A Powerful System for Achieving Breakthrough Career Success

TURBOCOACH

With numerous words of wisdom for improving yourself, your field, your productivity and your business, coaching experts Brian Tracy and Campbell Fraser present a complete personal coaching program in TurboCoach. Filled with tools, exercises and stories that offer the building blocks of a personal strategic plan, TurboCoach creates a complete foundation on which readers can develop the knowledge, skills, habits and activities that can take them to the next level of business success.

The first part of TurboCoach describes a process for helping the reader gain clarity in his or her personal life and business life. Each chapter begins with probing questions that encourage the reader to focus on a specific aspect of him – or herself, and ends with an exercise that helps him or her apply the answers to daily life.

Your Personal Strategic Plan

For example, the first chapter, “Create Your Personal Strategic Plan,” starts with the questions, “In the past six months, have you given any thought to setting specific career or business goals for yourself?” and “If you have set goals for yourself, do you have a schedule for achieving them?” The chapter ends with an application exercise that includes questions such as, “What is your career or business purpose? Whose lives does your career or business serve?” and “What one goal, if you achieved it, would help you the most in realizing your ideal career or business vision?” By asking these types of questions, and providing the guidance that drives readers to answer them with purpose and direction, the authors help readers focus on their goals and contemplate a broader perspective of themselves.

The second part of TurboCoach shows readers how they can increase their productivity. The tools the authors offer include 11 keys to increasing productivity, Pareto’s Law (the 80-20 Rule), zero-based thinking, effective delegation, the power of leverage, and Ricardo’s Law of Comparative Advantage and the Parthenon Principle. This last principle can be summed up in the simple sentence, “Small improvements in multiple areas can result in large improvements in results.” The authors write, “Like the Parthenon, your career or business is also supported by pillars, each of which is central to its integrity and survival.” If you want a career or business that is built to last, then you must base it on rock-solid principles. As each pillar is strengthened in a small way, the durability of the entire structure changes dramatically. The authors point out that improvements in just 10 percent of each of the core systems of a business — sales, service, pricing, promotion, referrals, productivity and profitability — will virtually double the productivity and the profitability of the overall enterprise.

Grow Your Business

The third part of TurboCoach, “Grow Your Business,” provides readers with seven essential strategies to increase revenues in any organization. These are:

1. Make more sales. Expanding your customer base is the best way to do this.
2. Sell more often to existing customers. Look for ways to increase the number of times you sell to an existing customer in any given period.
3. Sell something else. Ask yourself, “What else would my customers buy?”
4. Make larger sales. How might you increase the dollar size of your average sale?
5. Increase your price. Increasing the perceived value of your offering can justify a higher price to your customer.
6. Make more profitable sales. Knowing the profitability of your individual customers and products can be a key to increasing net revenues.
7. Reduce your selling costs. Examining your sales process is the first step to doing this.

Once this base is in place, the authors describe ways to increase customer satisfaction, build business through referrals, create a marketing plan and create a personal brand. Their laws of personal branding include rules on specialization, leadership, personality, distinctiveness, visibility, congruence and persistence. They explain that the time and energy anyone invests in building a powerful, personal brand will pay huge dividends because people will trust him or her and willingly accept his or her suggestions and recommendations.

While describing how to maximize an organization’s profits, the authors explain the importance of habitually examining the profitability of employees, customers, sales and marketing initiatives, products and markets, and show readers how they can develop the discipline to become an industry leader.

The Third Metric to Redefining Success

THRIVE

Don’t Judge Yourself; Don’t Judge Others

“The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair,” writes Arianna Huffington, founder of the media company the Huffington Post. “What we really value is out of sync with how we live our lives.” The reason, she argues in her new book called Thrive, is that success has come to be defined by two things: money and power.

To achieve money and power, men and women are living unsustainable, high-stressed, non-stop lives that physically destroy their bodies, leave little time for joy and reflection, and culminate in the realization that acquiring money and power is not the fulfilling quest of a life well lived. As former Merrill Lynch managing director Roseann Palmieri explains, “I’m at the table. I’ve made it. I’ve networked, I’ve clawed, I’ve said ‘yes,’ I’ve said ‘no,’ I’ve put in all this time and effort and I was underwhelmed. What I was getting back was not acceptable to me.”

