Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Does the U.S, China and Mexico Have in Common?

When the book The World Is Flat came out everyone marveled that China or India was going to take all of America's jobs. So it got me thinking, what happens when a company or country suddenly does take a lead? Do they start to run in to rising costs? Higher demands from employees? Do they retain their edge or lose it?

In 2005 AlixPartners did a study and found that items entering from China were 22% cheaper than those produced in the U.S. By 2008 that gap had dropped to only a 5.5% edge to China. Hmm, is it still worth the trouble to do manufacturing outside the U.S.

Now an even more interesting phenomenon has happened. Mexico is now 20% cheaper for production than China!

So the cycle begins again. I bring this up just to remind you that what is will not always be. You need to constantly re-evaluate your business. Ask yourself, are you giving the best to your customers? Are you unique? Do you make them feel special?

For in the end, there will always be someone cheaper but the question is, where there be someone better?

Don't wait for your China or Mexico to come along and put you out of business. Start today to create that unique space that is solely yours.

Anne Warfield
More on Leadership from Anne Warfield

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who Is This Person?

Have you ever wondered where is the opportunity that is knocking for you? What if it has and you closed the door?

Let me share a story and you spot the two opportunities this person took advantage of and try to guess who the person is.

She was a under UCLA drama student. One of her professors was leaving for vacation and he wanted to have a great dinner party. So nine drama students agreed to go and entertain the guests. After the performance as she was standing in line a male guest asked her what she wanted to do with her life. She told him she wanted to act in New York. When he asked what was stopping her, she told him she didn't have the money to even get from LA to New York.

He and his wife offered to give her the money to go to New York provided she follow three conditions: 1) if she was successful, she was to repay the loan without interest in five years, 2) she could never reveal his identity to anyone, and 3) she was to pass the kindness on to someone else in a similar situation when she was able to do so.

Well she went to New York. She became frustrated with agencies saying, "don't call us, we will call you." When would the perfect part find her?

Finally she decided to skip the traditional route and put on her own variety show with all of her jobless theatre friends. They would invite all the agents to the the show and run it for three days. After the show ran three agents called with job offers. She had created her own opportunity.

Little did she know that the idea she bore out of frustration would become her lasting tribute to the world for that one little event spun the idea for the Carol Burnett Show which brought laughter to all for years.

Make your own Carol Burnett moments today!

Anne Warfield
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How Can Cutting Off Feet Make You $300 Million?

Sara Blakely was frustrated. She wanted her bottom to look better in white pants. There was nothing on the market to help her so in frustration she took a pair of pantyhose and cut the feet off. Eight years later her company, Spanx, is exceeding $300 million in sales.

I have found over the years that there is unique mixture to success. It comes with a blend of frustration at that problem, persistence in solving it and then execution in acting on your solution. Notice that her solution is not one that no one has done before. It isn't even one that is that brilliant. What is brilliant is her belief that other women, like her, were solving this same problem one at a time. All she did was be the one to stand on the rock and say, "here is the solution!"

For years my Mother-in-law has been taking shower caps from hotels and using them as caps on plastic containers. Lo and behold today those same little "shower" caps are made by glad and sold by the millions to consumers.

So I ask you, what problem do you see people facing that you can solve? Remember your solution doesn't have to be big or expensive; it just needs to be desired.

Take Action today and look for problems you can solve. If you are in sales, talk to your client about the problems they face and look for the simple solutions you can do whether it is shipping a new way, adding a small feature, or combining resources.

Anne Warfield
Learn more about Sales mind sets:

Monday, June 8, 2009

What is Eatting Your Productivity? http://ow.ly/bph6

Anne Warfield

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mistakes that become Genius

In 1850 a cook became frustrated with a whiny customer. You know that type of customer- the one who is never pleased with what you do; the one that has perfection standards that would even put God shame. Well that customer was in his restaurant. That customer was complaining that his potatoes weren't cooked properly. So the disgruntled cook decided to fry the potatoes to crispy to tick the customer off.

But it backfired. The customer loved it and that was the birth of the potato chip!

Today the potato industry is a $3.2 billion dollar industry. Wouldn't you love to have one of your mistakes fail like that? Matter-of-fact over six pounds of potato chips are eaten by Americans every year!

Now let's take the above facts and I will show you how you can use them to open different discussions and presentations.

Scenario One
You have to present to prospect a new product. They have told you they believe their old product works great.

You open with: The average American eats six pounds of potato chips a day. The amazing fact is not that American's consume so much but rather that, if it weren't for an error in 1850, they wouldn't even have existed. The only reason we have potato chips today is because someone took a risk and made a potato in a whole new way. We feel that the XYZ is going to impact the market in the same way the potato chip revolutionized potatoes.

