Listen to Let’s Get Real for Free

Hit tip to my friend and Sage partner Amjad Khan from AIM Insight.

Product DetailsAs many of you know, I have been a huge fan of Mahan Khalsa’s Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play for almost a decade now.

Thanks to what must be a system glitch, you can buy the audio book of Let’s Get Real for $14 or listen to the exact same thing as a podcast for free. Great find!

For those interested the podcasts are available on iTunes by going to Podcasts>Business>Management & Marketing>FranklinCovey SPG. Additional podcast not available on iTunes can be found here on FranklinCovey’s site.

This is both the best sales book about consulting and the best consulting book about sales.

ENJOY!

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST!

Credit Where Credit Is Due

It has long been my belief that most (not all) politicians enter the fray because they genuinely want to help improve the condition of their fellow man. In the past year and a half I have met dozens, perhaps hundreds of politicians and none have struck me as having truly evil intentions.

Now, do some become power hungry and corrupt? You bet. Are they misguided in their beliefs as to what can actually help? Yes. Do most tend to be almost devoid of an understanding of basic economics? Undoubtedly. Are they ill intended and want to end life as we know it? No.

It is with these ideas in mind that I write this post as over the weekend two events advanced the cause of freedom: one from a politician on each side of the aisle.

First, it was announced (leaked) that President Obama was putting the finishing touches on a plan to draw down the US troops stationed in Afghanistan. The is long overdue and very much welcomed in my view.

Second, it was announced here in Texas that Governor Rick Perry has added the TSA anti-groping bill to the agenda for the special session of the legislature. As readers of this blog no doubt know, I am a harsh critic of the use of government personnel to execute warrantless services of citizens whose only suspicious activity is there need to move about the country.

Throughout the day, I have noticed critics on both sides of the aisle and in Libertarian circles lambaste both men and these policies as pandering and even weak. To that I say, “Nonsense.”

Does this mean I am becoming an ardent supporter of either man? Heck, no. I have too many disagreements with both of them. In does mean I think we need to take some time out and celebrate the fact that the light of freedom grew a little bit brighter today.

To both President Obama and Governor Perry, I say, “Well done!”

I now return to the regularly scheduled programming.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST!

My TSA Protest

As many of you know, I am an American Airlines Platinum level frequent flyer. As such, I am very familiar with TSA policies and procedures from a gropee passenger perspective. Honestly, it saddens me every time I have to go through security.

As a former New Yorker that lived just outside of Manhattan in September of 2001, seeing the TSA pat downs and electronic screenings is a constant reminder that the terrorists did more than damage buildings and murder almost 3,000 people. They, in a sense, have won. Our Liberties have been eroding ever since especially with the passage and continued renewal of the Orwellian-named USA PATRIOT Act.

I wanted to share with you a small act of peaceful protest that I carry out each time I am asked to go through the microscanners.

I do not opt out. Doing so would subject me to the groping and in many cases make me late for my flight. Instead I hold a bound copy of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution that I purchased from the CATO Institute over my head. (Please note that you are allowed to hold papers in your hands. Most people hold their boarding pass or government issued ID.)

After passing through I hand it to the TSA agent at the exit where they are required to flip though it. For their convenience, I have highlighted the Fourth Amendment. Most officers hand it back with saying a word. I fear, however, the sad irony is lost them.

The good news is I am hopeful that all this might be coming to an end in the near future. Texas State Senator Dan Patrick introduced a bill which would outlaw the groping. It unanimously passed through committee, but when the TSA weighed in by saying they would create a “No-Fly Zone” in Texas, it died before the end of the legislative session. All is not lost as this week, the bill seemed to make a comeback. What is needed is for Governor Rick Perry to have the courage to request it be considered during the special session of the Texas Legislature.

Here’s hoping! Until then, I have my pocket copy ready to roll.

On Hauser’s Law and Soaking the Rich

Whenever the subject of the deficit comes up, many well-intentioned people make the suggestion that we should repeal all or some of the Bush tax cuts and that this will go a long way to at least beginning to fix the problem.

Often times this graph (or one like it) is used in support of this notion.

First, let’s keep in mind that this is the deficit, the annual shortage when one compares money spent to money collected. This is different from the national debt which measures the sum total of the deficits.

On its face, it would seem that raising taxes (or eliminating the Bush tax cuts as some prefer to say) would be a reasonable approach. The problem is that the blue line above assumes that all taxpayers would leave their behavior unchanged. This is demonstrably false through what I have come to find out is called Hauser’s Law.

