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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Going green has been one of the mantras of the day in the business world.  Businesspeople increasingly feel compelled to be good corporate citizens.  Therefore, among the multiple factors assessed in every decision is “how will this affect the environment?”

Don’t get me wrong.  I do believe we must be good stewards over the resources with which we have been entrusted. Nevertheless, what strikes me as funny is when going green isn’t going green.

Case in point: Most people try to maintain a paperless office as much as possible in the interest of not killing more trees.  On the surface, one can understand the strategy.  Unfortunately, what many people do not realize is the more paper is used, the higher the demand for paper, the more trees are planted to replenish and further support the growing demand.  I had a paper-trade expert share this with me at a business meeting recently.  She explained higher paper use directly leads to more trees, and less paper use directly leads to fewer trees.

Many additional examples exist.  The bottom line is in each case not looking at the whole picture can put you in the predicament of thinking you are going green when you’re not.

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