Scenario Two:
You have to start a brainstorming session and you want lots of new ideas.

You start with: The best inventions and ideas often come from the oddest of circumstances. Velcro came from a person noticing how burrs stuck to his dog's fur. Postit Notes came from a failed experiment trying to make a strong glue and in 1850 a $3.2 billion dollar industry was born due to a disgruntled cook that was irritated with a whiny customer. The customer kept complaining that his potatoes weren't crisp enough so the cook did what any one would do- he fried them to a bloody crisp and the potato chip was born.

Today we are here to put our heads together to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. Remember all ideas are good, marrying two ideas can be revolutionary and just turning something on its head can make it completely new. So let's take some time to be innovative, collaborative and creative. Enjoy your potato chips and let's get started!

Scenario Three:
Trying to get a person to break out of their old thinking.

In front of you is a small mistake that became a great innovation that today is a $3.2 billion dollar industry. Up until 1850 potatoes were either baked, sliced and cooked lightly in oil, or boiled. It wasn't until someone accidentally fried the potatoes in oil until they became thin crisps that potato chips were born. It is by breaking out of our old habits and thinking that new ideas are born. Today we need to look at how to break out of how we have always done things in order to make our product better.

Take Action: Take a small concept or fact and look at how you can spin it creatively for an opening.

Anne Warfield,
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Friday, June 5, 2009

What is Eatting Your Productivity?

A recent study by Lynn Taylor shows that the average worker spends three hours PER DAY worrying about the fate of their job. This means that if you have a company with 1000 employees averaging a $40,000 salary, you are losing $1.2 million in unproductive time EACH MONTH.

Any company that focuses on cost cutting as a primary source right now is leaving themselves open for employees to operate under the fear of losing their job.

What are other repercussions of this? You will start to see more silos, more protecting of turfs, reduced collaboration, more glory hogging and more protective feuds.

Now is the time to focus on building a collaborative innovative culture that is based on exploding the business instead of just protecting it. When people focus on protecting they limit their listening. More importantly they limit their brains ability to be creative. Literally think of it as having your brain shrink right in front of you.

So Take Action: Think about what kind of culture you are creating- is the conversation about the bad economy or the opportunities? Are you looking for who fails or exploding who excels? Are you encouraging risk taking and teaching how to do it appropriately or are you creating risk aversion?

This is truly a time that companies will explode if they have built a solid culture of positive brain power.

Anne Warfield
Corporte Leadership Training

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Positive Way to Direct the Response You Want

My 2nd grader is so excited that her classroom is doing a program for the Dad's this year. They have sent home notices asking the Dad's to save the date. Like any little kid she is so excited that she can hardly wait.

So last night we are out to dinner. You could see that she wanted to remind her Dad about the event to ensure he would be there. Now, think about it, what is the number one thing a person says when they want to remind you of something?

It is usually a variation of , "Now remember you are..." or "don't forget.." Both of these can become exasperating after a while as the recipient can feel like you don't trust their memory or they can feel burdened by the event before it even happens.

No Michaela didn't use any of those. She looked her Dad square in the eye and with a big smile said, "Aren't you just excited about tomorrow and what you get to do?"

She made the assumption her Dad would remember but also nudged his memory by asking a proactive question.

Then this morning she did it again. She came down all dressed in black and told her Dad he could wear black if he wanted to match her today as she would be a black sheep in the play. Again a gentle nudge of a reminder in a fun loving way that got her Dad excited about the event.

So why do I tell you these? How do they relate to business?

In business the more you are able to nudge, remind, encourage and engage others in a way that makes them feel good and reaches your outcome is exactly what you want to do. You want to stay on the positive side so people are excited, enthusiastic and ready to go.

Take Action:
Look at your office meetings. Do you send out "reminders" of them or do you send encouraging and enticing lines that get people to sit up and take notice?
Look at your client mailings, meetings, and information. Do you have friendly ways for them to take advantage of all you have to offer? When you do this you stop selling and you start helping.

Either way, what you can see is that you can learn lessons and insights from others no matter what age they are!

Anne Warfield
Presentation Skills

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bill Bartmann: What you can learn from someone that went from rags to billionairre to rags to millionairre

I am a big believer in shortening your learning curve by learning from those who have gone before you. Particularly I look for people and situations that require a person to rework their mind which reworks they behavior which, in turn, reworks their results.

Bill is one of those individuals. He went from rags to being a Billionaire who was one of the top 40 wealthy individuals in the world. Then the unthinkable happened. He lost it all. He had the media camped out at his home, his funds frozen, and his life uprooted. He said the year he lost it all he only got one Christmas card from one friend. The rest of the people all disappeared. His life was truly demolished.