For Huffington, the current success metrics of money and power are only two legs of a three-legged stool. Without a “third metric” based on well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving, our lives, like the defective stool, topple over, she writes. In the early pages of her book, she presents a range of evidence, from alarming health statistics to stories of highly “successful” yet unsatisfied people who left their careers, that proves the adverse impact on both men and women of today’s high-stress quest for money and power.

Huffington believes the path to the third metric will be especially blazed by the career women who find the current metrics of successful “not acceptable.” “If we’re going to redefine what success means,” she writes, “if we are going to include a Third Metric to success, beyond money and power, it’s going to be women who will lead the way – and men, freed of the notion that the only road to success includes taking the Heart Attack Highway to Stress City, will gratefully join both at work and at home.”

The Shimmer of Rain

Having made the case that a third metric of success is vital, Huffington then explores in four inspiring, information-packed chapters how to bring “well-being,” “wisdom,” “wonder” and “giving” back into our lives. Huffington – who recalls how her mother, who never went to college, “would still preside over long sessions in our small kitchen in Athens discussing the principles and teachings of Greek Philosophy to help guide my sister, Agapi, and me in our decisions and in our choices” – weaves ancient and modern philosophy, academic research, and stories and quotes of successful people, from the world-renowned to the ordinary ladder-climbers who realize that the view from the top is not enough to make the journey worthwhile.

The Experience of Wonder

The opening pages of her chapter on wonder are typical. Huffington begins with short anecdotes about experiencing a sense of wonder on a drive to an airport, as the falling rain “gave everything a beautiful, almost magical, shimmer.” At the airport, she hears everyone complaining about the rain: wonder is in the eye of the beholder. She offers a beautiful short poem on rain by Albert Huffstickler, then quickly moves the reader through discussions on the wonder of children (“Mommy, what makes it go?” one of her young daughters once asked as they watched the star-filled sky); the wonder at the root of spirituality, which is not religion; wonder as the connection between outer space and inner space; how photography interrupts wonder (“…by so-obsessively documenting our experiences, we never truly have them); the power of love, backed by a Harvard study; art museums as oases of wonder – all in the first six pages of a fascinating 45-page chapter.

The chapter ends, as with all her chapters, with three simple practices to help people live in the moment: when stressed, focus on the rising and falling of your breath for 10 seconds; pick an image that ignites joy in you, and go to it whenever you feel “contracted”; don’t judge yourself; don’t judge others; “then look at your life and the day ahead with newness and wonder.”

Thrive, as it should be, is a book to be savored. There is so much learning and wisdom in these pages that one might be tempted to take notes. But as with photography on a vacation, they would only interrupt the enjoyment of one of those books that everyone should have within reach at all times.

Isn’t there more to life than work?

Have you come to a place in life where toiling away at work in pursuit of the American dream just isn’t worth the punishment anymore. Are you a professional who wants to feel more connected and fulfilled, a spiritual seeker who believes gaining wealth diminishes the sacred, an innovator being stifled creatively, or the person who wants to become the hero of your own story?

David Howitt, in his book Heed Your Call shows the way to follow your path, create a life of abundance and joy, and do your part to repair the world. Sound too good to be true? Then join David and Soundview on July 17th to find out for yourself at our webinar The 11 Tools For Integrating Business and Life.

Through telling his own story, along with those of other modern-day entrepreneurial heroes, David shares the principles behind his and others’ successes in eleven real-world lessons on how we can apply simple principles that help us weave business into our spiritual narratives and pour our souls into our professions. “By uniting artistry and analytics and integrating intuition with intellect, we positively affect the way we live and the world around us. Through the activation of creative principles, living authentically, and absorbing new experiences, we evolve from the radical integration of so-called disparate worlds. We birth a new reality and build a road map for our future.”

These are the 11 Tools Howitt has discovered:

  • Trust
  • Surrender
  • Empathy
  • Living in Now
  • Power of co-creation
  • Empowerment
  • Embracing Your Shadow
  • Integration
  • Invoking Your Archetypes
  • Universal Message
  • Universal Correctness

Register now and see how Howitt integrates myth, science, spirituality and business to find a way forward.

