Collaboration Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
success

The Three Laws for Entrepreneurial Success

After four decades in the business world, I have found that three laws truly summarize an entrepreneur’s recipe for success: Passion, People, & Process.

Passion: The 1st Law for Entrepreneurial Success

First, you must be passionate about what you deliver to your customers and clients. Nothing great in life has ever been accomplished without passion. This starts by making sure you and your team are working in your flame and not in your wax. When people are working in their flame, they are on fire. It shows in the way they act, and it shows in the way they speak about what they do. When people are working in their wax, it takes all their energy away. You can see it in the way they act and the way they speak.

Not long ago, I had someone say to me they were training people in their company on how to do something very important. After they did the training about 10 times, they were getting bored. That worried me at first because it sounded like “training” was this person’s wax. So I asked him some questions. He said he really enjoyed the training, but teaching the same material over and over caused his boredom. He didn’t know what to do about it. I told him two things:

  • Sell the Sizzle

The next time he does the training, recognize that this might be the 11th time he’s done the presentation, but it is the first time that particular audience has ever heard it. I asked him to think about how excited he was when he was the one learning this content for the first time. Embrace that feeling and make sure the team feels the excitement of learning this content for the first time as well.

  • Re-live the Story

Storytelling is an important part of teaching your team new ideas. Make sure to “re-live” the story – don’t just “re-tell” the story. Re-living the story gives you that same excitement as when you first experienced it or heard it. It is that kind of passion that you need to apply to your business.

I saw him about a year later. He had now done the training dozens and dozens of times. He told me that my advice completely changed his approach and the people in his company who went to his training came out supercharged about the organization. It gave him great joy to see the “lights turn on” when he trained employees. This is what happens when you are passionate about the service you have to offer.

People: The 2nd Law for Entrepreneurial Success

People are the next piece of the formula. They are the most valuable asset for virtually every company in the world. People drive the engine of a business. To me, this means at least two things:

  • Constantly pour into your team

Help them improve their performance by supporting them through training and mentoring. Entrepreneurs who make sure their people receive proper mentoring are going to be more successful. We all have people in our lives that are “in our story.” These are people who have given us little nuggets of help or major support in some way. These are people who helped us be a better version of ourselves. A great entrepreneur, however, recognizes that the true measure of mentorship is not who is in our story, but rather whose story are we in? Whose life have we changed in some way to help them be a better version of themselves?

  • Be a culture champion

An organization’s culture is the secret sauce to great companies. It is the DNA of an organization. Make sure that the core values of the business are infused into the hearts and minds of the people throughout your organization. If you have healthy organizational core values and you strive hard to share them and live them, you help to form a team of people who will be loyal to the organization’s values as well. When this happens, make sure to treat that loyalty like royalty in the organization.

Process: The 3rd Law for Entrepreneurial Success

Lastly, it is about the process. Having good systems in place allows people to engage in their passion to deliver quality performance. The process is important. Systems are important. Here are two thoughts about the process:

  • Collaboration

While process and systems are important, it is also important to understand that you must apply the processes more like Mandela than Attila. In other words, don’t be a tyrant in the application of your systems. When I was 13 years old, my mother gave me a paperweight which is still sitting on my desk to this day. It says, “Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” She told me this was about collaboration, not manipulation. It was about working with people to help achieve success for everyone.

  • Innovation

Check your processes regularly. Don’t be enslaved to old practices. Many times, I’ve seen companies create incredibly cumbersome processes that are demoralizing to people in the organization. Here, it is important that the entrepreneur listens to their team when they say that a process is complicated. Have mechanisms in place to ensure communication. I have found that having advisory bodies in place representing the people who perform the work, as well as those who receive the service, truly helps to deliver a better product. I also recommend that you go in and actually perform the process yourself to see what they see. That can truly be an enlightening experience.

If you create an organization that executes well in these three areas: passion, people, and process; you will be a force to reckon with. You will become a leader in your industry, and you will create an amazing enterprise.

competitors

Collaborating with Your Competitors Can Improve Your Business

During my years as a management consultant, I would regularly participate in management organization “hubs” made up of other consultants, many of whom could be considered my direct competitors. However, each of us also had specializations in addition to our general management skills. Someone would have much stronger skills in reading a financial statement; another would be a technology guru; someone else would be a true master of closing large sales.

Depending on the needs of the client, I could turn to one of these competitors for assistance on particular projects with my clients, and they could also pull me in at times to help with theirs. We had a clear delineation and understanding of whose client it ultimately was, but we all became better providers of knowledge for our clients by occasionally using this collaborative approach.

I developed this concept in my book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret. For my management consulting approach with my clients, I was the “hub” who brought in other professionals with specific talents as needed. This approach made me a better consultant than I could be on my own.

I was doing a seminar many years ago on networking and was talking about the value of collaborating with your competition from time to time, and how it is actually possible to increase your business by collaborating and cooperating with people who might be your competitors.

A man in his early 20s sitting in the audience raised his hand and argued passionately about how he didn’t think it was a good idea to consort with the competition. We were having a pretty lively debate when an older member of the audience stood up to weigh in. The story he told made a believer out of everyone else in the room.

It is a good idea to consort with your competitors

I’ve been in the investment business my entire professional career. A few years ago, I was courting a company for a gigantic investment package that included retirement, investments, insurance, and more. It was huge — one of the biggest projects I had ever worked on. I spent weeks getting to know the client’s intricate needs and putting together a comprehensive package. I was so close to closing the deal, but literally days before I thought it would close, the client told me they were going with someone else.

I was just gobsmacked, completely shocked. After I caught my breath, I asked him who he had chosen. It turns out he was giving it to a competitor in his mid-20s. This kid had no experience and yet, here they were giving him this monster project. I felt like I had spent enough time with the client to ask him why he would choose this person over me and my package. He looked at me and said, “You want the honest-to-goodness truth? It’s my brother in law, and my wife will go crazy if I don’t give him the business. I do trust him, but I know he hasn’t got the experience you have.”

The kid’s voice literally jumped out of the phone. He said, “I’m from a wealthy family, but I really have no idea how to manage a project this big. I’m connected and I have four more deals just like this one, and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all put together. Could we partner up? I know I can get even more deals like these, but to manage it well, I could really use your help.”

We did just that: partnered up. And that kid is a rainmaker — we have worked on so many deals, all of them the same size or bigger than that original one I thought I lost. I made more money than I had ever made before by calling up my competitor and offering goodwill and advice if he ever needed it.

As you might suspect, the young man in my audience had a change of heart after hearing this story. Will this happen every time you try to work with a competitor? Of course not. But it will never happen if you don’t reach out. What are some effective ways you’ve been able to collaborate with competitors? Let us know in the comments below.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Making Word-of-Mouth Marketing Work for You

Word-of-mouth marketing is often considered one of the oldest and most powerful forms of advertising. In fact, most business people understand that it works–they just don’t know how it works.

If you want to be successful at developing word-of-mouth for your business, you should be as organized and thoughtful about it as you are about other types of advertising and marketing. In fact, if you take this approach, eventually, you can get most of your business exclusively through word-of-mouth! The key to creating a successful word-of-mouth program lies in developing a formal plan for systematically meeting people and cultivating relationships with them. Here are ten ways for you to get your own word-of-mouth marketing program off the ground.

Avoid being a cave dweller.

Get out and meet people. Start by setting a goal for the number of appointments you’ll establish with people you wish to develop networking relationships with every week. Social capital works for everybody, not just people who set out purposefully to become networkers.

Ask for the referral.

There are specific techniques you can learn and develop that will help you hone your ability to ask for the referrals you want. One such technique is to ask “Who do you know who…?” You would then list several types of people you can help, such as someone who is new to the area, someone recently married or someone who has just started a business.

Join three networking groups.

Consciously select at least three different business or networking groups to join in the next three months. These groups might include chambers of commerce, community service groups and trade associations. When joining various organizations, make sure you select a well-rounded mix of business groups in which to participate. Try to avoid being in more than one group per category (i.e., two chambers of commerce), as this will divide your loyalties and put you in a position where you’ll be making promises to too many people.

Create referral incentives.

Develop a creative incentive to encourage people to send referrals your way. A music store owner, for instance, sends music tickets to people who refer business to him. Another example is the chiropractor who posts thank-yous on a bulletin board in his waiting area to all his patients who referred patients to him the previous month.

Learn, learn, learn for lifelong learning.

