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The Recipe for Success with Your Partner and Key People

The recipe for BIGG SuccessCatherine Morgan over at the PointAtoPointBTransitions blog recently wrote a great post about using your “lens” in your decision making process.

When evaluating opportunities, she encourages us to use our “lens” to find the right fit and to filter out those that aren’t.

Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 6:00)


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Catherine provides a couple of examples: A client who is using his lens to evaluate his next career step and a solopreneur who is using her lens to find companies with the budget for her core services.

Our lenses

We thought we’d share our lenses with you because it will help illustrate the recipe for success in your relationships.

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Mary-Lynn FosterI look for win/win and have the courage to walk away when that doesn’t end up in the equation. I take time to consider the opportunity. I weigh out the good and the bad. I’m careful to not inject “good” where it isn’t simply because I want it to be there. I’m equally cautious to not put something in the “bad” column because it takes me out of my comfort zone. In the end, my decision is based on what is right for me, and I’ve learned this through past decisions that were both correct & incorrect.

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George Krueger I’ve learned the hard way that I’m terribly optimistic. So I look at the downside of opportunities. The faster I can get to “No”, the better. If the risk can’t be reduced to an acceptable level, I pass. If the risk is tolerable, then I weigh it against the financial and non-monetary rewards.

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The power of different lenses

Mary-Lynn FosterSo, we both see opportunity through very different lenses. You can see I bring more emotion into it, while George is highly logical.

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So you might think the two of us would have a challenge coming together when we’re making decisions as a married couple or as partners in BIGG Success.

But the opposite is actually true. The two approaches help us make better decisions.

They’re part of the recipe for success with your partner and other key people in your life. And that’s the point we want to make today.

In your quest for BIGG success, you need to align yourself with people who approach challenges and opportunities from a different mindset.

But you can’t leave these critical ingredients out…

Now, we hasten to add – you need a shared vision and values with these key people in your life and your business. Otherwise, it won’t work.

But once you have that foundation to build upon, differences create more value.

Now, it can lead to some pretty spirited discussions. Arguments even!

But healthy ones at that. As long as you add one more vital ingredient to this recipe for success – respect.

You have to respect where the other person is coming from and what they’re saying even if you don’t agree.

So mix a little respect with a shared vision and values and then spice it up with some differences. It’s the recipe for BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00810-051812.mp3

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Lead Your People to Lead

leading.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on time.

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Bigg Question

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marylynnRenee called us with her bigg question. She’s been a manager for a few months. She’s having trouble getting all of her work done because her employees keep coming to her with problems that they could easily solve themselves. She feels herself getting more and more stressed about this situation. She wants our suggestions.

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Results, not tasks

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georgeRenee, you’re not alone. This is a common problem with first-time managers. I’ve fought this myself. We’re told, “If you want the job done right, do it yourself.” So we don’t empower people like we need to so they feel comfortable making decisions. We need to help our people build their personal leadership skills.

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You do that by focusing on the results, not the tasks. It’s a conversation about the “what”, not the “how”. What are you trying to achieve as a group? Then break your overall plan into who is to do what by when.

Now every individual in your charge knows for what they’re responsible. Be sure they (and their peers) know they have the authority to do what needs to be done to reach the desired result.

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Guiding principles

Let them know you believe in them. Tell them you’re there to help them when they run into something they can’t solve on their own. However, there are two guiding principles when they think they need your help.

1st – If we’ve discussed it before, follow the precedent.

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georgeThere’s no need to rehash old turf. I want my people to show me that they can learn. I’ll tell them exactly that!

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marylynnYou don’t want to hit your head into the same wall again and again. There will be challenges. Let’s make them new ones! I’m here to help you as long as we aren’t just dealing with the same old problem stated in a different way.

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2nd – When you present a problem, offer a solution.

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georgeI remember discovering this principle, for exactly the reason Renee is saying in her question. I had to find an answer for people constantly bringing up problems without taking any responsibility for the solution. This guiding principle took care of that.

