Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Five MUST READ Business Books

The Value of Discipline

A good friend sent me this article last week and I found it so insightful and helpful that I wanted to share it with you.  Read it slowly and carefully – there is some genuine wisdom in the next few paragraphs! Continue reading “The Value of Discipline” »

A "Must Read" on How to Distinguish Yourself

As most of you know, I am a fanatic reader, and typically get through 10 to 12 books a month as well as several audio books, white papers, magazines, blogs and research reports. Although the great majority of that reading is on strategy, leadership and high-performance teams, I also read a lot of career, self-help, and “personal branding” information as well.  Last week I was visiting one of my very favorite websites called and found an absolutely wonderful manifesto entitled… Continue reading “A "Must Read" on How to Distinguish Yourself” »

Some Tips on Holding Successful "Remote" Meetings

I recently posted a blog on “How to Have Better Meetings,” which was actually a link to a fantastic article on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separationblog. Since then, I have had a number of people ask me how these ideas apply to virtual/remote meetings. Since I spent a number of years facilitating the Global Leadership Development Program for Merrill Lynch and have run several international leadership training classes for Qualcomm and other clients (all of which involved participants from several different countries in each meeting) I have a few ideas I’d like to share on what I believe it takes to run a successful remote meeting. Continue reading “Some Tips on Holding Successful "Remote" Meetings” »

This Makes It Very Clear…

I was talking to one of my clients yesterday, the President of a large commercial landscaping operation called Austin Outdoor, about how to help his front-line folks take their customer service delivery to a higher level. Now mind you, this is already a great company that delivers consistently excellent customer service, but because they are a truly great company… they want to do even better. So as I was driving to the office this morning I was thinking about how to really send a clear message to all of his employees about the critical importance of always delivering amazing service when a powerful image came to my mind. Continue reading “This Makes It Very Clear…” »

Lessons Learned from 30 Years of Leadership

I ran across this article this morning on the Harvard Business Publishing website (if you are not already a member, you should be, they have loads of hugely valuable articles and information on the site) and thought that it really hit the nail on the head. This is some extremely sage advice from someone with 25+ years as a high level executive. I think you’re going to find some truly valuable ideas in this wonderful interview… Continue reading “Lessons Learned from 30 Years of Leadership” »

Lessons from the Boat Show

As many of you know, in addition to doing work as a business consultant, speaker and executive trainer I also own a small advertising firm called Flycaster & Company, which specializes mainly in the marine/sportfishing industry.  Last week my partners and I traveled down to Miami for the boat show and I believe there are some great lessons to be learned from the turmoil now facing that troubled industry.  As you read what I have to say about the boating industry in this blog, just keep asking yourself: “How might this apply to my business and my industry?” I have a feeling you’ll likely see many strong similarities. Continue reading “Lessons from the Boat Show” »

Getting 2009 Started Off Strong!

I believe that two of the the most important factors in running a successful company are: robust communications and a sharp focus on the key organizational strategies.  Unfortunately, it is been my experience that most leaders do a relatively poor job of communicating what they want their people to focus on.  Given the incredibly challenging economic times we are in, now more than ever it is critical to clearly communicate to all of your people what is expected of them and what they need to do to keep your company strong and successful.  However, you don’t want to bog them down with long speeches or a 50 page strategic plan.  The goal is to keep it as concise and focused as possible. Continue reading “Getting 2009 Started Off Strong!” »

What will it take to succeed in this economy?

I am a huge fan of Tom Peters. Love his books, ideas, and rants. I have met Tom on several occasions and really enjoy his quick wit, wry sense of humor and passion for business excellence. This is an article from Richard King, the director of the Tom Peters consultancy in UK, that was just posted on Tom’s site — I think he has some strong ideas for what it will take to weather the upcoming business challenges. Worth taking five minutes to read…

Continue reading “What will it take to succeed in this economy?” »