THINK BIG, ACT SMALL, MOVE QUICK

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Goal Oriented session for Leading bank by Prism Philosophy

Building and managing a trajectory involves breaking down professional goals into manageable steps. Everyone is familiar with the experience of dreaming big, but many people get lost in the execution. Setting goals is the first step in achieving a goal-oriented career trajectory. Difficult but attainable goals consistently result in the greatest success, but there is a tension between the hard and the impossible. If goals are too difficult, motivation is lost and individuals are discouraged from making future attempts. Professionals should set goals for the near future, as goals extrapolated too far out do not exert much influence.

 

Goals are best achieved through small, incremental progress. Patience can be a tricky subject to master, but it is well worth the effort. Most goals are not achieved in a rush of energy; they are reached over time as individuals put in day-to-day effort. Specifying intermediary milestones is a good way to measure progress. Professional choices are best made after careful consideration rather than through knee-jerk reactions to every new development. Incorporating the principle of delayed gratification into one’s goals will result in increased willpower and avoidance of an instant-reaction feedback loop.

While progress is best achieved in small increments after thoughtful exploration, that does not mean individuals should paralyze themselves by considering all options and refusing to move forward. Individuals must identify the right opportunities and seize them at the right time. While the decisiveness and responsibility this entails may seem overwhelming, a carefully mapped trajectory can provide the information needed to make good choices in a timely manner. As individuals think big, act small, and move quick, their confidence and ability will increase.

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UNCOVERING THE HIDDEN AGENDA

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Uncovering a hidden agenda requires a highly developed emotional intelligence, or the ability to listen to and empathize with others. The pitching team can follow a series of steps to arrive at the hidden agenda:

1. Prepare by going beyond the client’s or prospect’s brief — the statement of the problem that needs solving. The pitching team must unearth additional information that will help them better understand the client.

2. Spend time with the client and focus not on the team’s capabilities but on what the client reveals.

3. Think like a shrink. The pitching team must discern the client’s personality profile and motivation and keep the speaker’s interests front and center. Acknowledging and paraphrasing the speaker is important, along with making the speaker feel supported.

4. The practice of careful listening focuses on the speaker. The careful listener acknowledges and paraphrases the speaker and makes him or her feel accepted and supported. The more comfortable the listener feels, the more the speaker will reveal.

5. Ask the right questions. At least some of the questions should go beyond the business issue and invite the prospect to express his or her feelings.

Because the hidden agenda is usually based in a visceral emotion, it is not directly stated, and the client often cannot express it clearly. To help clients articulate the hidden agenda, the pitching team can use laddering, a psychological technique that employs a series of questions to explore a path leading to a core motive or desire.

CORE, CREDO, AND REAL AMBITION

Core

When pitching, a person needs to connect with a client from his or her core — or the person’s essential nature — which is the most genuine part of the personality. An appeal to a person or organization will have gravitas only if it reflects something essential and true about the individual making the appeal. Identifying a core requires psychological mining, which can be done using one of four methods:

  1. The associative method uses words and images to uncover meanings that reflect the core. Two tools used in the associative method are thecore questionnaire, which employs essential questions about oneself or the organization to help define the core, and a word sort, which helps the inquirer arrive at the same place.
  2. The projective method is a psychological profile test that uses different stimuli to call up associations and emotions. This method can use photographs, for example, or celebrities, or anything else that can symbolize character or values.
  3. The footprint method combines elements of the associative and projective methods to arrive at three essential meanings that reflect the core.
  4. The profiling method involves identifying a type within a personality typology system.

By identifying their cores, individuals or organizations can easily convey how they add value and provide a compelling reason for the client to follow them.

Credo

It is important to crystallize an individual or organization’s belief system to create a following, as companies are now judged on what they believe as much as by what they sell. The credo is a statement of beliefs, and it follows from the core. A credo underlies organizational culture and dynamics; it is the thread that holds a community together. To articulate a credo, members of the pitching team can use the same methods that helped them uncover their core. For example, they may ask themselves what is important about the ways they live their lives or the ways in which they work. If the pitching team makes its credo clear and creates a shared bond with the client based on that credo, the team is sure to win the business.

Real Ambition

Real ambition may be defined as “the human desire to create something good where nothing existed before.” Such aspiration goes beyond what is good for the self and embraces what is good for the community. An individual with real ambition wishes to grow professionally and personally, and that desire must be connected to the hidden agenda in order to rally people to a cause. Real ambition has noble intentions, is a statement of clear intent, seems impossible (since it is an aspiration for a great leap), has a core that will fuel action, and is articulated in simple language. Discerning an individual’s or a company’s real ambition begins with some key questions, such as, “What was I put on earth to do?” or “How will others benefit from my (or our) special abilities?” Real ambition must be articulated in a statement of purpose, which should include the pitching team’s “noble intent” and how the team plans to transform the situation at hand.

