Posted by: The Global Ripple | July 2, 2012

Frugal Innovation for entrepreneurs

In today’s complex global markets, innovation is critical. HBR’s blog post covers something all entrepreneurs in the developing world have known for years – Fast, Flexible, and Frugal Innovation is key.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and LeadershipWise.

Frugal Innovation: Lessons from Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Renault-Nissan

by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja on the Harvard Business Review Blog.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 30, 2012

“An Interview With God” – I stand corrected…

Several years ago, I re-posted a blog titled, “What surprises the Dalai Lama most about humanity”. It was a very powerful and popular message. Unfortunately, I just found out the quote was not from the Dalai Lama. Further research strongly suggests the original message was penned by the late James (Jim) Brown – pen name James J. Lachard.

I sent an email apology to the Dalai Lama and asked for his forgiveness. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t work for the late Jim Brown.

It gets stranger… As the story goes, Jim’s “Interview With God” submission to publishers leaked out. Web designer Reata Strickland came across an anonymous version of “Interview With God” and posted it on a local Alabama church website in May of 2001. From there, the internet took over and the rest is history. Reata Strickland later published “An Interview With God”, but she did so as the editor. She makes no claims to be the original “anonymous writer”. In 2002, Publishers Weekly asked the real author to step forward.

Before his death, Jim found out his unpublished work was circulating over the internet. While not thrilled, he reportedly said “If God can use it, then so be it”.

I felt the best tribute and apology to Jim would be to share what is said to be his original submission to the publishers. Learn more about the late Jim Brown here.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and LeadershipWise

I dreamed I had an interview with God.

“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.

“If you have the time”, I said … God Smiled.

“My time is eternity, … what questions do you have in mind for me?”

“What surprises you most about humankind?” …

God answered.

“That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up and then long to be children again”

“That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.”

“That by thinking anxiously about the future, that they forget the present, such that they live neither in the present or the future.”

“That they live as if they will never die and die as if they had never lived.”

God’s hand took mine and we were silent for a while.  And then I asked.
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons that you want your children to learn?”

God replied with a smile.

“To learn they cannot make anyone love them, what they can do is let themselves be loved.”

“To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to other.”

“To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.”

“To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love and it takes many years to heal them.”

“To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.”

“To learn that there are persons who love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.”

“To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it differently.”

‘To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they must forgive themselves.”

“And to learn that I am here … ALWAYS.” 

James J. Lachard (Jim Brown)

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 27, 2012

What should HR focus on to help drive high performance companies?

ImageThis morning, I read a LInkedIn post titled “Why HR doesn’t get it”. I get the value of a shock headline in generating readers, but perhaps it makes sense to ask what HR should focus on. A quick story on that topic…

Early in my career, I migrated from a Fortune 500 OD team to join a start-up as the head of HR (I was the 3rd person hired – a big title for a 3 person company). I was filled with great theory and eager to apply it to the new business. After sharing the wonderful things I would do for the company, the CEO pulled me aside and gave me the best HR advice I ever received (paraphrased).

“… Martin, HR is critical to our company’s success and your role is crystal clear. 1. Find the best people for today and the future. 2. Help create a fun, highly collaborative organization where everyone knows where we are going and engage highly-trained employees in determining how we get there. 3. Build a diverse workforce and create diverse teams to improve our decision-making. 4. Never forget that our leadership team serves the people in the organization, removing barriers to individual, team, and organization success. 5. Help get our people and organization adept at change and ready for the future. 6. Never pull out another OD theory unless it applies to one of the things I just mentioned….”

A short time later, we had grown from 3 people to a high performing family of 3,600. We had an 85% market share and were extraordinarily profitable. My CEO was onto something. Not only does HR have to get it, “getting it” is a lot of fun. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It is only one perspective after all. What is your perspective?

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and LeadershipWise.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 26, 2012

Thanks to you, we just hit 60,000 Blog Readers in over 165 countries

ImageThanks to all of you, people are reading about us in over 165 countries around the planet.

Okay, so I don’t have any proof that the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama are talking about us, but chances are we are aligned around the same topic – transforming the way our planet works.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and LeadershipWise

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 25, 2012

How to manage natural leaders without alienating them

Managing natural leaders can be both exhilarating and extremely taxing. For the natural leaders among you, keep that taxing tidbit in mind when you see your manager about to lose it.

