 Ways to Score Fast ‘Points’ In Business.

4. 7 Ways to Effectively ‘Block’ The Competition One Department at a Time.

5. Maintaining Marketplace ‘Possession’ Through ‘Rebounds.’

6. Importance of giving back to the community.

7. Mark discusses the transition from a professional athlete to an entrepreneur.

8. Mark also talks about the apparent advantages that come from being a well known NBA star. Or are they?

About Mark Blount:

Mark Blount’s long and successful career with the NBA is the story of a man with the determination to succeed where others might have picked up their ball and walked off the court. Mark played a total of six years with the Boston Celtics from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2003-2006, a season with the Denver Nuggets and the Minneapolis Timberwolves, and two seasons with the Miami Heat. After retiring from the NBA in 2010, Mark took the skills he learned on the court and brought them to the business world, beginning with the specialty food franchise and real estate industries, where he has curated tremendous entrepreneurial success.

Always ready to give back to the community, Mark brought his team building skills and compassion to several projects in South Florida. In 2012, Mark started an annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, donating and distributing turkeys to low income families through church organizations in Palm Beach Gardens. Mark sponsors Project Full Press, a camp committed to the development, growth and health of today’s youth.. Seven Wellness is an organization Mark created to bring fitness and nutrition awareness to underprivileged kids, bringing in professional trainers to educate the children on exercise and specific movements.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Seven: Leading Organizations, Enabling the Organization to Both Scale and Sustain Itself

Welcome to Episode Seven of the Tensions of Leadership (the final episode of Season Four): Leading Organizations — Part 2, Enabling the Organization to Both Scale and Sustain Itself!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Seven:

1. Navigating the transition from entrepreneurial leader to enterprise leader. Shifting from the individual to a team focus.

2. The classic struggle of working IN or ON the business. When IN the business, you don’t have the altitude to look towards the future.

3. Loyalty vs. performance. The talent focus and needs evolve as an organization shifts from entrepreneurial to enterprise. And you have to be mindful of that. Don’t be loyal to the wrong type of talent for the current lifecycle.

4. To build a sustainable organization, you now have to be a talent magnet.

5. It is unrealistic to think that all talent recruited at the launch of the organization can easily evolve and transition as the organization evolves into an enterprise.

6. Performance vs. potential.

7. A fifteen-year veteran of the organization might not have the necessary skills for the enterprise tomorrow. Don’t just give him the job because of the tenure.

8. To be a talent magnet, don’t just recruit when you have an open position. When you find the right skill set AND/OR good potential for growth, you should consider them now.

9. You have to focus very hard on building the right executive team – they are the leader of leaders.

10. A key tension is short-term vs. long-term thinking. It’s very easy to get into the weeds and be distracted by the details of the business. And “long-term” is defined differently depending on your business lifecycle.

11. Are you finding the right balance between being mindful that things are working today, and looking ahead to find the right solutions to scale to the next level.

12. If a leader says they cannot think ahead because they have to focus on running the business, they are the wrong leader. You have to balance today and tomorrow.

13. To resolve a lot of the tensions we’ve discussed in the series, it all comes down to a balancing act.

14. This process of finding balance, and resolving tensions, and focusing on both short and long-term thinking, NEVER ENDS. And the more you work on moving through them, the easier it does become to resolve them.

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Adam Hansen: How to turn naysayers into innovators

Joined in studio today by Adam Hansen, VP of Innovation at Ideas To Go, and author of Outsmart Your Instincts.

Discussion guide from our conversation with Adam Hansen:

Adam Hansen1. What is Adam’s definition of innovation?

2. How does our evolution impact us with our struggle to innovate?

3. What are we currently doing wrong with innovation?

4. Consciously changing from YES BUT to YES AND responses.

5. How to move beyond judgement mode and into discovery mode.

6. Listing the solutions to ideas rather than the problems.

7. Is there a process to innovation?

8. How to take a bad idea and make it a good one!

Find Adam Hansen’s book here:

About Adam Hansen:

Adam is VP of Innovation / Innovation Process Consultant at Ideas To Go and a career-long innovation leader, student and devotee. He received his MBA in product management at Indiana University. Hansen has served on the board of the Product Development and Management Association and as an innovation and strategy expert with select causes in education and public health care. Together with Edward Harrington and Beth Storz, he is co-author of the new book, Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation Approach Drives Your Company Forward (Forness Press).

