Marcus Buckingham Thinks Your Boss Has an Attitude Problem

Marcus Buckingham teaches CEOs how to get the most out of their people and their organizations. His first lesson: Forget everything you think you know about being a leader.

FAST COMPANY, August 2001, Page 88, By: Polly LaBarre

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The Clear Leader

Dip into most corporate or business-school curricula on leadership and you'll find a mind-numbing list of skills that the aspiring leader must master, from motivating to communicating to counseling to managing conflict, and on and on. Corporate America has vastly overcomplicated the role of a leader, says Marcus Buckingham, and that's a shame, because those disciplines, while important, fail to get to the heart of true leadership.

FAST COMPANY, March 2005, By: Bill Breen

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Lights, Camera, Action Sports!

An unlikely crop of blue-chip marketers are tapping extreme sports as part of their pitch. Will daring moves put them over the top?

By Barry Janoff, BRANDWEEK, 2.28.05


Cool Quote: 02.24.05

"All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend." - Mark McCormack - founder of IMG


Branded Brands

Focused and well-respected brands are cashing in by enriching each other's brands, bringing to the party their particular core competence or signature ingredients. Think Heineken and Krups, or Chanel and Ducasse.

From TrendWatching

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Making Lemons Out of Lemonade

By Michael Masterson

We got to Grappa, Park City's best Italian restaurant, at 8:44. Our reservation was for 8:45.

"I'm sorry," the hostess said, smiling. "We're running a little behind."

We were immediately disappointed.

"But we'd like to offer you complimentary Champagne and hors d'oeuvres," she said, "in the boutique across the street."

I looked out the window at the boutique. It was brightly lit and festive looking. I could see a half-dozen people milling around, sipping drinks and looking at the furniture and knick-knacks for sale. They looked like they were enjoying themselves.

"OK," I said, "but . . ."

"We'll page you there as soon as your table is ready, Mr. Masterson," she said.

Many restaurants purposely "run a little behind" so you'll wait (and spend money) in their bar. But Grappa came up with a different way to turn a restaurant's most common annoyance (waiting for a table) into a pleasant way for customers to pass the time. (And spend more money.)

It turned out to be a nice experience for us -- browsing through an upscale boutique full of interesting impulse buys for the affluent shopper. The store was half-full, which meant you could navigate your way around easily without the risk of spilling your drink or getting stuck in a crowded aisle.

I spoke to one of the boutique owners, a young guy who told me that the joint venture was working out well. "We split the cost of the Champagne and hors d'oeuvres. But the profits on the business we do is ours to keep."

One of my friends bought a silver wine-pull. I was thinking about ordering a coffeemaker when we got the call: Our table was ready.

Back at the restaurant, I mentioned that this idea -- two seemingly unrelated businesses linking up for a synergistic effect -- is an old one. In the early 1980s, Jay Abraham talked about it. Since then, I've done it many times. But this particular application was very impressive.

We talked about other potential ways to apply the same idea. The most obvious opportunity is for movie theaters and bookstores. It's not by accident that they are so often in close proximity. (See "Word to the Wise," below.) Bookstores realize that moviegoers often buy their tickets early and then look for someplace to spend the intervening time. All that extra "idle" traffic results in a lot of extra book sales.

But what's in it for the movie theaters? Right now, not much. And that's why there are so few actual joint ventures between the two. But if more of them were to get together and promote a single book-browsing and movie-watching experience, they might all do better.

For example, the bookstore could sell advance tickets at a discount up to a half-hour before the show. It could advertise this service in the store and possibly in its newspaper ads.

Promotions could be created around specific movies -- i.e., featuring related books and maybe serving dessert and coffee after the 8:00 show. At the same time, the theater could help promote after-movie book browsing through its on-screen advertising.

It seems to me that the theater/bookstore combination would provide an entertainment/education experience that people would appreciate and pay for. If a few good marketers got together and brainstormed, all sorts of good and useful ideas could be developed.

The result would be good for everyone: More sales for the bookstores and movie theaters and a more enjoyable night out for the customers.


Cool Quote: 02.21.05

"Marketing is not an event, but a process... It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely." - Jay Conrad Levinson


Starbucks' genius blends community, caffeine

The company knows that emotion, not logic, powers the decision to pay $3.22 for a double-tall latte, extra hot with a shot of sugar-free vanilla.

From MSN Money, by John Markman

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Not Your Father's CFO

Few business roles have changed as dramatically during the last generation asthat of the chief financial officer. The classic model -- the CFO as chiefaccountant and technical expert focused narrowly on the firm's financialstatements and capital structure -- has been passé for a decade or more. Today'sCFOs have become a vital part of the corporation's leadership team and haveassumed responsibilities of a breadth and magnitude that make the title "chieffinancial officer" slightly antiquated. No longer mere business partners,leading CFOs have become active, innovative, and independent transformationagents, managing global growth and creating greater value.

From strategy+business; by Vinay Couto, Irmgard Heinz, and Mark J. Moran

To read the full article: http://www.strategy-business.com/resilience/rr00016


What's Important?

Recently I attended a meeting at a client’s headquarters. The company had
recently conducted a corporate training session, so the conference room was
littered with manuals, charts were taped to the walls and the dry erase boards
covered with notes. Amid the clutter were posters featuring inspirational
quotes. The kind that make weak managers feel strong and office workers cringe.
But there was one that was different from the others. It has stayed with me. And
its meaning becomes more clear to me the longer I consider it. It is by Charles
Swindoll and it is called “Attitude”:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the
past, than education, than money, then circumstances, than failures, than
successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than
appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a
home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude
we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the
fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The
only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our
attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90
percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our

Are you in control of your attitude or does your
attitude control you? What can we do to keep our attitudes from standing in the
way of our goals? Of what’s important?

