This Week's Must Reads

Hello everyone! Happy birthday America! We’re 240 years strong and counting! I hope you were able to find time to enjoy the holiday and celebrate with friends and family! As always, though, I like to take time to summarize a list of some great articles you as a business leader should’t miss:

  • Small business borrowing is a key barometer of economic growth because small businesses create most of the jobs in the US. The latest stats are not good; dropped for last three months: reut.rs/29kfCg4
  • Zenefits has been going through some pretty tough times lately. In its latest funding round, it’s valuation dropped by half. Ouch! nyti.ms/29bVl9m
  • VC firm Kleiner Perkins has raised a new $1.4 billion fund venture fund. $1 billion will focus on growing, later-stage tech companies. The rest will reportedly be for startups:read.bi/297UXqf
  • An interesting M&A story popped up last week. Mondelez has made a takeover bid for Hershey. Hershey said “No thanks”. Will Nestle bid too? reut.rs/297TW1x
  • How to engage employees is always a difficult question. This article explores the difference between workplace engagement ( which is shorter-term) and workplace passion (longer-term): bit.ly/29b3XyU
  • Unexpected things pop up all the time in business. This article shared some ideas for how you might improve your response to them: bit.ly/297HMdc
  • Do you research how people find your website via Google? It’s not always easy. This article shared some ways you can find out the details: entm.ag/29gmCKV
  • About 3/4 of all strategic business transformations fail. In this article you’ll find some good tips  to help improve your odds: bit.ly/29bcYY9
  • Email marketing can sometimes be a bit of an art – balancing info and sales. This article has some good tips to keep in mind as you write yours: on.inc.com/29fxZ64
  • More and more smaller businesses are jumping into Instagram to develop their brand.In this article the author shares how you might maximize that for yours: bit.ly/292DUpb
  • I believe there is a relationship between employee culture and customer service. This article discusses this in more depth: bit.ly/295a1qx
  • As a small business we often try to make ourselves look bigger – or at least more professional. This article will give you some tips for making your small biz look that way while using email marketing: bit.ly/293tQRK
  • This article discusses the state of the startup accelerator industry: bit.ly/293ejNa
  • There’s an expectation that your social media visuals are going to be of ever-higher quality. This article shares some great new (maybe lesser known) tools for creating social media visuals: bit.ly/295jAqH
  • This article shares how to optimize your website to help increase brand visibility:bit.ly/291r0sL
  • When it comes to your business blog, there are some things you definitely DON’T want to do. This article highlights those “deadly sins” you want to be sure to avoid:entm.ag/290ah8F
  • Just a year ago it seemed like 3-D printing had a huge future. Now it feels like it’s not going anywhere at all. This article discusses why (and what it can tell us about anytrend): on.inc.com/292eufT
  • We have grown to think that being close to others we are collaborating with it really important. But, sometimes physical separation from colleagues can help increase creativity: bit.ly/28ZKH9e
  • Bridgestone is rebooking at its customer strategy. This article talks about why – and what that strategy looks like: bit.ly/28XURpB
  • When it comes to strategy, we think short-term and we think long-term. But this article contends that it’s medium-term strategy that can really shape your company:bit.ly/28Xny1L

Last week I was thinking a lot about what it means for your business to make a mistake – and how you should recover from it. I shared a few tips that I hope were helpful –

  • If you recover from a business mistake by demonstrating openness, honesty, customer relationships can actually IMPROVE.
  • When your business makes a mistake, it’s important to know if it’s a simple one-off error or a systemic problem.
  • Sometimes HOW you deal with a business misstep actually IMPROVES your customer relationship. The recovery is critical.
  • When your biz makes a mistake, the first things you should do is accept responsibility and commit to correcting it.
  • When something in your business goes wrong, have a process to deal with it directly, openly, honestly, and immediately.

My last blog post focused on this issue also. I tried to share what I believe are some key principles you should think about when something goes wrong at your company: "Mistakes Happen. It’s How You Handle Them That Matters". Read on and let me know your thoughts. Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you needed to recover from a business mistake? What did you learn? Please feel free to share it!


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!