The leadership secret you must cultivate

Want to be a more effective leader? Want to be more successful?

Thought so!

So I’ve got to let you in on this:

Being smart is over-rated. So is being perfect.

Because there’s something much better than being smart or getting things perfectly right.

It’s speed.

No, not as in the movie Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Not zooming through the countryside in a candy-red convertible next to the dream hotsie of your choice. (Although that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?) And not a nasty pill, either.

I’m referring to speed as in getting things done quickly.

The get-it-done kind of speed beats being smart. It beats being perfect. Every single time.

Speed is a key ingredient of leadership.

Speedy decision-making is a key ingredient of leadership.

That’s according to James E. Lukaszewski, an expert in managing and counteracting tough, touchy, sensitive corporate communications issues. I’ve admired Jim’s work for years.

Plus, Jim reminds me of the fine folks I worked with when I got my start in PR in New York City. And that is a huge compliment to Jim!

Cultivate speed

Here’s what Jim Lukaszewski advises: Do it now, ask it now, fix it now, challenge it now and change it now.

But what about mistakes? Won’t mistakes get made by moving that fast?

“There is simply no evidence that speeding up decision-making causes any more errors than decisions that are delayed by timidity, hesitation, or the search for the perfect solution,” Jim Lukaszewski says.

In other words:

  1. Mistakes are inevitable (even if you are super-smart or are striving to be perfect).
  2. Deferring mistakes only delays success.

So get in the game. Make your mistakes early, then fix them and move on to success and more effective leadership.

P.S. You can find Jim’s books on Amazon. His latest is Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Needs to Know about Reputation Risk and Crisis Management.

Your turn

Please leave a comment below:

What’s your top tip for breaking through inertia, timidity or perfectionism?

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P.S. Want FREE kick-*ss publicity ideas? My new special report, 7 Crucial Factors to Make Your Story Pitch IRRESISTIBLE to Journalists, is yours FREE when you sign up for my expert publicity and killer writing tips.

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Are you an expert? Know the 7 factors influencing your status

Today’s topic is… YOU. This post will show you:

  • Whether you are an expert
  • 7 factors that influence your expert status.

The first thing to know is many experts don’t realize they are experts.

And if they do, they do not want to admit it.

At least that’s often the case here in Minnesota where there’s a culture of trying hard to never, NEVER come across braggy and boastful.

Honestly, if you’re a Minnesotan, you could win a Pulitzer and none of your family or friends would know unless they had reason to peek inside the cardboard box hidden in your closet. (Why they would snoop in your closet is a whole other discussion.)

10,000 hours and counting

Back to you and, more importantly, whether you are, indeed, an expert.

Merriam-Webster, the online dictionary, says an expert has “the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.”

(Yep, sounds like you!)

But does “mastery” mean? What’s involved?

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule,” it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to master a skill.

Woman holding basketball

Becoming an expert takes focus and effort.

In your case, that’s 10,000 hours dedicated to counseling, managing, selling, healing, designing, creating, fixing, entertaining, teaching, growing, baking, branding, training, promoting, writing, midwifing, sewing, accounting, lawyering or what have you.

Ten thousand hours of practice translates roughly to 3 hours a day, every day for 10 years straight.

(Whew! That’s a lot of time. I hope you are an expert on something you loooove).

7 factors influencing your expert status

Seven factors contribute to how others perceive your reputation as an expert.

According to Wikipedia, these include your (1) credentials, (2) training, (3) education, (4) profession, (5) publication or (6) experience.

I’m going to add another key factor: (7) social proof, such as customer testimonials, endorsements, awards and publicity.

Social proof means other people and organizations vouch for your expertise or view you as an expert. (Publication, which Wikipedia cites, is another powerful form of social proof.)

You can tap one or more of these 7 factors to further build your influence as an expert if you choose. Publishing articles in industry magazines, adding testimonials to your website, or sharing publicity on your company are excellent ways to communicate with your  customers.

You, The Expert 

See? You’re an expert, or you will be if you stick to practicing your chosen skill.

Plus, now you know the 7 factors that influence your perceived status as an expert.

I’m glad you’re You, The Expert!

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Interested in sharing your expertise and to make the world a better place? Check out my new  *Expert-to-Authority* package.

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Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

What’s one area in which you rule as expert? Do NOT be modest!

 

Posted in advice, Business, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Are you ready for massive growth?

Do you run a business? Are you an author or consultant?  Do you market and sell products or services?

Then I have to tell you about B-School from Marie Forleo, who is not only a marketing genius, she’s fun, inspiring and entertaining.

marieforleo.B-School could make a HUGE difference in your business, whether you’re established or just starting out.