Spend time developing your networking skills. Read books and articles on networking, listen to tapes, and talk to people who network well. Networking is an acquired skill.

Act like a host.

When attending a business mixer, act like a host, not a guest. You are wasting your time at mixers if you stand around visiting with coworkers or others you already know rather than meeting new contacts and introducing them around. These events offer a great way to increase your visibility! If appropriate, ask to be the ambassador or visitor host in the organizations to which you belong. As such, it will be your official duty to meet people and introduce them to others.

Create an elevator pitch.

Invest time in developing a brief message about your business that explains what you do. What would you say? I want you to keep in mind that this is not a sales pitch; it is a creative and succinct way to generate interest in the listener. When you introduce yourself to others, use your elevator pitch. Chances are, this will help them remember you and what you do. Keeping these seven rules in mind when you create an elevator pitch will set you apart from the crowd.

Take notes and follow up.

When you meet someone and exchange cards, take a few moments to flip the card over and jot down some information about them or their business that will help you remember them and follow up with them later. This is a very simple, yet powerful, way to make a great first impression that can be developed into a mutually beneficial networking partnership. When you follow up, I recommend that you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral.

Talk less and listen more.

Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them accordingly. Our success in networking depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship.

Collaborate and help others.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Helping people shows that you care. Connect with people outside of business meetings whenever possible. Drop notes, letters and articles that might be of interest to them in the mail. Call to check in with them or invite them to events you may be attending that might be of interest.

You are potentially linked to a vast network beyond your own sphere. By implementing the tactics above, you will receive benefits from that network. Maximize your opportunities to cultivate networking relationships with others, and you will see just how effective word-of-mouth marketing can be!

Paolo Mariola

Collaborating Instead of Competing – by Paolo Mariola

International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Paolo Mariola

National Director – BNI Italia

Paolo Mariola

When we talk about work, or more generally about the changes we are dealing with everyday, a word is often recurrent: the word opportunity. A word that, in the right phrase at the right time, create in the listener a series of thoughts, and hopes of reaching a goal or to realize a project. One of the synonyms of opportunity is a favorable occasion, that brings with it a positive change (almost everytime). And if we think about it, we live in an age where many opportunities are at hand. But above all, we live in what we could define the most relational age ever. The age in which relationships are not a way but a real aim.

When I think about this, I begin to reflect on the great opportunities that referral marketing has brought and continues to bring to professionals and entrepreneurs all over the world. And I always pause on one in particular. When we talk about marketing strategies, we usually declare “beat the competitors”, “doing better than competitors”…and so on. Referral Marketing turns upside down this point of view by finding in collaboration and not in competition the real opportunity for growth starting from a precise assumption: the global result coming from collaboration is larger than the sum of the single results that would be obtained individually. It is an approach to the business world that looks at the Other not as a competitor but as an opportunity: a great resource from a professional, intellectual, human point of view, able of enriching us and giving us the possibility to reach goals that we would not be able to reach alone.

For years I have worked as an entrepreneur in information technology and business processes. I have always realized that if I had tried to go on looking only at my interest or I had kept for me every business opportunity that came from my client, I could not say today that I had succeeded as entrepreneur. One of the fundamentals of my success, is that I have always been able to have competent and specialized people around me in those fields where I was not up to the task or who did not represent my specific preparation

Seeing today many Italian entrepreneurs and professionals who apply this approach to their business is certainly one of the things that makes me proud. Approaching the market by practicing the culture of abundance brings positive benefits for the customer, for suppliers, for the market and for the whole economy in a larger scale. Therefore, thanks to Referral Marketing and the culture of abundance, a new world of opportunity opens up to us. An opportunity as big as the world.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!

Paolo Mariola National Director – BNI Italia

great leaders

Great Leaders Do Not Tell You What To Do, They Show You How It’s Done

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know how challenging it can be to find the path towards leadership that works for you. If you find yourself wondering how to become great leaders in business, follow these steps:

Click here to watch this video

The Path to Business Leadership

1. Focus on solutions, not problems
2. Collaborate with your team
3. Be a culture champion
4. Care about the success of others–REALLY care!

Finally, leadership is about accomplishing more than people thought possible. In your business, what are your wildest dreams? What’s your ultimate goal? Never lose that idea and constantly be working towards it.