What this graph clearly shows is that raising taxes actually has little to no effect on money collected as compared to GDP. Why? Because taxpayers do change their behavior. The wealthy will shift money using tax sheltering or even move it out of the country.

What is worse is that which is unseen – The slowdown of the economy that would result from this activity. So what is to be done?

There is only one viable answer – reduce the size of government.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST!

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST!

In ancient Rome, during the Punic Wars, Cato the Elder is said to have ended every speech he delivered before the Roman Senate with the phrase, “ET CARTHAGO DELENDA EST” (and Carthage must be destroyed!). He did this without regard to the subject of his speech.

It is in this spirit that I will begin to close all my post with the phrase, ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST which, loosely translated, means, “and the billable hour must be destroyed!”

Firm of the Future Symposium

On August 9-10 in San Francisco, Ron Baker and I will once again be presenting our Firm of the Future Symposium sponsored by Sage North America.

This symposium will be dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone as it requires professionals to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

Objectives

  • From a focus on revenue to a focus on profit
  • From a focus on capacity to a focus on capital management
  • From a focus on efficiency to a focus on effectiveness
  • From a focus on cost-plus pricing to a focus on pricing on purpose

Sage (Ed’s employer) has agreed to open a limited number of spots for firms that are not partners of Sage. If you are interested in joining us, please send me an email and I can get you registered. The price is $2,500 per person and comes with a 100 percent money back guarantee!

View the Firm of the Future Trailer

 

One of the more interesting stories to emerge from our previous FotFS, was that of Peter Coburn of Commercial Logic. They are publishers of, you guessed it, time and billing software. Peter underwent a conversion of sorts and posted a terrific article on it.

Sage Summit 2011 Smart Phone App is Coming

clip_image001How you organize your time at Sage Summit 2011 can be difficult. Not only are there many sessions and speakers that you want to hear (including yours truly), other attendees to connect with but also exhibitors to visit.

You can do all this and more with the new Sage Summit 2011 Smart Phone and Laptop app.

Here is a quick list of what you can do:

  • View session details, exhibitor information and add items to your agenda
  • Browse each day’s events, search sessions, view exhibitor information and then add items to your personal agenda.
  • Stay connected during the event
  • View daily news, highlights and session updates.
  • Network with others
  • Schedule meetings and send invites to other attendees
  • Access to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Provide immediate feedback
  • Complete session and overall conference survey to provide instant input

In the next few weeks I will be testing the app and I’ll do a post about how I think it will work at the event.

With New Employees It Is Easier to Put in Good Habits than to Change Bad Ones

Once your employee has learned a bad behavior, changing it will take considerably more time than would have been required to put in a good one. I am sure someone will have the answer to why it happens, but all too often a employee will learn a bad behavior in a split second that can be very difficult to change. Putting in a good behavior to replace it will take more time and more repetitions.

Do not feel your employee knows and will consistently offer a wanted behavior simply because he does it a few times on command. Often, we desire a behavior to be automatic with no command. If we are consistent, that behavior will become a natural and accepted habit.

Initially we provide guiding actions, controls, and controlling equipment, such as checklists. We also control with our voice and our body. Plus, we lure, reward, and reinforce the wanted behaviors to show our employee what is expected in everyday situations. Do it enough and the behavior you are guiding him into will become a habit. A well-behaved employee is simply an employee with good habits!

When training an employee, it is important that we do not make mistakes that create an unwanted behavior. Think ahead. Do not make a big issue out of imperfections, but learn from them and work to create a better action and avoid the imperfection the next time.

We are really helping the employee to learn. The employee should come to see our actions as rewards or non-rewards — and not be fearful of us in any way. The “reward” can be praise or another positive result. A “non-reward” does not mean punishment, but simply that you withhold the positive result. This way he will want to work with us and please us within the partnership. By thinking ahead and using common sense, we can achieve that.

Think training and education are still the same thing, click here for the original article. Don’t offer training to your employees and customers – educate them instead!

An Economic Theory of Everything

One of my all time favorite TEDTalks is by Rory Sutherland, a principal at the advertising firm Ogilvy. His brilliant analysis was on display again at Zeitgeist 2011.

 

The lessons here are many, but for me key learning is the link between Austrian and Behavioral economics:

  • All value is subjective, AND…
  • All prices are contextual.

The implications of these two statements together are profound and in my opinion amount to an economic theory of everything.