At this point Bill had two choices:1) to roll up and feel sorry for himself or 2) to create the changes he wanted to rebuild his life and business to be what he wanted. Bill chose option 2. Today his goal is to be the first person ever to go from billionaire to zero to billionaire again. Never in history has someone made a billion lost a billion and then remade it again.

Because I believe there is a lot to learn from others who have re-crafted their brains I actually sent my t0p clients a link to take advantage of a special offer Bill Bartmann has today as he launches his new book.

So take action and start studying great minds and how they recover from losses. In today's economy it is a necessity that we all reshape our thinking to create opportunities where none existed before. This is your year and your time. Be like Bill and redefine what you want out of this time, and what you will do to make it happen.

Anne Warfield

Special Opportunity For Today June 2 Only

I want to let you know about a very short window of opportunity that's happening TODAY, June 2. You can get a highly unusual package of benefits by taking a small action today and simply buying a book.

My friend Bill Bartmann is launching his book on Amazon and is giving away a special bonus package, but only if you order his book today, Tuesday June 2.

You may have seen Bill on the cover of Inc. Magazine as the "Billionaire Nobody Knows", or watched him recently on major network TV. Bill's in the news daily because his book, "Bailout Riches", is creating a real stir. It's about how you can benefit--directly and fast--from the government bailout.

===> "What's the big deal about this book?" <===

Learn More Here

Take Care,

Anne Warfield

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Banana Principle

What is the Banana Principle, take a moment to watch.....

Anne Warfield

Accouuntability: Defined in Praise or Critque?

"Who screwed up?"
"Who approved this new date?"
"Who was suppose to follow up on this?"
"Why didn't we hit our numbers?"

At these times the big word is dropped...ACCOUNTABILITY. Ironically accountability is looked for in most organizations and pointed to when things go wrong. Is it any wonder that people don't get excited when they hear the word accountability?

So why not reverse it in your company? Start looking for those who ARE executing properly and celebrate their successes.

The truth is when you have high accountability you have high execution. The two go hand in hand. What we usualy do is bring up and focus our team's on accountability when we see a LACK of it rather than an abundance of it. Those who are executing are often ignored and time is spent on putting out fires instead.

So in order to execute you need to reverse how people see and view accountability.
Here are some interesting statistics on the work place:
Zogby Poll
One of every 4 working American's describes their workplace as a dictatorship
Only 52% said their boss treats subordinates well.
Only 51% said their co-workers often fell motivated at work
90)% of all people say that Senior Management Teams fail to define results.

Think about that last one..how can people be accountable for what they don't know?

Take Action: Make your strategic plans simple to follow and execute All people in your company should know what they are and what they need to do in order to execute to them. They should clearly know the rewards if these strategies are achieved.

Anne Warfield
Management Leadership

When Others Shrink You Go Big

I am at the ASTD Conference this year for the first time. I wanted to see what it was like and how people interacted, what sessions they attend and what booths they visit. What I saw so far in many ways surprised me.

Two things surprised me:
1) Out of over 300 exhibitors only 4 are doing interactive talk sessions with chairs for audience.
2) In almost 80% of the booths the giveaways are pens, paper, highlighters, mints or candy.

Now I am sure they are all reacting to the economy so they may be going to stripped down versions for their booths thinking, "well at least I am still one of the people in the game, getting a booth."

Here are the errors in that thinking:
It is not enough to just show up today. Now is the time to differentiate and dominate in business. People who invested to attend this convention need a WOW in their life so give them one.

Unique gifts that get people talking about you and create excitement are critical right now. Things like waterproof cellphone holders that clip on your belt are worthwhile. Be the one that everyone says, "get to their booth right away because they may run out."

Lesson to you: Make what your company gives away equal to the value of your product or service. So in other words, if you are a high end product company have a high end give away.

Be interactive. Now is not the time to stand behind a booth and wait for people to come to you. Now is the time to excite, energize, and explore with people on how to make their life better. So it is not enough to just "show up." Now is the time to smash your market open.

Lesson to you: when all others pull back you push ahead.

A study was done that found that companies that INCREASED their advertising during our last recession achieved a 256% growth over the last 10 years. They also found that all companies that cut their advertising budgets during lean times came struggled through the recession and most lost tremendous market share or disappeared altogether.

So now is your time to be aggressive. Reinvest in being the best and dominating your market. Because as I can see at this convention, most companies are pulling back to "just enough" when your clients want the "WOW."

Anne Warfield
Sales Excavation Skills