Watch the video to hear more about the four steps towards becoming a business leader, and leave me a comment on what YOU think makes a leader.

five ways to better networking

Five Ways To Better Networking

Last year, I gathered almost 3,400 survey responses from business people around the world.   I gave them a list of almost 20 different characteristics on networking and I asked them to pick the top behaviors they’d like to see in a great networker.  From those responses, I have identified the top characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker and have listed the five ways to better networking in this video.

Good Listener.

At the top of the list is being a good listener.  Our success in networking depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use them both proportionately.  Listen to people’s needs and concerns and find opportunities to help them.  You can’t help others if you don’t know what they need, and you find that out by listening. In many ways, networking is about connecting the dots but to do that you have to listen so that you can help people make the connections they are looking for.

Positive attitude.

The first thing that people see from you is your attitude, how you take things in general. A consistently negative attitude makes people dislike you and drives away referrals; a positive attitude makes people want to associate and cooperate with you. Positive business professionals are like magnets.  Others want to be around them and will send their friends and family to them.

Helps Others/Collaborative.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Helping people shows that you care.  One survey respondent said that “people want to network with individuals who have a collaborative attitude.”  Helping others can be done in a variety of ways. For example, clip a helpful article and email it to someone. Furthermore, put them in touch with a person who can help them with a specific challenge.  Several respondents commented about not wanting to network with people who are “in it for themselves.” A willingness to collaborate and help others is essential. It builds trust and helps establish a strong relationship.

Sincere/Authentic.

You can offer the help, the thanks, the listening ear, but if you are not sincerely interested in the other person, they will know it!  Those who have developed successful networking skills convey their sincerity at every turn.  One respondent stated that “it’s all about the authenticity” that someone shows you.  We have all seen people who are seemingly good at networking but lack sincerity.  Faking it isn’t sustainable.

Follows Up.

If you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up, you’ll soon stop wasting your time with this person.  One respondent said that when it comes to networking, “the fortune lies in the follow up” and many people just “don’t follow up anymore.”

Click here to watch the video

Co-create a book with us

Co-create a book with us

In today’s modern business world, people are working together to crowdsource products, services, or ideas in a team or in an organization creating something together through a joint effort. Therefore, I am asking you to co-create a book with us.

Please watch the video below then take the survey. In addition, feel free to share the survey on your social media pages with as many people as you would like.

 
I am working on a new book with Frank De Raffele and Dawa Phillips called The Third Paradigm.  We are so very close to reaching our goal of 4,000 survey responses and would love to have you as part of the book. All ages welcome. Click on this link to take the 4-minute survey and be part of the book:
 
 

As an added bonus, here is the draft opening to the book:

Chapter One: The Three Paradigms

We live in an age of sweeping skepticism.  Conflict is pervasive.  Balanced discourse is a thing of the past and pundits tell us what’s wrong with society.  People complain like it’s an Olympic event, and the marketplace obsesses over the massive problems in the world.  Negativity seems to be the norm.
 
We, however, believe there is hope.  There is an answer and it does not rest with the problems.  It rests with a focus on solutions.  When people focus on problems – they become world-class experts on “the problem.”  When they focus on solutions, they become world-class experts on “the solution.”  We believe the “solution” lies within The Third Paradigm.
 
As a reference point, a paradigm is a philosophical framework or discipline within which theories and laws are formulated.  We believe we are entering the era of the Third Paradigm.  Let us take you on a short journey through the three paradigms before we talk more about the solution.
 
“Can't do” or “Won’t do”

Helping others depends on either a “Can’t do” or “Won’t do” answer

Whatever the issues are that are holding someone back, focus on a constructive approach. If you ask them, “How can we help you?”, their answer will always be either a “can’t do” or “won’t do” answer. The person will either explain why they are having difficulty with the situation because they don’t know how to address it effectively, or they will give an answer that illustrates that they don’t really want to do this for some reason or another.

How to handle a “Can’t do” answer

Once there was a printer that was dead last on P.A.L.M.S. report in a local BNI group. We did not tell him that he was dead last. Instead, we asked him, “How can we help you?” His response was that his print shop was new and he admitted that he did not understand networking. This is a classic “Cant’ Do” response. It is our job to teach them because we were all a “can’t do” when we first started networking. We all make tons of mistakes. When someone says they can’t do something, they are open to being coached. It is our job to teach them.  If we were just negative and told the printer he was dead last, he would have quit. Instead, if we pour into them and help them, they become champions in BNI.

