5 Days to Compose
45 Years to Prepare

In Natal (Brazil) I decided for the first time in a long time not to use slides for my 90-minute presentation—the client was apparently happy, said my direct contact with the audience was even more intense than usual.

Upon getting home, I decided to transfer my notes to a 1-page word doc. Fact is, it has taken the better part of 5 days (and nights!) to get this 1-pager, which became a 2-pager, but no more, into a form that I can call (for now) final.

Somewhere along the agonizing way I discovered that, in a way, I was attempting to summarize the last 45 years' effort observing good and bad organizations into, yes ... 2 pages.

Have I succeeded? Of course not, but it ain't bad. You will find it here as a blog post; far more important (to me) is the 2-page "EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always." pdf that you'll also find.

45 years to prepare.
5 days and nights to write.
2-page product.

All yours ...

EXCELLENCE. Now.
EXCELLENCE. Always.

1. People first, second, third, fourth ... /The "business" of leaders is people: to inspire/engage/provide a trajectory of opportunity—enterprise of every size and type as "cathedral" for human development. "When I hire someone, that's when I go to work for them."—John DiJulius
1A. Customer comes 2nd/If you want to best "Wow!" customers then you must first Wow! those who serve the customers/"If you want staff to give great service, give great service to staff."—Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's/"You have to treat your employees like customers."—Herb Kelleher, on his #1 "secret to success"
1B. Manager's sole raison d'etre: Make each of my team members successful!
1C. Effective organizations: No bit players!
1D. Appreciation. Acknowledgement. "The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated."—Believe it! A few kind words are often remembered for years!
1E. 1st line supervisors. Every organization's ... most important ... leadership cadre. Productivity is largely determined by the caliber of the 1st line boss. Selection and development of your "sergeants" must become an "obsession"—almost all do a half-assed job.
1F. Weird/There are no "normals" in the history books!/Ensure a healthy supply of oddballs/
Diversity of every flavor = Fresh perspectives! Better decisions!
1G. Memories That Matter. And Don't./"People stuff" sticks with you: You'll look back on the handful of people you developed who proceeded to change the world—and the multitude (if you've earned it) who say, "I grew most when I worked with you." Ever seen a tombstone engraved with the deceased's net worth?

2. You/me: Businesses no longer coddle. You're in charge!/"Brand you"—stand out for something valuable, or else; learn something new every day, or else!/"Distinct or Extinct!"

3. Organizations Exist to Serve. PERIOD.

4. EXECUTION/"Don't forget to tuck the shower curtain into the bath tub."—Conrad Hilton on his "sweat the details" obsession and #1 "success secret"/"Execution is strategy."—Fred Malek/
"Execution is the leader's job #1."—Larry Bossidy
4A. "They do ... ONE big thing at a time."—Drucker on successful managers' #1 trait
4B. Resilience circa 2011: Understand it. Hire for it. Promote for it. Obsess on it.

5. MBWA/Managing By Wandering Around/
Starbucks' Schultz visits 25 stores a week/"In touch" is "not optional"/You = Your calendar/Calendars never lie!
5A. Listening per se = Candidate for Core Value #1/
Listening per se is a profession./"If you don't listen, you don't sell anything."/Docs interrupt patients after ... 18 seconds. And you?
5B. "What do you think?" "How can I help?"—MBWA 8/Eight words, repeated like a mantra while "wandering around," that unlock engagement/success for multitudes.
5C. Innovate by "Hanging out"/"You are what you eat."/"You will become like the five people you associate with the most—a blessing or a curse."/Want "cool"? Expose yourself to cool!/Manage "hanging out" zealously-formally—with customers, interesting outsiders, etc.
5D. K = R = P (Kindness = Repeat business = Profit.) "Hard is soft. Soft is hard."—#1 finding In Search of Excellence. Kindness is "hard"—and pays off in $$$$.
5E. Apology Power—Awesome power: 3-minute "I'm sorry" call heals anything—do it religiously!/"Over-the-top" response to even small booboo strengthens customer relationships!

6. "Little BIG Things"/Focus on "multipliers": Walmart goes to big shopping cart = +50% "big stuff" sales boost!/"Wash your Hands"—save thousands of lives P.A. in hospitals!
6A. "Little BIG Things": SMEs bedrock of all economies. Nurture them. SME's battle cry per George Whalin: "Be the best. It's the only market that's not crowded."

7. Apple > Exxon in market cap courtesy ... DESIGN!/The big "Duh": "Cool beats un- cool!"/Design candidate for "best way to differentiate goods-services in competitive markets."
7A. TGRs/Things Gone Right. Wagon Wheel restaurant, Gill MA—clean restroom with fresh flowers—we remember such touches more or less forever/Manage-measure TGRs.
7B. Scintillating Experiences. Howard Schultz on Starbucks: "At our core, we're a coffee company, but the opportunity we have to extend the brand is beyond coffee; it's entertainment."

8. WOMEN Buy! WOMEN Rule! WOMEN's World! Women buy 80% of everything—$28T world market/"Why Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl"—e.g., studies harder-holds longer-less frenzied buying and selling/Women's leadership style fits 21st century less-hierarchical enterprise./Evidence clear—Women well on the way to 21st century economic domination! Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at UN: "the century of women."

9. Web-Social Media/"Everyone becomes our valued partner, a member of our community—and watchdog"/The Power of Co-creation—my "Top Biz Book 2010"/SM lynchpin of transformative strategy—for organizations of every shape and size!

10. Value added via transformation from "Customer satisfaction" to "Customer success"—huge difference-opportunity!/E.g., IBM Global Services, from afterthought to $60B/UPS Logistics/MasterCard Advisors/IDEO, help clients create "culture of innovation"/"The Geek Squad"—BestBuy's #1 strategic point of differentiation.

11. Innovation "secret" #1: "Most tries wins."/"A Bias for Action"—excellence trait #1, In Search of Excellence/"Ready. Fire! Aim."—Ross Perot/"Instead of trying to figure out the best way to do something and sticking to it, just try out an approach and keep fixing it."—Bert Rutan/"You miss 100% of the shots you never take."—Wayne Gretzky
11A. Try a lot = Fail a lot/"Fail. Forward. Fast."/"Fail faster, succeed sooner"—David Kelley/"Reward excellent failures, punish mediocre successes."/
Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins
—Richard Farson

12. Live WOW!/Zappos creed ... "WOW Customers"/eBay 14,000 employees, Amazon 20,000 employees, Craig's List 30 employees: regardless of issue, Where's your "Wild and Wooly Craig's List Option"?/Final point in superstar adman Kevin Roberts' Credo: "Avoid moderation!"

13. EXCELLENCE is a personal choice ... not an institutional choice!
EXCELLENCE is not an "aspiration"—it's the next five minutes!

13A. EXCELLENCE. Always. If not EXCELLENCE, What?
If not EXCELLENCE Now, When?