Hands down, B-School was the best business investment I ever made. It’s already paid for itself a bazillion times over. (You can quote me on that.) I’m taking B-School AGAIN this year.

The great news is that B-School enrollment opens TODAY. Go here to learn more and if it’s right for you, enroll now.

Marie has laid out exactly what you’ll learn — and what you won’t — in this 8-week training to help you leverage your online presence for more sales and more impact.

But don’t just take my word for it. While you’re there, check out the honkin’ THOUSANDS of graduate reviews to prove B-School rules!

Marie only opens B-School once a year, so if you’re ready for massive growth, now is the time.

My B-School Big-Time Bonus For You 

When you register here for B-School, you get your pick of ONE of the following juicy PR bonuses:

  • 2 FREE professionally written, search-engine-optimized news releases
  • your very own professionally written media bio, website bio and Twitter bio
  • 2 custom-crafted story pitches for you to send to your 2 selected media outlets
  • $500 off my *Expert-to-Authority* program (regularly $1895)

Be sure to register on this page to get your PR goodies!

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P.S. Oprah–yes, THAT Oprah–interviewed Marie last month. Just sayin’.

Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

Who inspires YOU?

Share
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Spy on this: Love letter to Publicity

Found this letter on sidewalk next to the mailbox. Somebody is clearly smitten with Publicity. Read on to see for yourself.

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1170044_18898754 heartMy Dearest Publicity,

I worked hard to woo and win you. I honestly didn’t know if you’d even notice me. After all, crowds of admirers vie for your attention every day!

It started when I developed a crazy crush on you. I learned everything I could about you–what you do, what you like, what you don’t.

I began dreaming up story ideas, and following the work of the journalists who cover my industry. When I heard you are partial to those with a social media buzz, I beefed up my blog, and my LinkedIn and Facebook activities. I even got into Twitter.

All with the hope of attracting you.

What a thrill when you led me to my first media interview! Good thing I came prepared. See, I’d learned how vital it is to get my points across well. I even anticipated questions and created catchy answers to keep you intrigued.

Fact is, I knew you would vanish if I bored you. I hope I never do!

I will never forget how jazzed I was when our first news coverage appeared. Wow!

After the initial splash of excitement and glitz, I discovered the real value of our media coverage: the prestige and credibility that endures long after the initial news story.

We’re building something special together: a reputation.

Publicity, I love you.

xoxoxo,

JQP

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

Wh0–or what–are you smitten with?

P.S. Want FREE kick-*ss publicity ideas? My new special report, 7 Crucial Factors to Make Your Story Pitch IRRESISTIBLE to Journalists, is yours FREE when you sign up for my expert publicity and killer writing tips.

 

 

Posted in Business, Humor, media coverage, Public relations, publicity | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Dazzle your readers with these action stars

Are you giving b-o-r-i-n-g, passive verbs a starring role in your copy?

You know the type: is, was, has been, to be, being, been, has, was, are, were and their fellow slackers.

Don’t make this mistake! Nobody wants to watch verbs who just sit there.

Here’s what to do:

Summon all the stiff, stodgy verbs that do the bare minimum for you.

Send them packing.

Then call in fresh talent: the verbs of action.

Give action verbs a starring role. You might choose:

ACTION! Choose verbs that keep your copy moving.

ACTION! Choose verbs that keep your copy moving.

  • The sultry siren verb who teases and woos your readers into clicking on your special offer.
  • The wise mentor verb who teaches your readers how to overcome fear with the insights you present.
  • The hunky action verb who races your readers across the page, dodging bullets of boredom, straight to your call to action.

Action verbs are waaaaay more fun and energizing than the boring ones.

The great news is, a whole host of action verbs are clamoring for roles in your copy. Select those best suited to the needs of your copy.

(By the way, you may notice that a few passive verbs sneak in despite your best efforts. It happens to me, too. Just keep passive verbs to tiny, supporting roles.)

Remember:

Action verbs relish reader attention.

Readers love action verbs.

Make action verbs the stars of your copy… and watch them entertain, inspire and compel your readers!

Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

What’s your favorite action movie? Bonus points if you say why!

P.S. Want FREE kick-*ss publicity ideas? My new special report, 7 Crucial Factors to Make Your Story Pitch IRRESISTIBLE to Journalists, is yours FREE when you sign up for my expert publicity and killer writing tips.

 

Posted in Business, creativity, Humor, persuasion, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Work@home: proven + extreme productivity tips

Working from home can be just as productive as working in an office, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

Or, alas, as nonproductive as working in an office.

To squeeze the most out of your work-at-home time, try these three proven productivity tactics. Deploy the extreme versions when you need extra motivation to stay on task.