How to manage natural leaders – by Liza Baron with Silicon Beach Training

Martin Fox with LeadershipWise and the Center for Global Leadership

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 25, 2012

How to manage natural leaders without alienating them

Managing natural leaders can be both exhilarating and extremely taxing at times. For the natural leaders among you, this is equally important to keep in mind as you serve in follower roles as well..

How to manage natural leaders – by Liza Baron with Silicon Beach Training

Martin Fox with LeadershipWise and the Center for Global Leadership

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 22, 2012

Is Change Readiness the New Change Leadership?

The following blog was written by Torben Rick – a change expert living in Hamburg, Germany. Torben’s thoughts are backed up by empirical research studies I’ve been playing with for the past year.

Is Change Readiness the New Change Leadership?

Enjoy – Martin Fox with LeadershipWise and the Center for Global Leadership

Entrepreneurs are amazingly passionate about their ventures. While passion is critical, you have to genuinely connect with people to be successful. I’m interested in your thoughts on pillar #5. Where is the fine line between persistence and cyber stalking?

The 7 Pillars of connecting with absolutely anyone by Scott Dinsmore via Forbes Online.

Martin Fox with LeadershipWise and the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 19, 2012

The Fine Line Between Focus and Myopia

This is a brilliant read for my young entrepreneur and “young company” friends around the world. Whether you are a social entrepreneur, environmental entrepreneur, or for profit entrepreneur, you need to understand how to balance the fine line between short-term focus and long-term vision.

From the great and wonderful Dharmesh at OnStartups.com.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and LeadershipWise – accelerating the global ripple.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 12, 2012

“Just Authority” and the Follower Problem in the USA

This one goes out to all of my visionary friends & clients. The New York Times’ David Brooks explores the issue of “Just Authority”, dealing with the fact we are not all equal, the problem with today’s bad followers, and how to suck it up and learn from those who are better than us. While I don’t always agree with David Brooks, I find his opinions well formed and thought provoking.

We can all learn from David’s message, whether we are social entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, and everything in between.

The Follower Problem

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 11, 2012

The Center for Global Leadership passes 59,000 readers.

Wahoooooo – we just had our 59,000th blog reader! Thank you so much for your support.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 7, 2012

Charisma is not enough – great leaders also have to execute

Charisma is great, but without execution skills, charismatic leaders just end up with unrealized dreams. Enjoy this Inc. article by Cornell Professor Sam Bacharach – one of our own.

Charisma is not enough – great leaders also have to execute.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 6, 2012

What it’s like to be the CEO of a startup

This one goes out to my entrepreneur friends around the world – the for profit entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, environmental entrepreneurs, artist entrepreneurs, and more. I love all of you and you need to read this message – it was written for us, by one of us.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple.

What It Feels Like To Be The CEO Of A Startup – Shared with permission from Paul DeJoe, founder at Ecquire and EIR at Fairbridge Venture Partners.

It’s very tough to sleep most nights of the week. Weekends don’t mean anything to you anymore. Closing a round of financing is not a relief. It means more people are depending on you to turn their investment into 20 times what they gave you.

It’s very difficult to “turn it off”. But at the same time, television, movies and vacations become so boring to you when your company’s future might be sitting in your inbox or in the results of a new A/B test you decided to run.

You feel guilty when you’re doing something you like doing outside of the company. Only through years of wrestling with this internal fight do you recognize how the word “balance” is an art that is just as important as any other skill set you could ever hope to have. You begin to see how valuable creativity is and that you must think differently to see the biggest opportunities. You recognize you get your best ideas when you’re not staring at a screen. You see immediate returns on healthy distractions.

You start to respect the Duck. Paddle like hell under the water and be smooth and calm on top where others can see. You learn the hard way that if you lose your cool you lose.

You always ask yourself if I am changing the World in a good way? Are people’s lives better for having known me?

You are creative and when you have an idea it has no filter before it becomes a reality. This feeling is why you can’t do anything else.

