Part 1 of an informative, enlightening and exciting discussion with acclaimed coach, therapist, educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Carol McCall–CEO and Founder of The Institute for Global Listening and Communication, LLC (www.listeningprofitsu.com). Dr. McCall has recently announced the launch of a NEW Webinar Program. The first 90-minute session she is presenting is titled, “So You Think You’re a Good Listener?” and will be offered on July 28, July 29, and July 30, 2009 (6-7:30 P.M. PACIFIC/9-10:30 P.M. EDT).
In this segment, we’ll talk about her “Coaching Journey” and why she decided into the area of Listening Coaching/Training, her current role in Israel, and her book “Listen! There’s a World Waiting to be Heard” More importantly: Why is the “SKILL of LISTENING” one of the most important tools to great success IN BUSINESS AND LIFE?
I keep going back to this article that was published in Entrepreneur Magazine last month (I had to put it on my website): Get Thee to a PR Firm (by Sara Wilson). Sara’s short article says it all. I sit here on a daily basis wondering why most people still tend to believe that “self promotion” is the only way. Here’s my train of thought: I you are not a regular promoter of “thy self” (i.e. in the vein of Donald Trump— who in fact does have PR people) or a promoter/publicity producer in a company or for an agency (those people don’t have the need to self promote for the most part – they are too busy working for their company or clients), you should not be in dabbling in the business of personal publicity. There is no such thing as “do it yourself PR” – and there are ways to outsource it to people who can provide a 3rd party representation angle with production and management. In my opinion, focusing on “what you do” best should always be your best practice.
Mr. Brian Hafner has more than 17 years of executive experience in international financial operations. He is a hands-on leader with a record of business development and operational transformations. He launched his career as an intern at Krediet Bank in Antwerp, Belgium followed by work at Banque Bruxelles Lambert in Brussels. Although he worked for a short time at a small local bank, Oklahoma State Bank, in Mulhall, Oklahoma, Brian has spent the majority of his career overseas—primarily in Japan working in the formative stages with investment banks and hedge funds. Brian has managed operations, accounting functions, and information technology systems in various financial firms. He is experienced in legal, financial, and tax issues involved in structuring international financial firms. He earned a Masters of International Business Studies and a BA in Economics. He speaks Japanese and English and is adept at motivating people and driving projects in international finance. Proficient in Japanese and English as well as holding U.S. Citizenship with permanent residency in Japan, Brian recently established his company, Cherokee Capital to use as a means for managing personal investments, exploring new business investment opportunities as well as consulting opportunities and advising small new venture companies in need of guidance as they navigate through various challenges that come into play during the startup phase.
As the Social Media Revolution continues to change the way in which we all connect, socialize, meet and network online, the resume–one of the last remnants of the “paper world”—has finally gone digital. The video resume (VR) concept has been around for awhile, but the way in which they are produced and utilized will have a lot to do with the acceptance and success of VRs in the marketplace. Needless to say, the VR concept has yet to be perfected. Until now.
Los Angeles-based Corp Shorts Video Productions (www.Corp Shorts.com) is changing the landscape of how video resumes are being produced, utilized and promoted with the launch of REZBUZZ(www.rezbuzz.com).
RezBuzz is a video resume and branding service paired with a social networking platform that spans the globe bringing together job seekers and businesses looking for new employees. RezBuzz offers hiring professionals and employers a way to search for candidates and for candidates to search for employers with the distinctive feature of connecting through a Professional Video Resume (or “PVR”) or a Corporate Profile Video.
RezBuzz combines some of the most popular networking communities on the World-Wide-Web. We like to think of it as a “LinkedIn meets YouTube meets Monster.com meets Facebook meets Match.com” kind of networking environment.
A video introduction is located on the RezBuzz home page: www.rezbuzz.com.
Success is often achieved as a result of a failure. Successful entrepreneurs experience failure as a normal part of growing a business; it is an essential part of the development process. In 2000, Michael A. Berman joined the public Internet-based supply chain management company, eB2B, as Vice President of Sales and Client Services and quickly moved up to the position of Executive Vice President, COO and General Manager. Within one year, he repositioned the Internet start-up company from its original aspiration as a provider of sporting equipment and supplies to an Internet outlet for regional retail pharmacies.