A WINNING STRATEGY AND A WINNING ARGUMENT

In crafting a winning strategy, the team addresses not only a technical solution, but also connects one or more of its leverageable assets — core, credo, and real ambition — with the hidden agenda. One way to distill the winning strategy is to use the Allen Key, a tool that has six elements: the three leverageable assets (core, credo, and real ambition) and the three key elements of the prospect’s hidden agenda (wants, needs, and values). The pitching team’s real ambition is to use credo to connect with values and core to connect with needs. In the case of MasterCard, McCann’s core of a competitive culture and a winning track record connected with MasterCard’s need to score a victory over Visa.

When it is time to pitch to the client, the presentation can be thought of as a case being argued in a court of law. A pitch needs a powerful opening with a theme that reflects the hidden agenda, a well-organized presentation of “evidence,” and a compelling summation. While it may be tempting to overwhelm the audience or prospect with many arguments and ideas, it is more effective to craft one highly persuasive thesis. The narrative of evidence logically follows from the major premise or argument. This narrative should move the audience emotionally while logically presenting the facts, which have been gleaned from the extensive research the team has done on the prospect and its business problem. The summation synopsizes the facts and the argument and rouses the audience to the action the pitching team is recommending.

THE POWER OF STORYTELLING

Storytelling is the oldest and most beloved form of communication. Therefore, it is no surprise that pitching requires telling a story built around the hidden agenda of the prospect. In the case of MasterCard, McCann’s pitch included a story about a father and son at a baseball game. The tickets, refreshments, and autographed baseball were given price tags, while the conversation between father and son was labeled “priceless.”

Any good story has archetypal elements: a hero that goes on a journey toward fulfillment or enlightenment, a villain who presents obstacles or opposing forces, a supporting cast of characters that help or hinder the hero’s journey, and a sage that offers wisdom to the hero or articulates the meaning of the story. The journey of the hero includes the quest (for the object, purpose, or meaning), a reversal of fortune (when it looks like the hero will fail) a turning point, and a denouement (a moment of epiphany or discovery). At the end, there is a moral or takeaway. For the person pitching the idea, the hero is the prospect, the story is about what the prospect is trying to attain, and the moral is the hidden agenda. The pitch must be organized around the hidden agenda and dramatically highlight elements of the journey toward that goal.

Storytelling is compelling because it reminds people what it means to be human; it connects them emotionally to others. It also embodies people’s hopes and captures their imaginations, allowing them to believe that what they desire can happen. Finally, storytelling provides drama, the best form of entertainment.

UNCOVERING THE HIDDEN AGENDA

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Uncovering a hidden agenda requires a highly developed emotional intelligence, or the ability to listen to and empathize with others. The pitching team can follow a series of steps to arrive at the hidden agenda:

1. Prepare by going beyond the client’s or prospect’s brief — the statement of the problem that needs solving. The pitching team must unearth additional information that will help them better understand the client.

2. Spend time with the client and focus not on the team’s capabilities but on what the client reveals.

3. Think like a shrink. The pitching team must discern the client’s personality profile and motivation and keep the speaker’s interests front and center. Acknowledging and paraphrasing the speaker is important, along with making the speaker feel supported.

4. The practice of careful listening focuses on the speaker. The careful listener acknowledges and paraphrases the speaker and makes him or her feel accepted and supported. The more comfortable the listener feels, the more the speaker will reveal.

5. Ask the right questions. At least some of the questions should go beyond the business issue and invite the prospect to express his or her feelings.

Because the hidden agenda is usually based in a visceral emotion, it is not directly stated, and the client often cannot express it clearly. To help clients articulate the hidden agenda, the pitching team can use laddering, a psychological technique that employs a series of questions to explore a path leading to a core motive or desire.

CORE, CREDO, AND REAL AMBITION

Core

When pitching, a person needs to connect with a client from his or her core — or the person’s essential nature — which is the most genuine part of the personality. An appeal to a person or organization will have gravitas only if it reflects something essential and true about the individual making the appeal. Identifying a core requires psychological mining, which can be done using one of four methods:

  1. The associative method uses words and images to uncover meanings that reflect the core. Two tools used in the associative method are thecore questionnaire, which employs essential questions about oneself or the organization to help define the core, and a word sort, which helps the inquirer arrive at the same place.
  2. The projective method is a psychological profile test that uses different stimuli to call up associations and emotions. This method can use photographs, for example, or celebrities, or anything else that can symbolize character or values.
  3. The footprint method combines elements of the associative and projective methods to arrive at three essential meanings that reflect the core.
  4. The profiling method involves identifying a type within a personality typology system.

By identifying their cores, individuals or organizations can easily convey how they add value and provide a compelling reason for the client to follow them.

Credo

It is important to crystallize an individual or organization’s belief system to create a following, as companies are now judged on what they believe as much as by what they sell. The credo is a statement of beliefs, and it follows from the core. A credo underlies organizational culture and dynamics; it is the thread that holds a community together. To articulate a credo, members of the pitching team can use the same methods that helped them uncover their core. For example, they may ask themselves what is important about the ways they live their lives or the ways in which they work. If the pitching team makes its credo clear and creates a shared bond with the client based on that credo, the team is sure to win the business.

