The Most Inspiring Show On Earth; 365 Times A Year

30 11 2012

The Business dinner was in Binghamton New York, 240 miles from my office.  I had a meeting to get back to 3+ hours away in our executive conference room first thing the next morning.  You do the math.  OUCH!  This type of schedule is common for today’s Eye-Cubed executive.  “You gotta do what you gotta do!”  So after setting my iPhone alarm for 4:30 am, I went to sleep (better termed a nap).  I wanted to be on the road by 5:00 am.

It was dark and crisp (34 degrees) but at least the sky was clear.  I had a full tank of gas and a mission to make it to Orange, CT by 9:00 am.  I wanted to make the best of the trip so I kept the radio off and decided to think.  While I love music, it distracts my mind at times.   I had a business meeting with myself as I drove.  Something I do countless number of times, whenever I can, whenever I create the time and space to have one.

I systematically reviewed processes, people and profitability.  I reviewed the progress and bottlenecks with our initiatives.  I reviewed my role and focus.  Then, as I was somewhere between I-81 and I-84 it hit me.  There it was; the best motivational presentation on earth; the most inspirational meeting one could attend.  And I had a front row seat.  I had to take a break from myself and take it all in.  I was presented directly with G-d’s Show.  I was privileged to see, from start to finish, a remarkable sunrise.  Every day, it is there for us to see.  Every day we are invited to attend.  Most of the time, we do not show up.  Most people never truly see one.  Most of the time, we miss the inspiration afforded those few who wake up early and witness this daily miracle.

Each moment represented a renewed emotion of Eye-Cubed inspiration firmly tied to my life, my business and my goals for the future.

  • The pale grey of the horizon representing the hope and promise for a “new day”, all of our hopes and dreams that motivate us.
  • The light pink of the first light signifying opportunity and beauty that comes to those who have the patience to strategize and the vision to see ahead.
  • The dark red as the sun peaks over the mountains demonstrating the energy needed to strive forward as well as the energy infused in each one of us as we push the Eye-Cubed envelope.
  • The blinding light with an unshakable glare foreshadowing the perseverance, focus and single-mindedness needed to reach ones goal.
  • The clear illuminated expression of the day as the roads fill with light and movement.  The typical energy of those around us creates the mosaic of life.  We must excel in Eye-Cubed fashion in spite of the forces surrounding us.

Then my internal clock struck (BREAKFAST TIME) and I found my way to the next diner.  Of course I left enough time to eat.  I never miss a meal.  Meeting adjourned, but not before the inspiration was imbedded in my heart and mind.  I was ready for the day.  Bring it on!

How long will it be before you see your next sunrise?

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 





One Must Inspire To Be An Eye-Cubed Leader: But Where and How?

27 11 2012

Re-Introducing TWITTER!

To be an Eye-Cubed Leader, one must be able to both find and deliver inspiration.  A tremendous tool towards this end is Twitter, yes Twitter.  It is not just a useless bunch of banter from our lost teenagers.  It is a tremendously powerful communications network.  Information flows more rapidly through Twitter than it does through our traditional news networks or any other medium.  It has been used to organize powerfully productive change as well as terribly destructive action.  When unlocked, it will definitely further your personal and business agenda.  The key is to understand it, practice using it, and build your twitter muscle.

My recommendation, if you are new to twitter, is to take it slow.

  1. First of all, one must believe in and understand Twitter’s power and usefulness.
  2. Second, one must learn how to filter information so one can receive the desired information flow.
  3. Third, one must learn how to effectively tweet and get information to your network, customers, prospects and others who are interested in your words.
  4. Fourth, take a few minutes each day/week to build your twitter acumen.  There is no rush; no medals for getting there the quickest, however, the rewards for developing this skill-set are tremendous and essential.

My initial goal was to build a twitter network as part of my quest to become a value generator and thought leader for the Eye-Cubed philosophy being developed in this blog.  And as part of this goal, I needed to understand Twitter and learn how to find, filter and productively disseminate information into the twittosphere.

