• Do you treat company property well?

    17 Jul 2018 | 12:00 am

    Jesus taught, "If you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you which is your own?" (Luke 16:12, NASB). Often we treat company property poorly. We need to realize that we have[…]

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Category >> Leadership
Jul 14
2018

Customers Don’t Need to Know My Problems

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I received some bad news one day and had several business issues pop up at the same time that were very frustrating. Next I had a visit with a customer I knew quite well. I was tempted to share a bit of my tail of woe.  Then, I realized that I should not share my problems with my customer unless there was a direct relationship. For example, if I had production problems that would delay a shipment; it is reasonable to let a customer know about a current problem.  Otherwise I should keep my concerns to myself.

Jul 09
2018

Keep your Talk under 20 Minutes

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We all have sat in situations where a speaker would have practically put us to sleep except for the fact that we had four or five cups of coffee. Even then our minds wander. I've been teaching, giving seminars and involved in speaking engagements long enough to know how easy it is to speak on and on.  After all, there's always more I can share. However the reality is that I lose my audience if I speak too long, and so do most speakers.

Occasionally I watch TED talks. The goal of each one is to inspire, inform and educate.  Most of the time, they hit the mark. One of the keys to the success of the TED format is that they limit the talks to 18 minutes. The TED organization did the research and found that the longest you can hold somebody's attention is 10 to 18 minutes. The organization learned it doesn't matter how effective or how dynamic or how exciting a speaker is, 18 minutes is still the maximum amount of time listeners are able to fully focus on a talk. When a speaker goes longer, the audience reaches a point of diminishing returns were the longer a speaker talks; the less listeners grasp.

In some ways I don't like this information. I'd like to stand at a podium and go on for hours presenting my “brilliant ideas.” Of course this is my ego speaking and has nothing to do with reality.

Jun 25
2018

What is the Purpose of your Business?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

When I consult with a business for the first time, one of my first questions often is: “What is the purpose of your business or organization?” I usually get one of three responses. One response is a clear and concise purpose for why the organization exists.  This is good. A second response is when the person stumbles and doesn't really answer the question. The third response is an answer that is somewhat off target from what the business is actually doing.

Jun 08
2018

It’s not a Problem until It Is

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Like many of you I've been watching the Kilauea Volcano devour neighborhoods on the big island in the Hawaiian chain. Watching people's houses swallowed by lava flows is heartbreaking. Some years ago when I was visiting the area, someone told me that a lot of the houses were built in what was known as the “red zone.” The red zone was land subject to volcanic activity. Building in the red zone meant that insurance was either costly or impossible to obtain. At the time I remember thinking these nice houses were in an ideal environment, unless the volcano turned angry.  That’s when I was reminded of the key principle in business:  it’s not a problem until it is. 

Mar 12
2018

Why Are We Meeting?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Before I start any meeting I ask myself this key question: Why am I meeting? If I'm having lunch with someone I've done business with and the purpose is simply a relaxing hour, I don't worry too much what gets accomplished. However, on most occasions I have a specific reason for meeting, or I don't have a meeting.