Archive for 'meeting'

Okay, the NCAA Final is over, and Florida has repeated as Champions. Now everyone in the Bluegrass State is all fired up thinking Billy Donovan will become the head coach of the Cayuts (purposely spelled like that to inject the twang). First off, it should be noted that I’m a huge Louisville fan and not the least bit a UK fan, but there is always an interest in what the rival is up to as that’s a “competitive intelligence” issue. Much like a good business, we sports fans keep up with the landscape.

Anyway, I just don’t see what Billy Donovan would have to gain by switching jobs after winning back-to-back titles at a school he’s put on the map basketball wise. Yes, it’s a football first school, and it will be for quite some time, but there are many benefits to being a coach at a school where you can set the standard versus the standard already being set for you to meet it. The bar at Kentucky is unrealistically high, and ANY coach walking into that pressure pit is going to have a tough time meeting those lofty expectations. The more they pay someone, which is apparently the biggest lure, the quicker they are going to be expected to produce. Nobody can convince me that the Wildcat faithful will be okay “mailing it in” next year even if they do land their top choice as a coach.

The Kentucky cupboard isn’t stocked next year, and the job simply isn’t as good as it used to be. They just ran off a guy that won almost 80% of his games including a championship. Whomever they get is going to have to thump the recruiting trail immediately to salvage even a mediocre class next year. Sure, Donovan would have some loyal recruits follow him IF he takes the job, but why uproot your family for a job that you’ll never totally complete? If he wins one title, they’ll want two. If he wins two, they’ll want three. It’ll never end, and there is zero tolerance for a title one year and a slip back to the Sweet 16 the next year. It’s Final Four or bust every single season, and that’s damn near impossible to achieve. He just did it at Florida, and there are no guarantees it can be done again even with facilities and tons of money flowing in.

This doesn’t even take into account that his four key players on his current team COULD return for their Senior seasons. At least one or two could, and that could make his team in Florida next year, with the addition of one or two key recruits, better than anything he’ll have at UK for three or four years. Why rebuild when you’ve already built something special? Why coach in someone’s shadow? Why try to climb the hill when you’re already at the top of the thing?

I think back to when John Wooden retired from UCLA, and Denny Crum was rumored to be the no-brainer replacement much like Donovan is now for Kentucky. Crum has publicly stated that he had a tough time saying no, but he believes it was the right decision and everything worked out nicely in the end. He was building a great program that had his finger prints all over it, and he’s now a legend in Louisville. Donovan is in a very similar situation–a former assistant coach which has done great things at a perceived lesser basketball school and is going to be offered a lot of money to return and restore the program to glory. The problem for Crum back then and Donovan today is the high standard was already set long before the offer. Taking over the program would be a losing proposition in spite of the monetary compensation. One other caveat–Crum graduated from UCLA; Donovan from Providence so his ties to UK aren’t as strong as Crum’s were to UCLA. It’s harder to turn down the alma mater more often than not, but Crum did it, and now he has his name on the court here. Donovan could have his name on the court, arena, streets leading into the arena, buildings on campus, etc. Whatever he wants his legacy to be could be achieved much easier at Florida than UK. He’s already 75% there today! His checking account might be fatter down the road at UK, but could he truly be happy living in the UK fishbowl? In the end, that’s the $4M question.

My bet is he stays put in Florida and further builds his coaching legacy to Hall of Fame status.

By Seth Godin

Optimism is a key to success, but it doesn’t necessarily work so well when it comes to VC. Because this is a cottage industry with thousands of players, all with different objectives, it’s very easy to keep knocking on doors, just waiting to find the right match. It’s also easy to spend a year or more adjusting your business to what each VC asks for (“bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch!” while you could have been out there building a real organization.)

Here are a bunch of conditions that you ought to take seriously before you invest the time and the energy to track down outside money for your great idea:

  1. Investors like to invest in categories they’ve already invested in. If your business is so new that it’s never been tested before, or is in a category VCs hate, think twice.
  2. Investors want you to sell out. As soon as possible. For as much as possible. They have no desire to own part of your company forever.
  3. Investors want to invest in a project that’s tested. If you can’t make it work in the ‘small’, why do you think it’ll work when it’s big?
  4. Being a little better than the market leader is worthless.
  5. Investors don’t want you to use their money to cover your losses. They want you to build an asset (a patent, an audience, channel relationships) that’s actually worth something.
  6. Investors want someone to run your company who has successfully run a company before.
  7. Investors want to be able to come to one of your board meetings and still make it home in time for dinner.
  8. VCs like curves more than they like cliffs.
  9. There are actually very very few business problems that can be solved with money.
  10. You will probably have to replace many of your employees if you raise money from someone.
  11. VCs understand that being the best in the world (#1) is the place with the biggest rewards, so it’s unlikely they will settle for any performance (even a profitable one) that puts you in second or third place.
  12. VCs are very smart and very connected, but they’re smart enough to know that their connections and their insights can’t fix a broken business.
  13. Investors are very focused on the company, not you. They’re not interested in having you take out your original investment or paying you a large salary as profits go up.
  14. Business plans are bogus. The act of writing one is critical, but no one is going to read more than three pages of what you write before they make a decision.
  15. The companies that VCs most want to invest in are the companies that don’t need their investment to survive.