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Six: Leading Organizations, Diagnosing Your Business Lifecyle and Establishing Your Leadership Role Clarity

Welcome to Episode Six of the Tensions of Leadership: Leading Organizations — Part 1, Diagnosing Your Business Lifecyle and Establishing Your Leadership Role Clarity

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Six:

1. What kind of organizational leader can you be: Entrepreneurial? Enterprise? Both? And how are they different:

2. Entrepreneurial: the hunter, looking for the deal, going with your gut, your instincts.
3. Enterprise: More belief in structure, process, systems, operationalize the organization, get the trains to run on time.

4. The key is for an organization to navigate the balance between the two styles.

5. Another key for an organization is to match the leadership style with the life cycle the organization is currently in.

6. The tension is can a leader transition from one style to another, or do you have to hire for that? For example, if you are entrepreneurial, you can hire a COO. If you an enterprise style leader, you can hire an innovation officer.

7. What are the signs that you have to begin the work to make that transition from one style to another?

8. When a leadership style is not in alignment with the business cycle, you can see where an organization is ripe to be disrupted.

9. Too many organizations aren’t thinking about this, and in many cases, do not understand what life cylcle they are in. How do you know?

10. How do we deal with the tension between strategy and operations? If you do not draw a line between the two, you begin to have muddled conversations and outputs.

11. As an organization evolves, you must focus on the business culture, and is that evolving as well, and still in alignment with the business life cycle. Obviously (or not), how we do things at the entrepreneurial startup stage is different when you are an established, large enterprise organization.

12. Don’t forget the importance of communication and messaging when this transition between life cycles is occurring.

13. Is your talent and training evolving as well? When you have transitioned to an enterprise organization, is your talent still in the startup mindset?

14. The tension of the speed of business: the entrepreneurial speed of business is now and immediately; the enterprise speed of business is what the process and systems dictates.

15. The tension of risk management. No surprise, but a startup is more willing (and able) to take, endure, and recover from big risks…

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Neil Berman: Results-driven email marketing

Joined in studio today by Neil Berman, the president and CEO of Delivra, results-driven email marketing.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Neil Berman:

Neil Berman1. The importance of email marketing.

2. Email marketing tips for small and mid-sized businesses.

3. Using email and SMS messaging to generate revenue.

4. Do’s and Don’ts of drip campaigns.

5. What are people still doing wrong with email marketing?

6. How to properly build your mailing list.

About Neil Berman:

With nearly 20 years in the software industry, Delivra founder and CEO Neil Berman continues to be driven by a passion to find innovative solutions that help clients win in their industries. Neil draws upon his extensive skills in executive leadership, strategic planning, financial management and team building to lead his Indianapolis-based company. He promotes strong cultural values as the essential ingredient to sustaining a high performing team, which has helped the company earn the ranking as one of Indiana’s Best Places to Work. Neil also is steadfast in promoting the company’s mission to succeed by focusing on helping its clients succeed first.

In addition to helping Delivra’s clients overcome their marketing challenges, Neil regularly shares his knowledge with the business community as a speaker, blog author and interview subject for media outlets. Neil’s commitment to Delivra, his staff and clients has helped the company land on Inc. 5000’s List of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. The company’s clients include small- to large-size businesses across the nation, including Samsung, Red Gold, The American Legion and Butler University.

Neil, a graduate of University of Minnesota’s Business Administration School, has served as a member and leader for various industry organizations, including the Indiana CPA Society, the American Marketing Association and the Business Marketing Association.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP

The Hazards of Business Execution, Part 4 of 4

This is the final segment of a four-part series!

I want to share with you in a series of 4 brief articles, how to overcome the obstacles to effective and predictable business execution of strategic initiatives.

There are chronic issues that exist in all organizations and far too many leaders accept them as a non-negotiable part of the business environment — things like resource disconnects, decision stalls, organizational politics, weak or passive-aggressive support, or everyone simply being too busy.

