As every good CEO knows, constantly watching return on investment is crucial to the organization’s success.  Proctor and Gamble’s CEO Bob McDonald announced workforce reductions to the tune of 1,600 employees in nonmanufacturing and marketing jobs.


McDonald does not plan to eliminate spending on advertising and marketing.  Rather, he is simply recognizing the benefit of social media to companies that tap its potential wisely.


I believe this is a good decision.  The power of social media is here to stay.  The companies that capitalize on it will do so to their enhanced success.  The ones that don’t will live to regret it . .  if they live.


You can pay for all your advertising and marketing, or you can rely on social media to do it all, or you can execute a combined approach.  The wisdom required by the leadership of each company will be knowing exactly where to strike that balance.

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This was an excellent short article on being a “connector.”  After reading it I realized I have been doing this my entire life.  I just love helping people get connected to other people for mutual benefit.  Enjoy!

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Many years ago after the personal computer was taking root in our business world, I finally had my home-office PC set up exactly the way I wanted it to be.  My hard drive and RAM were perfect.  I had my main applications loaded, running, and customized to all my personal preferences.  My desktop looked the way I wanted it to look and behaved the way I wanted it to behave.


  . . . . Until the next software upgrade.   

I can remember naively thinking, “But why do I have to upgrade [name of your favorite application]?  I like the way this version works!”  I literally did not want anything about my beloved desktop PC to change.


My how far we’ve come!  Thankfully, I finally learned with hardware, software, and PC technology, change is the name of the game.  Rather than weep, wail, and gnash my teeth, embracing the change tends to work out best in the long run.  Plus my teeth last longer.


Most of us have experienced the frustration of learning the new place to click after the upgrade occurs.  Rather than just thinking about that experience with frustration, remind yourself of the positive side.


Learning something new is always a good thing.  Staying fresh and up to date with the latest hardware and software keeps you current in today’s business world.  Being willing to embrace change is a positive character and leadership trait.


Finally, being willing to change is a sign of a healthy, enlivened, productive person.  Personally, professionally, and physically, refusal to change is the first sign of death.  Lord willing, I plan to live a very long time.

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The opening sentence in Max DePree’s book, “Leadership Is an Art” is simple yet profound: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.”

The first time I ever read that statement, it struck me as arrogant and a bit impossible.  Who was I to define reality?  Over time, as I meditated on that statement, the meaning began to sink into my head.  I realized what a poor leader I would be if I did not define reality, both for me and for my followers.

Anytime we find ourselves in a leadership role, others look to us for the definition of reality.  The magnitude of that role can be overwhelming.  Nevertheless, define reality we must.  That is our mission, indeed, our calling.

Think it through, consider carefully, and define accurately.  Your organization’s success depends upon it.

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In the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek (1/23/12 to 1/29/12) we find the journal’s annual ranking of top-performing companies.  Number 1 was Mastercard.  Apple was 6, Cerner was 13, Google was 23, was 48, and DirecTV was 49.

Coca-Cola came in at 41.  Quoted in a sidebar was Coca-Cola’s CEO Muhtar Kent.  To the question, “How can you boost performance during the next decade?” Kent responded, in part:

“More innovation. . . . remaining constructively discontent, knowing that we can always do better.  Ensuring–starting with me–that there is never any room to be arrogant or to rest on your recent successes.”

I love it!  Kent’s statement serves as an admonition to us all.  It is true in life and it is true in business that pride comes before a fall.  The companies and the people who will excel in 2012 and beyond will be the companies and the people who never rest on past accomplishments.  Daily, moment by moment, our passion must be to identify new opportunities wherever and however they may come.

While we may revel in past accomplishments, we must never camp there.  New accomplishments await our discovery.  Let’s go get ‘em!

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