During my first 60 days on Twitter, in addition to learning about filtering the information flow into my account, I have been writing tweets and sending them out to my growing network (as well as the entire tweeting world).  Their purpose was to inspire (a key skill of an Eye-Cubed leader) others.  Twitter is an extension of Eye-Cubed University.  The messages are consistent with those in my posts and effectively promote the Eye-Cubed brand.  The most challenging and rewarding part of the process of tweeting is creating a powerful message in 140 characters or less. The following selected tweets were the product of my first 60 days:

  • As storms pass overhead in Westport CT, I think of how prepared we are for the unexpected. And then I think of my business and ask again.
  • Corporate evolution must take place. Yet beware! Too far of a “leap” will leave you vulnerable and weak.
  • You are the CEO of YOU! Have you focused on improving your personal brand?
  • Good morning! It’s an amazing day that deserves your energy! Where are you going to put it? Be present in whatever you choose to do.
  • Learned today that the greatest challenge for companies is NOT finding innovative ideas, it’s prioritizing them and planning implementation!
  • If you are showing up at a meeting unprepared…. be prepared to have a weak showing.
  • Who is your best friend? Do they know? What did you do today to connect with him/her?
  • Creativity comes from seeing beyond what you see, feeling more than what you feel and imagining more than what others imagine!
  • If u want 2 feel good & get unconditional acceptance, get a dog. If u want 2 improve, get a friend who will tell u the way it is.
  • Inspiration can come from so many places. Grab it when you see it! This hits you right between the eyes.
  • While SELF HELP is an $11+ billion industry, & Ive purchased my share, shouldn’t it be called OTHER PEOPLE’S HELP?
  • There is a fine line between a “collaborative coma” and the “emotional rant”. Today, I am not sure which characteristic is worse.
  • Without the right direction, we could be successful all the way out of business! Be careful what you are asking for! You just might get it.
  • What’s worse than falling victim to circumstance? Being able to see the downfall, know how to resolve it and not being able to lead the team.
  • U are one of the rare few who break through the barrier between hearing or reading something inspirational and doing something about it!
  • The most inspirational thoughts come from a clear head, void of distraction and negativity. How long will your head be clear today?
  • Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone! How can you challenge yourself today and step outside yours?
  • When the energy is positive, grab it! If the energy is not, push back!
  • When a dog looks at you and he is wagging his tail, what is he saying?
  • Make friends by doing for them…much more often than you expect for them to do for you!
  • The best way to avoid frustration is to be void of expectation and selfish wants.
  • No deposit…No return!!
  • Do u listen 2 the words coming from the person directly in front of u OR the stories going on in ur head! The words r real, not the stories
  • Bank on yourself. Make lots of deposits, don’t take on too much credit, invest in the long term and prepare for the future
  • One of the best tricks to losing weight is sleeping at least 8 hours each day! Just don’t do it during the hours of 9-5!
  • Never use the rationale that everyone does it. It is a sure path to trouble!
  • Inspiration is looking at something, seeing it work or how it makes you feel then applying it to you.
  • Never Skip A ‪#Meal, just eat less at each one.
  • Taking small consistent steps over a long period of time will result in great things!
  • Tweeting at 35,000 feet! Sometimes its great to have ones head in the clouds!
  • Statements are made just as loudly with silence as with words. Be aware of your choices.
  • Are people’s moods impacted by the seasons? If you live in San Diego or Arizona, will your moods swing less often since weather is perfect?
  • One man/woman will never be able to move as fast and as far as a team of men/women!
  • When you have a clear goal coupled with an intense burning desire followed by consistent action, you will find success!
  • If its really dark out and you need to get “there”, burning the candle on both ends doubles the amount of light you see!
  • To prepare for a storm, don’t be overextended, have reserves, and a strong foundation. Be prepared to wait it out…as log as necessary!
  • When our children are faced with tough choices, we are obligated to send clear decisive messages to them! Build their confidence.
  • If you had to prepare a bag, one bag to take out of your house, what would you put in it? Do you know what’s important to you?
  • The best opportunities are early each day! This is where you can carve out another 30 minutes to do something and become GREAT!
  • My two dogs are like big pillows with heartbeats!
  • The most important ‪#qualification is an intense burning ‪#desire!
  • Repeat after me… “Today I am the best ME that I can possibly be!”… Now live up to those words for the next 24 hours.
  • Every ‪#morning, u are invited to ‪#God‘s show, (‪#SUNRISE). There’s nothing more ‪#inspiring! How many have u seen? When will u see it again?
  • Supreme success comes from consistently doing the things that “suck”, after the novelty wears off.
  • On a day when you blow off your ‪#training, the ‪#competition just got a bit closer to you…or further away from you!
  • One ‪#hug is better than having as many ‪#followers as Justin ‪#Beiber.
  • Your children’s attitudes about work and/or our business is a direct reflection of yours!
  • If 1% of the people get inspired by my philosophy, I would like to get 2000 of them in a room and deliver the presentation of a lifetime!