Previously I talked about the first 3 steps in the MOVE model
M = The Middle
O = Organization
V = Valor

Today I want to talk about the fourth and final step in the MOVE model: E= Everyone

Although you can lead a transformation from the top, you can’t DO a transformation from the top. Successful transformation requires that everyone participates. If they don’t move forward, you don’t move forward.

Telling does not equal communicating

You need to be ready to consider this first telling of your strategy to your organization as pretty much a throwaway effort. Yes, it’s a step in the process. Yes, you need to communicate top down. But to genuinely communicate, and to get your message internalized, and for your transformation to take hold, you need to create a fundamental shift in the way that you think about communication. You need to change your existing idea of communication to instead become conversation — that involves everyone.

Your broadcast has almost nothing to do with whether or not something has been communicated. Simply telling people your strategy does not mean they heard it.

You should not assume that just because you have told everyone your strategy (for the first time!), that they were listening carefully, internalized it, know what they need to do personally to act on it, know how to optimize it with regard to their current work, and will actively do the right things to implement their piece of it.

And in fact, it’s kind of funny, when an executive realizes that people “aren’t getting it”, typically I find there is an inverse relationship between the level of emphasis an executive will use to say, “but I was very clear” and how much has actually been internalized by their audience!

Conversation vs. communication

The right measure is never about how clearly you think you have communicated. The only right measure is about how much your audience has internalized.

You have communicated successfully when the people in your organization are talking about it amongst themselves.

For your transformation to work, the change must be part of the social fabric of the whole organization in a very real way — and that happens through conversation.

For example, when you can approach an employee at any level at random and ask, what is the most important thing for us to be doing right now, and why? — and get the same answer most of the time — then you can say that your communication has been successful.

Conversation creates forward momentum, and safety

People will only feel safe to keep doing the new thing if they hear their peers are still talking about it. If the conversation stops people will start asking, “Are we still doing this?’ and your strategy will stall.

Decorate the change
To give people confidence to keep going they need to see signs of the new strategy every single day. Through your conversations and physical modifications to the workplace you can “decorate the change” to make the new way a tangible part of the social fabric of the organization.

Listen and Share
Too many organizations treat communicating as an afterthought, and this is deadly to a successful transformation. It’s important to do not only top down conversations, but foster and environment of sharing information across groups (by making information sharing part of performance objectives!)

Power and Trust
As leaders we have a choice to share power or hoard power. If you share power you build trust, and trust is rocket fuel for keeping motivation and momentum in a transformation. And with trust there is no neutral. You are either building trust, or destroying it. You must invest in building trust through building conversation.

My new book MOVE is about decisively executing strategy

Get your copy of MOVE to help you truly engage people on a personal level, build trust, and increase confidence to move your strategy forward. Learn how to change communication into the kind of conversation that fuels forward momentum, and how to decorate the change so the path forward is an obvious part of the environment every single day.

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You can find Patty Azzarello’s upcoming book here:

Download a FREE Preview of MOVE

In my years of leading business transformations and turnarounds, building highly successful management teams, and working with countless clients to implement their strategies, I have determined what factors enable faster, more decisive execution, and reduce risk.
It’s all in the book! I can’t wait to share it! Available in February.

Get a copy for your whole team!
Or if you’d like to pre-order a copy for everyone on your team, contact us for bulk-order discounts.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Five: Leading Teams, Shifting from Me-Ology to We-Ology

Welcome to Episode Five of the Tensions of Leadership: Leading Teams – Part 2, Shifting from Me-Ology to We-Ology!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Five:

1. In Leading Teams Part 1 we talked about recalibrating yourself to lead teams, in part two, we talk about how to develop the team around you.

2. The tension of time, and how are relationship with time now has to shift. Time now has to be an investment in your people.

3. “You cannot think about taking time away from YOUR work to help others. Helping and serving others IS YOUR WORK!”

4. Relieve the tension from being a practitioner to now becoming a philosopher.

5. And you know have to worry about how your people are spending THEIR time.

6. The shift from being a “today” leader to becoming a “today AND tomorrow” leader. You are in the mix of a lot of things now, not just focused on your little world.