by Glenn Ebersole

Strategic planning is an awesome and powerful process that sometimes gets a bad rap because of some bad experiences people have had when engaging in some form of strategic planning meetings. Many times the combination of personal agendas, absence of open minds, and preconceived judgments about the strategic planning process can turn strategic planning meetings into real disasters. And frankly, there are many reasons why so many strategic planning meetings are unsuccessful. Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach has developed a list of the top 10 reasons why strategic planning meetings fail. And the Top Ten Reasons are:

# 1. Restricting strategic planning to once a year at some annual event. Strategic planning must become a habit to enhance the performance of your company or organization.

#2. Failing to conduct research or “to do your homework” prior to strategic planning meetings. For strategic planning meetings to be effective, the attendees must have information to make sound strategic decisions.

#3. Developing such an overly ambitious agenda with insufficient time to complete. This will cause frustration among the attendees and may also cause mental fatigue and loss of interest.

#4. Inviting too many people to your strategic planning meeting. If there are too many people, there is a possibility of confusion.

# 5. Assuming that everyone at your strategic planning meeting thinks like the leader of the meeting. A good leader will know that this is not true and will not structure the meeting to their preferences.

#6. Failing to use an effective professional facilitator. The absence of an effective facilitator is an invitation to a dysfunctional or failed meeting.

#7. Having too tight a structure for the strategic planning meeting. It is essential to build in some fun, games and breaks.

#8. Failing to identify and address issues before moving on and/or before the meeting itself. A good leader will make sure issues are cleaned up so they do not negatively impact the strategic planning meeting.

# 9. Ending your meeting without a commitment from the attendees about the new strategic direction. And also failing to end the meeting on a very positive note.

#10. Totally ignoring needed follow-up after the meeting. A fatal mistake is underestimating the amount of effort it takes to execute the developed strategic plan.

I trust that I have provided some insightful information about the reasons strategic planning meetings fail. If you would like to learn how to ensure that your strategic planning meetings and related efforts will not fail, and how strategic planning can benefit you and your business or organization, please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his website at or by email at

Glenn Ebersole, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of business coaching, marketing, public relations, management, strategic planning and engineering. Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of two Lancaster, PA based consulting practices: The Renaissance Group, a creative marketing, public relations, strategic planning and business development consulting firm and J. G. Ebersole Associates, an independent professional engineering, marketing, and management consulting firm. He is a Certified Facilitator and serves as a business coach and a strategic planning facilitator and consultant to a diverse list of clients. Glenn is also the author of a monthly newsletter, “Glenn’s Guiding Lines – Thoughts From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach” and has published more than 225 articles on business.

To find out more about the benefits & rewards of effectively working with a strategic thinking business coach, please contact Glenn Ebersole through his web site at or

How to Exit a Job

By Michael Wade

There are three common mistakes that people make when leaving organizations; one is merely an inconvenience but the others can harm a career.

The minor mistake is giving too much notice. In most instances, the departing executive or manager who gives more than a month’s notice is going to find how quickly he or she is transformed into a lame duck. Communication dries up, fewer meetings are booked, and people soon begin to give those “Are you still here?” looks.

A more serious mistake is giving too little notice. The problem with this approach is it sows rumors that the departure was less than voluntary. This is compounded if the person fails to send out a farewell notice or permits the employer to issue a cryptic, “Samuel has decided to explore other career options” message. For many skeptics, “other career options” means a park bench.

The most serious mistake is to burn bridges. It may be very tempting to leave with a loud blast at the trolls and weasels who’ve made your life miserable, but the mysterious ways of life may someday cause you to need those people. Furthermore, leaving in such a manner is unseemly and prone to make outsiders suspect that there was something wrong with you, not the malefactors.

Circumstances may demand otherwise, but as a general rule, give no more than a month’s notice (in most cases, two weeks are fine); send a pleasant, nicely-worded, farewell note to your co-workers and friends; and behave in a positive, professional manner that avoids any recriminations.

In short, act in a way that could be a model for future resignations.

Famous Last Words

by Michael Wade:

There are certain lines that signal impending doom. Common ones are:

Let’s run it by Finance.

The CEO’s spouse has a special interest in this topic and just wants to see the plan.

We tried something sorta like that seven years ago but the analyst is no longer with us.

The sales people made a few promises to seal the deal.

The lawyers just want to insert some language.

It’s simply a “get acquainted” meeting and should last no longer than ten minutes.

As you may know, I’m a people person.

And then you have ten minutes to switch planes in Atlanta.

All of the documentation was on Gloria’s computer.

The CEO read a fascinating management book the other day. It’s written by a goat-herder in Tanzania.

It’s a new rental car company but they gave us a smoking deal.

We put Ed in charge of the PowerPoint. He’s prepared 50 slides.

This will be really simple. Trust me.

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