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BEES ARE INCREDIBLE LITTLE CREATURES. And, as we’re finding out, vital to our entire food chain.

But they don’t actually produce food themselves, except honey. That’s not what makes them important.

Their role is crucial because they enable plants to do what they do best. They’re the catalyst, in a way, for why our food chain works.

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AS OWNER OR LEADER, YOU are one of the key assets of the business. Your employees are wonderful, I understand, but without leadership it will all fall apart.

Yet it seems we’re the last one to get taken care of.

I admire leaders who recognize what it takes to sustain their own focus, energy, and inspiration. Without doing that, you can’t pass it off to your people.

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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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SOME THINGS ARE really hard to nail down.

One of the biggest examples is how complicated business decisions are made, like taking on a partner or promoting an employee. There’s this amorphous mix of logic, feelings, history, and unique factors you never would have planned for.

When this happens, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten too immersed in the details, and need to go up a level.

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REACHING THE TOP can be exciting … but it’s also a lonely place. I’ve actually found that the fear of reaching goals can hold people back.

Because when you reach the top, what’s next?

I happen to believe that it’s the business equivalent of the “mid life crisis.” Is this all there is? Wasn’t life supposed to be glorious by now?

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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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PEOPLE OFTEN COMPLAIN that companies only worry about the current quarter, or even the current week.

I don’t care if you’re a one-person business, or a billion dollar mega-corporation. You care that the business is going to survive. For years, decades, even forever.

As a leader, your role is to plan for that future, to lay the groundwork and structure for enduring success. So don’t complain about the shortsightedness of the stock market, or the regulators, or your boss. It doesn’t help.

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YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK that a clear sense of mission straightens everything out.

And to a certain extent, it does.

But the truth is also that knowing where you’re going doesn’t mean that reality will line up to make your job easy.  You may be on a mission to save lives on the other side of town. Your sirens and flashing lights can help clear the road a bit, but the roads aren’t going to move to make your job easier.

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PEOPLE GET HUNG UP on all the challenges they’re facing.  Big competitors.  Annoying customers.  Employee turnover.

But here’s the thing:  EVERYTHING has a good side and a bad side.

Often they’re two sides of the same coin.  For instance, the loss of a good employee can mean the opportunity to find someone who’s a superstar.

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STEVE MARSHALL BILLS HIMSELF as a “Transformation Enabler.”

At least that’s what it says on his business card.

What he really does is to work with  leaders on strategic planning, organizational development, managing change, and executive coaching.  It’s similar to my own coaching practice, but he tends to focus a bit more on larger companies and more complex organizations.

As you know, my website here is dedicated to business owners who are living in a different paradigm.  We’re making money, sure, but more importantly we’re improving the world through our work.

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