How To Write An Open Letter Like Jeff Bezos

The open letter is an art form that not enough companies have learned to use effectively. This morning after the announcement that The Washington Post would be taken over by Amazon – one of the first commentary pieces to emerge was an open letter from Jeff Bezos to Amazon employees (published on The Washington Post

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7 Tips To Win A Business Competition Or Pitch Contest

There’s a few things they don’t tell you about being on The Shark Tank. One of them is that every pitch on the popular reality business TV show starts with a silent 10 second staring contest. I spent an afternoon talking to a former (winning) contestant from the show, and one of the the insights

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The Norwegian Art of Strategic Waiting

Choosing not to preserve a 1000 year old Viking ship doesn’t really surprise anyone in Norway. For Americans who are used to their own country putting mere 75 year old documents behind bullet proof glass, though, nothing could be more confusing than the longstanding debate about the fate of the Oseberg ship – a remarkably

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How To Earn Respect … By Giving Up

Today was a big day for the Netherlands. Back in January, the Dutch Queen Beatrix decided to abdicate her throne to pave the way for the next generation of loyalty to take over. Today was her final day as queen, as her son Willem-Alexander became the new King and youngest monarch in Europe. As it

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How Dyson’s Winning Strategy Depends On Who They DON&# ...

The “Ballbarrow” was never really a product destined for greatness. Replacing a wheel in a traditional wheelbarrow with a ball hardly qualifies as a groundbreaking technological innovation. But it does solve a problem. Great inventions usually do. And when James Dyson first created and produced his Ballbarrow, it was a hit with gardeners seeking an

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7 Ways Millionaire Self Help Gurus Make More Money Than Soci ...

Last week no one cared what my Twitter name was – and I was thrilled about that.  At dozens of social media centric events, the Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Pinterest question has become the de facto proof of purchase. People write their Twitter names on their nametags. They try desperately to distill their

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Iron Chef, Truffles and Surviving Clueless Criticism

Imagine you’re a chef. You have spent the last twenty years learning your craft. Studying ingredients and cooking techniques. Working for sometimes maladjusted and dictatorial restaurant owners or lead chefs. And now you’ve made it. You have your own kitchen that you lead – and you’re recognized. Your food has made it onto the plates

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5 Tragic Ways To Lose Your Audience When Presenting

There is plenty of advice out there on how to create a great presentation. Most of it centers on two pretty common pieces of advice: Tell more stories. Use bigger fonts. Neither is always easy to do, but the more events I attend – the more I realize a single fact that still manages to

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The Underappreciated Reason SXSW Matters (In A Word)

It is tempting to search for the next big thing. There were no shortage of journalists sent to SXSW this past weekend for their annual quest to answer exactly that question. And this year many came up empty — or at least indifferent.  Some even skipped the event completely. Of course we like to see

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How Men Can Change The Business World For Women

About four years ago I started getting a lot of unsolicited emails from women. My first book, Personality Not Included, had just come out and readers were emailing me with their own stories of how having a personality had made a difference in their own careers. While school often teaches us that we must remove

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