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The Tycoon Playbook course was created for business families who are already running a successful business and wish to ramp up their growth while preserving wealth for future generations. Specifically, the Playbook teaches high performance business owners the two most highly rewarded skills in business, namely deal-making and how to acquire cash flow producing business assets.
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The key to success in business? The human[ities] | Marika Taishoff The global economic crisis has brought to the fore a more long-standing debate about the content and purpose of management education. While the functional and technical skills have long been the bedrock of management education, a new approach is to also incorporate the humanities into the curriculum to foster the critical, creative, and, yes, human-centered thinking. In this TEDxIUM talk, Professor Marika Taishoff covers how this kind of learning agility is necessary when textbooks no longer provide the answers. Dr. Marika Taishoff is currently the Director of the Executive and Full-Time MBA programs at the International University of Monaco. Originally from New York City, Dr. Taishoff has had many years of experience teaching, writing, and consulting about customer-focused orientation, strategy marketing, and luxury and premium services. She has written numerous case studies on best practice in service management and marketing, many of which are global award winners. Dr. Taishoff was recently nominated by the Case Center as one of the top 40 case writers in the World.
Philip Evans: How data will transform business What does the future of business look like? In an informative talk, Philip Evans gives a quick primer on two long-standing theories in strategy — and explains why he thinks they are essentially invalid.
Business Ideas: 3 Business Lessons From Visa Founder Dee Hock Today we’re going to look at how a former brick mason refused to settle for less than he felt he deserved and went on to build one of the most successful financial companies in the world. This is the story of VISA founder Dee Hock and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from his success. “Money motivates neither the best people, nor the best in people.” – Dee Hock Dee Hock (born 1929) is the founder and former CEO of VISA. In 1968, when credit cards were first starting to get popular, Hock convinced the Bank of America to release control over their BankAmericard credit card program. He started a new company to control the credit cards. It was called National BankAmerica and later changed to VISA. Hock came from a modest household. His father was a utility lineman and after marrying his high school sweetheart, Hock’s first jobs were working in a slaughterhouse and for a brick mason. He became interested in the banking world and walked away from three separate jobs at respected financial companies because he thought they were too hierarchical and controlling which limited his creativity. Hock went looking for an opportunity to build a different type of organization, one that valued the creativity and enthusiasm of its employees. The result of this plan was VISA. Today VISA has over $8 billion in revenues and processes over 60 billion transactions per year. Action Item #1: Hire People Different From You Action Item #2: Be A Leader Action Item #3: Empty Your Mind Quotes “Failure is not to be feared. It is from failure that most growth comes; provided that one can recognize it, admit it, learn from it, rise about it, and try again.” “If you don’t understand that you work for your mislabelled ‘subordinates,’ then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny.” “Given the right circumstances, from no more than dreams, determination, and the liberty to try, quite ordinary people consistently do extraordinary things.”
Business Ideas: 3 Ways to Prevent Employees From Losing Interest In You (Issy Sharp Lessons) by Evan Carmichael Today we’re going to look at how a high school jock whose priority was partying turned his life around and built one of the most successful hotel chains in the world. This is the story of Issy Sharp from the Four Seasons and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from his success. “Whatever you do, don’t ever use a crutch, and don’t ever think of having an excuse for not having said, ‘Yeah, I did my best.’ – Issy Sharp Action Item #1: Inspire Your Employees If you ever want to build a successful business beyond yourself you’re going to have to have a team of people working with you who are inspired to give their best every day. Sharp didn’t become the leading luxury hotelier in the world all by himself. In the over fifty years he has been in the industry, Sharp has developed a unique leadership style that has encouraged his employees to devote 110 percent of themselves to the company. By creating a working environment that is built on trust, credibility, and integrity, Sharp has inspired his team to work to realize their best efforts. In the end, he understood that this was the secret ingredient to helping the company realize its best results. According to Sharp: “We do that, first of all, by establishing a meaningful goal, an overriding purpose that most people can relate to. If the goal is clear and the focus is sharp and constantly reinforced, we unify and energize through a sense of common purpose that inspires employees to ardent effort.” Action Item #2: Really Service Your Customers The best companies are based on happy customers and repeat business. You want to strive to create an experience where your customers love buying from you and tell their friends as well. In each and every one of its worldwide locations, the Four Seasons tends to set the top hotel price for the area – it is usually about 20 percent higher than its closest competitor. How can Sharp risk such a pricing policy? He does it by guaranteeing that his “guests get a fail-safe experience so that a company is eager to pay the extra $50 to ensure a hassle-free trip for an executive who might be working on a $50 million deal.” According to Sharp: “Our competitors interpreted luxury chiefly as dazzling architecture and décor, but how important is that to our customers? They are mostly executives, often under pressure, fighting jet lag, stress and the clock. We decided to redefine luxury as service.” Action Item #3: Live By The Golden Rule The Golden Rule is to treat people as you would like to be treated. It’s not only a great way to achieve happiness as an entrepreneur, it’s also a highly profitable strategy. The driving […]
Business Ideas – 3 Lessons from Herb Kelleher – Southwest Airlines By Evan Carmichael Today we’re going to look at how a young lawyer who seemingly had it all bravely left his job to start his own business. He had to fight over 30 lawsuits and nearly went out of business but he stuck with it and created one of the most respected companies in America. This is the story of Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from his success. “Your people come first, and if you treat them right, they’ll treat the customers right.” – Herb Kelleher Herb Kelleher (born March 12, 1931) is the co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines. After graduating from law school he did what every new lawyer dreamed of. He clerked for the Supreme Court Justice, joined a law firm, and became partner at a firm in his wife’s home state of Texas. He should have been on top of the world but he was instead itching for a new career as an entrepreneur. One evening Kelleher was having drinks with a client, Rollin King, and that night the two used a cocktail napkin to hatch a new business, Southwest Airlines. Using Kelleher’s legal experience and King’s business background, Southwest Airlines was set up to run only in Texas to avoid having to follow federal price regulations. Kelleher had found a legal loophole and his competition didn’t appreciate it. Kelleher had to fight off over 30 lawsuits before Southwest Airlines was even able to get a plane in the air. But they prevailed and bootstrapped their way from a company with only 4 planes to being one of the most admired companies in America. Southwest is consistently named one of the top five Most Admired Corporations in America by Fortune magazine, which also called Kelleher perhaps the best CEO in America. It has never experienced an in-flight fatality and continues to enjoy growing success. Southwest is also the only airline to have over 30 consecutive years of profit, despite the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which threatened the rest of the industry. In 2001, Kelleher resigned as CEO and president of Southwest due to a personal battle with prostate cancer. Action Item #1: Put Your People First Action Item #2: Focus Everyone on Customer Service Action Item #3: Hire the Right People True Story In the beginning, Southwest had just four planes and 70 employees. All of the legal battles had left the company on the verge of closing down. It forced Kelleher to make a difficult decision: he had to either sell one of the planes or lay off some of his employees. He chose to sell the plane. In return, Kelleher asked his employees to cut gate turnaround times from 55 to just 15 minutes. They pulled it off and Kelleher had clearly set the culture for his business. […]
Business Ideas – Business Lessons from Jenny Craig (food & service entrepreneur) by Evan Carmichael Today we’re going to look at how a gym manager mortgaged her house to start a business because she saw a need, moved to Australia, and later sold her business for $600 million. This is the story of Jenny Craig and the top three lessons you can learn from her success. Action Item #1: Promote, Promote, Promote! Building a better mousetrap is not enough anymore to get a company off the ground. You need to aggressively promote your business to make sure your customers know that you exist. From advertising and public relations to search engine optimization and social media marketing, you have many opportunities to spread the word about your company and you should never take your foot off the gas! In the company’s early years, Craig made sure that exactly ten percent of sales was directed back into commercial advertising each and every year. Individual franchises were also expected to spend ten percent of sales, or at least $1,000 a week, on local advertising for their own centres. They used traditional advertising on television programs, leveraged celebrity endorsements, and created direct mail campaigns. But they also tried many offbeat approaches. As one example, Sid got the company a lot of publicity during one televised international cricket match, where cameras picked up on a sign in the crowd directed at the captain of the English team that read: “See Jenny Craig. Quick.” Action Item #2: Offer Products and Services I believe the best way to build a business is to start a service – it’s low cost and gets you close to your customers. Your chances of survival are much higher and you learn what future services and products your clients need. Once you’ve established a base of customers and know exactly what’s missing in the marketplace, you can create your products. You’ve got cashflow from your service business to keep the company running and you’ve got a loyal group of clients who are ready to buy! Jenny Craig had the same philosophy. Her business started with Jenny Craig centres where they would help clients establish a workout program, offer nutritional guidance, and also give motivational services. Her business grew every year as she added more centres and people to her team. It was a very successful service based business. Jenny Craig’s big break came when she started offering prepared food products as a part of her offering. She brought on board a highly qualified staff of dieticians, psychologists, and physicians to help her create a menu that was healthy and nutritional. In doing so, Jenny’s Cuisine became a central component to her program. All of her clients were required to purchase these portion and calorie controlled foods, which included over sixty different breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack options. Jenny’s Cuisine proved so popular that the company’s gross revenues from food sales increased […]
Business Ideas – How to Put Differentiation Into Action Like Ron Joyce (Tim Hortons) by Evan Carmichael Evan Carmichael discusses how you can match your talents with your passion like the franchise king Ron Joyce (Tim Hortons). “When you find the niche you love, that becomes your passion. For me it was Tim Hortons. It was my world.” — Ron Joyce Action Item #1: Match Your Talents with Your Passion You can be really good at something but not love it. You can also love doing something else but not be really good at it. To be successful as an entrepreneur you need find the opportunity to combine what you love doing with what you’re really good at. According to Ron Joyce: ” I think people who excel in anything are often totally dedicated to it, but are only really good at one thing. I look at the great athletes of all time, like Michael Jordan, who went from basketball to baseball and it didn’t work. Or Wayne Gretzky, who probably wouldn’t have been great at anything but hockey.” Are you like Michael Jordan trying to play baseball by doing something you love but aren’t really that good at? If you’re struggling to get your company to the next level try doing some soul searching to see if you’ve matched up your talents with what you love doing in the best way possible. Action Item #2: Treat Your Franchisees as Partners Franchising can be a great way to build a business because you don’t need to fund it yourself and you can create an army of hard working managers who have a self-interest in seeing you succeed. However, franchising is not a bulletproof concept and may fail when the franchisors don’t provide the right support to their franchisees. Here’s Ron Joyce’s advice: “It was my philosophy to treat the franchise owners as partners.” He followed through by creating a ‘Donut University’, a central training facility where new franchise owners could go to learn the ropes of running the business and operating in the fast-paced environment. He also established regular meetings, a toll-free phone line, and field evaluations to provide support to his franchisees. He was willing to do whatever it took to get his partners off the ground and running. The result? Today, only five percent of the company’s stores are corporate, while the rest are locally and operated owned franchises. With average profit margins ranging from 15 to 20 percent, owning a Tim Hortons franchise is a promising venture. In fact, more than half of all franchisees own more than one unit. Treat your franchisees fairly and give them the support they need to flourish and they’ll build your business for you. Action Item #3: Create a Unique Point of Differentiation If you want to stand out and win business from your competitors then you need to do things differently from them. If there’s […]
Business Ideas – How to Build a Business the HP Way by Evan Carmichael Evan Carmichael discusses how you can build a business like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, founders of one of the world’s largest information technology companies, Hewlett-Packard. “Believe you can change the world.” — Bill Hewlett Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were university friends who graduated in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1935. Eager to become entrepreneurs, Packard and Hewlett established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1939 in Packard’s garage with all the startup money they could put together – a grand total of US$538. They then tossed a coin to decide whether the company would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. 60 years after its founding, HP has developed a reputation for innovative and reliable products and in 2009 had revenue of $115 billion, making it one of the largest companies in the world. Action Item #1: Think About More Than Money Hewlett and Packard believed that a business had a purpose beyond just making money. Businesses had responsibilities to employees, customers, and the community at large. It was a controversial viewpoint in the 1940s but many of the management practices that are now standard in many work environments were pioneered by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. Some of the initiatives they launched included: worker bonuses based on productivity, profit sharing plans, flex-time schedules, companywide health-insurance, pay cuts and Fridays off instead of layoffs in hard times, addressing everybody in the company by their first names, having an open-door policy, and creating a wall-free environment to encourage teamwork and the flow of ideas. As an entrepreneur you have to worry about money and making enough to first survive and then build a lasting company – but don’t make it your only priority. Remember to think about the people who work for you, the people who buy from you, and the rest of your community to make your business a force for good. Strangely enough when you focus on helping these people around you, the money comes in on its own. Action Item #2: Adopt a Survival Mentality The early days of a new business can be challenging. You may not be selling the right product or service and you rarely hit the targets that you set for yourself. This is where it’s crucial to adopt a survival mentality – listen to your customers until you find the product or service that will really solve their problems and in turn help you build a lasting business. When Bill Hewlett talked about the early days of Hewlett-Packard he said: “We were just opportunistic. We made a bowling alley foul-line indicator, a clock drive for a telescope, a thing to make a urinal flush automatically, and a shock machine to make people lose weight. We did anything to bring in a nickel.” The best way to build a business is around customers with problems who will pay you to […]
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