Self-discovery, one shovelful of snow at a time

Snow throws a lot at us. Our response to it can be seen in how we navigate the challenges of building a business, writing a book or tackling a project

Self-discovery, one shovelful of snow at a timeThe sun is shining, even if the air is still frigid, so I’ll take it. After several days of digging out my huge driveway – 100 metres, to be exact – and coping with drifting snow, even my most optimistic “Shovelling is a great full-body workout strategy” is feeling less than enthusiastic. I love the…

To grow or not to grow your business: either way takes work

Tips to implementing a growth structure that is consistent with your personality and values of the company you have built

To grow or not to grow your business: either way takes workEvery new business grows from the seeds of an idea. Some wither at the seedling stage, others remain as saplings, while others strive for the sky. But all growth requires the same up-front fertilization. “For any business, you have to begin with the end in mind,” says Gary Prenevost, who calls himself Canada’s leading franchise matchmaker.…

CEO pay: when they deserve it and when they don’t 

CEO pay has increased over the last decade but the increase is perfectly related to the value of their skills

CEO pay: when they deserve it and when they don’t In debates about inequality, some people – including some economists – claim the salaries and compensation of chief executive officers aren’t linked to performance. Essentially, they don’t really earn their money. This claim, repeated ad nauseam in recent years, is misleading to say the least. As noted in my recent study published by the Fraser…

Why you need to be aggressively positive in business

Move forward with intent and work in a manner that enables you to succeed through your direct actions and those of your team

Why you need to be aggressively positive in businessI was 21 the summer of the accident. I was working on a farm and my boss and his family had gone to the lake. I was left with a list of chores that included clearing out a culvert on a dam that was being plugged by beavers. I thought this would be the perfect…

Write down and share your recipe for success

One of the keys to business success is consistency. So set up a step-by-step processes to get the best results every time you do things

Write down and share your recipe for successWe couldn’t have had a better boarder. Billy Burchell would come every week from McLeod Lake to live with our family while he went to school. He would arrive on Monday for school and take the bus back on Friday after school. Billy was in shock for the first few months he lived with us…

Five reasons businesses fail

And how to overcome these obstacles on the way to building a successful venture

Five reasons businesses failBusinesses come and go – we see them opening up, struggling for a few years and closing their doors. We might even hear that they offered something we were searching for – after they’ve closed. But why do they fail? According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in the U.S., over the lifetime…

It hurts to feel excluded

Team spirit can quickly disintegrate as individuals who feel that they are being discounted simply withdraw

It hurts to feel excludedYou are brought into a room to play a computer game. On the screen you see your avatar, a computerized graphic that represents you in this virtual environment. You also spot the avatars for two other players, both of whom you assume are physically located with their own computers in similar rooms. At first it…

How entrepreneurial are you?

A poll of entrepreneurs found that top CEOs are different because they take risks, are determined, are focused, and ask for and use the help of quality people

How entrepreneurial are you?Dr. Hossein Kazemian is not an entrepreneur but has an entrepreneurial drive. I met Hossein a few years back when he invited me to tour his chemistry lab at the University of Northern British Columbia. UNBC is ranked Canada’s No. 1 small university. Hossein informed me that his lab, which he had recently taken over, was…

Why New Year’s resolutions never stick

Change isn't difficult. What is difficult is doing things when you don't really want to

Why New Year’s resolutions never stickSo it's a new year. The pressure to look optimistically and confidently ahead, to resolve to change old ways and embrace the new, is palpable. The media, with tiresome predictability, are chock-full of advice from the experts on how to make and stick to your resolutions. Forget it. Most people really don't want to change,…

Managing meetings so they aren’t a waste of time

Here are our tips for producing meetings that matter

Managing meetings so they aren’t a waste of timeMeetings are a waste of time, according to a certain sentiment found particularly in the tech startup sector. Respectfully, we call  that sentiment BS. Human beings function as a species because of our advanced capacity to interact – like during a meeting. Of course, for the busy small business person, it’s hard enough to squeeze in the time to…

Frame your coming year by putting a label on it

Something positive happens when we remind ourselves of our goals and put our mental focus on achieving those goals

Frame your coming year by putting a label on itAnge sat across from me, her faced stressed with the worries of the day and her business. “If you could name last year, what would you name it?” I asked. Without hesitation, Ange blurted out: “The year of the s--t show.” She told me about the political interference in her work, the trouble she had…

When your past success becomes an obstacle

Discontinuous change is like leaping off a cliff while building your parachute on the way down

When your past success becomes an obstacleThere are two kinds of change – incremental and discontinuous – that are taking place simultaneously and constantly in today’s business organizations. Incremental change is the process of continuous improvement – what the Japanese refer to as “kaizen.” Discontinuous change is the kind of large-scale transformation that turns organizations inside out and upside down. Incremental…

Celebrate more this Christmas, worry less about business

This year, stop rushing through the holidays long enough to let your thoughts be diverted from the burdens of work to the joyfulness of the season

Celebrate more this Christmas, worry less about businessWhat do we miss by rushing through the celebrations and skipping the festivities of the Christmas season? At the end of the year, many people celebrate holidays like Christmas or Hanukah, New Year’s Eve or Festivals of Lights. Even if you aren’t religious, you probably celebrate Christmas with gifts or family gatherings and large meals.…

Make sure your business has the systems in place to handle growth

Putting in the effort to document, implement and analyze processes results in fewer headaches, less stress and better results

Make sure your business has the systems in place to handle growthYou started your business with an incredible idea, some initiative, creativity and likely cash. Probably the first thing you did was put together a plan. That’s great. But did your plan envision growth, and the need for systems: the procedures, principles and processes that both describe and dictate how your business actually gets things done?…

The power of perception in employer/employee relations

As a leader you must make it a routine part of your decision-making process to ask the question: Will this be perceived as equitable?

The power of perception in employer/employee relationsLet's play a game. Here are the rules: We'll be asked to split a sum of money. I get to make the split and you get to choose whether to accept or reject the split. And if you reject it, both of us will walk away empty-handed. Rationally, I should realize my advantage and offer…
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