You start to see that the word “entrepreneur” is a personality. It’s difficult to talk to your friends that are not risking the same things you are because they are content with not pushing themselves or putting it all out there in the public with the likelihood of failure staring at them everyday. You start to turn a lot of your conversations with relatives into how they might exploit opportunities for profit. Those close to you will view your focus as something completely different because they don’t understand. You don’t blame them. They can’t understand if they haven’t done it themselves. It’s why you will gravitate towards other entrepreneurs. You will find reward in helping other entrepreneurs.

Your job is to create a vision, a culture, to get the right people on the bus and to inspire. When you look around at a team that believes in the vision as much as you do and trusts you will do the right thing all the time, it’s a feeling that can’t be explained. The exponential productivity from great people will always amaze you. It’s why finding the right team is the most difficult thing you will do, but the most important. This learning will affect your life significantly. You will not settle for things anymore because you will see what is possible when you hold out for the best and push to find people that are the best. You don’t have a problem anymore being honest with people about not cutting it.

You see that you’re a leader. You have to lead or you can’t be involved with it at all. You turn down acquisition offers because you need to run the show and you feel like your team is the best in the World. Quitting is not an option.

You have to be willing to sleep in your car and laugh about it. You have to be able to laugh at many things because when you think of the worse things in the World that could happen to your company, they will happen. Imagine working for something for years and then have to throw it out completely because you see in one day that it’s wrong. You realize that if your team is having fun and can always laugh that you won’t die, and in fact, the opposite will happen: you will learn to love the journey and look forward to what you do everyday even at the lowest times. You’ll learn not to get too low when things are bad and not to get too high when things are good and you’ll even give that advice. But you’ll never take it because being in the middle all the time isn’t exciting and an even keel is never worth missing out on something worth celebrating. You’ll become addicted to finding the hardest challenges because there’s a direct relationship between how difficult something is and the euphoria of a feeling when you do the impossible.

You realize that it’s much more fun when you didn’t have money and that money might be the worse thing you could have as a personal goal. If you’re lucky enough to genuinely feel this way, it is a surreal feeling that is the closest thing to peace because you realize it’s the challenges and the work that you love. Your currencies are freedom, autonomy, responsibility and recognition. Those happen to be the same currencies of the people you want around you.

You feel like a parent to your customers in that they will never realize how much you love them and it is they who validate you are not crazy. You want to hug every one of them. They mean the World to you.

As an entrepreneur, you learn the most about yourself – more than any other vocation. You learn what you do when you get punched in the face many times. You learn what you do when no one is looking and when no one would find out. You learn that you are bad at many things – lucky if you’re good at a handful of things and the only thing you can ever be great at is being yourself, which is why you can never compromise it. You learn how power and recognition can be addicting and see how it could corrupt so many.

You become incredibly grateful for the times that were going as bad as they possibly could. Most people won’t get to see this in any other calling. When things are really bad, there are people who come running to help and don’t think twice about it. I will forever be in their debt and I could never repay them nor would they want or expect to be repaid.

You begin to realize that in life, the luckiest people in the World only get one shot at being a part of something great. Knowing this helps you make sense of your commitment.

Of all the things said though, it’s exciting. Every day is different and so exciting. Even when it’s bad it’s exciting. Knowing that your decisions will not only affect you but many others is a weight that I would rather have any day than the weight of not controlling my future. That’s why I could not do anything else.

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 5, 2012

What to do if you hate selling.

Okay, I’m not someone who loves selling products people don’t want, but that’s the point – you shouldn’t be selling things people don’t want.

In today’s blog, Geoffrey James from Inc. helps you reframe the way you look at selling. Good stuff, especially for my entrepreneur friends.

What to do if you hate selling.

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple

Posted by: The Global Ripple | June 4, 2012

Women far outpacing men in obtaining bachelors degrees.

As the father of two amazing and powerful daughters, I’m all about removing barriers, equalizing the playing field for all. I hope the answer to our future is harnessing the collaborative power between individuals of all groups, without one group ruling over another. That’s how complex adaptive systems thrive.

Why Women Will Rule The Economy of the Future – by Jordan Weissman with The Atlantic.

Happy Monday everyone,

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership – accelerating the global ripple.

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