5 Leadership Lessons from the Tokyo Olympics

The lessons you can learn from competition are significant

5 Leadership Lessons from the Tokyo OlympicsMy Olympic fascination started in 1976 when the summer games took place in Montreal. As a 12-year-old, I was glued to our black and white 12-inch TV for the duration of the Olympics between chores on our family’s hobby farm. I imagined myself on the track pole vaulting 20 feet in the air, swimming on…

Business in decline? Start calling your customers back

Reaching out to wayward customers will reinvigorate your sales and allow you to do a lot of market research

Business in decline? Start calling your customers backGrant was on the ground yelling as I came around the corner at high speed on my mountain bike at dusk. He had flown off his bike instead of hitting a moose standing on the trail. I skidded to avoid him. I could still see two moose, a cow and her year-old calf, on the…

Three things every business needs to do to improve sales

Implement a plan, hold your sales team accountable, and keep updating and changing your sales campaigns

Three things every business needs to do to improve salesDebra was flustered. She had taken over a business with the intent of growing it but had come to the realization that increasing sales might be easier said than done. She recognized that because of the added overhead expenses of her operations, sales would have to grow 50 per cent from current revenue to ensure…

Incremental change will help you grow and strengthen your business

The results will lead to an outstanding future for your business

Incremental change will help you grow and strengthen your businessHelp is a word that’s foreign to many entrepreneurs, so when a caller says they need help, I listen intently. I received such a call in November 2019 from an entrepreneur who had bought into a company and realized that the management team was struggling. “Dave, I need an outside perspective on how to move…

Why many leaders are lonely and what to do about it

Find someone you can trust to communicate what you’re going through

Why many leaders are lonely and what to do about itOn a recent Sunday afternoon, I went over the handlebars of my bike, bent my front wheel and landed on my head. My son Caleb wasn’t surprised – in fact, I’ve noticed he worries about me when we go riding. And I admit I’ve had my share of accidents on my mountain bike. The thing…

What you and your business can learn from Strava

A Strava-like mentality can take your business to a whole new level

What you and your business can learn from StravaMy cycling buddies have been using the phone app Strava for years to track their rides. While this isn’t novel, the appeal of Strava is that, like Facebook, you can see what your friends are doing and comment on their activity. Unlike Facebook, there’s honesty in postings because your whole activity is measured, not just…

Are we ready for the tourism rebound?

As tourists start their migration toward Canada, there’s hesitancy about the industry's readiness to manage the tsunami of people

Are we ready for the tourism rebound?Canadians are ready for the borders to reopen and will flock to sun destinations next winter like never before. The number of people who have said that they’re ready to “get out of Dodge” and “fly the coop” is an indication that there’s a pent-up demand for travel and excursions that has been bolstered by…

Five questions to ask yourself before you start a new business

The big one: Are you willing to make sacrifices?

Five questions to ask yourself before you start a new businessPeople reach out to me weekly for advice on whether they should diversify their business and sell an additional product or service. There also seems to be a flurry of entrepreneurial types who see opportunity as a result of the current changes in the economy. They believe they have the next great business idea that…

Buying or selling a business? How much is it worth?

Lockdowns, inventory disruptions, staffing issues and cash-flow challenges have sapped many entrepreneurs of their passion

Buying or selling a business? How much is it worth?The economic climate has changed the way business owners think about their businesses. While my firm worked with companies before the pandemic, helping them to prepare their businesses for transition, there seems to be a flurry of interest from owners ready to exit their businesses. There are several reasons why people are thinking of selling…

Your business is destined to fail if you’re not consistent

Your success in life and business is dependent on consistency and congruency

Your business is destined to fail if you’re not consistentA client of mine was buying a new business. The company they were purchasing had been successful, but the pandemic had caused it to fail and the value was only in the equipment. When I asked why they thought the business failed, they told me they believed the owner hadn’t been consistent through the pandemic.…

Jumping on the next great idea could cripple your business

Entrepreneurial diarrhea can leave leaders and their teams exhausted, sapping their energy and consuming valuable resources

Jumping on the next great idea could cripple your business“I need your help!” were the first words out of John’s mouth when I walked into his office recently. “We’re starting a new business and I want you to help us figure this out.” As I looked at John, my first thought was: “Oh my god, he hasn’t got this business running properly yet, and…

When opportunity knocks, answer the door

Experiencing a life beyond our limited imaginations

When opportunity knocks, answer the doorEarly last year, I received a call from Sergey Shchepotkin asking if I would be his assistant coach for the University of Northern British Columbia’s women’s basketball team. I met Sergey when he coached my daughter’s basketball club over a couple of summers and I helped him out at a couple of tournaments. I was…

Four things you can change to improve your bottom line

The list of expenses for business owners sometimes feels never-ending

Four things you can change to improve your bottom lineProfit is one of the most misunderstood and misconstrued words in the English language. Customers often think that profit is anything between a company’s cost for a product or service and the customer’s purchase price. Employees think profit is the difference between the selling price and the cost, less their wages. In reality, profit is…

Fun can be the ticket out of workplace angst

Managers are worried about accountability and employees are wondering if they will have a job next year