Productivity Tactics

Proven: 

Extreme:

  • Set a deadline. Experts say you’re more motivated to get work done when your client, boss or agent expects you to turn in a project by a specific date or time.
    e
    But setting a deadlines is small motivational potatoes, if you ask me. To really kick up your motivation, turn to the next column.

 

  • Set a timebomb. Watch any Hollywood action flick and you’ll see that ticking timebombs are the ultimate motivational tool. So forget namby-pamby deadlines, and get yourself a machismo motivator: dynamite, wires and timer.
    Try a DYNAMITE deadline to motivate you.

    Try a DYNAMITE deadline to motivate you.


    You’ll hear that bomb ticking, ticking, TICKING… and you’ll see from the readout that it’s going to EXPLODE in just 3 minutes, 2 seconds and counting. If you don’t want doom, death and destruction, you’d better defuse that time bomb—meaning get your work done—and FAST.
    d

    See? Your pulse is racing already!

  • Get accountable. If you’re a sole practitioner, you might put off your own business projects since no one else will know you’ve postponed them. The solution is to bring in social accountability.
    d
    Consider my example. I team up with Llyane, a fellow entrepreneur in Toronto. We exchange our lists of business goals for the week, and talk each Monday to review how we performed against our previous week’s business goals.
    d
    While this works for me, I suspect it’s too b-o-r-i-n-g for someone as exciting as you. Hop on over to the next column to see what I recommend for you.
  • Get extreme accountability. Forget exchanging goals with business colleagues. You’d do well with Dr. Discipline, Madame Meanie or a really p*ssed off professional wrestler.
    d
    Hiring a professional disciplinarian—I mean, accountability partner–forces you to get your work done… or ouch!

    angry pro wrestler

    A professional meanie ensures productivity.

 

  • Focus with a timer. Close your email, turn off the sound to your phone, shut your office door… and your browser. Set a timer for 15 or 30 or 60 minutes. Then work like your business or job depends on it, because it does.
    w
    Yes, the timer technique works. Thousands of writers and others set timers to  focus on the job at hand.
    w
    But I honestly don’t believe you need a timer. From what I hear, the tip to the right could work magic for you.
  • Extreme focus. You’ll need help for this. Before your spouse  or significant other leaves for work in the morning, have him or her strap you into your desk chair.
    w
    Butt-in-chair is a proven facilitator for getting deskwork done. Once you’re strapped down, simply focus on your work projects. You’ll easily ignore the siren calls of unwashed laundry and errands.
    s
    Important!

    • Don’t think about the four cups of coffee and two glasses of water you drank with breakfast.
    • Definitely don’t think about those jumbo bran muffins you’ve been eating daily.
    • Don’t worry about whether your spouse or significant other will come home on time to release you. He or she will. I’m sure of it. Aren’t you?
    • Don’t concern yourself with the recent annoyances, heated arguments and long-held grievances your beloved has had with you.
      Do not dwell on how angry your spouse was--is?--with you.

      Do not dwell on how angry your spouse was–is?–with you.

      d
      After all, your beloved surely believes in forgiving and…   umm…  what was the next part?

There you go: Follow these tips–proven or extreme–for maximum productivity at home. Enjoy!

Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

What is YOUR top productivity tip?

 

P.S. Want FREE kick-*ss publicity ideas? My new special report, 7 Crucial Factors to Make Your Story Pitch IRRESISTIBLE to Journalists, is yours FREE when you sign up for my expert publicity and killer writing tips.

 

Posted in advice, Business, Humor, Productivity, success, Work, working from home | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Want publicity? Don’t forget this!

Are you interested in getting more publicity for your business or clients?

Then don’t forget the secret ingredient that’s essential to making your story idea irresistible to journalists.

Once you land an interview, this same secret ingredient can infuse your interview with energy, life and vitality.

And that makes your story irresistible to viewers, readers and visitors.

What is this secret ingredient?

Enthusiasm!

The ancient Greeks knew about enthusiasm. The word enthusiasm derives from the Greek words en, which means “in, within,” and theos, which means “god.” So to be enthused, according to the ancient Greeks, is “having the god within.”

Enthusiasm can be contagious

Enthusiasm can make your story idea or interview topic IRRESISTIBLE.

Enthusiasm can make your story idea or interview topic IRRESISTIBLE.

When you’re genuinely enthused about your story idea, a journalist will be all the more interested in what you have to say.

When you are genuinely enthused about your interview topic—whether it’s politics, pie crust or paperclips—your interview will be all the more engaging.

Need convincing? Consider the converse: apathy.

Say you don’t give a toot about your story idea. Why should the journalist you are pitching care if you obviously don’t?

Say you’re not passionate about your interview topic. Why should your viewer, reader or visitor care about what you have to say?

