Day 7: Mood

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No matter what your age, your business should look and feel alive. Mood is everything. That’s why presentation is one of the key areas change agents attack first to transform a bad mood. Any business can be changed to make a better presentation. In The Mirror Test, I talked about how I like to literally clean a business when I start working there or take it over, because presentation is both the easiest of those areas to change and the easiest to ignore. Personally, I think Starbucks does it right. They don’t just serve coffee, they serve the experience of coffee. Every color you see, aroma you smell, song you hear, quote you read; designed with careful attention to creating mood and culture. Take a look around. What’s something you could do today to change the mood where you are? 

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Day 6: Principles

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Standing by your principles in those situations when it is the risky and unpopular thing to do—is the test of a change agent’s mettle. I’m sure we all remember the Gap logo debacle.  Unfortunately, Gap rescinded their decision in the wake of public opinion. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and stand strong. Nobody is going to die over a marketing campaign. Prepare to live your brand promise in good times and bad.

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Day 5: Satisfaction

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As Churchill said, “There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.” Know your conditions of satisfaction.

You can’t move ahead thinking your company’s best days are behind you.  Understand what your conditions of satisfaction are and start by asking; what is the goal?  Do you really need to change something, or do you just have a burr under your saddle? Examine carefully; what kind of change do you need? Maybe it’s new space or technology? Perhaps it’s an attitude or perspective adjustment? Be sure to set parameters on knowing whether you are making progress or if something is not working. Look ahead before you begin. What does the end result look like?

 

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Day 4: Fear

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Fear stops most people. Change agents welcome it. Get past your fear. Act with confidence and be willing to be a beginner.  Leaders learn quickly, that many of the changes they seek won’t be right the first time.  Three seconds is the difference between doing and not doing something.  You stand in the way of a winning attitude when you refuse to be a beginner. Being willing to be a beginner is how you get past your three seconds of #fear.  And change agents welcome that fear.

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Day 3: Innovation

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Change begins by changing the questions. Who would want a horseless carriage? Wrong question. The right one: Why wouldn’t everyone want one?  Henry Kissinger would walk into the press room each morning, and address the media with,, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Does anyone have any questions for my answers?”.  Regardless of your political stance, Kissinger created change by learning to change the questions.  #Innovation starts when you change the questions.

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