Where the clients come into the lobby area of the print shop, we recommended that he put up a sign where everyone could see it with slots for the BNI members’ business cards. He was instructed to get 20 copies of everyone business cards to fill sign with only the cards from BNI members. When someone took a card, they were told to say that Bob’s printing referred you. If someone not in BNI wanted to give him their cards for the sign, the printer was instructed to invite them to the next BNI meeting instead. True story! Nobody just took a card and left. They asked Bob his opinion on each of these. He gave a testimonial with everyone he had cards for. He went from last to number one in giving the most referrals. He went from being embarrassed to the top referral giver within 6 months. He was the winner of the year. He now loves BNI. We changed his business by coaching him.

How to handle a “Won’t do” answer

In this example, they give excuses: it’s too difficult… they are busy…I’m different. With a clear-cut “won’t do” answer, if you open the door for them they will leave on their own. I recommend saying, “I understand your frustration, it is ok to leave the group, feel free to come back if things change”. However, if you kick them out, they will become defiant and negative towards BNI. They blame the chapter and claim it is everyone fault. Therefore, if they don’t save face, they will fight you all the way. On the other hand, they don’t hate you if you give them the option to leave in a positive manner.

Here’s a suggestion. On rare, rare occasions – when someone is a “won’t do” but they don’t want to leave.  Tell them you appreciate their involvement and that you’ll throw them a “retirement party”. OK, not a real party – but recognize their past participation in the group and thank them for their involvement. This should be done rarely but it allows them to save face and leave. With this advice, you can cut down the percentage that will require a tough conversation by 90%. Then, only 10% of the time you need to have the tough talk about opening their classification and not renewing their membership. You want to be invested in their success, yet cut them loose when needed.

Being a member of the group is not enough.  If you are not contributing then why are you there? Being complacent is what I call a “MINO” (Member In Name Only). How can we help you to get more engaged? How can we help you to… bring more members? …bring more visitors? …bring more referrals? Whatever the issues are, just ask, “How can we help?” Their answer will tell you if you can help them.

Richard Branson

What Can Business Do About It?

A friend of mine once said, “If we could get every single business person in the world, every single entrepreneur, to play their part, we could get on top of most of the world’s problems.” That friend was Richard Branson, and I took his message about his Plan B Initiative.to heart. It made me think about what I could do through BNI to make an impact on the globe and sent me on an introspective journey about being a business owner and the responsibility we had to serve not only our customers but society as a whole.

What I came up with are four ways to help your business find direction and purpose in helping others, whether it be in your local area or in the global community.

Garage to Global

In this video, I discuss how businesses can give back to the community. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”: all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Therefore, please watch this video to understand what Richard Branson means.

Can Your Business Serve the Greater Good?

All of us are in business to make a profit. But if that’s the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process.  I believe that I should serve a greater need than simply to make a profit. I believe that business can be honorable.  It can make a difference in individual lives as well as communities.

Business can be honorable. It can be something that improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities. It can do so, by not only helping to generate more business for one another, but by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and by collaborating with others.

The BNI Foundation

When corporations have a vision bigger than their profit and loss statement, amazing things can happen. BNI, the world’s leading referral organization, is one such corporation. Started by Ivan and Beth Misner in 1998, the BNI Foundation has been supporting children and education in the United States and around the world by mobilizing resources to give kids everywhere a quality education. The focus of the BNI Foundation is to help the youth of our community to find the path to productive and successful lives. For us, the mechanism to help with this shift is by investing our time, treasure, and talent to assist in education where we can. http://bnifoundation.org/ 

What is Business Voices ™?

The BNI Foundation has a long, proud legacy of helping out where schools have needed extra funding for projects not provided for by school districts or state funding. A pivotal factor of our philanthropic work was the creation of the Business Voices™ initiative to provide even more to the schools which have with the greatest needs.

Our initiative pairs BNI members and concerned, engaged and motivated corporations, service clubs and community groups with schools and educational organizations. The goal is to help them find the resources they need to have maximum impact on the kids of our communities.

American Visionary

American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard

Beth and I are very pleased to share this movie with you. We are the Executive Producers of this film and we feel that the story of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s life and mission deserves to be told. She has inspired many the world over, and her work is changing the world for the better. We invite you to learn more about her life’s work and message in the exciting new film American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Barbara Marx Hubbard has inspired many the world over. Known as the mother of Conscious Evolution, her work is changing the world for the better. 

Humanity is on the brink of radical advancement, believes Barbara Marx Hubbard, who is known as “the mother of conscious evolution”. At 82, she seizes an opportunity to reach millions with her hopeful message. Featuring authors Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, Neale Donald Walsch, and more than forty fellow visionaries, this inspiring documentary examines what a positive future might look like and how we could get there. Hubbard asks, “How can we drive through our global crises and blossom into a future that is equal to our human potential?”

Learn more about her life’s work and message in the exciting new film American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard. 

Now available for rental and purchase here: https://www.americanvisionarythemovie.com/

 

competition

Competition into collaboration

You can turn your competition into your best potential referral source. In this video, Tiffanie Kellog and Jason Avery share how he accomplished this in his construction business. There is plenty of business out there if you do it right.

About Tiffanie Kellog

For more information on Tiffanie Kellog, please visit her website at tiffaniekellog.com/

Tiffanie Kellog is a professional speaker and trainer with Asentiv, and is co-owner of a business with her husband.  Therefore, Tiffanie has helped entrepreneurs over the years make more money while saving time. Thus, they can have more fun. She is dedicated to helping others make more money in less time.

To contact Tiffanie, call her at 813-263-9690 or email at referrals@tiffaniekellog.com

Alex Mandossian Verb

What is Your Verb?

I just spent the five days at my semi-annual TLC (Transformational Leadership Council) event in Mexico.  I come away from each of these conferences with nuggets of great information.

At this conference, one of the presentations that gave me a lot of great nuggets was from my friend, Alex Mandossian.  His talk was called “Discover Your Verb.”  OK, I thought it sounded a bit weird but his content is always so great, so I didn’t care – I had to be there.  I’m glad I was.  It was in fact, amazing.

In his talk he said, the “biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is the one thing that makes a great business person and leader is: movement!”

Albert Einstein once said that “nothing happens until something moves.” This is true in business and in leadership because without movement, change is not possible.

Alex told the story of a legendary ad man, Leo Burnett from Chicago.  He said that “Burnett once put his staff to the task of analyzing 62 ads that failed to move merchandise. Why did they fail?  Burnett said it was due to too many adjectives because adjectives (like “extremely”) don’t move people, instead they spark skepticism and doubt in our minds.  In fact, of the 12,758 words of those failed ads, 24.1% were adjectives! Translation: more adjectives means less movement.”

Alex said that in comparison, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address contains only 13.1% adjective-to-total-word ratio and Churchill’s “Blood, Sweat and Tears” speech has 12.3%.

If adjectives are the problem, then what is the solution?  Alex said that it’s not nouns – it’s about verbs or action words.

Verbs increase persuasion power and move people according to Alex.  The greatest thought leaders in history lived their lives as verbs.

For example, Alex said: “Rene Descartes is “Father of Western philosophy.” His verb was: THINK! (“Cogito ergo sum”) “I THINK, therefore I am!”

  • Einstein believed if you stop learning you start dying. His verb was: LEARN!  “I LEARN, therefore I am!”
  • Maria Montessori believed in teaching philosophy that bears her name today. Her verb was: TEACH!  I TEACH therefore I am.
  • Walt Disney believed in dreaming. His verb won him 22 Academy Awards!  “I DREAM, therefore I am!”

Alex said, “it’s a one-word language that moves people and causes permanent and positive change!”

So – what’s your verb?  Alex asked us to pick our verb and put it on a sticky note.  I chose “collaborate” but my wife, Beth, told me that she didn’t think that was my verb!  I said, “what do you mean, my business is all about collaboration.”  She said yes that is how I operate but that is not the big picture of what I do.  I asked her what she thought I did and she said – “you inspire.”  She said that Alex told us that our verb had to be something BIG.  It had to be the big movement that we have with the people we work with.  Beth said that my role is to inspire people to collaborate.   I’d like to think she was right so – my verb is “INSPIRE.”

What is your verb?  Think BIG.  It’s the big movement that you make in your community and your world.  What is your verb and why?  Share it here.  I want to know.

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