7. The tension of now having to worry about the organization is a difficult shift for many new leaders.

8. In addition to leading your direct reports AND serving the organization, you also now have to pay attention to peer-to-peer leaders, and be sure you are serving in cross-functional ways too.

9. Protecting your team, your peeps, may NOT be serving the organization well. And you have to be cognizant of this tension.

10. The tension of capacity. Do you have the capacity to handle all of this? And you have to teach capacity building to your team as well.

11. “Lack of capacity is the biggest reason most organizations do not make it to the next level.”

12. Composure is also important! Do you have the temperament to lead? Will you bring positive attributes to leadership? Or will you be negative?

13. You have to resolve issues at the point of contact, BEFORE they escalate.

14. Silos versus cross-functional collaboration. Mission critical to leader on behalf of the organization, especially as you are moving towards enterprise level leadership.

15. “Talent is an enterprise asset. Not yours.”

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Sid Mohasseb: Don’t leave change to chance

Joined in studio by Sid Mohasseb, adjunct professor at USC, and author of The Caterpillar’s Edge: Evolve, Evolve Again, and Thrive in Business. Learn more about the book here!

Discussion guide from our conversation with Sid Mohasseb:

Sid Mohasseb1. One of the taglines around your book is “Don’t leave change to chance.” Sounds self explanatory but how does that relate to your book?

2. Your first chapter tackles the subject of “addiction.” What addiction(s) are you referring to?

3. What lessons does a caterpillar teach us about business?

4. We’re entering some uncharted territory in the global business world. What advice can you give to those looking to thrive amid uncertainty?

5. You write about getting grounded and not moving too fast. What’s the importance of being grounded in a world that seems to be moving very fast?

Find Sid Mohasseb’s book here:

About Sid Mohasseb:

Sid is a serial entrepreneur, investor, venture capitialist, and business thought leader. He is formerly the Head of Strategic Innovation for KPMG’s Strategy Practice, where he consulted with Fortune 500 clients worldwide. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Marshall Business School, University of Southern California (USC), where he teaches strategy and data analytics.

Sid has founded and led several early-stage and hyper-growth companies from inception to acquisition. He has also led company turnarounds—from near bankruptcy to profitability. His expertise is in connecting theory to reality and helping people see the bend in the road ahead.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Michael Alden: The total power of incremental change

Joined in studio by Michael Alden, the President of Blue Vase Marketing, and author of 5% More: Making Small Changes to Achieve Extraordinary Results. Learn more about Michael here.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Michael Alden:

Michael Alden1. The benefits of incremental growth.

2. “Large enough to be productive, small enough to be sustainable.”

3. Spend 5% more time with your current customers: It is much smarter to spend a little more time with your current customers than to chase new “leads.” Your customers have already decided to buy from you. The key is to make sure that they are satisfied — or better, yet, delighted with your product or service.

4. Increase product/service prices by 5%: Don’t be afraid to increase your prices. People will pay slightly more, if you are providing something that adds value to their lives.

5. Increase results by 5%: Stop focusing on activities, and focus on results instead. Looking at how to increase results, even by a small amount, will help you identify and eliminate actions that waste time.

6. Do something 5% differently than your competitors: Be a little more creative and think a little bit harder than your competitors. Whether it is going the extra mile in customer service, or offering a product that’s just slightly better than that of your competitors, makes the difference in winning sales.

7. Motivate your team to give 5% More: Your business will never grow, if your team keeps doing the same thing over and over again. Invest 5% More in training and supporting them, so that they can do the best job possible.

Find Michael Alden’s book here:

About Michael Alden:

Michael, author of 5% MORE is the founder and CEO of Blue Vase Marketing, a multi-million dollar marketing firm that has been ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private firms in America. Alden is also a recipient of SmartCEO Magazine’s 2016 Future 50 Award. A successful serial entrepreneur, who hosts his own podcast and a writes a popular blog, Alden is a speaker and regular guest on television and radio throughout the country. His first book Ask More, Get More was a national bestseller.

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