From: WHAT'S IMPORTANT Vol. I Issue 2 January 19, 2005 Durakis Executive Search


Affinnova in FORBES!

Check it out. Affinnova is featured in the cover story of this month's Forbes magazine! It took 9 mos. to make this happen. Takes a lot for a small, relatively untested company to get into one of the big 3 business pubs.

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Vendor Watch - ALT TERRAIN

They seem to be a cool guerilla firm.

ALT TERRAIN's mission is to be the premier industry resource for Integrated Alternative
Media and Brand Experience Marketing. ALT TERRAIN creates and implements integrated alternative media and brand experience marketing campaigns that authentically engage and influence consumers.

They specialize in providing advertising agencies, PR firms, marketing agencies, and media
planning/buying companies with opportunities to create consumer connections, ignite word-
of-mouth, and build relevant experiences for their client's brands.

Nontraditional media and marketing platforms are based on propriety lifestyle research, return on investment, cultural trends, touchpoint insights, and the constant analysis of the
changing relationship between consumers and media.



How Companies Turn Customers' Big Ideas into Innovations

strategy+business/Knowledge@Wharton White Paper
January 12, 2005

Traditional product development has portrayed the inventor, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, as the hero. The truth is, though, successful product innovation has always required imagination and incisive action from heroes in the lab and in marketing. Whether it's wizards in Menlo Park or Xerox PARC leading the way, the best product development and commercialization processes are based on a dynamic and complex exchange of ideas and interests among engineers, marketing experts, and the end-consumer.

From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, the conventional view of product development has always portrayed the inventor as the hero. In fact, the inventor is only part of the process. Edison himself hinted as much when he described the inventor as being a “specialist in high-pressure stimulation of the public imagination.”

Click here to read the entire White Paper

Cool Quote: 01.13.05

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." - Peter F. Drucker



TRENDWATCHING.COM now allows instant access, 24/7, to all of its published trends, newsletters, updates etc. A great source of new ideas around the world and potential business opportunities. Its good to subscribe to its newsletters as well.



Building a Brand by Not Being a Brand

Some people seek their calling. For others, like Dov Charney, it is bred in the bone. "I think I was born a hustler," said Mr. Charney, the fast-talking founder of American Apparel, the rapidly expanding youth-oriented T-shirt chain. "I like the hustle. I like selling a product that people love. It's nice when a girl tries on a bra or a tie-dye T-shirt, and it's, `Ooh, I love it,' " he said, affecting an ecstatic moan. Mr. Charney cultivates his faintly off-color persona, part garmento, part 1970's pornographer. In fact, he works it studiously, as attested by a photo of him in his store on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, which shows him preening in a snug polo shirt and white belt, his mustache scrolling from his upper lip to his mutton-chop whiskers. He is nearly a ringer for the photographer Terry Richardson, famous downtown for bringing the aesthetics of soft-core pornography to fashion photography. The image is meant to resonate with a target market of 20-somethings. Urban hipsters — and some of their elders, too — are scooping up Mr. Charney's form-fitting T-shirts, underwear, jersey miniskirts and hooded sweatshirts, sold in white-on-white stores that double as art galleries. On the walls of the 26 American Apparels that have sprouted across the country and in Europe and Asia are snapshots of 1970's suburban proms and Christmas Eves, poster-size blowups of seedy Los Angeles storefronts, surfers, skateboarders and, not incidentally, scantily outfitted street kids vamping for the lens...Perhaps most important to younger consumers who have grown suspicious of corporate branding, there is not a logo in sight. A business built on the mystique of no mystique, American Apparel had sales of $80 million in 2003, which are expected to double this year, as they have in each of the last four years, Mr. Charney said. He is planning to open 14 more stores before Christmas. Fast outgrowing its status as an under-the-radar phenomenon, the chain is seen as a new model for the marketing of hip...Consumers may like Mr. Charney's management style, but industry insiders are more impressed by his marketing skills, which they say are in tune with a cultural shift. "There is a highbrow stand against commercial culture right now," said Alex Wipperfürth, a partner in Plan B, a marketing firm in San Francisco. "People are sick of being walking advertisements for clothing. By stripping brands of logos and of pretense, by being more subtle in your cues, you are saying that you are more about quality than image."

By RUTH LA FERLA, NYT, November 23, 2004

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Visit American Apparel's website


Cool Quote: 1.6.05 - That's not the only thing that is ironic Tony...

"The irony about selling out is that they only call you a sell-out when your stuff finally sells - I've had products bearing my name since I was 14, but nobody was buying them then." - Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder


Vendor Watch - BzzAgent

As lovers of good vendors, I've decided to add a new regular segment on the hypermediate blog. As new and/or interesting agencies or resources we'll post them for us to check out, in case any of us are in the market. Scott, this particular vendor looks like it might be a good one for 180s.

If you come across any good groups, send them along for posting.

BzzAgent, a small Boston company recruits thousands of propaganda agents who agree to talk up certain companies and products to their friends, family and colleagues. Its clients have included Anheuser-Busch, Estée Lauder and Monster Worldwide.