Monthly Archives: March 2014

Leadership Brand-Tony Poillucci


Tony Poillucci

Got to listen to a fascinating marketing expert by the name of Tony Poillucci from Vision Point Marketing recently and he spoke about branding. I could nothelp but drawthe parallel between branding a university and your own personal leadership. What Tony pointed out to our university leaders was what branding is and is not. Branding is not a logo but more importantly it is the perception of your university.

The successful way to brand yourself is not with a campaign which is marketing for short-term gain but rather by a commitment to a set of principles. Those principles will bring about long-term growth and success. When you are successful with commitment you will create brand loyalists.

In leadership it is the same thing. If you only attempt campaigns to get your team to achieve a result you do not necessarily create loyalists to your leadership brand. It would be much…

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Leadership Lessons: Learning From Experiences – Part 1

Supply Chain Action Blog

In supply chain analytics and in life, we learn best through experiences, both positive and negative.  The hardest lessons to learn are not the quantitative ones, but rather those lessons that are qualitative or behavioral – how we interact with others.

Take the real, but anonymous, case of an analyst working on process improvement for a company that sold jewelry through direct marketing.  The challenge the company faced was predicting demand across a size curve.  After the rings were promoted, the company was left with too many rings that did not sell.  These remaining rings disproportionately consisted of the less frequently ordered sizes.

The analyst proposed a solution:

Purchase assembled rings for 90% of the most frequently ordered sizes and purchase settings and stones to cover the forecast for the remaining 10% of those sizes and for the less frequently ordered sizes.  If demand exceeded 90% of the forecast…

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Are you listening?


How important is listening in Leadership?  How important is the beat in music?  How important is light to seeing what you are doing?  It is indispensable!!

Some years ago, someone told me “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”.  Just the other day I heard someone on the radio repeat what their mother said to them… ‘you have 2 ears and 1 mouth; plan accordingly’.  I don’t know who first said either of those, and I’ve found this to be so true…  No one who works for you wants to hear what you have to say until they feel heard.

Listening is not, I’ll repeat, NOT simply sitting there while allowing the other person to finish speaking before you start speaking!  There is a purpose to listening.  Think back to the first days and months of a new relationship… remember how carefully you…

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Winning With Weakness

for the love of all that is holy


That’s the sport I (almost) won a tournament in during high school. Not basketball, despite my exceptional skills in being tall; not track, despite my rigorous practice in side aches and running out of breath; not football, despite my phenomenal ability to not be on the football team. It was badminton. If you’re unfamiliar with badminton, it’s like tennis, but with a ball that floats in the air and requires much less arm strength. (To be fair to actual badminton players, it is actually very difficult to play well, and is just as much of a sport as any other sport. No insult intended.) And I (almost)won the high school tournament.

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What not to say…


We have goals while listening to our team members.  If we expect any sort of buy-in, or want them to get behind our goals they have to feel that we have heard them.  So, I guess I should add some things that we should avoid saying when someone is speaking…

Yeah, I hear you but (anything)

Yeah, we’ve tried that and it didn’t work (whatever ‘it’ might be, and even if you have)


Shut up and listen!

Here’s what you need to do…

I don’t care…

Yeah we all have problems

I don’t like that idea

We can’t do that

That won’t work

Tell me about it…

That’s just part of life/working here/anything

That’s not what’s happening

That’s not how you feel

It’s not OK to feel that way

Yes you can (when the speaker states that they cannot do something, even if you believe/know they can)

OK, but it…

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Life as a series of surrenders?


A teenager at an AA meeting once described life as a series of surrenders.  He was wise beyond his years…

We can barely control our bodily functions, and sometimes we can control what words come out of our mouths.  So little of what happens is under our control… if we cannot accept that fact we end up frustrated and/or angry much of the time.

Until we accept, or surrender to the fact that so much is out of our control we cannot embrace or change whatever is happening.  Once we accept that things are the way they are; that the people around us will do what they do, we have a chance to work with what is happening in order to make a change.

A good example of this is what Whole Foods Market seems to be doing with animal welfare standards, along with their work with the Marine Stewardship…

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It took me a long time to figure this out, and I find that transparency goes hand in hand with trust.

I’ve learned that in order to earn trust and loyalty we must be transparent.  There should be very few secrets.  There are really only a handful of things that everyone can’t know.  For instance, we can’t talk with everyone about other team member’s personal problems, or anything we are working with them to correct, like  behavioral problems.  There may be some financial information that we might decide not to share with everyone.

There are also conversations with an assistant or my leader that are about me, or other team members that should be private… so make them just that… private.  Have those conversations away from the workplace so your team doesn’t see you having ‘secret’ conversations or ‘closed door’ talks.  Occasionally this is fine, and too much of it…

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