How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things

GAMIFY

Motivation for Gamification

Gamification describes the use of game mechanics and experience design – a story line, for instance – to digitally engage employees and customers, writes Gartner consultant Brian Burke in his gamification primer, Gamify.

As with many new technological trends in the workplace, gamification is often misunderstood or overhyped, Burke writes. Gamification does not mean turning work processes into a video game (giving a sales manager a virtual gun and turning individual salespeople into virtual targets does not motivate salespeople to be more competitive). Nor will a game turn a dreary job into a fun-filled, joyful exercise. What gamification can accomplish, he writes, is to motivate people to change their behaviors or to develop their skills, and can also drive innovation.

Three Elements of Motivation

Gamification works because it addresses the three elements of motivation:

Autonomy. Gamification allows people to opt in, then make their own choices as they proceed through the game.

Mastery. Everyone has a deep-seated desire to improve and make progress. Perhaps full mastery is not possible in gamification as in real life, but gamification provides the constant positive feedback that motivates people to keep trying harder.

Purpose. Gamification is different from traditional games because there is an overriding purpose. Unlike a game, which is simply created to entertain, gamification “engages players at an emotional level to help them achieve a goal that is meaningful to them,” Burke writes.

For example, Burke describes how a hospital for children developed a game app to encourage sick children to keep up their pain journals. These journals are important for doctors to know which treatments are working, but children, especially those having a bad day, are not always motivated to fill out the journal. With the iPhone “Pain Squad” app, children become members of a police force who progress through the ranks depending on how many days in a row they fill in their journals.

Three Audiences

Gamified solutions are usually targeted at one of three audiences: employees, customers and communities of interest (for example, ecologically-minded people who through Internet-based gamification are encouraged to recycle).

The Pain Squad example above illustrated how gamification was able to engage customers – in this case, the sick children – to change their behaviors. Barclaycards uses gamification to engage customers in driving innovation for their Barclaycard Ring credit card. This low-rate credit card is unique because it operates as a separate profit center, and “profits generated by the community are shared with the community,” Burke writes. Through status tiers (bronze, silver, gold, platinum and palladium) and badges, Barclayscard Ring members are pushed to participate in developing the community by suggesting or voting on ideas that would improve the product, or taking such actions as recruiting new members.

NTT Data uses its Ignite Leadership game to identify and develop leadership skills among their employees, many of whom are dispersed to various client sites, some of them for years and even decades. Under such circumstances, they lose their connection with the company. Ignite Leadership creates real-world-scenario questions and allows the player to choose among a multitude of options; there is no right answer. The training is structured as a journey, with points and badges awarded at different levels and a leaderboard that shows player rankings.

These are just three of Burke’s many examples as he illustrates the wide variety of situations in which gamification can be used. In the second half of the book, Burke offers a detailed, step-by-step process for gamification, starting with defining the business outcomes, target audiences, and player goals and moving on to such issues as the player engagement model (for example, is the game collaborative or competitive, emergent with an unknown outcome or scripted?).

In Gamify, Burke reveals the full complexity and potential of gamification but presents his material in a succinct, clearly organized manual that will motivate leaders to follow the example of the successful companies featured in the book.

Reach Your Peak and Elevate Your Customers’ Experience

Are you looking for a route to help you realize your potential, a path to enable you to capitalize upon your natural talents, to help you reach your goals, dreams, and aspirations?

In our next Soundview Live webinar, Reach Your Peak Potential, risk management expert and entrepreneur Scott Addis looks at our progression upward–from developing skills to cultivating business relationships to earning customer loyalty–as an ascent to a mountaintop. He will take us through four elevation levels

Elevation I: Preparing for the Climb (Developing Your Personal Readiness)

Elevation II: Setting up Base Camp (Preparing to Present Yourself to Others)

Elevation III: On to the Summit (Focusing on the Customer Experience)

Elevation IV: The Final Ascent (Discovering Your Inner Strengths)

Join us on July 8th to hear about how you can reach your goals through Addis’ unique principles. As always, Soundview subscribers attend for free.