Becoming A Thought Leader

Becoming A Thought Leader 05 23 2016“Thought leader” is almost never a formal title.

It’s the label your peers or the media might attach to you when they deeply respect your viewpoint in your area of expertise.

You can be a thought leader in a profession—like Jill Konrath (sales) or David Maister (professional services). Continue reading

Mastering The Frequency Of Your Tribe

Mastering The Frequency Of Your Tribe 05 16 2016Every tribe has a frequency—a set of wants, needs, behaviors, standards and expectations—that you must tune into if you’re going to have real impact, influence and leadership.

The challenge? If you want to tap into existing tribes to grow your own, you may have to do some digging.

Take Susan Cain’s quiet revolution for example. Read 10-20 posts AND the reader comments and you’ll get a deep sense for what matters to this tribe. Ditto Jeff Goins and Marie Forleo. Continue reading

Are You Running A Practice Or A Business?

A practice depends—deeply—on you. Consulting, delivering services to clients, even writing books and delivering speeches.

A business on the other hand, is about much more than your presence. You can use all of the tools of a practice, but add even more options that leverage your time: digital training programs, assessment tools and live or virtual services delivered by someone OTHER THAN you. Continue reading

Who’s In YOUR Brand Neighborhood?

Who’s In YOUR Brand Neighborhood 05 02 2016Let’s start with a quick definition: your brand neighborhood is ANY person, product or service that you’d love to “live” on your professional street. One you’d happily hang with all day long if only you could.

So if you’re an executive coach, maybe Marshall Goldsmith is your gold standard.

Or you’re a strategy consultant and you’re busily checking out Jim Collins or McKinsey, Bain and BCG. Continue reading

Naming Your Company (And Your Services And Products)

Naming Your Company (And Services And Products) 04 25 2016When I co-founded my first company, we agonized over our first big decision: our name.

After a couple of interminable sessions covering the walls of a Chicago conference room with color-coded sticky notes, we finally emerged with an idea that eventually turned into our name: Qwest Consultants.

This was in 1994—well before Philip Anschutz coined the term for the now defunct Qwest Communications. (I’ll never forget the letter from their trademark attorneys, but that’s another story). Continue reading

Three Steps To Getting Yourself Book-Ready

Three Steps To Getting Yourself Book-Ready 04 18 2016At some point, pretty much every independent consultant or subject matter expert starts mulling over whether they should write a book.

They often spend the most energy on their title and theme—and it’s not unusual to spend months or even years procrastinating under the guise of seeking EXACTLY the right angle.

Meanwhile, they’re not taking the handful of steps that will smooth the way for the book that’s been simmering for years. Continue reading

How Introverts Can Thrive In Consulting (And As Soloists)

How Introverts Can Succeed In Consulting (And As Soloists) 04 11 2016There is a stereotype of the rainmaking senior consultant as a slick-talking, extrovert. He or she is instantly able to command the room by the sheer force of their presence.

They easily talk the CEO into seeing things their way and close million dollar deals on a handshake. They build and maintain a voluminous network over years of conversations, industry parties and meetings that make introverts cringe. Continue reading

Going Rogue

Going Rogue 07 06 2015

I’m taking a short respite this week, so please enjoy this post from last July you may have missed…

You know there’s something bigger you’re ready to do.

Grow your practice, expand your platform, finally write that book.

But what got you to where you are right now won’t get you there.

You’re ready to go rogue. Continue reading

Turning Up Your Velocity

Turning Up Your Velocity 03 28 2016You’re doing some—or maybe even MANY—of the right things to grow your consultancy or advisory business.

And yet your progress feels ever so s-l-o-w. Sluggish compared to what you know, deep in your bones, is possible.

If you could just turn up your velocity—crank it up a notch or two—you’d be unstoppable.

The trick is to find the right lever. Continue reading

Selling By Not Selling

Selling By Not Selling 03 21 2016It was early in the life of my first start-up.

Nothing would smooth our glide path faster than the right handful of new clients.

The first was a “gimmee”—a prior client who’d just accepted a new job (neatly rendering my two-year non-compete invalid).

The second and third were no slam-dunks, but were great-fit referrals where we could easily demonstrate our value. Continue reading