Mike Berman had already led several successful company transformations, but none had involved Internet business. When he joined eB2B, they had $40 million in investment money and a business plan certified by McKenzie Corporation. Their business plan looked good on paper and was structured to provide an Internet-based platform for selling sporting goods.
Their first objective was to secure the supply side. They contacted existing name brand suppliers like Nike and Adidas, but were unable to persuade them to market their product through their Internet platform. Without the name brand suppliers, they were unable to succeed. Internet customers of sporting goods are highly unlikely to purchase “off brands” because they cannot be certain of quality. For Internet sales on sporting goods, the power shifts to the “sales side.” Customers generally prefer to purchase reputable products based on name identification. Without the name brand suppliers, an online sporting goods sales platform was doomed to failure.
Mike did not want to throw in the towel. He examined the e-business model and platform and set out to find a business on which it would work. He needed suppliers with products that could be marketed based on price and convenience, which the Internet could satisfy. Retail pharmacy offered just the right platform. They took their proposition to CVS, Rite Aid, and regional players like Plainview in New York. These retail pharmacies were all comfortable with Internet sales because they all purchased through suppliers like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Merck.
The eB2B business platform was a good match for the retail pharmacy business. They were able to build up their eB2B business and sell it twice. Although Michael A. Berman set out to create a blockbuster star in Internet sporting goods sales, he ended up building a supporting actor that generated a nice, $20 million, $30 million, or $40 million in annual revenues. Through this experience, Mike learned that the Internet is more like an enabling tool rather than the mechanism for success itself. And failure sometimes leads to success.
Lee Blake’s New Service Division Increased Revenues Nearly 100% for Adept Technology.
One way to improve company profitability is to reduce expenses by automating. However, if the company is in the business of producing robots and sales are declining, another way to improve profitability may be to develop an “add-on” business. That is what VP and General Manager, Lee Blake did for Adept Technology, in Livermore California.
In 2003, Adept revenues had been declining for several years and the company had just experienced a restructuring that included a capital infusion and a new CEO. The CEO was looking for a business development person and contacted a recruiter who introduced Lee Blake to Adept Technology. Lee had already established a reputation as a technical business development manager who introduced new products, reinvigorated several product lines to higher profitability, and developed new revenue streams for existing technical manufacturing capabilities at Raychem Corporation and Newport Corporation, both in California. Adept Technology could benefit from the experience Lee brought with him.
Lee completed a personal pre-interview analysis of the company and found that they had an extensive installed base of light assembly and handling robots. A review of successful industrial equipment suppliers indicated that post-installation revenue (service) could contribute up to 70% of total revenues and raise overall margins if properly leveraged. Since new robot installations were flat or declining due to manufacturing moving offshore, Lee suggested that the best business development opportunity would be to leverage the installed base and create a “Service Division” in order to respond to changing market conditions and to revive revenue growth.
Lee joined the company as VP/GM of Service and recast the customer service cost-center activity into a profit based business unit. He created or restructured and trained the sales, marketing, operations, and technical functions to accommodate the new business unit. Within two years, the service division contributed close to two thirds of the total company profits and revenue grew by nearly 100 percent. Their new “Service Specific” products captured competitive maintenance and upgrade revenue and salesforce.comwas implemented as a service CRM.
Automation is sometimes the answer to business development, but for Adept Technology to increase their revenues they needed something else—they needed the insight and visionary skill that Lee Blake offered. By creating a Service Division, Adept Technology was able to increase sales 90 percent to nearly $23 million, increase margins, and produce higher corporate profits.
Jeff Plante, brings over 20 years of organizational and business leadership to the table, from his experiences in both the Army as well as corporate roles. In the semiconductor capital equipment industry for over 12 years has created a leadership expertise, entrepreneurial disposition and business acumen that has created and lead business unties inside of large public companies to rapid growth and differentiated performance.
Jeff Talks about his successful run at Helix Technology and then by virtue of acquisition at Brooks Automation in 2005.