Larry Winget has written a manifesto called You are Being Lied To and Other Truths over at ChangeThis. It is time well spent to read the dozen pages. Larry writes this about himself:
All I am really an expert at is being stupid and learning from it….I have become an expert at not making the same mistake twice, and learning from every stupid thing I have ever done.
I have read many bestseller business books over the years and I do agree with Larry:
There are simply no secrets. When you see the word “secret” you should run! And when you hear that someone has a brand new concept for how to be successful, beware. You don’t need anything brand new; you need to go back to the old and simple stuff that makes sense.
Instead of 500 books about the secrets of customer service, try this: Be nice. Say thank you. A secret? I hope not. Isn’t that all you are looking for in a transaction?
Instead of 600 books on the secrets of selling, try this: Ask. Just ask people to buy. Ask, ask, ask, ask, and ask. Become a master asker.
Instead of 700 books about the secrets of leadership, try this: lead. Get out in front of people and give them something to follow.
Larry ends his manifesto with Larry´s Truths about Business
+ Attitude doesn’t matter.
+ Who cares if your employees are happy?
+ You don’t have to love your job—but it helps.
+ Not firing people is a cancer on your business.
+ Do the right thing no matter what.
When it comes to knowing if something is the right or wrong thing, simply trust your instinct. Larry puts it like this: “If you have to ask, it’s the wrong thing”.
A Japanese Company and a California Company decided to have a canoe race on the Columbia River. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. Afterwards, the California team became very discouraged and depressed. The management of the California company decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A “Measurement Team” made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.
Their conclusion was that the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the Californians had 1 person rowing and 8 people steering. The Management of the California company hired a consulting company and paid them incredible amounts of money. They advised that too many people were steering the boat and not enough people were rowing. To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.
They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the “Rowing Team Quality First Program”, with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. “We must give the rower empowerment and enrichment through this quality program.”
The next year the Japanese won by 2 miles. Humiliated, the management of the California company laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles and canceled all capital investments for new equipment.
Then they used the money saved by giving a High Performance Award to the steering managers and distributed the rest of the money as bonuses to the senior executives.
You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, “I’m fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Direct Marketing.
You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, “She’s fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Advertising.
You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Telemarketing.
You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. You get up and to straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, “May I,” and reach up to straighten his tie brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Public Relations.
You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Brand Recognition.
You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. You talk him into going home with your friend.
— That’s a Sales Rep.
Your friend can’t satisfy him so she calls you.
— That’s Tech Support.
You’re on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you’re passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated toward the center and shout at the top of your lungs, “I’m fantastic in bed!”
— That’s Spam.
I found a very interesting document over at ChangeThis, Lessons from a Starfish World written by .
Such seemingly dissimilar groups as the Apache Indians, music swapping programs, Wikipedia, Alcoholics Anonymous and Al Queda have one thing in common: they are all starfish. According to Brafman and Beckstrom, each of these resilient groups succeeds because they are absent any hierarchy (head) and conventional organizations (spiders) best watch their backs.
I like this phrase in their text: Size matters. There is power in being small.
Lesson to learn: small and agile organizations can beat the big guys.
Update May 1, 2007.
Jason Alba has posted Book Review: The Starfish and the Spider.
Update April 7, 2008.
I have written a book review at The Starfish and the Spider.
This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.