Real Ambition

Real ambition may be defined as “the human desire to create something good where nothing existed before.” Such aspiration goes beyond what is good for the self and embraces what is good for the community. An individual with real ambition wishes to grow professionally and personally, and that desire must be connected to the hidden agenda in order to rally people to a cause. Real ambition has noble intentions, is a statement of clear intent, seems impossible (since it is an aspiration for a great leap), has a core that will fuel action, and is articulated in simple language. Discerning an individual’s or a company’s real ambition begins with some key questions, such as, “What was I put on earth to do?” or “How will others benefit from my (or our) special abilities?” Real ambition must be articulated in a statement of purpose, which should include the pitching team’s “noble intent” and how the team plans to transform the situation at hand.

A WINNING STRATEGY AND A WINNING ARGUMENT

In crafting a winning strategy, the team addresses not only a technical solution, but also connects one or more of its leverageable assets — core, credo, and real ambition — with the hidden agenda. One way to distill the winning strategy is to use the Allen Key, a tool that has six elements: the three leverageable assets (core, credo, and real ambition) and the three key elements of the prospect’s hidden agenda (wants, needs, and values). The pitching team’s real ambition is to use credo to connect with values and core to connect with needs. In the case of MasterCard, McCann’s core of a competitive culture and a winning track record connected with MasterCard’s need to score a victory over Visa.

When it is time to pitch to the client, the presentation can be thought of as a case being argued in a court of law. A pitch needs a powerful opening with a theme that reflects the hidden agenda, a well-organized presentation of “evidence,” and a compelling summation. While it may be tempting to overwhelm the audience or prospect with many arguments and ideas, it is more effective to craft one highly persuasive thesis. The narrative of evidence logically follows from the major premise or argument. This narrative should move the audience emotionally while logically presenting the facts, which have been gleaned from the extensive research the team has done on the prospect and its business problem. The summation synopsizes the facts and the argument and rouses the audience to the action the pitching team is recommending.

THE POWER OF STORYTELLING

Storytelling is the oldest and most beloved form of communication. Therefore, it is no surprise that pitching requires telling a story built around the hidden agenda of the prospect. In the case of MasterCard, McCann’s pitch included a story about a father and son at a baseball game. The tickets, refreshments, and autographed baseball were given price tags, while the conversation between father and son was labeled “priceless.”

Any good story has archetypal elements: a hero that goes on a journey toward fulfillment or enlightenment, a villain who presents obstacles or opposing forces, a supporting cast of characters that help or hinder the hero’s journey, and a sage that offers wisdom to the hero or articulates the meaning of the story. The journey of the hero includes the quest (for the object, purpose, or meaning), a reversal of fortune (when it looks like the hero will fail) a turning point, and a denouement (a moment of epiphany or discovery). At the end, there is a moral or takeaway. For the person pitching the idea, the hero is the prospect, the story is about what the prospect is trying to attain, and the moral is the hidden agenda. The pitch must be organized around the hidden agenda and dramatically highlight elements of the journey toward that goal.

Storytelling is compelling because it reminds people what it means to be human; it connects them emotionally to others. It also embodies people’s hopes and captures their imaginations, allowing them to believe that what they desire can happen. Finally, storytelling provides drama, the best form of entertainment.

Power of Feedback

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The importance of feedback as a tool for personal change and professional development cannot be overstated. Deep feedback involves seeking out substantive, often critical advice on performance, attributes, and style. Asking for this type of feedback can be a distressing experience, especially in a culture conditioned to preserve self-esteem at all costs. The value of deep feedback, though, outweighs the possible unpleasantness of incurring a hit to one’s ego.

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Feedback session for the leading premier institute students of India 

 

A common mistake made by employees in the modern workplace is simply neglecting to ask for deep feedback in the first place. It is easy to avoid the harsh light of honest feedback by never seeking it out, but this strategy leads to complacency and professional mediocrity. People tend to overestimate the quality of their own performance, so avoiding deep feedback can leave them in an echo chamber of their own making, blissfully unaware of the way their work is perceived by those around them. Overcoming personal resistance to deep feedback is a key aspect of improvement and advancement.

The mere provision of feedback, even honest feedback, does not end the inquiry. How a person responds to feedback dictates how much it will be internalized. People can choose to either personalize the feedback and react destructively, or they can depersonalize the advice and not see it as an attack on their entire identity. No matter how eager a person is for feedback, a destructive reaction will make others unwilling to provide more feedback in the future.

People should view feedback as a compass, or something that will keep them on the straight and narrow. Carving out time to ask for feedback, internalizing it properly, taking advantage of mentorship opportunities, and being attuned to unconscious feedback from others’ actions and body language can allow individuals to capitalize on input and transform their career trajectories.

WHAT CONSTITUTES GOOD STORYTELLING?

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Before continuing to develop their leadership stories, leaders should understand what makes a good story. Leaders must know the messages they want to communicate, know the audience to which they want to communicate it, and enlist others to also tell the stories. Authenticity makes leaders’ stories more memorable. Ultimately, no matter what story is told or how it is told, the actions of the leaders will speak the loudest.

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Story telling session with leading consulting firm 

Most well-formed stories have a beginning, middle, and end–or a narrative arc. The narrative arc in the story includes action that rises until a big climax, or turning point, and then descends. A leader’s story should build up to a high point in his or her career when everything has come together.

To develop their stories, leaders should determine their leadership purpose and goals, and how they will reach them. Leaders can define their narrative arcs by mapping a time line containing the major milestones of their leadership journeys. Also, they can identify the events and people–whether from early in their lives or sometime in their business careers–that impacted what they value and how they think as leaders. Not everything that leaders remember about their journeys will be positive or affirming; some events and people might have had a negative influence. The purpose of charting their narrative arcs is for leaders to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and what has shaped their leadership.

It is not sufficient to simply have a good leadership story–it must be communicated well, at the right time, and to the right people. Leaders must be aware of how the telling of their stories is perceived by others. Effective communication of a story includes the following:

*Proactively planning the messages to communicate.

*Finding unique opportunities to communicate the story appropriately.

*Identifying who else has a role in communicating the story.

Step 1: Knowing the Message

To be a good storyteller, a leader must know what to communicate and why. The story must be simple, clear, and motivational, without exaggeration. Depending on the situation and the audience, a leader might want to convey some aspects of the story but not others.

The most important aspect of communicating a story is framing–matching the story to the audience. Framing helps leaders illustrate ideas in a way that makes them relevant, helps others draw conclusions, and creates a common understanding. Leaders might not want to directly boast about their attributes, but by using framing, they can help their audiences reach certain conclusions about their skills, attributes, and capabilities. Framing also allows a leader to fit his or her story into the purpose and objectives of the company, or relate it to a specific outcome or purpose. Also, the message of the story can be framed with a tale that brings the story to life.

Step 2: Knowing the Audience

A leadership story lives in the hearts and minds of others. Therefore, a story must be relevant to the audience. Leaders should be aware of how their stories support the stories of others and the stories of their organizations.

Audiences include direct reports, supervisors, peers, and important clients. Each audience, however, has different needs and might interpret the leaders’ stories differently. Although a leader can easily identify who his or her audience is, the challenge is to know how members of a specific audience already perceive the leader, what information will be important to them, and how the audience will make sense of what they are hearing.

Effectively communicating a story starts with being empathetic and establishing relevance for the audience. The choice of medium used to communicate the message is important, too. Leaders should not rely on one-way communication technology, especially if the message could evoke an emotional response.

Step 3: Maximizing Moments of Truth

There are times in a leadership story when something was gained or lost–known as moments of truth. These moments offer opportunities for leaders to share or reinforce their stories. A moment of truth can be thought of as a great awakening or a revelation that made an important change in the life of the leader. Such moments make the stories more memorable.

A leader can plan for those moments of truth when it would be appropriate to share all or part of the leadership story. A leader should also be prepared to communicate his or her story during chance encounters and unplanned events. In either case, these moments allow leaders to clarify, inspire, and enlist other protagonists in their stories.

Step 4: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Leaders are “on stage” all the time, so their choices of words, actions, and nonverbal cues to communicate their stories also communicate something about themselves. To be perceived as authentic, these three elements must align. Therefore, leaders must have a strong self-awareness of what they believe and value, and ensure their words and actions reflect that awareness.

Step 5: Enlisting Others to Tell the Leadership Story

Some leaders are wary of telling their stories, believing that it comes across as self-promotion. This cautiousness is justified. Leaders should be careful about what they say about themselves in comparison with what others say about them. A leader’s story is best communicated through the words of others; therefore, a challenge for leaders is to find others who will sing their praises. Those who are recruited can act as credibility substitutes. Their credibility rubs off on the leaders whose stories they are telling. Leaders should foster sound relationships with several people who can act as their credibility substitutes. The effort takes time and commitment; reaching out to the protagonists they identified earlier can be a good start.

My Name is Awesome

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The best brand names are those that entertain customers and make them feel intelligent and happy. This simple fact is the foundation for the SMILE and SCRATCH name fullsizeoutput_41c2evaluation tests, which argue that a brand name should make people smile–not scratch their heads. Entrepreneurs can use the components of the SMILE acronym as guideposts to achieve the five essential qualities of great brand names:

  1. Suggestive. A name should say something about the brand. To accomplish this, entrepreneurs can combine two suggestive words, similar to Groupon, or select a name that is inspired by the brand’s personality. While the first half of the name may be creative or metaphorical, the second word should establish trust and credibility. Neato Robotics is an example of a suggestive name with a trustworthy modifier.
  2. Meaningful. Entrepreneurs must ensure that their names have some kind of meaning and do not require any explanation. Meaningful long name are more likely to be remembered than short, meaningless ones. Entrepreneurs should avoid using their own names, unless they lend themselves to clever wordplay.
  3. Imagery. Great names are visually evocative and therefore easier to remember. Names with imagery include Irish Spring, Range Rover, or Timberland.
  4. Legs. An effective name has “legs” in that it connects to a theme that the brand can be built around. Brand themes, after all, pave the way for ample wordplay and branding opportunities in everything from the company’s taglines to its job titles to its merchandise. By developing a theme early on, entrepreneurs make the later naming products and services easier. This is illustrated well by Apple’s iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
  5. Emotional. Research shows that 50 percent of every purchasing decision is driven by emotion. Consequently, entrepreneurs must create names that make customers feel something. Grandma’s Chicken Soup, for example, is an emotionally engaging name. Names that make us

SCRATCH

Entrepreneurs often mistake uniquely spelled or nonsensical words for creative names. To avoid these common naming mistakes, entrepreneurs must understand what name qualities are disadvantageous. To know when to scratch names off their lists, entrepreneurs must keep in mind the seven deadly sins:

  1. Spelling Challenged. Entrepreneurs must avoid names that look like typos or are not spelled like they sound. Additionally, it is important not to use numbers in the place of words; for example, “Coast to Coast” is easier to find online than”Coast2Coast.”
  2. Copycat. When a name is too similar to a competitor’s name, customers are less likely to trust it. Copycat names also suggest laziness and a lack of originality, and they can even lead to costly trademark infringement cases. In order to prevent copying popular trends, entrepreneurs must avoid any names that begin with Apple’s distinct lowercase “i,” like iPod, or a lowercase “e,” similar to eHarmony. Another trend to steer clear of is the combination of a random color and a noun.
  3. Restrictive. Bad names restrict brands and limit their potential for growth. Therefore, entrepreneurs must not get locked into names they may outgrow in the future. Effective names do not paint themselves into a corner; they are wide enough to include new potential products.
  4. Annoying. Names must not cause customers frustration by appearing forced, random, or grammatically incorrect. If an entrepreneur combines two words it is important that the end result does not sound clunky or unnatural. To this end, entrepreneurs should not drop a vowel or two at the end of a real word, like “Innova,” or use trendy suffixes like -ology, -palooza, or -topia. Additionally, entrepreneurs must steer clear of random and meaningless names like Magoosh, grammatically challenged names like Toys “R” Us, and any names that include only initials.
  5. Tame. To stand out among competitors, brand names should be neither flat nor uninspired. More often than not, tame names are too descriptive of a product or service and therefore require little imagination. Descriptive names only make sense when customers will be trying to find information quickly and there are multiple choices, like FedEx Priority Overnight and FedEx Ground. Otherwise, entrepreneurs should aim for names that are mentally stimulating and demonstrate creativity.
  6. Curse of Knowledge. Names that only insiders understand exclude potential customers who may be unfamiliar with an industry. For this reason that entrepreneurs must avoid any alienating acronyms, internal shorthand, and insider jargon. Equally important is avoiding alphanumeric names as well as anything that might have a vulgar meaning in a foreign language.
  7. Hard to Pronounce. Customers do not like feeling foolish and subsequently will avoid companies or products they cannot pronounce the names of. Problematic names include anything that has two potential pronunciations, foreign words, names spelled with all capital letters, or acronyms.

DOMAINS

Today many entrepreneurs and startups are forgoing perfectly good names because their corresponding URLs are unavailable. The truth is that URLs are simply not as important as many people believe. If customers land on the wrong website because a URL was not what they expected, they will simply Google the brand name and find the site they were originally looking for.

According to Watkins, entrepreneurs can easily buy excellent domain names by following three strategies:

  1. Add another word or two. By adding a modifier or two to brand names, there to explain it to entrepreneurs can find available domain names that can be easily located them through search engines. The skincare company Bliss, for example, uses the do main name BlissWorld.com.
  2. Use a creative phrase. Domain names can also include creative phrases that reinforce brands. For example, the domain name of Peanut Butter & Co. is ILovePeanutButter.com. It includes the brand name and uses a phrase that is fun and memorable.
  3. Get a .net or .biz extension. Domain names with these extensions are viewed as equally trustworthy as businesses with .com domains.

In addition to these strategies, entrepreneurs should adhere to the following five domain name secrets:

  1. Take time to really look; contrary to popular belief, not all domain names are taken.
  2. When a name is listed for sale, make a low offer and negotiate.
  3. Buy domains of the brand name that include commonly misspelled words and have them redirected to the correctly spelled domain.
  4. Since URLs no longer need keywords to be found, domain names and site content should be written primarily for customers and not just search engines.
  5. Long, descriptive domain names are more memorable than short and meaningless ones. Finally, entrepreneurs must consider the following five silly ideas to steer clear of:

Spelling the domain “creatively” or not how it is usually spelled.

  • Using obscure domain extensions, like Libya’s .ly instead of .com, in the domain name.
  • Using .org when the company is for profit.
  •  Not checking that a domain name is similar to an existing trademark or service mark before buying it.
  • Not checking that the words that compose the URL spell something offensive when there are no spaces between them.

CREATIVE BRIEF

Before an entrepreneur can begin brainstorming names, he or she must first complete a creative brief, a detailed outline of all the elements necessary to create the perfect name. Not only do creative briefs help entrepreneurs define exactly what their brands are and what they want to communicate, but they also help prevent entrepreneurs from straying away from the wrong names altogether. An effective creative brief should include the following:

* Goal of assignment: What the entrepreneur wants to accomplish. When people can

* In a nutshell: A summary of what the company will do in 140 characters or visualize your name less

* Brand positioning: How the entrepreneur wants his or her brand to be po- much easier for them sitioned in the marketplace.

* Consumer insights: Insights regarding people’s behaviors rather than their unfamiliar word or preferences. These behaviors will affect their purchasing decisions.

* Target audience: The customers that a company wants to reach in specific give their mind anydemographic terms.

* Competition: Similar organizations that a company is up against in the market.

* Desired brand experience: Positive brand experiences that foster strong emotional engagement.

* Brand personality: Five to twelve adjectives that effectively capture the brand’s tone and personality.

* Words to explore: Words an entrepreneur wants in his or her brand name.

* Words to avoid: Any words an entrepreneur does not want in his or her brand name.

* Themes/ideas to avoid: Any related concepts that will not be appealing to customers or have been overdone by competitors.

* Domain name modifiers: Potential modifier words that will help a company secure a domain.

* Name style likes and dislikes: A list of five brand names that entrepreneurs like and five they dislike along with the reasons why.

* Acid test: A test to see how brand names would be used in a sentence.

* Also good to know: Any other information that could be helpful in name development.

BRAINSTORMING

When entrepreneurs brainstorm online, they often end up clicking on unexpected links and going down various, inspirational rabbit holes. In order to brainstorm effectively, entrepreneurs must be sure to:

* Keep an open mind.

* Write down all name ideas–even the bad ones.

* Have their creative briefs readily available as a reference.

To warm up before brainstorming, entrepreneurs can use the following word association exercise. First, they should write down a dozen words related to their brands or brand experiences. These words are not intended to become potential names, but instead are fuel for the creative process. Next, they should select one of these words and plug it into the following online brainstorming tools:

* A thesaurus. Interesting synonyms and related words can be great name fodder.

* An image search. Entering the selected word into an image search brings up pictures of relevant information the entrepreneur may not have even thought of.

* Glossaries. Entrepreneurs can use online glossaries like Urban Dictionary to find slang that is connected to their selected words.

* Dictionaries. Dictionaries can provide related definitions and phrases.

* Clichés. Inspiration can be found in related idioms and expressions.

* Search engines. Googlestorming is the process of using the selected word in a longer search query. If the selected word is “cold,” for example, the entrepreneur could type the keywords “coldest places on earth” into Google. This could result in engaging articles and relevant information that could spark an idea for a sticky brand name.

* Movie titles, book titles, and song names. By searching for popular movies, books, and songs with specific words in their titles, entrepreneurs can stumble upon new ways to use their selected words as well as find new phraseology and associated terms to consider.

NAME REVIEW

Before distributing a list of potential brand names among colleagues, an entrepreneur should write a sentence next to each name that describes its rationale and how it would be used in a sentence. Beyond this, there are 12 rules at entrepreneurs must use when conducting a group review of potential names:

  1. Have participants review the list independently so they can express to come up with great which names they like without any group presentation anxiety. This also pre., vents participants from echoing their superiors’ opinions.
  2. Ensure that participants discern that it is the right name–not just a name they like.
  3. Avoid negative comments and instead focus on what is working. This helps build consensus.
  4. Clarify that the job of the brand is not to say everything, but rather to hint at what the brand does.
  5. Provide tangible copies of the list that can be read multiple times over a few days.
  6. Do not let outsiders, like focus groups, weigh in until later on in the process.
  7. Remember that the name will be seen in the context of the logo or alongside marketing materials. Try to imagine the name on a sign or business card.
  8. Do not fear a name that is different.
  9. Do not check to see if domain names are available too early in the process.
  10. Allow participants to select at least 10 names they like from the list.
  11. Refrain from falling in love with any of the names until after confirming that the desired names are available and do not pose any trademark conflicts.
  12. Make the process fun. After determining that there is a consensus, reflect on the attributes of the top contenders, rank the top five picks, and then begin the trademark screening process.

NAME CHANGE

While every company’s situation is different, a brand name change is worth considering when the name in question requires explanations or lacks dynamism. To make the right decisions, entrepreneurs must consider the pros and cons of changing their brands’ names. For example:

PROS:

* A name change can refresh a brand.

* Not having to explain the previous confusing brand name will save time.

* It will give the company an excuse to get in touch with customers.

* There are thousands of future customers who do not know the current name and will only know the new name.

Cons:

* There is an emotional attachment to the name.

* It will be difficult to get the whole company to agree to the change.

* The person who developed the original name will be hurt.

* It will be expensive to print new promotional materials and signs.

* It may require facing the difficult truth that the original name was bad.

TRADEMARKING

Trademarking is an essential part of the brand naming process. Entrepreneurs must not only check that the names they want are legally available, but also make sure to trademark them immediately so no one else can steal them. Professional trademark screening services are available at affordable prices

Share your sucess with a STORY

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All stories, including leadership stories, have a plot, characters, conflict, theme, and setting. For leadership stories or for followership stories to be authentic, details need to be added to each element. We have been awarded for best research on Followership and now sharing to the world through our programs with simple steps.
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Step 1: Defining the Plot

A story’s plot provides the reason why actions are taken. As the basis for a leadership story, it can also be called the mission or purpose, and it is most likely driven by what a leader values. The plot of a leader’s story can inspire both the leader and others around him or her.

To determine the plots of their stories, leaders can reflect on what has been rewarding in their careers, what has challenged and energized them, and what they would like to accomplish. Leaders can perform five activities to help them understand and develop their leadership stories:

  1. Define what makes an effective leader from their own points of view.
  2. Understand what they believe and how it drives their behaviors, learn how others perceive what they value as leaders, and develop a plan to act differently.
  3. Determine the things on which they will not compromise, based on their core values.
  4. List those parts of their career journeys that inspired or excited them, focusing on the positive to determine what energizes them.
  5. Write their personal leadership mission statements, being sure to include the contributions they want to make and convey the purpose behind why they lead.

Step 2: Connecting with Key Characters

Leadership is about having the emotional intelligence that fosters a strong awareness of oneself and others. In a leadership story, the role of each character (including the leader) revolves around the quality and quantity of relationships. Leaders must be able to identify and take into account their own emotions and feelings as well as those of others.

The most important step that leaders can take toward authoring their leadership stories is to understand how other people perceive their leadership skills. Various assessment tools exist to gather anonymous and candid opinions from others. Others’ perceptions can influence a leader’s story positively or negatively, without the leader knowing it.

In every story, there are protagonists and antagonists. Protagonists believe in the leaders and their potential. Antagonists are detractors, and their desire to see leaders fail can be based on any number of factors. Leaders can even be their own antagonists if they do not have faith in themselves, fail to meet commitments, never learn or grow, or do not respect others.

Leaders can mitigate the efforts and influences of antagonists by demonstrating fairness and good leadership practices. If a leader identifies an antagonist, he or she should work to repair the relationship and learn what has motivated the person, because left unchecked, the efforts of an antagonist can irreparably harm a leader’s story.

Leaders can foster good relationships by:

*Identifying nonwork-related things they have in common with others.

*Working to build trust within each relationship.

*Connecting with three to five leaders to be trusted advisors who can provide mentoring and guidance.

*Expressing gratitude and giving credit to those who have had positive influences on their lives and leadership abilities.

Step 3: Preparing for Conflict

Leaders’ characters and abilities are revealed in how they respond to conflict, struggles, and adversity. Leaders will inevitably encounter unexpected conflicts, both great and small, and they should be prepared to deal with them, learn from them, and become better prepared by them for future challenges.

Leaders may experience negative interpersonal conflicts, which can be based on differences of opinion, personalities, or motivations. Patience and good communication skills help leaders ensure that conflicts do not damage relationships or their leadership stories. However, conflicts can also be positive–for example, among team members with differing opinions, which help great ideas to emerge.

A leader needs to assess the source of conflict, determine how he or she will respond to it, and observe how the response impacts others. Sometimes, gaining this skill requires leaders to react differently than they are accustomed to responding. To build a conflict-management capability, leaders can review how they successfully responded to conflict in the past, practice better responses, and ask for additional guidance from mentors.

Sometimes leaders struggle with internal conflicts, believing they might be exposed as leadership imposters. Such leaders can learn to manage this feeling by becoming more competent with experience and becoming more self-aware. A lack of self-awareness will leave leaders unprepared for conflict and might cause them to respond in unproductive ways.

Step 4: Developing the Theme

The theme of a leadership story is built from personality characteristics, attitudes, technical skills, and interpersonal skills. For leaders to understand what they do well and where they require improvement, they must be aware of their abilities and limitations. Each leader has a different story with a different theme; such differences give a leader credibility. Therefore, a leader should never attempt to be something he or she is not.

Effective leaders are aware of which skills, characteristics, and attributes are most needed in their organizations and how well their abilities match with those needs. Good leaders recognize that each person requires a different approach to being led, which requires leaders to adapt by using different skills. Leaders can determine how others perceive their skills, characteristics, and attributes by encouraging anonymous feedback. Candid remarks can help leaders adjust their behaviors and start repairing relationships.

Self-assessments can be valuable tools if leaders are honest with themselves. Leaders can use another approach by assessing other leaders’ capabilities, negatively and positively, and comparing the results to how they themselves would respond in similar situations.

To help build their leadership stories, leaders can analyze their greatest professional or personal successes and failures and glean lessons from them. Successes show leaders what approaches and skills were used to succeed, which they can continue to use in the future. By analyzing failures, a leader can determine alternative ways to approach a situation and discover a better way to handle it next time.

Step 5: Finding the Optimal Setting

The setting of a leadership story involves the geographical location and organization in which the leader works, as well as the work itself. For many leaders, their stories have emerged from a number of different settings. Sometimes, the setting is the same, but the environment or corporate culture around the leader has changed.

Leaders need to determine how they are affected by their environments and which ones they will thrive in. Developing a plan helps leaders seek environments where they know they can be at their best. Leaders can determine where they want to be emotionally, geographically, culturally, and organizationally and make plans to guide their careers in those directions. Leaders also need to be aware of how settings affect others, and what those others need in order to be at their best. Leaders can then make the changes that are within their control to foster a better environment for others.

Wrap Up -Negotiation

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Once a successful agreement has been negotiated, there are a few final steps to take before considering the negotiation complete:

*Document the terms. Professionals must record where they ended so both parties have a shared understanding of the specifics. Both parties should review and agree to the document, and each party should retain a copy.

*Communicate to make sure there is an agreement. Everyone with decision rights should be consulted and the documentation and recommendations shared.

*Think through the implementation. Professionals should think about what steps will ensure a smooth transition from agreement to implementation.

*Put the agreement into action. Once the agreement is final, anyone involved should be briefed about the implementation, the intent behind it, what has been learned about counterparts and their interests, and any future risks.

Review What Happened

When the negotiation is finished, negotiators must take the opportunity to learn and improve their skills. They should set up a time to review the process, capture what they have learned, and get feedback. Areas to improve should be identified and everything discussed and practiced in the review should be documented.

NEGOTIATION -IN THE ROOM

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Begin the Negotiation

As the negotiation session opens, professionals should ask questions about the substance of the negotiation. Then, they should listen carefully to what their counterparts share. While listening, professionals should avoid reacting to what they hear and should simply absorb the information. In additional to listening, professionals should also set a good example by sharing information. They should share their ideas in consumable chunks and watch out for situations where people could misunderstand one another.

A working relationship should be built early in the negotiation. To keep the relationship separate from the negotiation itself, professionals must do the following:

*Deal with the relationship head-on. If any concerns were raised in preparation, professionals should diagnose them and explore possible solutions.

*Separate relationship issues from the substance of the negotiation. Any relationship issues should be identified and addressed so they do not conflict with the negotiation process itself.

*Work unconditionally to grow the relationship. Regardless of existing issues in the relationship, professionals should work to make the relationship stronger. They should set the stage for a collaborative approach from the beginning by being respectful, well prepared, and ready to listen.

Create and Refine the Options

The relationship building that begins during the negotiation helps negotiators create and refine their options. Professionals must confirm their counterparts’ interests and must also carefully share their own interests. Not all interests should be put on the table, but enough information should be shared to make a counterpart feel comfortable following suit.

Once ideas have been generated, professionals should evaluate them. Standards should be used to narrow options and support good solutions. When one party advocates an option that the other party does not believe is fair, standards should be used to support the argument against it. If counterparts bring conflicting standards, they should discuss which data is appropriate for the situation. By applying standards and iterating and refining the options, professionals will arrive at a few workable solutions.

Select the Right Outcome

When a few solutions are left on the table, professionals must move toward a final agreement. They should evaluate the remaining solutions against the best alternative identified in the preparation.

Professionals should assess their strong options against the following three criteria to narrow them down further:

1. It is operational and sufficient. Professionals should make sure that the timeline, terms, and conditions in the given option are realistic and detailed enough to be implemented.

2. There is authority to commit to it. Professionals should not make agreements they are not allowed to make.

3. It can be sold internally to key stakeholders. Professionals should test the solution with the right people before they make any commitments, keeping in mind that those people may have concerns or ideas that have not been considered.

With the solutions evaluated, many professionals may feel confident that they are getting close to finalizing the negotiation, but some negotiators will find things taking a turn for the worse. In those situations, they must adapt their approach.

Adapt the Approach

Many negotiators are frustrated by the fact that they cannot control what the other party does. In these cases, it is important for professionals to be flexible. The following are ways to stay flexible:

*Role play. When professionals find themselves in the middle of a negotiation and they are not sure which direction to go, they can practice with someone else before going back into the negotiation room.

*Become a fly on the wall. Throughout the negotiation, a professional can step out of the action to look at what is happening. Stepping out is helpful because it allows a professional to avoid getting stuck in a narrow view of the situation.

*Take an occasional break. If negotiators are not sure what to do next, are frustrated and need to calm down, or need to consult with colleagues, they should ask for a break.

*Conduct frequent reviews and make midcourse corrections. A smart negotiator can take a more complete step back at certain points to review what is happening in the negotiation. At each step back, negotiators should ask themselves what is working and what could be done differently.

Negotiation – Before getting to room

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Use the Seven Elements Tool

How professionals define their measures of success will influence how they prepare and negotiate. The following seven elements can help negotiators define success:

1. Interests. Interests are the underlying needs, aims, fears, and concerns that shape what somebody wants. In a negotiation, professionals should search for an outcome that satisfies the full range of interests for all parties involved.

2. Options. Options are the solutions generated that could meet the interests of all parties. The final agreement that professionals draft should be the best of the many options.

3. Standards. Standards are external, objective measures that can be applied to an agreement to assess its fairness. Professionals should aim for an agreement that will be considered fair by everyone involved.

4. Alternatives. Alternatives are the options that negotiators have if they cannot reach an agreement with their counterparts. Once alternatives are identified, professionals must consider which is best.

5. Commitments. Each party makes commitments to do or not do certain things. These promises must be operational, detailed, and realistic and should be made by somebody with the correct authority to carry them out.

6. Communications. An agreement should be the result of effective communication. Effective communication makes the negotiation more efficient, yields clearer agreements, and builds better relationships.

7. Relationships. Professionals must build strong working relationships built on mutual respect, well-established trust, and side-by-side problem solving.

As professionals define their measures of success, they should aim to satisfy the requirements of all seven elements. Once they use the seven elements to establish their definitions, negotiators can move onto questioning their assumptions.