I have learned a ton over my first 60 days in this incredible world and realize that as soon as I “master” this communication tool, there will be another tool to dig into.  It will never end.  But the Eye-Cubed lesson is simple, loud and profound:  Social Media is neither a fad nor a game.   It is a necessity for the future success of growing our personal and corporate brand.  Embrace this fact and lean into the obvious challenge.  We have the world to gain when we do and everything to lose if we do not.

If you choose to learn (or you may already be out there), I invite you to “follow” me on Twitter @Suss33.  I will certainly follow you back and will look forward to your tweets.  A world of information will be shared, 140 characters at a time!

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 





Sunshine or Rain, What’s The Forecast of Your Outlook?

23 11 2012

I was born on June 16th, 1968.  While I was trying to figure life out those first few days, there was a dude a couple of days younger than me who came into the newborn room and graced me with his presence.  I didn’t know him.  I didn’t know that we would meet up and become incredible friends 30 years later.  But we did.

What happened to him after that day?  “Life” happened to us both during the next 30 years.  While we have so much in common, we could not be further apart.  We are both business owners.  We are both married with children.  We both wish we were 10 lbs lighter. (ok, I could lose 20 lbs…he could too).  We both love exercise and our charities of interest.

However, as I exude a positive mojo, he counters with a negative pulse.  He calls me Mr. Sunshine and I call him Mr. Rain.  We look at life from opposite perspectives.

 Mr. Rain:

  • Wakes up in the morning and tries to convince himself that he will not get in a bad mood.
  • Tired of his routine.  Bored and in need of inspiration.
  • Finds people to be frustrating and is disappointed in the people he services.  He is looking for a change to find happiness.

Mr. Sunshine:

  • Wakes up in the morning and feels fortunate to see the sunrise.
  • Takes one of six different ways to his office so he doesn’t get in a rut.
  • Finds happiness, embraces life and lives in the moment.

He tells me I am living in a fantasy land of denial.  I tell him that he chooses to be miserable.  I could go on.  We actually laugh about it.  But what does it all mean?  Does attitude really matter?  By most accounts, we are both successful men.  The only difference is that he got there with a negative attitude and I got there with a positive attitude.

So what do they teach us in Eye-Cubed University about attitude?  Can we both be Eye-Cubed Leaders?  The answer is a resounding “YES”!

There are many paths to take through life.  And we choose our individual path.  The experiences we have throughout our lives shape us and motivate us in profoundly different ways.  But it matters not how we view the world.  It matters not how we view the glass.  It matters not how we describe our outlook.

The Eye-Cubed leader knows that what matters most is what is in one’s heart.  They want to be surrounded by wonderful people, both positive and negative.  They look for perseverance, values, honesty and industry.  They build trust and develop loyalty.  They seek colleagues with kindness and passion.  These qualities exist regardless of ones outlook, especially when it is rain or sunshine.

In Eye-Cubed organizations, it is imperative to embrace the different perspectives from the people on your team.  This means you have to accept and work with those differences.  Your understanding of the diverse views and outlooks within your friendships, life partners, corporate teams and Boards becomes a key ingredient for Eye-Cubed inspiration.

I love Mr. Rain!  We are planning a seven-day bike trip this summer where we will hopefully travel 500 miles together on the road if we don’t kill each other first.  But if we do just that, what would be the forecast at our joint funeral?  I believe it will be sunny.  But if it rains, that’s just fine.  There is beauty in that as well.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 





Are You Innovative Enough? Learn how to measure your past and present!

20 11 2012

By now you have an opinion about corporate innovation.  It may have been developed by research, reading or experience.  Whatever your focus, be prepared to take your knowledge to the next level.  Make way for an innovation about the most critical concept surrounding your company’s sustainability and growth.

The bottom line is that regardless if your appreciation for product, process, disruptive or breakthrough innovation, your company needs to consistently innovate.  But how can you tell if it is effective? In order to look at your company with a clear set of innovation-goggles, you need an effective process of analyzing your culture.

Introducing Corporate Dendochronology:  The study of historical corporate events by comparing and analyzing the successive growth rings of departments, divisions or companies. Each corporate innovation represents a potential “ring” to be added to the original core operation.  As you add successive and concentric circles, a historical picture is created that represents the culture of innovation.

At Eye-Cubed University, when you ace Corporate Dendochronology, you graduate with a clear understanding of your organization’s innovative patterns. You will know if it is time to replicate your success or immediately ignite the innovative fire under your team.

As you know, an Eye-Cubed company must evolve or perish.  Evolution is chronological and analyzed accordingly.   This exercise works for departments, divisions or the entire organizations.   Use this analysis as a means to understand innovations within the core operations as well as your innovations outside the core operations.