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marylynnHelping your people develop their personal leadership skills leads to bigg success … for them and for you!

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What have you done to get your people to take a leadership role?

Please share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for the gift of your time today. Please join us next time when we talk with a person who used vision boards to reach bigg success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00402-052709.mp3

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The Need to Lead – Part 1

career_opportunities We are thrilled today to talk with Douglas E. Welch on The Bigg Success Show. Douglas is the host of Career Opportunities, a fantastic podcast where he helps people build the career they deserve. He is also a writer and computer consultant with articles published in Wired, MacWorld, and the Los Angeles Times. As if that’s not enough, he also conducts seminars on podcasting for schools and businesses.

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marylynnOne of the things we wanted to talk with you about today is that you have declared 2009 “The Year of Leadership.

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douglasThis year was a definite conscious decision to choose a theme. It started about three years ago when I decided that, working alone in my home office, I had really become disengaged from my community – both the tech community that I work in and the community in general. So for my own personal decision, I decided to make that year the Year of Reconnecting and Getting Out. In 2008, I stumbled across the idea of the Year of Visibility, which I also think is very important. It’s about people making visible what they do and how they do it. So when 2009 rolled around, I realized that this was getting to be a great idea for each year. I was already working on a column and a podcast on leadership. If there’s ever been a year in my lifetime when I really needed to exercise leadership and get that out of other people as well, this is the year. We’ve simply been lacking leadership in a lot of ways across the entire world.

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georgeI love that you said you need to do this. When you announced this on your show, you were really clear that it was about personal leadership leading to engaging a community and getting other followers.

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douglasEverything starts at home. Sometimes I think we forget that. I could see in myself areas where I needed to lead more – whether that’s in my business, in my podcast, in my column or whatever. I think a lot of people have gotten the idea that leadership only exists “out there” somewhere. It’s something that takes place in the executive suite, in the boardroom, or in higher levels of government. The fact is that leadership is a fundamental aspect of our lives that we exercise – or should exercise – every single day.

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marylynnIn your Year of Leadership, what are some of the steps that you’ve been taking? What challenges have you faced?

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douglasI remember when I worked in a corporate office and lunch time would roll around and the question came up about where we were going to go for lunch. And no one would decide! It’s kind of a joke, but kind of not. One of the simplest things you can do is start making decisions. Too many of us abdicate our decision making. We don’t decide and face problems with that down the road. So most fundamentally, it’s just stepping up and making decisions. Now I realize why we don’t make decisions. We’re scared – scared of failing, scared of making the wrong decisions. The fact is there is no wrong decision because each decision you make brings you closer to what you need. If something doesn’t work, you say, “You know what, that didn’t work. We’re going to try this now.” The point is to keep moving forward and to keep making those decisions so you don’t suffer what I’ve heard described as “analysis paralysis.” You spend all your time looking at all the different options out there and never end up doing anything.

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marylynnI think one of the scariest things when you’re trying to step up your leadership role is that you might have to challenge the existing leadership. How do you tip toe around that?

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douglasOne of the ways is what we’ve already discussed. You start making decisions for yourself. It’s a relatively non-threatening way of pushing those decisions up the silo. One of the best things we can do as a human being is set a good example by our actions. As people see you making decisions, it helps them to take the reins as well and move forward.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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Thanks so much for checking in on us today. Join us next when we continue our conversation with Douglas. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00332-021709.mp3

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Improve Your Strategic Decision-Making Skills with this Simple Game

which_wayAnita Bruzzese is the author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy. We were fortunate to meet her at a conference we attended a few months back. She had a great post recently, where she discussed a game she played with her kids called, “Which would you rather?”

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georgeWith this game, you present your fellow players with a choice. For instance, I asked Mary-Lynn which she would rather give up for a month – chocolate or her cell phone.

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marylynn That was a tough question, but I would give up chocolate. My phone is my mobile device; there’s no way I could live without it for a month!

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georgeHmmm … Mary-Lynn with no chocolate. I’d plan to be away that month!

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A fun way to keep a conversation going

When we discussed conversation continuers recently, we said that games are one way to keep a conversation going. This is a great example of a game you could play to do that. For example, you could ask … 

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marylynn Who would you rather work for – a boss who’s super-demanding or a boss who’s never around? Anita posed more great questions in her post.

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georgeIf you check out her post, you can see how I answered the questions she asked.

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A fun way to improve strategic decision-making

Decision trees are a great way to visualize possible business strategies, since a business can be thought of as a series of either / or options. Sounds like a ramped-up version of “Which would you rather”, doesn’t it? Question 1 leads to Question 2 and so on.

For example, let’s say you plan to start a restaurant. Play “Which would you rather?”

  • Which would you rather open – a big restaurant or a small restaurant? Let’s say you choose bigg … with two g’s of course!
  • Which would you rather be – part of a franchise system or an independent? You really want to create your own brand, so you want to be independent.
  • Where would you locate – in a strip center or a free-standing building? You could do some research to determine which one seems to work better for restaurants like the one you plan to start.

We could keep going, but you get the idea. The reason you create the decision tree is to see the impact of your choices. For instance, if you chose “franchise” for the second question, they may specify whether you’re inline or free-standing.

A fun way to teach your kids critical entrepreneurial skills

Play this game with your kids and help them develop critical entrepreneurial skills! Just add the “decision tree” dimension one question at a time. So instead of asking your kids to think of one question, ask them to think of three – the initial question and a follow-up question for each of the possible answers. They’ll be thinking like an entrepreneur in no time!

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

Next time, we’ll examine a highly-touted way to pay off your mortgage early. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Does It Pay to be Greedy?

It’s okay to be stupid if you’re not greedy. It’s okay to be greedy if you’re not stupid. But it’s never okay to be greedy and stupid.

George said that’s why he’s never been greedy. A man has to no his limitations!


Bridge over troubled waters

But greed is a bit like confidence and cockiness. Picture a bridge … on this side of the water, we’re confident. But cross the bridge and we’re cocky. We adore confidence; we despise cockiness. And this bridge between the two can be very short. Of course, some people go way over to the other side. 

That’s also true with greed. There’s a short bridge between ambition and greed. It pays to get right up to the bridge … that’s where you’ll find bigg success.

But don’t go over it … that’s where mistakes are made.

This applies to our businesses, our careers, and our personal finances. If your goal is to achieve bigg things, you have to think and dream bigg.

But don’t cross the bridge, because greed is like a drug. Once a person starts, it’s hard to stop. Once they’re in deep, they start to do stupid things because they have to feed the addiction … the greed.

In this context, stupid means that someone isn’t thinking logically. They’re letting emotions rule the day, not making decisions based on the facts. They start thinking like a gambler, just rolling the dice and hoping for the best. 

A recent example

A great example is the most recent real estate boom. George has a friend who invests in real estate. During the boom, George saw some market data about returns on real estate investments. He didn’t think it made sense because the returns were projected at a lower rate than the known cost. So George asked his friend about it. His friend had an explanation that still didn’t make sense. They went around a few times. Finally George’s friend said that you had to count on someone being a bigger sucker than you (those are George’s words), but his friend confirmed it.

Look at what’s happened – a lot of people have lost small (even large) fortunes because of untimely real estate investments. We know the rest of the story. It all came crashing down.

What Warren Buffett says about greed

We’ve said that it’s okay to be ambitious, but don’t be greedy. But it appears that Warren Buffett may disagree with us. Warren Buffett, of course, is the great investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He says,

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

So, according to Warren Buffett, there are times when it pays to be greedy. And apparently it pays well because he’s built his career (and his fortune) on being greedy when others were fearful. 

So we say it’s okay to be ambitious, but don’t be greedy. Warren Buffett says you should be greedy when others are afraid.

What do you think … does it pay to be greedy? Leave a Comment to share your opinion.

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