This Week's Must Reads

Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! As always, I like to begin the week by sharing some of the great things I’ve been reading and some of the ideas I’ve shared over the last few days. Enjoy!

  • I know we’re always looking for ways to be more productive – even when stuck in numerous meetings. This article discusses how to become more productive by knocking off action items even BEFORE a meeting ends: bit.ly/1O02hlD
  • I find the case at Theranos so curious. A company that was a darling – for awhile. But it seems to have built on some questionable hype. nyti.ms/1YWf4v0
  • You’ve heard of the Pareto Principle (or the “80/20 Rule”). This article shared some powerful ways to apply it in your business marketing: entm.ag/1r1ThqM
  • Starting a business can seem so glamorous. But it can have an impact on your entire life. You should be aware of what those impacts are – the good and the not-so-good. This article shares some of that: bit.ly/26Arajc
  • I thought this article was interesting. It offered a good reminder about making our businesses and our brands more “human”: bit.ly/23atEjO
  • For an online businesses, earning customer trust is huge. This article shared a few ideas on how to earn it and keep it: entm.ag/1QDaN9W
  • Amazon’s Alexa is starting to expand beyond their Echo technology. The first non-Amazon product (for your kitchen) is now available: tcrn.ch/1TgGkQV
  • There are many reasons why a cutover loyalty program may or may not work. This article shares some of the psychology behind that: bit.ly/1NXisjA
  • As good design continues to become almost “entry to the game” in many market sectors, how can you continue to stand out from your competition. This article shares a few ideas on how to use design thinking for competitive advantage? bit.ly/1SMQDyS
  • As I’ve written on this blog before, a leader needs to develop the right dam and trust them. This article provides a good reminder about that: for.tn/1rigINd
  • Many small business owners have not thought much about their exit strategy. This article suggests that it it is smart to do that: bit.ly/1So8Rrm
  • This article shared some tips to consider taking if your startup is struggling. It’s worth a read:  for.tn/1SFJmRh
  • Innovation doesn’t just happen. As this article points out, it’s the result of having the right team, in the right roles, and a culture of innovation: bit.ly/1WQw3At
  • So many sales pitches are designed to just simply seek our products and services. This article shares some ideas for how to craft one that is truly designed around customer needs: onforb.es/21d4y4r
  • Sometimes we stumble. Last week the company AppSumo did by including a bad joke in an email to customers. In my opinion they dealt with to openly and with the right tone: bit.ly/1T0xGpd (Different types of issues of course, but maybe contrast that with how Theranos is handling their issues.)
  • This article reminds us that it’s important to show employees you care for and support them them as much as customers: bit.ly/1VOrZSo
  • I really liked this blog post. It hit on the topic of being an authentic leader. It touches on how total honesty might not always be the best thing (and whether that make youinauthentic)bit.ly/1pyygTN
  • Always having new ideas and topics for a blog can sometimes be a challenge. This article shared several types of content your blog might need: bit.ly/1rcRGyO
  • Hmm, when I read this article about being an “outgoing introvert”, I thought I might be one. How about you?  bit.ly/1r5mhOI
  • This article discusses leadership in terms of it being a performance. I’m not sure I agree with the entire idea, but I do see the point: bit.ly/1SoM0Zh

The big topic on my mind last week was defining just what it is that makes your company unique. Here are a few tips I shared through my social media channels:

  • Developing your company’s unique value proposition begins with carefully defining what problem you are trying to solve.
  • Know what products/services your competitors provide – and define how are you truly different.

  • Invest the time to brainstorm with your team to explicitly define what’s unique about your co. and your products/services.
  • Make sure EVERYONE in your organization knows what’s unique about what you bring to customers.
  • Prospective customers form opinions about your brand in numerous ways. Do you know them all? Do you manage them all?

I centered my blog post around this idea of a unique value proposition as well – “Do You Know What Makes You Unique?“. I’d love to get your thoughts!


Well guys that’s it for today. Enjoy your reading. Leave a comment on the blog. Be sure to share this post and the blog with your colleagues.

Be sure to follow me on social media – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Have an awesome week!