Be enthusiastic!

Emerson said enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success.

Enthusiasm is key to selling your ideas.

Enthusiasm can tip the publicity scales in your favor.

Be sure to let your enthusiasm shine through when you’re pursuing publicity.  It’s an important part of what makes your ideas, your topics and YOU irresistible!

By the way, you can get more publicity ideas in my new special report, 7 Crucial Factors to Make Your Story Pitch IRRESISTIBLE to Journalists. You get it FREE when you sign up for my expert publicity and killer writing tips. 🙂

Your turn

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below:

What are YOU enthusiastic about?

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Posted in advice, Business, enthusiasm, Public relations, publicity, reporters, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Hobbit, Publicity and YOU

Great news for you! Three of the biggest names in show business are ready to help you haul in some FREE publicity. If you’re interested, that is.

I’m talking Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Gollum.

IF you don’t know who I’m talking about AND you’re ready to call in the professionals who will pack me off to the happy place with padded walls, W-A-I-T just a Gollum-darned minute.

Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum are characters who appeared in Peter Jackson’ blockbuster movie renditions of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum will appear again in the upcoming movies based on Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The first Hobbit movie opens in the U.S. on December 14.

Fortunately, I’m not the only Tolkien geek in the world. Millions of us have been waiting and waiting and W-A-I-T-I-N-G to see The Hobbit. Just as there were millions who snapped up tickets for each of The Lord of the Rings movies, who saw the movies multiple times and who dragged–I mean, persuaded–their friends and families to go with them. The Lord of the Rings movies raked in $2.9 billion worldwide.

Journalists and bloggers are covering Hobbit news now because it is hotter than the fires of Mount Doom.

Why not put this hot topic to work for you?

Look for an angle that ties in your business message with an aspect of The Hobbit.

(Note: I am NOT talking about Hobbit-branded cloaks, books, helmets or cupcakes. Those are licensed products. I am talking about publicity angles.)

Step 1. Read the book or watch the movie. Better yet, do both.

Step 2. Get your creative juices flowing. Jot down ideas. How can you tie your business message into a story idea for a journalist?

Here are three ideas to get you started:

If you’re 

Consider a story idea like this

  • An expert on business travel
  • Gandalf’s guide to business travel:  7 wizard-worthy ways to avoid delays and detours
  • An upscale grocer
  • Feeding the hungry hobbits in your life: The must-have items in a well-stocked pantry
  • Offer a limited-time-only gift basket. Include all the food and beverage items found in Bilbo’s “larder” in Chapter 1 of The Hobbit
  • A negotiations consultant
  • 5 Negotiation lessons you can learn from The Hobbit. Common mistakes and tips. How to strike the deal you want.

Step 3. Flesh out your pitch. Have fun with it! Send it to the journalist you’ve targeted. Then be sure to follow up. You just may land publicity for your business. 🙂

You can find more publicity tips in my new special report, 7 Crucial Factors to Make Your Story Pitch IRRESISTIBLE to Journalists. You get it FREE when you sign up for my expert publicity and killer writing tips.

If you already are on my list and didn’t get a copy, email me and I’ll zip one your way.

Go get some great publicity!

Your turn
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment:

  • What new movie are you itching to see?
  • Are you a Hobbit fan… or the friend of someone who is?

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Posted in Humor, Lord of the Rings, Public relations, publicity, The Hobbit, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Publicity tip: Use the OMG! Factor

If you’d like to get more PR glory for your business, then consider the OMG! Factor.

That’s right. The Oh My God! Factor.

Here’s what I mean:

  • What about your business provokes such a powerful reaction that people exclaim OMG! when they hear about it—and then absolutely HAVE to get the whole story?
  • What’s so unusual or astonishing or crazy-sounding about your business, your product or service or YOU that people will be amazed and entertained by learning about it?

This fish made headlines because it of its OMG! Factor in the STINKY SMELL department.

Let me give you an example of how the OMG! Factor snagged a whopper of a media placement:

Have you heard of surströmming, a fermented herring? This rotting fish—er, Swedish delicacy—smells so disgusting that airlines have banned surströmming cans onboard, threatening passengers with a $50,000 fine if one should open in the cabin or cargo bay.

And yet people eat surströmming.

The surströmming story packed such a strong OMG! Factor that it landed on the cover of the Wall Street Journal.

Fortunately, using the OMG! Factor doesn’t have to equal eww. It can be OMG! as in wow!, yum! or A-MAZ-ING!

Your turn
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment:

  • What raises eyebrows about your business?
  • What OMG! Factor can you use to persuade a journalist to cover your story?

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Posted in Business, media coverage, OMG! Factor, Public relations, publicity, reporters, Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment