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WE ALL KNOW that goals are important. If you’re going to make progress, you have to decide what moving forward means.

But that has no emotion in it. It’s just blah-blah-blah management speak.

Our challenge is how to create a sense of excitement and inspiration with your business goals.

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GREYSTONE TECHNOLOGY is a local Information Technology (IT) outsourcing firm. Currently with 85 employees, they’ve been growing at a rapid clip for over a decade.

I had a chance to sit down with Peter Melby recently, who owns the company along with Jesse Armstrong. They formed the business in 2001 with the idea that this would be a fun and motivating environment for employees.

Which is what they’ve built. But there’s so much more to the story.

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SEVERAL LEADERS I’VE WORKED WITH on business planning exercises recently have had a recurring theme pops up:  Where do we start?

Many experts would start first with customers and their needs.  If you have a wonderful idea, great, but quickly get to why anybody in the world would want to pay you for it.

And that’s a powerful starting point, but there’s an assumption hidden within it.

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RECENTLY I HAD THE CHANCE to speak with several people who are struggling with direction in their business.  They’re each working hard to deliver great products and services, but at the end of the day … it’s a lot of work with no forward movement.

Many can relate to this.  And if you’re feeling lost, how do you think those around you feel?

Employees are just turning the crank.

Partners are uninspired and not feelin’ the love.

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OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO, I ran across a striking company that thought differently than mine did.

They didn’t worry about the competition.  Really.

And not because they were ignorant or egotistical.  It’s because they realized that if they and all their competitors grew, it would create a whole new market.

Out of nothing.

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communityCOMMUNITIES HAVE SPRUNG TO THE TOP of my mind this week.

Each of us has communities that we participate in and contribute to.  Social groups.  Family.  Work.  Spiritual support.  And other friendships.

This is much more important than we usually recognize.

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buckstopsherefrontsmallYOUR PURPOSE AND VALUES drive everything you do.  Fantastic!

But what drives it over time?  What keeps you from getting distracted by the pressures of the day and communication difficulties?

What often happens is that only one person is truly accountable to the vision: The founder.  But is that person involved in every decision and discussion?  Not if you’ve grown to any size.

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growth-1140534_640ARE YOU DOING SOMETHING AMAZING in your business?

I’m seeing a powerful trend in 2015 and 2016 of companies which are out to change the world.  Or at least their corner of the world.

It’s almost as if people are waking up to the fact that there’s more to life than money.  Not that money’s bad, but that it doesn’t actually change the world for the better until you apply it to making something better.

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Snowman_New_Year_cardMOST PEOPLE I’M TALKING WITH are positive about the outlook for 2016.

Personally, my 2015 was transformative, and I’m incredibly excited about the new projects I’m working on right now.  I’ll be talking about that here on the blog real soon.

It’s a bit surprising, actually, the optimism that I’m seeing.  Read the rest of this entry »

new yearIF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, there’s nothing special about the beginning of a new year.

Yet it’s amazing how much importance we place on this event.  Especially when you realize that there’s different calendars, with all kinds of various starting dates.

But here we are.

The importance of a new year is what we choose to place on it.  Read the rest of this entry »

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