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in Innovation

Business Strategy: Innovation Process | Extraordinary Leadership

by Rick Meekins

Part of every business’s strategy should be innovation, or the creation, management, evaluation and implementation of ideas.  As a business leader, consider how many ideas you have and how many more ideas you are presented with over the course of a week.  Then consider, how many you don’t get, meaning those that your stakeholders might have, but don’t give you for whatever reason. The reason…

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14

Jan
2010
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in Business Development

Be Extraordinary…Mind Your Seeds

by Rick Meekins

Starting and growing a business is a lot like growing crops on a farm.  You will get what you plant, assuming you take care of it and have the resources in place for when it is “harvest time,” or when the fruits of your labor present themselves. The challenge that many business owners have is going through the process.  Impatience and lack of focus has…

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12

Jan
2010
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in Management and Leadership

Planning for Chaos

by Rick Meekins

I was working on a proposal this afternoon when the phone rang.  It was my bookkeeper telling me that we needed to set up a meeting with one of our clients.  In the midst of that call, another client called to ask if I’d had time to review her book.  Finally, my wife called to let me know she was getting off work and was…

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11

Jan
2010
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in Operations Management

No More “What’s Next?”: Simple Process Design | Extraordinary Business

by Rick Meekins

Processes take the guesswork and delays out of “what happens next?”  This could be in sales, marketing, customer service or any other area of your business that you need to do, repeatedly.  Personal productivity Expert, Peggy Duncan, reminds us that “if you have to do it more than once, you need to create a process for it.”  It’s just that simple. Creating a process isn’t…

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8

Jan
2010
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in Operations Management

Pitfalls of Poor or Impotent Processes | Extraordinary Business

by Rick Meekins

Have you ever called a vendor to discuss a simple problem and found that the process took much longer than it should have?  I had that experience, recently, with one of the largest and oldest telecom carriers in the industry. The interesting thing about it is that everyone I spoke with, including the telephone system (IVR or voice mail jail), were quite polite.  Unfortunately, they…

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7

Jan
2010
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in Management and Leadership

Beware: Overconfidence and The Slippery Slope | Extraordinary Leadership

by Rick Meekins

I remember, as a kid, going to an amusement park in New Jersey called Action Park.  Action Park was a park where you actually had to participate in activities in order to have fun.  For example, they had down-hill toboggans that you had to steer, they had rock climbing, wave pools, cliff diving and inner tube trails.  I think that the only thing you could…

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5

Jan
2010
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in Management and Leadership

Welcome to 2010

by Rick Meekins

Happy New Year! The title sounds like the ominous beginning to a Science Fiction novel or movie from years gone by.  They probably would have said something about the advances in technology, such as deep space flight, robotics and artificial intelligence and cellular phones.  They would also talk about society – usually in terms of its degradation: World War III, the depletion of the Ozone,…

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1

Jan
2010
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in Blog

Need to Raise Your Game in 2010? Be a Mentor.

by Rick Meekins

I remember listening to one of my mentors, Dr. Ike, who was speaking about living an extraordinary life, and found something that I could really sink my teeth into.  His delivery wasn’t academic – you know, the typical “10 Steps to Stepping Into Your new Life” or something like that.  It was, rather, along the lines of a course filled with testaments of trial, error…

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31

Dec
2009
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in Blog

It’s NOT About What you FEEL Like Doing!

by Rick Meekins

I’ve got three teenagers whose response to why they haven’t done certain things is “because I don’t feel like it.”  This could be anything, from getting up in the morning, to eating breakfast to cleaning their rooms, to going outside, etc., etc., etc..  (notice – three etceteras!)  My goal, while often realizing I could have more impact on a brick wall, is to remind them…

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30

Dec
2009
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in Blog, Business Development

Re-Trenching – New Objectives

by Rick Meekins

As a younger man, I was enlisted as a soldier in the US Army.  Part of our basic training had to do with combat, which included building fighting positions, digging trenches and keeping morale up.  Our goal, always, was to move forward in order to achieve a particular objective, which was always part of a much larger strategy.    Whenever we would progress, our goal was…

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28

Dec
2009
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in Blog

Handling the Holidays

by Rick Meekins

Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season.  People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like.  Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc. As a business leader, this is a decision that you will…

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18

Dec
2009
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in Blog

Don't Wait – Plan for Success

by Rick Meekins

Have you ever walked into a department store, gotten your items and headed toward the line, where there were 15 or so people waiting to check out?  How do you feel when you notice that there are 10 lanes that are unoccupied, and no one there to operate them?  If you are like me, you are probably thinking to yourself that someone needs to open…

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18

Dec
2009
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in Blog

Handling the Holidays

by Rick Meekins

Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season.  People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like.  Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc. As a business leader, this is a decision that you will…

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18

Dec
2009
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in Blog

Only the Beginning

by Rick Meekins

Do you ever think about what makes extraordinary companies extraordinary?  Not just from a financial standpoint, but from an all around standpoint.  Not looking at the size of the company, but rather the impact it makes.  Not looking at salaries and benefits, but rather employee commitment.  Not looking at growth potential but rather, a shared vision. While I would not imply that there is a…

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16

Dec
2009
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in Blog

SSDD.and do it All, Again

by Rick Meekins

“Same Stuff Different Day,” or versions of it has been made an infamous response to greetings, made famous by movies featuring employees of “corporate America.”   The people that use this phrase are those who begrudgingly go to work, push their pencils around all day, confuse “hardly working” with “working hard,” take long lunches, call off on sick days, etc.  In a nutshell, you might say…

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14

Dec
2009
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in Blog

Finding a Mentor

by Rick Meekins

One of the most valuable relationships I have had is the one I share with my mentors.  They’ve been able to give me insight and direction in every area of my life.  The funny thing about it is that I didn’t quite realize that they were my mentors, and the degree to which they’d impacted me. As a younger man, I had always sought out…

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11

Dec
2009
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