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Archive for April, 2010

Should Businesses be on steroids?

April 22, 2010 1 comment

I hear it quite often. Especially when a company or individual is marketing something. The idea that someone or something on steroids is a great thing baffles me.

Now isn’t that one of the big controversies surrounding baseball? I do not know since I am not a baseball fan. Trust me, I tried. I even went to the local baseball games with my kids. We spent most of out time at the food stands. I also heard last year that a bodybuilding contest was going to test for performance enhancers and almost no one (I think no one but not sure) showed up…

So is it a really a good idea? As for me, whenever I hear:
1. This is selling on steroids…
2. This “insert business gadget” is on steroids…
3. This is networking …you got it…”ON STEROIDS!”

I think to myself, hmmm, wonder what the side effects of attending that, or purchasing that or using that product might be?

How about you? Want some:
1. Baby formula on STEROIDS?
2. Free Range Chicken on STEROIDS?
3. STARBUCKS Coffee on STEROIDS?

Okay, when I was researching on the side effects of steroids, the site that promoted steroids claims most of those side effects are myths. Perhaps you believe them. As for myself, I will stay with the organic approach. Whether that is business or food related.

It is clear that those that use steroids in real life do not really want to publish that fact. So why do businesses and marketing professionals use that phrase?

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Those who need it most wants it the least.

April 11, 2010 2 comments

jamie kitchen

I am talking about help…in the form of coaching.

Like many chef-wannabe, I love cooking. For me, it is both meditative and creative. I never cook the same dish the same way. Most of the time, they turn out “pretty good”. It helps that while I teenager, growing up in Africa, my parents had me go to local restaurants to learn how to cook.

There are a couple of Chefs I watch on Food Network. Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, both successful in their own rights and both have a side gig. Gordon would go around to restaurants that are having problems and he executes what I call a turnaround within a couple of days. Jamie came to the US to start a “food revolution”. He started it in Huntington WV because research shows it is the town with the highest level of death resulting from obesity.

As you can see in the Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmare clip here, the food in the restaurant is horrible, yet it is the Chef that is resisting Gordon’s input the most (I agree his delivery might need a little help but he is effective). Those who call him in sometimes end up being the one resisting change – or the manager or the chef. Whereas in Jamie’s case, the head cook of the elementary school started off just resisting and giving all kinds of excuse why that just would not work.  In most cases, they do come around in the end.

This is not much different in businesses advising. What I have seem in my experience is that the “successful” companies and executives constantly look to outside advice and help to improve…whereas those that have chaotic workspace, cash flow problems, dismal internal communication, horrible moral would claim they are “ok” and that they do not need any help. Worse still, they know they have a problem but think they can handle it – but they never do. Knowing that something needs to be done and not doing it is like a crime…we’ve all heard the saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

However it take maturity to ask for help. No one wants to accept the fact that they need help. Even when a client takes that first step – it takes resolve and character to follow through with that commitment.

Ever notice how professional and Olympic athletes have coaches (sometimes multiple ones) whereas the weekend athlete never do. Those athletes as already successful but to continue to excel, a coach is critical.

Allan is an accredited business advisor, executive coach and talent recruiter and can be reached here. You can follow him on twitter.

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