Communication

5 lessons from $5 Footlongs

December 11, 2009

You’d think it would have been easy for Miami Subway franchise owner Stuart Frankel to win everyone over to the $5 Footlong, right? Not so fast, my friends. Even though he was raking in the dough, Frankel had to work hard to convince the top brass at Subway that the $5 Footlong was the way to go. Here are five lessons for anyone who is trying to convince senior leadership to take a good idea and run with it.

Unwonk your mission statement

December 11, 2009

Mission statements can be valuable if they articulate real targets. Otherwise, they sound too much like a corporate Hallmark card. Consider Microsoft’s big goal of “A computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software.” Or Amazon’s goal for the Kindle: “Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.” Both statements do something crucial: They quantify the goal.

How Franklin planted seeds of his message

December 11, 2009

Everyone knows that Ben Franklin was an inventor and a statesman. Not everyone knows that he was an innovative farmer. When Franklin tried to persuade his neighbors one spring to spread plaster among their seeds to yield a better crop, the neighbors scoffed. Then, he sent them a message …

You’ll win every game of ‘chicken’

December 1, 2006
If you want to win a negotiation, your threats to walk away have to be credible; making empty threats will only turn your whole team into losers. Here are five ways to reinforce your credibility while demanding more:

Keep your mitts off their projects

April 1, 2006
People micromanage because they’re afraid. The better course: Notice when you start intervening in ways that make you wonder, “Is this my job?” or “Shouldn’t our staff do that?”

Dealing with ideas you just can’t use

July 1, 2005
The hard part of leading a creative team is deflecting ideas that are unrealistic, undeveloped or “not ready for prime time.” Take these critical steps.

When an employee loses control at work

July 1, 2005
Tempers flare all the time in the workplace, and managers need to know how to quickly calm down employees whose anger gets out of hand. Here’s a step-by-step strategy you can use:

When negotiating, take the right side

December 1, 2004
In high-stakes negotiations, sitting across the table from your opponents ends the signal that you are enemies, not collaborators who are looking for solutions that meet both your needs.

Hold a waffler accountable

September 1, 1997
Wafflers constantly change their minds and give wishy-washy answers to even the most simple fact-finding questions. To hold a waffler accountable, try these techniques.