Intelligent Management

Budgeting your attention

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As you probably already know, the most important aspect of time management is deciding where you will spend your attention.

It's difficult to practice good attention allocation because anyone with a need can interrupt you at any time, using a variety of methods to access you and hijack your attention.

One of the most famous, and still-relevant self-management tools is Stephen Covey's four-quadrant matrix for importance and urgency ("important/not important, urgent/not urgent").

We all know we spend far too much time on the urgent/not important tasks; and, if we are totally honest with ourselves, we also spend too much time in the "not important/not urgent" category.

Managing your passion

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If you own or run a company, you're passionate. Certain things matter to you. Every day, in every interaction, your passion determines how you manage yourself and those who work for you - employees and vendors.

Your passion is a powerful force. If you manage it correctly, you will:


  • Make the right decisions about what is important and what is not



  • Allocate the right amount of energy to the important things



  • Convey the right messages to employees and vendors about what matters



  • Create and run a balanced company



Victim versus victor: Sad stories don't make sales

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There's a certain type of entrepreneur who becomes obsessed with a product idea, and sets up a business to sell it. It's always a guy (yes, for some reason, it's always a guy) who can never understand why "everyone can't see the wisdom of this idea" and why "someone can't give me the money to get this business off the ground."

I hear from these gentlemen because of my blog and book, and my consulting company. The most recent person who contacted me said he had also contacted a famous "marketing guru" company, but that "they won't give me the time of day."

The perfect sales manager - part 2

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Last week we discussed two of the traits of the perfect sales manager: loyalty (first to the customer, then the company, then the sales force), and consistency. This week we will look at the remaining key characteristics. The perfect sales manager is also empathetic, process-oriented and behaves both as a mother hen and a whip-cracker.


  • Empathetic


    Note that I said empathetic, not sympathetic. When you empathize with someone, you listen carefully and understand their problem, but you retain your ability to make decisions that are not driven by their emotions.

The perfect sales manager - part 1

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The perfect sales manager is rare. One person seldom has all of the right traits, and seldom behaves consistently in the most effective manner. My goal here is to describe the ideal. If you are recruiting, you'll want to get as close to this ideal as you can, then work with the individual to improve their deficiencies. If you are still managing your own sales force yourself, you will be well-served if you develop and exercise these characteristics.


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