Fun can be the ticket out of workplace angstLife seems very serious at the moment. Everywhere we turn, people are challenged with discouraging news about health, the economy, job losses, rising home prices and inflation. Add in mental illness and a raft of other concerns that sometimes seem contrived to keep us worried, scared and paralyzed. This seriousness has pervaded our workplaces, homes…

Trust is the foundation for success

Whether it’s a manager having trust in a staff member, employees having trust in their leader or leaders having trust in their decisions

Trust is the foundation for successAs a child, I had a tremendous fear of falling. I would climb a tree and couldn’t trust that the branch wouldn’t break. I climbed cranes, cliffs and buildings, and was always afraid that my footing would slip and I would fall. Perhaps that fear was grounded in the fact that I had already fallen…

Reward yourself – it will help your performance

Unfortunately, organizations regularly set goals for their employees and rarely celebrate when they are achieved

Reward yourself – it will help your performanceHow often do you celebrate your successes? When was the last time you took the time to reflect on an achievement or treated yourself because you accomplished something that didn’t seem possible before? If you’re like most people, you’re so caught up in the daily routine that you probably don’t stop and celebrate. We work…

Fake it until you make it: How your self-image impacts your performance

You have to believe in yourself

Fake it until you make it: How your self-image impacts your performanceBelieve it or not, your performance is limited. However, the limitations on what you can with your life, your job or your sport are primarily defined by you and not by outside factors. Take for example Roger Bannister, who ran the first sub-four-minute mile in 1954. He had been told – as had all athletes…

Why exercise should be a key component of business success

Numerous studies have shown that regular daily exercise can reduce stress, improve mental health and increase immunity

Why exercise should be a key component of business successMy brother Rob – a 50-something entrepreneur living in Ireland – annoyed me the other day when he told me he’s on track to be the same weight and almost as strong as he was when he was in his 20s. Rob and I have had ongoing competitions since the day Rob was born, which…

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to success

Business leaders should help build up capacity through mentorship and coaching, then start looking to spend at Indigenous suppliers

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to successJeff and William approached me in the fall of 2019 about helping with their ecotourism business. They started the business in 2014 and wanted help growing it and getting more clients. They felt if they could share their traditions and culture with the world, they could provide meaningful jobs for the youth of their community.…

How frustrated managers can confront the pandemic’s entitlement culture

The cry for help from managers in the public sector is growing. As the lockdowns continue, accountability is slipping

How frustrated managers can confront the pandemic’s entitlement cultureJan was on the verge of tears as we discussed the challenges with her team. “It doesn’t matter how many times I ask Sylvia to get the work done, she always has an excuse for why she can’t deliver,” she said. “On top of that, she doesn’t want to come into the office and wants…

Does praying for customers and staff make a difference?

While it’s difficult to determine whether prayer works for our customers and staff, research shows that praying is good for our health

Does praying for customers and staff make a difference?Sometimes I catch myself thinking about my clients or staff and saying a quick prayer for them. It’s a habit I’ve fallen into over the past 35 years of managing people and running businesses. I wonder if it makes a difference. The reason I can’t say definitively whether prayer works is that I haven’t seen…

Three key elements to succeed in sales

Treat others the way you would like to be treated, know why you’re selling and put together a good plan that you’re willing and able to follow

Three key elements to succeed in salesLike many entrepreneurs and sales professionals, I’ve been selling since I was a teenager. Over the years, I’ve hawked worms, newspapers, pins, chocolate bars and books door to door, knives and lamps on street corners, vitamins and herbs in retail and online, and, eventually, advertising, as well as coaching services and training to companies. I…

Three things you can do to accomplish more in less time

Life’s too short to occupy most of it with frustration and busyness. Tackle the stress by prioritizing, delegating and meditating

Three things you can do to accomplish more in less timeMany of us feel crunched for time. We have a variety of activities and tasks that seem to need our attention on a regular basis. Whether it’s getting kids to school, managing family activities, preparing meals, as well as getting our jobs done, sitting in on video meetings, or dealing with an ever-growing stream of…

What to do when your board members go rogue

Some board members think their position gives them extra power and privileges

What to do when your board members go rogueJenny was in tears. As the executive director of her organization, she was at her wit’s end and said she was ready to quit. She confided in me that one of the directors was going directly to one of her staff members, telling him he would be fired unless he complied with the director’s request,…

How to increase your personal business performance

Performing at our best all the time can seem like a challenge unless we move the goal posts and focus on learning, fun and clarity

How to increase your personal business performanceThere were only three days left before I had to have the program ready for my team. I had been putting off working on the project until it seemed like the last minute. I could feel the pressure building internally and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to deliver. Working to deliver…

Screwed up? It’s okay to be honest

Our mistakes in judgment help us learn and hopefully grow

Screwed up? It’s okay to be honestWhen I was a brash and self-assured 21-year-old, I announced at a family dinner with my aunt and cousin that I would be a millionaire by the time I was 30. I had found investors and had just started a business. I thought I was invincible, living in the big city, and figured I could…

Feel out of control? Try naming your year

Being rooted and attentive to a guiding motto, principal or goal can keep us from being distracted

Feel out of control? Try naming your yearIt was icy and the pickup truck on the road in front of me started sliding out of control as it rounded a corner on our way back from the ski hill the other day. While others in the car with me were shouting distracting instructions, in my head I could hear my father’s voice…
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