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Author: Dave Tabor

Reminder That Hands Free the Mind

I’ve written about this before in “Pies Make Me a Better Man” (2017) – a post that had hundreds of shares.

My recent visit with Don Egan, President of Sturgeon Electric, made me think of this topic again.  I noticed some beautiful epoxy surfaced tables in Don’s office and Don said he’d made them.  He explained that his summer passion is riding his Harley, and he wanted something to do with his hands during the winter months.  He’d discovered that doing woodwork relaxes his mind and makes him a better leader.  That made me consider my hobby: podcasting, which I love – and does not relax my mind.  I realized that I need to spend more time immersed in a hobby that both refreshes my mind and yields a product that feels gratifying.

Does a Nice Leader Make a Good Culture?

The most recent ProCO360 podcast episode is called “Deliberate Culture,” and was recorded with a LIVE audience watching and listening to the leaders of four Colorado companies known for having a positive culture. Recognizing that we’re in a massively competitive talent war, I wanted to explore what leaders DELIBERATELY do that creates and maintains a culture that is far superior to what might be typical (even good) in their industries.

All these people are passionate about their team members, they all seem like great leaders to work for. So how automatic is it when there’s a caring leader to have a positive culture? Here is a synthesized sample from each of the leaders I interviewed…

Anthony Lambatos, “The Coach,” Footers Catering

Alejandra Harvey, CEO of Tendit Group: “When we form a strong culture, we attract those who share our values.”

Mary Moore-Simmons, VP Engineering of AgentSync: “Difficult problems tend to be culture issues, and it’s important to include middle management in culture.”

Bill Graebel, CEO of Graebel Companies: “Seeing a new problem? Start by looking for where there is an absence of love, truth, or integrity.”

Anthony Lambatos, The Coach of Footers Catering: “Build a culture that embraces what’s HARD because accomplishing difficult things together in a fun way is the work people feel is most gratifying.”

Back to the original question: is a good culture what you get when you have a kind leader?  It’s way more DELIBERATE than that.

Brand is Still About Customer Success

Peloton’s New Fitness Challenge

In my perception, Peloton has built one of the most admired high-end consumer brands ever.  Its users have been described as a “cult.” I’m a proud and concerned member.

Wall Street demands growth and to please investors, public company Peloton has been talking as much about how it can return to growth and profitability as it does about its customers.  Peloton got tripped up during Covid –Peloton struggled to meet surging demand and keep market share, investing a fortune in ramping up capacity and logistics.  It seems obvious now (and maybe should have then), that demand would ease when life as we knew it returned.

It’s the choice about the BRAND of Peloton that, as a member, concerns me.  Peloton leadership is weakening my connection with the brand by talking about money over the mission.  I know, I know: I’m naïve – but I want to keep loving Peloton.  I want its leaders to tell Wall Street: “We made some expensive mistakes as we tried to serve everyone who needed us.  Ultimately, we’re here for our members – to the extent members use and rely on our products to improve their lives, Peloton will be successful.  That’s what we’re focused on.”  Customer success before investors.

#Peloton

The Marketing Blunder That Makes My Head Explode

What’s critical to a SELLER in a competitive market?  DIFFERENTIATION that a customer recognizes.   

What do many companies do poorly?  Help a customer understand what makes them different.   

As I search for guests for the ProCO360 podcast, I look for COMPELLING DIFFERENTIATION – that’s what is intriguing and critical their success.  Campminder – software for camps.  AgentSync – software that solves a painful problem for the insurance industry.  Sheets & Giggles – bedding for the environmentally conscience who love humor.  Nite Ize – reliable, simple tools that solve everyday problems.   

Here’s a screenshot from a PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM’s website: 

In case you can’t see it, this PR firm touts five ways it is different:  Industry Veterans, Distinct Expertise: Healthcare and Health IT, Award-Winning, Traditional & New Media, Engagement in Your Success. FOUR of these ANY AND EVERY OTHER FIRM says.   

Industry Veterans – every other firm.  Award-winning – they all are.  Traditional and New Media – everyone still in business.  Engagement in your success – anyone not say that?   

Of the five above, REALLY ONLY ONE is a differentiator: Healthcare and Health IT focus.  This is what I think the content of the page should contain, in a visually effective way: 

If this firm really DOES focus on Healthcare and Health IT, then an unambiguous variation of this focus will work better.  For those of you who are also fans of Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand, you’ll notice a bit of his “the Customer is the Hero” philosophy too in the line I wrote: “Out clients make the world better through…” 

Not sure if the saying “there’s no such thing as bad PR” holds true here – but I’ve withheld the name of the firm.  We need to be brave enough to carve out a niche and then scream it to the world. 

My Vacation, Their Trip of a Lifetime

Returning from a relaxing vacation to Costa Rica, I noticed this group.  “Wow, that’s a lot of luggage,” I thought, before realizing that this was a group of people immigrating to the U.S. (from Somalia) – this was everything they had. I was struck by the contrast of our travels, feeling very fortunate for the cards I’ve been dealt and wishing them better lives going forward. 

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