  1. List in chronological order, every innovation or evolutionary moment that you can identify throughout the history of the department, division or company.  Make sure that you include successful innovations as well as those that failed or have become obsolete.
  2. Divide your list into two groups.  One list should contain all of the innovations associated with or derived from the original core operation. The second list should include all innovations or initiatives that were clearly outside the core operations and were totally new ventures.
  3. Draw the rings of your tree and label each appropriately.
  4. Each new venture (outside the core) is drawn as a separate circle (labeled accordingly) apart from the original core.  These innovations outside the fringe should be analyzed independently from the core operations using this exercise.
  5. Each year, track ALL innovations and changes taking place throughout your department, division or organization.  Keep that list as a reference.
  6. At the close of each year, add rings to your tree/core that represent any of the innovations, concepts are initiatives that are continuing and will have a significant impact on your future growth.

The cornerstone of success, growth and sustainability is innovation.  Yet without a process to measure it, you, your team and your company will be vulnerable to the elements pushing against your operation every day.  Dendochronology offers the Eye-Cubed executive with a science to employ on an ongoing basis.  It is with the knowledge gained that one can effectively lead your Eye-Cubed organization into the future.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 





“Metric Shmetric”

15 11 2012

Why Innovators Should Care About Key Performance Indicators

Congratulations!  Your innovation has been approved and you are the lucky Eye-Cubed executive who has been chosen to implement.  You are the best person in charge of the greatest opportunity.  It is time to build the plan, rub your hands together, pour the coffee, roll up your sleeves and dig in.  You get to execute on the vision of a new innovative product or process.

But you are not alone.  There is an entire organization looking at your work.  Do you feel the pressure yet?  There are folks on the sidelines watching and waiting for success or failure.  Are you getting nervous?  While it is unclear who is paying attention to your results, results are what you need.  In order to shine, you need to demonstrate that the new innovation gets your organization closer to the Promised Land.  It will take an Eye-Cubed effort to succeed.

As you develop your plan, make sure that you incorporate metrics into the mix.  Analysis is the key to determining if your initiative is on track for the penthouse or the outhouse.  The metrics drive the analysis which drive the actions that drive the results.

Over the past 17 years as my company’s innovator, I lead many of the greatest initiatives we have pursued.  In the process, I have developed metrics for everything from cold calls for appointments to closing ratios from call center insurance sales.  Manual and automated tracking systems have been developed to measure outbound lead generation, customer service, direct mail, cross sales referral, retention and metrics linked to face-to-face top line sales formulas.  No program is too small or too large for a healthy dose of key performance indicators (KPI’s).

When it comes to proving yourself, no one will give you the benefit of the doubt.  It matters not how energetic you were when you presented to the team about the potential of the initiative or how big you dreamt the impact would be on the bottom line.  It does not help proving your case when you throw impressive numbers on the flip chart and show the millions of dollars the innovation will bring the company.  Regardless of this fact, we tend to do just that at the wrong time which hinders our cause.  The reason for this is quite simple.  Everyone wants you to cut the $#!+ and:

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Here is how you gather the data:

  1. Break down the process into specific activities
  2. Measure each activity independently
  3. Create appropriate time frames in which to track
  4. Be prepared to track manually if needed
  5. List all actions that could improve the metrics
  6. Identify the key metric (one number) that demonstrates ultimate results
  7. Develop a dashboard that presents all key metrics for visual analysis
  8. Maintain all data behind the metrics to analyze as needed

As you build your successes, don’t just tell folks about it.  Show the results to your team.  Perform tests by making specifically calculated changes (usually a change in action) and measure the impact those changes have on the results.  Maximize your performance with targeted activities and watch the overall metrics improve.   Dig deep into the data to understand the “why” behind the numbers to realize that the measurements drive us all towards our goals.  The dashboard (tool consisting of a collection of key metrics) of KPI’s that you ultimately create is the numerical visual for all to see.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 





Who Should Pursue Your Greatest Innovation?

13 11 2012

I have some difficult news to share.  Not all executives are created equal. 

Yes, your executives are a team and together push your organization towards greatness.  But when it comes to executing projects and initiatives, only one person in your company can be classified as “the best” at implementing innovations with the highest probability of maximizing success.  When should you call upon his/her talents?

Consider the size of the opportunity and compare it to baseball. Is the opportunity a single, double, triple, home run or grand slam for your business?  A couple of times during the life of your company you may come across a “grand slam”.  If you are a business owner, CEO or President, an initiative with the potential of grand slam returns may present itself merely once in your career.

