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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

You Need A Customer Advisory Board!

advisory_boardI’ve been an advocate of using a customer advisory board for over thirty years. I’ve used them in every business I’ve ever owned.

There is only one way to get high quality feedback about your company and your service. The way is to ask your customers what they think. Asking one on one is a good start. Asking with a group of customers is magic.

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Topics: cultural change, value creation, communication

A Mentor Is A Good Thinking Partner

thinking_partnerI spend a lot of my time acting as a coach with various people. Sometimes it’s a formal coaching relationship and sometimes it’s just a result of having a conversation about a goal or outcome. In both cases I find one of the important roles I play is that of a thinking partner.

A thinking partner is someone who helps you think through what’s going on in your life. I’ve found that when I play the role of a thinking partner lots of interesting things happen.

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Topics: communication, personal value, asking why, transition planning

Are You Brave?

braveryYou have a customer you feel is being unfair. You’re afraid that if you tell them the truth from your point of view you’re going to be fired. You need to learn how to say no and just haven’t figured out how to do it.

Does this sound like a situation you’ve been in recently? If so, you’re not alone. We all have times we have clients who are either being unfair or you feel are taking advantage of you. Learning to say no is a challenge. If you don’t, you become a doormat. You don’t want to be a doormat, do you?

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Topics: value creation, communication, strategic marketing

Have You Made A Mistake Today - Op Ed

Learn-from-MistakesIf you’ve read this blog for any period of time you know that I’m a big fan of mistakes. Sometimes people misinterpret what that means.

I love mistakes only under one circumstance: That you get to learn something and the mistake doesn’t put you in personal or financial risk.

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, value creation, communication

Are You Open Enough? – Life Changes


One of the interesting things about living in the United States that if you’re a male or a leader you’re not allowed to be vulnerable. I find that state of affairs one that doesn’t 

help us make our lives better.

I don’t know about you but I’ve had times where I’ve allowe

d myself to be vulnerable that have led to great outcomes. It’s when I’ve taken the biggest personal risks to my ego that I’ve gotten the best returns.

Being vulnerable means you’re willing to listen.

If you’re being vulnerable you’ve put yourself in a position to listen to what others say. It’s pretty hard to be arrogant and highly narcissistic when you’re vulnerable.

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Topics: communication, personal value, unique ability

6 Things You Need To Tell Your Family – Wealth Management


Here’s a sad fact: you’re going to die. I know it’s probably not today, and hopefully not for a very long time. For me, it seemed like it could have been pretty close. As it turns out, five years have gone by and I’m still kicking.

When I thought I might have a limited amount of time l

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Topics: communication, financial planning, wealth management, transition planning, family

Saying No Is About Creating Boundaries

no-thank-youWhen your life changes because you get divorced or someone close to you dies your life is turned upside down. You’re going to be asked to do things and make decisions that you probably never had to make. You might even want to always say yes.

Saying yes may have served you well in the past. You’ll want to think before you continue saying yes to all the requests and decisions you’re going to have to make.

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Topics: communication, transition planning, commitment

Listen To Your Children

parent child communication resized 600One of the favorite topics for wealth managers to talk about is how philanthropy can help teach great money skills to your children.  Other wealth managers might talk about doing a family bank account to fund business activities.  Still others might want you to put together funds that will provide education for your children and grandchildren.

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Topics: communication, wealth management, Children, family

The Word Should Is Evil

new slash should resized 600Yes, this is strong language.  It’s even a little outrageous.  If you use the word should you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

I know that when someone tells me they should do something or I should do something I immediately turn them off.  If you do this enough with other people they turn you off.  After a while people stop listening to what you’re saying.  That’s just the way it works.

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Topics: business coaching, communication, build trust

Having An Ego Doesn’t Mean You’re Arrogant

ego resized 600I was recently at a conference where the topic of ego came up.  When an interesting topic or idea is introduced I often wander off into my own world for a while.  Do you ever find this happens with you?  For me, it’s where many of my more interesting thoughts come from.

Ego is not a bad word.

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Topics: business coaching, communication, asking why

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