Treat Me Like a Customer

One of my local Nashville friends, Louis Upkins, is someone who is filled with energy and ideas.  Whenever we get together, I am energized.  Louis has worked with some of the biggest names in business, sports, and entertainment. He wrote a thought-provoking book called Treat Me Like a Customer, which encourages business people to treat their families at least as well as their customers.  In a world that seems to be accelerating faster and faster, he has timeless advice on balance and lessons of success that really matter.

I spent some time with Louis talking about these principles and what he has learned from a life spent with fascinating people.

Don’t Let Others Determine Your Value

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Hidden Value

On my desk at home, I have a jar of coins.  In it is mostly pennies and nickels.  Today as I was throwing some extra change into the jar, I found an old buffalo nickel.  I didn’t expect to find it just sitting on top.

And that got me thinking.  Inside this jar there are likely other coins more valuable than I think.  Inside companies are employees more valuable than the company leaders think.  And inside of you is more potential than you could possibly think.

How Mets Pitcher R.A. Dickey Overcame Obstacles On & Off the Field

“You may hit me.   You may knock me around and knock balls out of the park.  But I am always going to get back up and keep coming at you.”  — R.A. Dickey

How many of us have this type of attitude no matter what trials we are facing?

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk and have lunch with Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey.  It was our first meeting, but I had already met him in the pages of his new book, Wherever I Wind Up.  His story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  When I finished the book, I flipped back to the beginning and re-read the words in the quote above.  R.A. captured the essence of his life in those sentences and his ability to persevere through almost anything.

Innovation Expert Jeff DeGraff on Building a Better YOU

Make innovation a study and you inevitably will run into one name: Jeff DeGraff.  Dr. DeGraff is a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.  He’s been called the Dean of Innovation.  Before moving to Nashville, I lived in Ann Arbor and had the opportunity to meet him and see him in action.  Jeff has worked with some of the biggest global corporations including Apple, Visa, GE, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jeff when I visited the University of Michigan.  He has created an innovation laboratory called the Innovatrium.

Don’t Let a Pocket Veto Destroy Your Meeting

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Have you ever heard of a pocket veto?

It’s when Congress passes a bill, but the president does not sign it within ten days after Congress adjourns.  Effectively, it means that the bill is dead.  After all the committee meetings, the bill is passed in the House of Representatives and then the Senate, but the bill does not become law.

The president can sign bills into law or he can veto them.  He can also use the political maneuver of a pocket veto and do nothing.

My version of a pocket veto is different.  It happens in organizations.