By: Kate Endress, a special to Overdrive and CEO-cofounder of DITTO.com
Despite the scary statistic that women lead just 8% of venture-backed companies, I believe that there has never been a better time to be a young, female entrepreneur. There are an increasing number of great female role models who serve as inspirations.
New Yorkers are known for their love of black clothes. And folks familiar with Washington, D.C., can attest to the fact that its denizens have an unparalleled affinity for gray. I get it—no doubt, colors like black, navy, and khaki are classics for a reason. But the thing about classics is, when used alone, they can quickly morph from “classic” to “boring.” And if there’s something entrepreneurs don’t want to be known as, it’s boring.
When you sat down to figure out what the difference was between you and your competitors, what did you discover? Be honest. Most of us have not taken the time to think about it. If we have, there is some bad news. In most cases, we have the same apparent benefits as our competitor. However, we should be able to concentrate on 3 to 5 specific things that are different. File these away in your head. They have the potential to drive a wedge between our prospect and our competitor. When we ask assumptive questions that take our company’s strengths for granted, we create a situation where our prospect will discover why we might be a better fit.
Long ago, when I first shared my dream of becoming a professional musician with one of my friends, she knitted her brows and said, “Huh?”The dire warnings she fired off didn’t surprise me. Hey, most of us have had a lifetime filled with this kind of “practical advice.” And I was used to giving up in the face of it. During this fumbling stumbling time, I met a man who became an unlikely best friend and mentor. He was a brilliant jazz musician as well as a self-employed computer programmer. One night, I told him my dream. Without even blinking, he said, “Honey (he always called me Honey), you’d be fabulous. That’s perfect!” And he meant it. At that moment, I felt like flying. I had never experienced such direct and truthful support without a single “practical” warning attached. This friend set me free by offering one simple thing:
As we recover from some tough economic times, more and more people seem to be turning to entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment. I applaud this trend, but caution all of you thinking this direction to approach entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open. It is not for everyone, as the entrepreneur’s path is fraught with challenges.
One of my clients recently returned from the Baptist Leadership Conference, and during his management meeting he was reporting back on his learnings from the conference and what he intended on implementing.
As he ran down the list there was one technique that is so easy to implement and when done effectively, can provide a leadership team with valuable information. The technique is “Rounding with a Purpose,” and I wanted to share it with the Overdrive readers. In essence, it takes the traditional “Management by Walking Around” and develops a structure using questions that are thought out in advance, and that which are based on the current challenges management is facing.
I’ve spent a lot of time studying One-on-Ones (orOOOs as I am wont to call them) in the past few weeks, in both my role as advisor to clients and in thinking about my own management and leadership style. I found two sources of information that I can’t resist sharing because they are concise, persuasive and actionable. I’m hoping that if you’re a leader and you’re reading this post, you can put these two sources to work right away, as I am convinced that OOOs are a very important part of developing and deploying a strategy or significant change effort.
By David Collier, an EO San Francisco member and the director and producer of Studio B Films.
As crazy as it sounds, growing up with dyslexia was a blessing in disguise. At the time, it was often painful and challenging, as there wasn’t really a name for it back then. Consequently, I found myself in classes with kids who had very different, and often more severe, learning disabilities. Even though reading and spelling were a challenge, I knew that I was smart in my own way. And I always felt that I had something to prove to myself and others. What I didn’t know then—and what I realize now—is that I was not alone.
In any period of financial turbulence, opportunities emerge. That’s when companies with vision, foresight and agility can change their fortunes dramatically for the better. That’s where business aviation comes in. From industry giants to independent firms, companies and individuals are realizing that the true cost of a business aircraft is in not having one at all.
Companies around the globe with their own business aircraft are traveling when and where they want to with speed, safety and security. These business aircraft enable busy executives to visit multiple cities in a day; to compress long, wasted hours of commercial air travel into short, intensely productive periods of time; and to bring key prospects to a facility. With the ability to land at 5,000 local airports across the country, business aircraft provide unfettered direct access to virtually any community. You certainly won’t get there easily via airlines, which serve barely 10% of these non-hub locations.