Five Ways To Score A Meeting With Someone Important

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We all want to get advice, pitch our ideas, ask for a job, or otherwise meet someone we admire. But chances are, that person is out of your orbit. So what are the secrets to scoring that important meeting? While everyone is different, and there are no guarantees, here’s five techniques that should help you make the connections you need:

How to Kill Your Career in 3 Easy Steps

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Life can throw us a lot of curves. Our childhood, our parents, physical challenges, early experiences on the job, all indelibly imprint us with bad behaviors that are hard to shake. A woman abused as a child, a man whose father told him he’d never amount to much, a person who lives with insecurity. Big or small, they damage our relationships, the quality of our work, and our chances for success. But there are three specific personality “quirks” that really set people back from achieving all they could become in life. I’m not a psychologist, and don’t have all the answers for fixing these problems, but I’ve discovered that

Give Your Decisions a Good Jolt!

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Recently, I’ve run into a number of companies, nonprofits, and churches who’s leaders have real trouble making good decisions (some have trouble making decisions at all).  Good decisions matter, and here’s a few of the keys to making the kind of decisions that will take your career to the next level:

Six Things That Can Hide Bad Leadership

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Over the years, I’ve encountered some terrible leaders – many times in situations where their employees and coworkers actually thought they were a genius. Maybe you’ve experienced that as well. I started thinking I was an idiot, and it bothered me for a long time, until I realized that there are some key situations and cultures to watch for in organizations that can actually hide bad leadership.  Here’s the six most damaging:

Why You Need to Understand How Your Business Works

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The last thing most of us creative types want to do is learn the business of anything. I want to create, and I’ve spent my adult career looking for a business partner to help me navigate the media industry. I’ve learned I won’t get very far if I don’t know how to make my creative dreams work in the real world.  Knowing how the publishing industry works won’t compromise your original idea, and it might open you up to

Leaders: Is A Member of Your Team Holding You Back?

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I write a lot on this blog about freelancers, creatives, and vendors who work for large organizations.  But on this post I want to deal with organizations themselves.  One large organization needed to hire an advertising agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another agency he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision.  However,

Being Best Is Better Than Being First

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There are many brands out there that we consider the best in their category such as Google, Amazon, or Gillette. But those brands weren’t the first in their category. In case after case innovative companies (some ahead of their time) ended up in the trash heap of history. That’s a good thing to remember when someone beats you to the market with an idea. In some cases, the first to launch isn’t ready, the product isn’t perfect, or the marketing is poorly executed. In other cases, the

Leaders: Cutting Back Can Make You More Successful

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In consulting with nonprofit organizations around the world, our team at Cooke Pictures has discovered that the most successful are deep, not wide.  In other words, they know how to focus on one big thing, instead of trying to do many things badly.  In this video I talk about why it matters, and how being lean and mean can make a huge difference.  If you know a leader of a bloated or ineffective organization, make sure he or she sees this: