Business - Blog

Leadership Secrets: 50 Strategies of the World’s Best Leaders

Posted: Mar 20, 2014 in Business by Mike & Blake

Along with outstanding staff, effective leaders are the driving force behind thriving businesses, private non-profits, government agencies, and houses of faith. Successful leaders define great organizational cultures, clarify the vision, and spur their teams to transform difficulties and obstacles into success. Becoming a great leader doesn’t just happen overnight, though. Effective leadership is an endless, evolving journey, and what works today may not work tomorrow. As Peter Drucker wrote,... 

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A.G. Lafley on Leadership: Lessons from Procter and Gamble’s Superstar CEO

Posted: Mar 11, 2014 in Business, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

Fueled by a passion for learning the ins and outs of successful leadership, we have studied, researched, and interviewed many great leaders over the years. We have found that, although each has their own style and strategies, leaders often share common traits like humility and a dedication to executing ideas. One such leader is Alan George Lafley (known as “A.G.”), who joined Procter and Gamble upon graduating from Harvard Business School in 1977. He became P&G’s CEO, a position he held for ten... 

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17 Easy Ways to Lose Customers

Posted: Mar 10, 2014 in Business, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

In business literature, some companies—Amazon, Four Seasons Hotels, and Zappos, for example—are held up as sparkling examples of customer service mastery. Consumers gush about their experiences with them, and other businesses study them in hopes of gaining the same kind of acclaim. Then, there are the others: the companies that are just the opposite. Clients unfortunate enough to contract with them can’t say enough bad things about their products, responsiveness, and customer service. Unless... 

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Dying Successfully

Posted: Jan 13, 2014 in Business, Personal, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

None of us are guaranteed another day on Earth. About 10,000 of the 325,000 Americans who die of sudden cardiac arrest each year are young people, according to the American Heart Association, and even pro athletes suffer deadly traffic accidents. One of our close relatives recently discovered her 56-year-old husband dead, although a medical examination one week earlier revealed no significant health problems. Her trauma deepened as she discovered that because she wasn’t listed as a beneficiary... 

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23 Strategies for a Happy, Healthy Retirement

Posted: Nov 08, 2013 in Business, Personal, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

To most people, retirement sounds like a dream. After decades of work, they look forward to spending unlimited “time off” with friends and family, visiting new places, and taking up hobbies. What many fail to realize, however, is that retirement requires extensive planning and preparation—or else that “dream” can become a nightmare of boredom and depression. In fact, in a 2011 study by the Harvard School of Public Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Public Radio, one in four... 

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The Building Blocks of Great Organizations

Posted: Oct 10, 2013 in Business, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

Sometimes, “good” isn’t good enough. The Great Recession left many “good” companies, non-profits, and cities in shambles, proving that organizations must be great if they want to thrive. The difficult part: no failsafe recipe for greatness exists. Every organization takes its own path, and even extraordinary leaders don’t have all the answers. Fortunately, we‘ve discovered proven secrets to becoming a great organization that are within everyone’s reach.  In 2006, our family of companies began... 

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Innovative Strategies for Recruiting Great Staff

Posted: Sep 10, 2013 in Business, Social Media, Technology, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

For a detailed chart comparing and contrasting different methods of job advertising we researched for this article, please view the chart here or visit Every day, technology advances, new products are invented, and fascinating discoveries are made. Businesses face both opportunities and pitfalls from our increasingly digitized society. Yet as much as things change, exceptional customer service is still a key trait of successful organizations. Companies must... 

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Jack Welch’s Secrets for Business Success

Posted: Aug 07, 2013 in Business, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

Jack Welch is often called the “CEO of the Century.” In his 20-year tenure at General Electric, the company’s stock value increased by 4000 percent—no small achievement for the company’s youngest CEO ever. By his reckoning, about 30 of his direct reports went on to become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in their own right. In 2007, we began a mission to meet and learn from as many great business leaders as we could. On several occasions, we were fortunate to meet with Jack Welch and his wife... 

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Calvin Klein’s Business Vision (And What We Can Learn From It)

Posted: Jul 12, 2013 in Business, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

Success: how does one person achieve it, while others linger behind? Most of us are fascinated by those who work their way up from humble beginnings. Entrepreneur and fashion designer Calvin Klein said he had “nothing” when he opened his first clothing store in 1968; however, since then, he has created an empire that includes cosmetics, fragrances, home goods, and accessories. In 2012, Calvin Klein, Inc. earned revenues of $1.5 billion. Although Klein sold his company, he remains the creative... 

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How Fear Destroys Companies

Posted: Jun 11, 2013 in Business, The Bottom Line by Mike & Blake

The tight budgets and plentiful layoffs of the recent “Great Recession” spawned anxiety and insecurity throughout the American workforce. When members of the media began calling it the beginning of a “depression,” even the bravest most experienced business leaders felt afraid. Some companies were overcome by the fear, whereas others avoided failure—but how? Fear can both help and harm. In the sense that it is an “awareness of danger” (to borrow from Webster’s Dictionary), it can help protect... 

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