When you are faced with a grand slam, be prepared to take dramatic steps to address the opportunity.  Consider rearranging your organization to align your team to best  pursue the initiative.  This takes a tremendous amount of intestinal fortitude since you may need to refocus someone who is currently overseeing a critical element of your operations.

  • The first challenge is to have the vision to see the opportunity and measure it appropriately.
  • The second challenge is to have the guts to seize the opportunity and pursue it as if it were the last hope for your organization.
  • The third challenge is to determine how to best pursue the opportunity.
  • However, the fourth and most important challenge is identifying who will lead your company to the promised  land.  Beware, the executive with the vision to evaluate the opportunity is not necessarily the one to implement it.

How do you select this person?

  • The most important qualification of your best implementer is an intense burning desire for personal and corporate success.
  • Elite implementers of innovations require the following qualities:
    • Belief in the vision
    • Ability to develop and implement a plan
    • Perseverance
    • Self-Confidence
    • Resilience
    • Persistence
    • Follow-through
    • Creativity
    • Willingness to use all resources
    • Desire to build operations, organizations and empires.

How does your organization support this person?

  • Sufficient resources to allow for trial and error
  • Key support team complementing the leader’s strengths.
  • Encouragement and open dialog coupled with suggestions and advice
  • Willingness at any time to go “the extra mile” when called upon to make the project work, overcome an issue or more the project forward

How do you reward this person?

  • Connecting company success to individual financial success
  • Recognition by peers, company leaders and industry groups
  • Opportunity to do it again if desired

Eye-Cubed companies have leaders with the intestinal fortitude to recognize true opportunity.  They have the willingness to make tough decisions, to stick with the plan and fully support innovation all the way through implementation.  They recognize that while ideas are typically plentiful, success, while elusive, can be achieved.  Yet the most important quality of an Eye-Cubed leader is that, when presented with a grand slam, they put the best person in charge of the greatest opportunity and ride the wave to the promised land.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 





You Don’t Need a Plumber, You Need a Process.

9 11 2012

Why do most companies suffer from a blockage in their innovation pipeline?

When asked to identify what is blocking ones organization from effectively innovating, business owners rarely answer by indicating that their organizations lack ideas.  With that in mind, why is it the case that when it comes time to “innovate” we typically:

  1. Get a bunch of executives together and “brainstorm” ideas.
  2. Sit in a dark room alone and contemplate innovations.
  3. Read books, magazines or anything possible to spark innovative solutions.

So when I am referred to as my company’s “idea guy”, I cringe.  Ideas are truly a dime a dozen or like belly buttons, everyone has one.  There is something much more impactful to our organizations than a great idea.

The greatest challenge and that which separates the good companies from the awesome companies is in determining which innovative idea should be pursued?  Our failure to choose wisely or at all is the ultimate innovation bottleneck facing our businesses.  Break this blockage and open up a world of opportunity, growth and sustainability to your organization.

How does your company select strategic innovations?

  • Does your company choose innovative initiatives based on the idea that came from the person with the most    powerful title?
  • Perhaps your organization selects based on who presents with the most passion or with the highest volume in their voice.
  • Does your executive team play the “my turn” innovation game, which gives each executive a chance for their favorite idea to be tested.

All of the above methods of selection fall short of the process necessary for enhancing your chances for success.  We need to develop a process, agree on the process and follow the process.  Without a process for innovation, your organization runs the risk of innovating too much or too little.  If we do not follow a process, we may focus precious resources on innovative ideas that do not have the greatest benefit possible.  If we fail to be disciplined, our organization will innovate in the dark and have very little chance of success.  Here is the process:

  • Agree that innovation is a critical part of your business culture.
  • Agree on the amount of money and resources your department, division or company is willing to budget on innovation.
  • Force all innovative ideas to be presented with a business plan that analyzes the costs (hard costs such as equipment or expenses and soft cost such as time and distraction of people) associated with the concept as well as the potential benefit to the organization.
  • Identify the timeframe associated with testing, proving and implementing the idea.
  • Compare all ideas to determine the priority of each innovation.
  • Identify measurements to determine success or failure following appropriate timeframes.
  • Ideas that prove worthy of corporate commitment must be budgeted outside of the innovation expenses.
  • Ideas that prove unsuccessful will be adjusted or abandoned.
  • Each year, the resources allocated for innovation are replenished and budgeted.

Eye Cubed organizations have vision for inspiration, innovation and implementation.  They maintain the discipline of consistent innovation coupled with a defined process adhered to by all.  The result is measured risk with the greatest possibility of reward.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you.